Its 2011 and everyone has an account on Facebook, a brimming Spam folder and a phone. And while not everyone’s mobile is ‘Smart’, the vast majority boast a relatively impressive IQ.
Touchscreens are perhaps the defining feature of this 21st Century tech, a seemingly space age interaction. Admit it, sometimes you feel you’re more piloting a sub orbital shuttle than assuring your online community you just ROFLed at the latest satirical Tweet.
But not everyone trusts this shiny voodoo, and here the Text Pro comes in. Smaller, fatter and dumber than its popular Smartphone peers, the CK15i banks on hooking your brow by generally being ‘easy’. By which I mean, it’s relatively cheap (in or around €100) and will slide out its text-pad at the drop of a hat.
Regrettably, its QWERTY pad is something of a cruel tease; awkward, cumbersome and irresponsive. More fool us, I suppose…
Allegations this colour induces winking in males remains unverified.
While it mimics the joyous functionality of the trusty keyboard with which I craft this needlessly metaphor-mixing review, the fact its characters illuminate a clear blue hinders the process. With even the slightest suggestion of glare, the text-pad is rendered unreadable.
Touch typing remains the only recourse, but you’ll find this skill does not channel from ten digits to two thumbs. At all.
Otherwise, it offers all the standard ‘Smartphone’ functionality, and on a relatively generous 3” screen too. FaceTwit is present and accounted for, as is Google Tube and Picasahoo!
The apps pages, to its credit, are easily accessed and clearly displayed. Additionally the option of receiving a feed constantly updating with the antics of your 5 closest friends is a welcome feature. Especially for gossip junkies needing quarterly reports on what Sally made for dinner or whether last night’s X factor finally endeared Gary Barlow to Eric’s discerning standards.
(It didn’t. Poor Mr Barlow…)
In fact the apps are the Text Pro’s saving grace. As an entry level Not-Dumbphone it gives you the internetting fix you crave during that uneasy period traveling between your computer in work and your laptop at home.
It’s simply the design which lets Sony Ericsson down here. While the 3.2 MP camera is best left filling your Apps page, basic texting is a chore. Gone is the bustle of meddlesome folders such as “Drafts, Sent Mail and Inbox” replaced instead by straightforward conversation listings.
It’s a streamlined system which lacks a basic sophistication that is sorely missed when you need to know, at a glance, whom precisely you texted in a furious stupor at 4:37am last night!
Additionally, I’m convinced choosing a contact from an overzealous slider rather than thumbing in their name alphabetically is a tasteless practical joke at my expense. I just want to text my mam, not Mildred, not Manfred, and certainly not Morris!
But maybe, alike the popular jock more concerned with the homecoming crown than the feelings of his ‘beautiful without their glasses’ peers, I’m not giving the Text Pro enough credit.
It’s cheap, it’s competent and given a little coaxing, it will get the job done. It’s just a shame its defining feature is its most glaring flaw.
Bizarrely the moral of the story is to stick to the status quo (i.e. Touchscreen)
How did that happen?!
Screen: 3” 262,144 colour TFT, 400x240 pixels (WVGA)
Size: 93.0 x 52.0 x 18.0 mm
Memory: Internal up to 100 MB, MicroSD and microSDHC up to 32GB
RAM: 64 MB