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ZTE F107

When you first switch on the F107, there is an ominous sense of familiarity about the menu items and the structure of the device. Those of you who remember the early Nokia phones like the 5110 will be able to reflect on ‘warmer’ times, when selecting menu items was more instantaneous, buttons few and social networking sites a mere classroom daydream.

The first thing to notice is a quick start-up time, and within a few seconds of the Front screen becoming visible, a proverbial soft key directs you to a ‘no nonsense’ menu screen that anyone from ages 8-80 years should find easy to negotiate.

The 2.o mp camera is as basic as you can imagine, but still allows you to trim brightness, contrast and some elementary colour effects. The digital zoom is, like most features on the device, responsive and flatteringly academic to use.

Those of us accustomed to touch screen functionality can enjoy a moment of tranquillity whilst composing a text message ‘the old-fashioned way’ on this phone. Again, like the earlier phones, you can send a message rapidly and without aggravation, thanks to somewhat antiquated text input keys and an almost intimidating word prediction feature which appears frighteningly precise.

After using the media section of the phone for just a few moments, one is left feeling hollow and uninspired. The functionality fails in every department here except for thwarting the user. This is because you cannot simply view a picture from your memory card or ringtone from the phone memory by selecting them, but instead observe a list of your files, unaware that you need to visit the media player to import them as if it is come kind of construct from ‘The Matrix’.

Consumers who crave impressive visuals and startlingly clarity will feel instantly dejected by the ZTE’s ‘honest’ looks both on & off the screen. The shape of the phone is undoubtedly conducive to a lifetime of pocket-dwelling, but will struggle to catch the eye in a marketplace consumed by cosmetic connotation. Unfortunately this styling continues into the phones’ structure and inevitably makes for quite a dull and unfulfilling experience. When browsing the web, it is very hard to see anything in detail and is probably best reserved for football scores if anything.

I would have to recommend this handset as a great ‘1st phone’ for all ages. Not least because of its ease of use but also the lack of meaningless applications on the front screen, allowing the user to perform day to day functions with minimum of fuss or distractions.

In conclusion, I still think this little ZTE retains enough charm to see it through the intense scrutiny of the school playground. I do, however, see it only in two realistic scenarios: either as a young child’s first phone or an emergency point of contact for Grandpa on his travels due to its reliability and ease of use.

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