Sony Ericsson’s brings contemporary looks into the equation for its latest model, the T100 (and not to be confused with the Samsung model - which has a similar designation). Breaking away from the traditional Ericsson “look and feel”, this model is targeted towards first-time mobile users and current low-end users - meaning that it won’t cost the Earth to own one!
What’s most interesting about the Sony Ericsson T100 is its new styling. So far, it’s either a facelift of a previous model (T66 to T600) or just modifications in current designs (R600 and T200). But at the end of the day, it retains the traditional, basic functions and features that you would find on most of their current and existing handsets.
Using a somewhat similar finish to the current T68i and T300 models, the Sony Ericsson T100 comes in either a soft blue or orange finish for its buttons and areas bordering the greyscale LCD screen. Two thin rubber linings on the left and right sides assists the user in handling the phone, where the back is actually shaped quite differently as to the looks of the front.
It may seem to onlookers as being quite flat - but on closer inspection, the Sony Ericsson T100 does come with some of the slightest curves both on the front and back surfaces of the phone. The design of the keypad is orientated more towards this design than overall usability, which I find to be of greater importance (see “problems/issues” section).
On the top side of the Sony Ericsson T100 is a strap/lanyard hole. Given the light weight of the phone and its unique styling, hanging it around your neck isn’t such a bad idea.
User Interface & display
For illumination, the Sony Ericsson T100 uses blue and orange backlights for its LCD screen and keypad area respectively. On turning on the phone I found a wallpaper of a diver and fish displayed, probably to coincide with the blue backlight which aims to give that underwater effect. As for the soft orange backlight for the keypad, I found it to flicker slightly (noticeable when you wave the phone in front of your eyes quickly).
As with all current Sony Ericsson models, the T100 is no exception in retaining the same user interface (UI) for its menus and functions. If you’ve previously used an Ericsson/Sony Ericsson phone before, you will have no problems navigating - while new users shouldn’t have too much of a hassle in getting use to things.
Making and receiving calls
The Sony Ericsson T100 is like any other mobile phone when it comes to making and taking calls. For some, its flat surface on the front of the handset may take some getting use to by your ears.
Audio through the earpiece was alright - but I did get one or two complaints of echoing. This did not occur to all my calls - but probably when I was not holding the phone the best way possible. With its microphone located at the front instead of the base (next to the charging/headset slots), one may experience muffled and excessive noise from it brushing across the skin on a user’s face.
Again, the traditional SMS and EMS messaging standards are supported on the Sony Ericsson T100 - with the added ability of being able to send long text messages (combining several standard-sized SMS messages as a longer one), group messaging, and the ability to edit graphics and sounds with the picture and melody editors respectively.
No complaints here - the Sony Ericsson T100 is very solid indeed. You can’t get it to squeak or rattle under normal circumstances. The external battery locks into its slot perfectly, where it can be removed in a jiffy!
On average use, a full charge should yield you approximately 2-3 hours talk and 3-4 days standby time.