I was trying to remember the very last time I had the opportunity to use a Philips phone, which I think was a couple of years back. Since then, none of the models released by the company have yet to raise an eyebrow - until now, with the Fisio 820.
If you have used a Philips phone before, you will expect similar levels of innovation as per previous models. In addition, you will also find a level of usability that was missing before - giving its users convenient and easy access to phone features without the need to think it out. For many of those who have given up on Philips phones, the Fisio 820 is one good reason why you should reconsider.
"Colour LCD screen
comparison with other phones"
Considering that Philips have been somewhat less-than-active in the field of mobile phones, the Fisio 820 boasts a complete set of features where one would yet to find on most other mobile phones that are currently available. Some of the major ones would include a high-resolution colour LCD screen, internal Bluetooth support, WAP over GPRS and voice functions. Access to these features is made simple thanks to the unique 5-way navigational interface and “carousel” menu layout.
Something else that I found surprising about the Fisio 820 was the ability to access phone features and functions without the need for a SIM card to be inserted into the phone. I have yet to come across a GSM phone (excluding the Nokia Communicators, since they can operate in PDA mode independently) which can do this. The only reason I can see why Philips have allowed this would be the ability for a user to synchronise the phone’s data via Bluetooth without the need of a SIM card, and to be able to access organiser functions as well.
The Fisio 820 is conveniently sized and fits comfortably in virtually any user’s hand. What I found most exciting about this phone is the unique keypad layout - where the traditional 12-key digit keypad has been partially refurbished to look something like a 5-way navigational key found on other phones. Also, some may notice that there are no answer/reject buttons on the phone - where they have been replaced by permanent “clear” and “menu” buttons instead.
I found using the menus with the larger-sized set of navigation keys more relaxing, since I can press the directional keys with any part of my thumb (and not having to squeeze the sides of them like on other phones!)
As for the looks, I found the design to be very unique (thanks again mainly to the design of the keypad area). The overall dimensions of the phone would probably be perfect if it was less on the width and depth - but then it wouldn’t be as good to hold.
On consulting several of my friends for their opinion, most of them gave the thumb up on looks. But colour-wise, I think there will be a segmentation of users going for the two different colours (Sahara Gold and Mars Red). Also, the type of paint used on the Mars Red version of the Fisio 820 will leave fingerprints behind - which may mean many spending half their time rubbing off these prints and the other half using the phone instead :)
In conjunction with the refurbished keypad and colour LCD, the Fisio 820 has a “carousel” style menu system which utilises icons to represent individual menu items. I found the user interface on this phone to be unique and simple to use compared to other brand of phones. But you do start to get a bit confused (as to where you actually are) when you go deeper into the menu levels.
Making and receiving calls
Audio quality on the Fisio 820 wasn’t top-notch - where I found the earpiece speaker to be a bit too noisy. Something else that I found irritating was that I wasn’t able to access my last dialled list with the touch of a button - since there wasn’t any “answer” button for me to press. Instead, I had to go into the menu and look for the call list feature instead (which was more than one keypress!)
On the other hand, if you used a headset on the Fisio 820 (an Ericsson HBH-20 Bluetooth headset was paired and used successfully) the audio experience is somewhat better compared to that with the on-board earpiece speaker.
The Fisio 820 comes with T9 predictive text input and the ability to send concatenated (long) SMS messages. Typing messages on the Fisio 820 keypad was a breeze - but you may need some practise in getting use to where the “clear” button is.
Usage time on the Fisio 820 is pretty much similar to those found on other phones. On average usage, I was able to get around 2-3 days’ worth on a single charge. But if you are like me and use Bluetooth, you will find these times a tad less. This will depend on whether you choose to have Bluetooth on all the time or on automatic mode (which saves the most battery power if using this wireless feature).