Puma Telephone assessment
So it is true, we’re dwelling in an age the place individuals would shamelessly line up for sure electronics and opulent trend gadgets. Why? Simply because they will, and for that cause, some swanky retailers — specifically Christian Dior, Prada, Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, and Versace — have tried to take advantage of our gadget lust by providing self-branded telephones at extortionate costs. Within the eyes of each-day shoppers, there’s actually not a lot attraction in these soulless units apart from the brand and a few additional bling, however apparently these two elements alone are sufficient to make some aficionados drool a river.
Then again, Puma — a much less luxurious however naturally extra accessible style model — has determined to do extra than simply slapping an OS pores and skin onto its aptly-named Puma Telephone. Priced at a comparably reasonably priced £300 ($469), this Sagem-made featurephone packs a couple of uncommon options akin to a photo voltaic panel, a sports activities tracker, and even a digital cougar named Dylan. Learn on to seek out out if we might sense the Puma spirit on this gadget.
- Quirky particulars dotted across the telephone
- Loads of options
- Strong construct
- Photo voltaic charging does not work
- Buggy and sluggish software program
The very first thing that caught our consideration wasn’t the Puma Telephone itself, however somewhat its eccentric packaging. Molded like a toolbox à la frozen Han Solo, the eco-pleasant field reveals all of the equipment inside earlier than you even open it. You will in all probability additionally get a number of chuckles from the wonderful particulars dotted round on the surface — take a look in our gallery. As soon as opened, you will truly see the USB cable and earphones all coiled up moderately than laid out as portrayed. Our coronary heart sank a bit right here, however there have been greater points to fret about — for example, the complimentary wiping material was poorly minimize and served higher as a lint-disposer as an alternative of a mud-gatherer. We then had a better take a look at the equipment — there’s not a lot we might nitpick from the wall plug and USB cable, however the handsfree package is doomed by one critical flaw: whereas the mic module allows you to plug in any earphones, the shortage of a shirt clip means you will should both get headphones with a really brief cable (identical to the bundled ones, which frankly do not sound nice), or maintain the mic throughout telephone calls after which put it again in your pocket when completed. Until Puma particularly requested for this “function,” this is not actually what we might anticipate to see from a reasonably expertise cell phone producer.
Shifting on to the meat. Upon first contact, the Puma Telephone is — because of the photo voltaic panel on the again — a tad heavier than it seems, however it does really feel strong with just a bit creakiness when squeezed. There are just a few bodily buttons dotted across the telephone: ship, finish and residential buttons on the entrance; quantity rocker and a digital camera button (which additionally triggers the flash mild if held down) on the fitting-hand aspect. Different seen options embrace a 240 x one hundred eighty entrance-dealing with digital camera for generic video calls and self-portrait photographs, an earpiece that is cunningly hidden behind the entrance Puma emblem, a microUSB port beneath a flap, and a three.2 megapixel digital camera with LED flash on the again. So, how can we change the telephone on? Seems we use the top-name button, which additionally serves as a “again” button inside apps — because of the lack of labeling, we needed to succumb to the great previous guide to work these out.
Don’t be concerned, we’ve not forgotten the 2 vital options on the again of the telephone, however for now, we’ll save the digital camera for later and concentrate on the photo voltaic panel. Puma claims that “one hour of sunshine offers energy for one hour and half-hour of MP3 play or sufficient power to ship about 30 textual content messages.” That is a reasonably daring assertion, and positive sufficient, our telephone did not cost in any respect from the hours of daylight its photo voltaic panel was uncovered to. Good factor the battery usually lasts for nicely over a day’s value of utilization. Talking of which, we additionally like how the telephone makes use of “Full,” “Completely satisfied,” “Hungry” and “Feeding” to point the battery standing.Software program
As with many featurephones, the Puma Telephone’s listing of software program goodies and quirky dialogs will not disappoint you. As soon as booted up, you will be briefly greeted by Dylan the cat, adopted by three pages of purple and white-themed menus: Sports activities, Favorites (on your app shortcuts) and Way of life. You bounce between the menus by swiping left or proper (with subpar scrolling smoothness), and you can even entry the telephone standing tab — the place you possibly can allow flight mode, Bluetooth, alarm, music participant, and silent mode — at any time by dragging from the highest. Likewise for the settings web page, however you drag from the underside proper nook as an alternative.
Time to trawl by way of the ocean of apps. Let’s begin with the Sports activities web page: it features a operating tracker, biking tracker, digital compass, alarm, information reader, and timer. We notably just like the operating tracker — not solely does it have a pedometer, however it might additionally monitor your operating tempo, velocity and distance, in addition to visualizing your route on a map courtesy of GPS. As you possibly can see within the image above, the tracker labored simply effective for us, however having a weighty brick swing round in our pocket whereas operating was hardly nice — Puma actually ought to’ve included an armband as an alternative of promoting it individually.
Now bear with us as we shortly record out what’s on the Way of life web page: gallery, video name, solar energy meter (which is just about ineffective, as defined earlier than), browser, Puma World, video games, calendar, messages (with emails), GPS navigation by NAVTEQ, calculator, music participant, and FM radio (wired headphones required, naturally). We’ll skip the self-explanatory ones and go straight to the gallery app: nothing too particular right here apart from the funky vertical movie reel fashion scrolling; bizarrely, Sagem determined that it would be a good suggestion to go away out an choice for a basic thumbnail grid mode, and even any kind of zooming performance. As for movies, it appears that evidently the gallery app’s solely designed to play again 3GP clips captured by the telephone’s digital camera, so that you’d have to convert your AVI and MP4 clips when you want to watch them on this telephone.
The music app is barely extra forgiveable — each MP3 and M4A codecs are supported, though WMA is unfortunately overlooked within the chilly. Songs might be simply picked from one of many 4 menus within the library: “Playlists,” “Songs,” “Artists,” and “Albums.” As soon as the music will get going, you will be observing an album artwork (if obtainable) spinning slowly round a digital turntable — you possibly can even scratch the disc for a fast snort. Now this is a shocker: afterward we observed that each time a textual content message is available in, the music simply stops and fails to renew playback. So unhappy. On a equally disappointing notice, the entire telephone turns into laggy when we’ve got music enjoying within the background — not the anticipated efficiency for a $469 telephone.
Shifting on to Puma World: that is primarily a portal to a information reader, official equipment gallery (which is helpfully mislabeled as a store), a couple of social networking apps (Twitter, YouTube and Flickr), and a shortcut to Fb’s cellular website. Do not be fooled by this seemingly adequate package deal, although, as a lot of the apps are literally horribly sluggish and really primary — the Twitter app does not do background notifications and even help retweets and hash tags, and it all the time asks you to log in at each single launch; the Flickr and YouTube apps are merely for searching functions, so you possibly can’t use them to add your inventive work. Need higher apps? Too dangerous, as a result of there aren’t that many optionally available downloads, and for some cause, all our obtain makes an attempt returned with an error.
Nonetheless with us? OK, this is our subsequent plateful of disappointment: the browser. First off, there is no pinch-to-zooming or kinetic scrolling right here, however that is fantastic; what actually bothers us is that the app appears to be designed to deal with simply cellular web sites, whereas with desktop ones it merely crashes. In fact, the shortage of WiFi on this gadget is not serving to, both; and allow us to remind you that this is a $469 telephone we’re speaking about right here, not some dumbphone from 2003. The second shock wave hit us once we came upon that there is no QWERTY keyboard on the telephone; the one enter technique you get is the basic, comparatively extra tedious T9 — nice for typing URLs and emails. Not.
If there’s one factor that would cheer us up, it would be the digital puma cat Dylan that pops up on the display when the telephone is idle, or whenever you click on on the middle button once you’re in any of the three menus. What we have been anticipating from this “on-demand digital cat” was a Tamagotchi-sort digital pet that we might work together with, however alas, this function merely lets us cycle by way of a set of video clips of an actual-life cougar. Anyway, in the event you should know, Dylan weighs 179 kilos.
As we approached the top of our evaluation, we appeared round for a reset choice to wipe the telephone earlier than sending it again. Properly, turns on the market is not one — Sagem needed to ship us a Home windows program that is tailor-made for our particular system to do the job, so be warned.Digital camera
We’ll be trustworthy with you — we kinda love and hate the Puma Telephone, however it’s primarily hate. Sure, it is a function-packed gadget with loads of cheeky drops dotted across the place, however it’s additionally rendered half as helpful because of some poorly executed software program. What a waste. If there’s ever going to be a comply with-up mannequin, we might humbly recommend that Sagem ditch the photo voltaic panel and spend money on a extra highly effective CPU plus extra reminiscence. Hell, may as properly throw in a Puma-skinned smartphone OS — perhaps Android?
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