Sagem MyX5 review: The hi-fi X5!

I must confess that I never gave the Sagem Myx-5 much of a chance right from the start. The first time someone introduced it to me, I didn’t want to have anything to do with it. But I did give it a try, and guess… Yes, I liked the phone.

Sagem My-X5

Form Factor
The x-5 has is unarguably one of the best when considering form factor. It fits right in your hand and is small and light enough to hang around your neck or wear in your pocket. The construction seems quite solid too. I doubt if anyone will have any genuine problems with its ergonomics.

Display
256 colours is a little outdated today (we have phones with 32,000 and 65,000 colour screens now), but its not as if you want to watch The Matrix on that small screen, so for some its just okay. In proper context, the Nigerian market is not yet that much into colour screens. To a majority of people, 256 colours on a mobile is heaven.

Keypad
The x-5 keypad is one of the best I have seen (comparable to the Nokia 3310’s keys). All keys respond well to touch. Sagem did a good thing replacing those terrible soft rubber keys on previous models with these hard plastic ones. I’m impressed.

Connections
The x-5 has an infra-red port as well as a port for cable connection. With this you can transfer ringtones, images and animations between the phone and a PC. You can also use the x-5 as a modem for internet access on your PC, if your network operator supports that feature.

I downloaded Sagem’s software, My Pictures and Sounds, from their web site, installed it on my laptop, and had fun loading new images and animations to the phone via infrared. It worked flawlessly. I believe that the x-5 has one of the highest rates of personalisation. Usually, most new phones do not allow you to transfer images and sounds directly to/from a PC: you have to receive by WAP, MMS, or download through an operator service. That way, you chalk up some bills over time. The x-5 allows you to bypass your operator and get your personalizations elsewhere. Good for my pocket, if you ask me.

Audio Quality
The x-5’s polyphonic ringtones are some of the sharpest and loudest I have heard. You can actually hear them from another room. There’s one with a cock crowing. I set it as our wake up alarm, and my wife and I had fun being awoken in the morning by the sound of nature. Believe me, it sounded all real like we were holidaying at some village.

In-call audio quality is very good too. There were no problems with that as well.

Signal Reception
This has been Sagem’s forte for years. Where most other phones are not able to pick a network signal, odds are any Sagem will. The x-5 lives up to that tradition.

SMS
SMS is fine. The excellent keypad makes typing a pleasurable experience. The phone supports predictive text input, but it cannot be updated with new words. For example, if I type the corresponding keys to spell my surname ADEGBOYE, there’s no way to get the phone to recognize that word because of this limitation.

Other features
Where the x-5 let me down is the sheer lack of utility features. No calendar, voice dial, voice memo, reminder, note-taking feature.

It does have a currency converter, calculator, games, and the Sagem trademark handsfree speakerphone. But that is all about it.

*There are at least 3 versions of the x-5 on the market:
– Myx-5, which is what I have reviewed here
– Myx-5d: x-5 + GPRS
– Myx-5m: x-5 + GPRS + MMS (Multi-media Messaging)

Conclusion
As a phone, the x-5 comes out top: great signal reception and top-range audio qualities. It also offers great personalization.

Instead of having to carry two devices around – a phone and a PDA, I would prefer to carry around a phone with at least some PDA features. So I need a good calendar on my phone. I need to be able to take down short notes as well. Unfortunately, these lacks are not just an x-5 thing; Sagem seems to hold on to the policy that a phone should be a phone, and almost nothing else. I like this phone. So, maybe I’ll just use it with a handheld PC. But that’s a big maybe.

If you want a great-looking phone that works well as a phone, yet allows you to have some good fun and at a good price, I recommend that you take a look at the Sagem Myx-5.

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