Reviews - Philips Genie

Well the Philips Genie review got off to a better start then the Nokia 9000 review. Thanks to PHC-Telecom I received the phone late last year and have been able to use it extensively since then. It holds the title of the smallest and lightest phone in the world at the moment, snatching the title from the Motorola StarTac.

The phone is 118 x 54 x 20mm (h x w x d) and weighs 99 grams with the standard 550mAH Li-Ion battery. The optional 400mAH Li-Ion battery drops the weight to 95 grams and is to be honest only to give the phone it's title as lightest phone. There are two versions available, one without the pop out microphone and one with. I tested the model with the pop out microphone. The pop out microphone performs a number of functions. It can answer and end calls, it can also initiate calls if the number or name is on the screen.

Voice Dialling is another feature that allows you to assign up to 10 memory locations with a voice option. Press the up button on the side of the phone or pre-set a key on the keypad and the phone is ready to voice dial. Speak the name as saved and the phone will dial. It worked about 95% of the time for me and is a excellent addition. I'm waiting on a car kit to really try out the feature more. The car kit has many useful features including automatic volume control and auto dial and hang up when lifting the cradle.

The numeric keys can be programmed to do various functions. Just hold the key down and it will perform that function. You can dial numbers in the SIM card memory (no memory on the phone for numbers) or access menu function, dial voicemail and more. The phone also comes with a limited diary and to do list. A clock and calender are standard on the matrix screen that can display six lines of information. Signal and Power are always displayed. Animation is used extensively for the operation of the menus.

The SMS alert only gives a single beep which I feel could be louder or a longer tone. The arrow key can be used to see last calls received or last calls made. Apart from that the phone is fully featured and has all the features that you could ask for. There are 12 ring tones to choose from, personally I didn't like any of them. If you have CLI and the number is in the address book the phone will ring with a different non adjustable ring tone. The volume was adequate but I did miss a few calls in the car (no car kit yet).

Battery life was excellent, whilst I don't have any figures yet, it has yet to let me done during the day. It has a weird charger connector that plugs into the back of the phone. As far as speech quality went, I have yet to hear a complaint and it worked in areas where other phones let me down. Much better then the Fizz and the old version Spark. More volume from the earpiece would be good, but it was acceptable.

The kit comes with the phone, the 550mAh battery, worldwide warranty info, charger, leather case and manual.

There are many options available for the Genie but not all are available yet, among them are; full duplex car kit, in car cigarette lighter adaptor, travel charger (standard), phone holster (not unlike the StarTac one), Desktop charger (with battery bay), two data cards, and a multitude of batteries. They are 400mAh Li-Ion Light (95 grams), 550mAh Li-Ion Standard (99 grams), 600mAh NiMH Vibrating battery, 1100mAh Business battery, and the monster 4000mAh Extended battery (199 grams).

After 8 months with the Genie, I have found this to be a excellent phone still, I have had a few overnight replacement due to a overseas software version on the original one (purchased overseas) and a few other minor glitches. Philips replaced the 550mAH battery with a 1100mAh battery last time and this is a even better performer then the original. (they replaced it to see if it was the small battery causing some problems). The car kit is excellent, if not somewhat difficult to mount, but all car kits are like this. I can highly recommend the model WITH the pop out microphone.

Matthew McDonald

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