PaulOBrien

eXpansys offers sub £100 Benq E72

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Ordered mine from expansys at 13:00 Friday, arrived 09:00 Saturday morning. First thoughts are that it's a nice little phone. Wanted it primarily as a "pub phone" so I could leave my touch dual safely at home of an evening and I'm sure it will fill that criteria perfectly. I have been using it all day today to just run it through it's paces and battery is almost gone but I have been running activesync all day via GPRS to connect to my exchange server. That is where I have been having problems. I don't know whether it is an issue with Orange at the moment or whether there is a problem with the phone but the push email works fine for about half an hour then it dies. Manual sync-ing results in an error and the only way to get it up and running is to turn the phone off and reboot whereupon it works for a while again then dies. Also after not receiving any SMS messages for a few hours last night I turned it off and on again and a load came through at once. As I said, it may not be a problem with the phone, it may be that Orange are up to their tricks but I will try it for a few more days to see if it is rectified otherwise it'll be going back.

WiFi works no problem, screen is small but nice. I don't find it any slower than my old E650.

Minor quibbles. There is no flashing LED to show the phone is on. It has an LED at the top right which flashed red when a call is missed and another to the left of the screen which flashes when an SMS or email is received. Some people may like this feature, I personally don't it's probably some compulsive disorder but I keep hitting a key to make sure it hasn't frozen or something

It comes with a piece of software called Speech Commander which I can't get to initiate with my handsfree kit in the car. Whether it is supposed to or not I'm not entirely sure but I'll have more time to give it a try tonight hopefully.

Keys are nice and responsive but the soft keys are recessed slightly compared to those around them and I can sometimes find myself hitting the Call and End buttons instead.

All in all it is a good enough phone to enable me to give the E650 that I was using as a spare to the missus. It's less of a brick than that one and I never used the keyboard anyway so the smaller form factor of the E72 is very much the going out phone I've been waiting for to compliment the Touch Dual for business purposes. If it does have to go back because of the sync problems I will definitely want another to replace it.... unless other are experiencing the same difficulties. I would be interested to know if anyone else is experiencing problems with activesynch over the ether or SMS messages not coming through.

Cheers,

Al

Thanks for the mini-review. From what you said the E72 will also serve me well as a 'pub' phone - still waiting for mine to arrive from Expansys though.

As to your possible problems with Orange, you could try swapping your sim with one from another provider to see if messages could be received on the other number. Can I assume that the E72 is not locked to any particular network? I'm asking because I saw some reviews that mentioned it as being linked with a BT fusion service. Also, is the E72 locked in the sense that third-party programs cannot be installed?

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Expansys didn't have a tracking number for me... not impressed.

Still nothing.. turns out the E72 is being drop-shipped, it's not held in-stock by Expansys. They're struggling to get in contact with the distributor.

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Just got mine from Expansys last Friday, gutted I missed out on the 'Friday' special though (ordered on Wed)... but then I wouldn't have been able to have a play all weekend so probably worth it!

Overall I just want to say I'm really impressed with the device and more importantly WM6 - Smart-standard-phone!

I cut my teeth on a C500 a few years back which I painstakingly dragged it into WM5, after that I upgraded to a Hermes only last year which I put WM6 Prof on straight away and revelled in the touchscreeny/keyboardy/3G/HSPDA goodness BUT actually found myself getting more and more annoyed with the phone and not just because of the pocket bulge...

Using it with onehand was pretty pointless even with various added SIP's, I found it was getting slower and slower even after hard resetting and trying every flavour of ROM out there (well OK a handful). Anyway now the screen keeps going to 'whiteout' and most of the buttons are dead, so went out got a BENQ E72....

Now I can bang out a txt on the way to the tube, still pick up my emails (gmail.imap) in HTML format listen to music on my 4GB or 2GB card (hotswappable) and I'm really impressed with Googlemaps too... being able to zoom in and out using the hardwear volume buttons on the side is a winner and works surprisingly well over GPRS! :(

OK you get the dreaded WM Spin on opening most apps but I've felt things to be pretty snappy once I'm in them (gmaps, email, fizz, IM etc). I've also found the WIFI to be pretty good and picks up my home and work networks with no probs...

The included apps, Fizz Traveller, QuickMark (2D barcode) and the RSS program are all handy to have features (although I seem to have broken the RSS, :wacko: I will prob install something else anyway).

The side hardwear button for jumping straight to messaging is handy too and you get a dedicated LED next to it when unread messages are present. (although it's a bit 'feeble' looking IMHO). - I'd really like to be able to assign these and the 'rec' button next to it too??

General criticism's are the cheap plasticky feel and yeah the screen could be a cm2 bigger I also miss some apps like Opera 9 and my fav Astrawear Solitaire game......but for a sub £100 phone that takes up less space than most other 'smart' or even dumb phones I am happy with it...and still got lots of playing/new app searching to go!!

Well without turning this into a 'Professional' vs 'Standard' rant, I'm just so impressed with how far 'Standard' has matured in the past couple years..... bring on WM7.....

JT

ps. still find myself jabbing at the screen expecting a response ;)

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Still nothing.. turns out the E72 is being drop-shipped, it's not held in-stock by Expansys. They're struggling to get in contact with the distributor.

Arrived yesterday thankfully, however still without any form of decent response from Expansys or their distributor! Oh well.

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I think it's a great phone. I've got it setup as my works phone but have my calendar, tasks and contacts syncing from my personal hosted exchange. That means I can keep all my contacts in one place ... and if I dont want to carry two phones, I can forward works calls to personal handset and still see whose calling me!

Now if there was a simple way to copy/sync the works calendar from Lotus Notes too. :S

Have you tried lotus easy sync

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My initial thoughts on this..

It does feel cheap, but it's not terrible. It doesn't have an external button for the camera, which I found a bit odd (have to navigate menus to use the camera, not ideal when you need a quick photo!). The buttons aren't bad but I do keep on getting the call buttons and the two main buttons under the screen (start/menu etc) mixed up. Coming from the Vox I find I keep on holding down the end call key to lock the keypad, only to repeatedly realise that powers off the E72 :wacko:

I must say the reception quality is crap compared to the Vox. I can barely get any signal indoors whereas I got 1-2 bars with the Vox. The earpiece isn't anywhere near as good a quality as the Vox (and most other phones i've owned). It's tinny and harsh and takes a bit of getting used to.

It is fairly slow for a WM device, I wouldn't say it was noticeably faster than my Vox (which I consider to be pretty slow).

But.. and this is a big but.. it is VERY CHEAP.. I don't know if there has ever been a proper WM smart phone for £80 before!

All in all, it's good value for money. ;)

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My initial thoughts on this..

It does feel cheap, but it's not terrible. It doesn't have an external button for the camera, which I found a bit odd (have to navigate menus to use the camera, not ideal when you need a quick photo!). The buttons aren't bad but I do keep on getting the call buttons and the two main buttons under the screen (start/menu etc) mixed up. Coming from the Vox I find I keep on holding down the end call key to lock the keypad, only to repeatedly realise that powers off the E72 :wacko:

I must say the reception quality is crap compared to the Vox. I can barely get any signal indoors whereas I got 1-2 bars with the Vox. The earpiece isn't anywhere near as good a quality as the Vox (and most other phones i've owned). It's tinny and harsh and takes a bit of getting used to.

It is fairly slow for a WM device, I wouldn't say it was noticeably faster than my Vox (which I consider to be pretty slow).

But.. and this is a big but.. it is VERY CHEAP.. I don't know if there has ever been a proper WM smart phone for £80 before!

All in all, it's good value for money. ;)

Well I'm going to ask now, even though I just ordered the phone, what is battery life like? I carry a hermes everyday and wanted a more "phone-first" device that has better battery life and smaller form factor. I have been waiting for the touch pro, and now the s740 to be available in the US. I bought this as an interim phone for not at work time and a backup for what I hope is a US 3G s740 coming soon.

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I'm not really sure as I quiet often have it plugged in at work or whatever for sync'ing.. It's never dropped below 3 bars since i've had it - i'd guess it'd last about 3 days without wifi/gprs/bluetooth enabled.

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It is fairly slow for a WM device, I wouldn't say it was noticeably faster than my Vox (which I consider to be pretty slow).

The e650 rom is appalling. The Vox imporves drastically with the s710 rom. Have you tried it?

But.. and this is a big but.. it is VERY CHEAP.. I don't know if there has ever been a proper WM smart phone for £80 before!

All in all, it's good value for money. ;)

Quite a few for sub £80 recently. One for £30 too....( or £20 with a discount voucher!) :wacko:

http://www.modaco.com/content/smartphone-s...ed-at-expansys/

Where did they post your Benq from out of interest? I collected one from Trafford Park the day of the offer and they defo have loads there. Never known them to dropship before and their packing dept. is their most reliable section - assuming they do have the stock listed on the website / the order goes through etc etc etc. Stock control is definatley hit and miss but that only causes problems if they have less than 5 units in stock. Defo. NOT realtime!

M.S

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Another update..

The reception truly is dreadful on my E72 compared to my old Vox. I don't live in the best of areas for Orange (does anyone?!) but I barely get service at home, on the way to work, at work. I would say the reception level is getting on for 50% of what it was with the Vox.

I'm wondering if the phone is faulty perhaps. Does anyone else have an E72 on Orange? Any thoughts?

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Another update..

The reception truly is dreadful on my E72 compared to my old Vox. I don't live in the best of areas for Orange (does anyone?!) but I barely get service at home, on the way to work, at work. I would say the reception level is getting on for 50% of what it was with the Vox.

I'm wondering if the phone is faulty perhaps. Does anyone else have an E72 on Orange? Any thoughts?

Didn't try Orange, but Vodafone and O2 reception were crap on my E72, much worse than my other phones. Kept losing data connection too, and slow as molasses (worse than my old Qtek 8500). Also the keyboard would miss characters one minute and double-bounce the next. Pretty poor all round, even at that price. No wonder they were trying to get rid.

Edited by Metoo

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... and further to the moaning:

My alarm has stopped working! It was working, now it doesn't. Well, that's not completely true. It doesn't go off when it's supposed to. It's set to 06:30 and the other day, at 07:55 (on my way to work), it suddenly starts playing THREE alarms at the same time whilst showing an 'alarm reminder' on the screen. Three reminders. Three alarms. Zero right time.

Absolutely useless ;)

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... turns out the E72 is being drop-shipped ...

I ordered from Expansys UK, since not listed up here (Expansys NZ/Aus). They quoted the usual hefty air-freight from the UK Stg21.95, but in fact it was shipped from Australia to NZ for about Stg13.00 air-freight.

One issue so far: the E72 has Fizz Traveler 2.4BQ (21) pre-installed which does not seem to include the current NZ daylight saving rules (announced Apr 2007). The current version Fizz Traveler 3.02 does not seem to have the updated rule either, but anyway according to the manual it is not possible to remove pre-installed software from the E72 (why not?) so even if there were a correct version of Fizz Traveler , it would be necessary to add it, rather than replace it!

I have turned on the cellsite identification channel (50); to see it one has to scroll the home screen down.

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... and further to the moaning:

My alarm has stopped working! It was working, now it doesn't. Well, that's not completely true. It doesn't go off when it's supposed to. It's set to 06:30 and the other day, at 07:55 (on my way to work), it suddenly starts playing THREE alarms at the same time whilst showing an 'alarm reminder' on the screen. Three reminders. Three alarms. Zero right time.

Absolutely useless :lol:

Something of a long shot, but try setting the alarm for the time it's actually going off (07:55) and turn the alarm off. Then go back into alarm settings, change the time and turn it back on. Bit of an old skool problem so no promises it'll actually work!

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Well, I thought I would chime in here. After waiting 2 weeks for shipment by expansys to me in US, I am pretty satisfied with this device. I had 3 things I really wanted to improve in switching from my Hermes: 1. battery life 2. size and 3. dialing. Battery life is good, not great, but good. It definitely lasts all day and sometimes 2 days for me. That is a huge improvement over the hermes. Size is obviously very different. I can carry the phone in my pocket instead of a holster now.b Dialing the phone is so much easier on a real dialpad than the touchscreen, I am very happy with it. I know there are things I lose, most importantly the qwerty, and also 3G, but I still have the Hermes as a backup in case I need it. I think I will carry the benq daily until the S740 is available, hopefully with US 3G.

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... and further to the moaning:

My alarm has stopped working! It was working, now it doesn't. Well, that's not completely true. It doesn't go off when it's supposed to. It's set to 06:30 and the other day, at 07:55 (on my way to work), it suddenly starts playing THREE alarms at the same time whilst showing an 'alarm reminder' on the screen. Three reminders. Three alarms. Zero right time.

Absolutely useless :)

I have got exactly the same problem. Have you found a walkaround ?

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I have got exactly the same problem. Have you found a walkaround ?

I also have the same problem. It's caused me to be late for work two days in a row. Meh.

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