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Analysis: ZTE S302 Not the Best Option for Selected Audience

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ZTE S302JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – The ZTE-G S302 is one of those phones dedicated to the segment of older users or users with special needs, meaning that the handsets for this segment have important features to satisfy them, such as large buttons, owing to sight-problems that an older person may have, easy-of-use with no complicated functions, etc.. The S302 does not handle these needs properly. It faces several issues.

The design is one of those problems. Although it is the most important one and it does not need to be a fashion phone, it is hard to distinguish the S302 between a phone and a calculator. Only the green and red call buttons give it the look of a phone.

The keyboard size is the best on the market, as being larger than its competitors, such as Samsung C3060R. However, when looking at the S302, at first glance, two characteristics call one’s attention. The large keyboard is one, but the other is the small display. As the large keyboard makes it very easy to locate, touch and use the buttons, the small display makes it difficult to read SMS or to navigate the phone menu and its functionalities.

The last phrase leads to another important problem, the navigation through the phone software. The small-display issue affected even on this problem, because there is no possibility of showing on the screen the ‘select’, ‘menu’ or ‘back’ options, common on most mobile phones. The lack of these words makes the user walkthrough a trial-and-error road, guessing and figuring out how to use the phone. This carries the phone away to the opposite goal of which it was created on the first place for the aimed users.

An SOS emergency button at the back is one of the S302’s interesting features, giving it the possibility to send SMS with the text “Emergency, please call me” to list up to four emergency numbers previously stored. In addition, a loud alarm sounds off if this button is pressed, to alert people close to the emergency place. However, the alarm sounds so loud that could scary the phone owner, and considering that this would be an old person, this could lead into a heart attack. Even more, it’s quite difficult to find out how to turn the alarm off without turning off the phone.

ZTE S302

Apart from these issues, the phone comes with a torch light, SMS capability, FM radio, birthday reminder, speed dial keys and a keypad lock-switch in the side. The display measures 1.6″, monochrome with a resolution of 128×48 pixels. The phone’s total dimensions are of 103x49x14,8mm, and it weights 79 g.

The S302 is priced at ZAR399 (Vodacom SAT/TechSmart; US$53) although there are cheaper phones on this segment. Considering that it is not a practical phone for the aimed users and is not too user-friendly, its advantages are only the large keyboard and the SOS emergency button.

[ZAR1 = US$0.132131]

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By , International Correspondent on Dec 21st, 2009 GMT +2

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