Sagem is mainly known in the UK for touting affordable prepay handsets, but the French company’s new my721x suggests it’s finally ready to have a pop at the higher end of the phone market.
This isn’t a complete shock. Sagem was responsible for the stunning Porsche Design handset, and the iPod-inspired my-X8 confirmed that it has design hubris to turn heads.
Sagem has turned to brushed metal to give the my721x some substance and class, and it pays off handsomely. It really is a tightly constructed phone; lightweight and slender, but solid to boot.
Phone spotters will see a design resemblance to Motorola’s SLVR candybar, with that famous etched mechanised keypad getting a run out. It’s pleasure to thumb and it proved highly receptive to speed texting.
But after comfortably completing the design step up with ease, we’re loathed to report that Sagem has failed to serve up a feature set deserving of the my721x’s fine looks. The writing is on the wall from the off when you realise that both 3G and EDGE have been given a wide berth. Yep, you’re left with wheezing GPRS for download duties.
The 3.2megapixel snapper is the next to rankle, kicking autofocus, flash and macro focus into touch and dishing up just anti-shake mode and a smattering of basic effects and exposure settings. It’s not enough to save the my721x from over-exposure with white areas prone to extreme blow-out and, unsurprisingly, its video capture talents aren’t any better.
B-side music player
Glaring schoolboy errors also hamper a lively sounding music player. Instead of including the artist, song and album sort options, the my721x lays out your music library in one long list of songs. You even have to add songs to the music player yourself – the cheek of it – which is painful if you have a sizeable collection stored on a microSD card.
One surprising triumph is the speaker, which pumps out slick sounds at maximum volume with no trace of distortion. You also get a capable built-in FM radio complete with RDS.
Sagem clearly has a stunning, flag-waving handset in it, but sadly it isn’t the my721x. It promised so much with its metallic, slender design but then proceeded to shoot itself in le pied with ineffectual features. What a shame.