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Puma Phone by Sagem
Most people were wary of the transition from track suits and sports wear into phone design, development and marketing but the Puma phone has proven itself to be a fine competitor in the smartphone industry. This mobile device is Puma's first dive into the phone world and, although an odd move by the empire, the phone is a formidable opponent for existing models which really offers something different.
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The Puma phone is a very small device, fitting snugly in the palm of the hand measuring 102mm x 56mm x 13mm. It's polished black body feels sturdy and its styling is superb. The phone and its user interface features a lovely red accented design.
The Puma phone features a 2.8 inch resistive touchscreen which requires quite a bit of pressure before the phone will respond to touch commands. The display supports a 240 x 320 pixel resolution screen. The volume rocker, micro USB port, dedicated camera button and charging port are all located on the side of the device. Unfortunately the Puma phone does not support a 3.5mm audio jack for listening to music but instead a special adapter for plugging in a set of headphones.
On the back of the device is the solar panel feature which feeds sun into the device in order to charge the battery. This solar panel is not a replacement to wall charging as it mainly tops up reserve battery power instead of fully recharging one. It is a great addition to any phone, on the other hand, as many eco-friendly people have begun flocking to this unique feature.
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The interface of the Puma phone is especially unique and has never before been seen in a phone. The main aspect of the user interface is its unconventional dialogue instead of the usual run-of-the-mill phone layout. Instead of a battery bar display, the Puma Phone displays words. When the battery is fully charged it states 'Happy' and when it is being charged it displays 'Feeding'. This witty and cheekily worded text can be seen all throughout the Puma's user interface. The settings menu is found underneath the fold of a page on the bottom right hand corner of each main screen. Users swipe upward in order to view the settings menu and swipe downward to go back to the main menu.
When the phone is started up it informs the user, in place of a loading bar, that it is 'loading as fast as possible'. After it loads it displays a real puma which reinforces the brand and the uniqueness of the interface.
The menu interface is a stylish red and white design. Red dominates the background and the icons are all in white, large and rounded. Brushing a fingerprint left and right leads to different menus, one of which is fully dedicated to fitness tracking. The main screen shows three simple icons, a favourite icon, walk tracker and phone dialer. There are also many Puma-oriented shortcuts, such as the Puma news feed and a Puma World Portal. The red user interface can also be swapped to other themes.
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The Puma phone has a great list of fun and functional features. The camera application allows decent resolution of pictures. The Web Browser redirects users to the Puma homepage upon start-up but navigates smoothly through the Internet.
The phone also offers Bluetooth connectivity, silent mode and more fitness applications. Unfortunately, the phone does not offer Wi-Fi but does have 3G connectivity. The Puma also features a music player, video recording application, calendar and radio. It also features both a basic keypad and QWERTY keyboard, both of which are completely virtual.
The Puma phone may be lacking in intuitive features and shortcuts but does mainly attract the active and exercise savvy individual.
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Many users report a noticeable lag in the phone's response to touch. The camera app is slow and sluggish when taking photographs. There is a pause between the press of the dedicated camera button and the shutter's speed. Because of its unresponsive screen, the Web Browser also reports lag. Phone reception on the Puma phone is decent and so is its call quality. The battery lasts for 5 hours of talk time and 350 hours on standby.
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Apart from the phone's incredible and unconventional dialogue, innovative color scheme and icon design and its revolutionary solar panel, the phone's features may seem rather limited to the tech savvy smartphone user. People are accustomed to phones being stocked to the brim with applications, additions and capabilities. The Puma phone is a mobile device more attuned with the sport and athlete population and as a brand-oriented device coupled with eco-friendly additions, the Puma phone is a great and useful mobile device. If you are interested in this sporty mobile phone; the device without SIM card costs £300 at www.shop-eu.puma.com.