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At A Glance:
The Benq brand is from Taiwan, and they make all sorts of things, such as the occasional phone that happened to be with us right now. But then again, very few phone makers outside of the big four players seem give a damn about getting reviewed, as they hope to make it solely on their pricing strategy alone, while avoiding being the target of reviewers who can catch many errors in the product.
The S700 looked pretty cool when I took it out of the box. The manual is in Chinese, so it looks like the market might be a little limited here. Surely it is not too expensive to get the manual translated into proper English?
The make of the device
First of all, the device seems to have a problem reading the SIM card. Every time the phone was restarted, it took nearly a minute for the phone to detect the SIM card. Yet, there does not seem to be a provision for saving SMS messages to the phone. Instead, error messages keep popping up when the inbox is full, and I still have not figured out where my missed SMS messages have gone.
The blue backlight for the keys was a little bright to me, and may be one of the reasons why the battery life on this phone is really bad. The battery indicator is not a linear indicator, and it shows you full strength for most of the day, and then suddenly goes to one bar of power remaining. And then, when it does run out of juice, the phone just goes off without any warning tones to indicate that it is shutting down.
Using the product
Fortunately, the screen is a saving grace for the S700 as it does display images quite nicely. The menu is found by pressing the tiny OK button in the middle of the control keys, and a nice 9-icon menu layout is shown.
It appears to be a common feature in phones nowadays that the first level of the menu tree is presented to the user as a group of nine icons. Many say that this is a feature that first originated in Sony Ericsson phones. I am not too sure about that, but I remember that one of the first times it was so effectively used was in the Nokia 7650.
Anyway, I noticed that there was a curious delay from the time you hit the dial key to the time the ringing tone starts in your earpiece. I havenít noticed this in any other phone, and I would venture a guess that the processor is a little slow, or the software instructions were not written in a concise manner. However, there was very little noticeable delay in SMS typing.