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For a company that makes jeans, it's strange to see Levi Strauss & Co launch a mobile phone. Then again, everyone's making phones these days. If you like novelty products, then the Levi's phone won't disappoint, but don't expect all the bells and whistles.
It's available to buy from the Carphone Warehouse for free on a monthly contract or around £200 on pay as you go.
Designed by ModeLabs, the company behind the Hummer phone, the Levi's phone is very similar to Samsung's P300 but looks less like a calculator and more like a cigar case or a fancy lighter.
It's relatively small and thin, making it perfect for stuffing into a pair of jeans. The stainless steel casing is sturdy and features the Levi's logo on the back plus small screws on the edges to give it a more industrial feel.
As if that wasn't enough to remind you that you're holding a Levi's phone, it comes with a chain that you can attach to your jeans. When attached, the chain protects the phone against getting smashed on the floor but it looks slightly out of place if you don't normally wear a chain.
Thanks to its design, using the Levi's phone isn't a horrible experience. The keypad is small but very usable and the screen, while petite, lets you read out text messages fairly easily. Viewing pictures on it isn't exactly enjoyable, so don't buy it if you like showing off photos to friends. Equally, the 2-megapixel camera on the back isn't spectacular and produces average shots.
The Levi's phone is much more about style than it is substance and while it is easy to use this is a fashion focussed phone and not meant for gadget freaks.
The Levi's theme continues on the inside with a variety of Levi-based icons and screensavers. The user interface isn't as snazzy as we expected but it's easy to understand.
The menu is made up of nine uninspiring icons giving you access to all the phone's features, which as expected aren't cutting edge.
There's a 2-megapixel camera, a basic MP3 player, an FM radio, a few fairly fun java games, an expandable microSD card and stereo Bluetooth.
Starting with the camera, it's fine for MMS messages but don't expect to print out large high quality prints. The LED photo light doesn't illuminate shots well in low light either. Equally, the MP3 player is basic, offering a few options such as shuffle and equaliser settings.
Something we didn't expect was the FM radio that lets you record
straight on to your phone, which is useful but you must make sure to
plug the headset in and have good reception. Unfortunately, you have to
use the proprietary headphones and there's no 3.5mm headphone adapter
in the box.
Another niggle we had with the Levi's phone is the texting interface that features T9 but doesn't seem to let you input new words, which is very annoying.
Audio quality was clear during calls, although we would've liked to be able to turn the volume higher at times. The loudspeaker sounded loud and worked as expected. Battery life was good, lasting for over two days with moderate use, probably made longer by the fact there's no 3G, Wi-Fi or GPS draining the battery.
Given that this is Levi's first phone and that most fashion phones are unusable, it isn't bad at all. It's small, fairly easy to use and not featureless. But as any fashion phone owner will tell you, fashion phones must evoke an emotional response and after playing around with it for a while now, we're not exactly bowled over by it.
Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Shannon Doubleday