The unassuming O2 Jet proves that looks aren't everything. It may be Plain Jane among its contemporaries, but for business and consumer users who don't want tonnes of features but need a reliable handset with a long-lasting battery, this easy-to-use phone is well worth a look
The O2 Jet is in no uncertain terms a plain-looking phone. It comes in a rather dull dark charcoal-grey casing with a light grey strip around the sides. It's rather chunky too, measuring 47mm by 117mm by 20mm, and it doesn't come laden with features. Appearances, however, aren't everything.
This phone is perfect for business or consumer users who need a phone that will last longer than two days. You won't be able to listen to music, take photos or slip it into a tight pair of trousers, but it will go the distance and it's also very easy to use.
The O2 Jet is available for £60 from O2 high street shops and online in the business section of the O2 site.
The Jet is reminiscent of the old Nokia candybar handsets. It has a bullion-style shape and while it looks ungainly and isn't the most pocket-friendly of phones, it is very comfortable to hold. It's smooth to the touch, but feels sturdy enough to take a few drops.
The front section of the Jet houses a screen that displays 56,000 colours and measures 32mm by 39mm. It's not the largest screen on offer, but it serves its purpose well.
Underneath the screen is a large well-spaced keypad. The keys are like small speed bumps and are really easy to press. If you've got large thumbs or you don't like using the tips of your fingers to type out texts then this keypad is perfect.
The navigation key is great too, with enough space around it so you don't feel constrained -- you can't accidentally hit the surrounding keys easily, either. On the left side of the phone there's a volume rocker and on the right side is a loud speaker for speakerphone mode.
At the top of the Jet there's a useful three-way switch that lets you change the phone's profile from standard to silent or vibrate. This means that if you're in a rush to mute your phone, you can literally do it at the flick of a switch. On the bottom of the Jet there's a 2.5mm jack and a mini USB port for charging.
You can charge the phone by using the provided AC adaptor or in-car charger, or by putting the Jet into the desk stand that also comes bundled with it. The stand not only charges the phone, but also lets you synchronise it with your PC using O2's Sync Manager software.
The O2 Jet is truly a back-to-basics phone with none of the usual trimmings associated with cutting-edge mobiles. It does, however, have a few tricks up its sleeve that set it apart from the competition. For starters O2 is quoting a whopping 10 hours of talk time and 540 hours standby time -- that's over three weeks of power if you don't use it too often.
The other feature that impressed us is the extremely easy-to-understand interface. The Jet uses simple icons and you can access the menu by simply pressing the silver button in the middle of the navigation key. Admittedly, it's made easier to understand because there aren't that many features on offer, but that is what makes this phone special.
Rather than trying to be all things to all people, it focuses on the basics and does them well. The texting interface is very similar to Nokia's and combined with the large keys it isn't fiddly or complicated. There's also GPRS connectivity, a WAP browser and an email client so you can keep up to date with any business. Indeed, this phone is very suitable for business trips as you won't have to worry about recharging it every other day. It's also quad-band so it will work in any country that uses a GSM network.
Another useful feature is that you can turn the device into a USB mass storage device for data files. There's only 55MB of internal memory though, and no expandable memory slot, so you won't be able to store too much, which is disappointing. You can back up contacts and calendar tasks to your PC using the USB cable or desk stand, but we would have preferred more on-board memory and an expandable slot.
Other features include a calculator, alarm clock, currency converter, unit converter, voice recorder and Bluetooth connectivity. There's a dedicated button that makes turning Bluetooth on and off easy.
Audio on calls is good, however we did notice some feedback during calls. When we were speaking we could at times hear our own voices through the ear piece.
Battery life is quoted at 540 hours standby time and 10 hours talk time. With moderate use every day we didn't need to charge it after four days, which is much better than the majority of other handsets.
Edited by Mary Lojkine
Additional editing by Elizabeth Griffin