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Samsung E2121 review: Samsung E2121

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The Good Great value for money;. Appealing design;. Expandable memory.

The Bad Slow Web access;. No 3G.

The Bottom Line Samsung's latest low-cost mobile, the E2121, takes the same stance as its cheap predecessors and adds some impressive functionality, offering budget buyers music playback, expandable storage and limited photographic opportunities.

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7.5 Overall

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The E2121 is the most recent addition to Samsung's growing stable of sub-£50 handsets, and is sure to raise a few eyebrows thanks to the sheer amount of options included within its sleek frame. It's unlikely to win over seriously dedicated mobile users, but as a starting point for newcomers both young and old, it's just the ticket.

The Samsung E2121 is available for just £25 on pay as you go, or SIM-free for around £50.

Welcome to the cheap seats

Samsung's recent line of budget phones has provided a cheap, if technically unspectacular, route into the world of mobile ownership for plenty of consumers. The E1150, E1170 and E1360 are hardly going to have Steve Jobs and Google quaking in their boots when it comes to raw functionality, but for the incredibly humble price you're getting a commendable amount of tech for your money. At first glance, one would assume the E2121 continues this frugal trend, but this phone actually comes with a few additional surprises that set it apart from its brethren.

The candybar form factor instantly calls to mind the unfussy design of the Samsung E1080. With an overall weight of just 74g, it's not what you'd call a heavyweight, but the 15mm thickness gives it a substantial quality, and the texture of the casing -- which features tiny raised dimples -- grants the E2121 a considerable amount of grip. You're unlikely to find this phone slipping from your grasp any time soon.

Build to conquer

Constructed entirely from plastic, the E2121's exterior has obviously been made on the cheap, but just like Samsung's other low-cost phones, this hasn't resulted in a loss of quality. It feels sturdy, with no annoying creakiness during handling. The coloured areas of plastic at the top and bottom of the phone do come across a little tacky, but they're not overpowering. Another element that doesn't exactly scream sophistication is the one-piece rubberised key mat, but we can appreciate that it makes sense from a cost perspective. It will also prevent unwelcome dust and grime from reaching the innards of the device.

Its plastic and rubber casing isn't particularly stylish, but it does serve a practical purpose when it comes to the key mat.

There's an awful lot to like about the aesthetics of the E2121, from the recessed camera lens to the friendly and inviting music player control button, which is situated in the middle of the direction pad. Granted, this isn't a product that is destined to stride down the technological catwalks of the mobile phone industry, but you have to admire the amount of effort that's gone into its appearance.

Music to your ears

Compared to its rather stunted relatives, the E2121 packs in an impressive amount of functionality. The presence of dedicated music controls are some indication of the phone's key selling point -- this is a music-playing mobile for the thousands of people out there who don't fall within Apple's great plan, simply because they can't afford an iPhone or iPod touch. MicroSD card support (up to 2GB) is on hand to further bolster the E2121's audio credentials, although the lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack does rain on the parade ever so slightly.

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