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# 206094 9-Dec-2016 11:17
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Please be gentle.  This is my first mini-review of a product. cool

 

This year my smartphone is being turned off while on the annual family camping trip, but I wanted an emergency contact phone should our very capable team want my input on an unexpected issue. I also wanted a cheap phone I could take to the beach and not worry about damage. Having a quick browse of what is available, one option really stood out, so I placed an order.

 

2 days later I am trying out the Dakota mobile phone from French company MobiWire. Its 'claim to fame' is that it is IP67 rated, which means for all intents and purposes it is waterproof (to 1m depth) and dustproof. It survived a 5 minute bath in my fish tank at home just fine, where my iPhone would have perished in the watery grave. This summer I'll give it a try at the beach, taking photos at wave-level.

 

Going back to a 'candybar' shaped phone feels a bit odd after carrying one of the larger iPhones around for the last year. No business-grade email. No facebook. No touch screen. No daily recharge, either. I had almost forgotten that some mobile phones used to have batteries that lasted 1-2 weeks, and this is a welcome return. Manufacturer claims are 15 day standby time and 600 minute talk time. Even if they were slightly optimistic figures, this NZ$120 phone (currently $80 on special) puts the battery life of my $1000+ iPhone to shame. In fairness, the two devices are used quite differently.

 

The plastic body of the Dakota feels solid. Really solid. The screen is Gorilla Glass. The 5MP camera is good enough for victim identification, but is not going to win any awards. The FM Radio coming from the speakerphone has limited volume adjustment. The LED flashlight is bright enough to be helpful. The menu is reasonably intuitive. The keyboard feels good to use, though being a rubber sheet I would be a little concerned about this being damaged if the phone were mashed around in a bag of heavy tools.

 

For $80 (locked to the Vodafone network, $30 unlock fee), or even $120 (assumed to be full price with no provider lock), I think this phone is a fantastic buy for someone who does not need smartphone features and is happy to multi-tap out the occasional text message. Perhaps a phone for older relatives who need less complexity and a long battery life, or a parent-supplied mobile for younger kids who might have an accident with a higher value phone.

 

Vodafone NZ Shop Link: http://www.vodafone.co.nz/shop/mobileDetails.jsp…
Offical web site: http://mobiwire.com/dakota (limited information)

 

Click to see full size 

 

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  # 1685470 9-Dec-2016 19:43
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A few questions:

 

- Is it 2G/3G/4G?
- If it's 3G/4G does it have mobile data sharing (over Bluetooth or via USB)?
- Does it have a browser or email client?





 
 
 
 




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  # 1685910 10-Dec-2016 22:01
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Excellent questions, and oversights on my part.

 

- The one in my hand is 3G, though it appears other countries have had 2G versions.
- The phone has WLAN built in.  As I type this it is connected to my home broadband router.
- It has a built in POP/IMAP mail client.
- It has a built in web browser.  My initial testing indicates it is for people who are very patient or very desperate.  The homepage is set to Vodafone's web site, and it looks terrible.
- When you connect the phone via USB to anything but a charger, the phone prompts you for a couple of USB modes including Mass Storage to access any photos you might have taken, or USB tethering.  I've not tested the USB tethering as the mini SIM I'm using has no data and I don't have another SIM handy.  The Mass Storage mode shows 2 drives on my computer, which are presumably the internal memory and the 32Gb MicroSD card I've inserted.

 

In the box is a quick start guide, a basic cabled handsfree earpiece, a 1m MicroUSB cable and a 1A USB charger.





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  # 1685911 10-Dec-2016 22:03
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So far I've not been able to locate a PDF manual, but the menus are reasonably intuitive.





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  # 1722894 20-Feb-2017 09:35
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@Dynamic:

 

So far I've not been able to locate a PDF manual, but the menus are reasonably intuitive.

 

 

 

 

I am sick of "always connected" smartphone. Looking to move to something simple like this.

 

Can this phone connect to google and sync contacts with google?








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  # 1722902 20-Feb-2017 09:48
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nakedmolerat: I am sick of "always connected" smartphone. Looking to move to something simple like this.

 

Can this phone connect to google and sync contacts with google?

 

I've loaned the phone to someone on holiday for 2 weeks, so he can take it fishing and leave his smartphone on dry land.  I suggested he tie it to a fishing float, so if the tiny tinny does go glug glug he can find the phone.  It's waterproof but does not float.

 

I'm pretty confident the answer is no to the Google sync, as it only does POP/SMTP mail.  I was looking for Exchange support and it want there.  Pretty sure I would remember GMail support.

 

When I went camping, it was nice to switch off the smartphone.  Sometimes I miss having a 9-5 job where at 5:01pm you could walk out and switch off from work.





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  # 1722921 20-Feb-2017 10:14
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Dynamic:

 

 

 

I've loaned the phone to someone on holiday for 2 weeks, so he can take it fishing and leave his smartphone on dry land.  I suggested he tie it to a fishing float, so if the tiny tinny does go glug glug he can find the phone.  It's waterproof but does not float.

 

I'm pretty confident the answer is no to the Google sync, as it only does POP/SMTP mail.  I was looking for Exchange support and it want there.  Pretty sure I would remember GMail support.

 

When I went camping, it was nice to switch off the smartphone.  Sometimes I miss having a 9-5 job where at 5:01pm you could walk out and switch off from work.

 

 

Ok then that is a big problem given the huge amount of contacts I have. I just need a dumb down phone, but still uses google to store contacts / sync.






 
 
 
 




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  # 1722929 20-Feb-2017 10:22
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nakedmolerat: Ok then that is a big problem given the huge amount of contacts I have. I just need a dumb down phone, but still uses google to store contacts / sync.

 

Perhaps make a feature request either to MobiWire or perhaps to the company re-releasing the classic Nokia phones.

 

There's bound to be a way to do it but would involve cables or pulling the SIM out to plug in to something else temporarily...  PITA to do though.





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  # 1723704 21-Feb-2017 13:32
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I really like phones like this, but the last one I had, a Samsung xcover 550, people all complained they couldn't hear me. Being waterproof that made sense. I'd like to try this phone but somewhat worried if I change network to use this phone people may complain they can't hear me again.

Have you used it much for calling?

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  # 1723951 21-Feb-2017 17:37
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Very much interested to hear about voice quality, my mum has a 2g bar phone & refuses to use it for calling because she can't understand people on it.

Had been considering looking for something with HD voice, but she can understand me just fine on the landline so I'm not sure if that's something I should worry about.

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  # 1775087 3-May-2017 17:39
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Thanks for the info.

 

I am a senior cit, and I have a smart phone that is far smarter then me. I dont like it.

 

I have had a mobile phone of one type or another  since they first came on the market last millenium, starting with a handbag model, and ones that were fixed in my vehicle.

 

I dont want or need to connect to anything other than the mobile phone network. Nor do I need a GPS or to know the ground temp at Everest Base Camp. I want a phone that I can make and receive phone calls and SMS ONLY. My only problem with some phones is that volume of the speaker, as at 72 years of age my hearing is damaged and I use hearing aids.

 

So can some one tell me if this phone has a decent speaker volume? Please.


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