Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207

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Content

  1. TECH SPECS
  2. Equipment
  3. Positioning
  4. Design, dimensions, controls
  5. Screen, menu
  6. Banners
  7. Interfaces, connections
  8. Battery
  9. Impressions

TECH SPECS

  Philips Xenium E117 (CTE117DG / 00) Philips Xenium E207 (CTE207BK / 00)
Dimensions and weight 116.5 x 49 x 14.2 mm, 74.6 grams 124.6 x 59 x 14.2 mm, 113.6 grams
Body materials Plastic Plastic
Display 1.77 inches, QQVGA (128 × 160 pixels), TN TFT, 65 536 colors 2.31 inches, QVGA (320 × 240 pixels), TN TFT, 65 536 colors
Operating system Proprietary Proprietary
Сеть GSM 900/1800 MHz, 2 SIM-cards GSM 900/1800 MHz, 2 SIM-cards
Platform SC6531E processor MTK MT6261D processor
Memory 32 MB RAM, 32 MB internal, microSD memory cards up to 32 GB 32 MB RAM, 32 MB internal, microSD memory cards up to 32 GB
Wireless Interfaces Bluetooth 2.1 Bluetooth 2.1
Navigation No No
Sensors and connectors MicroUSB, 3.5mm audio MicroUSB, docking station
Main camera No 0.08 MP
Front-camera No No
Audio Media player (Midi, MP3), FM radio Media player (Midi, MP3), FM radio
Battery 1000 mAh, removable, Li-Ion, standby time – 844 hours, talk time – up to 13 hours 1700 mAh, removable, Li-Ion, standby time – 844 hours, talk time – up to 13 hours
Colours Dark gray, dark blue Black, blue, red
Price 1 390 rubles 2 690 rubles

Equipment

Philips Xenium E207:

  • phone
  • battery
  • Charger
  • dock station
  • instruction
  • warranty card

Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207

Philips Xenium E117:

  • phone
  • battery
  • Charger
  • instruction
  • warranty card

Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207

Both devices are shipped in the same pretty orange boxes, inside of which there is the very minimum. Actually, the only difference in configuration is the presence of a docking station in the Xenium E207.

Positioning

Push-button phones are still quite common in 2020. They have their own, and quite a significant audience, which for one reason or another cannot switch to smartphones. These are both people who just need a long-playing dialer, and those who receive a device for work exclusively for voice communication. This includes children, parents who teach their child that a phone is, first of all, a communicator, and not just another platform for games, as well as elderly people who simply do not need all the capabilities of smartphones and are even rather unnecessary. And it is for all these groups that Philips Xenium E117 is focused. It has a classic, discreet design, compact size, light weight, but at the same time a very comfortable keyboard. A careful approach to the design of the external appearance and the use of high-quality materials allow the device to look no worse than its premium counterparts, while maintaining an affordable price of a budget device.

Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207

Another story is the Philips Xenium E207. This device has a very strictly defined target audience – elderly people. The model belongs to the class of “babushkophones”, that is, it is adapted for people who no longer have such good hearing, vision, and there are problems with coordination. With all the advantages of a compact push-button telephone for such an audience, it will be too compact. Its keyboard and screen will not be as comfortable. And the Xenium E207’s buttons and menus have been specially designed to be easier to see and easier to press. Plus an indispensable attribute of “babushkofonov” – the SOS button on the back panel. In order to send an SMS or call a given number, the user does not need anything more than a couple of simple clicks of a physical button. It is clear that such a phone will be chosen not so much by the elderly themselves as by their younger relatives. Including as a New Year’s gift.

Design, dimensions, controls

Philips Xenium E117 is a classic candy bar in compact size. It is distinguished by a light weight of 76 grams, but at the same time its dimensions remained such that it was convenient to use the phone. The keyboard is classic, alphanumeric, approximately 42 x 32 mm in size. Above it there is a round navigation key, buttons for accepting and rejecting calls, above which two more buttons for quick access to the menu are symmetrically located. These buttons are covered with the same glossy plastic as the area around the screen. The navigation key is also plastic, but with some kind of soft-touch coating, so it does not slip. Gloss, of course, collects all the prints, but they are easily erased, one cannot say that the device is too easily soiled. Above the screen is the speaker slot, it is the same for conversation, speakerphone, and music playback.

Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207

On the upper end there is a flashlight LED, on the bottom there is a 3.5 mm jack, microUSB and a microphone hole. We’ve worked on the latter, so the problems that our predecessors had, when it was easy to close the microphone with a finger during a conversation, will no longer exist. The flashlight is average in brightness, it is enough to illuminate the keyhole or not trip over a step if the light suddenly went out in the entrance. End faces are not used to accommodate any controls or connectors. Of the sights, there is only a small notch on the right rib for easy removal of the rear panel.

Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207

The back panel itself is removable, made of textured plastic, which effectively resists picking up prints, dirt, slipping and even a little shock. Although the latter is not worth checking. The panel, although flexible, is very thin. There are no slots or holes in it, just the Xenium logo right in the center.

Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207

The build quality is high, in this respect the Philips Xenium E117 can really rival the more premium models. There are no backlashes, and if the device should be properly squeezed, then you can rather hear a crunch, indicating that you are about to remove the battery compartment cover.

Under the lid, too, everything is like everyone else. Under the battery itself there are two slots for standard mini SIM and, perhaps, a slightly unfashionable, but reliable microSD memory card holder. Plus all sorts of certification and other mandatory stickers.

Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207

The Philips Xenium E207 makes a completely different impression. First, it is much larger. The dimensions are 124.6 x 59 x 14.2 mm, so if you do not take into account the great thickness, it is the size of a compact smartphone. It would seem that extra millimeters for any device is a minus, but for a “grandmother” it is rather a plus. For an elderly person with poor coordination, a larger apparatus turns out to be much more convenient in practice than compact models. And the Xenium E207 is a good example of how to intelligently use the increase in size for just such a purpose. Its keyboard buttons are more reminiscent of a laptop keyboard than a phone’s – they are large (more than 1.5 cm long and almost 1 cm wide) and protrude noticeably above the body. Plus a huge move by telephone standards. Plus a large distance between them, which eliminates accidental pressing of two buttons at the same time.

Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207

Secondly, it has a horizontally oriented screen, which significantly affects the appearance itself. Although, in general, one cannot say that the device looks somehow strange. The calm design, the possibility of choosing a model of black color allow the device not to look flashy. He does not attract attention, does not stick out his “grandmother”, which may be important for a certain category of buyers. For those who, on the contrary, need a bright, noticeable device, there are blue and red options.

Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207

A large number of physical control buttons are noteworthy. In addition to the standard alphanumeric keyboard with a four-way navigation key, the Xenium E207 has: on the left side a volume rocker (controls both the call volume and speaker volume) and a keypad lock slider (complements the traditional method of automatically locking and unlocking by pressing two keys), on the right the end of the slider for turning on the flashlight, on the back, next to the lens, the camera is the SOS button. I will dwell on it in more detail. It is easy to feel it without turning the device over. With a short press, it does not react in any way – for operation, you need to press and hold. In this case, the device will make calls and send the pre-entered message to the three numbers indicated in the menu. In this case, the phone will additionally emit a siren sound, informing the owner about the button operation. It is also possible to turn on the answering machine in advance, which will be triggered after sending an emergency SMS. If the SOS button is not needed, then it can be disabled through the menu.

Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207

On the upper end there is a flashlight LED, and in the right corner at the junction of the edges there is an opening for attaching a cord or lanyard – an important detail for a “grandmother’s phone”, which can now be found not in every device. At the bottom there is a microUSB connector and a microphone. Note that the microphone is located as close as possible to the left side, so it is difficult to cover it with your hand with any grip. This is also an important point for devices with only one microphone.

Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207

The back cover is removable, made of thick plastic. 2/3 of it are textured, and the top is just smooth, matte. In the upper part on the left – the camera lens and the SOS button close to it. On the right is the external speaker grill. Removing the back cover reveals that the speaker is even larger than it appears through the grille, so it’s no surprise that this is one of the loudest devices I’ve heard in recent years. The cover comes off very tightly, so there is no chance that it could open accidentally or come unfastened if dropped. The lithium battery also sits tightly in its place, under which two slots for SIM-cards and a separate slot for memory cards are hidden. Time-tested solutions, and given the fact that the size of the case is quite adequate, there are no problems with placement and access.

Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207

The build quality raises no questions. The body is made of durable and thick plastic, it has no creaks or backlashes, so you can count on the fact that it can survive the falls typical of such devices without big problems. As with any other push-button telephone, there is not much to break here, so the life of the phone should be long. The model may not have a wow effect, but it looks quite decent for its class.

Screen, menu

Both models have the simplest screens, which is quite typical for this class of devices, but the size and resolution are very different, as well as the sizes of their cases. Philips Xenium E117 has a 1.77-inch QQVGA (128×160 pixels) TN TFT panel, and Philips Xenium E207 is made using the same technology, but 2.31-inch QVGA (320×240 pixels). As already mentioned, the screen of the “babushkofon” is horizontally oriented, which is connected with the design features of its menu. Plus, this solution allowed to show the number not only in full, but also very large when dialing a number. Again, note the moment at which the developers thought about the elderly.

The brightness and contrast of the screens are enough to remain readable in bright sunlight, but the glossy panel glares predictably. For the Xenium E207, a very bright screen was selected, comparable in luminosity to AMOLED screens of smartphones, so there are a minimum of problems in any light. The screen of Xenium E117 is frankly simpler, it looks like a loser next to it, but its competitors will have the same panels. You can separately adjust the intensity of the screen glow and turn on the keyboard backlight, as well as set a different delay for turning them off. In both cases, the luminosity of both the screen and the keys is sufficient for comfortable use in all conditions.

The phone can be controlled both through the “Menu” menu and through the “Shortcuts” menu. The second is simply faster access to the main functions of the device, bypassing the multistage categorization. For Xenium E117 these will be:

  • Contact us
  • Calculator
  • The calendar
  • FM radio
  • Dictaphone
  • Alarm clock
  • Speed ​​dial
  • Blacklist
  • Bluetooth
  • Audio player
  • Video player

The Xenium E207 will have an item “Camera” added to them, which the E117 lacks for obvious reason. But the design of the menu itself is strikingly different. Structurally, they are the same, but the way they are displayed is fundamentally different. The user does not need to constantly refer to the navigation key by moving the “cursor” left-right. Only one menu item with a large icon and signature is shown on the screen at a time. It’s almost impossible to accidentally miss and get into the wrong place with this design, so we continue to bend our fingers, noting the convenience for the elderly. We can only regret that the fonts inside the menu items, although large, are not larger than can be found in push-button phones with the same screen size and resolution. However, customization is more the prerogative of younger relatives, and not the device user himself.

Functionally, both phones are very close. The design itself is simple, understandable, executed in a classic way and will not cause any problems either at first acquaintance, or with constant use.

Banners

As you can see from the section above, both devices are capable of being an FM receiver, playing audio and video files. And Philips Xenium E207 is also capable of taking pictures. It should be noted here that the camera is still very modest, only 0.08 MP. Nevertheless, if you need to photograph something urgently (for example, an announcement at the entrance to turn off the hot water), then its capabilities will be sufficient. It is curious that a magnifying glass function was added to the device. A long press of the # button calls up a special mode, in which, by bringing the camera closer to the small print, it can be read on the phone screen. The function is useful, but requires good lighting, otherwise the camera without optical stabilization and autofocus will predictably fail. But in practice, there will be enough light if, for example, a table lamp is added to the overhead light in the evening.

Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207

FM radio. Does not require headphones, plays loudly, the speaker does not wheeze, the reception is of average quality. It is possible to store 9 radio stations in the memory. The reception quality is noticeably improved when headphones are connected. There are no significant differences in the operation of this function between the devices. Except that the Xenium E207 has a much louder external speaker, but at the maximum volume level, there are already unnecessary noises caused by the vibrations of the device itself. But it doesn’t matter which side you put the phone on – on a hard surface there is almost no noticeable difference in volume when the phone is on the back.

MP3 player and video player. Despite some design differences, the actual functionality is the same. Of course, you will have to store the entire media library on an external card, the built-in phone memory is not enough for anything. I see no reason to talk about the quality of music playback the devices will have. Also, the presence of a video player should be considered purely nominal – the screen size does not allow us to seriously consider them as a means of reproducing media content more serious than a podcast or radio.

Both phones play very loudly through the external speaker, which has two advantages at once. First, you will not miss an incoming call or message. Second, you don’t need a portable speaker to listen to music or podcasts. However, if you still prefer external playback sources, then everything is fine. But more on that in the next paragraph.

Interfaces, connections

And here again we have to note that the target audience of the devices has significant differences. Philips Xenium E117 was aimed at the widest possible audience, while the Xenium E207 is a highly targeted device with specific tasks. The basic set of wired and wireless interfaces is completely standard: microUSB, used not only for charging, but also for synchronization, as well as Bluetooth 2.1. The Xenium E117 adds a 3.5mm audio jack, allowing external audio sources to be used, whereas the E207 lacks it. Bluetooth for an inexpensive push-button phone is a nice option, the presence of which should be added to the advantages, despite the fact that version 2.1 is not new at all. There is no need to reproach these devices that memory cards only work up to 32 GB. Large multimedia files will not be loaded on them, and there is plenty of space for your favorite music library, podcasts and audiobooks.

An important difference between the Xenium E207 is the presence of a base station. For many seniors, charging the phone is a problem. The charger is constantly lost, the phone itself, being on the wire, tries to slip and fall, the wire tries to jump out, or, conversely, it is impossible to get the plug into the small connector, etc., etc. Another thing is the handset of the DECT device: it is immediately clear where it is and whether it is being charged. The E207 docking station is made according to the same principle. You just put it on the bottom of the cradle, and that’s it. It would seem a trifle, but for older people this is one of the attractive features of the device. And it is from the little things that convenience always develops.

Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207

Battery

Finally, a few words about such an important element as a battery. Both the Xenium E117 and Xenium E207 received quite decent lithium batteries – 1000 and 1700 mAh, respectively. Plus Xenium proprietary battery optimization technologies. As a result, the claimed battery life for both devices is 13 hours of talk time and 844 hours (more than 35 days) in standby mode. The difference in battery capacity allows the more “gluttonous” Philips Xenium E207 to have the same autonomy parameters as its more economical counterpart. Of course, in everyday life, everyone will discharge the phone in their own way, but in any case, you can safely count on several weeks of the phone’s operation, even if you use it to the maximum.

Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207

Since the devices are budget-friendly, as it was said, they did not receive a USB-microUSB cable in the package. They have the same charger – 2.5 W with an integral cable. This is not a significant problem, since hardly anyone will often connect these phones to a computer for synchronization purposes. Plus they have Bluetooth and the de facto mandatory memory stick. So the cable connection is primarily about charging the battery.

Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207Review of push-button phones Philips Xenium E117 and Xenium E207

Charging speed is doing well. Philips Xenium E117 fully charges in about 3 hours. For Philips Xenium E207, it takes much more time, because the charger is the same, and the battery capacity is 70% higher. So it will take almost five hours to charge it. But the efficiency of energy consumption allows us to say that the devices actually have an analogue of fast charging – in half an hour or an hour they will gain enough charge in order not to remember where the charger is for the whole next week.

Impressions

So, we have two completely different views of what a push-button phone could be at the end of 2020.

Philips Xenium E117 is a good example of a phone that can suit anyone who needs a robust device to pair with a smartphone or does not need an advanced device at all. It is lightweight, compact, well-assembled from good materials. At the same time, its price on the shelf is 1 rubles, which is noticeably cheaper than analogs that marketers write in the premium segment. This approach to a simple dialer cannot fail to impress, whether you choose a phone for your grandmother or your first own phone for her grandson who goes to first grade. And for those who just need to make a lot of calls, such a neutral appearance with reliability and duration of work from one charge also cannot but be a plus. So the brand is by no means cunning, saying that this is a device for the widest audience.

The Philips Xenium E207 is a great example of what a senior phone should be. It is extremely simple, with the menu adapted for maximum ease of understanding, large keyboard buttons, durable and equipped with a number of specific functions that the average user is unlikely to ever need. But the same magnifying glass function or the presence of a charging cradle for older people can often act as critical points when choosing a phone. For their younger relatives, who most often act as actual buyers of “grandmother phones”, the SOS button will be an important parameter. At the same time, I would also pay attention to the high durability of the device and the loudness of its speaker – not every “grandmother’s phone” takes into account the probability of falling, and also has not only a large, but also a really loud speaker. Perhaps the only drawback of Philips Xenium E207 is its price of 2 rubles. Although, again, it should be remembered that “babushkophones” due to their specific functionality were and remain somewhat overvalued devices on the market.

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Published – December 30, 2020

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