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Review of the Firefly mobile phone for kids


Review by Michael Oryl on Thursday June 16, 2005.

cell phone reviews · cell phone news · michael oryl

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At that point, making a call is simple. Press the mom or dad button, and then the green call button to dial. If they want to call somebody from the phonebook, a quick press of the phonebook button will let them use the green and red call buttons to move left and right through the list of names and numbers. When they get to the number they want, they just press the phonebook button to select it, and then press the green button to place the call or the red button to exit back to the standby screen. Pretty simple. The dedicated 911 button will bring up a prompt for making an emergency call after it has been held down for 3 seconds. At that point they can either press the green or red button to make the call or exit back to the standby screen.

Once in a phone call, things are pretty normal. The outbound audio from the Firefly is perhaps a bit muddled, but totally passable. Inbound audio sounded pretty clear. The volume range was good, and the reception from the internal antenna seemed to be reasonably good. In short, the Firefly is fit for making and receiving calls.

The Firefly supports the 850 and 1900Mhz GSM bands, and is good for about 6 hours of talk time, or 200 hours of standby time on a single charge. So with limited air time being used, Junior can probably get away with charging the phone once per week. ¿Hable Español? No problema. The Firefly supports Spanish as well as English.

Conclusion

The Firefly is a unique device. Its small form factor and light weight, as well as its "cuteness" and flashing lights and colors, make it a potential success with children. The fact that it is available on pre-paid plans, and that calls can be restricted, means that parents won't have to worry about huge surprise phone bills at the end of the month.

The user interface needs some work, to be sure, but at least with a phone this simple, you don't need to be rummaging through the main menu very often. I think that if the menu PIN and some of the flashing lights and animations could be disabled, that this device would work equally well for grandparents and other people that merely want a phone for emergencies and a few random minutes a month. But that's a different target audience completely.

For now, there is little else like the Firefly on the market. I can't hold its lack of features against it, considering its intended market, and as such give it a "Recommended" rating. It's a cool little phone.

Recommended (explanation)
Small, light, kids like it
Bad user interface

 

About the author

Michael Oryl
Michael is the Philadelphia based owner and former editor-in-chief of MobileBurn.com. You can follow him on Twitter as @MichaelOryl

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