Download for fun
Here’s a phone that’s affordable and sticks to the basics of cellular usage while giving you access to a wide variety of music and graphics. But should you buy it just yet?
The Virgin vJazz has an aim: to give you cheap and quick access to music. The functionality of the handset might not make the 'quick' bit too much within reach, but its low pricing doesn't justify your complaining about it.
The phone is simply laid out. Its two-inch screen occupies almost half of the front portion and the buttons are cramped together below. The four-way navigation key in the centre takes you to the calendar, messaging mode and music player when pressed in standby. The glossy panel at the back — not a fingerprint magnet — is dabbed in the standard Virgin-red hue. The vJazz is slightly weighty for its size, but it's the bulk that lends it a sturdy feel. The keypad is comfortable to type on but the font is too large for the small screen.
Why anyone should consider buying this phone is simply because of the Vmusic and Vbytes programs. Vmusic is a WAP application that allows you to stream and download songs while Vbytes is the Virgin mobile data portal for wallpapers, graphics, etc.
Available for a highly-affordable ₹4,250, the vJazz offers you unlimited music downloads for an year from a collection of 1 lakh songs, meaning it enables you to download and delete over and over again. The songs span a variety of genres and time periods — you'll find Pearl Jam, Oasis and Frank Sinatra lined up with the latest Bollywood tracks. The downloads, however, take a long time and tracks are in the AAC format, which aren't as clear as MP3 files. The songs don't even directly download on the phone; a short preview downloads itself first, following which you have to download the full version. And that only if the WAP doesn't disconnect by itself, which happens frequently.
You can't let a song download in the background and proceed with other work on the phone. Also, if you get a call during a download, you will have to start over. But the music player and radio can be played in the background. The radio gives back great sound, and there's good reception even during commutes. The Vbytes application sometimes acts up during startup and can't connect to the Internet. You might also have to exit and restart it a couple of times before finding the data you need.
The speaker is so loud, you'll have to shut your ears even while listening to the mellow Black Sabbath cover of Planet Caravan that can otherwise double up as a lullaby. You have four equaliser modes to choose from, but none of them do justice to thumping basslines.
The track toggle, play and volume control buttons at the side of the panel have been styled in keeping with music phones, and really come in handy when listening to songs on the loudspeaker.
Trying to send files via MMS was worthless as the phone would just repeatedly hang and restart. This is an inherent bug with the handset that needs rectification. Another time the phone acted funny was when I tried to load Vbytes via the quick access button in the centre of the four-way navigation key. The phone blacked out and again restarted.
Among the less significant features is the customisable operator logo, which you can change to any other sixteen-character word. Don't expect too much from the camera and video playback. The phone's 10 MB worth internal memory won't fit more than two MP3 tracks, but there's the 1 GB SD card for all that. And there's even videos that you can download and watch, on a battery that will last really long.
The Ducati racing game comes pre-installed on the phone. It's a fun play but nothing in comparison to the Asphalt Urban GT.
It's only the vJazz's affordability, really, that makes it a good lure. And, of course, the songs! If slow speeds, handset bugs and sound quality aren't your requisites, this one is recommended.