This Bird Can Fly
Okay, our office right now is awash in Birds. No, it’s not a scene from a Hitchcock movie, but we’ve been testing Bird phones for an upcoming m|ph article. You’ve probably been seeing Bird-branded phones in stores. And you probably have been wondering if they’re worthy of your attention. Well, I’ve been using the Bird A130 for some time now, and I have to admit that it’s pretty impressive for a brand that is only now beginning to hit our consciousness. At the very least, I have to say that, despite its simple build, it has turned out to be quite an attention getter. This clamshell has been mistaken for a Nokia 6170 (although I fail to see that much of a resemblance) and even for a Nokia 7270(!). I’d say that much of these perceptions come from its silver and black color scheme, as well as its current anonymity in the Philippine market. One of the biggest concerns of consumers, upon finding out that Bird is a brand from mainland China, is that it might be difficult to use. However, the interface turns out to be surprisingly friendly. In fact, I felt more comfortable with its interface than I did with that of some popular European models (er, model phones, not females!). The menu was pretty straightforward and there was a logical progression that was fairly manageable to grasp. The color screen was bright, the keys comfortable, and even the form factor was surprisingly pleasing. The unit was very palm-friendly, and it fit really snugly in my hand. Heck, I actually enjoyed using this phone! Particularly as the clamshell opened and shut with a crowd-pleasing snappiness. It’s not a perfect unit, mind you. And I do have a number of qualms about it, some of which are major points. But I’ll reserve that for the magazine review. For now, what I can say is that, based on my experience, these erstwhile little-known Bird phones can indeed become worthy contenders in our mobile market.