So I had to get this on behalf of someone. Had a cheek to unbox it and play with it under the pretence of checking it. Nice phone for the price (£19.99 on O2 prepay via Carphone Warehouse). Reminds me a lot of my old Ericsson T610, which isn't surprisingly as this and the mid-range T650i obviously pays homage to as they shares the same series T-suffix.
For a super budget phone, the T250i does come with a lot of goodies. In the proper retail box came a universal Sony Ericsson AC charger as well as a stereo headset. Seriously I was excepting just a tiny USB cable. The phone itself is fitted with a 780mAh Li-pol battery, which is larger than I expected. The T250i is incredibly sexy and light (82g) with its enclosure made of a combination of plastic and brushed metal - giving it a premium feel. I was also surprised to learn that it is a quad band phone, giving more reason for international travellers to pick this cheap and cheerful gadget.
So what kind of features you get in a £20 phone? Surprisingly a lot. There is a VGA camera at the back, which is sufficient for as well as a FM radio. No fancy shit like WiFi or 3G here. This is purely a phone for either people on budget or wants a second backup phone. Even the phone book is sparse, with only the option of saving three numbers per contact detail. Besides that it contains a T9, SMS & MMS (see Jobs?) messaging capabilities, alarm clock, stop watch, calendar, WAP, a couple of games, polyphonic ring tones and calculator. Amazingly the T250i also contains an infrared hardware on the right side, which is essential for exchanging files like contacts and pictures. Kinda like how my old Palm m505 used to work.
The UI is very simple to navigate and hasn't changed much since Ericsson adopted the 3x3 UI grid back when the acclaimed Ericsson T68m was first introduced. The UI is very quick and doesn't do anything fancy over the T250i's 128x160 resolution screen, and is controlled via a four way d-pad (which also doubles as short cuts to the camera, text message, phonebook and FM radio applications). Two soft buttons also provide short cuts to the menu and contact via the desktop.
I really like it. There are some functions I couldn't test like making a phone call (hei, it isn't mine!). But from my rather brief time I had with it, I rather like it. If Sony Ericsson's main objective was to create a desirable super budget or backup phone I think they clearly succeeded. It has the style of a phone that costs five times as much, as well as most essential functions.