Energizer Energy E241s review: a KaiOS 4G ultra-feature phone
Energizer has launched the Energy E241s, a new feature phone that combines the long battery life and simplicity of a feature phone with abilities that qualify for a modern smartphone. It was released just a few months ago – back in September – and it quickly made a name in the market for its stunning abilities: great battery life, decent VFM and the notorious usability that only a feature phone can deliver nowadays.
Energizer was kind enough to send one Energy E241s to our HQ and I didn’t miss the chance to spend some days with it as my second phone – nope, I wasn’t ready to let my Android smartphone rest. I admit it. In any case, the E241s made my day with its impeccable battery life that can reach up to 6 days of stand by time and possibly a little over 25 hours of non-stop talk time!
Don’t expect too much from it, I have to warn you. It’s not for those heavy duty users out there, nor for those who like the merits of a fully fledged smartphone, no. It’s destined to become your No.1… second phone, a good alternative if you want to be connected but… not TOO much connected.
The Energizer Energy E241s is available from the official website of the company at a price that’s currently at 46€. See? That’s a good VFM, isn’t it?
Energizer Energy E241s – Technical specifications
- 2G – 850/900/1800/1900,
- 3G – 850/900/1900/2100,
- 4G – TDD: B1/B3/B7/B8/B20/B28A+28B,
- FDD: B40, VoLTE (depending on the operator agreement with Spreadtrum),
- GPRS – Class 12, EDGE – Class 12, HSDPA – Class 3
LAUNCH: Announced 2019, February, Released 2019, September
- BODY: Dimensions: 116 x 50 x 14 mm
- Weight: 63 g
- SIM: Dual SIM (mini SIM)
- DISPLAY: Type TFT, 256K colors
- Size: 2.4 inches, 17.8 cm2 (~26.4% screen-to-body ratio)
- Resolution: 240 x 320 pixels, 4:3 ratio (~167 ppi density)
- PLATFORM: OS KaiOS
- Chipset: Spreadtrum SC9820E
- CPU: Dual-core (2×1.3 GHz Cortex-A7)
- GPU: Mali T-820
- MEMORY: Card slot microSD, up to 128GB
- Internal: 512MB 4GB
- CAMERA: Single 0.3 MP, LED flash, Video
- SELFIE: Single 0.3 MP, Video
- SOUND: Loudspeaker
- 3.5mm jack: Yes
- WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, hotspot
- Bluetooth: 2.1, EDR
- GPS: Yes, with A-GPS
- Radio: FM radio
- USB: microUSB 2.0
- FEATURES: Downloadable applications Facebook, Gmail, Whatsapp, etc.
- BATTERY: Li-Ion 1900 mAh battery
- Colors: Black, Carbon black, Gray, White, Orange, Bordo Red
The retail box includes the phone, headsets, a battery, a data cable, a charger and a guide book in multiple languages.
Energy E241s has the classical design found in the category created to fit in the palm of your hand. The display covers almost half of the phone with the brand name under it. Over it, we can see the microphone and the VGA selfie camera. Bezels are quite large- but typical for the category too. Physical keyboard is made from strong plastic and I am sure it will bring some memories back to all those who are in their 40’s now :p
The rest of the body is plastic too, but is designed to look like carbon fibre. If you have a look at the back side of the device, you will find the VGA camera module in the top left with the LED flash and the speaker in the right side of it. Obviously, there is a microphone placed at the top of the device and a second one at the bottom for decent phone quality. There’s also a 3,5 mm port for a headphone jack and a microUSB port so you can connect it to the PC and your favorite headphones.
Energizer has placed a notch at the back panel that can be used to open the phone and see th removable battery, along with 3 slots.Two slots for dual SIM cards and one more for a microSD card up to 128GB – that’s a lot of room for high quality MP3 songs.
As you can imaging, a phone with such a small display, is also very light – weighing a mere 96 grams. It’s size is… 1/3 of an average smartphone today with dimensions 125.3 x 54 x 14.5 mm so you can be certain that it will follow you wherever you may go, with no issues.
The Energy E241s packs a 2.4 inch TFT display with QVGA resolution ( 240 x 320 pixels), 4:3 ratio, 170 ppi kai 27% screen-to-body ratio. No, the display is not black and white, as it can deliver more or less… 256K colors. It also packs a Spreadtrum SC9820E SoC, which comes with a low voltage, long endurance Dual-core (2×1.3 GHz Cortex-A7) CPU. The CPU is assisted with 512MB RAM and an equal amount of ROM. There is also a Mali T-820 GPU but I am sure you will not be needing it for high end mobile gaming battles 🙂
At the back we can find a basic VGA camera (0.3 MP) along with a LED flash. The camera is able to record video at the same resolution. For those of you asking, yes, there is also a second similar camera in the front for selfies – with the same very poor resolution (VGA).
Energizer has to be one of those companies who still prefer the a 3.5mm port for a headphones, as they have placed one in the device, along with native FM radio support. The E241s has also WLAN support (Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n) and can be used as a hotspot! There is Bluetooth 2.1 compatibility as well for your true wireless earphones in case you don’t like wired ones, along with GPS support too! Last but not least, the handset packs a microUSB port for charging and data transfer – although I wish it had USB Type-C compatibility.
Energizer is a famous battery company and we didn’t expect nothing less than a great battery. The Li-Ion 1900 mAh battery provides standby time up to 131h (6 days) and talk time up to 25-26 hours!
KaiOS – New lightweight OS
This ultra-feature phone is powered by KaiOS, the new operating system from Energizer, that aspires to “conquer” the market of mobile phones (as they say) providing smartphone characteristics to devices, bridging the gap between two different product categories. KaiOS enables access to 4G Internet, Wi-Fi and GPS, downloading apps (games, social networks, lifestyle etc.), plus lots of other services. To be honest, there are not that many apps available at this time. But most of those available (and pre installed) are very well known to all of us, such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Google Maps and others. Yes, the display is very small (just 2.4 inches), but IF you’re in need then you can use it as… a really small GPS navigator. On the other hand it’s ergonomically designed for maximum comfort in your hand, so you can easily walk in the market and use it with one hand.
As we mentioned previously, there is a KaiOS Store where you can find and download applications to the device. The store (KaiStore) offers a number of applications in multiple categories. By default you will find Facebook, Gmail, Whatsapp, Google Assistant, Youtube, Twitter and Google Maps, but the company said that more are available in the coming months.
There are also native KaiOS applications: weather, email, notes, recorder, unit conversion, file manager, top news, calendar, video player, calculator, clock, gallery, browser, camera, messages, contacts, call log and music applications. KaiOS provides a simple but feature rich user interface. There are two option buttons and a main navigation button in the center in order to navigate – note that if you long press it, you can activate Google Assistant.
Daily Usage – Decent as a secondary device
As I said at the beginning of this hands on review, I used the phone for a week as a second device. Compared with the typical 6,5 inch 2019 smartphone, it is lightweight and compact. The battery life is amazing, as you can understand. It packs a 1900 mAh battery that can easily handle all the power needs of the device. So you can understand my satisfaction, when I left it overnight to charge on the 6th (or so) night of usage!
Navigation is easy but needs some time to learn the paths of the KaiOS menus. From the center cycle there are shortcuts that are very helpful. Top shortcut opens a quick settings menu with Flashlight, Brightness, Airplane mode, Wi-Fi, Cellular Data, Bluetooth and Volume. Left shortrcut opens a quick on screen menu for most used applications. Right shortcut opens the camera menu and last but not least, the down shortcut opens the general settings menu. There are also menus for Network and Connectivity, Personalization, Privacy and Security, Storage, Device and Account (on the KaiOS platform).
Wifi and 4G work as advertised. I used Gmail and Twitter a lot. Note, that you can sync Google Contacts or import them from a SIM card.
Some of you ask me a lot about the sound quality of some devices, so in this case… I have to admit that it’s just… adequate. To be honest the sound from the earpiece is mediocre and not helpful when in a traffic jam or in a crowded place. What more can one ask with such a low price after all?
In general, the Energy E241s is a nice feature phone with a new light OS that provides some features found in smartphones. It is an excellent mobile phone for a kid, an older person or as a second/third (?) device. The preinstalled FM radio makes it an excellent companion for… football matches, for a stroll, or during workout, cycling etc. It supports 4G with access to Youtube or other video/music applications, thus making it a good/cheap replacement for your smartphone when exercising or going for a walk on the beach/mountain.
Let’s be clear however: both the camera and the loudspeaker are for basic usage only.
Energy E241s – Must see features:
- The E241S enables you to access 4G Internet, Wi-Fi and GPS, to download apps, plus lots of other services.
- The KaiOS operating system brings essential smartphone functions to classic mobile phones.
- 1900 mAh battery – 28 hours Talk Time – 6 days Standby Time.
- 4G LTE – Dual Sim – 4GC ROM – 512MB RAM – MicroSD up to 128GB
- VGA front and rear camera (with flash).
The benefit is the sum of having a great battery life, some “smart” features and obviously low cost -> not more than 46€ from Amazon: