Three things worry me about reviewing ‘test’ units, first will they be exactly the same as the ones available to purchase, second will the operating system/performance change and third no user manual. Here at least I could download the manual.
It is 10x5x1cm and weights just on 100grams. It has a black face surround with chrome effect edges the black has a brushed metal finish.
The top of the phone has 3.5mm earbud socket. The base has USB socket (charge and or sync) with the microphone just in front of it. The left side has a door behind which is the micro SD slot and above this the volume up and down rocker. The right side has nothing apart from the entry point for the provided stylus towards the bottom. The rear has the camera mounted at the top centre and this completes the connection of the unit.
The viewable screen is 5.7x4.2cm and totally touch controlled. There are five buttons below the screen two touch (make and end calls) the home, start and back have a small amount of depression with the last two on a rocker motion.
Between the screen and the five buttons is the zoom slider bar and this enables a full Internet screen to be quickly zoomed into so it becomes readable and if it is not the correct part use your finger on the screen to quickly locate it. In reverse you can quickly use the bar to zoom out to get the overall picture and then zoom in again.
The home screen is well laid out with a top line of icons, notifications, connection status, signal strength, volume, battery state and quick menu. Below this the name of your provider, then a large digital clock in the retro split numeral style and below this the weather from your nearest weather station in letters and graphics as well as min and max expected temperatures. Below this the date and any scheduled meetings and then line of icons along the bottom of the screen these can scroll either way as you slide then across the screen, unnerving at first.
A period of inactivity will lock the screen and you need to press and slide on the padlock icon to return to where you were. While the unit is locked you are still notified of missed calls, new messages and appointments.
It can of course do anything any other unit can do it just does some things in different ways. The Windows Mobile system stores everything on PC when you Sync and even if your phone breaks or is lost all your details, contacts, appointments etc can be quickly synced back to a replacement. You can of course use passwords to ensure security.
In this short review I cannot mention anything like all the abilities of the unit, it can of course be your music player and you can also use Google maps if you need directions or just get plain lost. Perhaps the most interesting is the ability to download applets (some are free) and if the applet does not perform then you can get your money back. Should the supplier not cough up then Microsoft will in theory pay you back. There are or course terms and conditions and in most cases you have seven days to see if the app works as you would wish.
As always with mobile phones finding prices is a nightmare while computer and peripheral prices change weekly phone prices seem to change daily. I expect that it will be available from as little as nothing on contract whereas it will cost near to £300 on pay as you go.
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