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“Let's start; I cannot fault the feature set of this...”

Written on: 17/12/2004 by EasyTarget (1 review written)

Good Points
Lovely Screen, lots of features -some- of which are a joy to use. Size and shape suit me. You can do a lot of personalisation to this if you want to spend the time.

Bad Points
Interface has many faults, features are made hard to use by poor software. It's unreliable, on my third one in 8 months. Battery life is poor. You need to pay extra for a decent MP3 player package.

General Comments
Let's start; I cannot fault the feature set of this phone.

But be aware; this phone has Microsoft software on it, and it's about as high-quality as Windows 95. Looks fresh, clever things and new stuff, but a lot of it is badly thought-out, clumsy, and buggy.

Many of the deficiencies of this phone would be overcome if Microsoft/Orange had put in more effort. As a engineer I get personally very frustrated because I know that things could be a lot better.

- A classic example is that even if the keypad is locked, and anykey answer is set to 'no', pressing the joystick answers incoming calls. If you use Orange's own belt holster, because the joystick sticks out from the front, the joystick is 'pre-pressed' by the holster's fabric. Ergo you cannot remove the phone from the holster without answering the call. They could have avoided this by better software design.

Also there are bugs, some of them VERY obvious (superloud beeps when in 'meeting/quiet' mode) which have never been corrected. And presumably never will be. Oh, and this phone can lock-up solid, forcing you to remove the battery to reboot. Happens to me once a month or so. Since this is a MS powered phone, they should have fitted Ctrl-Alt-Del keys.

The Hardware has soooo much nice stuff, and the display is a work of beauty. But it's unreliable, First the camera failed on me, then bluetooth packed up. Each time it is exchanged I have to spend hours re-configuring it to my personal settings, even after using Oranges backup/restore utility. Battery life is poor so I charge daily, speaker volume is too low, I struggle to hear people in a noisy (Amsterdam street) environment.

MP3 playback was my decider for getting this phone, but the supplied windoze media player is lousy, it works, but is painful to use and drains the battery by turning the backlight on every time it changes track (another software bug?) so I had to pay for decent MP3 player software.

- Do not forget that MS want to create a 'market' in add-on software for their smartphones, therefore expect the supplied software to be limited, they want to 'persuade' you to spend money on downloads (MS gets income from licencing and 'signing' these).

The bottom line is.. the bottom line. This is a phone built to deliver big features on a budget, everything about it feels 'Marginal', cut down, limited, almost but not quite right. I hoped for more.

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