- Size, Speed, Interface and Controls, Display
- No Wi-Fi, Location of SD Card Slot, Proprietary charger/USB connector, Large keypad
Compact, yet elegant and stylish, it's hard to believe the Smartflip is a fully fledged smart phone running Windows Mobile 5. An excellent unit that's only let down by the lack of native Wi-Fi.
Price$ 999.00 (AUD)
The i-Mate Smartflip is a revolutionary new entry into the smart phone market, offering a never before seen compact and lightweight clamshell design running the new Windows Mobile 5 OS. The Smartflip includes a a 1.3 megapixel digital camera, Bluetooth connectivity and excellent external and internal displays.
The Smartflip has bucked the trend of the larger bulky smart phone. Measuring just 98.5 x 51.4 x 15.8mm and weighing a mere 99 grams, it looks distinctively similar to the Motorola RAZR V3, with thin lines and sleek curves. The unit is finished in a grooved black plastic on the front and battery cover, with a plain matt black finish extending over to the sides and bottom rear.
Despite being so thin, i-Mate still manages to squeeze a number of buttons onto the Smartflips exterior including dedicated MP3 player controls on the front, a camera button on the right and voice tags and volume control keys on the left. There's also a single USB and charging connector on the right hand side, but this isn't a standard mini-USB port. This means you'll always have to use the included proprietary cables.
The Smartflips exterior also includes a handy external screen that is capable of displaying caller ID information. The screen includes battery life, reception, missed calls, new messages and alerts. It also shows time, date and wallpaper - all of which can be altered and changed via the settings menu.
The Smartflip opens to reveal an impressive, bright and clear display. The 2.2-inch TFT LCD is smaller than many other smart phones, but this is required because of the size of the unit. It has a very good viewing angle and is clearly visible in sunlight. Beneath this is a keypad similar to the Motorola RAZR V3 with large flat buttons complemented by stylish silver imprints. Although the buttons require a firm press to activate, the keypad is far more intuitive to use than the RAZR V3. Our only complaint is with the size of the keys - they are fairly large and this makes your thumb a little sore when moving from key to key. Those with large fingers will definitely welcome this design though. The controls on the Smartflip are standard, with a 5-way navigational pad, two selection keys, answer and end call buttons and dedicated keys for home and back.
Features and Performance
We didn't know what to expect from the Smartflip interface, as Windows Mobile smart phones are usually operated via a stylus and touch screen and/or on-board keyboard. The Smartflip has neither of these, but i-Mate deserves a lot of credit for the easy operation of this unit. Menus are concise and simple, with the two selection buttons and navigational pad making life extremely simple and easy - we didn't feel the need for a stylus at any stage. On the home screen, the left selection button is the Windows Start button, and the right accesses Contacts. The functions of these keys change from application to application, making ease of use a definite advantage.
Where the Smartflip also excels is speed - this is the fastest Windows Mobile device we've ever reviewed. Its OMAP 850 195MHz processor works well and applications load very fast. Switching between running programs is effortless and besides startup there's not much lag to report - the camera in particular starts almost the moment you open it.
The Smartflip is fitted with 64MB RAM and 64MB ROM, of which 44MB is available for storing your data. This is fairly standard, although perhaps 128MB of RAM would have been a better option. Thankfully the Smartflips memory can be expanded thanks to a microSD (formerly Transflash) slot. The most disappointing aspect of this is its location underneath the battery - this means you'll have to turn off the phone, slide off the back cover and remove the battery just to access it the card slot.
The Smartflip includes a 1.3 megapixel camera, but most smart phones are currently shipping with 2.0 megapixel or greater cameras. The camera does have a number of features, including grayscale, sepia and cool effects, a 2 and 10 second self-timer, 2x digital zoom and the ability to adjust white balance settings, but it is missing perhaps the most vital of all - a flash. The quality of pictures isn't impressive with poor colour reproduction and image noise. The Smartflip also enables you to capture short (MMS) or long videos but the quality again isn't anything to write home about.
The biggest failing of the Smartflip is undoubtedly the lack of native Wi-Fi support. It includes GPRS and Bluetooth as connectivity options - infrared is also absent. We were also disappointed to learn that it isn't a 3G phone - only supporting the 2.5G network. Other features include a loud and clear hands free speakerphone, polyphonic MIDI ring tones, Java support, a microphone for voice dialing tags and MP3 player capabilities. Of course, the Smartflip includes the range of applications that come with Windows Mobile 5, including Pocket Outlook, Calendar, Contacts, Internet Explorer Mobile Windows Media Player, ActiveSync, Pocket MSN, Calculator and Games.
The Smartflip has an average battery life with up to five hours of talk time and 150 hours of standby time according to i-Mate figures. These are a little disappointing considering the phone isn't 3G. We found ourselves having to charge the phone every two nights or so, which is quite normal.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® Portable SSD
Huawei Mate 9
Google Daydream VR headset
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 5 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
Latest News Articles
- Xiaomi planning second version of its revolutionary Mi Mix ‘bezel-less’ phone
- 5G progress at Ericsson could help enterprises work worldwide
- Apple smartphones outsold Samsung's in Q4
- Apple joins Wireless Power Consortium, charging up iPhone 8 rumor
- Google might be gearing up to remove millions of Play Store apps next month
GGG Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- TP.Net DeveloperSA
- FTSolution Architect l MS Exchange, O365NSW
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- TPSenior Test AnalystQLD
- TPEnvironment Specialist(DevOps)QLD
- FTFull Stack PHP Developer - Focus on Front EndQLD
- FTProject / Implementation Coordinator (Junior-Mid Level) Sunshine Coast LocationQLD
- FTSalesforce Technical Consultant/Architect Global IT Company - SydneyNSW
- CCLevel 1/2 SAP Support AnalystACT
- CCSenior Systems EngineerNSW
- CCMarketing SpecialistNSW
- TPSCCM SpecialistVIC
- CCTechnical Support AnalystACT
- CCSecurity AnalystACT
- FTDynamics AX Functional ConsultantACT
- CCIT Solutions ArchitectQLD
- CCDeployment EngineerSA
- FTFront-End DevOps Developer/Consultant - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- FTApplications DeveloperACT
- FTBranch Practice Manager - SecurityQLD
- FTStorage Solution ArchitectVIC
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Supply Chain Modules)WA
- CCLevel 2 IT Service DeskQLD
- CCADABAS Natural DeveloperNSW
- CCCA ITCM / ITCA Engineer with some hands-on knowledge of scripting.NSW