Panasonic VS3

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Panasonic VS3
  • Panasonic VS3
  • Panasonic VS3
  • Panasonic VS3

Pros

  • Stunning screen, 1.3 megapixel camera, easy to use menu/controls, personalisation lights, good battery life, price

Cons

  • Lack of Bluetooth and synchronisation options, below average call quality and sound levels

Bottom Line

If you can get around the lack of Bluetooth connectivity, the VS3 is an admirable fashion phone with most of the latest features, including a superb 1.3 megapixel camera and an intuitive flip button.

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The Panasonic VS3 is aimed at the fashion-conscious consumer. It has a clamshell design, a stunning 2.2" QVGA display screen and a high-quality digital camera.

The screen on the VS3 is definitely one of the best we've come across, and with a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels with 16 million colours, it's easy to understand why. The screen is crystal clear, bright and crisp and the colour depth is quite amazing for a mobile phone. Furthermore, at 2.2", it is larger than the majority of phone LCDs. The size and quality of the screen makes using the digital camera and included games that much more satisfying. We only have two issues with the screen: its viewing angle is poor, and it is easily smudged and quite difficult to keep clean.

The VS3 includes an exceptional 1.3 megapixel camera. The camera's multi-shot function was particularly notable--it can take 15 photos in just seven seconds. The camera also has picture effects, night mode, a self timer and video recording at 176 x 144 pixels. The quality of test shots taken with the camera was outstanding.

Panasonic has included an innovative flip button on the left side of the phone. Simply press the button and the phone flips open automatically, eliminating the need for two hands.

The phone has a customisable signal light that glows different colours depending on what the phone is currently doing. The VS3 also features interchangeable covers, which you screw on and off with a supplied mini-screwdriver.

The VS3 interface is uncomplicated, appearing very similar to the current Sony Ericsson menu system. For text entry, the VS3 supports most of the current input methods, including T9. T9 users will be slightly disappointed to learn that changing a word in the dictionary requires a press of the navigational pad to scroll through the word options. This slows down messaging times and requires users to take their finger off the keypad. Apart from this small issue, messaging on the VS3 was generally excellent, and the keypad is both stylish and responsive.

The VS3 has no Bluetooth or synchronisation options available. While this phone isn't aimed at the business user, most mobiles in this price range are equipped with Bluetooth connectivity. However, it does come with support for infrared and USB. The VS3 also includes MP3 support, with 32 MB internal memory. It also supports Java.

The audio quality during calls on the VS3 was slightly below average, and we felt the speaker wasn't loud enough. Battery life was surprisingly good, especially when considering the large, high-quality colour screen. During testing, the phone had a talk time of just less than 4 hours and standby time of about 5 days.

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