Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
- Glossy design, excellent scroll wheel, HSDPA, solid feature list
- mini-USB connector for headphones, fingerprint magnet, no keyboard, voice quality could be improved
If you can live without a slide out QWERTY keyboard, the D810 is an excellent option for those after a HSDPA smart phone. Sleek, stylish yet still packed with features, it comes highly recommended, although price is steep.
Price$ 1,349.00 (AUD)
Dopod's latest smart phone offers High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) connectivity in a sleek and stylish unit featuring a gloss black or white finish. The feature packed D810 also includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and infrared (IrDa) connectivity, as well as a convenient three-way scroll wheel for improved navigation, making it one of the better smart phones we've reviewed.
The D810 is a quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900), tri-band 3G (850/1900/2100), GPRS and 3.5G HSDPA capable smart phone. It performs quite well for voice calls, with reasonable in-call quality, but we found the volume is too soft, even at the maximum level. We also noted a slight echo at full volume. As with most smart phones the D810 isn't as loud or clear as regular mobile phones. In particular, it is difficult to hold a conversation with background noise, such as busy city traffic. The D810 is equipped with plenty of standard phone functions including a hands-free speakerphone, speed dialling, call history, and a 1000 entry phone book. Being a 3G handset, the D810 is also capable of video calling thanks to a front mounted VGA camera.
Running the popular Windows Mobile 5 operating system, the D810 naturally has mobile versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player 10 and Pocket MSN. Both the built-in 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and the GPRS/EDGE wireless functionality make the D810 an excellent email device. The standard Windows Mobile messaging application supports push email from a Microsoft Exchange mail server, as well as standard POP3 and IMAP email accounts such as Hotmail, GMail and Yahoo! Mail. Also standard is infrared (IrDa) and Bluetooth 2.0, with support for Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP), meaning users can wirelessly stream music to a compatible pair of Bluetooth headphones.
The D810 supports a wide range of file formats, most playable through Windows Media player. These include MP3, WMA, WAV, AAC and AMR files. Users can also assign any of these files for use as ring-tones. Unfortunately, the media support is let down by a mini-USB headphone jack instead of the standard 3.5mm, so you can't use your own set of headphones.
The D810's speed is below average for a smart phone. It makes use of a Samsung 400MHz processor, rather than a faster Intel XScale processor seen in units such as the O2 Xda Zinc. This isn't to say that the D810 is slow, rather that it's not as quick as some other competing units on the market. We experienced some sluggish performance when switching between applications playing video, and using the camera. The D810 has 128MB ROM as well as 64MB RAM, but Dopod has included a miniSD card slot on the right side of the phone for extra storage.
Photos taken with the 2 megapixel camera are decent, but far from sharp or vibrant. Unfortunately, there is no flash or light and not even the inclusion of a night-mode saves night time photography, which is near impossible. There is no self portrait mirror either. Being a 3G handset, the D810 includes a front mounted VGA camera and this can also be used for portrait photos. The camera is capable of capturing photos at resolutions from 160x120 up to 1600x1200, and has a range of options with video, panorama, burst and sports scene modes, 4x digital zoom, greyscale, sepia, cool and negative effects, the ability to adjust white balance, and a two or five second self-timer. The video camera records at resolutions of up to 352x288, but the quality is below average.
The D810 retains the same design as most Windows Mobile touch screen phones without a QWERTY keyboard, but there is one excellent inclusion which sets it apart from the rest. On the left side is a three-way scroll wheel that operates similarly to how older BlackBerry phones once did. Scroll up and down to move through menu items and press in to select. The D810 still includes a stylus and the standard array of buttons, but the scroll wheel does make navigation much easier and far more effective.
A five-way navigational pad, answer/end call keys, two selection buttons and dedicated keys for the Start menu, OK, camera, voice commands and power are also present. There are two OK buttons; one to the right of the navigational pad on the front of the unit, and the other sitting below the scroll wheel on the left side. Overall, Dopod has made ease of use a priority on the D810, and the result is an excellent phone to operate.
The D810 is finished in an attractive, gloss black plastic, and although it looks both sleek and stylish, the surface is a real fingerprint magnet. It is also available in "immaculate white" in Australia. The unit measures 108mm x 58.2mm x 18.4mm and weighs a reasonable 150g with the battery inserted. The 2.8in LCD touch screen is fairly standard, with a 320x240 resolution and 65K colour. It isn't the brightest and clearest smart phone display we've reviewed, but it's more than adequate.
Battery life is standard for a smart phone according to Dopod figures of up to five hours of talk time and 250 hours of standby time on a standard GSM network. These figures diminish when using a 3G network, dropping to 200 hours of standby and just four hours of talk time. We charged the D810 every two days on average, although keep in mind that constant use of the multimedia functions will shorten battery life further. Conveniently, the D810 charged via either a standard mini-USB cable or an included AC adapter.
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