O2 Xda Zinc
- Full QWERTY keyboard, Sleek and stylish but with an aura of sophistication in design, good voice quality, feature packed, O2 applications are useful
- Below average battery life, keyboard slider, some slowdown when switching between applications, 2.5mm headphone jack
The Zinc isn't faultless but is an option worth considering for anyone looking for a smart phone for plenty of emails. A good keyboard and plenty of features make this a solid, if not outstanding option.
Price$ 1,149.00 (AUD)
Sporting a full, slide-out QWERTY keyboard combined with a sleek and stylish design, the Xda Zinc is O2's latest smart phone. The feature packed Xda Zinc runs the Windows Mobile 5 operating system, has a 2 megapixel camera, Wi-Fi connectivity and full 3G support.
The Xda Zinc is a tri-band GSM 900/1800/1900, GPRS and WCDMA2100 phone. It performs quite well, with reasonable in-call quality and volume levels. We did note a slight echo at full volume, although this was a minor issue. The Xda Zinc offers standard phone functions seen on many smart phones, including a hands-free speakerphone, speed dialling, call history, and a 1000 entry phone book. Being a 3G handset, the Zinc is also capable of video calling.
Running the popular Windows Mobile 5 operating system, the Xda Zinc 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 Xda Zinc 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 Bluetooth and infrared connectivity.
The Zinc supports a wide range of file formats, most playable through Windows Media player. These include MIDI, MP3, WMA, WAV, AMR-NB and AAC files. Users can also assign MP3 and MIDI files for use as ring tones. Unfortunately, the media support is let down by a 2.5mm headphone jack instead of the standard 3.5mm. This means users will need an adapter before they can use their own set of headphones with the Zinc.
O2 also includes its own developed applications on the Xda Zinc; O2 AutoConfig, O2 AutoInstall, O2 Connect, O2 MessagePlus, O2 Phone Plus, and O2 SMS Plus. The best of these is undoubtedly O2 MessagePlus, which allows users to conveniently check any incoming messages on one screen. This application will display any new SMS, MMS, email and RSS feeds, allowing you to reply, forward, delete and backup any messages from one location.
The Zinc's speed is about average for a smart phone, and is helped along by an Intel XScale PXA 270 520MHz processor, 128MB of flash ROM, as well as 64MB of RAM. For the most part, the processor does a decent job, but we did experience some slow down when switching between applications and playing video. For extra storage, O2 has included a miniSD card slot on the left hand side of the unit.
Photos taken with the 2 megapixel camera were decent, but far from sharp or vibrant. There is no flash, but rather a light, which is ineffective during night time photography. A self portrait mirror sits just above the lens on the rear. Being a 3G handset, the Zinc also includes a front mounted VGA camera for video calling, but this can't be used for photos.
Capable of capturing photos at resolutions from 80x60 up to 1600x1200, the camera has a range of options with night and sports scene modes, 2.5x digital zoom, a five or 10 second self-timer, four and nine picture burst modes and a range of effects. There is also a video camera, which captures clips at resolutions up to 176x144, but the quality is below average and isn't recommended.
The Zinc may retain the same design features as most smart phones with a QWERTY keyboard, but we were impressed with its looks. The unit is finished in a metallic grey plastic, with chrome and silver highlights. The Zinc doesn't attract any unwanted fingerprints and is very easy to keep clean. It measures 109mm x 58mm x 22.6mm and weighs a reasonable 175g.
The slide out QWERTY keyboard is excellent for the most part, with good tactile feedback and comfortably sized keys. The keyboard is a little flat, but adequate spacing between each keys means users shouldn't have many problems typing SMS messages or emails. Unfortunately, sliding the keyboard in and out isn't a smooth experience, requiring a rather firm grip. It isn't spring operated, instead sliding on a plastic rail on each side of the keyboard.
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 for the job.
The Zinc has standard controls comprising of a five-way navigational pad, two selection buttons, answer and end call keys, as well as dedicated buttons for the Start menu and messages. There is also a dedicated camera button on the right hand side and volume controls on the left. The Zinc also includes a convenient hold slider, to guard against accidental key presses. Unfortunately, the slider is flat and requires a firm press to activate.
Battery life is a little below average according to O2 figures of up to five hours of talk time and 220 hours of standby time. Users will most likely be forced to recharge the Zinc every two days - even more if the phone is being used heavily for multimedia features like music playback and photos. The Zinc is conveniently charged via either a standard mini-USB cable or the included AC adapter.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 HTC U11 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Gigabyte Aero 15 corporate gaming laptop review
- 3 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 4 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
Latest News Articles
- OnePlus 5 rumors: Everything we know about the upcoming budget flagship
- Google makes the best Android apps easier to find with Android Excellence
- Motorola's Z2 Play comes with a smaller battery, a higher price tag, and new Moto Mods
- Sony outs launch details for its Xperia XZ Premium flagship and futuristic Touch projector
- Andy Rubin's Essential Phone is finally here and it's weird
PCW Evaluation Team
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
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.
- MSI GL62M 7RDX gaming laptop review
- Alcatel A3 XL phone: Full, in-depth review
- Sony X9300E 2017 TV: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTTest Manager - Applications - NSW GovernmentOther
- FTProgram ManagerSA
- FTResource /Operations AnalystOther
- TPETL DeveloperNSW
- TPSenior Business AnalystQLD
- CCData ArchitectNSW
- FTFull Stack .Net DeveloperWA
- FTTeam Leader Solution DeliveryQLD
- FTSecurity Solutions ManagerWA
- FTPrincipal ArchitectACT
- TPSenior .NET DeveloperNSW
- CCIT Contracts AnalystVIC
- FTSenior Microsoft SQL Designer/ArchitectOther
- FTDatabase DeveloperOther
- FTCRM DeveloperWA
- FTICT System TrainersACT
- FTSystem EngineerNSW
- FTSenior Project AnalystOther
- FTSEO ExecutiveOther
- FTProject / Program ManagerOther
- TPProgram Manager - 10+ month contractQLD
- FTAgile Test LeadOther
- FTSAP Test AnalystOther
- FTSAP CRM Functional ConsultantsACT