Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
O2 Xphone II
- Size, weight and form factor. Small device packed with features
- Slow boot-up time, VGA camera only, memory card swapping
The Xphone II bundles lots of features into a compact, sleek design. It would suit phone users needing basic organiser capabilities, but those wanting more comprehensive PDA features should stick to the Xda range.
Price$ 749.00 (AUD)
At 107.5 x 44.5 x 18mm and weighing only 102g, the Xphone II is much sleeker and slimmer than its predecessor. It's a small tri-band smartphone that is ideal for those wanting a mobile phone with additional PDA capabilities.
As with other O2 devices, the strongest selling point of the Xphone II is the 2.2" TFT LCD colour screen, which displays crisp images even in sunlight. Despite occupying so much real estate, the large screen size doesn't impact on the usability of the controls, which have angled keys ideal for sending text messages. A five-way navigation joystick is provided, along with a Home key, a Back key and two soft keys just under the screen.
Powered by a 195MHz Texas Instruments processor and with 32MB of installed RAM, the Xphone II runs smoothly--with the exception of its inordinately long boot-up time, over a minute to load properly. Another potential problem is that, while a miniSD flash memory slot is provided, adding or swapping a memory card requires turning off the device and removing the battery. In contrast, other O2 smartphones in the Xda range have a memory slot positioned at the top, making swapping cards easier.
Running Microsoft Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition, the Xphone II has Microsoft Pocket Outlook installed, allowing for synchronisation of Contacts, Calendar and Tasks. Users can synchronise wirelessly through infrared or Bluetooth, or by using a USB cable. The Xphone also supports SMS, MMS, instant messaging (through MSN Messenger) and Web browsing with Internet Explorer. Unlike the XDA range, the range of applications installed is basic, with the usual Calculator and few games but no Office applications.
For multimedia, Windows Media Player is provided but, like other O2 units, the Xphone II has a 2.5mm headphone jack, meaning standard headphone sets can't be used without an adapter. The VGA camera is a little disappointing, given that other phones now have moved on to 1.3 megapixels and more.
The Xphone II would suit users who want basic organiser functionality on their phones without the hassles of carrying around a much larger device.
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