Not quite ready for prime time
Reviewed on Tuesday June 1, 2004 by Tom, Vancouver, BC
Lots of directory capacity (300 entries)
Voice dialing works well with most normally spelled names, but names that are not usual English words, abbreviations, etc. are not understood by the phone, and are unrecognizable when the phone tries to read back these directory entries.
Color display looks good indoors and in the dark (but not in sunlight – see below).
Allows some user customizable functions.
The phone seems to experience frequent reception difficulty including excessive audio clicking. The signal strength seems to read lower (less than two bars out of five) in areas of the city that were four out of five bars or better on my last phone (Qualcomm Q-phone). The phone has very choppy reception if the signal strength is less than two bars out of five.
The display can not be read in the sunlight – the display just goes dark. Shading the display with your hand does not help.
The battery drains very fast (in approximately three hours) when the phone is open and the display is set to "Always Illuminated".
The phone is VERY SLOW to do things: over 25 seconds to boot up after turning the phone ON; five seconds to boot the camera function before you can take a picture (not good if you want to catch a photo-op that isn’t going to wait for you); a very lengthy and complicated button pushing routine and more delays (50 seconds) before you can send a photo; yet more delays between voice input commands.
They could have gone much further with user customizable features, display options, etc. For example: you can not add new Directory Group Names – you are forced to accept their four; no vibrate-then-ring option like the LG line of phones allow; limited choice of distinctive ring tones; powering the phone ON or OFF is accompanied by goofy music, which can be shut off to be silent, but I would have preferred the choice of a simple beep tone to provide audio confirmation. Yet they allocate menu space and allow endless options for marginally useful things like display background images and games.
All of the directory entries and all of the functions must be programmed through the phone’s keyboard – very time consuming and awkward. The option of doing this through my computer would have been nice, not to mention the ability to save my settings there.
Not enough memory: only 300kB maximum photo resolution; you can not store many photos, so the phone runs out of picture memory soon and does not tell you this until you have taken one photo too many - which you then must erase; and you can not use camera zoom when set to high resolution.
The photo quality is terrible and the photos frequently lack proper focus, especially for up-close detail (like photographing a written page), and in dim lighting (the built-in flash is useless). This camera feature is really just a toy or a conversation piece. Do not expect to be able to use it for taking any real pictures.
There is no IR or PC connectivity. If you do take a photo, you can not save it directly to your computer. At least with my service provider (Telus in Canada), you must upload the photo to their website or email it to yourself at a charge of $.25 per photo.
The phone seems to archive all of your picture captions which eventually causes a "This message is too big to send" warning to appear and prevents you from sending any more photos until you manually erase all of the archived captions (weird).
The keyboard illumination is poor. It uses a very dark blue light for the keycaps, which provides poor contrast in darkness. In addition, not all of each key is illuminated and some of the keycap letters are left dark.
There is no external display unless you want to flip the display around to face outward (and keep the display not illuminated if you want more than a few hours of battery life).
You must flip the phone open to power the phone ON or OFF – there is no external power button.
I find the phone to be a little too small. I would have preferred a slightly wider casing with a larger display (so that any name with more than eight characters does not have to scroll across the display), and a less crammed keyboard.
The casing is small and slippery. It could use some roughness or rubber to enhance holding friction.
The phone’s manual is sketchy, and its index is light on topics.