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When HTC brought out its connected Windows Mobile PDA, the TyTN, it was generally greeted with very positive vibes. I certainly rather liked it when I reviewed it back in July last year. The TyTN’s stand out feature was a keyboard that slides out underneath its long edge.
A bit later last year Riyad came out in favour of Orange’s incarnation of the TyTN, the SPV M3100 and again the sliding keyboard was an important factor.
Now the sliding keyboard is back, but the P4350 doesn’t quite have the wow factor that the TyTN and SPV M3100 did, because it is rather less than leading edge in some other respects.
The most notable problem is that the P4350 is Quad-band GSM but lacks 3G. Given that Windows Mobile connected Pocket PCs are ideal for Web surfing and that the keyboard makes mobile email more attractive, the absence of 3G speed really bites. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are both here, but there is no infra red.
This PDA is based on Windows Mobile 5.0 for Pocket PC Phone Edition. This has recently been surpassed by Windows Mobile 6. I expect the two versions of the OS to sit side by side on products in the market for a while, so this doesn’t immediately make the P4350 a poor choice. But there are some important improvements in Windows Mobile 6 and without them you aren’t getting the best available experience.
This Pocket PC takes a standard approach to design in that the front controls are underneath the screen while several additional controls sit on the left and right edges.
On the left side there is a volume rocker and a button that activates the built-in camera and can then be used to shoot images. On the right is a shortcut button to the Windows Mobile Comm Manager for controlling wireless communications. A short press of this starts voice control software while a longer press lets you make a voice recording.
The front buttons are large, flat and frankly, ugly. They are all very easy to hit and are responsive enough but I just don’t like the look of them. Call and End buttons are on the far outside edges, with a navigation key in the centre and soft-menu rockers with OK and Start Menu functions in-between.
The screen is nothing special. It measures 2.8 inches corner to corner, delivers 240 x 320 pixels in that space, and handles 65,000 colours.
The P4350 is rather heavy at 170g, and you’ll be aware of its presence if you carry it in a pocket. Its ‘footprint’ is in keeping with the current crop of Pocket PCs though. It measures 109mm tall and 59mm wide, not much taller than many ordinary phones and not a huge amount wider.