O2 Xda Zest Smartphone - O2 Xda Zest

Niall Magennis

By Niall Magennis

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

However, there are still some problems. Firstly, there are several jarring occasions when you'll find yourself rather rudely chucked back into the usual Windows Mobile menu system. Secondly, the on-screen keyboard is too small to be finger driven so you have to resort to the stylus (which is tucked away in a slot on the top right-hand corner of the device) when you want to compose emails or enter text into the web browser. With a bit of effort you can replace this with any number of more suitable and free software keyboards, but really O2 should have done this leg work for you.

On the storage front the handset has 256MB of flash ROM and 128MB of RAM onboard, but you can add extra space via MicroSD cards. However, the card slot is rather awkwardly placed under the SIM card holder, which means that it can't be reached without taking the battery out. We would have much preferred a more easily accessible slot so you could hot swap cards.

The Zest's 2.8in screen might be a tad small compared to those found on high-end handsets like the HTC Touch HD, but its sharp resolution of 480 x 640 pixels helps text and icons look very crisp. The display is also very bright and colours look wonderfully vivid too, with the result that it was great for watching videos downloaded from BBC iPlayer and for viewing digital photos.

The rear of the phone is home to the 3.0-megapixel snapper, but it's a pretty run-of-the-mill camera phone affair and lacks a flash so low light shooting is a no-no. Snaps taken in daylight don't look too bad when viewed on the phone's own screen, but when they're transferred to a PC the weaknesses, such as blurry edge detail, quickly become apparent.

The built-in GPS functionality, on the other hand, is a whole different kettle of fish. The phone uses the latest SiRFstarIII chipset which is very quick to pin point your location. To make best use of it you can try it out with the included Copilot 7 software, but unfortunately this is only a two week trial version. After this period has elapsed you have to shell out £49.99 if you want to continue using it. Naturally, we would have preferred to have the full version included as standard, but you can't have everything, especially at this price.

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut

Oliver Levett

November 27, 2008, 3:49 am

This is by no means the first no HTC XDA device.





Also, I'm intrigued to find special attention payed towards Cybero Voice Speed Dialer, given that it is implemented in virtually every WM6/6.1 ROM dump I've got my hands on.





Would have been nice to see some screen shots of the interface though... Also, I would be interested in a comparison with the HTC Touch 3G (essentially the closest competition for this), and the Touch 3Gs UI.

Alan 6

February 7, 2009, 3:35 am

I have a HTC Touch Dual, and my partner has the XDA Serra, which has 6.1 with the same interface I believe. I do like the interface, but I found it difficult to scroll. The Touch Dual has 6.0 and that also has Cybero Voice Speed Dialer, and I don't believe it is a simple to use as is made out here. Unless it is a different version to what is on the Serra(WM6.1) and the Touch Dual (WM6.0) You have (train it) to record voice tags against each contact and number, and each application you wish to use. The only voice software I have ever found as simple to use as is mentioned here was the Microsoft Voice Commander, where you pressed a dedicated button on the phone, and then just spoke, and the software interpreted your request - for example "What are my next appointments" ... "what is my battery level" and ... "Call x mobile" or "call y home" without any voice tag training at all. Why microsoft discontinued working on the software, I will never know - I believe it is not compatible with WM6. I think it was the best piece of software for mobile phones I ever encountered.

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