O2 Xda Zest Smartphone - O2 Xda Zest

Niall Magennis

By Niall Magennis

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

The rest of the software bundle isn't too bad. Opera Mobile (8.65) is used as the standard browser in the O2 menu system and accessing sites over HSDPA or Wi-Fi is suitably zippy. The phone is also pre-loaded with the handy Cyberon Voice Commander software which adds pretty comprehensive voice dialling and voice control capabilities. For example, you can activate it and then tell it to call a specific person on their mobile number and it will search your contacts list for the correct name and number to use. Similarly, you can call out the name of a music track in your library of tunes and it will go and find it and start it playing for you.

During our test period we found that call quality was generally excellent and that the speakerphone mode works well, too, as the internal speaker is surprisingly loud. The Zest uses a 1,300mAh Lithium Ion battery and thankfully isn't exceptional thirsty when it comes to power. On a single charge it managed to keep going for around two days with medium usage for phone calls, emailing and a bit of web surfing via Wi-Fi.

Verdict

Overall, the Xda Zest is a neat little Smartphone. It's certainly not the best looking handset around at the moment, but there's something about it that just feels right in a way that other Windows Mobiles don't. We think a large part of its charm is down to the fact that O2 has managed to strike a good balance between zippy hardware and a usable interface. The fact that it's also pretty competitively priced only adds to the appeal.

Overall Score

8

Scores In Detail

  • Performance 8
  • Value 8
  • Features 7
  • Design 7
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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