Mio 8390

Next is the dial button, which dials the number you’ve keyed in or selected from the phone book. To the right of this is the power/end call button – holding this for a few seconds will switch the phone off, while a short press ends the current call. Above this is the back key, which takes you back one menu step at a time and doubles as a clear key. Finally there is a second softkey at the top right hand side that defaults to the contacts menu.

The hardware specification of the Mio 8390 is quite impressive, with a 200MHz Intel PXA262 processor at its core; this is a pretty powerful phone. It wasn’t long ago that top spec PDAs featured 200MHz processors and it shows how quickly things have moved on over the last couple of years.

There’s 32MB of RAM for applications, although this can of course be increased with the help of an SD or MMC memory card. With the cost of memory cards dropping almost every day, the amount of storage that the Mio has, is really down to the user. There is also 48MB of ROM in which the pre-installed applications and OS reside.

Without going into too much detail about the operating system, there are differences between the various Windows Smartphone 2003 devices as the phone manufacturer can customize the menu structure and add its own applications. Add to this the fact that you can customise the phone to suit your own needs as well. This is why no two Smartphone 2003 phones will work in quite the same way, even though they are based on a common OS.

Common applications across the phones we have encountered are the Inbox, which is used for email and SMS, MMS and ActiveSync email to mention a few functions. It might be called something different and work slightly differently on various phones, but the main functions remain the same.

Next up is the Contacts menu, which works pretty much just like any other phone. Then there’s the Calendar, which is just that, a calendar, although it can be synchronised with Outlook through ActiveSync. Instead of a proprietary WAP browser all Smartphone 2003 devices come with Internet Explorer installed, which means that you can access any website, although most websites are hard to navigate on a 176 x 220 pixel display.

Another application that you should find on all Smartphone 2003 phones is Windows Media Player, which works much like the desktop version, although the functionality is somewhat limited. If you use MSN Messenger on a constant basis you’ll be glad to know that this is also one of the standard applications along with ActiveSync, Phone Explorer and Voice Notes. Some phones such as the Mio 8390 also features Pocket MSN, although we’re not certain how useful this is.

The Mio 8390 also comes with a range of applications of its own. There’s a specific application for the integrated camera, which is used for taking still shots and video. There is however no quick access button to the camera on the 8390, but you can add a quick dial, which will turn a key on the keypad into a short cut to the camera application. Considering that pretty much every camera phone on the market has a dedicated camera button, Mio seems to have missed a trick here.

Mio has also supplied a Java runtime application and a Photo ID application, which allows you to add pictures to your contacts, so you can tie faces with names. Then there is the curiously named PhoneViewer, which is an image viewer. Strangely, there is also an application called VideoPlayer – this is needed because very annoyingly, the videos that you shoot with the built in camera won’t play back in Windows Media Player.

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