Under the hood, all is present and correct, however. There’s high speed data, with support for up to 3.6Mbit/sec HSDPA, quad-band GSM ensures the phone will be happy pretty much anywhere you can get a signal, and there’s GPRS and EDGE connectivity for when an HSDPA signal isn’t available. The Zinc II also has Wi-Fi for hotspot use, Bluetooth 2.0 and a SiRFstar III GPS receiver for use with Google Maps, or the navigation application of your choosing. A bundled GPS viewer application is a handy inclusion here, allowing you to check on the status of a GPS fix.
As the phone is a pre-production model, I wasn’t able to test battery life properly but the fact that it’s a 1,530mAh lithium polymer suggests that it should be longer than the usual two days or so you usually get out of lithium ion-based devices, which would be another bonus above competing Windows smartphones. Text messaging also wasn’t working, so it’s impossible to tell right now whether or not the Professional version of Windows Mobile 6.1 supports the threaded text messaging that the Standard version has.
While the 6.1 update to Windows Mobile, in its Professional version at least, is a bit of a disappointment from an ease of use perspective, the apparent improvements in speed should not be underestimated. The MWg Zinc II’s own UI enhancements, superb touchscreen, compact dimensions, excellent engineering and all-encompassing feature set also make this a handset worth considering in its own right.
In fact the Zinc II’s sheer speed, coupled with a decent alternative browser such as Opera Mini 4.1 makes this a serious rival to the still-superb HTC TyTN II; if the keyboard had been better, it could have outstripped it.
Score in detail