Like the Acer P400, this model uses a 3.2in resistive touchscreen, but the resolution is lower at 240 x 400 pixels. Because the screen is resistive, it doesn’t support multi-touch even though this feature is now integrated into the Windows Phone OS. However, the screen is bright and colours look quite vivid too. The resolution may not be anything to shout about, but it’s perfectly acceptable for viewing web pages and text, and images look reasonably crisp. The display is also quite sensitive to touch input, so even lighter presses of your finger are accurately registered.
The P300 has a slower processor than the one Acer used on the P400. It’s a Qualcomm chip clocked at 528MHz rather than 600MHz. These chips are related to the Snapdragon line, and include the OpenGL ES 2.0 engine, but they’re obviously not as quick as the full Snapdragon processor as the phone does struggle a little with lots of apps running and screen redraws can be a tad sluggish at times.
As with the P400, this model has a 3.2-megapixel camera mounted on the rear. There’s sadly no flash, but at least the camera does have autofocus. Strangely, the software driving the camera seems to be different to what Acer used on the P400. It’s actually better as it suffers less from shutter lag and gives you a visual indication of exactly what the autofocus is targeting. Photos taken outdoors come out well and there’s a fair amount of detail in the images given the limited resolution of the sensor. As you would expect, though, indoor shots suffer from the lack of a flash. They’re generally very dark and noisy unless there is heaps of light streaming into the room.
When it comes to connectivity, the handset covers all the bases. HSDPA mobile data is supported alongside Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. There’s also onboard GPS and although there’s no navigation software included, the GPS chip did work well in Google Maps as it was fairly fast to get a lock on our location. Call quality was also impressive as the earpiece delivers crisp audio and the mic isn’t overly directional so you don’t have to talk directly into it as you do on the iPhone.
As with the majority of Windows Phone devices, the P300’s battery is good for around two days of normal usage for phone calls and a bit of web surfing. However. the GPS chip does drain the battery quite quickly, so if you make heavy use of it you can expect the battery life to drop to under a day.
We think the P300 is better than Samsung’s Omnia Pro, but nowhere near as good as HTC’s Touch Pro2. If you’re on a tight budget and want a Windows-based handset with a full keyboard it’s certainly worth a look as it is attractively priced. However, those with a bit more cash to spend would be better off opting for HTC’s model instead.
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