There’s no keyboard for text entry as there is with the M800 – it’s simply too slim to fit one in – but E-TEN has made an effort to make up for this by adding to Windows Mobile’s handwriting recognition and fiddly screen keyboard text entry methods. The X600’s screen-based Easy Keyboard consists of much bigger keys than the Microsoft version and as a result can be used to thumb type on, but it’s not as good as the iPhone’s, and you have to concentrate hard to avoid typos every other letter.
This isn’t the only software extra, though; the X600 is positively bristling with others. On the Today screen, for instance, the X600 makes use of Spb’s excellent Mobile Shell software, which adds a finger-driven tabbed menu for access to recent applications; automatically updated weather forecasts for pretty much every major city you’re ever likely to stay in; quick contacts; quick alarm; and a world clock view.
Elsewhere, you get an excellent speed dial application; a modified phone view that’s nippier in use than the standard Windows Mobile one; plus a pop-up shortcut panel. The latter is activated by one of the buttons below the screen and has buttons for launching the task manager application (another extra); switching between landscape and portrait mode; and cycling through a set of predefined phone profiles among others. And there’s more too, including Voice Commander for voice dialling and control over various phone functions; an enhanced Wireless Manager application that makes it easier to set up Bluetooth and Wi-Fi; a backup utility; a call filter … the list goes on.
And then there’s the screen. Its resolution may only be 320 x 240, not the fabulous 640 x 480 offered by the Glofiish X800 and M800, but it is just as bright and clear – among the best you’ll see on any smartphone. There’s also a 2-megapixel camera and an FM tuner thrown into the mix, though as with so many other smartphones, the X600 is equipped with a 2.5mm headphone jack, so you’ll either have to stick with the (rubbish for music) bundled hands-free headset, or buy an adaptor if you want to use your own headphones.