But let’s not get not get carried away here – this is no TyTN II (P4550/Kaiser). Even though it’s loaded with a SirfSTAR III GPS receiver and Wi-Fi adaptor, the X600 is a disappointment when it comes to mobile data. As with BlackBerry handhelds and the iPhone, you’re limited to EDGE-enhanced GPRS, with not even 3G let alone HSDPA to speed web browsing along. Admittedly that’s fine for email if you’re using push, but start to browse the web or download large attachments and you’ll soon find the X600 wanting.
The controls aren’t exactly the bee’s knees either, despite being an improvement over the M800’s. Apart from being quite tough to depress, they lack external markings, so even in daylight it can be hard to see which is which. They do light up once you’ve pressed one of them, but you shouldn’t have to do this. There’s also no scroll wheel, which would make navigating lists easier, and the telescopic stylus, tucked away in the bottom right corner, isn’t the nicest to use either.
Finally, as with the other Glofiish products I’ve reviewed recently, performance isn’t wonderful. The 400MHz Samsung processor seems to get bogged down in the Windows Mobile mire frequently, making the X600 sluggish to use. Battery life is nothing special either. Despite the fact that there’s no 3G or HSDPA chip inside sucking the life from the seemingly high-capacity 1,530mAh battery, I rarely got more than two full days of general use. That’s using it for push email during the day, the occasional phone call, a bit of web browsing, plus a snap here and there. I even switched the GSM off overnight, though I did leave the phone in standby so I could use the alarm.
Being an E-TEN product, and with no UK network ‘fully’ subsidising handsets as yet, the X600 is inevitably going to have niche appeal. If you’re someone who places priority on looks over function, its super slick design and impressive pocketability make it a handset worthy of consideration. But despite the wealth of software extras, the GPS and the FM tuner I can’t help feeling that, for my £289.95 (£142 on 24 month contract), I’d want a little bit more.
Score in detail