The rest of the software bundle isn’t too bad. Opera Mobile (8.65) is used as the standard browser in the O2 menu system and accessing sites over HSDPA or Wi-Fi is suitably zippy. The phone is also pre-loaded with the handy Cyberon Voice Commander software which adds pretty comprehensive voice dialling and voice control capabilities. For example, you can activate it and then tell it to call a specific person on their mobile number and it will search your contacts list for the correct name and number to use. Similarly, you can call out the name of a music track in your library of tunes and it will go and find it and start it playing for you.
During our test period we found that call quality was generally excellent and that the speakerphone mode works well, too, as the internal speaker is surprisingly loud. The Zest uses a 1,300mAh Lithium Ion battery and thankfully isn’t exceptional thirsty when it comes to power. On a single charge it managed to keep going for around two days with medium usage for phone calls, emailing and a bit of web surfing via Wi-Fi.
Overall, the Xda Zest is a neat little Smartphone. It’s certainly not the best looking handset around at the moment, but there’s something about it that just feels right in a way that other Windows Mobiles don’t. We think a large part of its charm is down to the fact that O2 has managed to strike a good balance between zippy hardware and a usable interface. The fact that it’s also pretty competitively priced only adds to the appeal.
Score in detail