The buttons on the keypad make good use of the large area by being well spaced and have a good feel to them. The screen is large at 2.5in and has an impressive resolution of 240 x 320. The phones party trick though is that the whole screen can be swivelled round and laid flat against the keyboard. The main beneficiary of this is that it’s possible to hold the phone as you would a camera to take snaps and video with the 1.92Megapixel CCD.
With the screen flipped round and the camera held horizontally, the buttons along the side fall easily under the fingers. The one on the right is used to activate the camera and to take pictures. Rocker buttons on the left are used to operate the zoom, though as it’s just a digital zoom there’s not much point using it. Pictures can be taken at a maximum QVGA resolution at 15fps. Holding the phone like this and viewing on the large screen is great – it feels more like a camcorder than a phone. When playing back the files on the PC the results look fine but it’s something of an illusion and when viewing on a PC, the relatively low resolution is really shown up. It’s fine for capturing something on the spur of the moment but not for posterity. The camera is certainly good enough for video calls though.
A useful feature is that the phone can output images to a TV via a supplied composite cable, though the LCD TV we used to test wasn’t kind to the quality of the video.
Vodaphone Live! works very well on the display and the buttons down the side can be use to navigate with the screen flipped round so you don’t even need to use the keyboard. The larger screen means that videos streamed over Vodafone Live! have an bigger impact than they do on other handsets, but they actually look slightly worse in terms of quality. This is because they content has to be scaled up to fit the larger screen, which actually makes it easier to spot the low bit-rate quality of the downloads.