MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.
- 1.3 megapixel camera, support for up to 256MB memory, plug and play
- Slow interface, can't lock the keypad, confusing number of buttons
Motorola has added extra multimedia functionality to the compact V635, but it lacks any standout features.
Price$ 758.00 (AUD)
The quad-band V635 features a colour screen, MP3 player, 1.2 megapixel camera and video capture in a clamshell design. Weighing 133g (which is rather heavy for phones this small) and measuring 49 x 89 x 25mm, the V635 is a sturdy and compact unit that slips easily into a pocket or purse.
While it displayed colours well, the internal 262,000 colour TFT screen of the V635 was a little disappointing. We found images were not sharp and the screen is prone to smudging. Although small, the internal screen displays an ample seven lines of text when messaging. When the phone is closed, the external display screen shows the time, battery level, signal strength and any incoming call or message alerts.
The menu system of the V635 takes some getting used to; the sheer number of options and bewildering amount of buttons on the keypad do not help. There are seven non-numeric buttons plus the five-way navigation joystick to navigate around the phone. It was hardly intuitive, and to access some options required going into several menus and submenus.
Another problem we had with the software was its speed--when starting up the device, loading music or personalising the phone for the first time, we had to wait up to 20 seconds for the programs to load.
The keypad is well built, with the keys slightly raised, easy to press and having a smooth, rounded feel. There is no quick way of locking the keypad. This shouldn't be much of an issue since when the phone is closed the keypad is shielded. However, the ring volume button on the side of the device could still be activated when the phone is closed.
We found entering text for messaging a little tedious. While the phone uses a predictive text system, the Delete and Select keys are positioned at the very top of the keypad. This meant we had to take our fingers off the keypad when typing messages to access these buttons, slowing us down considerably. The phone can store approximately 100 SMS messages and supports MMS for sending pictures or videos.
Featuring an 8X digital zoom, the installed 1.2 megapixel camera allows users to take photos at Thumbnail (120 x 160), Medium (480 x 640) and High (960 x 1280) resolutions. The camera has a flash, exposure settings, lighting options and a self timer. We found the picture quality was excellent, although it still can't compare to the 2 megapixel camera phones from Sony Ericsson. The V635 also allows up to 60 seconds of video recording at 176 x 144 pixels (with sound) and supports voice recording--but again only for 60 seconds.
We found the MP3 playback sound quality was average with the speaker hidden at the back of the unit. One aspect we found particularly annoying was that the volume control on the side of the phone didn't control the MP3 volume. You have to use the navigation joystick to navigate to the volume icon, select it and manually reduce the volume by pressing the button.
The V635 has a USB cable to connect to your PC and also supports Bluetooth and infrared. Transferring data to the supplied 64MB memory card is simply a matter of connecting the phone to the PC and then dropping music, picture or video files into the relevant folders. Motorola has also included Mobile Phone Tools version 3 for synchronisation with Microsoft Outlook.
The V635 supports the usual call list functions (missed, received, last dialled) and up to 1000 entries can be stored in the phone book. It also supports voice activation, and pictures can be assigned to caller IDs. The usual graphic options are included (skins, themes, wallpapers and screensavers) and as well as a hands-free speaker mode.
The unit ships with two games: FotoFunPack 2 and a golf game. The unit also features a calendar, calculator and alarm clock.
According to Motorola, the battery life of the unit is about 6 hours talk time and 235 hours on standby, and it took us just over 2 hours to fully recharge the unit.
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