Gigabyte has done a good job in terms of component choice for the GSmart t600; first of all the CPU is a Marvell PXA270 operating at 520MHz which means plenty of grunt. This might very well be needed to do all the TV processing, as the GSmart t600 features a 480x640 display which measures 2.6-inches and can display 260,000 colours. It really looks stunning and responds quite quickly as well.
Add to this 256MB of flash memory, some 139MB of that being available to the user and 64MB of RAM. This is where we encountered a slight glitch with our review sample and hope it's something that will be fixed before the GSmart t600 hits retail. Although a total of 45MB of RAM should be available to the user, there seemed to be some kind of a memory leak, as even after a hard reset only about 21MB of memory was available. This would drop even further to about 13MB after a couple of days usage, even without any applications running.
This issue would cause the GSmart t600 to feel quite sluggish when in use. At first we thought this was due to Windows Mobile 6, but because the device worked just fine after a hard reset, we figured the problem had to lie elsewhere. What seemed to slow the device down for certain was to put up the Live Messenger on the home screen, but that's a different problem altogether.
In terms of connectivity the GSmart t600 is quite well specified. It has built in Wi-Fi 802.11b/g, Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR and a mini USB 2.0 port which also doubles up as the charging point. It's also got a microSD card slot and we had no problem using it with a 1GB Sandisk microSD card. Interestingly, the USB port can be changed from ActiveSync mode to SD card reader mode, which turns the GSmart t600 into a memory card reader which will plug in and work with any PC without initiating ActiveSync. Thankfully the phone will charge this way as well, as this has been a problem with older Windows Mobile devices, they wouldn't charge unless they were connected via ActiveSync.
The GSmart t600 is sadly not a 3G device, nor does it support EDGE. It has a quad band GSM radio which works at 850, 900, 1800 and 1900MHz and also supports GPRS Class 10. It saves the battery life to a degree, and with a 1,300mAh battery there isn't too much juice if you're going to watch a lot of TV on it.
A note on the keypad, well, the lack of I should say, as this handset has a touch screen. Gigabyte has only added a five way navigation key with a GSmart logo in the middle, two soft keys, a make and end call button and finally a Windows start button along with an ok button. Pretty basic, but it does the job.
Flip it over and you'll find the now fairly standard 2 Megapixel camera with an LED flash and a self portrait mirror. At least Gigabyte opted for a camera with auto focus, although it's quite slow at focusing and sometimes it doesn't do a very good job at all. The camera isn't the worst we've seen, but it can't compete with a real digital camera, though it's actually better than the one on the LG Prada phone.
As you can see, it has a problem handling too much sunlight and this is with the sun shining from behind, but the parts in the shadow look quite sharp. Indoors performance isn't great when it comes to colour reproduction, as you can see from the picture below. A word of advice if you happen to visit the food court at the Vieshow cinema in Taipei, stay away from the salad dressing at the Indian curry place, as they mix Rhode Island dressing with blueberry yogurt
Anyhow, the camera does an adequate job and the camera application is actually a lot better than the one we've seen on Windows Mobile 5 devices. You can see what it looks like in action below. It has a lot of settings, but you can bring up a full screen settings menu which makes it easy to adjust the various options.
The GSmart t600 measures 110 x 55.5 x 18.5mm (HxWxD) and it weighs 140g with the battery fitted. This makes it fairly heavy, though with that said it's still smaller than many other touch screen based Windows Mobile devices.
The GSmart t600 doesn't use the USB connector for headsets such as the HTC devices, instead it has a dedicated headset connector just above the SD card slot on the right hand side. Both the SD card slot and the headset connector are covered by plastic covers, although the problem is that these are quite large and can't be moved far enough out of the way. It might make the phone look nicer when the headset isn't used, but it will be an extra thing sticking out of your phone and something that can break easily when you plug in the headset.
>The stylus slides into the top of the phone and as we mentioned earlier, it has some problems. Because Gigabyte made the stylus double up as the antenna, it extends, but the problem with this is that when you just want to pull it out and use it as a stylus, you end up having to pull out the whole antenna most of the time before you can remove it. Due to the top part of the antenna being very thin, it doesn't seem too far fetched to think that this could easily snap off if you're not careful.
The other problem here is the tip of the stylus, it's round rather than pointy. This gives it a very odd feeling when you're using it on the touch screen and makes it difficult to pinpoint what you're trying to tap sometimes. Another problem with the lack of a tip on the stylus is the fact that it can't be inserted into the reset hole on the left hand side, as this is too small to fit the stylus, so you'll have to use something like a paperclip in its place.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
United States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon's website.
United Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon UK's website.
Australia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at PLE Computer's website.
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon Canada's website.