Software (cont.) and Conclusion
Other useful applications include the audio mixer which enables to you boost the bass and treble as well as add some spatial 3D effects. Then there's GIGABYTE's custom Bluetooth application which is somewhat confusing at first, but it offers some simplified ways of sending your vCard information to another handset. Another feature we really like is the Block List, this enables you to block calls from any number you want. If you receive an incoming call from one of these numbers, the phone simply won't ring.
There's also an application that allows you to set the performance of the CPU in the i350; the options are Standard Mode, which automatically adjusts the CPU speed and puts the screen brightness to medium, PowerSaving Mode which clocks it down to about 200MHz and sets the screen brightness to its lowest setting, and finally Performance Mode which runs it at full speed and pushes up the screen backlight to full as well.
Finally there's GSmart's Wise Talk utility, which is part answering machine and part spy gadget. You can set it up to record messages and use this instead of your mobile network's answering service; you can even have different messages for different callers which can be handy if you're in a meeting and need to pass on a message for someone. It doesn't replace your mobile network's answering service though, as it doesn't work when you're on a call or when the phone is switched off.
The other part of Wise Talk is slightly dodgy, but great for those that don't like being caught out as it allows you to record various background noises which can be played back during a phone call to simulate your location if you happen to be somewhere else. This seems more like a cheap spy toy to us than a really functional feature, unless you're up to something you shouldn't really be...
So, how to sum things up? Well, the i350 is a decent enough handset with a few minor issues and it lacks some features, most importantly 3G connectivity. It's quite keenly priced at around $385 AU, but this was in Taiwan and it's most likely going to be more expensive in Australia. This price did included a copy of Garmin Mobile XT as well as a 2GB mini SD card, so a bare package should retail for less. We're not sure when GSmart will release the i350 world wide, but hopefully it won't be too long.
The handset was first launched on the Russian market, but we can't imagine that GIGABYTE won't unleash it onto the rest of the world, even though it might not be a cutting edge handset. Besides, not everyone needs 3G and if you're looking for an affordable Windows Mobile 6 device or an affordable phone with built in GPS, then this might be just what you've been waiting for.