Internals and Software
Let's now take a closer look at what's inside the X650; for starters it has a 500MHz Samsung SC3 2442 processor and this is 100MHz faster than the X600. The X650 has 64MB of RAM and 256 of ROM, again an upgrade from the X600's 128MB of ROM. We would've liked to have seen a bit more RAM as well, as with the integration of a GPS receiver the satellite navigation applications can be quite memory hungry, and if you're then running multiple applications at the same time, 64MB is a little bit stingey. Even more so when you consider that you have just shy of 20MB of usable RAM without any running applications. However, you do get about 140MB of free storage space which should at least allow you to install any satellite navigation software onto the device memory which is a nice touch.
The integrated GPS sports a SiRF Star III chipset which is one of the most popular on the market, and it also supports TMC in those countries where it's supported. This is thanks to the built in FM radio, yet another feature rarely seen in Windows Mobile devices. In terms of connectivity, the only thing missing is 3G, but E-TEN has the X800 series for those wanting this feature. The X650 supports quad band GSM (850/900/1800/1900MHz) and it also does GPRS and EDGE where available. Further to this you'll find 802.11b/g WiFi and Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR.
On the software side of things E-TEN has added a wide range of their own applications as well as some third party ones, and in all honesty this is quite a mixed bag. E-TEN has used a fair amount of applications from SPB, although these can be disabled if you don't like them. Some of the more standard applications that you're used to seeing on most Windows Mobile devices are however missing. E-TEN has gone for its own wireless manager and the icon looks like something from the days of Windows 3.11. Similarly, the Bluetooth manager is very different, although it's pretty straight forward to use so no big deal here.
Pressing the home button oddly enough doesn't take you to the home screen, but instead it brings up a menu which gives you the option to set the display in landscape mode, change scenario, turn the camera flash into a flashlight, start the task manager, get to the SMS manager, file explorer, calculator, wireless manager and finally the FM tuner application. This can indeed be useful, but the button should really have a different icon to make it more clear what it does. The default soft key shortcuts are also odd, as you have the choice of speed dial and contacts and they can't be user changed.
E-TEN has provided a couple of applications that allows you to try out the GPS, and one of them gives you a view of the earth and which satellites you're connected to. Alternatively, it shows you the latitude and longitude as well as altitude and speed. The altitude meter didn't seem to be that accurate though, as it changed constantly even though the altitude wasn't during out testing. There's also a digital compass, but for some reason it has two modes and it seemed to point in different directions when you switched between them, and as we didn't have a manual for this software we're not sure why this was the case.
The possibly somewhat more useful application is the so called Location SMS utility which allows you to send an e-mail with your exact position to someone, but unless they have a GPS with the ability to enter these details, it's not that helpful.
The camera application is also quite different from what we've seen on other Windows Mobile devices, and again it has rather clunky looking icons and the whole application felt sluggish when in use. The camera itself wasn't exactly what we'd call impressive in terms of quality. It's usable without the flash, but the sluggish application and the super slow auto focusing means that it's nigh on impossible to take pictures of moving targets. Enable the flash and you end up with washed out pictures that are useless.
Here's a shot which was originally taken at 1600x1200 with the flash turned on :-
And another without the flash :-
Clearly there's room for improvement, but I must admit I've seen worse.
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.
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.