Software - Continued
The FM tuner application feels unfinished but works quite well, and it can be set to Europe, US and Japan which is good for those that travel a lot. It's easy to make presets and you can type in a frequency if you know it when you make your presets.
Another utility that some might find useful is what E-TEN calls the Namecard Manager; this is a business card scanner utility that relies on the built-in camera. Having tried it on a few different business cards we can't say we were overly impressed, but some of it seemed to be camera related, although on curved font business cards the results were abysmal with hardly any of the text being correct. However, if you only deal with people that have simple fonts on their business cards it could shorten the time it takes you to enter all the information onto your phone.
One feature we do like is the call filter, as it allows you to blacklist numbers and this means that the handset won't ring if a number on the list tries to call you. The X650 also has four scenarios or modes that you can set and switch between, much like any other mobile phone. There's also a handy backup utility which allows you to back up all your phone data on a memory card. As we said in the beginning, the applications really are a mixed bag; some are really useful, others are terrible to use while some seem to be there just to make this handset different from every other Windows Mobile device.
We almost forgot to mention the accessories you get, which is a pretty decent bundle as the X650 comes with a nice quality leather case which can be attached to your belt, a charger with exchangeable tips (although our review unit only came with one), a carry strap, a USB cable and two styluses. An optional car mount can be purchased to suit the X650 for GPS use, but it would have been nice to have seen this as a standard inclusion.
We're not quite sold on the X650. It has a lot of potential and the screen is excellent, especially if you want to use it for web access or some light work thanks to the inclusion of Office for Windows Mobile. On the downside though, the slightly odd key layout and more importantly the joystick which is anything but a joy to use leaves a bit of a sour taste. The joystick actually has a tendency to poke your leg if you put the handset a certain way in your trousers pocket. It's one of those things where you'd be worried that it'd break off as it's not recessed like many other phones that rely on a joystick for navigation.
Size compared to the X800
Other issues are some of the included applications which look awful and aren't that user friendly; the worst of them has to be the camera application. Most of these issues should be quite easy for E-TEN to fix and a firmware upgrade should resolve the problems. At $555 US this isn't a cheap handset, but you do get quite a lot for your money and the X650 doesn't have any direct competitors in the market. The closest device we can think of is the HTC P3600, although this is a 3G handset but it lacks the high resolution display, is fatter and costs an extra $50 US. The other option would be E-TEN's X800 which is $45 US more, but comes with 3G as well. We should have a review of this coming shortly.
Overall, the E-TEN Glofiish X650 is a decent enough handset if you're looking for a Windows Mobile device with built-in GPS and a high resolution display. But if you can live with a separate GPS unit, there are better options out there for less money.