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E-TEN Glofiish X650 GPS Smartphone (Page 1)

Lars puts the spotlight on a feature-packed Smartphone from E-TEN with built-in GPS and 640x480 display.
By Lars Göran Nilsson from Feb 10, 2008 @ 23:00 CST
TweakTown Rating: 81%Manufacturer: E-TEN

Introduction and First Glance

E-TEN and its Glofiish brand of Windows Mobile devices might not be familiar to you, but this is a company that has been around for quite a while; though unlike say HTC, they haven't struck up any deals with the mobile network providers to sell discounted or branded handsets. Instead, E-TEN tried going down a different route with all of its recent models featuring a built in GPS, something which has started to become a lot more common on recent Windows Mobile devices. However, the company is now looking at trying to get in with the network providers, which hopefully should see the Glofiish devices become a lot more affordable than they've been to date.

Today we're looking at the Glofiish X650 which is a slightly updated version of the X600, although they do share the same external design. Let's start with taking a look at the device itself. The X650 measures 107 x 58 x 14.7 mm (HxWxD) and weighs 136g with the battery. This is reasonably thin for a device of this type, but something like the HTC Touch is still a lot more pocket friendly.

The front of the X650 is home to a 2.8-inch 640x480 LCD display which can display 65k colours, and this is the first of the upgrades compared to the X600. This is definitely a step above most other Windows Mobile 6 Professional devices and something we hope other manufacturers will follow suit on. The only other manufacturer that we know of that uses a lot of VGA resolution displays on its devices is GSmart.

Below the screen is a vast array of buttons, more so than you see on most Windows Mobile devices that don't have a keypad. There are two rows of buttons with a small joystick in the middle. Starting with the top row going from left to right we have the Windows start button, left and right soft key and an OK button. The lower row has a call button, GPS button, home button and finally an end call button. The joystick is the main navigation control when you don't use the touch screen, and it can be depressed to make selections. Above the screen are two small LED's; the one on the left indicates WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS usage while the one on the right is charging and network connectivity indicator.

The buttons don't stop there though, on the right hand side you'll find the power/standby button as well as the camera shutter release button. On the left hand side are two volume control buttons as well as a button with dual functionality as it will start the voice dial application with a short press and the voice recorder with a long press. At the bottom of the left hand side is also a 2.5mm audio jack for the supplied headset.

At the bottom of the handset is a standard mini USB jack to which the charger connects, and this is also used for sync'ing the X650 with your computer. Here is also a slot for a micro SD card which seemed like a bad location at first, but the card is recessed quite deep so there shouldn't be any worry of accidental removal of the card. The stylus is also slotted into the bottom part of the handset right next to the USB port. Finally, around the back you'll find a 2 Megapixel camera with auto focus and an LED flash. The camera on the X600 doesn't have auto focus, but we'll talk a bit more about the camera later.

Our review sample had a two tone black and silver design with a metal inlay around the screen. The back was coated with a soft rubber like material as well as the front edges. The silver trim on the side looks quite smart and the buttons are also silver coloured which makes for an overall stylish design. One strange quirk of the X650 is that you have to remove the stylus to be able to remove the battery cover; we're not quite sure why E-TEN designed it like this, as it's just awkward. The 1,530mAh Lithium Polymer battery is locked in place with a small latch at the bottom, and underneath it is the SIM card holder. Battery life seemed to be no better than any other Windows Mobile device, i.e. 2-3 days of usage.

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