Introduction and First Glance
A little while ago we took a look at the Glofiish X650 from E-TEN and although it had a wide range of good features, the package as a whole had us feeling it was a bit overpriced. The reason for this is the X800, the bigger brother to the X6x0-series, as it's not much more expensive than the X650 and still manages to add a wide range of extra functionality which we think you'd want in the first place if you're spending this kind of cash on your Smartphone. Normally we don't start a review with the pricing, but as the X650 will set you back $799.95AU ($559.99US), it's not hard to see many potential buyers going for the X800 instead at $889.96AU ($599.95US).
The main difference between the X800 and X650 is the fact that the X800 supports 3G and HSDPA data transfers. This alone makes it a much more useful device for those that need fast wireless data access on the move. With support for 850, 1900 and 2100MHz 3G and 850, 900, 1800 and 1900MHz GSM with GRPS and EDGE, there are only going to be a few countries in the world this phone can't be used in. We could pretty much end this review here, as in terms of features, the X800 is almost identical from now on. It sports 802.11b/g WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR and also that E-TEN special; a built in SiRF Star III GPS receiver with TMC where it's supported.
As this is a 3G device, it also has a forward facing camera, something the X650 doesn't have, and it's used for video calls. The rear 2 Megapixel camera features auto focus and has a small LED light in lieu of a camera flash. The picture quality appears to be somewhat better than on the X650, but still not great.
Sadly the camera software is just as slow and awkward to use and has the same dreadful icons. The X800 also features 256MB of ROM for storage and a bit over 127MB is available for usage. There's 64MB of RAM, but less than 20MB is available after a fresh restart, which isn't great and we'd like to have seen more RAM on a top-of-the-range model such as this.
The processor is the same 500MHz Samsung SC3 2442, but oddly enough the X800 seems to suffer from random lockups, something we didn't see with the X650. Hopefully this will be solved in a later firmware, as the review unit was supplied with the latest firmware version installed. The screen still measures 2.8-inches and has the same 480x640 resolution as the X650. Saying that, the X800 is already available while the X650 is only available for pre-order, which means at the moment the X800 is going up against the X600 which only has a 240x320 display. We're very fond of VGA resolution displays on devices such as this, and the screen is great for a wide range of usages including browsing the web, although you're still limited to what sites works well on a mobile device.
Just below the screen are the main keys of the phone; sadly the X800 has the same joystick as the X650 and it certainly hasn't grown on us since the X650 review. The layout of the keys are also somewhat odd, with the call and end call buttons on the far sides of the handset, and two soft keys quite far down from the display on each side of the joystick. On the left is a GPS button and on the right is a home key, all four buttons here are black with red markings.
All the way at the bottom is the Windows Start menu key and the ok/back key, and they share the same plastic details as the call and end call buttons. It's not that intuitive to use compared to other Smartphones we've used, and in all fairness we prefer the layout on the X650.
More Features and Final Thoughts
Continuing around the edges of the device; starting on the left hand side is a volume rocker key, a voice dial/voice recorder button, a recessed reset button and all the way down at the bottom a 2.5mm headset jack. Also at the bottom is the microphone which is used both for voice calls and voice recordings. In the middle is a small flap which conceals the micro SD card slot, although it makes it slightly trickier than normal to get the card out, but it also helps prevent some dust entering the handset.
Finally, we have a mini USB port and the storage slot for the stylus here. On the right hand side is the camera button and as the X800 features auto focus, albeit a very slow auto focus, the button has two stages to it. Our only concern here is that it sticks out quite far and looks like it might get some extra wear, at least if you keep the phone in your pocket. At the top is the power button, but unlike most other Windows Mobile devices we've tested, it doesn't allow you to switch off the handset when depressed over a period of time.
General build quality is pretty good with a metal inlay around the display, but we're not keen at all on the battery cover. Unlike the X650, the battery cover on the X800 comes off without having to remove the stylus, but it's just pulled off and it looks like some of the plastic tabs can be damaged if you're too rough when taking it off. However, once you've put your SIM card in, there shouldn't really be any reason to take the back cover off again. The supplied battery is rated at 1,530mAh which seems to be slightly better than the norm on these kinds of devices. With fairly light usage, the battery seemed to last about two days or so, but as long as you charge the handset once a day, it should cope with a fair amount of 3G and WiFi usage.
The X800 measures 113x60.5x15.8mm (HxWxD) and weighs in at 165g compared to 107x58x14.7mm (HxWxD) and 136g for the X650. This is what you end having to pay for the addition of 3G, HSDPA and video calls and it really comes down to if you need these features or not when choosing between the two. The X800 is a clear winner compared to the older X600 which is currently available, but if you don't need the 3G features and are keen on the Glofiish devices from E-TEN, then we'd suggest the X650 in favour of the X800. However, 3G data is a key feature for many business users and having a 3G enabled handset with GPS can be very useful for those that travel a lot.
E-TEN provides a decent package in the box, with a belt clip carry bag, charger, USB cable, headset and a spare stylus. The headset is nothing out of the ordinary and looks just like what we've become accustomed with when it comes to Smartphones. This in itself isn't a good thing, but as the X800 has a built in FM radio and of course the ability to play back both music and video files, the headset quality should've been better than this, as most people will try to find a third party replacement. At least the X800 uses a standard 2.5mm socket, so there should be a wide range of suitable headsets (not headphones though) that will work with it.
We're not sold on the X800 either, but in all fairness, it is an older device compared to the X650 and the price difference is just too small to call it either which way. One of the major downsides is that you're unlikely to find E-TEN's devices subsidised by the mobile phone network providers, as the company haven't struck up a lot of deals as yet. But as Acer bought out E-TEN during the time between the X650 and this X800 review, it looks as if these handsets might become more affordable and easier to obtain.
With a bit better design from the help of Acer, we might see some really good devices in the future based on E-TEN's hardware, as it's all there; it's just not quite HTC as yet.
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