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CSL Spice MI300 review

CSL Spice MI300 review
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Retail Price: RM 850
AP Price: N/A
CSL Spice MI300, which is an Android phone, with a 600 MHz processor and a 5 megapixel camera. Other features include a 3.2 inch capacitive touchscreen, Wi-Fi, Media Player, GPS, Bluetooth, 3.5G connectivity and CSL Islamic feature(Azan Alarm & Kiblat).
Review On : CSL Spice MI300
By Lim Pei Hao
At A Glance:
Pros: - Responsive touchscreen
- Supports 3G and WiFi
- Supports multi-touch
- Cramped virtual keyboard
- Poor legibility under sunlight
CSL Spice Mi300 is an Android smartphone that is packed with many Features, including WiFi, GPS, web browser, music and video player. It is also available at a decent price.
CSL MI300 review

In the box
- Spice Mi300 transceiver
- 4GB MicroSD Card
- Charger
- USB cable
- Handset
- Manual
Exterior, Controls and Screen
The candybar phone measures at 114.9x56.8x12.6mm and weighs 114g. It fits comfortably into my palm. The device uses non-glossy plastic at the back of the phone, making it less slippery when the user is holding it with one hand. In front, a 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen dominates the surface of the phone, follow by a row of touch buttons (menu, home, search and back). The proximity sensor and earpiece are on the top. Additionally, there is a trackball at the bottom of the phone in between the green (call) and red (end) button.
In addition, the power button and the 3.5 mm audio jack sit on the top of the phone. At the back of the device is the 5MP Camera and the LED flash. On the right side is the volume rocker and the camera key. Meanwhile, the micro-USB port is on the left side of the phone.
Mi300 has a responsive capacitive touchscreen as it is able to capture every touch and allows smooth navigation and scrolling. It has a HVGA resolution of 320x480, similar to the HTC HD mini. The proximity sensors works well as it turns off the screen when the user holds up the phone to the ear when calling. The built-in accelerometer kicks in when the user rotates the phone but it only works when running certain application. The only drawback would be that it acts as a fingerprint magnet, like other touchscreen phones and it has a poor legibility under the sunlight even when the auto-backlit adjustment has been activated. Users are advised to carry a cloth at all times to wipe off the finger smudges.
The phone is running on Android 1.6 (Donut) and there are five homescreens for the user to customise. The phone is upgradable to Android 2.1 (Éclair). However, at the time of writing, CSL has not issued any updates on the upgrade yet.
An advantage of the Android OS is that all the user's contacts, calendar events and emails are automatically synced to a Google Account. In any case that a user has reformatted his/her phone accidentally, all the user needs to do is re-sync the data from Google via WiFi or 3G. Furthermore, the entire user’s contact list will be indexed. A contact can be searched for conveniently via the Google bar, instead of opening the contacts app. Another feature from Android is the unlock pattern. Users can Design their unique unlock pattern by connecting a minimum of 4 dots on the 3x3 points arrangement.
The device is preloaded with a number of social apps such as Blueberry Messenger, Facebook and Google Talk. It has a powerful email app that allows the user to consolidate all types of email accounts, including Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo Mail into a single location. In addition, the Android Market is only accessible to the free applications, where user is able to download news, utilities, themes, games and others.
Despite running on Android 1.6, the Spice Mi300 does support multi-touch. So, users can use a pinch gesture on the screen to zoom in a photo or enlarge a website. In addition, the device has copy and paste feature similar from the iPhone. The user is able to copy and paste by pressing and holding on the text. The device has a decent call quality, as a conversation could be heard by both parties even when the call was made in the LRT during peak hours.
We found out that using the virtual keyboard could be frustrating as it tends to capture the wrong key. This is probably caused by the cramped virtual keyboard (or perhaps we have big fingers) in portrait mode. However, the experience improved by using it in a landscape mode.
Mi300 comes with an auto-focus 5MP camera and is capable of producing a maximum resolution of 2560x1920 pixel jpeg pictures. In addition, the camera has a single LED flash that is bright enough to take a portrait in a poorly lit environment. However, the challenge arises when the user needs to navigate into the underlying menus to switch on or off the flash. Unfortunately, the camera does not handle well on the light exposure as pictures taken looked white-out and lacked sharpness. The device is able to shoot video at the maximum resolution of 640x480 in a 3gp format.
The device supports all the common connectivity options such as 3G, 802.11b/g WiFi and Bluetooth. It also supports HSDPA 7.2Mbps.
The Mi300 falls in between the Sony Ericsson X10 mini and the Apple iPhone. It may not be the best smartphone in the market, but it certainly has a good starting point with a responsive touchscreen. At RM1,099 it may not satisfy the tech enthusiast, but fulfils the basic requirements of a smartphone. The device is targetted at users who are new to the Android technology.
Conclusion: Robust Android phone at an affordable price.

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