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O2 XDA Zinc review

O2 XDA Zinc review
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Retail Price: RM 2,355
AP Price: N/A
The O2 XDA Zinc Triband GSM/UMTS PDA phone offer efficiency and ease of messaging with its slide-out QWERTY keypad. Is powered by Intel PXA270 520 MHz Processor and built-in with 64MB RAM and 128MB ROM. Other features include a QVGA TFT LCD display with touchscreen support, Bluetooth 2.0, WiFi connectivity, and a 2 megapixel camera.
Review On : O2 XDA Zinc
Reviewed by: Jonathan Cheah
At A Glance:

Local Distributor: O2 Malaysia / FMG
Contact : 03-8026 7188
Build quality: 8/10
Applications: 9/10
Interface: 7/10
Value-for-money: 7/10
Overall rating: 8/10
+ Full Keyboard
+ 3G Capable
- Keyboard not responsive
- Slow response

The O2 Zinc looks just like the Dopod 838 except that it runs a little bit faster than the Dopod. However, the response of the device is still a little hesitant and a quick look around the Internet found many user complaints, most of them having to do with some Software bug or annoyance.

In the box
  • Handset Transceiver
  • Battery
  • Charger
  • USB Cable
  • Headset
  • Carry case
  • Manual and CD

    The phone
    The Zinc itself looks very businesslike, as its entire shell is in gunmetal grey and set with black buttons on the black strip surrounding the phone. That was not a great idea as I had to squint to see what kind of marks were on those buttons.
    The screen retains fingerprints much easily, but there is very little reason for the user to touch the screen. The slide-out keyboard is not very tactile and clicks rather awkwardly, but has keys of a fairly large size. I had to check frequently just to make sure that everything I typed in was there, and there were one or two misses in every word. In fact, I much preferred using the on-screen keyboard for my messaging. Typing in a series of numerals such as a phone number on this device would drive you up the wall.

    The review unit has a grey keypad, and the text is white with alternate text in blue. The headset and USB connectors are at the bottom of the device. The volume toggle is on the left side and so is the slide-to-lock mechanism. The camera button is on the right side and so is the infrared window.

    The O2 Zinc runs Windows Mobile 5.0, and uses an Intel XScale PXA 270 processor running at 520 MHz. O2 has installed a lot of applications inside the device which eliminates the need for the user to download and install everything. On the minus side, you donˇ¦t get to choose the programs that you want to use.

    The display is 2.8 inches long, and uses the same 240 x 320 pixels found in the much smaller Nokia 7373 screen which we just reviewed. However, the colour is only 65K deep and is rather shallow for this generation of devices. The O2 Zinc has 128 MB ROM and 64 MB RAM and supports push emails in addition to the SMS and MMS on offer. A miniSD slot allows for more storage if you so desire.
    However, the key feature of this device would be the multiple programs that O2 has preinstalled into the Zinc. First on the list would be O2 AutoInstall application which has a list of prepackaged programs ready for one click installation. Then there is the O2 AutoConfigurator which allows you to adjust the network settings of your device.
    O2 Connect is an application that lets you update the ROM and get other content for the device through the O2 website. O2 MessagePlus is the centre for all the messaging traffic going in and out from the device. O2 also has SMS Plus and Phone Plus programs installed on the device as well.

    This is a tri-band device supporting GSM 900, 1800 and 1900 in addition to 3G capabilities. It supports data transfer over Class 10 GPRS speeds and the device has built-in WiFi capabilities. Browsing is limited to using Internet Explorer as this is a Windows device.

    Well, if the device retails at this price, you would expect that it comes with all the bells and whistles common to devices of this period. With regard to local connectivity, Bluetooth is an integrated feature and Infrared is also built in to the device.
    The battery is quite robust for a device like this. That large screen is not easy to keep powered, and the battery life in this product did very well on a single charge, reading 60% full since the last charge preformed three days ago. Of course, usage was very minimum but it still does much better than most of its competitors that last only about two days. This was a surprise as the specifications for the battery were a normal 1300 mAh and led us to expect only around two days of standby power.

    The O2 Zinc has a 2MB integrated camera on board. The response of the viewfinder is a little bit slow. When you rotate the camera around, the image on the screen takes a bit of time to adjust to whatever you are pointing the lens at.
    There are three modes, namely Auto, Night and Sport. The pictures can be shot in 1600 x 1200, 1280 x 960, 640 x 480 (the default setting), 320 x 240 and 80 x 60. There is a further MMS mode that automatically limits the picture size to a suitable size.

    The digital zoom goes up to 2.5 only but you can choose for a burst of four or nine pictures and add effects such as Black- White, Negative and Sepia to whatever you have snapped with the camera. However, the pictures shot were a little blurry. Check out the Photo Samples
    Videos are shot in either 176 x 144 or 128 x 96 pixel settings. Again, there is an option that limits the video size to something suitable for MMS transmission.

    There is a secondary VGA camera on the front of the device, just on top of the screen, and this one can be used to send your picture out during a video call, as this device is a 3G device.
    Both Bubble Breaker and Solitaire are in this device, just like in other Windows PPC devices. In case you are new to this, Bubble Breaker is a puzzle type game and Solitaire is similar to the card game found on your Windows PC at home or at the office.

    Editor's Opinion

    The O2 Zinc is a bulky toy to lug around all day. Thankfully, there is a leather case provided in the box for this. The O2 executives were rather upbeat about this product during the lunch last month, when they said that demand was quite high at the shops for this product. Few phone devices dare venture above the RM 3000 retail price.

    I think it was a fair product, with the advantage that O2 puts a lot of programs inside so you do not have to go and find them on the net. On the other hand, the response is much too slow for a power device such as this. The keyboard doesnˇ¦t do its job, which is to make text entry much easier than with a simple numberpad.
    This is probably good if you can get used to the insipid keyboard and use it a lot for messaging and emails. It is also good for porting around Powerpoint presentations to show people. It would not be good to carry around to the disco because of its weight and bulk. It probably comes down to whether you need the 3G and WiFi technology on offer in this device.

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