It’s all there… almost

It’s all there… almost
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First Published: Wed, Mar 28 2007. 12 18 AM IST
Updated: Wed, Mar 28 2007. 12 18 AM IST
A phone, a personal digital assistant (PDA) and a multimedia device all rolled into one. And all this powered by the familiar Windows platform. Say hello to the Dopod D600.
Powered by the Windows Mobile 5.0 platform, the Dopod D600 has all the standard features of a Windows Mobile phone but the real differentiator in most of these phones is the hardware features on offer—buttons and their placement, the quality of the camera and so on. The D600 delivers on some fronts, but not on all.
Build quality and hardware
The hardware build is impressive, but the phone feels bulky. There seems to be no reason for this. There are other phones with a similar form factor and features set that feel more sleek and compact. The argument in favour of the D600 is that it offers more control over the functions through buttons than most other Windows Mobile smartphones available.
On the whole, the hardware does feels robust and looks good,too with a steel grey finish. As expected, it did draw some attention too! The front of the phone has a large screen that’s superb when shooting pictures and viewing them, and equally purposeful when reading long messages or emails.
The back of the phone is clean, with only the camera lens and the battery cover. The sides and back of the phone are finished in rubber in black and successfully keep away fingerprints! This finish also offers better grip when using the phone. Just below this is a panel of buttons all intertwined and rather functional. The centre of the button panel is also the ‘action’ key and the buttons help in quick access of oft-used functions like messaging and contact list access. Although writing a message without the stylus is almost impossible, reading one can actually be a one-hand operation.
Functionality and performance
One of the biggest reasons for buying a Windows Mobile phone is the Active Sync functionality that lets you synchronise your settings and data with your Windows computer. On that front, the D600 stands strong.
Surprisingly, though, the phone lacks Wi-Fi capability and this is something most business users look for now in phones of this kind.
The call quality of the phone was above average and in low-signal parts the phone managed to cling to just about enough to let the conversation go on! Accessing key menus is simple and once you get used to the hardware buttons, you would not need the stylus for going through the phone. For messaging or writing emails, though, it’s inevitable.
The standard programmes included with the phone are Windows Media Player 10 Mobile, Pocket MSN, Internet Explorer Mobile, Word Mobile, Excel Mobile, Powerpoint Mobile, Voice Commander, Audio Manager, Adobe PDF Viewer, Network Wizard, Zio Golf Game and Sprite Backup. We didn’t get the game, but we suspect it’s on the bundled memory card or the installer CD.
Powered by a TI OMAP 850,195MHz chip, the phone displays sluggish functioning when opening programmes like the media player. Despite 64MB RAM and 128MB onboard ROM, it takes a little too long to execute some programmes. This apart, it’s a stable phone with robust running time and a battery that lasts pretty well in spite of the large screen.
Conclusion
Priced at approx Rs20,000, the D600 is a good entry-level phone if you are interested in moving to Windows Mobile phones and smartphones in general. However, the lack of Wi-Fi could be a problem as your usage pattern evolves, and the size also can get a bit irritating. With Dopod itself launching more models in India in the last few months, this phone may soon be out of favour with even the most budget-conscious buyers. But just for the price, it’s a pretty good buy.
Rating: 3/5
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First Published: Wed, Mar 28 2007. 12 18 AM IST
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