HTC P6300 Panda Review

HTC P6300 Panda Review

So. This is the HTC P6300 then. If I’m to look into my bag of more supportive comments I’d probably find the words “well built” and “rugged”. I may also find phrases like “traditional style” and “classic sized screen”. If, however, I was to look into my less favourable bag I’d probably find words like “massive”, “fat” and “old design”.


The device confuses me. One moment I’m thinking, “Woah, this is huge. Why release a device this size?” Then I’m thinking, “Well, it’s no bigger than the Orange SPV M5000 is it?”


Despite my concerns there’s no doubt that this will tick boxes for mobile enterprise environments. I hadn’t put much thought into it but, whilst writing this review, I saw a TV programme about wheel clampers. They were using Pocket PC’s to take photos, punch in registration details, times and dates. They had tough, well built handsets which were big enough to “poke” and hard-wearing. The custom-made software ran on the phone, launched the camera application to snap number-plates and the connectivity fed details back to the central system instantly.

HTC P6300 Panda Review

Let’s be honest, the screen is massive. HTC call it “over-size” and it’s ideal for people who don’t often use mobile devices of this type. There’s also lots of on board memory plus a very familiar SD card slot at the top for those cheap, standard MMC/SD cards. This is complemented with generous on-board memory which means stacks of room for your custom software and storage requirements. Windows Mobile 5 has been chosen, I presume, because it means older applications will still run.



Although some people will look on this device as an “old” looking design with its’ big screen, chunky feel, older OS and SD slot, there’s a sizeable chunk of industries that demand a device like this. Imagine you’re rolling out a project to keep track of electrical or heating installations – you want a device that will take good photos, store them and create record a check-list of the installation. The device has to be solid, trustworthy and dependable.





Specs

The HTC P6300 is roughly 69.8 x 129.7 x 18.8 mm and weighs 200
grams with the battery.
OS – Windows Mobile 5.0 for Pocket PC Phone Edition AKU 3.3.1
CPU – 32bit Samsung SC32442 Chipset @ 400Mhz
Memory – 256 MB ROM, 128 MB RAM
Display – 240 x 320 "traditional" 3.5 "
Networks – GSM900, GSM1800, GSM1900 GPRS
Connectivity – Bluetooth 2.0, 802.11b/g WiFi, IR
Camera – 2 Megapixel with macro mode
 

Comparison Shots



First up I wanted to show you the real size of this device. Below you’ll find some comparison photos with the classic iPaq device…

 

HTC P6300 Panda Review
HTC P6300 Panda Review
 
The 6300 is on the left in these shots. Again, you may be surprised that the
more modern device is actually bigger and bulkier than the older iPaq..


HTC P6300 Panda Review
HTC P6300 Panda Review
 
Outside the device


OK, time for our usual fly-over of the device. On the lower half of the screen
is the main navigation button setup. Towards the centre is the circular
navigation control with a polished "action" button. Surrounding that is the two
soft-keys at the top with the "Windows" and "OK" buttons on the lower portion.

HTC P6300 Panda Review
 

You can also see the "call" and "end" keys on the outer edge. This section is
oval and the call / end keys jut out slightly so you can easily locate them.
 

HTC P6300 Panda Review


Above the main screen is the main earpiece plus the messaging and internet
buttons which will fire you straight into the relevant applications. You’ve also
got network activity lights in the very top corners here, which you should be
able to see on the shot below.
 

HTC P6300 Panda Review

Here’s the very top of the device. To the left is the IR beam followed by a
standard SD card slot (SD memory has been around for a while and prices are
incredibly cheap now) and a big fat power button. There’s no chance of missing
this – it’s a nice chunky button. In the above shot you can also see the stylus
on the far left plus those network activity LED’s on the top corners.

HTC P6300 Panda Review

Top left is the volume adjustment (that slider to the right) and
the voice speed dial access. As usual you just need to tap this to call someone
or run a program, or you can hold it down to record some audio notes or
dictation.

HTC P6300 Panda Review

Here’s the bottom. Nothing too surprising, there’s a standard
mini USB port (don’t worry if it looks slightly different to what you’re used
to, it IS the same as other Windows Mobiles). The reset switch and microphone is
also here. Notice how the call and end keys stick out on this shot.

HTC P6300 Panda Review

This shows the camera button and the stylus, which is just
sticking out at the top for illustration. There’s also a grill on the right here
(which is a little hard to see) which houses the main speaker.

HTC P6300 Panda Review

The back of the device has a large battery cover which is
grooved in a dome-shape. It offers excellent grip when you need it most. Under
this battery cover is the SIM card and, of course, battery.

HTC P6300 Panda Review

Above is a rather excellent 2 megapixel camera (I’ll get to this
in a moment) along with a vanity mirror for taking shots of yourself.

HTC P6300 Panda Review

 
Camera
 
The camera in the HTC P6300 has an electronic "switch" that lets you go from
close-up to normal shots. It’ll adjust the lens automatically at the click of
the screen.
 
HTC P6300 Panda Review
 
See that flower at the top of the preview screen? This is what you need to press
to do close-up shots. As usual you can adjust the brightness, zoom, resolution
and capture type. There’s other tools too, such as a self timer, where to store
images, metering mode and more. You also get a link into the "Pictures and
Videos" application so you can see what you’ve captured.
 
HTC P6300 Panda Review
 
In practice the camera worked rather well. Most of these shots were taken on a
very dull and wet summers day here in the UK.
The interior shots also came out OK, plus low-light situations didn’t seem to
pose a problem, although you sometimes had to ensure the device was kept quite
still whilst taking a shot.

Below is my usual collection of random pictures taken on the HTC P6300. You can
get the original "unsquashed" versions by clicking on these previews below.

 
 HTC P6300 Panda Review
HTC P6300 Panda Review
HTC P6300 Panda Review

HTC P6300 Panda Review
HTC P6300 Panda Review

HTC P6300 Panda Review
HTC P6300 Panda Review
 
Overview
 
Windows Mobile 5 is fairly widespread now, so I’m not going to go into too much
detail about the inner workings of the P6300. I have, however, done a video to
introduce you all to the HTC P6300. It shows what programs are available plus
more about the device size and some more comparisons..
 
 

Inside the device

 
There’s plenty of reviews here at Coolsmartphone.com featuring Windows Mobile
5.0 so we’re going to have a brief look at the HTC P6300 innards here. If you
want further detail on each program and application shown below, check out our
Orange SPV M5000
review
.
 
Here’s the home or "Today" screen. You can alter this through the settings
screen, or change the backdrop. Clicking on any of the information types will
either take you into a setting or program relating to that. For example,
clicking "No unread messages" will take you into the Messaging application etc.
 
HTC P6300 Panda Review
 
The main programs list reveals ActiveSync, for keeping
Contact, Calendar and other data sync’d with the office, plus Adobe Reader
for viewing those all-important PDF documents. HTC’s excellent AudioManager
software is also on board…
 
HTC P6300 Panda Review
HTC P6300 Panda Review
This will let you bop along to all your favourite tunes while
you’re on the move. Again, SD cards are extremely cheap, so you can load up
a large amount of tunes … that’s provided you don’t mind carrying the
large device around with you.
 
An MP3 trimmer is included too, so you can create your own
ringtones from the MP3’s on your card. It’s good to see Pocket MSN, which
allows instant messaging with others, and useful utilities like Terminal
Services (AKA RDP) for remotely controlling computers. This, I guess, shows
a good point about the large screen – it’s almost the same size as the PC
screen. :)
 
HTC P6300 Panda Review
HTC P6300 Panda Review

 
Zip is on-board, which is good news if you’ve just been sent
something that needs unpacking. We’ve also got the Office suite so we can
not only edit but also open Office documents and email them on. The
messaging application will do SMS, MMS, POP3 and Microsoft Exchange accounts
too.
 
 
HTC P6300 Panda Review 

  
Internet Explorer is here along with the usual viewing and
font-size tweaking so that you can browse sites as you’d like to see them.
 
Conclusion

This device is suited to two different categories of people. The first
category are those who love the older style Pocket PC’s. You know the type of
person I’m on about – they’ve probably also got
a huge Nokia 5.1

that still plays that annoying "Bida-Bee-Bee-Bida-Bee-Bee-Bida-Bee-Bee-BEEEEEP"
tune. They want a similar handset because they feel comfortable with it and know
how it works.

The second category of people are mobile business users. We’re talking
warehousing, fleet management and stock-taking. You want a big, hard-wearing
device that will survive the knocks, bangs and scratches. It’s got a nippy
400Mhz CPU and the "robust" (the PR people keep prodding me to say that word)
Windows Mobile 5 OS to run your custom software on. This will do the job, and no
doubt it’ll do the job well. It’ll write data to a standard SD card and you can
quickly read the data with card readers or via the miniUSB port. As a workhorse
it’s ideal.

On the downside however it’s a retro 2004-style unit that lacks 3G or even
EDGE connectivity. If you want to get a data connection then just hope that
there’s WiFi near you, otherwise you’ve got a tortuous wait for the GPRS to
splat the data down.

Imagine your Windows Mobile phone is a car. Most new devices now appearing
are executive cars – real top of the range ones too, with all the extras. Air
con, stability control, ABS, leather seats and sat-nav. If you want one like
that then you’d better start looking at the
HTC Kaiser
.
This, however, is a white van. Sure, you can sit in the outside lane of the
motorway in your executive car but there, behind you, is some guy in a white
transit TDI somehow managing to do the same speed as you. He’s got a big, wide,
boxy thing that doesn’t do everything yours does, but somehow it still keeps up
and it’ll carry a lot more while it does it.

Buy the HTC P6300 network-free for
£375.02.

Link –
HTC P6300

(aka Panda).
 

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