The design of the X600 is, I must confess, pretty swish. The deep red
strip around the edge of the handset and the black finish gives it a
classy feel. It’s a very nice looking handset with a black brushed
aluminium around the screen and a rubberised outer edge for increased
“hold-a-bility”. The navigation buttons impressed me too – well spaced
out, perfect size and they fit in with the overall design.
The joystick (I’m calling it a joystick, OK?) sits proud of the device
by quite some way, but it’s by no means ungainly.
A cool outer shell is all well and good, but we should check under the
hood first. A Samsung CPU runs at 400mhz and there’s quad-band GSM /
GPRS/ EDGE but alas no 3G. You do, however, get that GPS (SiRF Star III) functionality plus WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0, a
microSD card slot, 2 megapixel camera and an FM Radio.
There’s no VGA screen here, but it’s still very viewable even in direct
daylight. The OS is Windows Mobile Pro, which means touch-screen action and a
OK, so a quick tour around the device. As usual we’ve got a little video
for you. This one ends a bit abruptly because my camcorder batteries
gave out, but it’s only about 2 seconds shorter at the end than I
Up on the top of the handset there’s a cool “GPS” logo, just in case you
were in any doubt about the capabilities of the phone.
On the right side there’s your power button and, lower down, the camera
button. This, when the handset is rotated, is in the perfect “trigger”
position for taking photos.
At the bottom you’ve got the industry-standard miniUSB port, so anyone
upgrading from most other Windows Mobile phones won’t have to worry
about a new mass of cables. Next is the microSD card slot, letting you
simply push in a microSD card. Just to the left is the microphone. Below you can
also see the stylus tucked away on the right – it’s a retractable one and needs
a gentle pull from the back to come out.
On the left strip is the 2.5mm audio / handsfree port and the reset
button someway above it. Just above that is the button we showed you in
the video, which activates the Voice Commander software for simply
talking to your phone and making it do your bidding. The volume up /
down keys are right above that.
Those navigation keys we mentioned earlier are big, bold, rubber buttons
near to the bottom of the handset. Luckily they’re not as close to the
base as the Glofiish X800, which has somewhat fiddly thin navigation
keys right next to the bottom edge making using them tricky.
The GPS / satnav program of your choice gets a dedicated key and the
other keys are spaced well around it. Pressing the “Home” key gets you
into a quick-launch application letting you hope into text-messages,
media player, FM radio or calculator etc.
At the back is that 2 megapixel camera. It’s looks like
it’s got a flash and a vanity mirror, although I couldn’t find a way to
enable the flash, so I’m thinking it’s a rather clever blank bit of plastic. You should also be able to see the speaker here too.
The amount of extra software loaded into the Glofiish handset is
staggering. Most of the software isn’t your “added extra” variety
either, it’s mostly stuff to either enhance your user experience or
simply to make the phone do… phone stuff. For example, if I look into
“Settings->Remove Programs” on the X600 there’s stuff like “E-TEN
PhoneService” and “E-TEN BatteryMeter”. Surely some of this stuff should
be tucked away in the extended ROM? Either way, even if you do accidentally
delete some of this stuff and want it back, there’s an "Application Recovery"
option in the "Utilities" section which will let you put them back again.
Also in the "Utilities" area is the option to restore back to
factory defaults, a Bluetooth Manager and Backup utility. These can be seen
below. I like the addition of the Bluetooth Manager as, unfortunately, the
Microsoft version isn’t as friendly..
You’ll also find M-Desk, which gives a desktop-like experience
to your handset..
The 400Mhz CPU runs everything pretty well and menus zip along quite nicely. The camera application, however, sometimes took 5-6 seconds to start and we found that the preview screen judders around as if it’s having trouble dealing with the camera input.
This Glofiish handsets also comes with tweaks courtesy Cyberon and SPB Mobile Shell.
The former give you voice-control over your phone – you may have seen this in
the video earlier. Simply hit the button on the side of the phone and say, "Call
Bob" or "Play Kylie Minogue" and it’ll do it for you. SPB Mobile Shell brings
you weather forecasts and quick access to your contacts, alarm and recently used applications. There’s also a nice speed-dial application.
E-TEN have also added a nice ringtone adder program, call filter and something called “Scenarios”, which is basically
your profile settings.
A feature that’s also been added is a telephone blocking
application which will allow only certain people to call / text you. There’s
extra features here too – like the ability to stop unknown numbers, block all
calls completely or send a text to those on your block list. This could be
useful if you’re trying to get some work done and only want to allow your wife
to call you etc.
There’s the standard Office Mobile, Messenger application and the excellent Cyberon Voice Commander for complete hands-free control.
The FM Radio, after plugging in your headphones, is a nice added extra, so you can find your way to your
destination while listening to your favourite station.
I found that this not only does European FM frequencies (87.5 – 108Mhz) but
Japanese and American frequencies too – great for travellers. There’s a built-in
scan facility and you can even add your favourite stations. The graphic
equalizer is pretty swish too.
Hop into the "GPS" section of the programs listing and you’re
presented with the following three options. You can, of course, add your own
satnav software – TomTom, Garmin or whatever. You can also add Google Mobile
Maps for free.
When you hit the GPS button on the front of the device it fires
up the GPS Viewer, which shows your location by way of longitude and latitude
plus your speed and compass heading. You can switch to this 3D view (below) to
show you where the satellites are in the sky too. You can, of course, change
this button to start your favourite satnav software. I like the addition of
software like this though, as it’s a good sanity check and lets you know
everything is working – and that the GPS functionality is onboard.
Other extra touches like a location sender will let you text your position to a friend, whilst a GPS updater will ensure that your X600 is talking to the closest satellites for a quicker lock.
The GPS works quickly and, especially with the satellite data
update software updating things, the lock-time is fantastically quick.
The camera application, as we mentioned earlier, is a little disappointing.
It takes a good few seconds to load up and then, on the X600, there’s a definite
stutter as you move the handset around to take a shot. Also, when you hold the
phone with your "trigger finger" on the camera button, you’ll find that photos
ARE NOT taken in landscape format as default. This can be easily switched using
the little "Phone" logo below, but I found it a little strange that this was the
default setting, plus all my shots were being taken in 320×240 (a very low
resolution) instead of 2 megapixel. This is probably one of my biggest bugbears
about phones we review – all too many have their default camera settings on
"Low" with the resolution set to "Normal" instead of "Superfine". It simply
shouldn’t be this way. I’m definitely not going to single out E-TEN here, because
many other manufacturers ship their phones with camera settings on lower quality
settings for no real reason.
Below you can see the camera preview window showing the various settings. This
can either be shown or popped into the background when you’re snapping photos.
There’s plenty of options to play with here – dimension / resolution, white
balance, date stamp on / off, file format and special effects. I couldn’t
There’s also a MutliMedia Manager to view your images and videos afterwards.
Below I’ve taken some shots on the phone after ramping up the
quality to 2 megapixel. Inside shots come out fairly well, outside shots faired
better. I found also that, with the delay in the preview-screen update, I had to
wait a few seconds after pressing the camera button to save the shot. As usual,
click on these previews for the straight-from-the-device images.
Although it may look like there’s a flash at the back of the
handset I doubt very much that it’s there – there’s no way of turning it on in
the camera application.
The Glofiish X600 is a sturdy and well-designed handset which gives some nice extra touches. The lack of 3G and keyboard may prove to be a sticking point for some, but the style, added extras and WiFi capability make this a rather sexy handset with good specs considering its size.
The phone itself operates well and the GPS capabilities worked flawlessly. The
camera speed was a bit of a disappointment, but images did turn out reasonably
If you’re looking for a good design, rugged and small PDA with GPS
functionalities then I think that the Glofiish X600 definitely has a lot to
offer. The extra functionality adds value and the Voice Commander, SPB Mobile
Shell additions mean you’ll be doing the majority of daily tasks without your
stylus. This stylus is network-free, so you’re free to add any SIM and get
working straight away. It’s definitely worth considering if you’re in the
market for a well-formed, easy-to-use GPS-enabled phone. If you really need a great quality camera and 3G too, check out the HTC Touch Cruise.
Link – devicewire.co.uk (Currently £291.99 but check for updated prices)