Gigabyte Gsmart MS820 Mobile Phone

Unveiling what seems to be their most powerful phone launched in the country – The Gsmart MS820 - Gigabyte the famous gaming motherboard makers, who have been in the phone making business for some time now, hope to thrill audiences with its many features. We used the handset for a period of 8 days and here's what we can tell you.

Form Factor :
It’s not a bad looking handset. In fact it’s slim and quite sleek with a 2.8-inch TFT resistive touchscreen display that sports a 480 x 640 pixel resolution and 65k colors with an accelerometer (G-Sensor). It has a round five way nav-pad and two buttons on either side for call take and end. On one side of this 14.1mm handset is a dedicated camera key for the 5MP AF camera (at the rear), zoom/volume keys and an open (not a good idea) micro USB hot swap slot. On the other side is nothing but a 2.5mm handsfree socket. A mini USB all-in-one port is located at the bottom and a Power/screen lock button is on the top. The Stylus is wedged in quite tightly and it was quite a pain most of the time to get out. It’ll take some getting used to. A secondary VGA camera is placed right near the earpiece above the display.

The MS820 may be slim and sleek but it’s quite weighted and we found it a little wide. It makes it a little uncomfortable in your pocket. Other than that it’s in no way an eyesore. Gigabyte has also included all the necessary accessories with the handset – a carry pouch, socket adapters for the charger, a spate car charging kit, USB cable and even an extra stylus. What would have been better than a car charger though is a Memory card as the handset doesn’t come with too much built in memory.

Features and Performance

Running on a Windows Mobile 6.1 platform with a Marvell PXA270 520MHz processor, we presumed the handset would have been quite the speed demon. We were wrong. The UI was a little too sluggish for comfort and hence made it difficult to do too much too quickly. Although rich with features, it took too long to activate most of them. It even took about 2 seconds after hitting the ‘Answer; button for the connection to be made for incoming calls and even longer before it actually disconnected. The default Windows UI required the use of the stylus almost all of the time; this is why we preferred the secondary touch sensitive interface, which not only looked good but was well designed and quite funky. The problem is, we figured you’d be able to use just your fingers to access and use most of the features and this UI was designed directly on top of Windows to facilitate just that, but that was not the case.

The interface is ‘finger friendly’ with a smooth gliding feel to it, a little similar to TouchFLO. By sliding your finger from the bottom upwards a rolodex type of 'Contacts' screen opens up. By sliding side ways multiple options become available. But all short cuts led back to the normal Windows UI so out came the stylus. If only it did as quickly as it was to say that. There were no on screen keypad that were designed to be used without the stylus so you’re stuck with the default Windows mobile, tiny buttoned options, even in landscape and the regular handwriting function as well.

Speaking of Landscape, the handset’s accelerometer comes to mind. Aside from the fact that it takes about 3-4 seconds to actually turn the screen around (all screens except the secondary UI's) because of the inane and unnecessary animation (which we couldn’t seem to shut off), it was way too erratic. To be more precise - out of control is the term that comes to mind. The slightest turn in any direction your wrist takes and you’ve got to wait till the screen turns one way and then flip it again to go back to normal. It was quite frustrating. Recommendation – switch it off and stick to manual, you won’t miss anything.

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