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Review GSM phone Mitsubishi M430i
The handset appeared on the market about a year ago, when phones were not equipped with 2MP cameras at all. The first photos and its characteristics really impressed. Judge yourself, its external screen was 120x160 pixels at a physical size of 1.5" and a capability to show 262K colours, at that time even few phones could boast with such characteristics of their internal screen! The inner screen had twice bigger resolution of 240x320 pixels and a diagonal of 2.2", it shows 262K colours. Besides, miniSD (the maximum size is limited to 512MB) is supported, the matrix is 1 MEGA Pixel Fujion Lens Super CCD with the maximum resolution of 1224x1632 pixels, 10x digital zoom, manual switch to macromode and video recording at 176x144 pixels limited to 5MB per a record, 64 tones polyphony, formats supported as a call melody are 3gp, aac, midi, mmf. And all these features were integrated into a phone sized at 105x48x24 mm with the weight of 125 grams. Phone design has something in common with Samsung E700, which was very popular in 2004 all over the world.
Sense of proportion
The first impression of the phone, just at the time you take it in your hand, is caused by its size - the phone seems too large, though thin. This feeling is rather deceptive, since a closed phone has rather acceptable dimensions, and in several hours you will surely get used to it completely. The external side of the flip is tricolor - a grey plastic, which seems dull rounds the edges, however it is truly smooth, two plastic insertions with a mirror surface are near, and a dark blue panel is centered on the flip, it is partly covered with a transparent plastic. Under the plastic you will see an inscription "Mitsubishi", a display is a little below, and a large i-mode symbol and an indicator changing its colour depending on what actions you perform.
The back of the device is two-colour - grey plastic is the main and only a camera shutter is in dark blue, which adds some charm to the phone. And if the shutter were just grey, the phone would seem too plain. Here you will also see the manufacturer's name and its logo represented with three rhombs. A yellow letter of i-mode, a polyphonic loudspeaker (three gaps in the body) and a camera shutter itself. The shutter is not very easy to open. In fact, I haven't got used to dealing with it easily; despite there is a special arch-shaped projection on it for more comfortable opening. However it is easily closed and you even might think it will loosen with time. But on opening it again, you understand it won't happen, since you should put real effort to open it completely. This slightly unusual system of the shutter opening provides firm fixation, and it will not activate a camera in tight clothes, like that happens in Sony Ericsson K750i. The shutter hides a flash, a diode, which lights in red at shooting and activated the flash depending on the lighting, and the camera itself is deepened for about a half centimeter, which protects the lens from scratches. But not from the dust, which is so easily collected on the body groove. The battery cover is easy to open. A 830 mAh battery is placed under it.
The right side of the phone holds a swing-button for volume adjustment or zoom, headset connector closed with a rubber shutter, a Menu button, which serves for activating the menu at shooting, and a button serving as a shutter one at shooting and as a confirm one at working with the camera menu.
A memory card slot is placed on the left of the phone; it is covered with a rubber shutter. It may seem the shutter will tear away at first use, however that is not right. "Hot" memory card change is provided. On the top of the body a strap hole is placed, which is for people who love to carry their devices on their muscular necks. That seems Japanese people are better adapted for this, this weight is insignificant for them and, when they walk, the phone hits their muscular prelum or rests on their small tummy. Also a toddler for changing shooting modes is placed on the top (panoramic - macro). The toddler is firmly fixed, no accidental pressures and switches. And finally the bottom of the phone holds a dark IrDA gap (here it is fully functional), a fixed part of the body features a connector for an interface cable covered with a rubber shutter and a round charger connector.
The SIM-card holder is quite unusual, as it is plugged into a horizontal slit till a click, like a memory card. This phone will last for minimum two days at 30 minutes of conversations, 5-10 SMS and working with a camera a day. And in the standby mode, when the device is permanently on but you do not touch it, you will have it working for about 6 days. These results are quite good for a phone with such displays and rather small battery.
Now after we discussed the appearance of the phone, we can pass to its filling. It is opened easily, and a flip can be set in any position. The engineers have not equipped the handset with a spring for complete opening. So you will hear a typical crackle when opening it fully. It may scare you, for it seems like the joint went wrong. And truly the sound is quite original, it resembles that typical clap that you hear when closing a car door. And opening the flip, you see one more camera. And in fact, that is the same one camera. The developers just forgot to place a mirror on the back for self portrait, and thus integrated a camera module into the upper flip. Due to this feature, the camera is on the back when the phone is closed, and if it is open, you can feast your eyes upon your reflection, which turns in vertical line after shooting. This system is though unusual, but now new. For instance, it may be seen in LG T5100. The top of the flip also holds a loudspeaker, a note meaning the phone model and a display, besides the camera. Two number buttons and a microphone are placed on its bottom end. Here also are a call accept/dial button, the one for deleting characters, end call button and the one for leaving the standby mode, a key for entering the main menu and T9 button, a phonebook button, a message one, a button for entering the i-mode menu and a navi key with a confirm one integrated, which also can activate the camera in the standby mode. Pressing the navi button down, you access Fun&Media, top pressure will call Mode (Profiles), if you press left, you access the phonebook, and right will call message writing mode. All the buttons are slightly deepened into the body, however the pressures and fixed firmly and with a certain click. Almost any part of the menu allows using not only "Ok" button, but right/left pressures of the navi button to confirm your actions. You can move only either in a vertical or in a horizontal line in the menu, it is not cyclic, and you can't scroll all the menus just by pressing up/down or left/right buttons. Working with the menu is not very pleasant due to noticeable slow down while moving along the menu items. And the same concerns working with the phonebook. The main menu and subitems allow using number navigation.
Tools Tools holds a pocket-book, a calculator, a unit converter, alarm clock and IrDA activation. The pocket-book holds Calendar and To-do list, each of them can keep about 100 events.
Phone Book. Phonebook foresees 500 names in the phone memory and 250 names on a SIM.
Operator Menu is the third item. It is different for each operator.
Messages. Here you can look through/write an SMS, MMS, e-mail. Phone memory for SMS is 400 messages. Unfortunately, I failed adjusting MMS.
Camera will be discussed in a special part.
i-mode menu. From here you can write an e-mail with the maximum size of 300 KB or access the Internet. Nothing more is accessible.
Call logs. Here is a detailed list of incoming outgoing calls with information on call time and duration. The list is not erased even at the change of the SIM-card and is stored in the phone's memory. That may become a problem for someone.
Fun&Media Box is the eighth and the most interesting menu item. Here is all multimedia information downloaded from the network, the memory card, via IrDA and so on. Picture is the first item, all pictures and photos kept on the phone (16 MB of internal memory) and on the card are here. Then Melodies and Video follow, it may be viewed full-screen on the internal and external displays. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to scroll audio/video files. After them you will find Games&Applications and Speech Notes, where AMR, Frames are gathered and Other contains files that the phone can't understand.
Settings. Here are call settings, displays and keypad ones and so on. A significant thing about the phone is you can use a video or macromedia flash file as a screen saver on the internal screen. And from here you can format the memory card.
Setting available for shooting with an open flip
Resolution: 2M Pixels (1632x1224), Large (1280x960), Normal (640x480), Wallpaper (320x240), Portrait (240x240), Messaging (160x120) - all in one archive (420 KB, zip)
Setting available for shooting with a closed flip
Video Recorder - switches to video recording mode
Setting available for video recording with a closed flip
Resolution: Normal (176x144), Small (128x96)
Macromode can be used both when recording video and taking photos.
As you might have noticed, recording video and even taking photos is not the best feature of this phone. And macroshooting is the best. Photos taken in macromode can be compared with the ones in digital photo cameras. Regarding comfort at shooting, you will experience no problems, however the necessity in a camera on the upper flip remains arguable. Due to this you will have to peer at the external screen, which is not good as a viewfinder, as the grain is seen with a naked eye on it. And to check if the photo is good or not, you will have to open the flip before saving the photo, which is not for the faster shooting. However the engineers had to decide on these concessions, otherwise either the weight or the phone size would grow, or the quality of the integrated camera would be lower. The camera is average in every parameter, excluding macroshooting, of all officially and non-officially available on the markets. It evidently loses to the one integrated into the SE K750i, however is not an outsider.
Colour rendering of Mitsubishi M430i's internal screen is one of the best among similar ones. And its clearness deserves a sure 5. Colours slightly fade in the sun; however the information remains readable even at straight sun rays. (See photos from the Screen archive - Internal display, External display). And if you compare it with Sharp V902SH's screen, which is 0.2" larger, then you see how colour changes are clearer in the M430i. The display shows a more detailed picture, however at straight comparison colours seem faded on these both phones. Four interchangeable themes are present in the phone, and a user can change them. For example, the Daisy theme places a picture with a ladybird and a chamomile, where the number of petals signifies a signal level, and the ladybird's position means the battery charge. The external display, as we have already told, supports 262K colours. However it seems rather faded as compared with the internal one. The grain is really seen, and changes of colours are not smooth sometimes, so you will see artifacts. You should set the maximum brightness for the external screen to make it show colours more naturally.
So, what does an owner of Mitsubishi M430i gets? Stylish design, large displays, 2MP camera, musical and video player, a capability to exchange data with friend using e-mail, MMS (for Russia), in size it should not exceed 300 KB, however it can contain 640x480 pixels photo, which is quite enough. A good phonebook and a calendar, where you can store important information, integrated graphical accelerator by NVIDIA, which allows high indexes of work with Java applications. The menu is quite unusual due to its novelty, however with time it will turn quite comfortable, and you understand you can hardly refuse it.
Signal perception and voice transmission is qualitative. The handset can boast with quite a durable battery life - the handset lasted for about three days in case of 50-55 photos, recording video, 15 minutes of talks, file reception and transmission via IrDA and tests. All these are gathered in a one qualitative body pleasant to look at and sold for about 300 USD.
P.S.: The phone is a copy of Mitsubishi M900, which is produced only for Asian market. The differences mean the M900 has an integrated player and MP3 playback, a stereo headset is included into the kit, however this phone can't play Macromedia Flash files and forbids assigning video to phonebook users. And the main thing is the absence of i-mode and the limitation on the maximum size of media files - 5 MB (in the M900 available file size forms 8 MB).
Published 25 November 2005
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