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Review GSM phone Voxtel V310
The model Voxtel V310 is a developed version of the successful V300. It is a clear-cut decision not to disregard the apt model and make some exterior alternations, add some functionality and release. So do many mobile manufacturers.
The appearance difference from the predecessor is quite little and consists of another body colour and now the phone has a combination of silvery and black. The covering of the external body has changed as well and now it is entirely lacquered; the covering does get marked, but they are little seen. Thanks to these uncomplicated alternations, the device has become to look more respectable. It will suit both men and women as against V300 that is rather a feminine phone. The device dimensions have remained still: 75x38x21.5 mm and the weight equals 70 g.
Yet the manufacturer has put a picture of a woman and the inscription 'Woman style' on the box for no apparent reason, ill luck. You can see a picture of the box appearance below. If the body colour were, for instance, pastel pink, it would be obvious; and now we may only guess why the company has made such a strange decision about the unisex model promotion. And it is quite evident that the box design will scare away a part, though little, of the men costumers.
The front of the device has a work indictor and the centre of it and the space around are occupied by a small ornamental mirror. The indicator has three colours - red, yellow, and green. One could not select a colour in the menu as it was with V300.
There is also a colour STN screen of the 96x96 pixels (19x19 mm) resolution capable of showing 65K colours. The screen shows the preinstalled images greatly and photos loose their appeal, for the small dimensions and the STN matrix have a deleterious effect on the picture quality.
At an incoming call the external screen shows the caller's name (if his number is put in the phone book) or number. Besides, a small window (that is the limit in its side in regard to the screen dimensions) in the right contains a photo or image assigned to the caller. In order to descry the photo one has to use imagination greatly.
Another feature which involves the external screen is that, while the phone opened, it does not turn off, but keep running and the image orientation changes (i.e. turns about). When you are typing a number or at an incoming call, the information is repeated on the external screen so that everybody next to you can see the caller's name or number and photo or image if any. The device does not patently mean for spies - they will immediately disclose. Common users also seem to dislike people around to be aware of whom the former are calling. The defect is inherited from the predecessor model and has not been corrected, unfortunately.
The left side surface has a strap hole, a coupled volume button, a camera key and a headset gap shielded with a rubber shutter fixed to the body. There is a microphone and an interface gap on the bottom.
Having opened the clamshell, you will see an internal screen which exceeds little the external one in dimensions. The TFT screen of the resolution of 128x160 pixels (20.5x25.5 mm) is able to show 262K colours. The image quality is quite good and the screen is very hard to compare to those of other devices because of the small dimensions of the V300 screen.
The keypad is made of plastic and the number keys are modest in size and well-distributed so that mistypes are excluded. The keys are marked with Russian and English characters. The keypad backlight of blue is well-distributed and so all the characters are seen entirely. A 4D key with an OK key inscribed, though small, is very handy. Pressing any of four ways invokes fixed actions which are not to be reassigned.
The back surface has a camera lens that is placed not so ordinarily. Since it has been transferred from the upper cover (a common camera location of clamshells) to the lower cover, the camera objective is canted at an angle of 45 degrees for the convenience of the customs.
An accumulator battery also serves as a phone back. The capacity of the Li-Ion battery has increased and now equals 720 mAh and, according to the manufacturer, the device is able to work for up to 150 hours in standby mode and to 3.5 hours in talk mode. Under the condition of Moscow MTS network the handset has worked for 2 days in case of 20 minutes of talks a day and up to 20 minutes of using other functions. The use of the battery of the enhanced capacity has increased the battery life by about half a day as compared with the predecessor. Full charge takes an hour and a half approximately.
V310 is a replica of BD40 in functions, but, of course, there are some little distinctions concerned with the presence of the external screen. Only one representation of the menu is provided and this is an image with a title and only one menu item is shown at the same time. Thankfully there is no slowdown while a menu travel. A quick navigation using number sequences functions is provided in the main menu. Submenus can be switched using the navi button deviations to the left or right.
The device supports two menu languages - English and Russian. There is the predicative text input eZi for the both languages that runs with no trouble. The phone russianization is well carried out and item titles that do not fit the screen are shown as a creeping line.
Phone book. An access to this menu item is assigned to the right softkey. The device holds up to 1000 entries. Each entry could have name, up to three numbers and e-mail. Moreover you may appropriate one of 10 preinstalled images or a photo to an entry. The most curious thing is that any photo may not be appended to a contact as it must be created in a special mode - Phone Book photo.
A search in the phone book is made as a name one. Merely contacts of the device memory are shown. You can create 10 groups, specify a group name and assign your ring tone. Contacts to group must be saved on the device memory.
Messages. The handset contains up to 50 messages and supports EMS as well, and hence there is a set of small preset animations, images, and melodies. The device supports a multi-distribution to 6 numbers at the most. One of three melodies is to be assigned to an incoming message. Creating a MMS presents no difficulty, because everything is logical and clear; still only thing to be reduced is the number of actions.
Call list. This includes information about incoming, outgoing, missed, and rejected calls. There are also a time register and a data counter.
Profiles. There are some adjustable profiles. A quick profile shift is done with a down joystick inclination in standby mode.
Settings. The menu consists of date and time settings, backlight (5, 10, 20 seconds or permanent), menu language, and other.
Alarm-clock hides here too. There are three separate alarm-clocks and each could be once, daily and morning activation.
There are also screen settings. You can input your text which the internal screen is to show in standby mode, assign one of five preset images, two animations to wallpaper; besides, the device has three types of clock displaying and two calendars.
As for the external screen, you may select one of seven preset images or of six clock variants and moreover adjust contrast (10 levels).
Organizer. There is a phone book, a diary and a file manager. Event list permits viewing events monthly, weekly and daily. Each entry has a time on and off function, repeating (every week, month, and year) if determined, one of seven categories - meeting, call, trip etc. Moreover you are offered to input a title, an address and a text note of up to 20 characters. You can also determine an alert message in the range from 10 minutes to an hour.
To-do list allows entering a title (up to 20 characters), determining a date, status and priority.
The phone memory stores 50 events and tasks in all.
The file manager is engaged in viewing folders and files uploaded to the device, and a spare and used memory capacity. The phone memory totals 6832 Kb (in contrast to V300 that has just 1856 Kb), including 1024 Kb allocated to files (images, melodies and others), 2048 Kb to photos, 2048 Kb to WAP and 1024 Kb to Java applications.
Applications. This menu hides Othello the logic game, a simple calculator, a unit convector, and a world time function.
Voice note. There is an opportunity of recording voice notes; the time restriction of a note is 60 seconds.
Java. The handset supports MIDP 2.0. There is a preset game Mid Man (a clone of the popular game Pac Man). Installing other ones has run alright.
Internet. This holds a WAP browser of version 2.0.
Camera. Everything concerned with the camera is here. The 5x digital zoom activated by a back and forth deviation of the joystick and a left and right deviation allows contrast adjusting. The photo resolution could be the following: 640x480, 320x240, 160x120 and a Phone Book photo. There are 10 effects and 16 frames to apply to photos. Multishooting permits taking 6 photos successively with a small interval. There is an option of creating a double photo. Then the screen divides in two parts upright and next two taken frames are joined together. The similar opportunity is realised in Alcatel phones, but there it is called 'mosaic' and permits joining 4 frames.
A photo album allows viewing photos one by one and the whole list is impossible to observe. It is interesting that the password may be determined for certain pictures or the whole album so that nobody but you will be able to view. A photo looks well on the phone screen, yet it is not so good on computers. And you should not to upload them to a PC so that you feelings will not be hurt. However you can view the examples anyway.
PC synchronisation. As distinct from the previous models, V310 is supplied with a USB cable. Virtually it is a COM cable with a built-in adapter; you will have to install extra drivers, but still this is rather better than a COM cable provided. A programme PC Sync is also supplied; it is a very handy one and offers the following opportunities.
Melody master. This menu permits opening and editing melodies that is MP3 and WAV files stored on a PC and convert them into MMF. The gotten files can be first listened and then saved on a PC or transmitted to the mobile phone. There is a restriction of the melody capacity that equals 95 Kb.
Image master. The menu is engaged in editing and combining graphics on a PC and saving it on the mobile device. Thus one can create an original screensaver using no alien services. The BMP animation editor allows inserting images into frames and creating an animation effect within one file.
Photo master. This helps arrange photos stored on a PC in albums for ease store.
PIMS master. Here one can create Phonebook/Group/Timetable. Unfortunately, a contact and timetable synchronisation with MS Outlook is not provided.
SMS master. You may manage received SMS in this menu and work out a message to send and save not sent messages.
GPRS. It permits you to use the device as a GPRS modem.
As stated above, 1024 Kb is allocated to images, animation and melodies and it is not much enough even though a few users will be content with that.
The device rouse no censure about the connection quality and the microphone sensitivity suffices almost under any condition. The loudspeaker volume is modest and the interlocutor is not head well actually in a noisy street. The preset melodies sound alright thanks to the 40-instrument polyphony. As for an alert, one cannot but hear it even if the device lies under clothes or in a bag. The vibracall is poor and there is no reason to expect more from such a small phone.
The presence of the 1000 contact phone book, the Java support, the enhanced memory capacity as compared with the predecessor all form advantages. Another good thing is that a COM cable to synchronise to a PC is replaced with a USB cable. And to my mind, the new colour combination looks very interesting especially coupled with the lacquered covering. The shortcomings are the small unscalable font of the both screens so that you are likely to fail in fluent reading information. The fact that the manufacturer has remained the information repetition to the external screen at a call is, of course, a drawback. Furthermore the company should revise the box appearance.
The Voxtel V310 cost works out at 240 USD in Moscow by the time of reviewing. There is a competitor to be mentioned - Samsung E600 that costs 20-30 USD more. The E600's advantages are the popular brand and the more qualitative body. In other respects the models are similar and offer the comparable functionality. Voxtel V310 will substitute Voxtel V300 which will gradually get out of stock.
Published 16 May 2005
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