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Sony Ericsson G700 Review

 

Sony Ericsson G700 Review

 
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On-screen QWERTY is also nice but I found some characters to be missing, like "&" for example. On has to dig deeper in the menu to find these extra characters. The multiple input methods are a nice touch and one can use the method that one is more comfortable with. Although it must be said that nothing beats a full QWERTY keypad and had it been present, it'd have easily been the fastest at entering text.

Calling & Messaging

The call quality is excellent on the phone. Both the caller and the called can hear each other perfectly. Signal reception is also good enough. The Contacts app is also good enough. One can enter multiple numbers per contact and assign a picture and a ringtone and stuff like that. In other words, nothing out of the ordinary here and everything that one would expect. Ditto about the messaging app.

UI Design, Speed & Multitasking

The UI of the G700 is a typical SE UIQ. Firstly on the standby screen one can put a row of shortcut icons at the bottom and then scroll through them. This contains stuff like the music player, the alarm, bookmarks, RSS feeds and some other shortcuts. This is the default arrangement. One can also select Business view which puts a number of shortcut icons on the screen and a Today's option, as in P1i. Then there is also the option to keep the screen blank and display a large clock.

Entering the menu shows up a grid of 9 icons- Organizer, Internet, Entertainment, Calendar, Messaging, Media, Calls, Contacts and Settings. Organizer has stuff like File Manager, Tasks, Notes, Time & Alarm, Torch Calculator, Converter, Quick Office, PDF+ and stuff like that. Entertainment has stuff like Camera, FM radio, TrackID, Playnow and the games and installed Apps. Internet is the Opera browser. Media is where one can find all the photos, videos and the music. It has the new PSP style menu The player is also what I believe the new Walkman 3 player.

The speed of the UI is disappointing. Firstly the phone takes ages to start. Then even after starting it takes a while to come to it's senses. After that opening apps takes quite a while. I know smartphones can be slow, but this seems a bit too much. It's nowhere near the speed of my 5700. I am hoping a firmware update will solve this.

Another thing is that the apps don't close when you press close. I guess this is the standard UIQ behaviour but being used to S60, where Close means Close and not minimize, this is a bit annoying. Every time I have to open up the task manager to find and close apps. Luckily the phone has lots of RAM to play with (60mb available at startup), so even if a lot of apps are running in the background, one will not notice it.

Java apps works fast on this phone, even faster then my 5700. While Opera Mini takes a while to register clicks on the 5700, on the G700, the response is instantaneous.

Applications

The phone comes with a standard suite of UIQ apps. There is however a new one called Notes. This app also gets it's own shortcut key on the keypad to stress it's importance. One can create new sticky notes and scribble anything on them. One can add text to the note, change the note colour or add an alarm. The notes can be classified as Business, Urgent, Personal and Unfiled. They can be sent over Bluetooth or MMS. That's about it. It's nice, but nothing too special.

For business use there is the usual Quickoffice and PDF+ for viewing all the document files. Then there is the (quite capable) Opera Mobile browser. Browsing the web with the TS is fun, but is not fun over GPRS. It desperately needs 3G (even EDGE would've been fine had it been present). There is also a Blackberry Connect app, which finds it's name on the phone's box as well which suggests it's something special. Anyway I have no use for it.

For fun there is the TrackID feature, now slowly making its appearance in non-Walkman phones. It is quite a useful feature and works wonderfully well and manages to recognize all International as well Indian tracks. Then there is the (absolutely useless) PlayNow app. There are two games, The Sims and Sudoku, both Java.

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