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GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 Review

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Interface and functionality:

The GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 comes equipped with the Smart Touch interface that offers customizable work panel with icons leading to various functions and four major shortcuts to your clock, calendar, picture album and audio player. Sliding a finger upwards takes you to your favorite contacts list. What we consider a major drawback is that pressing the end button (say, to end an application) gets you back to the Today screen, i.e. the standard Windows Mobile home screen and you just cannot configure the button to return you to Smart Touch instead.

Favorite contacts - GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 Review

Favorite contacts

The Smart Touch interface of the GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 - GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 Review
The Smart Touch interface of the GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 - GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 Review
The Smart Touch interface of the GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 - GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 Review

The Smart Touch interface of the GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820


The four major shortcuts of the Smart Touch interface - GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 Review
The four major shortcuts of the Smart Touch interface - GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 Review
The four major shortcuts of the Smart Touch interface - GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 Review
The four major shortcuts of the Smart Touch interface - GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 Review

The four major shortcuts of the Smart Touch interface


Contacts - GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 Review
Contacts - GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 Review
Contacts - GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 Review

Contacts

Aside from the Smart Touch interface, things are in the typical operating system style down to the last detail. The miniature captions are everywhere to torment you. Your contacts menu looks pretty simple, but allows you to store a tremendous amount of information in any contact entry.

Situation is virtually the same when you enter your messages. You have four major means of typing things in - through the standard software QWERTY keyboard (you can only do that using the stylus), Block Recognizer, Letter Recognizer and Transcriber, the last three centered on handwriting recognition. Of course, the phone provides email functionality and it will find all relevant settings by itself if you happen to be using popular service providers like Gmail or Yahoo.

As for being connected to the rest of the world, the GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 supports HSDPA 3.6 Mbit/s and also sports a built-in Wi-Fi receiver. Unsurprisingly, the phone comes with Internet Explorer Mobile that, for some reason, still doesn´t measure up to the task of properly visualizing web content, so we do recommend that you install another browser the minute you get the device, say, Opera Mobile/Mini or Skyfire if you are up to watching video online.

GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 Review
GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 Review



Camera and Multimedia:

Camera interface - GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 Review
Camera interface - GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 Review

Camera interface

We already mentioned the GSmart MS820 features a 5-megapixel autofocus camera with a built-in flash, didn’t we? It sounds impressive, but things are different in real life. Snapshot colors are realistic, although a bit thin and not saturated enough. You won´t be able to relish them anyway, since all pictures are incredibly blurry, as if taken with a 1.3-megapixel camera. Not to mention the flash simply cannot cope with properly lighting up objects even if they are really close. Another proof that goes to show that rarely do megapixels have anything to do with snapshot quality. If you need something better than mediocre, blurry pictures, well, you better stay away from the MS820.

GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 Review
GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 Review
GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 Review
Outdoor photos shot with the GIGA-BYTE MS820 - GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 Review
Outdoor photos shot with the GIGA-BYTE MS820 - GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 Review
Outdoor photos shot with the GIGA-BYTE MS820 - GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 Review

Outdoor photos shot with the GIGA-BYTE MS820


Strong light - Indoor samples - GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 Review
Medium light - Indoor samples - GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 Review
Low light - Indoor samples - GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 Review

Strong light

Medium light

Low light

Indoor samples



Playing videos and music on the GIGA-BYTE MS820 - GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 Review
Playing videos and music on the GIGA-BYTE MS820 - GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 Review

Playing videos and music on the GIGA-BYTE MS820

The phone can also capture videos at up to 320x240 pixel resolution. Let´s take a look at how it fares in the multimedia front.

It comes preloaded with Windows Media Player that manages to play MP4/H.263 video content properly, although we witnessed some frame skipping at higher resolutions. Of course, being a smart phone, the MS820 allows you to install additional software and get improved video playback capabilities if you need it.

Sound through the built-in loudspeaker is simply fantastic! As you might have guessed by that exclamation, this is far from being the case. The sound volume is actually so low that even the person holding the phone will have a hard time hearing what they are being told and we just cannot imagine what it would be like in noisy environments.

Fortunately, things get much better once you have plugged in the 2.5mm earphones that come in the box. They offer powerful sound, although trebles tend to be overly punctuated, which becomes especially noticeable if you get the volume at full blast.

The good thing is your phone comes with several preloaded apps like SmartPlayer and SmartEditor. The latter delivers decent image editing capabilities indeed. The set of smart applications also includes SmartAlbum that makes browsing your images a lot more entertaining. You also have GPS Tracking that provides basic location info. We need to point out the receiver didn´t initialize very fast after we cold-started it, but managed to find where we were almost instantaneously the second time we turned it on. Other useful applications that come with the phone are Spb Backup and Black List, which helps you block incoming calls from contacts you don´t want to speak to.

SmartPlayer - GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 Review
SmartEditor - GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 Review
SmartAlbum - GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 Review
Black List - GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 Review

SmartPlayer

SmartEditor

SmartAlbum

Black List


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GIGABYTE GSmart MS820

GIGABYTE GSmart MS820

OS: Windows Mobile Professional 6.1
view full specs
Display2.8 inches, 480 x 640 pixels (286 ppi) TFT
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
Single core, 520 MHz, Marvell PXA270 processor
128 MB RAM
Size4.57 x 2.32 x 0.55 inches
(116 x 59 x 14 mm)
 

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