GIGA-BYTE GSmart S1200 Review
The GIGA-BYTE GSmart S1200 is equipped with 3-megapixel camera with autofocus, but without flash. Its interface starts up really slowly (takes about 5-6 seconds), but once running, it´s a pleasure to use. You can use the hardware camera shutter or the screen key to take pictures and the settings accessible via a row of icons at the bottom allows you to fiddle with white balance, image resolution, exposure, ISO sensitivity and add effects. The maximum allowed video capture resolution is VGA at 15 frames per second.
GIGA-BYTE GSmart S1200 video sample at 640x480 pixels resolution
Similarly to most Windows Mobile phones we have seen to date, the GIGA-BYTE GSmart S1200 captures low-quality pictures. Their colors are thin and washed and simply put, there are not enough details (the images look as if taken with a low-quality 2-megapixel phone camera). Having the snapshot you´ve just captured saved takes about 2-3 seconds and you better stand still in the process, unless you want to end up with a totally blurry picture. The videos are mediocre as well – the low frame count means stuttering content and the colors look surreal. Still, the camera performs much better when taking videos than pictures.
The myth that the Windows phones are only suitable for business lies in ruins. It has been shattered to pieces by devices like the Samsung OMNIA I900 that was one of the first to come with DivX and Xvid support. Unfortunately, this is not something the GIGA-BYTE GSmart S1200 is any good at. We managed to play MPEG4/H.264 videos with resolution of 800x480 pixels in Media Player, although we evidenced slowdowns and the sound track was out of sync, getting ahead of the video stream. Proper playback is only available if you convert your clips to 480x360 pixels or lower resolution. We also tried watching Xvid and DivX content in CorePlayer, but the playback was stuttering, there were constant hang-ups and to top it off, the player crashed on several occasions.
The sound is sharp, metallic and annoying through the loudspeaker and milder and more bearable, although almost with all the bass frequencies completely cut out through the boxed headset. Unfortunately, the set doesn’t contain an adapter to 3.5mm jack, so you will have to buy one if you want to plug in a pair of better earphones. The GIGA-BYTE GSmart S1200 sports FM Radio with RDS that comes with really cool looking interface, showing you the genre of the track being played in a small box in the upper right corner.
Software and GPS:
Since the GIGA-BYTE GSmart S1200 runs Windows Mobile 6.5, you will have access to Windows Marketplace for Mobile. You can quickly stock up on various applications and there are quite a few that are completely free of charge. We first got a Facebook client to help us follow things on the popular social network service. It was somewhat sluggish (like the phone itself), but its functionality proved to be pretty similar to what the iPhone client delivers. Still, we would have liked to see the option to integrate at least profile pictures into the phone contacts (similarly to the way it’s implemented on the HTC Touch Diamond2), but well, the world is not perfect. Another really useful app that we have already recommended is the internet browser Skyfire. The preinstalled Office Mobile opens office files without a hitch, even Office 2007 documents (Word, Excel, PowerPoint). The phone also comes with a PDF reader (AdobeReader LE 2.5).
Windows Marketplace for Mobile
GIGA-BYTE GSmart S1200 has access to Windows Marketplace for Mobile
The GIGA-BYTE GSmart S1200 is equipped with GPS, but comes without pre-loaded navigational software. The GPS is extremely fast and will pinpoint your location in about 10 seconds even on its first run, provided you have downloaded the latest satellite position data.
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