ETEN G500 review
The Eten G500 comes with a 1.3 mega pixels camera which adds to the overall all-in-one device experience. Its highest possible resolution is 1280x960 pixels and the images can be saved in JPG or BMP format. White balance, special effect, frames and continuous shooting are available. Video capture with sound in 3GP standard and resolution of 320x240 is also available. You can produce decent quality pictures with little to no effort.
The overall camera quality is neither the worse, not the best we've seen. The outdoor pictures look fine, but their resolution is not high enough to call the phone a cameraphone. The video capturing capability of the phone is good enough for MMS and Email on the go, but it definitely can not replace your camcorder.
The audio of the phone is about average with good incoming and outgoing sound. It comes with Windows Media Player 10 Mobile and carries all the standard features such as playlists, play back control as well as some advanced settings (pause playback while using another program, resume playback after a phone call, etc.). The Media Player opens both audio and video files, as the computer version, and can be enhanced with various color themes to change its look.
The G500 also features FM Radio, which is rarely found in a Pocket PC Phone. Strangely, this feature was noted in neither the Press Release nor in the Eten's webpage for the phone, but the necessary software leaked a week ago, taken from a French ROM of the phone. The FM radio can be used only with inserted headphones (as the phone uses them for the radio antenna). There are two options for searching automatic, and automatic one with small steps. You can't enter a station's frequencies manually, but can store six preset ones.
|FM Radio Interface with 2 saved stations|
Connectivity & Data:
Bluetooth version 2.0 comes with the device. Similar to every Windows environment, the interface is very user friendly, where it not only shows you a list of options, but also provides you with a short description of the selected functionality. Using the Bluetooth you can perform the standard available tasks (search for other devices, partner it up with a headset, active sync it with a computer, transfer files & information, etc.). A list of settings is available which allows you to take full advantage of the Bluetooth connectivity (serial port, headset, ftp, etc.). Overall the standard functionalities but presented in a very intuitive and easy to use fashion.
The phone supports GPRS, and unfortunately lacks the faster EDGE data, which would be much better for browsing webpages with the G500.
As far as browsing the internet, you have Internet Explorer available, which is a fully enabled HTML browser, and unless you are viewing pages that are extremely wide and spread-out in their design to a point where the small screen (compared to a regular PC) makes it hard to use, you should have no problems. Wide pages can also be comfortably seen with the one-column view, supported by Windows 5.0 OS.
If you travel a lot and need to know where you are or how to get somewhere, the G500 can help.
It comes with GPS received built-in, but in order to use it the consumer needs to put navigation software. Many titles are available on the market, and for our tests we used TomTom 5 which will set you back about $150.
The GPS received built-in the G500 is the latest generation SIRF III chipset. Compared to its predecessors, it allows faster time to fix, lower power consumption and higher sensitivity. The SIRF III architecture allows the equivalent of 200,000 correlations, in contrast to the older ones which used sequential search process allowed a few hundred to a few thousand only. This increases the GPS sensitivity and allows it to work in in many indoor environments, through urban canyons, and under dense foliage. SIRF III chipset supports both WAAS in the US or EGNOS systems in Europe for even better accuracy.
For our tests, we used TomTom Navigator 5.21. The installation went very smooth. After starting the application for the first time, we set TomTom for other NMEA GPS, selected the com port (4) and after about 15 seconds we have a location lock! The time it takes for the GPS to acquire its location for the first time is called cold start and the 15 seconds we got was an excellent result. If the navigation application is closed and the restarted, the GPS needs just a little over three seconds to reacquire its location.
Ever navigation software offers different interface and functionality, and since E-TEN does not come with anything preloaded and I'll not go into great details about it. The important thing is that the E-ETEN's display is adequately large and bright, and offers pleasant map viewing in most conditions, expect in direct sunlight. Thanks to the fast 400 Mhz CPU, the phone has not problems whatsoever rendering or scrolling maps. Route calculations are also extremely fast, and were about 40,000 route calculations in about 3 seconds. Most navigation software packets also offer voice guidance, which ounds just excellent through the E-TEN's rear speaker.
Running navigation on the G500 definitely drains the battery a lot faster compared to regular cell phone usage. According to E-TEN, the G500 can be used as GPS up to 2.5 hours. In case you need more, the sales package includes in-car charger as well as car windshield mount.
Without installing any additional software the device came with 75 MB (out of 83 MB) free storage space and 19 MB (out of 48 MB) free program space. In addition you can insert a miniSD card to increase you storage space, which can give you up to 2GB memory space nowadays, and it goes for less then $80.
A particular functionality that I want to mention is the M-Desk, which gives you another neat way to have your functionalities sorted by type and therefore easy to use. You can add and remove content to it and at one point it can turn into your main environment that you use.