The X500 is a standard candybar design, with very slim for its class profile. It is only 0.6 (15.5mm) which as we noted is currently the slimmest Pocket PC with GPS and Wi-Fi. Its weight is 5.2oz (146 g) which is about average for a Pocket PC. When we put it side by side with the Wizard, we preferred the HTC-rival as more handy, but this is just a personal preference. Made out mainly of plastic, it has solid construction, which unfortunately can be easily damaged, as our crash test showed. A stylish ornament is the brushed metal trim around the display, which houses the Glofiish brand name. The back is made of mat black plastic that easily catches fingerprints but can also be easily cleaned.
|Blackberry Pearl, X500, M600+|
The front side is dominated by 2.8 touch-sensitive display with QVGA resolution (240x320 pixels) which can display up to 65k colors (16bit). It is well visible from various angles, with slight color tolerance towards the red the blue has a touch of violet and the white a touch of pink. Compared to the display of the HTC Wizard (8125 and MDA) thought, it is brighter with a lot stronger contrast.
We are happy to see that the X500 now has real soft keys in the place of the shortcuts, previous models had. The GPS and M-Desk shortcuts are now above the display, which in sum makes six keys on the front side. All of them are flush and made of the same silver plastic the front side is made of. Pressing them is relatively hard, especially for the upper ones.
Between the two software keys is situated the D-pad: it is composed from a central key and slightly raised directions around it, in the form of a rectangular. Its construction could have been a lot better the sides are hard to press, and since the whole D-pad is not very large, very often the directions instead of the central OK key were pressed. The backlight of the keypad is strong enough to be seen in the dark, but the d-pad is not illuminated which is another drawback.
The left side of the device houses a double key for the volume control and a voice recognition key. The volume up and down are way too close to each other and very hard to distinguish. At the opposite side are the power key and the camera shortcut they are both totally flush which is the reason that they can't be felt by touching, which is worse in dark place, because they lack backlight. Between them is the soft reset button.
As a Pocket PC device, the X500 uses its touch screen as main navigation and it features a stylus for pressing it, in the bottom right corner. As previous models, this one is telescopic and extends when you slide it out of its hinge.
Strangely, it can get in, in the wrong direction. If it happens, you won't be able to get it out, before you open the battery cover:
|a problem with the stylus|
Just below the shortcut keys and above the display, are situated two LED service lights. They are fast and easy way to see the current condition of your headset. The left light is for local connectivity if the Bluetooth is on, it will flash in blue, and if the WiFi is on in orange. If they are both on, the small LED will flash in both colors. The right LED is for the status of the phone. In standby mode it will flash in green, while a missed call or unread message will color the flashes in red. A solid red light indicates charging via the AC charger or a cable.