Eten M800 Review
Eten Glofiish M800 is the most advanced model of the manufacturer. It is X800’s ‘big brother’, upgrading it with a side-sliding QWERTY keyboard, just as the M700 and X500. Combine this with excellent specifications, and there is nothing left to be desired – the M800 sounds as if a dream came true.
As all other Etens, in the box you will find everything you need:
- Eten M800
- Screen protector
- Stereo handsfree
- Leather pouch
- USB cable
- Extra stylus
- Quick Start Guide
- Getting Started CD
The look of the M800 reminds us of the rest of the Etens – it isn’t ugly, but you wouldn’t call it pretty either. It is definitely a professionally looking device and unlike the HTC TyTN II won’t appeal to other audiences, besides the business class. The only element that stands out of the design language is the back of the upper slider; a bronze colored line encircles the phone, giving us a hint, what to expect. Slide it open and the back has the same extravagant color, and so do the alternative characters of the keyboard. It doesn’t really make sense, but we like it, and also think it will be cool to see the feature in some upcoming phones with consumer-targeted design, such as the M810 or V900.
You can compare the Eten M800 to many other phones, using PhoneArena's Visual Size Compare tool.
The whole front side reminds of the idea of the phone – it is made for work and not for fun. The titanium-colored plastic nicely combines with the brushed aluminum frame around the display. The latter is situated in the middle of the phone, which leaves little space for the buttons below. In addition, they are capacitive touch sensitive keys (respond to touch of finger but not a stylus) and are not really perfectly responsive so using them may be a problem. An option allows you to add vibration (haptic) and/or sound, to indicate once a key is ‘activated’. Additional problems add the fact that after a few seconds of inactivity, the keys ‘lock’ and one must press the display or the joystick, to ‘unlock’ them. The navigation joystick in the middle, is usable, but is a pain when compared to a good D-pad.
The display is a 2.8” with 65k colors (standard for such phone) and VGA resolution of 480x640 pixels. This is 4x the standard QVGA resolution and results in times better image, with enhanced details. Even the Windows Mobile user interface itself is more defined. The UI on a QVGA compared to a VGA one is the same as Windows XP compared to Vista. The additional resolution helps for more detailed icons and images as a whole. Unfortunately, it is of no use when it comes to visibility outdoors: as most other Pocket PC phones, the M800 has a serious problem in such environments and even when set at maximum brightness, the screen may be hard to read. Another drawback is that the display is concaved and it is hard to press object in its end (such as the X icon or the scroll bar) without the help of a stylus.
The latter is situated in the bottom right corner of the phone. Typically, it is telescopic and retracts when you take it out. Next to it, on the bottom, are the miniUSB and the microSD slot with a hard to remove plastic cover.
On the left are the volume rocker and the voice commands key. They have below-the-average relief and are rather hard to press. Here also are the reset button and the 2.5 mm headset jack. On the right are the power key and the protruding camera shortcut. The first one is absolutely flat, small and you have to press it with the tip of a finger. If you hold the phone with one hand , the slider may do a slight movement when pressing the power, as you exert pressure on the bottom slider in the direction it moves.
The whole surface here has rubber finish applied to it, for more comfortable typing after long usage (wet hands). The buttons press very well, with real movement and significant click, which is excellent tactile feedback. Its only drawback is the greenish backlit, which is usable but looks weird.
On the back is nothing but the camera and the battery cover of course. Strangely, the phone shuts off automatically once the cover is removed (which is an unpleasant job) although the battery is not attached to it. This is probably an additional security.