GIGA-BYTE GSmart MS820 Review

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.

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.

Camera and Multimedia:

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.

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.



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GSmart MS820
  • Display 2.8" 480 x 640 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP
  • Battery 1300 mAh

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