i-mate SPL Review
SPL is a Windows Mobile 6 smartphone, which means that as a software it will have many similar features with other smartphones using the same operating system.
As a default the home screen shows system information, shortcuts for recently used applications and active stand-by screen that shows other information, for instance, Upcoming events. It can be personalized by themes to look completely different and several Windows variants are a nice example that can be changed from the menu: Settings – Home Screen – Home Screen Layout. The possibilities for personalization are almost endless.
main menu is shown as a grid of 3x3 icons with shortcuts to numerical keypad. It can be also viewed as a list with 10 options, but in both cases the disadvantage is that if you want to see more options, you have to use the left software “more” key and to go back you have to use the hardware “back” key (arrow), which especially for us is very unhandy. With another WM6 smartphone, that we use (HTC VOX S710), the menu has a scroll option that turns over when the end is reached. Navigating there is very easy, because only the d-pad is used with no other buttons.
To lock the keypad, when you carry the phone in your pocket, you have to hold down the “home” button from the homescreen.
Looking through the phonebook is possible by means of list of names. You can search here too, but only by name (not by number) and the phone will not display which symbol you have input, so if you misspell one you will not be able to see what to clear (with back/clear button)and to edit it.
A long list with many fields is available when you add a new contact. You can find here many phone numbers, addresses and e-mails, etc. But here (like Pocket PC System) you cannot add two phone numbers of the same type – for instance, two mobile phone numbers. You can also attach a personal photo and a music file to each contact, but the displayed photo is so small when you receive a call or when you make a call that it is pointless, though there is plenty of space on the screen for a big photo.
By pressing the green receiver from the homescreen you can see the call history of the phone. You can easily add a number from here as a new contact or as a new number for already saved contact.
In the phone menu you can find your electronic calendar where you can save your appointments. They have options for subject, starting/ending time/all day event, location, notes. You can use options like: reminder (PRIOR NOTICE 1/5/10/15/30 minutes, 1 hour/day/week), recurrence (Once, Every (same-day-of-the-week), Day (same-date) of every month, Every (same date-date-and-month) for every year, sensitivity (normal, personal, private, confidential). You can also add attendees (required or optional) from your contacts where e-mail addresses have been added and where meeting requests will be sent.
Examining the calendar can be done by day/week/month and you can choose starting day for the week and the week duration (5-6-7-day week). The appointments for the day are clearly shown in their time limits, so you can see your free time at a glance. This is one of the new things of WM6 compared to WM5.
You have Tasks menu, where you can add to-do items. For a given Task you can set subject, priority (normal, low, high), start/due date, reminder (to be notified if it’s due), category (business, holiday, personal, seasonal) and note. The Task can have recurrence (Once, Every (same-day-of-the-week), Day (same-date) of every month, Every (same date-date-and-month) for every year and sensitivity (normal, personal, private, confidential). Examining the tasks in a list you can easily see which of them are finished and which are not. The tasks options can be: sort by (status, priority, subject, start date, due date) or filter (all, recent, no categories, active, completed).
Calculator”. It does not have a “scientific option”.
File Explorer is the mobile version of Windows Explorer and it helps you to explore the content of the phone memory and the card memory, reaching even to the system folders and files. And you are not limited to use only the phone types of files, but you can see all files. There is no option for selecting several files together (hence you cannot work with them at the same time).
Voice recorder is a tool you can use to record voice notes with no limitation of the time duration, which depends only on the available free memory. Unfortunately, the microphone is not of a very good quality in this mode. You have to record very close to the source, so the recording to be clear later.