i-mate SPL Review
i-mate SPL has a built-in 2 megapixel camera. This is not an impressing resolution, but it is O.K. providing the purpose of the phone. If the quality of the photos is good then their size is good enough for internet purposes.
It is activated for a little more than 3 seconds by pressing its dedicated button. The interface is very simple and impractical, because the viewfinder takes up a little more than half of the screen and the rest is taken up by useless HUGE notices about the chosen resolution and “zoom” (of course digital). By the right software key you can reach the menu with the options:
- Self Shutter
- Brightness – 0 to 6
- Contrast – 0 to 6
- Store Position (Device/Memory Card)
- Spark Frequency (50/60 Hz)
- Preview after capture
- JPEG Quality (Normal/Low/High)
- Photo name prefix
- Audio Capture (On/Off)
- Video name prefix
- Album (shortcut to gallery)
As you can see by yourselves, there are a lot of options (including numerous white balance settings and modes), but navigating in that menu is pretty unhandy. It is not optimized as the menu of a cameraphone, which is designed as a device dedicated to photo shooting.
The photos are not too good, but anyway, this is a smartphone with a camera not a phone designed as a cameraphone. Photos taken in a bright daylight look pretty good and they are correctly exposed with vivid colors and nice details.
Indoor pictures taken in a weaker light have noise and the lack of flash is clearly noticeable.
You can examine your pictures in the album, where you can see thumbnails shown as a grid of 3x3 and scroll function. Once you have opened a photo, you can use the zoom or save it as wallpaper on the homescreen and even to edit it using Rotate, Crop, and Auto Correct. The latter is a simple function, which corrects the levels of brightness and contrast, but it is one of the innovations of Sony Ericsson K810 compared to К800, which is a dedicated cameraphone.
During playback of a song the interface is almost empty because it is also used for visualization of video files. The buttons are small, but they only replace the functions of the D-pad. By using its directions you can forward and backward in a certain track, to change tracks, to Play/pause or to control the volume. The player has options for Shuffle/Repeat and it is capable of creating Playlists.
Windows Media Player 10 is capable of playing the following files:
- AUDIO: .MP3, .WMA
- VIDEO: .WMV, .ASF, H.263 - .3GP and .MP4
Unfortunately, watching of videos is a pain for the processor of the phone. It is unoptimized and the SPL is slower than other Windows Mobile phones with the same processor. Playing videos in QVGA resolution, the SPL will skip frames.
As all other Windows Mobile 6 devices, i-mate SPL comes with Microsoft Office package including the mobile versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Though, it does not have a touch display, the new Office applications enable it to edit files, which is very convenient. For instance, you receive the file by e-mail, edit it and send it back.
The Office applications run very well and it is no problem to visualize complex files, for example, complex excel sheet. It doesn’t show the CPU isn’t powerful enough. It operates well.
As standard, i-mate have added two their applications: 1-View and Backup. There are also three their games besides the standard - Solitaire and Bubble Breaker. Number Place, 3D Bowling and Texas Hold’Em Poker are interesting games and they will help you when you want to pass the time.