i-mate Smartflip Review1
Smartfliphas a 1.3 mega pixel camera which, unfortunately, does not have any specializedcapabilities such as automatic focus or a flashlight and as a whole is not on apar compared to the phones presently on the market. It is situated at the topof the front lid and is slightly bulging.It starts comparatively fast (4 –5 sec) after holding the shortcut key on the left side – in spite of thecamera’s interface, which is not particularly elaborate, it is quite easy towork with it. In the respective menu you can choose the white balance andcolour effects as well as execute various settings, including resolution andcompression. It takes the picture about 2 – 3 sec after pushing the button eventhough there is no automatic focus and you need one more second to get readyfor the next picture – thus the interval between two pictures is approximately4 seconds.
The cameraphotos are hardly of any worth – they have a very weak detail(a lot of artefacts and blurring) and unrealcold colours, but a strong contrast. Indoors, even with strong lighting, thereis more ‘noise’ (the latter being present in the outdoor photos as well). Withthe light going down it increases at the expense of quality, poor as it is.
For playingmusic and going through video files the telephone has a built-in Windows MediaPlayer: it is very similar to the one for PPC devices) and in it you can lookat the songs’ performer / album/ genre provided that this information isavailable in the ID3 song tags. During playback small buttons (back, pause,forward) are visualized on the whole screen and the file name and its qualitycan be viewed at the top. Fortunately, here you can use fast forward and rewindfunctions in contrast to the buttons of the external screen. This is achievedby holding one of the directions of the d-pad.
Theloudspeaker sound has medium volume and in fact sounds well for a miniaturephone speaker. However you will need headphones for a more realistic musicalexperience; the ones from the set of our smartphone had a decently pleasantsound compared to other mobile-set headphones. They are strong enough andlistening to music with them is not quite bad, but they lack dynamics, fidelityand reality, and a discerning listener would not favour the low-frequencyreproduction. If you belong to that group of listeners you will definitely needto replace them with some expensive brand, but unfortunately it will be hard tofind the necessary adapter between the phone’s unique port and the standard 3.5mm jack, so that to use your Hi-Fi headphones. However the Bluetooth is readilyavailable for connecting to wireless ones.
As far asviewing video files is concerned, there is a full utilization of the screenarea and the additional option to look through the file in full-screen mode.
Thetelephone features a 64 MB built-in memory and the same amount of RAM. The availablememory can be increased by usingmicroSD cards but unfortunately the slot for them is situated under the battery coverand the SIM-card – there is no way to replace the card without switching thephone off since it automatically turns off after removing the battery cover.
Our versionof the telephone arrived with pre-installed programmes of the office pack ClearVue – here one can find previewers for Microsoft Office documents (Word, Excel,PowerPoint) and PDF files. As a whole, the software works well butunfortunately is solely capable of viewing, not editing files. Problems arosewhen we tried to open a bigger Excel document with considerable amount ofinformation and images – the telephone crashed and the document could not beviewed. What is more, when we tried to open a big (1.2 Mb) PDF file there wasan error message stating that the document cannot be opened.
Thetelephone is supplied with two games, standard for Windows Mobile –Solitaireand Bubble Breaker. Additional games and software can easily be added.