The huge, readable screen is its best feature, and the detachable keyboard is the largest around.
The large screen makes it easy to read documents, and the Windows Mobile icons appear big. The keyboard is a great size, ideal for a desk although it is not possible to touch type.
The Xda Flint is marketed as a smartphone rather than a netbook, which makes its feature range hugely impressive.
The device is to large to properly compete with other smartphones, and too slow to be any real match for a netbook, but it is great for video calling.
The battery life is average, but heavy users are likely to find it frustrating.
The O2 Xda Flint fails to find its spot on the market, and is likely to be overlooked by both smartphone and netbook users, as a result.
Review by Sunetra Chakravati,2/2/2012 3:04:40 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
Huge, readable screen, and great keyboard.
Too big for a pocket, not ideal for voice calls, and not a substitute for a notebook.
The HTC Advantage X7510 just got a new life – O2 is rebranding the niche business-oriented smartphone as the O2 Xda Flint and targeting it at the education sector.
If you missed the device when it launched last year, it’s a large Windows Mobile phone with a detachable keyboard, five-inch VGA touch-screen display and a whopping 16GB of internal storage. It’s also Wi-Fi, HSDPA and GPS enabled.
According to O2, it’s perfect for all those learning-related activities such as reading eBooks and typing up lecture notes; however, we’re not sure it can replace mobile devices like low-cost (and faster) netbooks.
The VGA screen is a luxurious five inches diagonally across with a crisp, clear display that makes for very comfortable web and document viewing. Even the Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional interface, whose icons usually display quite small, is more finger friendly on such a large screen.
The Flint also runs on a 624Mhz processor, which helps the somewhat clunky Windows Mobile operating system run faster and smoother than on many other Windows handsets running on 512Mhz chips.
The phone also comes with a Microsoft Office Suite of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, and supports push-email, which is as simple to use as on any winmo pro device. The 16GB of built-in storage is a top-notch feature and is expandable via the phone’s miniSD card slot.
The detachable keyboard connects to the main body via magnets, which snap it into place nicely. As it is flat with a rim separating individual large keys, typing is comfortable, and while the keyboard isn’t big enough for touch typing, it is larger than any other smartphone keyboard currently available. We found it great to use on a desk, but you can’t hold the Xda Flint in one hand and use the keyboard with the other – the system is too unwieldy for that.
In fact, as a whole, the device is just a little too big. Although its size is one of its plus points, you may struggle to get it into a pocket and it’s rather large to hold to your ear for phone calls.
The Xda Flint can appeal to a larger audience than the somewhat arbitrary student market, as it has the specs for internet, sat nav and video conferencing. Making video calls on the device was better than on smaller handsets because of the large high-res display. The integrated GPS and large display means it works great with Google Maps, and Wi-Fi in combination with HSDPA ensures consistent data speeds. A three-megapixel camera with LED flash and auto-focus rounds off the specs.
Unfortunately, because O2 has pitched it as an ideal mobile device for document creation and office applications, for example, it has almost forced the device to compete against both netbooks and phones – and it’s slower than a netbook, yet much more unwieldy than the average phone. Still, if you don’t take the Xda Flint as a PC replacement, it’s a decent smartphone, albeit one with less consumer appeal than most.