Despite its vast array of features, the O2 Xda Orbit II is a reasonable size and weight. The 2.8-inch screen is both bright and crisp and dominates the handset's fascia.
Writing any text of substantial length is near impossible as you have to rely on the provided stylus. The navigation wheel works well as you jump between menu icons.
A real powerhouse of a smartphone, with HSDPA, Wi-Fi and a 3.15-megapixel camera. Although, the Orbit II's main highlight is the embedded CoPilot Live 7 sat nav software.
CoPilot Live 7 works a treat, and the software is set to improve with the soon-to-be-added Microsoft Live Search. Internet browsing is a breeze thanks to the speedy HSDPA and Wi-Fi connection.
With a capable battery life, there should be enough juice for even the longest of journeys. Failing that, the Orbit II comes boxed with an in-car charger.
Review by Sunetra Chakravati,2/2/2012 3:01:19 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
CoPilot Live 7 provides a great alternative to a designated sat nav device that will only be improved with the added Microsoft Live Search.
The touch-screen is not good enough to compensate for the lack of QWERTY keyboard.
We’ve said it before but GPS looks set to be the must-have accessory for smartphones in 2008. The O2 Xda Orbit II is the latest device to house sat nav, with ALK’s CoPilot Live 7 built-in.
Effectively O2’s own-branded HTC Touch Cruise, the Orbit II is relatively small, particularly when you take into account the vast amount of features the handset houses.
There’s no QWERTY keyboard, so you’ll have to get to grips with the large 2.8-inch touch-screen. But, thankfully, the handset comes with a stylus that neatly packs away in the bottom right-hand corner. We say thankfully as some of the menu icons are rather small, and trying to press these with our fingers and thumbs proved tricky. So using the stylus will be your best bet.
Under the screen is a navigation wheel that rotates 360º as you move through the various menu icons available. Find your chosen option and simply press the button in the middle of the wheel.
The Orbit II runs the Windows Mobile 6 operating system and offers Word Mobile, PowerPoint Mobile and Excel Mobile, so you can read and send various documents while out of the office. Once again, the lack of a QWERTY keyboard means you won’t be doing anything more than making the odd minor change to copy or writing a two or three-line email.
CoPilot Live 7 has been designed not just with the driver in mind, but also the pedestrian and cyclist. Choose your desired mode from the ‘routing’ settings and CoPilot will give you relevant instructions for each particular mode of transport. There are numerous map views, including 2D, 3D and night view, all of which look clear and sharp on the screen. As you are being navigated to your designated destination, a toolbar is displayed at the bottom of the screen which states your estimated time of arrival and how far you have left to go. Although we found the device took a couple of minutes to pinpoint our GPS position, once it was fixed it remained so. Voice instructions are both clear and easy to follow, and the Orbit II comes boxed with an attachment that can stick to your car’s windscreen.
From April, ALK will provide Mobile Live Search for free to all new and existing customers who have CoPilot Live 7 on their Windows Mobile device. Mobile Choice was lucky enough to receive our Orbit II with this feature already embedded. Once we logged onto the internet, we were able to type in the name of a well-known coffee shop and a list of the nearest establishments was displayed, complete with the telephone numbers.
With a 3.15-megapixel camera, an FM radio, built-in media player and HSDPA and Wi-Fi capabilities, the O2 Xda Orbit II is definitely a powerhouse. Yet, the lack of a QWERTY keyboard is not helped by the perplexing touch-screen. However, with the excellent CoPilot 7 built-in, if you’re looking for a smartphone with a high-quality GPS sat nav system, the O2 Xda Orbit II could be the way to go.