This smartphone looks stunning − it is mostly black with blue highlights, and includes a blue surrounding to the keyboard keys
The keyboard isn’t the easiest to use due to its flat design, but the fast processor helps the Zinc II zip along at a good speed.
The Zinc II has Wi-Fi, HSDPA and GPS, but the only real let down is the absence of a front-facing camera for video calling.
It is fast and slick, and the Quick Menu system helps you get around this smartphone easily.
The Zinc II has a long battery life, and stands up well against its Windows Mobile Professional competition.
Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:52:26 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
It is a zippy performer, and has a sliding keyboard, GPS and Quick Menu
The flat keyboard is tricky to use
MWG is based in Singapore and was, until recently, the smartphone arm of O2 in Asia. Now a smartphone company in its own right, MWG has begun its assault on the smartphone world. The Zinc II is one of three recent launches
The Zinc II runs Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional. When Microsoft announced Windows Mobile 6.1 there were some juicy bits to look forward to, such as an updated Web browser, threaded SMS messaging and some rather nifty Today screen enhancements with sliding panels of information.
However, we have a Windows Mobile 6.1 device in our hands, and the improvements over Windows Mobile 6.0 are difficult to find. Firstly, the changes made to the smart Today Screen are only available on the standard (non-touch-screen) version of Windows Mobile, giving the Zinc II a distinct Windows Mobile 6.0 look when you turn it on.
Secondly, the enhanced Internet Explorer isn’t going to be available until later this year, and the threaded SMS messaging didn’t seem to be on the device.
While, changes have been made, you probably won’t notice the differences on this device between 6.1 and 6.0 on a day-to-day basis.
Like many modern Windows Mobile Professional devices the MWG Zinc II has a slide-out keyboard, which slides out from the left long edge. Unlike other sliding keyboards this one doesn’t have real keys. Instead, the keyboard area is flat with raised bevels around the key areas.
While it looks great, we found it wasn’t as fast to use as keyboards with physical keys. We also encountered problems with the keyboard layout, as there were no cursor control keys, a tiny spacebar and no dedicated full stop.
Another neat feature is the Quick Menu. There is a touch button on the Today screen to launch this, and it works like HTC’s Touch interface. Tapping the button calls up a set of four shortcuts that fill the screen and take you to Windows Media Player, pictures and videos, camera, and games.
Swipe a finger horizontally along the screen and you can get to contacts and other shortcuts, and a swipe downwards will shut the Quick Menu system down.
Communication requirements are nicely taken care of with 3.6Mbps HSDPA speeds, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a GPS antenna all built in. There is even a GPS Viewer application so you can check on your actual position.
Annoyingly, there is no front-facing camera for two-way video calling, which some people might find a bind; however, the two-megapixel main camera is on par for a smartphone these days.
We can’t help liking the MWG Zinc II, which shows a good turn of speed thanks to its 500MHz processor, high-grade specifications, Quick Menu system and neat design. The flat keyboard isn’t great, though.