The M930 is chunky and large, but it is well built and solid. It might not be pocket-friendly but it should survive the rough and tumble of everyday life.
The QWERTY keyboard is large and comfortable, but we really think this smartphone would benefit from a touch-screen.
There are a mixture of features, for example, there is no GPS, but there is Wi-Fi; no touch-screen but there are two screens, and no document editing, but there is document viewing.
You have to get used to when to open the device and when to keep it closed, but that’s a matter of personal taste rather than a real performance issue.
The battery life is fairly good. You get a couple of days of usage between charges, which is standard for Windows Mobile.
Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:52:11 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
Two screens and a keyboard.
The screens are not touch-sensitive and we found this to be a bind. The inner screen is a bit small, but overall it is a large and heavy smartphone.
The Asus M930 is one chunky smartphone, but there is a good reason for its size and weight. From first glance, it looks like an old-fashioned mobile phone. It is large in the pocket and the hand, and the front fascia has a screen and number pad, just like other bar phones. However, turn it sideways and lift a hinge, and it opens up clamshell style to reveal a second inner screen and a full keyboard − think of Nokia’s very popular E90 and you’ll get the idea.
The internal screen looks lost in its wide surroundings, and because it only manages 240x400 pixels, it doesn’t give you a great deal more viewing area than you’d get from an ordinary Windows Mobile Professional smartphone.
The keyboard could be a little wider, but it’s on a par with what you’d expect from other Windows Mobile devices, such as the E-TEN range. There is even space for a navigation button, and Call and End keys.
In many cases it doesn’t really matter whether you are using the inner or outer part of the M930. The inner part comes into its own for writing SMS messages or emails, but without Office Mobile on board you can’t edit documents unless you add third-party software. You can view them though, thanks to utilities from ClearVue aimed at Excel, PowerPoint, Word and PDF documents.
If you want to try two-way video calling, you need to open the
clam because the camera is inside. And there is a two-megapixel lens on the back for shooting stills and video.
Asus has missed a trick by putting Windows Mobile 6 Standard inside the M930. The non-touch-screen version of Microsoft’s smartphone operating system really holds back what you can achieve with this device. This is especially irritating as the keyboard itself is very comfortable to use.
Another possible missed opportunity is the absence of GPS. With so many smartphones offering the navigation feature, we are starting to think of it as standard, and we miss it when it is absent.
It isn’t all doom and gloom. There are some decent features, including an area you can password protect to secure important data from prying eyes, as well as Wi-Fi, HSDPA and a streaming media player.
On balance we are in favour of the M930. We would have liked a larger inner screen, Windows Mobile 6 Professional (i.e. a touch-screen) and document editing, but the solid build and clever design wins us over.