Review by Sunetra Chakravati,
12/12/2011 3:56:08 PM
Email, syncs with Microsoft Outlook, decent camera.
User interface is somewhat unintuitive, no Wi-Fi, token music player.
BlackBerry may have coined the ‘prosumer’ label, but it has got plenty of competitors that have been around just as long. Samsung, which primarily markets high-end smartphones, has been making business-oriented handsets for some time. Its latest is the C6625, a QWERTY candybar phone that appears to be taking on the ‘Berry with an arsenal of consumer-focused features like a music player and a surprisingly good camera.
The prosaically named C6625 is like a lightweight BlackBerry, in terms of both its hardware and software. Like an old-school communicator, it’s wide and squat with a full QWERTY keyboard, but it’s also very light in the hand.
The screen is a modest 2.6-inch, TFT display, with a home screen showing SMS, email and missed call notifications. On the left is an icon bar linking to your favourite contacts, music, photos, and shortcuts, all customisable. The keyboard isn’t as nice as a BlackBerry’s – the keys make a clicking noise when you press them, and aren’t as springy either. However, a great touch is the dedicated buttons that take you directly to you inbox, photo gallery, music library and browser.
While the hardware isn’t breaking any new ground in design, it’s the software that dates the phone. The phone runs on Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard and unlike a lot of the more consumer-friendly handsets on the operating system (OS), the C6625 doesn’t have any custom skin or interface atop. What you get is WinMo – and that happens to mean lots of text-based, list-style menus. And unfortunately, this isn’t the most intuitive OS around. Take the home screen toolbar linking to your favourite Contacts, Music, Photos and Shortcuts. To get a photo to show up a ‘favourite’, you have to enter Contents Manager, and copy the photo from the ‘Photos’ folder one level up into ‘My Pictures’. No, it doesn’t make any sense; yes, it takes particular insight into the peculiarities of old WinMo.
What has helped Windows Mobile stick around this long is that it’s still a great OS for business features. You can set up Microsoft Exchange to receive push-email (email that is downloaded to your phone as it enters your mailbox) from server email accounts such your work one, and you can also attach webmail accounts such as Gmail. This is a straightforward process where the phone finds the settings for you. The phone also syncs with Microsoft Outlook’s contacts, appointments and tasks.
Emailing is as intuitive, and you can alter priority of emails sent, and copy and paste. Unfortunately, there’s no auto apostrophe insertion as there is in BlackBerry handsets, which requires a double button press to add. The phone is preloaded with Pocket Office, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint OneNote and a PDF viewer, but we were disappointed that the phone doesn’t support Wi-Fi. Though it is HSDPA-enabled, this still means you’re dependent on your operator’s 3G coverage, and have no option for free (and faster) internet if you happen to be in a Wi-Fi hotspot.
The camera has a token two-megapixel lens, but takes surprisingly decent pictures that show up with reasonable clarity on a computer monitor. You also get a few ‘fun’ apps like Smile Detection, and mosaic shot, which allows you to take four different shots and compile them, plus a rather silly ‘funny mask’ filter which adds graphics like bunny ears glasses to images you snap. There’s no auto-focus, but the shutter is pretty quick, so even if you move your hand slightly, the resulting photo is still decent.
The music player is less fleshed out, and you have the option to sync with your PC via Windows Media Player only. So if your library isn’t there already, you may be forced to import it all there. But this isn’t intended as a primary music player, with only 100MB of internal, and no microSD card bundled.
The C6625 is a business oriented device that plays as standard as it looks. The addition of a decent camera doesn’t quite make up for the lack of Wi-Fi nor the deficiencies in its Windows Mobile operating system, but as a lower end smartphone it performs reasonably in the email and business department.