If you are looking for a Windows Mobile Professional smartphone you have lots of choice. But if you want to add live mobile TV into the mix, you need to look at the E-TEN V900 as it is the only Windows Mobile device available in the UK to include a TV antenna.
It also, as one of its many other features, has an FM transmitter, so you can send any audio stored on it to an FM radio, such as the one in your car. This is becoming more visible in higher-end mobile phones, but it is another real rarity for Windows Mobile.
The general hardware design is very reminiscent of other Windows Mobile smartphones, with a large screen dominating the front fascia. Its 640 x 480 pixels are clear and sharp.
There is 256MB of ROM and 128MB of RAM and after a hard reset our review sample reported 110MB of free storage. This was after a whole host of applications had automatically installed, and if you don’t want any of them you can simply uncheck them from the install list that pops up when you first switch the V900 on, or when you reset it.
There isn’t much missing by way of specifications. This is a 3G device with a front-facing camera for video calling and a 3-megapixel camera on the back. The camera is also used by an application that turns photographed business cards into entries in the Contact book.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are here, and there is a GPS antenna too. This latter is accompanied by an application we’ve seen on a lot of E-TEN devices which lets you send your position as part of an SMS message. An FM radio complements the music player.
An accelerometer turns the screen as you rotate the V900 in your hand, and there is a version of the popular SPB Mobile Shell software which gives you an HTC TouchFLO style way of getting around the device. There are three screens to move through by sweeping a finger from left to right: one offers favourite contacts, one application shortcuts and the third offers a calendar view with shortcuts to weather, messaging and missed calls.
The star of the show, though, has to be that TV antenna. The aerial is pulled out of one edge of the casing. We found we were able to watch programmes quite comfortably on the 2.8-inch screen, though we did get some loss of signal from time to time. You get the full range of free to air digital channels in the UK and we managed three and a quarter hours of TV viewing from a full battery charge.
A final bonus is TV-out capability, and E-TEN provides the required cable.
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