Despite a good selection of apps, Windows Mobile has a poor touchscreen interface, and the ugly P300 doesn't make life easier with its poor screen, battery life and keyboard
Windows Mobile 6.5.3, 3.2in 240×400 display
The Acer neoTouch P300 is one of the few new phones that comes with Windows Mobile 6.5.3, the last version of Microsoft’s mobile OS before the new version, Windows Phone 7, launches this Christmas. If you’re on a Microsoft Exchange company network, Windows Mobile offers many features to make accessing your work contacts, emails and calendars easier.
The familiar Windows interface makes it easy to set up access to email, contacts and calendars via Exchange ActiveSync. Acer has gone one step further and added a social networking app; however, this only connects to Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and Blogger – a strange and incomplete choice.
You get a full set of office apps, including Office Mobile, Adobe’s Reader software and MSN Money, as well as Google Maps, Facebook and Windows Live messenger. Microsoft’s new Marketplace doesn’t have as many apps as Android’s Market or Apple’s App Store, but the few apps there are of a higher standard than in the Symbian, BlackBerry or Palm app stores.
The P300’s dull black plastic case isn’t very pretty, and it’s too fat to fit comfortably in your pocket. The slide-out keyboard is awful, with flat, rubbery keys that have no travel and a terrible layout. There aren’t dedicated Full Stop and Comma keys, and the Space key is only double-width and placed on the left side. For some strange reason, Acer has seen fit to place a key directly to its right that launches the email app, which can be very annoying.
The screen isn’t very impressive either. We noticed a lot of pixellation, especially on Windows’ text, and despite strong colours, photos lacked punch. Without an accelerometer, you have to open the keyboard to change from portrait to landscape mode. The touchscreen is a resistive model, and quite responsive, but unfortunately the P300’s processor can’t always keep up with your instructions, so the screen does lag occasionally.
As one of the last Windows phones to appear before Windows Phone 7 is released, the only reason to buy the P300 would be if your company demands it for compatibility reasons. It’s slow, unattractive and doesn’t last very long without a charge, and it’s not available on contract.
|Main display size||3.2in|
|CCD effective megapixels||3.2-megapixel|
|Video recording format||MP4, 3GP|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth, USB, WiFi|
|Memory card support||microSDHC|
|Memory card included||0MB|
|Operating frequencies||GSM 850/900/1800/1900, 3G 2100|
|Wireless data||EDGE, UMTS|
|Operating system||Windows Mobile 6.5.3|
|Microsoft Office compatibility||Word/Excel/PowerPoint editors, PDF viewer|
|Audio format support||WMA, WAV, MP4, 3GP, M4A, M4V, AMR, AWB, MP3, MIDI|
|Video playback formats||WMV, MP4, 3GP, M4V, AVI, FLV|
|Web Browser||Internet Explorer|
|Accessories||headset, data cable, charger, pouch, spare battery|
|Talk time||4 hours|
|Standby time||16.7 days|
|Tested battery life (MP3 playback)||9h 43m|
|Price on contract||N/A|