Blast from the Past – Mwg Zinc II review

Below is the review of the Mwg Zinc II that I wrote in 2008.

Review of Mwg Zinc II  by Gavin Fabiani-Laymond.

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Date of Review – 18th July 2008

Available from –  http://www.expansys.com/

Price – £399.95 with currently a £50 cash back offer

Pros – Zinc II menu useful
            Retractable Stylus
            Loud Speaker (never miss a tone)
            Mini-usb

Cons – No flash on camera
            Competition

Expansys recently sent me the Zinc II to review. I have had this a week now, and have actually enjoyed this handset. It is a fairly straight forward affair. The specifications are :-

Operating System: Microsoft® Windows Mobile® 6.1 Professional, World Wide English
• Processor: Samsung 520MHz
• Memory:
– 256MB Flash ROM
– 64MB RAM
– MicroSD expandable memory
• Display: 2.8” TFT QVGA, Flat Panel (Touch Screen)
• Keyboard: QWERTY keypad with semi-automatic sliding mechanism
• Network Frequency:
– Quad-band GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz
– Tri-band UMTS 2100/1900/850 MHz
– HSDPA 3.6Mbps
• Connectivity:
– Wireless LAN 802.11b/g
– Bluetooth® version 2.0
• Audio:
– Speakerphone
• GPS: Integrated highly sensitive SiFRstarIII GPS chip, reliable in urban and densely covered outdoor environments.
• Camera:
– 2 Megapixels CMOS camera
– Supports still image and video capture
• Operating Time:
– Standby up to 260 hours (GSM)
– Talktime up to 6 hours
• Dimensions: 109.5 x 59 x 18 mm; 185g

The key point to note is the 64mb of ram. Whilst this did not cause me any problems, most WM6 devices now have 128mb of ram. I am sure if the device was loaded and running several intensive applications, there is a possibility to overload it.  The keyboard is very sensitive, and at first I held the key to long and duplicated letters. However, with a bit of practise I started to get used to the keyboard and actually started to like not having to press the keys so hard as I do on my Samsung i780.

Mwg have followed HTC’s today plugin concept and provided a today plugin called Zinc II menu. Unlike the HTC option, it allows multiple contact shortcuts and application shortcuts. See screenshots below.

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In use the call quality was as good as most WM6 devices I have used, but the loudspeaker volume was loud, so no chance missing any alarms!

As the device uses mini-usb, it is compatible with a wide range of accessories. The stylus is a retractable one, and a bit lightweight for my liking.

Mwg have also tweaked some of the settings – see screenshots –

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All the features of the device as described and the only one concern I have is with the 64mb of program memory, and the lack of buttons on the front of the device. A start menu and ok button would have been helpful, but Mwg have gone for the cleaner look.

After using the phone for the last week, it has been a pleasant experience. Thanks to http://www.expansys.com again for sending the unit for review.

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