The o2 Xphone is one of the first phones in Australia to use Microsoft's new embedded SmartPhone 2003 OS, which is a highly, highly pared down and customised version of Windows XP. Anyone familiar with the Windows interface shouldn't have much trouble operating this phone. Having said that however, it does take some getting used to when navigating the menu systems, but it doesn't actually take long to get up to speed.
The Xphone is a chunky number, so if you're after a svelte device pass on this one. The majority of the phone is taken up with screen and its curved bezel though, and the number pad is only slightly larger than normal with good spacing between keys which helps reduce mis-keying. It's also light for its size, weighing only 130g.
More than a phone, the Xphone comes with full web and email capabilities, with mini-versions of Outlook (including contacts, calendar and to-do lists), MSN Messenger, Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player. This latter is capable of playing back movies, and audio files in WMA or WAV format. These can also be configured as ringtones if you tire of the polyphonic tones included as default.
The Xphone has a wealth of connectivity options. For starters, it's tri band GSM (900/1800/1900) and GPRS capable, comes with Bluetooth and infrared, and can be used as a GPRS modem to your PC or notebook via Bluetooth, IR or USB cable connection. There's also an SD slot for expansion, but as a base the phone has 64MB flash and 32MB SDRAM which is plenty of space.
Its display is generous, and works extremely well for framing shots with the in-built VGA camera, watching video clips or just playing games. With the large colour (176 x 220 pixel) TFT screen, plus its host of features and functions the Xphone is power hungry. It has three hours talk time and 90 hours standby, but we found we had to charge it a little more frequently than that allowed.