The Zinc II is the latest offering from MWg. It’s a Windows Mobile smartphone with a sliding keyboard, 3G, Wi-Fi, GPS, and a new fingertip-friendly user interface.
As I have only had this device for a few days, this is only a first thoughts review, since I am still training myself to make it my everyday device. That being said, there are some positives and negatives that I’ve seen already.
The Zinc II is a Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional smartphone. Behind its QVGA screen lies 168 MB of storage memory and 51 MB of program memory.
It’s a pretty hefty handset, which is a significant departure from what is usually in my pockets. But it only feels heavy when I hold it in portrait mode. Opening the sliding keyboard and rotating the device to landscape mode gives much better balance in my hand.
There are nearly flush buttons for volume, camera, and a third application button. There is also a microSD slot, but it’s exposed to the elements, similar to the mini-USB connector at the bottom of the Zinc II.
This smartphone features a soft-touch paint that is finding its way on some devices. Unlike other implementations of this paint that I’ve played with, though, it’s not a finger-print magnet. And because of how well it grips, the battery cover comes off easily.
The same cannot be said of the SIM card and 1530 mAh battery. The SIM card was especially hard to get out. Good thing that the battery life seems pretty solid, else there would need an adjustment in the case design to make it easier to remove as well.
A 2.0 megapixel camera rounds out the features. I was a bit surprised that for a device of its thickness that there was no flash on the camera.
So far, I am pleased with the design. I’ll say more about some things that are a bit different on the front face and keyboard in the full review.
Software and Telephone
As I stated before, the MWg Zinc II uses the Windows Mobile 6.1 operating system. In addition, there is a program called the MWg Zinc II Quick Menu (see image at right). It looks almost exactly like the TouchFLO interface on HTC devices, and performs similarly, as well.
It allows you to launch applications and do other tasks with your fingertips, but Quick Menu is not as integrated into the device as TouchFLO, and leaves you reaching for the very uncomfortable stylus all too often.
As with most other Windows Mobile devices, Internet Explorer, MS Pocket Office, and a few games round out the software.
So far, I’ve found nothing that just stands out about the Zinc II, but its only been a few days and sometimes devices are like that.
Operating System: Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
Processor: Samsung 500 MHz Processor
Memory: 64 MB RAM, 256 MB Flash ROM
Display: 2.8-inch QVGA Touchscreen
Cellular Wireless: Quad-band GSM, Tri-band UMTS HSDPA 3.6 Mbps
Wireless: Wi-Fi (802.11b/g), Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR
Camera: 2 MPx
GPS: SirfStar III
Dimensions: 4.3 in. by 2.3 inc. by 0.7 in. (109.5 x 59 x 18 mm)
Battery: 1530 mAh. Standby 200-260 hours, Talk time 4-6 hours
Look forward to the full review in a few weeks time. I’ll most likely have gotten used to the quirks of using it, as well as finding any special features on the device or in accompanying software.
What I can say at this point though is that the MWg has room to wow me. Its first impression only said that it was solid. I’ll have to live with it to find the rest of its beauty.