In the Dual SIM mobile segment it’s extremely hard to find one that runs on a Windows Mobile OS. That’s because in India, there isn’t any except this the Spice D1111. Incorporating touchscreen functionality as well as a keypad, the D1111 is also designed to support both GSM and CDMA frequencies. Here’s a closer look.
The D1111 comes with a 2.8-inch touchscreen display that’s relatively scratch resistant but the handset also ships with a leather pouch and a screen guard just in case. Although it’s a bulky handset, Spice has managed to keep it quite light weight. The keypad may look small but it’s very well spaced out and is comfortable to use. On one side you’ll find a jog dial for navigation volume and digital zooming for the 2MP camera and although it acts as a button as well, an additional and very redundant ‘Ok’ key is located just under it. The proprietary USB and charging port is at the lower end of the same side. On the other side is the power/screen lock button followed by a 2.5mm handsfree socket and the camera key. It has no hot swap for a microSD card and the battery is actually built into the rear panel.
It’s not a bad looking handset and at first sight shows tremendous potential to be a very easy to use device but ultimately it’s up to the Operating System and UI to ensure that.
Features and Performance
Running on a Windows Mobile 6 Professional edition, the Spice D1111 could be considered a little old fashioned but oddly enough it’s really smooth flowing. It may not have the flare and colors of 6.5 but its basic and worked without a hitch. If the font is enlarged you could use just your fingers to access certain features but typing will require the stylus as the native virtual keyboard is too tiny. It does support handwriting recognition if you care to use it. The worst part is the physical keypad only seems to be usable with a dictionary setting and there was no way to shut it off. If you’re not used to it, it’s really annoying.
The handset has options to switch off either frequency if you want. Simultaneously functioning at both frequencies was without any issue.
The Windows Media Player for WinMob handset is by far the worst there is. It comes with no frills like EQ settings etc. and always requires you to update the library every time you add new media files. The process hasn’t been streamlined even in version 6.5, so one has to rely on the processor’s speed to quickly find and add all files. But the more you have the longer it takes and the D-1111 is no exception. The players volume is just too low to enjoy anywhere in this noisy city. The handsfree is ok for calls but not for music and overall audio quality is nothing better than just average. 3GP and MPEG4 videos play smoothly but the resolution didn’t look too good.
GPRS and WAP are fully active for accessing the web via the much older version of IE for mobile; however an Opera Mini browser is also at hand. I’d recommend using the latter as it’s faster and more user friendly. Other connectivity options include Bluetooth with an A2DP profile and of course USB with Active Sync for backing up your data. Spice has also loaded the handset with useful apps like Mitr that allows you to connect to the net and read newspapers (inbuilt Financial Express application), access cricket information on cricbuzz.com, search on sulekha.com, look for a spouse on jeevansathi.com and hunt for jobs on naukri.com.
For a bit of social networking Nimbuzz is available that allows for chatting on a range of services like Gtalk, Yahoo! Messenger, MSN, Skype etc. Of course all WinMob devices come with a preloaded MSN Messenger app as well. Spice has also added a direct link to Reuters and of course Windows Live. Emails can be retrieved via corporate MS exchange servers or you can easily set up your POP or IMAP accounts as well. The Email2SMS app is also available and allows users to send and read emails without having to connect to GPRS.
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