Everyone’s jumping on the Java, Dual SIM bandwagon and long time popular consumer electronics player, Videocon is one of the new jumpers. Cashing in on today’s cheap-to-make and sell mobile handsets the company has launched a wide range of budget handsets from touchscreen Windows Mobile devices to the feature rich Dual SIM mobiles. Their V1604 is marketed as a multimedia handset with Dual SIM capabilities and here’s how it fares.

Form Factor
The V1604 is a large, good looking handset that’s equipped with a 2.4-inch TFT LCD (240 x 320 pixel resolution) display. The buttons and navigation system are very comfortable and easy to use. It has a total of three external speakers (top sides and rear) that make the speaker phone extremely handy for clear handsfree conversations. A proprietary USB port is located on one side but the flap can be a problem to open if you don’t have nails. A Music button is placed on the top for direct access to the player. A quick access FM button is also available. It’s not an altogether light-weight handset but it’s never the less well balanced and does have a feel good factor about it. The gray and red tones also make it look quite attractive.

Other than the minor issue of not having a hot swap memory card slot (supports up to 8GB) and a single port for charging, PC connectivity and the handsfree, the V1604 is a well designed device.

Features and Performance

The Java based OS that handsets like these run on seem to work a little better with the touchscreen variety. All of the manufacturers overlap the OS with a slightly customized UI and not all manage to do a thoroughly good job of it. Videocon’s V1604 has the same problem. Visually it’s attractive with large clear menus and icons but it isn’t always direct and the unnecessary requirement of having to have extra button taps just to open certain features is very very annoying.

Some of the features that the V1604 is equipped with has a UI that seems better suited for a touchscreen device as accessing some of the features and settings are not easy. Videocon has tried to incorporate the use of the keypad for this but the keys have not been defined so you’d be wasting time hitting random keys to figure out what each one does.

The G Senor Accelerometer function is sluggish. It can be used to scroll through images or switch image orientation but doesn’t work for videos or the browser. By flipping your hand in any direction you can also change the desktop wallpaper and change tracks like the iPhone’s Shake to Shuffle or Sony Ericsson’s Shake Control.

Media features include a music player that unlike some of the other Java handsets, found all my music files and listed them without me having to find them manually. A few EQ presets are available but don’t make too much of a difference. The music player’s volume level is quite low via the handsfree so you can forget about using it in crowded areas. Oddly though, music sounds quite decent via the speakers. The bundled handsfree is not capable of sustaining good quality audio. Aside from the decibel level being too low audio quality is very average.

The FM radio proved to be quite an asset however. Reception was quite good in most places and it very quickly located and stored all available channels as presets. A Scheduling option for recording from the radio is also available. The video player reads MPEG4 and 3GP files but once again I faced the issue with framing playback in my test files. This seems to be a very consistent problem as the same files will play on some java handsets but not all. The problem with this one is that even the videos captured from the camera have a lot of lag.

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