- Size, Speed, Interface and Controls, Display
- No Wi-Fi, Location of SD Card Slot, Proprietary charger/USB connector, Large keypad
Compact, yet elegant and stylish, it's hard to believe the Smartflip is a fully fledged smart phone running Windows Mobile 5. An excellent unit that's only let down by the lack of native Wi-Fi.
Price$ 999.00 (AUD)
The i-Mate Smartflip is a revolutionary new entry into the smart phone market, offering a never before seen compact and lightweight clamshell design running the new Windows Mobile 5 OS. The Smartflip includes a a 1.3 megapixel digital camera, Bluetooth connectivity and excellent external and internal displays.
The Smartflip has bucked the trend of the larger bulky smart phone. Measuring just 98.5 x 51.4 x 15.8mm and weighing a mere 99 grams, it looks distinctively similar to the Motorola RAZR V3, with thin lines and sleek curves. The unit is finished in a grooved black plastic on the front and battery cover, with a plain matt black finish extending over to the sides and bottom rear.
Despite being so thin, i-Mate still manages to squeeze a number of buttons onto the Smartflips exterior including dedicated MP3 player controls on the front, a camera button on the right and voice tags and volume control keys on the left. There's also a single USB and charging connector on the right hand side, but this isn't a standard mini-USB port. This means you'll always have to use the included proprietary cables.
The Smartflips exterior also includes a handy external screen that is capable of displaying caller ID information. The screen includes battery life, reception, missed calls, new messages and alerts. It also shows time, date and wallpaper - all of which can be altered and changed via the settings menu.
The Smartflip opens to reveal an impressive, bright and clear display. The 2.2-inch TFT LCD is smaller than many other smart phones, but this is required because of the size of the unit. It has a very good viewing angle and is clearly visible in sunlight. Beneath this is a keypad similar to the Motorola RAZR V3 with large flat buttons complemented by stylish silver imprints. Although the buttons require a firm press to activate, the keypad is far more intuitive to use than the RAZR V3. Our only complaint is with the size of the keys - they are fairly large and this makes your thumb a little sore when moving from key to key. Those with large fingers will definitely welcome this design though. The controls on the Smartflip are standard, with a 5-way navigational pad, two selection keys, answer and end call buttons and dedicated keys for home and back.
Features and Performance
We didn't know what to expect from the Smartflip interface, as Windows Mobile smart phones are usually operated via a stylus and touch screen and/or on-board keyboard. The Smartflip has neither of these, but i-Mate deserves a lot of credit for the easy operation of this unit. Menus are concise and simple, with the two selection buttons and navigational pad making life extremely simple and easy - we didn't feel the need for a stylus at any stage. On the home screen, the left selection button is the Windows Start button, and the right accesses Contacts. The functions of these keys change from application to application, making ease of use a definite advantage.
Where the Smartflip also excels is speed - this is the fastest Windows Mobile device we've ever reviewed. Its OMAP 850 195MHz processor works well and applications load very fast. Switching between running programs is effortless and besides startup there's not much lag to report - the camera in particular starts almost the moment you open it.
The Smartflip is fitted with 64MB RAM and 64MB ROM, of which 44MB is available for storing your data. This is fairly standard, although perhaps 128MB of RAM would have been a better option. Thankfully the Smartflips memory can be expanded thanks to a microSD (formerly Transflash) slot. The most disappointing aspect of this is its location underneath the battery - this means you'll have to turn off the phone, slide off the back cover and remove the battery just to access it the card slot.
The Smartflip includes a 1.3 megapixel camera, but most smart phones are currently shipping with 2.0 megapixel or greater cameras. The camera does have a number of features, including grayscale, sepia and cool effects, a 2 and 10 second self-timer, 2x digital zoom and the ability to adjust white balance settings, but it is missing perhaps the most vital of all - a flash. The quality of pictures isn't impressive with poor colour reproduction and image noise. The Smartflip also enables you to capture short (MMS) or long videos but the quality again isn't anything to write home about.
The biggest failing of the Smartflip is undoubtedly the lack of native Wi-Fi support. It includes GPRS and Bluetooth as connectivity options - infrared is also absent. We were also disappointed to learn that it isn't a 3G phone - only supporting the 2.5G network. Other features include a loud and clear hands free speakerphone, polyphonic MIDI ring tones, Java support, a microphone for voice dialing tags and MP3 player capabilities. Of course, the Smartflip includes the range of applications that come with Windows Mobile 5, including Pocket Outlook, Calendar, Contacts, Internet Explorer Mobile Windows Media Player, ActiveSync, Pocket MSN, Calculator and Games.
The Smartflip has an average battery life with up to five hours of talk time and 150 hours of standby time according to i-Mate figures. These are a little disappointing considering the phone isn't 3G. We found ourselves having to charge the phone every two nights or so, which is quite normal.
Join the newsletter!
Modern workplaces come in a variety of shapes and sizes including the traditional cubicle, the open-plan office, and even the family home.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Nova 3e: P20 in a pinch
- 2 Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- 3 LG E8 OLED TV (2018) and SK10Y soundbar review: If you've been on the fence about OLED, now might be the time to jump it
- 4 Nokia 6 (2018) review: Simple. Solid. Supreme.
- 5 Samsung Q9F Series QLED: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Samsung announce the Galaxy A7, the company's first triple-lens camera smartphone
- Samsung Galaxy S10 lineup will consist of four devices, including a 5G model
- 3SIXT reveals range of accessories for new iPhones
- Cygnett releases its latest range of iPhone cases
- New Moshi accessories for iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Panasonic FZ1000U OLED TV: Full, in-depth, review
- Oppo Find X: Full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies