I have had the Xda Orbit 2 for a few days now and have used it for car navigation. I am not going to review the phone or list the specifications – other sites have already done this. Instead, here are some more thoughts…
- I find the touch screen slightly insensitive. You have to press hard compared to most PPCs I have used.
- CoPilot works very well and is an able replacement for my stand-alone TomTom. The only quirk is that when you go the wrong way it nearly always tries to take you back the way it originally intended. The TomTom must take a point later on, on the road, as it tends to find the alternative route more readily. I particularly like the web side tracking, messaging and route planning functionality I commented on yesterday.
- The registration for CoPilot is slightly confusing. You have to enter a reg code and it indicates you have 3 days trial. It’s not clear this is if you don’t register (I believe).
- The CoPilot program is very professional and shuns the standard Windows Mobile UI and uses its own controls. This makes it have the look and feel of a stand alone GPS unit. Furthermore, it does integrate with the phone – one nice touch is the ability to navigate to a person in your Contacts.
- You aren’t constrained to using CoPilot in vertical mode – it’s possible to initially set the PPC to horizontal display (Start… Settings… Display) and CoPilot correctly displays everything horizontally.
- The battery is fairly large (1350mAh). This makes the phone larger than say the original HTC Touch but also has the advantage that it can go for a few days typical on-off GPS and WiFi use between charges. This means it doesn’t die after a day like the Nokia N95.
- I am still undecided about the size of the Orbit 2. It’s probably about the largest size I would carry about all the time. Having said this, I tend to favour small phones and even carried a non-smartphone up to a few years ago for this reason. I currently like the original HTC Touch and Nokia 6120c. Having lots of development phones around means I tend to be a SIM-switcher anyway!
- It’s possible to use the Orbit 2 as a modem for your PC. You have to use the standard Start…Programs… Internet Sharing application to initialise the bluetooth PAN. This is slightly inconvenient compared to other phones that tend to do this automatically. It works great, especially when you have a HSDPA connection.
O2 have set up a blog for the Orbit 2 if you want to read other people’s views on this great phone.