We've just received our E-TEN Glofiish X500+ in for review, and here's a little preview to tide you over until we're ready to publish the full review.
The X500+ is a close relative to the Glofiish X500 we reviewed in January 2007. It's a Windows Mobile 6 Professional (Pocket PC Phone) that's loaded to the max, including an internal GPS and VGA display.
First, let me say VGA in a standard-sized Windows Mobile Professional (Pocket PC Phone) is awesome! While Windows Mobile 5 did little to take advantage of that higher resolution, Windows Mobile 6 does better. IE has a high res option that changes the browser view from QVGA to VGA, the Today Screen doesn't have fonts for the blind, but rather it's more optimized for VGA, photos look better with Pictures and Videos, videos played full screen in Windows Media player are lovely and GPS maps in apps that support VGA (including the free Virtual Earth Mobile) are much more useful. For those who crave VGA, but don't want a device as large and expensive as the HTC Advantage, the X500+ is very appealing. And again, VGA is perfect for mapping in conjunction with the built-in GPS. However, type is smaller, so those with older or weaker eyes may have to work harder to read those street names or text in IE (you can of course increase text size or return to QVGA view in IE Mobile).
The E-TEN Glofiish X500+ running the bundled GPS satellite viewer application.
The X500+ has a black soft touch skin that's popular these days. It's the same kind of finish used on the T-Mobile Dash, Samsung BlackJack and T-Mobile Wing. It feels nice, keeps the device safely in hand and improves the X500+'s look.
In terms of hardware, the X500+ is otherwise identical to the Glofiish X500 reviewed here. It features an integrated GPS that gets a fix fast and works very well. It has Bluetooth 2.0 +EDR, WiFi 802.11b/g, a so-so 2.0 megapixel camera, a MicroSD slot and it's an unlocked quad band GSM phone with EDGE for data.
The CPU is the Samsung 400MHz Samsung SC32442 whose performance is respectable. The device has about 30 megs of free flash memory for storage after E-TEN's value-added apps install at first boot (you can remove any of these if you wish, but many of them are quite handy). The X500+ has approximaely 23 megs of RAM free after boot to run programs.
The display is 16 bit 640 x 480 VGA (TFT) and it looks very sharp, bright and we love it. Despite the VGA display, the Glofiish X500+ is no larger than the X500. It measures 4.45" x 2.434" x 0.61" and weighs 5.51 ounces.
So far, I'm impressed with the product, and E-TEN's good software bundle (despite the usual few spelling errors sprinkled across those apps). We expect the X500+ will sell for approximately $600US unlocked with no contract required.
Stay tuned for the full review! And if you have any questions, please post them here.
-------------------- Lisa Gade Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview
Hands on First Look at the E-TEN Glofiish X500+ with VGA, GPS and Windows Mobile 6