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O2's latest smart phone, the Xphone II, sheds the bulk of its predecessor and gets decked out in a stylish case. Upside: O2 claims the Xphone II is the slimmest smart phone in the world; 26 per cent slimmer and 22 pe rcent lighter than its predecessor, measuring 44.5 x 107.5 x 18mm and weighing in at 102g. It certainly looks a lot more stylish and sophisticated that the original Xphone, with a design that is somewhat comparable to Sony Ericsson's ever-so-popular T610. The predominantly black case is complemented with a graphite-coloured tiered keypad, which features two soft keys, Home and Back keys and a navigation joystick.
Running the Second Edition of Microsoft's Windows Mobile 2003 Smartphone operating system, the Xphone II allows you to send e-mail, access the Web, listen to MP3 files, take photos and capture videos.
Downside: Aside from an exceptional makeover and an updated OS, the Xphone doesn't bring many new features to the table. Still the features it has are nothing to turn your nose up at: tri-band support; substantial memory (32MB SDRAM, 64MB ROM) to store loads of contacts, documents, and messages; and a miniSD slot to boost storage capacity.
Outlook: The Xphone II is will appeal to consumers looking chiefly for a phone that has PDA functionality added-on. The opposite could be said for O2's Xda IIs, which is a PDA first, with phone ability attached.
Subsequent to looking at the Xphone last year, a bundle of identical looking devices manufactured through HTC came onto the market confusing some consumers with their different branding. It looks like O2 is going to beat any potential competitors that may be planning to bring HTC-manufactured devices to market by releasing the Xphone II at the end of November at a recommended retail price of AU$749. Check back for the full review soon.