Velocity 103 Review
Supplied by Clove
Reviewer: Shaun McGill
Today I am going to look at specific features of the Velocity 103 and hopefully offer a much more accurate impression of what this smartphone is like to use in real word situations.
It has all of the specifications we expect in a Windows Mobile smartphone these days and as such there is a lot to look at. I am happy with the hardware design and performance so far so it is time to look under the hood and see if the good news story can continue.
The Today screen is a bit of a surprise when you first start it up and it bears some resemblance to the HTC way of doing things, albeit in a less advanced fashion. Tapping the main area brings up an option to add your city which you can either type in or let the GPS find for you. The GPS process took less than a minute (this was the first lock) and the current weather conditions then popped up on the front screen. Adding another city gives you the option to swipe your finger (TouchFLO style) and watch the next city swoop into the centre. This all works very well and seemingly has no effect on system performance which is a welcome relief. From the publicity shots you should be able to add some shortcuts as well, but for the life of me I could not find them.
The 2MP camera specification does not exactly bode well for achieving good quality snaps, but the end results were ‘far’ better than I expected. The shutter time is quite slow however and you will find yourself producing some very odd pictures if you move too much. Below are two examples which highlight the quality in fairly good lighting conditions. Of course it helps if you happen to be the Father of the most beautiful girl in the world
Video capture was also better than expected with good colour saturation and a decent frame rate. All in all this is a worthy addition to the 103 and well worth having for those moments when you want to catch a moment in time.
Overall performance is good and in general the entire process moves along as it should. Opening Word and Excel, however, took over 8 seconds each. I have no idea why this happens, but hopefully it will be fixed in a ROM update soon.
The Velocity 103 reminds me of the Samsung i780 performance wise and is surprisingly quicker than the Touch Pro I received recently.
This is a difficult one to judge at the moment because it has only been a few days, but I will air on the side of caution and say that it could be better. Obviously batteries need a few charges to reach their potential, but with 3G use I noticed an alarmingly quick drop in the power scale. To be fair I was taking photos and videos as well so time will tell in this area.
There are not too many extras included besides a currency converter and task manager, but not many are needed these days in the Windows Mobile arena. The OS is fairly complete and there are so many third party applications available that you would struggle to not find what you need for a few dollars. This is not an excuse because it’s always good to have extras included and a few more would be nice.
There are not many buttons to talk about here and most of them are fine for occasional use. The top slider on/off button could be better even though there is a useful locking mechanism built in. The side buttons are very flush and not easy to use, but time helps this process. They all appear to be well built, but could be better in my opinion.
Video playback is good and I suffered no stuttering during long periods of play, and of course the VGA screen is great for this. Music quality is good, but not in the same league as the iPhone or Blackberry Bold. Having said that, it is passable for music provided you are not too serious about the quality.
Operating System - Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional Velocity Odyssey Interface, VOTA Update
Processor- Qualcomm MSM7201
Memory - 128 MB DDR SDRAM 256 MB NAND Flash for OS & storage
Display - 2.8’’ diagonal VGA 640x480 pixel TFT LCD 262K colors
Cellular Connectivity - Class 10 GSM/GPRS/EDGE on 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz bands UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA on 850, 1900, 2100 MHz (Bands I, II, V) UMTS 384k/384k Upload/Download HSDPA/HSUPA 7.2Mbps download/ 2.2Mbps upload
Connectivity - Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g, Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR, USB 2.0 OTG High Speed, 11pin mini USB, 2.5mm stereo audio jack
GPS - NMEA 0183 / AGPS Compatible
Camera - 2 Mpx fixed focus, 0.3Mpx forward facing – video conferencing
Expansion - microSD slot
Battery - 1410 mAh Li-ion
Dimensions - 113 x 58 x 15mm
Weight - 130 g with battery
The Velocity 103 has surprised me in many ways and proved to be a more than capable smartphone. It does everything that is required of it and it can be difficult not to air on the side of leniency because this is a new name in the market. Well, I don’t do leniency and am still impressed by the 103. It retails for roughly the same price as the Treo Pro yet is quicker, has a larger and better quality screen and matches or beats it in almost all areas. The battery is a slight concern, so a longer test will be needed to clarify that.
I have to say that the Velocity 103 is already a contender and that is a great achievement in itself. It needs improvements in small areas, but then again so does the HTC Touch Pro and almost every other Windows Mobile device on the market. This is a VERY good start to the Velocity range and hopefully we will see and hear a lot more in the coming months.
Build Quality- 7
Ease of use- 8
Screen clarity- 8
Value for money- 8
Total score- 81%
Thanks to Clove for the loan unit. You can now pre-order the Velocity 103 from Clove.