ASUS P552W Review – I am fast baby!

When was the last time you used a fast device? Let me say, a really fast device! If you have been an old Windows Mobile user, your memories may roll back to the Windows Mobile 2003 days. Well, ASUS has come up with the ASUS P552W, a device equipped with a very powerful Marvell Tavor 624MHz CPU promising super fast performance and with sleek and slim design, looks like ASUS has product that promises to be a winner among people.

Unboxing

All the usual stuff came into box. The box is simple and packaging is not similar to the ones of HTC. No HTC Diamond style box. Nothing flashy.

ASUS follows plain Jane approach: giving user simple experience while unboxing.

Following are the contents of the box:

  • ASUS P552W
  • mini-USB earphones
  • Charger
  • mini-USB cable (not ext-USB that the HTC uses)
  • 2 CDs: application CD and Activesync CD
  • 1100mAh battery
  • Glide user-interface guide
  • and some more papers

Design

The ASUS has followed the latest trend. The ASUS P552W follows the minimalistic design approach of not crowding the device with tonnes of buttons. It comes in black or white color. The unit I got was white in color. The body of it is shiny. So, it picks up fingerprints pretty easily. But, since the color is white, they are barely noticable. This may not be the case with the black unit.

On the left side, you can find the volume button, GPS antenna. On the top, you can find the power button.

On the bottom, you will soft-reset hole, standard mini-USB port and microphone.

On the right side, you will find the camera button and lock switch. This is similar to ones used in Motorola Rokr E6. Simple toggle it to lock the device. Nice and simple and it works!

The back of the unit contains the camera and speaker.

Screen

The screen is 2.8″ display with QVGA resolution. True, it is not ultra-crisp like the ones used in HTC DIAMOND and SE XPERIA X1,  but, it cannot be overlooked too. It is flushed just like the Touch range from the HTC. I personally liked it a lot. Why? The screen of the P552W is so sensitive that sometimes you feel that you are using capacitive screen. It is much much sensitive than the Touch Diamond’s screen.

Performance

This is where this device truely shines! I used the HTC DIAMOND and ASUS P552W together and felt how slow the Diamond is! The Diamond is not equipped with a slow processor at all (Qualcomm 528MHz). The ASUS P552W comes with Marvell 624MHz processor. Let the benchmarks do the justice:

Now, now the overall result. Poor HTC Diamond could not win in single field. I was spoiled by its speed in 10mins of usage! I felt my Diamond unbearably slow. The speed is lightning on P552W. The ASUS has tweaked the hardware and software alot. The applications lauched very quickly with no or little delay.

Connectivity

The ASUS P552W comes packed with lot of connectivity options. It has Wifi b/g, Bluetooth, HSDPA, UMTS and a SiRF StarIII GPS. I faced no problems in using any of these. Sadly, the USB is 1.1. I don’t know why ASUS did go for the USB 2.0 since all the devices these days come with 2.0.

This is weird considering the fact that the device comes with in-built Mass Storage mode. The USB 1.1 really limits the speed. On the brighter side, it is still faster than the slow Activesync file transfer speed.

The device comes with micro-SD card. The slot is SDHC compatible. So, you can use one of those 16GB SDHC micro-SD card and carry a lot of multimedia with you. Also, the micro-SD slot is hidden under the SIM slot.

Battery Life

The battery capacity is 1100mAh. Is it enough? Face it, it is a device with a powerful CPU and a host of connectivity features. If you use GPS continuously, it won’t last you much. How is it’s battery life compared to HTC Diamond? This will actually give you a better idea.

The battery life is great. You should get 2 days of good usage. To squeeze even more battery, ASUS offers built-in underclocking via which you can set the device to run at turbo, normal, automatic and power-saving mode.

Memory

The device comes with 256MB ROM and 128MB RAM. After a fresh hard-reset, you get around 60MB of free RAM.

Phone functions

The reception is descent. I made a few calls with the device and got no problems. The quality is speaker is great and sound pretty loud with little bass too. They have bundled a finger-friendly Dialer too which makes it easier to dial numbers.

Camera

It is a basic 2MP camera. It works fine for web pictures. Nothing much to talk about the camera.

Size Comparisons

ASUS P552W and HTC Diamond (O2 Ignito)

NOKIA E61i, ASUS P552 and HTC DIAMOND

The ASUS P552W is not think too. It gives you a similar feeling of the original HTC TOUCH. Here are few devices stacked upon each other: ASUS P552W, HTC DIAMOND, HTC S710 and NOKIA E61i.

Software Side: Welcome to the Glide interface!

In this comepitive world, powerful hardware is very important. But, software part cannot be ignorred. The ASUS has done quite a commendable job of giving some good compeititon to the HTC’s TouchFlo3D. The ASUS calls this interface as Glide. The concept is quite similar to the SONY EXPERIA’s panel interface.

It has 3 modes:

  • Life: This gives you a big analog clock and covers full screen
  • Business: This gives you a world clock
  • Original: This brings back the start button with a special ASUS today plugin. This is quite similar to the HTC’s TouchFlo interface.

Some screenshots of Life interface:

You can swip your finger to right or left to move between the images. Tap once to hide the buttons

Here are few screenshots of the Business screenshot

ASUS has bundled few goodies too. They have included simple backup/restore utility and a call filtering software.

They have also included a finger-friendly music player called EziMusic, which is relatively simple to use.

They have also skinned the WMP mobile.

A small, but useful application called meeting time planner, which is nothing but tells you the time of the other city compared to your city.

Remote Calender, an application that lets you sync your calender with the Google Calender is also included.

A simple ZIP application to unzip files on the go.

Youtube and Flickr application also been included to uplaod videos and photos respectively. Voice dialing is also included as-well-as Remote Desktop.

I tested Skype on it and it worked perfectly with no problems at all.

Overall Verdict

If you don’t care much about VGA and want pure speed and performance, then look no further. ASUS P552W is a great deal especially considering the fact that it is SIM-unlocked, meaning that you can use it with any provider/carrier. Coupled with the excellent build-quality by ASUS, it is an overall great package.

What we liked:

  • Speedy processor
  • Very Light and compact
  • Fits in hand easily
  • HSDPA, UMTS ready
  • Decent RAM, ROM
  • Glide interface
  • micro-SDHC support
  • Great build quality
  • Cheap

What we didn’t like:

  • No finger-friendly soft input panel bundled
  • QVGA resolution

ASUS P552W HOMEPAGE

Thanks To ASUS for the review unit!

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