O2 Atom Life Review

The XDA range of O2 have been successful till now. The XDA range has always been powerful and full-featured. Then, what does the Atom Life has to offer to make itself stand in the very competitive PDA-phone market? What makes Atom Life so special and different from other windows mobile devices? Lets find out.

Review of O2 Atom Life by MWG

O2 Atom Life is made by quanta. The last HTC device which was branded by O2 was HTC universal. After that, O2(asia) teamed up with quanta and released Atom followed by Atom Exec. Atom Life is the latest quanta device from O2(asia). Both Atom and atom exec have been very popularAtom was, infact, the first windows mobile device to offer FM radio built-in. Its successor Atom Exec used 192MB ROM. Atom Life offers 1GB ROM and runs the fastest processor avaliable for windows mobile devices! Very few devices running windows mobile offer this much amount of memory and speed.

Design of O2 Atom Life

The device is very compact. I’ve fairly large hands and device feels comfortable to hold in my hands. Width wise, it is same as Atom. Height-wise, just 4mm bigger than Atom.

It is quite light at 145g. I’ve come to Atom Life from O2 Executive(don’t confuse it with Atom Exec), which was quite large for a phone device. The built quality is excellent. The body does not make any sort of sounds upon squeezing, which is a good sign for quality.

Sadly, like Atom, the body is glossy(again) and therefore, a fingerprint magnet. So, make sure you have some sort of cotton/nylon cloth handy ;)

Power button and mini SD slot are on the top of unit. At the bottom of the unit, you’ll find the usual 2.5mm headphone jack, mini-USB, microphone and reset button.

On the right side, you’ll find two application buttons(both remappable). On the left side, you’ll find two buttons to adjust the volume. Note that latter cannot be remmaped. Also, there is no jog dial.

On the back you’ll find the 2.0M camera. The quality of camera was acceptable

On the front, you’ll find a VGA camera for video calls, a little grill which encapsulates the speakerphone and LED lights for notifications(reception, wifi, bluetooth and alarms). The display is 2.7″ TFT QVGA LCD display, which supports 262K colours (but, only 65,536 effective due to OS limitations). As you move down, you’ll find two soft-keys(finally O2 has listened to the complaints of atom/atom exec users which didn’t have any soft keys), D-pad, call/end keys and Windows application key and media key, which opens O2 Media Plus(but, it can be remmaped). I recommed users to remmap it to ‘Ok’ action as it would improve one hand useability of the device

Comparison with other devices(and things)

O2 neo(htc prophet) and atom life

ipaq 2215 and atom life

my wallet, atom life and my watch

Its all about power, speed and memory

Atom Life is equipped with state-of-art Intel PXA270 processor running at 624MHz, which the fastest avaliable for any mobile phone. Its performance was great and was able to run everything with ease and great speed.

To add to the icing, it has 1GB ROM! Finally, I can store every program I want to install in main memory. This is a big advantage when compared to launching applications from storage card as it speeds up loading time. Also, you no longer need to worry about your storage card going nuts and thus driving you nuts! Please note that not full 1GB is avaliable to the user. (as some space is used by OS and O2 specific applications)

The RAM is 64MB out of which we get ~23MB after fresh hard reset. O2 should have made it 128MB like HTC Tytn II, but, 64MB ram looks fine to me for running every sort of application that comes to my mind. Sure, there are some games that require 28-30mb of free RAM. I don’t think so that you can achieve that in Atom Life :(

Software

When the Atom Life was launched, it came with windows mobile 5. Soon after few months, O2 endowed Atom Life owners with newer, sleeker and ‘better’ windows mobile 6(for free). The new units with windows mobile 6 are already into the market.

Continuing the tradition of including O2 specific applications, Atom Life too came with these applications

• O2 Connect
• O2 MediaPlus
• O2 Menu
• O2 SMS Plus
• O2 Themes

The story does not ends there, O2 further bundled following applications which can opitonally be installed by user anytime.

• CodeWallet® Pro
• GPRS Monitor
• Jeyo Mobile Extender 2.0
• Jeyo SMS Backup
• Jblend(for running java applications)
• PDF Viewer
• Self Diagnostics
• Sudoku Revolution
• WorldMate

Connectivity options

Atom Life supports all sort of modern connectivity that today stream of high end devices offer. Atom Life has it all. It is a Tri-band(900/1800/1900) UMTS, HSDPA device which also has wifi and bluetooth.

It also has FM radio.

Camera

On the paper, Atom Life’s 2MP camera sounds good. But, in real life, it is just enough good for taking pictures in times when you’re not carrying a camera. Its nice but picture quality is adequate for blogging. Here is a picture of a girl I took this afternoon(actual resolution of the picture was 640 x 480)

The camera offers 8x zoom at 176 x 144, 4x at 320 x 240, 2x zoom at 640 x 480 resolution. In other resolutions, that is, 1280 x 1024 and 1600 x 1200, zoom is not possible. The strobe light is pretty much useless too. Don’t expect it to match the flash of Nokia N95.

Pros:

*WM6
*Fast
*Lots of storage memory
*UMTS and HSDPA support
*non-telescopic stylus
*FM radio
*nice set of bundled applications

Cons:

*body is a fingerprint magnet
*no GPS
*Camera quality still leaves lot to be desired
*Speaker sound still shabby

Final thoughts about the O2 Atom Life

Atom Life is a great device with lots of features and connectivity built in. The storage space is mammoth. The device looks sexy and very elegant too. Screen is great to look at. Not to forget the fastest processor in its class it posseses!

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