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ASUS P320 Mini GPS PDA Phone
Mobile Phones | First Looks
Thu 04 Dec 2008

A Mini Marvel

By Sutlej Soin and Ray Ku

Mini is a word that is seldom associated with Windows Mobile handhelds, but if you set your sights on the new ASUS P320 Mini GPS PDA Phone, its moniker actually makes sense. Despite the domination enjoyed by both HTC and Samsung in the Windows Mobile market currently, the P320 looks set to spark a frenzy with a bucket full of features and more importantly, an aggressive pricing.

Mini-Me, You Complete Me

Measured at approximately 100mm tall by 55mm wide, you'll find the P320 to be comfortably shorter and smaller than the famous HTC Touch from a year back. Design wise, ASUS has thoughtfully included well-sized hardware keys (which we had no problems accessing) for the essential few buttons like Start, OK and a five-way navigation pad in the centre just below the screen. Flanking the sides are the volume keys, and ever present on ASUS products, is a hardware lock key to prevent accidental key presses.

ASUS has adopted the user interface trend and bundled the P320 with a new plug-in called ASUS Today, which includes a large digital clock as well as larger tabs for upcoming appointments, alerts for missed calls and messages, a weather forecaster program, as well as Newstation, an RSS reader from ASUS. There is also the inclusion of a built-in call filter and a simple profile system application, which in our opinion, is an interesting and useful add-on not normally present in PDA phones out of the box.

Minimal Effort

Delve deeper into the technical details of the P320 and you might experience a degree of disappointment. First and foremost is the included 128MB memory space and the paltry 64MB RAM; specifications that are sorely insufficient for today's mobile warrior and have been available since the days of O2 XDA II. Multi-tasking also proved to be somewhat of a challenge, due to the choice of a OMAP850 200MHz processor.

Next up: the lack of 3G support on the P320. As a result, loading websites will tend to take a long time on the 2.5G EDGE GPRS data network. Of course, if you are within range of a hot-spot, you can make use of the onboard Wi-Fi connection option. ASUS has also managed to cram in a 2-megapixel auto focus camera into the package. The camera quality is passable and is on par with the standard 2-megapixel camera phones nowadays. Thoughtful as ASUS might have been with the provision of an external GPS antenna to boost reception on top of its internal SiRF StarIII GPS receiver, no GPS software is provided together with the package, a measure probably taken to keep costs low.

Miniature Costing

In a world where full featured Pocket PC phones cost an arm and a leg, the ASUS P320 has brought to the table a refreshing change to the market. If the lack of 3G and the small amount of RAM are of minor importance, then the ASUS P320 (with an attractive price of S$545) could very well be the solution to your mobile needs.

Product Specifications

  • Network support: GPRS/GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
  • Display: 2.6-inch
  • Operating System: Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
  • Processor: TI 850 200MHz
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, USB v1.1, Bluetooth, GPS
  • Memory: 128MB ROM, 64MB RAM
  • Camera: 2-megapixel
  • Battery: 1100mAh
  • Standby Time: Up to 200 hours
  • Talk Time: Up to 4 hours
  • Dimensions: 99 x 54.5 x 13.35mm
  • Weight: 105g
  • Price: S$545