You're not alone if you thought the Dopod 577W looks uncannily like something you've seen before. Truth is, the design of the Dopod 577W was actually the O2 Orion in the making until the plug was pulled. However, don't let the new name fool you because even with a new model name, the Dopod 577W still packs quite a hefty list of specifications to rank itself as more than just your average Smartphone.
Functionality Meets Style
Although the Dopod is made of plastic, it's still a very attractive phone in its own right. Round edges and glossy black and gray finish give this phone a sophisticated appearance. The 2.2-inch LCD of 240 x 320 resolution consumes up a good portion of the phone to give it a balanced symmetry, which in turn creates quite a good visual feel. There are four tiny keys right below the screen to make it easier for users to traverse through the user interface and these are rectangular in shape and slightly raised at the bottom edge for enhanced tactility.
Other keys found in the phone included a volume control and two more shortcut buttons along the flank. The Dopod also comes with a miniSD slot found under the battery pack that, sadly, restricts users from being able to swap cards as and when they please. At the rear is a 1.3-megapixel camera for snapping photos and videos. Overall quality was quite good under average lighting conditions although grains were rather obvious.
It Gets Things Done
With its 195Mhz TI OMAP processor, the Dopod 577W is hardly the fastest in the business but there is a good reason for this.
The processor was chosen because it's able to return reasonable processing speed while maintaining battery efficiency at the same time. Most applications launched readily and the user interface did not feel sluggish at all. Battery mileage wise, the Dopod 577W had no problem lasting close to 2.5 days with both the Wi-Fi and GSM radios activated.
More than Meets the Eye
The Dopod 577W comes equipped with Microsoft's Windows Mobile 5.0 Smartphone edition; making it the first WiFi equipped smartphone in this part of the world. One highlight of the phone is that you no longer have to worry about losing your contacts, emails, and precious data the moment the battery is depleted. Simply recharge the Dopod 577W and you'll find all your data exactly where they were.
Another feature to go crazy about is its connectivity. Instead of the usual suite of GPRS, EDGE, Bluetooth, IrDA and USB connections, Dopod has thrown WiFi into the mix to stretch the communication legs of the Dopod 577W. Immediately, users can now check and send emails using Pocket Outlook, chat with friends using MSN, and surf the web with ease via Pocket Internet Explorer. Dopod has also incorporated dual language support (English/Chinese) into the 577W.
The advantage of the 577W is that it's much cheaper than a full-fledged touch-screen Smartphone while packing the all-important WiFi connection. Although handwriting is clearly not available, its ability to connect to the Internet using Wi-Fi, good battery milage, and its Windows Mobile 5 Smartphone Edition OS makes it a great package to contest any other Smartphones on the market currently.