GPRS, Bluetooth, WAP 1.2 mobile phone
Ericsson's new R520 is a feature-packed phone. Not only does it include built-in Bluetooth, WAP 1.2 and HSCSD (high speed circuit-switched data), it also supports GPRS (general packet radio service).
GPRS promises faster downloads and always-on connections for mobile users, with billing based on the amount transferred rather than the time connected. However, to benefit you need a service provider that supports it.
Although Vodafone and BT Cellnet will have consumer offerings soon, we decided to take a look at the other aspects the phone has to offer now, and plan to provide an update later when GPRS is more widely available.
Thanks to the built-in Bluetooth support, you can easily set up a wireless data connection to a similarly equipped notebook, but it also ties in nicely with the R520's synchronisation functionality. Using the supplied software you can synchronise your phone book, tasks and calendar with Outlook on your PC via Bluetooth, infrared or cable.
The obvious benefit of using Bluetooth is that there are no wires to carry around and the phone can be in your pocket or briefcase, as it doesn't require line of sight. The R520 supports 1,900MHz plus the usual 900/1,800MHz bands, making it suitable for use while travelling in the US. Predictive text from T9 is available, as well as an expanded phone book that allows you to store multiple numbers and contact details for each entry. Despite all the R520s functionality, the phone isn't too bulky and remains reasonably light at 105g.
Ericsson has packed almost every mobile technology (existing and emerging) into the unit without making it the size and weight of a brick. The R520 should provide you with everything you need until 3G takes off. At £212 without contract, it is good value for money.
Contact: 08705 237 237
Features: 900/1,800/1,900MHz triband GSM
WAP 1.2 browser
510-name phone book
This review is taken from the August 2001 issue. All details correct at time of publication.
Copyright © 2001, IDG. All rights reserved.