Feeds
90%

O2 XDA Orbit 2 smartphone

Rather good?

Security for virtualized datacentres

For anyone who buys the Orbit 2 in its generic HTC Touch Cruise incarnation, the GPS system also works just fine with Google Maps. The graphic representation is, of course, rather basic but the vocal prompts are not noticeably worse than those on some navigation software rigs you actually have to pay for.

But we should say that the Orbit 2 looks a whole lot nicer than the angular Cruise.

The handset's three-megapixel auto-focus camera, while a leap forward from the rather hum-drum two-megapixel devices common on most recent HTC handsets, still isn't likely to inspire you to take photographs that could grace the pages of National Geographic.

Presumably HTC has a to-do list some place - it needs to get to the item that reads "give our phones decent cameras" sooner rather than later. Unless, of course, it has just come to the conclusion that 90 per cent of phone cameras are never used for anything remotely akin to even semi-serious photography.

Xda Orbit 2 smartphone

Sadly O2 has seen fit to have dispense with the HTC home screen

In day-to-day use as a phone, the Orbit 2 did everything asked of it. We downloaded and used Skype and Fring without any problems, while cellular call quality was more than acceptable. Web browsing is the usual Windows Mobile Explorer pain in the backside, but at least you can stream video from the likes of YouTube and internet radio through it these days.

Battery life as usual is wholly dependent on what you have running. We left the GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi switched on and flattened a full battery in two hours and ten minutes. Being a little more considerate we got a full days usage, including an hour or so of talk time, half an hour of GPS usage, and an hour of Wi-Fi activity, all still with Bluetooth on.

Major bugbears? Only one, and its the usual one: no 3.5mm headphones jack. We are going to keep on pissing and moaning about this, loudly, until HTC decides to do something about it. Sort it out, guys.

Verdict

What's not to like about the O2 XDA Orbit 2? For the money, you're getting a perfectly decent Windows Mobile smartphone and a capable satnav system. When you consider that you can get the thing free with a £45-a-month contract or for only £50 with a £35-a-month contract and that it comes bundled with £80-odd worth of CoPilot 7 software, it's also quite the bargain.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

90%

O2 XDA Orbit 2 smartphone

A good phone and a decent satnav all in one handy little bundle. Fork out £15 for Spb's Mobile Shell and it won't even look like a Windows device.
Price: Contract: from free. Pre-pay: N/A. SIM-free: £409 RRP

More from The Register

next story
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.