But GPRS is slow. Edge technology helps, but the PocketSurfer doesn't use it. Datawind's solution is compression and cacheing. All page requests are routed through its servers, which get the page and image data - very quick, if it's in the cache - and squash it before flinging out to your PocketSurfer.
Google doesn't quite look like this on the 16-colour screen
Which brings us to the hardware. The 2R is a classic-sized clamshell palmtop - think of a skinny Nokia Communicator. It's got a piano black fingerprint-magnet lid, but it's matte inside. There are some chrome-style plastic bits too, but we have to say the whole thing looks and feels cheap. A finely tooled device like the iPhone or any other major-vendor handset this isn't. It looks and feels unfinished, like a design mock-up or a prototype, not a production device.
Edges don't line up. Sections of the hinge unit have their hollow interiors exposed. You can see the stains where a panel embedded into the central part of the hinge has been glued in place.
Opening the 2R - which is at least thin and light - reveals the 640 x 240 screen capable of showing 256 colours, though it's initially set to 16. And you can knock off about 30 pixels vertically for the persistent status bar. The keyboard is a flat metal sheet with gaps cut to demarcate each key - and for the backlight to glow through - and individual pressure switches beneath.
It's actually pleasant to use, though Datawind's done itself no favours with the look of the thing, which really isn't very good. Holding the device in two hands and typing with your thumbs feels entirely natural and comfortable, but anyone used to typing by touch or just with two index fingers won't like it. The keyboard could be better made, but we enjoyed using it far more than we expected we would.
I can Echo "Ghastly"...
I used one for a few days that came as from our IT supplier with some phones to test. Cheap tat is the best compliment I can pay it. Some may argue so are most mobile phones, but at least you GET a mobile phone too!
Severley limited even for it's limited application, and rubbish to boot.
Re: I have one
"much better than a WAP phone" WAP? Who even remembers that? It sounds like it isn't even as good as a high end phone with a decent browser. For only slightly more than that ridiculous 200 quid price tag you can get a Netbook for a fast full internet experience on a larger screen.
It attempts to fill a non existent niche between phone and SCC and is a complete fail. It looks like the sort of tat you get in one of those gift catalogues that keep falling out of magazines at this time of the year.
"I think 200 quid's cheap for a gadget"
I wish I did! It depends on the gadget, I suppose - it's not excessive for a Wii or a Netbook, but it seems an awful lot for something so crappy.
Everything about it is great but does it work?
Screen display is terrible, color limitations awesomely painful, download times make a 28.8 kbs modem look surprisingly swift.
On the other hand the case is swell, keyboard neatly functional.
Yes, I think 200 quid's cheap for a gadget - well below, after inflation, the £75 I paid for my first Walkman back in 1984.