ViewSonic V350 dual Sim Android smartphone
For business and pleasure
Review Every now and again, a brand new product comes along that seems to hark back to days of yore, to a time when things were different. One of those things would be the steam-powered PC, another is the ViewSonic V350 – a smartphone that can work on two networks simultaneously.
Dual of the dial: ViewSonic's V350
There was a time, back in the early days of mobiles, when dual SIM handsets were fairly common, but they’re seldom seen these days. With lower prices these days, if you really need an extra handset, you don’t have to splash too much cash for a budget dialler.
But if you really can’t be arsed to carry two handsets, either because you work as a drug dealer, have a secret number you want to keep from your partner, or perhaps if you regularly travel abroad, then a dual-SIM handset could well be a convenient option.
Truth be told, first impressions don’t mark the V350 out as a quality handset. Its chunky plastic casing feels a bit too flexible and flimsy to inspire confidence. The display doesn’t help, with its 3.5in screen offering a relatively low 480 x 320-pixel resolution. Not terrible, but a bit fuzzy looking compared with the best.
Visually, this would still be tolerable, but the screen does lack sensitivity. Its unresponsiveness makes getting what you want frustrating on occasion, as you press the icons several times begging them to take notice of you.
ViewScene 3D is ViewSonic's own spin on the Android Froyo OS
On start up, there’s a choice of interfaces – standard Android and ViewSonic’s own ViewScene 3D (see what they did there?), which is actually nothing of the sort. It basically offers a slightly different view of Android and while it does have some OK-looking widgets, none of them are really ‘better’ than the Android UI alternatives, but they’re fine for a change.
Next page: Dual citizenship
This is the product that I've been waiting for for ages... I am part of another community that would really benefit from a good dual-sim smartphone: I'm a Tech Support Manager for a software company, my work phone # is published to all and sundry, so I keep a personal number as well (so I can turn the work one off from time to time...).
This means I have to carry 2 handsets, maintain 2 sets of contacts, keep 2 phones charged etc (not to mention that the work handset is a BB so I have to know how to drive 2 different phones, have different peripherals, cables and chargers...).
What I want is essentially a dual-SIM Desire S; a great Android smartphone with 2 slots so I can choose which SIM to use. I've tried various 'dual SIM' plugin cards but they always want you to reboot the phone when switching...
Now the apparently perfect phone comes along and it's cheap, plasticky, slow and out dated! Gah!
Shame there aren't more
Shame there aren't more dual sim phones, but doubtless from the mobile manufacturers point of view they're seen as a quick way to reduce sales rather than increase them.
We've got cameras in our phones so no longer [u]have[/u] to carry a separate camera just for quick snaps.
We've got MP3 players in our phones so no longer have to carry around an additional device, including charger and headphones, just to play music.
But most of us have jobs so we still have to carry a second phone, often with a different charger. Yes, there is a *standard* mobile charger connection however some manufacturers have decided to continue ignoring the rules. From a business point of view it makes a lot of sense - an employee would take better care of a personal phone compared to a business phone so just supply a SIM instead.
I own this phone, and have for awhile, he's my review
It did come with 2.2, and a version of the Viewsonic launcher app that could be turned off. I did an OTA (over the air update) mid December and that put it up to 2.3.7 Gingerbread, but then the new Viewsonic launcher app was always running, and I could not go with the Android default. I though 2.2 was slow, but 2.3.7 was slower, until I rooted it and removed the Viewsonic launcher and all the other crap that was slowing it down, now it works great.
Under 2.2 the loudspeaker volume sucked, but 2.3.7 fixed that for the most part. Speakerphone is still hard to use while driving, as it is still too quiet.
Dual active SIMs
OS is nice after updating from 2.2 Froyo to 2.3.7 Gingerbread and rooting to remove all the non-removable junk.
3.5 mm standard headphone jack.
Battery is OK for having 2 radios on at the same time.
I'm not nice to it, but the screen still doesn't have a mark on it.
Camera is OK.
Deals with contacts nicely, lots of options.
Fast enough to run Angry Birds.
USB/charging connection is behind a lame little cover, and is on the side. (this really is lame)
2.2 had a weird "Airplane mode" error that drained the battery quicker.
Not the fastest CPU, not even close, needs to be better.
No flash for the camera.
Only about 100mb free on the "phone" for adding apps that can't be moved to the SD. (most can be moved, but not all)
Under 2.2 sometimes after powering on or rebooting, Apps stored on the SD card didn't show up, or showed up with a broken icon. This error has gone away completely under 2.3.7.
Speakerphone is too quiet and the person on the receiving end hears background noise pretty badly. (normal non-speakerphone is fine).
Battery will last about 4 days if Wifi and Bluetooth is off and you don't make or receive any calls.
About a days worth of calls will drain the battery in a day. I charge it every day of two (usually every day)