O2 Xda Guide review: O2 Xda Guide

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3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Feature-rich; useful scroll wheel; good navigation software.

The Bad Small screen; speaker isn't loud enough for a sat-nav.

The Bottom Line The O2 XDA Guide is a good Windows Mobile smart phone, but, despite the excellent CoPilot Live 7 navigation software, it doesn't work well as a sat-nav device, due to its small screen and weedy speaker

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6.5 Overall

A very slightly tweaked, rebadged version of HTC's second-generation Touch Cruise, the O2 Xda Guide is a Windows Mobile smart phone that's supplied with the CoPilot Live 7 navigation software and all the accessories and cables needed to use it in your car. But, priced at about £145 on a £25-per-month contract, is it the ideal handset for road warriors who don't want the hassle of using two separate devices for phone calls and navigation?

Slick appearance
As a phone, the Guide is surprisingly attractive. It's smaller than many other Windows Mobile handsets on the market, and the chrome and dark-grey finish looks slick and professional. One of the handset's key features is its directional pad, which, as well as offering the usual four-way control, also spins around like the scroll wheel on old iPods. This can be used to move quickly up and down through long lists, but also doubles as a zooming control in applications like the Web browser and photo viewer.

Unfortunately, the handset runs Microsoft's clunky Windows Mobile 6.1 operating system. Thankfully, O2 has retained HTC's TouchFlo software. This provides a far more user-friendly interface that can easily be navigated by finger, so you don't have to rely on the stylus as much.

The Guide is surprisingly attractive, and its scroll wheel is a useful touch

With its 528MHz Qualcomm processor and 256MB of RAM, the handset feels relatively quick in use. It also has good connectivity, with HSDPA, as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. In terms of storage, the phone has 512MB of built-in ROM, but O2 also includes a 1GB microSD card. That's handy, as the maps for the navigation software take up a fair amount of storage space.

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