O2 Xda Orbit 2 review: O2 Xda Orbit 2

CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent

Average User Rating

3.5 stars 4 user reviews
Review Date:

The Good Connectivity options including HSDPA; GPS capability.

The Bad Feels chunky; lack of flash on the camera.

The Bottom Line Compared to the original O2 XDA Orbit, the O2 Xda Orbit 2 adds some much needed oomph. It won't blow you away in the looks department but it's got it going on underneath the bonnet. If you need to stay connected and have a penchant for getting lost, then this GPS-enabled smart phone might be the perfect match for you

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The O2 Xda Orbit 2 is a rebranded version of the HTC Cruise, an all-in-one smart phone running Windows Mobile 6 Professional. It's also the successor to the original Orbit, which was the first Xda device to have built-in GPS.

A year on, we don't find built-in GPS to be such a big deal anymore, so how does it stand up against the competition? We put it through the paces to find out. The O2 Xda Orbit 2 is currently available free on a monthly contract.

Combining styling from the original Orbit and HTC Touch, the Orbit 2 is definitely a step in the right direction for O2's now sentence-cased Xda portfolio. It looks less like a business phone and more like something ripped off the inside of a BMW.

This circular navigation key can be pressed up, down, left and right, and you can spin it around similar to how you would an iPod's click wheel

The Orbit 2's 71mm (2.8-inch) large screen makes viewing content enjoyable and is complemented by large, easy to press navigation and soft keys. The circular, four-way navigation key also doubles up as a scroll wheel, which is useful for searching through long lists. Another noteworthy design feature is the accessible microSD slot that allows you to slip in and out microSD cards with minimum hassle.

Aside from these design perks, the Orbit 2's design isn't much of an improvement on its predecessor. The handset has cleaned up nicely, so you won't be the laughing stock of your business meeting, but we'd like to see some panache substitute its chunkiness.

There's no need to worry about connecting to the Internet if you're using an Orbit 2 -- it connects to almost everything. HSPDA (3.5G), Wi-Fi and Bluetooth mean that you're rarely going to be out of touch.

On the back, there's a 3-megapixel camera but it lacks an LED photo light or flash

You won't be lost either: the Orbit 2 comes with CoPilot Live 7 sat-nav software. It's very capable at getting you from A to B without too much fiddling. The speakerphone is sufficiently loud enough to hear in a car, so you shouldn't miss a turn if you're paying attention.

Windows Mobile 6 Professional offers you all the Exchange email connectivity plus Microsoft Office editing and viewing capabilities that you'd expect, with 128MB SDRAM and a Qualcomm MSM7200 400MHz processor pushing it all along.

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Where to Buy

O2 Xda Orbit 2

Part Number: CNETO2 Xda Orbit 2

Typical Price: £249.99

See manufacturer website for availability.