E-TEN isn't a particularly well known brand in the UK but that doesn't mean it should be ignored. This relatively small outfit has managed to produce some nifty devices in its time, including this new handset, the E-TEN glofiish X600.
The X600 is currently available for around £300 SIM-free.
The first thing that hits you when you take the X600 out of its box is its quality look and feel. It's sturdy enough to take a few hits but also has a smooth, rubberised finish that, although not essential, differentiates it from most of the competition.
Size-wise and even features-wise it's very similar to the HTC P3300 (O2's XDA Orbit) but instead of a scroll ball, you're presented with a small joystick that's easy to use. If you don't want to use the joystick, you can input data via the X600's large colour touchscreen.
As with most Windows Mobile devices, touching the touchscreen with your fingers isn't always the best way to interact with the X600, so you do get a stylus that's stored in the bottom right corner -- keep in mind that you're likely to use it a lot.
Accessing the microSD slot is easy as it's not protected by any fiddly covers -- you just have to pop it in at the bottom of the X600. The camera is equally easy to activate using the dedicated shutter button the right side.
The X600's 2-megapixel camera isn't worth writing home about but it will let you print out relatively good quality small prints and is great for MMS messages. There's no LED photo light or flash, so shots in very low light aren't possible, unfortunately. But then again, this isn't a high-end camera phone. This phone's main strengths are in accessing work emails on the go and using Microsoft Exchange Server.
The X600 doesn't have a mechanical Qwerty keyboard, but its main functions are reading emails and replying with short messages, which it enables you to do very well with an on-screen keyboard. This can be switched to 'Easy Keyboard' mode, which gives you a larger keyboard layout, and makes it much easier to tap the screen accurately.
Browsing the Web is relatively easy-to-do using the built-in IE browser or a third-party browser such as Opera. You can also use the X600 as a sat-nav but our review model didn't come with any software, so we couldn't properly test it.
There's some lag when accessing and using several applications and the lack of 3G is annoying. You do get Wi-Fi, however, and the compact size of the device combined with the built-in GPS seems -- at least during our test period -- to make up for it.
Audio quality during calls was loud and clear, although we did notice more than normal that you can hear you voice through the ear speaker when you're speaking. The speakerphone worked as expected.
Picture quality from the X600's 2-megapixel camera is good relative to other 2-megapixel camera phones, which is suitable for MMS messages and small prints. It's not as good as higher-end camera phones, so don't expect great things.
Battery life is quoted at 5 to 6 hours talk time and 150 to 170 hours on standby. We found that it lasted for over two days before needing to be recharged with moderate use. Because it doesn't have 3G, it consumes less power.
The E-TEN glofiish X600 is a quality-looking phone with enough features to keep most gadget fans happy. It is very similar to HTC's P3300 but there's something about this handset that feels more classy. While Windows Mobile and the lack of a mechanical keypad will annoy some, we rather liked the X600.
Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Shannon Doubleday