CNET First Look
Pharos Traveler GPS 127While the Pharos Traveler 127 holds the advantage over most GPS-enabled smartphones by coming preloaded with navigation software, it loses any competitive edge it had due to sluggish performance.
>> Bonnie: Hi, I'm Bonnie Cha, Senior Editor at CNET.com and today we're taking a first look at the Pharos Traveler 127; this is a GPS Focus Smartphone and it offers an advantage that other Smartphones with GPS don't have because it comes preloaded with navigation software so you won't have to add on a monthly service or rely on a cellular connection for maps. But I'll get to that in a second first let's check out the design of the Smartphone. The overall look of the Traveler 127 is similar to a BlackBerry or an HTC Snap with its slate QWERTY form factor but it's boxier and bigger than the other two and I don't particularly find it sexy but it is a sturdy phone and it has a nice soft-touch finish all over so it's kind of -- it's nice and durable. On the front there's a 2 point 5 inch touch-screen, it's pretty bright and sharp but it's a little small for reading maps particularly street names when you're using it as a navigation device. The touch-screen was pretty responsive but this Smartphone is slow in general so there are a lot of times that you'll be staring at a spinning pinwheel. And sometimes I thought this Smartphone just froze but eventually it came back to life it's just really slow. Below the display you get standard navigation controls and this full QWERTY keyboard. The buttons are a pretty decent size and have a dome shape to them but they felt just a little wobbly. The biggest problem I had with the keyboard though is that when you're trying to dial a number you have to hold the Function key every time you input a number. With other QWERTY Smartphones if you're in the Phone app the keyboard recognizes this and automatically switches to number mode. You can still use the on-screen dial pad on the Traveler 127 but it would be nice to be able to use the keyboard too without having to do that extra step. Now getting back to the GPS part of the phone Pharos ships this Smartphone with a micro SD card preloaded with Smart Navigator software which includes maps and points of interest. You also get voice guided directions, traffic updates and more and the best part is you don't have to pay a monthly subscription fee or worry about having a cellular connection to get maps like a lot of Smartphones today. I use the Traveler 127 on a few road trips and it was a good navigator. It accurately tracked my position and always got me to my destination. But this Smartphone has a bigger problem the overall performance of the device is really slow and the navigation software isn't the easiest to use. The menu layout gets really cluttered especially as you get into the Sum menus and sometimes the phone would just get stuck when switching between screens. It just became really frustrating to use. It's too bad because the Pharos Traveler 127 is a pretty feature-rich Windows Mobile device with 3G support, a 2 mega pixel camera and WiFi. But the phone costs $530 unlocked and for that money I'd rather get the HTC Touch Cruise which also comes with navigation software but has better performance. I'm Bonnie Cha and this has been your first look at the Pharos Traveler 127. ^M00:02:50 [ Music ]