Asus has been bathing in the gadget spotlight recently thanks to the success of its cheap and cheerful Eee PC. But the Taiwanese outfit also has a little known penchant for Windows Mobile smartphones and its latest, the P750, is armed with the mods to jostle with the best Microsoft handsets out there.
With built-in Wi-Fi, 3.6Mbps-flavoured HSDPA, embedded GPS for sat-nav and a 3.2MP snapper, the P750 easily matches HTC’s TyTN II and Touch Cruise for features in the smartphone heavyweight division. It’s also their equal in size – the P750 isn’t the bulkiest smartie we’ve tested, but it certainly has a presence in the pocket.
The P750 nicely combines the traditional phone arrangement with a large, stylus-driven 2.6in touchscreen. There’s also a side jog-wheel for scrolling, and this combination makes it versatile and easy to use.
The latest Windows Mobile 6.1 OS is onboard, so you’re suited and booted for Flash video playback when rooting around the web. The Pocket Internet Explorer now offers column, fit to screen or full-fat desktop viewing modes, and, with Wi-Fi or HSDPA at your disposal, pages loaded swiftly.
One for the road
These days, top flight smartphones seemingly come with GPS as standard, but as the P750 comes SIM-free there’s no fully-blown sat-nav software on board. What you do get is quirky software like Location Courier for sending SMS texts of your whereabouts and Travelog, which plots your journey. Its sputnik fix times also clocked in at an impressive 25 seconds.
The 3.2MP camera sports an abnormally large array of photos effects for a Windows smartie. If you’re an experimenter you can tinker until with saturation, hue, gamma, sharpness, white balance, contrast and brightness.
Unfortunately there’s no flash but the autofocus is very welcome and picture quality was decent considering Windows’ rep for tawdry lenses. Its video capture skills also reach an impressive QVGA-quality at 30fps.
It may lack a QWERTY or the HTC TyTN II’s tilting display but the P750 has enough in its locker to match its salad-dodging counterpart. The Eee PC will continue to garner all the attention in Asus’ gadget catalogue, but the P750’s smartphone cred certainly doesn’t deserve to be overlooked.