The o2 Stealth is one of the first Windows Mobile Pocket PC to have a vertical slider with a numeric key pad. Similar designs like the HTC Wizard, T-Mobile MDA, and the Cingular 8525 are all pocket PC's with slide out keyboards but are missing the numeric keypad. When you have a Pocket PC there are times that you simply wish to dial a number not by pulling out your stylus or tap the display with you fingers. Since HTC is not manufacturing phones for o2 anymore, other companies are taking their place. The o2 Stealth is made by Gigabyte Communications from Taiwan who have been bringing many new Windows Mobile devices to the market as of late. How is the o2 Stealth overall? Does it compete with other HTC devices released by o2? Read on to find out!!
Before the o2 stealth, the only Windows mobile devices that had a numeric keypad were Smartphones. The o2 stealth is the first Pocket PC to introduce a vertical slide out numeric keypad. The keypad has big buttons which makes it easy to dial with.
The Stealth has a jog dial on the left hand side but is not like the one found on Blackberries. The jog dial is for up/down volume control and when pushed in can launch an application. On top of the jog dial is the camera button. When held down the camera application is initiated, and when pressed again takes a picture or starts filming.
On the right hand side of the stealth there is the mini SD slot, as well as a headphone port. Located on the bottom of the phone is the mini USB port which is used to charge the phone and transfer files to and from your PC. A good feature to note is that all the three slots have a rubber cover on them which prevents dust from getting in when not in use. This is one feature that HTC failed to include in their previous o2 phones.
The battery is also the back cover, and when removed it reveals the SIM card slot. Located on top of the battery are the camera/ flash and the speaker. On top of the phone there is the power button and beside it are the phone's LED status lights. When the phone is charging the light is red and when the charge is complete the light turns green. When you have Bluetooth switched on there is a blue light which flashes. Similarily with Wi-Fi turned on there is an orange LED which flashes.
The Stealth has all the basic features that Windows Mobile offers. You have basic calendar functions with appointments, calculator, PDF viewer, tasks and a lot more. The stealth also comes complete with Microsoft Pocket Office which includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint. With Word and Excel you can not only view documents but edit them too. If you use a word processor like Microsoft Word, it may be a good idea to get an external keyboard. There are quite a few available but they differ in price range, some use Bluetooth technology while others use infrared.
The Stealth has a lot of advanced features like a 2 mega-pixel camera with macro mode, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPRS & EDGE, mini USB port, built in answering machine and a lot more.
The camera on the Stealth is excellent. The camera is 2 mega-pixels with flash, and has a lot of built in features. In the camera settings you can select which mode you want; auto, day, cloudy, fluorescent and night. Under the effect menu you can select the following; black/white, sepia, negative film, solarization, sketch, emboss and moonlight. The camera also supports self timer with 5 and 10 seconds intervals. With the sequential shoot option you can also burst shots. You can select 3, 6, 12 and 18 shot bursts. Overall the camera takes good pictures but cannot be compared to other high-end camera phones made by Sony Ericsson and Nokia.
The Stealth has built in Wi-Fi which supports both b/g wireless signals. The Wi-Fi works great with Pocket Internet Explorer and MSN Messenger but does drain the battery a lot. Having the Wi-Fi turned on for long periods of time is not recommended unless you have the phone plugged into a power source or have an extra battery. The phone also comes with a Wi-Fi utility built in which displays your connections status. The Stealth offers GPRS and EDGE internet but does not offer new features like HSDPA or 3G.
The Stealth has a mini USB port located on the bottom of the phone. The USB is for charging and syncing with your computer. An excellent feature that a lot of new phones offer is the USB connection mode. You can change the USB connection to SD card reader or active sync connection. This way when you have card reader selected and connect to your computer your SD card becomes a mass storage drive in which you can easily drag and drop files.
An excellent feature that I have not seen until now is the built in Answering Machine program. With this program you can record your own greeting or choose the default (MARY) greeting. When someone calls you and you cannot answer the phone, this program answers the call, plays the greeting and records the message. The best part of the program is that you can listen to your messages with Windows Media Player instead of calling your voice mail number and checking your messages. However there is also a couple of disadvantages to the program. If your phone does not have a signal or is switched off then the program does not work. The program needs to be able to answer the phone and record the message. So, if the phone does not have strong signal strength, then the message may sound distorted. Having your phone switched off or when there is no signal is when you need to have Voice mail from your service provider. Another downside to this program is that it uses your phone plan's minutes; because for the program to record the messages it needs to answer the calls. Overall this feature is an excellent idea because you do not have to pay your service provider for voice mail.
Another excellent program pre-installed onto the phone is the Torch application. The Torch app is basically a flashlight program for your phone's built in LED. By default you can activate the torch by holding the end button and deactivate by pressing the OK button. When you turn it on it gives you a warning ?Please do not use the torch for long periods of time.? This program comes in handy sometimes.
A downside to the Stealth's design is the lack of buttons. There are no dedicated hardware buttons for the left and right soft key. When navigating through out the phone, you have to tap the soft key on the screen. If you do not like tapping the screen you can rearrange the hardware buttons, and change the end button to a soft key of your choice by holding it down.
The touch screen display on the Stealth is 2.4 inches. The display has a resolution of 240x 320. o2 has incorporated an excellent GUI (graphical user interface) for the home screen. The program is called o2 plus, and it gives you the option to install it when the phone is first turned on after a hard reset. With o2 plus you can customize your home screen with what ever you want. You can add call forwarding, last call info, sound profiles, battery and memory meters, calendar, shortcuts, running programs all on the home screen. Using this program you can also setup your schedule and have appointments displayed on the Today screen as with all Windows Mobile devices.
The Stealth is a great device for listening to music with, and has support for extended memory. It is too bad that the headphone jack is not of the standard 3.5 mm size, or even a 2.5mm. o2 has decided to incorporate a 10 pin jack that is similar to ones found on other Gigabyte devices. The headphones that come with the phone are standard stereo headphones and do not come with a 3.5mm headphone converter.
The Stealth is an all-in-one entertainment device. You can listen to music, watch videos, play games, browse the internet, take pictures and a whole lot more. The best part of the Windows Mobile operating system is that you can download countless freeware and shareware applications for what ever interests you. These days E-books are very popular because you can purchase many books for cheap and read them while on the go.
The Stealth is GPRS, EDGE and Wi-Fi capable. A very popular program called SPB GPRS Monitor comes preinstalled on the phone and the best part is that it is not a trial version; it is the complete registered program. With this program you can input your internet data plan with your service provider and it will calculate how much your data rates should be. Wi-Fi works great with Pocket Internet Explorer.
The o2 Stealth has 192 MB ROM and 64 MB of RAM. Compared to other Pocket PC's the stealth has more built in memory and the fact that it takes mini SD is even better news. These days many devices are being released with Micro SD (Trans Flash) which are very expensive, and currently have a capacity of only 2 GB. The older the format of the Memory card, the cheaper it gets.
The Stealth is a solid phone and the slider is very durable. The slider is spring action so it can easily open/close like any slider phone. Since the phone is a Pocket PC you have to be a lot more careful than you would be with other phones. The screen is very sensitive and can easily break if not cared for, or if the phone is not stored in a case. Overall the phone is durable but you need to be careful and not drop it. The phone has a lot of delicate parts like the processor and when dropped will effect the overall performance of the phone.
What's in the box?
The o2 Stealth comes with a powerful lithium polymer battery, universal AC adaptor, stereo headphones, mini USB cable, software, extra stylus and a warranty card. The phone does not come with a carrying case.
The o2 Stealth does not have the option for ?clear storage? in the settings menu. Therefore, to do a hard reset you hold down the Windows and OK buttons simultaneously, and push the stylus into the soft reset button located on the right hand side of the phone. In order to do a hard reset, your battery needs to be over 50 % charged.
The extra applications that o2 has included are great. With the program o2 Phone Plus you can make a list of numbers that you do not want to answer and wish to have blocked. You can also add calling card information which is an amazing feature. If you make long distance calls frequently, you can save your calling card number and pin in this program for future use. You can also store more than one calling card at a time which is useful if you call different parts of the world.
Overall I like the Stealth a lot because it looks like an ordinary slider phone while offering features of Windows Mobile Pocket PC's. The phone offers a fast processor, excellent battery life, numeric keypad, external memory, Wi-Fi and more. One major downside to the Stealth is the fact that there is no 850 GSM band. The GSM 850 band is used the most in North America so reception is not perfect. It is too bad that this phone is not quad-band.