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Attaining Zen

Phone Review: Zen z66 dual sim (GSM+GSM). The Zen Z66 is the lower end version of the Z77, modelled on the Blackberry.

tech reviews Updated: Jun 01, 2010 14:46 IST

The Zen Z66 is the lower end version of the Z77, modelled on the Blackberry.

Form
It’s a lightweight handset with a well laid out QWERTY keypad, but the keys are plastic raised ones so prolonged usage can be a bit of an issue. The 2.2-inch display sports a 128 x 160 resolution and is clear enough to view even in direct sunlight. The navigation keys and Dual SIM buttons are well placed. The device is bundled with a 2 GB card but a hot swap is unavailable. A micro USB and charging slot is situated at the bottom. The Z66 also has a 3.5 mm handsfree socket on the side.

Interface
The layout of the icons and functions is simple, large and colourful without being too gaudy, making navigation a simple and easy task. There’s just the tiniest hint of lag when trying to access the heavier applications like the music player and videos.

Sometimes certain functions that required you to select a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ option showed up as blank in the pop up boxes with nothing more than a ‘?’ symbol. For those who aren’t too well versed with mobile handset features and functions, this could be a problem.

Media
The media player is no-frills. Audio quality is average. The bass is not enough to have you swaying your head and the volume is just about loud enough to use in a noisy train. On the whole it’s quite a step down from the Z77. The FM radio didn’t pick up signals too well even in areas where I usually get really good reception. It took over 15 seconds to locate just four of the nine available stations. Audio quality is a non issue.

Video player is capable of reading only the lower resolution 3GP files. It didn’t read my low-res MPEG4 files, but the memory card came loaded with MP4 files that played without an issue. Of course, they were horribly pixellated in full screen. A couple of Java games are also thrown in.

Connectivity
There’s GPRS and WAP but no option for downloading emails, and unfortunately you’ll have to stick to the native browser that doesn’t quite read symbols and links too well.

What this handset could have used is a little dose of Opera Mini. MSN Live messenger is the only social networking application. Bluetooth didn’t seem to be A2DP compatible (so it’s just for file transfer) and USB v1.1 are also present.

Camera
The VGA camera has simple features like White Balance, Night Mode and a few effects. Video recording is available.

Verdict
The Zen Z66 costs Rs 2,999 (MOP) that includes a 2 GB card loaded with short clips from Hindi movies and a mixed collection of music files. With a little music, a few calls and a lot of messages, the handset ran for over a day and a half, but big brother Z77 is a better choice.

What we like
Well designed overall
Includes 2 GB card with loaded media content
Good battery life

What we don’t
FM reception was not good
UI was a bit quirky
Issue with reading videos

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