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The phone with a console

tech-reviews Updated: Sep 09, 2008 11:48 IST
Highlight Story

Spice has launched its X-1 gaming mobile in the Indian market, and this could stir things up for the avid mobile gamer. Don’t expect the games to be too high-end or flashy, but the old 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System game ROMs will be a blast from the past.

Form
A 2.4-inch display makes it quite convenient. It has a 240 x 320 pixel resolution. The five way navigation pad is useful, but its placement makes the use of key ‘2’ on the keypad a bit messy. The shortcut keys to the browser and game section are handy. The handset has volume keys, a dedicated camera key for the 2 MP camera, and the proprietary slot for the USB, charger and gaming console connector located on one side.

Media
The large display is great for videos. But no matter how I encoded the files, the audio always seemed non-existent, while the video looked really good. Only videos from the inbuilt camera show up in the Video Player section. The integrated FM radio is one of the X-1’s better features.

Gaming
The handset supports .NES ROM files. It’s also supposed to play Gameboy and Gameboy Colour ROMs with .GB, .GBC extensions and also the ambitious Super Nintendo .SMC ROMs.

The whole gaming experience is a lot of fun. Most of the keys on the keypad can be used for various functions (‘4’ can be used to rotate the display, ‘0’ to scroll), and the shortcut Media and Browser keys can also be used (not to forget the navigation-pad).

The console
To make certain games more accessible without the gaming console, Spice has added a couple of action keys near the front speaker. The gaming console has a holder for the handset that can be adjusted from the rear to fit the phone. It feels the old 16-bit game consoles. It hooks up the handset via a cable that fits into a 2.5 mm socket.

Interface
The Spice X-1 runs on a similar interface as that of those Chinese mobiles. You can add particular ringtones and images to specific contacts, and add numbers, bookmarks etc.

The phone also has the usual basic features such as a calendar, to-do list, calculator, converter, stopwatch, world clock and a health option that calculates BMI and can keep track of menstrual cycles.

Connectivity
It may not be 3G ready but it does supports GPRS and WAP (but not EDGE). Other connectivity options include Bluetooth v.20 with A2DP support and USB v2.0.

Battery
X-1’s battery life isn’t great, but it’s good enough. Users will get over a day and a half of usage with a little calling and messaging, audio, and gaming.

Verdict
Priced at just Rs 7,500 (and that includes the gaming console and a 512 MB microSD card) this device is worth considering.