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O2 XDA Zest

 O2 XDA Zest Discontinued
11th November 2008

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It may not be the most exciting phone to look at, but the O2 XDA Zest certainly seems to have hidden depths. A relatively compact Windows smartphone, the XDA Zest has a VGA resolution display, GPS, WiFi, 3.5G support and a 3 megapixel camera.

 O2 XDA Zest This is a Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional device, giving access to Microsoft's latest mobile operating system and all the built-in applications that come with it. That's a pretty crowded marketplace these days, but we think that the Zest has enough going on to make it stand out a little from the competition.

The display is definitely worth mentioning - the 2.8" 640 x 480 pixel touch-sensitive panel is a much higher resolution than most of the competition that only manages 320 x 240 pixels. VGA-resolution displays are still less common than we predicted, but we feel that this will quickly become the new standard.

This isn't an expensive device - the O2 XDA Zest will even be available to pay-as-you-go customers for £250 - but there are surprisingly few compromises. One of them is that the Zest is only a European-style tri-band GSM phone with single band 2100 MHz UMTS / HSDPA support, but then most of these phones won't stray too far from Europe in any case.

The Zest's HSDPA support gives a maximum download speed of 3.6 Mbps, or alternatively you can use the handset's built-in WiFi connectivity. On the back is a 3 megapixel camera with autofocus with a VGA resolution video calling camera on the front. Annoyingly, audio output is through a mini-USB port rather than a standard 2.5mm or 3.5mm socket, so you can't easily use standard headphones with it.

 O2 XDA Zest screenshots All the usual software features are built in, plus some O2 enhancements to make Windows Mobile a bit more interesting. Windows is certainly getting better, but it still lacks the polish than Apple brings with the iPhone. The Zest also comes with a trial version of the CoPilot SatNav software and some preloaded maps on an SD card - we guess that you can always use the card for something else if you want.

The Zest weighs 120.5 grams and measures 102 x 60.5 x 16.5mm which is a little larger than the original HTC Touch. The large 1300 mAh battery gives up to 3 hours talktime and 9 days standby time on 3G. Inside is a 624MHz Marvell Tavor processor with 128MB RAM. The little-known Tavor is just the latest development of the popular ARM processor.

It may lack the style of some of its better known rivals, but the O2 XDA Zest is certainly an impressive device and well worth considering if you are looking for a Windows Mobile device on the O2 network. O2 say that the Zest will be availabl in the UK for contract and prepay customers from 17th November.

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O2 XDA Zest at a glance


November 2008


GSM 900 / 1800 / 1900 + UMTS 2100




480 x 640 pixels, 65k colours


3 megapixels


Compact PDA-style device
102 x 60.5 x 16.5 / 120.5 grams



Memory card:










Battery life:

3 hours talk / 9 days standby (3G)
5 hours talk / 11 days standby (GSM)


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