Panasonic X700 review: Glossy Symbian
Writing a message
We can choose from normal text message, MMS or e-mail message. Panasonic X700 is not supporting instant messaging or Push to talk function. With the X700 writing goes easy, the keypad is brilliant and responses of the phone are fast.
Multimedia messages editor is not bringing any innovations. It is possible to add there photos and other pictures, clips and sounds. The same stands also for an e-mail client. It knows how to work with attachments and can adapt HTML e-mails to a readable form.
Panasonic scores thanks to a QuickOffice application that is installed in the X700. The application allows the user to read attachments such as MS Word, Excel or PowerPoint documents. DOC and XLS files can be even edited. You can find the same application for example at Nokia 6630 and it is really excellent.
Organizer and other functions
Alarm clock is not repeated and the calendar comes with the same features and drawbacks as the Nokia smartphones. It is better than at the ordinary mobile phones, but some things are missing too. You can view an event in a day, week or month view - you will set one of these as default. There are three types of events available: a meeting, a note and a birthday. You can set reminder and repetition for every event. It is a persisting problem that notes you have written e.g. in the MS Outlook will not appear in the phone after you synchronize it with a PC.
Tasks belong to a To-do list; it is possible to tick them off after completion. Notes are used for entering the texts, but alike new Series 60 phones, Panasonic cannot synchronize them with a PC. Voice recorder (that works also as a call recorder) can make just up to a minute records.
Two games are installed in the phone - a minigolf and a 2D arcade (I didn't get it). You can load other games thanks to Symbian and Java.
Poor multimedia and low quality camera
Panasonic is absolutely short of multimedia functions for working with the sound. It is neither featuring a radio nor supporting MP3, applications that are commonly integrated in the most modern phones. There are no headphones included in the original accessory, so forget the installation of external MP3 player. The only way is to install the UltraMP3 application that can partially solve the problem with playing the MP3 files.
X700 is, from this point of view, on the same or maybe on the worse level as a year old Nokia 6600. The old Siemens SX1 was offering these functions.
Integrated camera features resolution of 640 x 480 pixels. Fortunately, Panasonic did not content himself with Nokia primitive solution and added a PhotoBase application, which extends the camera possibilities. However, it is starting slower than the integrated program.
You can select from three different resolution modes and three quality levels. Use a digital zoom to bring the scene closer; it is possible to use the exposure compensation during shooting or to turn off the sound of a shutter if it disturbs you. With the PhotoBase, it is not possible to use the integrated torch during shooting in worse light conditions. With a standard application there is not such a limit but you have to turn on the diode e.g. from a standby display - a keypad shortcut is not working during shooting.
With the PhotoBase, one can use various effects and borders; join up to three pictures to horizontal or vertical panorama pictures; add text, clip arts or borders to pictures; rotate, resize and crop them, edit their brightness and contrast.
How are the pictures themselves? I have already seen worse camera mobile phones but these pictures are definitely below the average. All the pictures look like foggy so I looked for one more time whether there is no protecting slide remaining on the lens system by accident. There wasn't any, this is really the final output. Pictures are fuzzy, even fuzzier towards to the edges. The nicest pictures are those of the close objects - if you place an object in the middle of a picture, fuzzy edges induce an impression of space.
Note: on the Internet I found these pictures that were allegedly made by Panasonic X700. They look better; perhaps the quality differs from piece to piece.
Besides the photos, the X700 also handles video record. It records in common 3GP format, in resolution 176 x 144 pixels. Video length depends only on a free memory but you can also set a limited size to be able to use it in multimedia messages. You can play a video in the phone in a RealPlayer program.