Showing the Way

A multimedia package alone is not enough: the Linux Smart phone A780 Motorola grabs a complete guide system on top and offers one of the first mobile-PDA packages with integrated GPS navigation. We have tested the folding model.

Mega pixel camera, MP3 player, personal organizer, message professional: Cell phones increasingly molt multi talents.

They are increasingly used as a guidebook. It guides the mobile phone based on location information that it receives from an external GPS receiver as wireless Bluetooth.

The A780 shows that it is more compact: this Motorola built with the GPS module, a navigation software also inside the package cost 499 euros according to the manufacturer.

Our test shows how well the A780 destination guides and whether the Smart phone with Linux OS and touch screen can make happy buyer, who rarely access to navigation.

Small note in their own right: with Smartphones GPS equipment and functions not in the test score go up.

Navigation: Copilot In

The route software Motorola uses in CoPilot live by ALK. The maps for Germany is already installed on the memory card (256 MB).

Soon ready
You can directly start the GPS units: memory card stuck in the A780, open shutter, start program – and off you go. GPS reception was in the test at the first attempt.

The guidance supports various images, including a 3D map.For calculating the route, you can choose between fastest and shortest route, you can directly apply contact addresses from the phone book. Also displays the CoPilot POIs such as hotels, cinemas and restaurants. Overall a solid Navi offer, although menu navigation the user requires some practice.

Good car, bad walking
The route calculation done CoPilot quite quickly. The large, high resolution touchscreen of the A780 offers a good overview for a system of this class. The guidance proved in auto mode both acoustically and optically clear. You should only plug the supplied headset device into your ear, not particularly loud come the voice instructions over the loudspeaker of the A780. Commendable: the Board see, for example, a mobile phone holder and a charging adapter for the cigarette lighter everything you need for use in the car.

Who but to the nearest pizzeria or pharmacy who would like to take, will be disappointed by the pedestrian mode. Here CoPilot shows the route only as the crow flies. The walkers waits in vain on a language support.

Phone Features: Properly Filled

Phone features: Properly filled
The main focus is the A780 sure its navigation offering. That should not distract but from other equipment, which we liked even more, sometimes less.

Phone features
You can not make video calls with the A780. For this the device lacks the UMTS support. Who often uses the cell phone while driving a car, also will miss the language choice for the direct call number. The gaps are quickly recognized, what still only slightly detracts from the overall range of telephone functions. There are useful such as profiles and a built-in handsfree, also an external antenna connection. Also it can be used thanks to the quad band technology worldwide.

Multimedia features
For entertainment, the A780 also offers a lot. However, the quality of test photos (1,024 x 1,280) proved rather moderately, out of focus and not always faithful to the color.The MP3 player we liked better, delivers rich stereo sound using the included headset and supports the creation of playlists.

For photos, music and other data such as Java games, almost 43 MB of free space available, which is expandable with a TransFlash card stood in our test A780. You must purchase this however, because the card supplied is already claimed by the maps to navigate.

PDA Functions: Not The Fastest

Although you can consider Office files on the A780 and also handwriting recognition and a virtual keyboard for typing via PIN provide fairly comfortable text input: A PDA replacement is not the Linux smartphones.

PDA functions
The A780 works not really fast. Patience was required particularly for the data synchronization: synchronize 1,000 contacts via USB cable with Outlook, required the A780 over 16 minutes. Via Bluetooth, it takes good a minute longer. That the address details from street to postcode messed up checked land in a field, made no impression. You will have to synchronize of your notes and E-Mails.

Also annoying: Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF files we could email transmitted, but not open – although it should work according to Motorola. To see the documents on the go on the A780, we only had to transfer them from the computer.

Data functions
The A780 communicates with other devices easily via USB and Bluetooth, but an infrared interface is missing. GPRS provides for data transmission and reception. The device supports EDGE, what is not an issue in this country but as a faster alternative.For the visit to the Internet is a HTML browser available that fairly clearly represents WAP – and Web-sites.

Practice: A Hand-Or Two-Hand Operation

The A780’s for a Smartphone in a compact case. It is handy in the hand with 140 grams and is properly processed, however his plastic bag is not very high quality.

Facts & figures
Equipped, Motorola has his A780 with a high-resolution internal display (240 x 320). The 38 x 49,5 mm cater properly for photos or navigation maps, contrast and brightness, it is missing something. In addition, we had difficulties, really good to see the display in direct sunlight. In the battery test the A780 proved not just endurance machine: 2:32 hours for a continuous talk at maximum transmitter power is a modest result.

Operation
You can operate the A780 closed with one hand as an ordinary mobile phone. The mobile phone keypad is in the outside cover. The narrow keys crack loudly when typing, offer a good pressure point. Navigation is via joystick and a lateral steering wheel. However, for this you need some sure instinct. In particular the wheel to rotate, and press is very deep in the case and reacted extremely inaccurate in our test device. More convenient and easier to read the A780 can be operated open pen and touch screen. To reliably operate the touch-sensitive display with the thumb, the icons and menu items are a bit too small.

User Guide
Who knows with the Windows Mobile operating system, copes easily with Linux. Newcomers to the area is, however, time required to befriend with the function selection list and folder structures. In some places, we would have liked clearer pictures and more precise designations. Or did you know that hides behind the menu point “Picsel” the document viewer?The manual leaves in addition to some question. After all, you can distribute the applications on different views for a better overview. Two of the four quick launch icons in stand by mode can be also free.

Acoustic
In the acoustic test, the A780 made a decent figure. The sound was pleasant, the clarity is good. On the Festival website, the voice of the mobile user came over but slightly too quiet and it disrupted the many interruptions at the intercom. The built-in handsfree was too low on both sides of the line.

Conclusion: Compact Navigator

The Motorola A780’s strength lies in the combination of GPS navigation and mobile PDA functionality – and that quite handily packaged. As a Smartphone, it could not convince us.

Who traveling times wants to rely on a route system but without tons of items, is well served with the A780. With the built-in GPS navigationhas undertaken undoubtedly a nice package Motorola actuates closed like a normal phone.On Multimedia- and you do not have PDA functions here, even an Office Viewer inside the Linux Smartphone. Under the outer flap also has a touch screen-so you can get.

But against the Windows and Symbian opponent the A780 as Smartphone can be ultimately not win: no UMTS, not infrared, no voice dialing-not just those gaps you need to make in buying. Annoying: Received E-Mail attachments could we when our test A780 not open. In addition she bugged us partly slow software, the sync took forever. Also in the battery test the A780 not and which convinced Operation has also proved not optimal.

Alternative:
If you want navigation alternatives with built-in GPS receiver and PDA comfort in the mobile, can still on HP series smartphones hw6500use with Windows Mobile.

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