The O2 Xda Orbit 2 is a rebranded version of the HTC Cruise, an all-in-one smart phone running Windows Mobile 6 Professional. It's also the successor to the original Orbit, which was the first Xda device to have built-in GPS.
A year on, we don't find built-in GPS to be such a big deal anymore, so how does it stand up against the competition? We put it through the paces to find out. The O2 Xda Orbit 2 is currently available free on a monthly contract.
Combining styling from the original Orbit and HTC Touch, the Orbit 2 is definitely a step in the right direction for O2's now sentence-cased Xda portfolio. It looks less like a business phone and more like something ripped off the inside of a BMW.
The Orbit 2's 71mm (2.8-inch) large screen makes viewing content enjoyable and is complemented by large, easy to press navigation and soft keys. The circular, four-way navigation key also doubles up as a scroll wheel, which is useful for searching through long lists. Another noteworthy design feature is the accessible microSD slot that allows you to slip in and out microSD cards with minimum hassle.
Aside from these design perks, the Orbit 2's design isn't much of an improvement on its predecessor. The handset has cleaned up nicely, so you won't be the laughing stock of your business meeting, but we'd like to see some panache substitute its chunkiness.
There's no need to worry about connecting to the Internet if you're using an Orbit 2 -- it connects to almost everything. HSPDA (3.5G), Wi-Fi and Bluetooth mean that you're rarely going to be out of touch.
You won't be lost either: the Orbit 2 comes with CoPilot Live 7 sat-nav software. It's very capable at getting you from A to B without too much fiddling. The speakerphone is sufficiently loud enough to hear in a car, so you shouldn't miss a turn if you're paying attention.
Windows Mobile 6 Professional offers you all the Exchange email connectivity plus Microsoft Office editing and viewing capabilities that you'd expect, with 128MB SDRAM and a Qualcomm MSM7200 400MHz processor pushing it all along.
On the media side, there's an MP3 that supports a variety of formats and an FM radio. On the back, you'll find a 3-megapixel camera, which takes still pictures and videos. It seems a growing trend for handset manufacturers to leave off the LED photo light or xenon flash, and the Orbit 2 sadly follows along, making low-light photos impossible.
Similar to the HTC Touch, the Orbit 2 features the TouchFlo interface, which appears when you slide your finger up the screen. It gives you quick, finger-friendly access to contacts and selected apps, but is disappointing because it inevitably drops you back to the Windows Mobile interface, which isn't as touchy feely.