Even more annoying is the lack of a shortcut key to access phone features. In order to make a call you'll need to use the stylus or Start button to access the Start menu, before clicking the Phone option -- hardly ideal if you're in a hurry. The XDA Mini S is a quad-band handset, and can therefore be used to make and receive calls in most countries.
The XDA Mini S has many connectivity options. USB and Bluetooth links are available, as is 802.11b wireless, and for those who refuse to let go of the past, there's an infrared receiver on the right of the handset. Disappointingly, this device isn't 3G-compatible, so you can't make video calls or surf the Web at near-broadband speeds unless you're connected to a Wi-Fi network.
The XDA Mini S comes with just over 47MB of usable storage space, with a further 44MB dedicated to storing applications. That's not much space to play with, so we recommend you buy an add-on miniSD memory card. This plugs into a slot at the top end of the handset -- which is a better arrangement than some mobile phones that require you to remove the battery before inserting a memory card.
In a world where 2-megapixel cameras on phone handsets are becoming more commonplace, the 1.3-megapixel offered here is a minor disappointment. It's still good enough to take the odd snap here and there, but it's a poor substitute for a dedicated digital camera. On the upside, images look great on the 240x320-pixel 64k-colour display.
Audio quality on the XDA Mini S during voice calls is poor. The sound is muffled and tinny in comparison to even basic handsets, and things get even worse when you're using it in poor signal areas. Its battery life isn't particularly bad: O2 claims up to five hours of talk time and 200 hours of standby time depending on individual usage, but you'll probably need to charge it nightly to avoid running flat unexpectedly. The handset can be charged over a USB cable, so you won't need to lug the three-pin mains adaptor around.
On paper, the device isn't particularly quick, but it works just fine in practice. It uses a 200MHz CPU, which is fine for running the applications it ships with. You may struggle to run some third-party programs, though. Skype for Pocket PC (a Voice over IP application), for example, requires a 400MHz CPU.
Edited by Mary Lojkine
Additional editing by Nick Hide