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MWC 2008

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Toshiba E-Ten  

E-Ten isn't exactly a household name, but they're becoming a little better known these days, as they continue to crank out Windows Mobile devices with attractive specs.

The E-Ten Glofiish M800 is one phone that really got a lot of people's attention recently. With a QWERTY keyboard, HSDPA 850/1900/2100, Wi-Fi, GPS, 500 MHz processor, and a VGA display, the M800 seems like a dream device to hard-core Windows Mobile folks.

It's not without its quirks, though, such as a terrible little joystick, and a generally big, blocky design. That's why we were excited to see the M810 announced at this year's MWC, which trims down the size a bit and switches from a joystick to a d-pad.


The new smaller size is indeed nice, and the d-pad isn't perfect, but is perfectly decent.

Unfortunately, E-Ten mare some trade-offs in the design of the M810 that make it quite flawed. The worst is definitely the QWERTY keyboard. We've subjected ourselves to a lot of crappy QWERTY here at Phone Scoop, but the keyboard on the M810 may be the worst we've tried yet. It's that bad. The keyboard is just one flimsy sheet of metal with a few slits cut for the rubber that divides the keys, much like a RAZR keypad. That design works for numeric keypads, but not so much for the more-demanding QWERTY layout, and regardless, E-Ten's implementation simply feels crummy, and is hard to type on.

The M810 also downgrades to a QVGA display, although the other specs remain similar to the M800, including tri-band HSDPA data, quad-band GSM, GPS, Wi-Fi, 500 MHz processor, and 2 megapixel auto-focus camera.

After trying the M800 and M810 side-by-side, we'd like the M810 much better if we never opened it to use the QWERTY keyboard. But for anyone who needs to compose email on the go, the M800 is the better choice, provided you can deal with the crap-tastic joystick and bit of extra bulk. The M800's keyboard is actually quite nice, in fact. It's better than most QWERTY keyboards from first-tier manufacturers.


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