How readable is the external color display without the backlight on? Specifically, the battery and signal strength meters.
I like to glance at the phone for status information, and I'd rather not have to turn the backlight on every time. I have no experience with an external color display so I don't really know what to expect.
The external display with the backlight off is not so readable especially in the sun because it is a STN instead of a TFT display. If you are in medium lighting conditions, then it should not be a big problem seeing the info on the display.
The thing is, I can't find a way to not get that screen to blank out anyway. Either it blanks out to a clock, or if you turn that off it's just blank. The backlight does go off a bit before that happens, but once it's blanked, you can't see the battery and signal meters anyway. In other words, you have to press a button and thus activate the backlight to see anything once it's been sleeping. Heck, even with the backlight on I don't think the strength meters are that great (signal is better than battery, though). Screen seems okay for caller ID and missed call/new message notification.
I agree. It's very tough to see the battery and signal meters. I haven't messed with changing the themes. I don't know if a different color would help, but they're very hard to see unless you're holding the phone right in front of your face.
That little "sleep clock" is pretty much worthless. I just turned mine off so the whole external screen will go all black when in standby.
Yeah, you have to look pretty closely to see the clock. That said, in the sleep clock mode it will also display the missed call indicator (at least that one, not sure about new message, can't remember) if you've missed one. You can, once you're used to it, at least know that without turning on the backlight. But you can't know the battery or signal strength.