Our review of the Geeks’Phone ONE
For a mid-range device, the ONE is adequate in terms of multimedia, but nothing special. The 3.5mm headphone jack separates it from its adversaries and is a needed boost to the ONE’s portfolio. The camera on this device is a 3.1MP autofocus camera, which is a great start. Unfortunately there is no Flash, LED or otherwise, on this device. The camera took satisfactory photos in good light, but as you might expect, it performs rather poorly in lower light conditions. I was not overly impressed with the camera on the device, but after playing with some of the settings on the Android camera tool, I was able to achieve some pleasing results.
Where the ONE lacks in camera specifications, it somewhat makes up in the audio department. Through the inclusion of the 3.5mm headphone jack, the ONE puts itself in good stead when it comes to tunes. Overall, the ONE is a sound music device (excuse the pun) and thanks to the default player that ships with Android, there are plenty of different ways to organise your playlists. Furthermore, you can play music in the background and access it from a homescreen widget.
The web browser on the ONE is lacking when compared to the HTC Hero’s browser, not least of which is due to the Hero providing multi-touch support. With that said, the browser performed well even though it uses a resistive touchscreen. Zooming in and out is a little annoying, but pressing the on screen keys is made easier with the inclusion of the stylus. I can really see this being a situation of where a stylus is a great addition to this device. Rendering speed and general performance were excellent and puts the ONE in contention as an affordable device with a practical and usable browsing experience.
It is nice to see Geeks’Phone thinking of the practicalities of owning a mobile phone. A key application that comes free with the device is WaveSecure by tenCube. WaveSecure enables users of the application to remotely lock, block, backup, and wipe their device. It is an extremely useful feature for the security conscious, and is a prompter for those that should be. Owners of the ONE receive a lifetime free service of WaveSecure location wipe and backup service, which usually costs 15€ per semester. Unfortunately, there was a small bug in the version of WaveSecure that I was sent (which has now been completely resolved). Also shipping with the ONE is ‘SlideType’, a bespoke virtual keyboard that can be enabled in the ‘Localization settings’. Geeks’Phone dropped the proposed DVB-T tuner due to technical impossibilities related to current Android energy management policies and Instead offer ‘Streaming TV’.
Overall, the GPS functionality was quite slow connecting, but compared to other devices in this price bracket, it was perfectly acceptable. Using SirfStar 3, it is possible to get a very precise lock, but upon using it for the first time, it can take over 10minutes to get the initial lock. After this, a lock can generally be achieved within 2minutes, although when inside, it is almost impossible. There is assisted GPS on the device, whereby you can use carrier information from cell towers to help the GPS satellites get a lock on your location. This helps speed up locking in all situations. If you are patient with regards to your GPS locks, there is no reason that this device cannot serve you perfectly well. Being open source in nature, it is also possible to install any type of mapping software you would like, including Google Maps (although this is not a ‘With Google’ device).