It’s highly unlikely that you might have heard of this company and even if you did, you probably dismissed it as just another one of those ultra budget ‘Chinese’ mobile making companies. Truth is, yes it is cheap and yes it is a Chinese company. What G’Five brings to the Indian shelf is yet another bit of mobile technology that was announced ages ago but simply failed to make it past the prototype stage it seemed. So enter the G’Five G5, one of India’s first ever Dual SIM Projector Mobile Phones. Here’s a closer look.
The G5 is actually a well constructed handset that’s both sturdy and good looking. It’s heavy, but hey what can you expect? The 2.4-inch TFT LCD display features a 240 x 360 resolution and although comfortable to view indoors can be a bit difficult for viewing in bright sunlit conditions. What I had a problem adjusting to was the weirdly placed five way nav-pad, selection and call keys. We’ve been so used to them being just under the display that the arrangement will be one you might not take to initially. After quite a while though, I did start getting used to the ‘Clear/Backspace’ button being below the keypad. Speaking of the keypad, the separated keys are great for speedy typing so no issues here.
Its build quality is very high end
The projector’s lens is located at the top of the handset and it also comes with a Focus adjustment dial. Just keep in mind, like all projectors, Pico or HD, the G5 also tends to heat up quite a bit when in constant use. What annoyed me was the absence of standard connectivity options. Instead of a micro USB port and a 3.5mm handsfree socket, the G5 comes with a proprietary all-in-one socket at the bottom. Volume/zoom keys are on the side. The lack of a 3.5mm connector means you’ll have to use the sharp sounding built-in speaker and have no option to hook it up to a larger, better sounding speaker system if you wanted to. Another downer is that the microSD card slot is under the battery.
Features and Performance
The G5 has nothing new. It’s the same old boring interface that’s available on all of the devices that make it out of Chinese OEM stables. On the plus side, it’s not sluggish like some but on the whole it’s still not well enough designed to make it overly comfortable to use, especially if you’re downgrading from a smartphone (if you’re one of the two people who would do that). Texting is a real pain with this OS. Switching between Caps, Number mode and the dictionary (auto complete) is a hassle and slows down typing. You have to tap the ‘#’ key once to switch off Caps (or risk your textees getting annoyed with all text messages) and 5 times to come back to caps for those who are meticulous about language, grammar and syntax.
Handles Dual SIM functionality very well
That aside, what’s really weird is that in Projection Mode you have to rotate and hold the handset on its side to view, making navigation a real pain. Videos in full screen mode will require you to hold it normally.
Easy to hold
Managing both SIMs from calls to messages and their individual phone books has never been a big issue with this platform.
Beam it up Scotty...
The handset comes with all the standard media format support - MP3, WAV, AMR for audio and MP4 and 3GP for video. The G5 also managed to play my low resolution FLV test files without an issue. As long as you convert all your videos to a 320 x 240 resolution you’ll be fine, anything higher and you’ll get audio but no video. Music quality is not too bad thanks to the EQ presets, Bass enhancement and customizable settings however the G5 is not capable of dishing your tunes out at a high decibel level. Even in our AV test labs (that’s sound proof) the volume was just way too low to derive any kind of enjoyment from it.
Easy to switch but hard to navigate in Projection mode
When it comes to watching videos in Projection Mode, the G5’s capabilities come off being much more than just a cheap gimmick. I recommend a distance of 5-6 feet for a decently bright viewing angle. Any further and the frame get’s a bit dark making it slightly difficulty to enjoy visually. Once again the lack of a 3.5mm standard port becomes an issue. If you’re watching a movie you really don’t want to be listening to the audio emitting for the built in speakers or be dealing with the low output from the handsfree. I’d much rather have hooked up the handset to a set of speakers which I couldn’t without an adapter of some kind that isn’t provided.
Best at 5.5-feet away
The FM Radio with its record scheduling feature worked out quite well. Reception was quite decent in most places and recordings in AMR, AWB or WAV turned out quite well when reception was best. A Voice Recorder is also on board and at a distance of 1-foot; it was able to capture clear vocal signals.
The G5 is a GPRS enabled handset that supports the WAP standard as well. There’s no support for email but you can send and receive MMS and access the internet via the native browser. Quick access links are provided to Facebook, Yahoo! and Twitter and apps for MSN messenger and eBuddy are available for social networking. You can also sync your handset with online sites that you may use to back up your data like contacts etc. Bluetooth for file transfer, AVRCP and A2DP functionality is also provided and of course USB connectivity to use the handset as a Com Port. The handset can also be used as Webcam when connected via USB.
Plenty of social networking
Standard mobile features like a Calendar to save reminders and events, a calculator, Alarm Clock, Tasks app, Stopwatch, EBook Reader for .TXT files and a currency converter are pre-loaded. A few extras include a Theft Tracker and what appeared to be a document reader that refused to read any format including .DOC, .PDF, .XLS or .PPT. The error message that showed up was simply – "System No Font", whatever that means. So if you’re thinking this phone could be used for presentations, think again.
The G5’s 2MP camera with standard settings like Night Mode, color settings and White Balance doesn’t really perform all too well. While pictures look quite good on the small display and on the projection, viewing them on your PC in native resolution is not a pretty sight. The pictures appear very pastel and photos look more like water color paintings rather than digital images. But as low end 2MP camera phones go, it’s quite decent to say the least.
Average for it's segment
The battery life of the G5 is one of the handsets main assets. On a single charge with nominal use – a few calls, plenty of messages, a little browsing and music, the handset ran for two full days. The projector will run for 2 hours easy so you’ll be able to watch a full length English movie but a Hindi movie would not be such a good idea. I’d recommend hooking the device up via the charger for longer running films.
The Bottom Line
With a price tag of just Rs. 7,499 the G5 projector phone actually manages to deliver on its USP. It’s a good looking handset that’s good on battery life and comes with quite a few connectivity features and social networking options but it does have its quirks, but then again, which handset in this segment doesn’t. If you’re looking for a sturdy handset that allows you to watch videos on a ‘big screen even in a black out, I say the G5 is the one for you.