Zen S10 Dual SIM (GSM + GSM) Mobile Phone

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As those ultra budget Dual SIM handsets go things are changing quite rapidly. Quite a few models have deviated from the otherwise conventional designs and outer components to come off as either quite stylish and masculine, like this the Zen S10, or one suite more for today’s disco queen (you know I mean, the MicroMax Q5). So without wasting your time, here’s a closer look at the S10.

Form Factor
Like I said, the S10 is a rather masculine looking handset encased in its all metal, chromed body. The weight factor it bears gives it that certain feel good factor in your hand. The S10 employs a Nokia Sirocco series-like slider with its enclosed keypad. The slide function is smooth and has a sort of elegant feel to it. The keypad looks small and compact but is one you can quickly get used to. A power button is located at the top and a universal mini USB port for the headset and charger is located at the bottom. Volume/zoom keys are on one side. The S10 also packs in a 2MP camera with an LED flash. Unfortunately the S10 doesn’t have hot swap for the microSD card, but on the plus side, Zen includes a 2GB card. The 2.2-inch display is quite clear for viewing in all conditions.

With regards to the design, it’s not easy to dislike the S10. It’s got a certain chic, comfortable design and what self-respecting guys would choose plastic over metal right. Of course I would have been happier if it had a 3.5mm handsfree socket but the earphones as they are, are comfortable enough. I’d recommend suing sponges for a better fit.

Features and Performance
When it comes to the UI, let me put it this way, Nokia users should find the transition comfortable. The quick access shortcut bar on the desktop is reminiscent of a Nokia Series 40 handset and so are the icons in the various menus. The shortcut bar can be customized to include features that you would most frequently use. Navigation is simple and fluid. There’s no lag while trying to access various functions or features. The layout is very crisp and clear which makes it easy for navigation. Dual SIM handling is not a problem from dialing to accessing information from either SIM.

In the media department the S10 is quite basic. The overall audio quality is mediocre at best. The higher frequencies are quite sharp and the bass is very low key and tends to jarr when the volume is peaked. It could have been a little better had there been adjustable settings. Via the speakerphone the decibel level is high enough to have a conversation without either party have difficulty in hearing. Of course that’s provided you’re in a quieter environment as opposed to just anywhere in our noisy city.

The FM radio (without a recorder) worked out fine. Reception was decent in most locations and it took just a little over 10 seconds most of the available stations. The sound recorder was able to capture my voice clearly within a distance of 2 feet. A slide show option for viewing images is also provided. The 2GB memory card that’s included is loaded with a few songs but no videos. Speaking of videos, the S10’s player reads low-res 3GP and MPEG4 files. If you’re converting files make sure their resolution is less than 320 x 240 (although the display sports that resolution).

In another entertainment arena, i.e. games, Zen has included an option that allows you to access an online game site they’ve dubbed GameCenter where you can download games via WAP.
Basic GPRS/WAP connectivity is all the S10 has to offer. This means no email but you will be able to send and receive MMS. Other modes include Bluetooth with A2DP and of course USB. The device also doubles up as a webcam when connected via USB. The only social networking option available is an MSN Windows Live chat app.

Misc. Features
The handset doesn’t have anything significant to talk about in the extra’s section. It’s loaded with all the basics you’d expect to find in any standard mobile handset. Those features include – a calendar (Indian calendar option also available) that allows you to schedule events, a calculator, Alarm, Tasks, Currency Converter, world clock and an e-book reader. You’ll need to adjust the brightness of the screen in order to read text (.TXT) without getting a headache.

Another feature that the S10 doesn’t really excel in is the 2MP camera. The features are strictly basic with White Balance, a night mode, Brightness and a color options to choose from. Image quality is average for a mobile phone camera. Pictures, in native resolution, aren’t as crisp as they appear on the handset’s small display.

The battery life is really bad. Its 800mAh battery is capable of less than a day’s usage. I found myself having to charge the device quite frequently even with very limited usage.

The Bottom Line

Published Date: Jun 28, 2010 11:37 am | Updated Date: Jun 28, 2010 11:37 am