Mobile technology has definitely taken a step forward with the ability to allow users to simultaneously have two discrete phone numbers in a single device. And lord knows many of us do lead dual lives. With work and play kept separate, this is a great way to allow us to have both lives controlled from one device and not be burdened with carrying around multiple phones. The Spice Dual D-80 has tried to accomplish this. These are my findings after putting it through our Tech Tests.
The Spice Dual D-80 is, as it states, a dual SIM card phone that allows you to use to separate GSM numbers. The clamshell flip design is rather squarish and unimpressive. It’s a bit bulky as well, but on the plus side it’s lightweight at 109g. The OLED display on the outside comes in handy on clamshell phones. The external speaker and 1.3 megapixel camera are also located in front.
On one side of the phone is the Hot Swap (thank goodness) slot for a secondary SIM card and the volume/zoom keys. On the other side is the dedicated camera key. The bottom is where you’ll find the mini USB and MicroSD card slot and also the 2.5mm earphone socket.
The keypad may seem very familiar, and that’s because it is. If you’ve seen or used Motorola handsets, you’ll find this extremely easy to get along with. The good thing is there are separate keys for the two SIM cards. These allow you to choose whether or not you’d like to have both or either active. This is definitely a sensible option. The main internal display is a bright but they could have made it bigger; the resolution at 176 x 220 is okay though.
Features and Performance
The D-80 has all the features you’d expect, from a business point of view. It's not in the BlackBerry range, naturally! The calendar features include an alarm clock, and a To-Do list with an alarm as well. You can set reminders and schedules for various dates. Other handy applications include a World Clock, Calculator, Currency Converter, Stopwatch and a Health function that allows you to calculate what height or weight is ideal. There’s also a feature that allows you to keep track of your menstrual cycle if you’re female.
There are also a few games to keep you entertained.
From the media point of view the D-80 is well equipped. The MP3 player is actually quite good. With some cool player interfaces to choose from, and preset EQs, the quality may not be superb but it’s still a step above being just decent. The external speaker is unusually loud and shrill, loud being more prominent.
The video player is easy to use and the acceptable files that the D-80 reads for Audio and Video include MP3s, 3GP, and MPEG formats. There’s also an image editor if you want to jazz up your pictures a bit. Unfortunately it has a 2.5mm earphone slot. This would have been a problem earlier, but with 2.5mm to 3.5mm converters easily available it’s no big deal.
The 1.3 megapixel camera is actually quite decent. There are plenty of settings to choose from to get the best possible image quality. The same goes for the video recorder. The photos do appear a bit grainy and dull, but not too bad for a 1.3 megapixel camera. It does pick up the colors quite well in certain places sometimes though.
The D-80 does live up to its claimed 3.5 hours talktime. One problem I didn’t have with the phone was the battery. To put it another way. I was able to listen to music, send messages, and makes calls (from both GSM SIMs) and got a decent, almost two-day battery life out of the D-80. It has no need for a charger. You can simply plug it into your PC to charge it and transfer files.
The dual GSM SIM card mobile is definitely a good idea for people who need to use two phones. I can’t say much for the design, and it makes an extremely annoying noise when flipped open or closed, but the D-80 does live up to its promise of providing the convenience of two GSM numbers in a single device.
It does this quite well, in fact, and all for the price of Rs 9,849. Maybe it could have had a better design, so hopefully we can look forward to that in a later iteration. But this is quite good as is, notwithstanding the lack of an FM radio or Bluetooth.
Spice Dual D-80
|Network||GSM 900/1800/1900, GPRS|
|Physical||90.75 x 46 x 21.5 mm, 109 g|
|Display||176 x 220, 16m colors, TFT|
|Media||MP3, 3GP, MPEG, Voice Recording|
|Camera||1.3 megapixels, video (QCIF)|
|Battery||260 hrs standby in dual mode, 260 hrs single, 3.5 hrs talk|
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