Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Viewsonic V350 Combines Dual-SIM and Android Flexibility

When Viewsonic’s V350 first appeared in a pre-release form at the beginning of the year, its wide border and rounded edges made the rare dual-SIM device look suspiciously Droid-like. Since its appearance at CES, the phone has undergone a radical facelift. Gone are the curves that made the device look common. In its place come square edges and a flatter shape that could generously be said to resemble a book, but which could also be ungenerously compared to a brick.

Viewsonic V350 Basic Specifications

  • Dimensions: 114 x 60.9 x 12.45mm
  • Display: 3.5 inch TFT capacitive touchscreen
  • Weight: 125 grams
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM / 512 MB ROM with support of up to 32GB microSD
  • CPU: Qualcomm MSM 7227, 600 MHz
  • Operating System: Android 2.2
  • Camera: 5MP back camera with autofocus

At just 125g though, the phone is much lighter than a brick and surprisingly easy on the hands. The 600Mhz Qualcomm processor is a little lightweight however, and can cause a bit of lag but the 512MB of RAM is good enough and the capacitive 3.5 inch, 320 x 480 pixel touch screen isn’t the biggest on the market but it’s not too small either.

The smartphone runs Froyo, promises 3G download speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps, able to support Wifi on the 802.11 b/g protocols and includes a 5MP rear camera with autofocus. The GPS functions are augmented with gravity sensors that can detect device orientation and thus can make use of the handful of augmented reality apps available in the Android Market that are genuinely useful.

Viewsonic provides eight pages of home screens and describes its interface as three-dimensional. That’s more of a design style than true 3D but the layout is attractive and colorful.

Where the phone really stands out is its dual-SIM technology. The Viewsonic V350 allows users to run two SIM cards simultaneously. Business users can keep their work numbers and receive calls from customers and their boss while retaining a second number for family and personal calls. Frequent travelers can easily load a local SIM to avoid high roaming charges while still taking calls from home without packing a second device.

In a market filled with devices boasting similar features and almost identical designs, it’s these type of unique functionality that provides the selling point for the V350. The Viewsonic V350 is a solid choice for people who need more than one phone number but yet desire the flexibility that a smartphone running Android can bring. And even if its specs aren’t top of the range, they’re high-end enough for most users and hard to find in the few in other dual-SIM devices available. Despite its unattractive design, the Viewsonic V350 definitely isn’t a phone that cuts too many corners.

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