GSM-based Mobile Phone
Mio Technology Corp. (Mio 8390 Homepage )
Where to Buy:
Tek N' Toys [Affiliate]
Approximately $500.00 USD
Intel X-Scale 200MHz, Windows Mobile for Smartphone 2003, 260K Color Transflective Screen, 750mAH Battery, 900/1800/1900 GSM, 300K VGA Camera
- Fast 200MHz CPU;
- Use MP3's For Ring tones;
- Built-In Camera.
- Small External Display Screen;
- Lacks Support For Bluetooth.
The Mio 8390 is a clam-shell based phone running Windows Mobile for Smartphone 2003. Although it lacks the ever popular Bluetooth, it makes up for that with its build quality, speed, and bundled applications. What makes this phone even better, you ask? It's coming to the North American market this fall!
Read on for the full review!
Let's Look Inside The Box
I did my best not to rip the box into peices when it arrived. I was very excited to get my hands on this phone.
Along with the Mio 8390 you'll find a charging cable, sync cable, cradle, handsfree earphone, belt-case, and a CD with the user manual and software. I was surprised to see that the sync cable did not charge the phone. In today's market, Sync and Charge cables are pretty common. It's not a big deal, I'm sure there will be after-market cables available shortly after this phone hits the streets. I have also learned that they are working on bundling Wharfedale flat panel portable speakers.
Unfortunately, these speakers where not included in my review unit.
Figure 1: The contents of the box, minus the CD. Click on the image for a higher resolution image. (1.5MB).
The belt-case that came with the phone was actually very nice. It had a magnetic snap closure to help keep the phone from falling out. Not that this was ever an issue, since the case was snug enough that there was very little chance for the phone to move around.
The cradle has a second charge pad allowing you to keep a spare battery charged and ready to use. I never felt the worries of charging with this phone. On a full charge I was able to get 55 minutes of talk time, and 48 hours of standby. Of course those 48 hours had a fair amount of button pushing, picture taking, and just plain playing around.
Figure 2: The cradle with the Mio 8390 connected. Click on the image for a higher resolution image. (1.4MB).
Figure 3: The cradle with the battery placed in the spare charging pad. Click on the image for a higher resolution image. (1.4MB).
Is That a Phone in Your Pocket?
The 8390 measures in at 51.5mm x 28.5mm x 97mm and weighs 135 grams, fitting very nicely into my pocket. When folded up, it was a little thicker than I expected. In comparison to the Tanager, it's a little thicker when closed. However, the phone's length and weight seemed just right for my pockets, unlike the Tanager.
Figure 4: That's the Mio 8390 on the right. Click on the image for a higher resolution image. (2.0MB).
Figure 5: From this angle, you can't see the Tanager hiding behind the Mio 8390. Click on the image for a higher resolution image. (745KB).
Figure 6: This clearly shows the Mio 8390 trying to hide behind the Tanager, but failing. Click on the image for a higher resolution image. (639KB).
Figure 7: The Mio slims down a lot once you open it up. Click on the image for a higher resolution image. (752KB).
The external display was a very nice touch. It displays the time, signal strength, message indicator, battery life indicator, and a profile indicator. All of this is very handy information that I'm always looking at my phone for. It was very nice to have it displayed right there on the front so I didn't have to waste my time flipping it open to check if I'd received an email.
On the down-side, the external screen is a little too small, in my opinon. It's perfect for the various tasks I mentioned above, but that's about it. When the phone rings, it will display only the caller's phone number, and not their name or picture. On its own, that isn't a problem. The problem is how
it displays the number. A phone call from +1 (416) 555-1212 is displayed as 14165551212 without all the extra brackets and hyphens. This can be a little hard to read at a quick glance. On top of that, the number is too long for the display, so it gets wrapped. You end up looking at 141655 on the first line followed by 51212 on the second line of the display, which is very annoying and hard to read.
Figure 8: Top view of Mio 8390. Click on the image for a higher resolution image. (613KB).
Figure 9: Bottom view of Mio 8390. Click on the image for a higher resolution image. (474KB).
Figure 10: Left side of Mio 8390 with volume and SD slot. Click on the image for a higher resolution image. (718KB).
Figure 11: Right side view of Mio 8390. Click on the image for a higher resolution image. (793KB).
Figure 12: Front view of Mio 8390. Click on the image for a higher resolution image. (1.1MB).
Figure 13: Back view of Mio 8390. Click on the image for a higher resolution image. (1.0MB).
Figure 14: Mio 8390 flipped open and shinning bright. Click on the image for a higher resolution image. (1.1MB).
Fasten Your Seatbelts
I'm currently using a Tanager which uses the ARM OMAP 710 processor running at about 130MHz. So you could say that I'm used to waiting a little when working on my phone. In picking up the 8390, I saw a huge difference in speed. The Intel X-Scale processor running at 200MHz gives the phone a very nice speed boost. All the menus appeared promptly and applications seemed to open with ease. On the odd occasion, I would noticed that the phone appeared very sluggish. However, once I launched the task manager that came bundled with the phone, and shut down any application that was still running in the background, everything would be fine. (I had a bad habit of starting up the camera to snap a couple pictures and then just flipping the phone shut without exiting.
Figure 15: This is the memory reading after I installed all the bundled applications and snapped a number of pictures. Click on the image for a higher resolution image. (1.7MB).
The screen on the Mio 8390 is clear and bright. The colours seem much richer than the Tanager, which always has a washed out look to it. The Mio's screen was also a little longer and wider than the Tanagers, but it's nothing to write home about.
Figure 16: You can see the Mio 8390 on the right has a little larger and brighter screen. Click on the image for a higher resolution image. (1.59MB).
Here's a full listing of the 8390's specifications:
Smile For The Camera
- 200MHz Intel X-Scale CPU;
- Windows Mobile for Smartphone 2003;
- 48MB ROM with 15MB usable space;
- 32MB SDRAM;
- 2.2-inch Transflective screen with 260K colors, 176x220 resolution;
- 750mAH Battery;
- 70 to 100 hours Battery life in Standby, 2 to 3 hours talk time;
- Supports GSM 900/1800/1900;
- Fixed CMOS 300K Pixel Camera, VGA;
- 51.5mm x 28.5mm x 97mm (W x H x L);
- Weight: 135g.
The Mio 8390 comes with a built-in 300K camera that produces a 640x480 image. Unfotunately, due to an error in the editing room, all I can show you is this low resolution sample image taken with the 8390. For comparison purposes I have also included a picture taken with my Canon s400. Neither picture has been adjusted or modified in any way. Except for the picture taken with my Canon, which has been resized down from 2272x1704.
Figure 17: Picture taken using the Mio 8390.
Figure 18: Picture taken using a Canon s400. Click on the image for a higher resolution image. (2.0MB).
A Bundle Of Goodies
The software bundle that came with the phone included: TaskManager, PhoneExplorer, PhoneReader, PhoneCity, an MPEG4 Plug-in, and Mio Assistant. The first two applications are pretty self explanitory. PhoneReader allows you to read books in TXT, HTML, PDB or PRC format. PhoneCity gives you a glance of the current time in different cities. There are three different skins for you to select from. The MPEG4 Plugin allows you to use Windows Media Player on your desktop computer to view videos that you have created with the Smartphone's camera. The Mio Assistant is a wonderful program that should almost be bundled with every
Smartphone. It is the kind of software my mother could use to manage information on her phone. It's very handy and easy to use, even if it is a little slow.
Here's a list of what information you can manage using the Mio Assistant:
Figure 19: A simple interface to manage all the important settings from your deskop. Click on the image for a higher resolution image. (225KB).
Figure 20: Mio Assistant allows you to easily move pictures or video to and from the phone. Click on the image for a higher resolution image. (308KB).
- Pictures And Videos;
- Mobile Operator Settings;
- Owner Info;
- Pocket IE Settings;
- Backup System Settings.
Java, Java, Java. All the Java fans out there will be happy to hear that Java comes burned in. The bundled games are ok, nothing amazing or incredibly addictive. Personally, I would rather not have Java burned in, but that's just me. I don't care for Java, and I have yet to see any compelling Java-based programs. So I would rather have the memory freed up for something else.
The sounds quality from the phone's speaker was better than I expected. I loaded up my SD card with some MP3s and was surprised by the sound quality when I played them on the phone. I didn't experience any skipping or stuttering during playback. However, I didn't have time to burn any tracks at 196 bit-rate or greater to try it with.
The Mio 8390 is solidly built, very sleek looking phone with fairly good battery life and a nice dose of speed.
The lack of Bluetooth is regretful, however, Bluetooth is not a requirement for everyone. If you don't require Bluetooth, and the small external screen is not a concern, then I highly recommend you look into this phone.