I have owned this phone for about 16 months and can firmly say that in that time it has been as good at times as it has frustrated me at others.
The phone features good features like threaded text messages and excellent email that is very clear and easy to use once set up.
Being windows it does crash frequently when you have a few to many programs/apps open.
The best thing I can suggest is to use Opera Mini as the internet browser on the phone which is a free download and makes browsing the internet on this phone easy and simple and makes use of the large touchscreen this phone has.
The picture quality of photos is OK but at 3 megapixels the camera is not the best feature of this phone.
I think this phone is now slightly outdated and there are better windows phone on the market (this phone runs Windows Mobile 6.1).
Nearly time for me to upgrade I think but a great phone that has served me well.
On a separate note the speaker on this phone is very poor and it really is nott loud enough to play music in a room or movies on the screen and hear the sound.
The phone part of this phone is a real afterthought and really shows that this phone was built as a PDA with a phone tagged on allowing the internet connection.
I have had my O2 xda zest for well over a year now and overall am very satisfied with the features on it. I use a variety of functions such as email internet browsing (via gprs and wifi), contacts sync with MS Outlook, text/mms messaging, and camera and these are all fairly easy to set up and work with. The phone itself is ergonomically sound (fits into your hand really nicely) Touch screen is also responsive.
Despite the occasional glitch in the windows mobile OS that requires a power cycle, very poor battery life when using email regularly and having to use a stylus to type out a text message/ email I would definitely recommend this phone for business users and non-business users who want a phone that can connect to a variety of networks quickly, also for those people who need to stay in contact with their email whilst out of the office.
I've had a few XDA phones as hand me downs from my Dad and never had an issue with them other than battery life getting bad, which you expect in an 18 month old phone especially once you've had it for nearly a year after. So they would last about 2 and a half years or so. I'm sure you can imagine my delight when I went to join O2 myself and had the option of my own, brand new XDA; naturally I jumped at the chance. All the features (Internet access, Microsoft office mobile) and the games (I have developed an unhealthy addiction to bubble breaker) make it a palm top pc rather than a phone as is the case with the whole XDA series of phones. And up until I got this one I would have said they were built to last.
As you have probably guessed from what I have said already, this is not the case with my current XDA. The Zest seems to be the one to have slipped through the net and I earnestly hope this is a blip rather than a sign of things to come. The internet decides to switch from my free wifi connection to its own VERY expensive 3G network randomly, and I've been insanely lucky that it has not caught me for more than a couple of seconds so far. Also of issue is the active battery life which is pushing to less than 2 hours already. The buttons randomly decide to do different functions but it's not yet become regular enough for me to go to O2 with the issues to get a replacement/repair job. I just hope they get enough worse before the 12 month manufacturer's warranty expires as the contract is 18 months long, which is nonsensical but hey.
So in summary, older XDA's good, XDA Zest bad...or maybe mine is just a blip in the system Regardless I'd say steer clear of the XDA series until it becomes apparent whether this is a sign of things to come or not.
The XDA Zest from O2 is a combined mobile telephone and PDA, or "palm top" PC. It has a standard 3" screen, but its compact design means that it will still slip easily into a shirt pocket. Utilising its inbuilt GPS, the Zest is able to take advantage of point to point navigation software such as TomTom.
Fully 3G enabled and with Wi-Fi built in, you have mobile internet access on the go. The phone comes with Windows Mobile 6.1 pre-installed, including Internet Explorer and Media Player. Using a micro SD card, you can expand the storage to an impressive 32Gb; more than an iPhone.
Battery life is not great compared to a standard phone, but excellent as a PDA. I usually charge it up every 3 days when not using PDA functions.
I'm delighted with the size, speed and functionality of this phone. Accessories are hard to come by and so far I'm yet to find a suitable protective case.
I got the O2 XDA Zest as my handset upgrade about a month and a half ago after careful consideration and a lot of research. I wanted a phone designed for easy web browsing, on which I could access my e-mail (hotmail not outlook) and preferably on which I could also view attachments.
I was also hoping to get something with mp3 capability and a camera. It came down to a toss up between the Blackberry Bold and the O2 Zest. As I wanted to use the phone more for web browsing than linking to an outlook account I was advised the Zest would be a better bet.
The web browser on the phone is excellent, there are two options for this. The opera browser or the windows browser. Windows mobile is installed on the phone, and as I am more used to the set up of windows I use this more often. The phone also comes with flash installed which is particularly useful on some websites.
The other applications on the phone such as word, excel and notepad are also easy to use and useful, particularly for viewing attachments. Adobe acrobat reader is also provided.
The touchscreen is responsive, clear and bright and easy to use - this was my first touchscreen phone and I was sceptical as I had found them awkward to use when looking at friend's phones. The phone comes with a stylus, which for me in the beginning was indispensable for texting, the keypad offered is qwerty and very small, but the stylus slots into the side of the phone so it is handy and discreet. It does take a bit of getting used to using the stylus to text, but I have now also managed to learn to text on it without the stylus. There are a few different modes for texting, one is the qwerty keyboard, two use predictive text and there is a handwriting transcriber function as well. This is quite accurate and even manages to interpret my handwriting correctly, however it is more time consuming as you can only fit a certain number of words on the screen and have to pause for a second for the screen to be refreshed when the transcriber puts the text in.
There are so many applications and widgets on this phone I don't think I have got through them all yet, even after a month but in general the functionality for programmes is very good.
The phone is lightweight and smaller than I imagined and is quite aesthetically pleasing as well as being extremely functional. It has a slide lock on the side for the touchscreen which I have found extremely useful. You are provided with a handsfree kit and charger for the phone. I was very impressed with the charger, it is a mini USB to standard USB lead which plugs into a standard socket, the socket has a detachable third pin allowing it to be used in Europe as well, the USB cable once detached from the plug can be used to connect the phone to the computer for synching files and for charging from your PC. Perhaps this is not a new thing but it is the first phone I have had with this option and I was very impressed.
The two most disappointing things about this phone are the battery life - it has to be charged every night - it reaches 1% or switches off at the end of the day even on power saver mode. I do not make a large number of calls on the phone, or really send a huge number of texts. I occasionally check my hotmail or have a look at facebook but would say my entire web usage time on the phone would not exceed an hour and a half in any one day, so the battery life is extremely disappointing.
The other thing which is a bit annoying but shouldn't put you off is the memory of the phone. You need to delete all the web browsing files and cookies and associated content probably once every week or two weeks or the phone will prevent you opening web links or completing tasks once the memory is full - there is a solution to this, the memory card provided is quite small and can be replaced with a larger one.
Windows media player is also not the most user friendly application for a portable music device, but as it is not the focus of the phone, and it does what it is supposed to do I won't complain about that too much.
All in all other than the battery life I am very satisifed with the phone.