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Jeff
05-08-2007, 09:28 AM
Dual Sim is Possible with Ask L811 Mobile Phone

The L811, people at the Technews lab were stumped upon knowing that this phone is capable of handling two (2) SIM cards at the same time.

It reminds us of that cheap invention of the same function - the battery cover with two SIM card slot built-in. A SIM card at the end of a membrane is then inserted to the phone's SIM card slot. It's like an extension cord if you ask me, but what the L811 does have are two SIM card slots side-by-side.

ASK L811

If you take out the battery cover, the two SIM card slots can be easily seen just above the battery. The L811 looks like an ordinary bar-type phone and the housing is obviously made of plastic due to its glossy white and pink color. Men, don't worry because there is an all black version which has a sleeker (and manly) look.

The built-in 1.3-Megapixel camera located at the back can shoot decent photos and videos. It doesn't have a built-in flash but it has various effects which are pretty useful for picture-loving users. At the opposite end is the stereo speaker, and on the left side of the phone is where the Micro-SD card slot and USB port is located.

The LCD display size is almost the same as that of the Nokia E50 but has a lower resolution. It may look poor but it's actually a touch-screen LCD. A supplied stylus is placed at the lower right corner of the phone. Below the screen are five icons (dial, video player, messages, audio player and menu) that can be activated using the stylus. You'll also notice that the number keys are small, and there are two call buttons (perhaps for each SIM card) at the top left portion of the keypad. The four-way directional keypad is simply for navigating thru the features.

Focusing on the dual SIM feature, we're surprised to know that it works fine without any conflict with two different networks although, inserting a Smart SIM only gives a numeric identification of the network, but it still works. It's probably because the Smart network is not listed in the phone preferred network list.

Basically, the phone is helpful to those who carry two different SIM cards. Users don't have to transfer the contacts located on each card, as the phone recognizes the SIM on the second slot with a letter "b." When you make a call, you can choose which SIM card will dial the number either pressing the call 1 or call 2 buttons.

Audiophiles will surely appreciate how loud the audio output is, which is quite disturbing when played in a silent environment. You can play mp3 files and mp4 (both audio and video) is also welcome. I recommend that you set the volume setting appropriate to the environment where you are to avoid any human conflict. With regards to its sound quality, it is loud but

Aside from playing digital audio, the phone also has voice recording features, in case you cannot jot down 22 words per minute (which is the handwriting speed of the average American in terms of copying text).

Composing text messages can be done either using the keypad or using the stylus. Like most touch screen phones, the L811 has an onscreen QWERTY keyboard that you can use, or you can use the handwriting recognition. Although, very useful, I find it a bit hard to use the latter because of my very poor penmanship. If I go back to the keypad, it's kind of smaller than the average and may take a while to master.

The L811 also has a chat and email feature, although I wasn't able to configure the profile settings. The phone also has an organizer which gives users a calendar and a to-do list, an alarm clock, world clock, a dictionary and stopwatch. Now the dictionary is bilingual and can translate simple Chinese words to English and back. It's pretty useful if you happen to be in a Chinese-speaking community and you don't have a single clue about the language.

The phone also has not one but five different games, namely Copter, Puzzle, Panda, Robot and Dance. The graphics and gameplay may look childish but it will be enough to kill time. (If you ask me, I personally like the Puzzle game.)

The last good thing with the L811 mobile phone is the extra Lithium-ion battery. At full charge, the battery has a standby time of four days or so, and charging the battery can be done in various ways. You can charge it to any USB port or you can also use the supplied USB adapter and plug it in an outlet. And since the package includes an extra battery, there is also a separate external battery charger.

The Ask L811 mobile phone is a good alternative if you can't afford two separate phone units. But the problem with the phone is that the only connectivity for this phone is thru its USB port. Despite having a microSD card slot for memory expansion, there's no Infrared port and no Bluetooth function.

I would also complain about the manual since it doesn't have any English translation (which also made this review quite challenging). We'll have to wait and see if the L811 would make it to the global market, and maybe we can see some changes by then.