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E-Ten Glofiish X500 review

The Swiss Army knife of the handheld world

So many features, so few buttons - the X500 is surprisingly versatile

Our Verdict

Scores well in most areas, but doesn't quite blow us away in any of them


  • Excellent connectivity

    Versatile set of features


  • No included GPS software

    Too few actual buttons

If your Pocket PC doesn't do enough, and you fancy something with a few more features, E-TEN's Glofiish X500 (£430 inc. VAT) could be the solution. Combining a mobile phone, camera, Pocket PC and GPS module within an unfeasibly thin casing, the Glofiish is the Swiss Army knife of the handheld world.

Windows Mobile 5.0 is installed, and it runs smoothly without lag thanks to a 400MHz processor. The OS can be navigated using the touchscreen, or a series of buttons. The 3.5-inch display is bright, vivid and sharp, and ideal for displaying photographs from the 2-megapixel camera.

Aimed at the business user, you'll find Word, Excel and PowerPoint Mobile included. Creating documents using the small display is not ideal, but it comes in handy for editing. Text can be entered using a variety of onscreen methods - from handwriting recognition to a Qwerty keyboard.

On the move, you'll be able to take advantage of the X500's excellent connectivity. With a Wi-Fi adapter built in, wireless networks can be configured with ease. You'll also find Bluetooth, which allows you to send files wirelessly to other devices - such as your phone or laptop. Push-email support means you'll be able to send and receive emails directly.

The lack of hardware buttons makes the E-TEN an annoying device when it comes to use as a phone, as even a simple process requires the stylus. Call quality is good, however. Surprisingly for a handheld this thin, the Glofiish has a SiRF Star III GPS module built-in. You won't be able to use it for satellite navigation straight out of the box, as no software is provided, but Navigation software can be bought independently, with prices starting at £43.

While it doesn't excel in any one area, the Glofiish X500 is a competent all-rounder. It's just a shame some sat nav software isn't included.