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Qtek 8500 review

A bright and cheerful phone for the quieter user

Our Verdict

A phone that doesn't offer much beyond style and ease of use


  • Good call signal and stylish to look at


  • Struggles with the operating system

    Somewhat lacking in features such as email

Made by HTC - the company behind most of the handhelds currently produced, the Qtek 8500 (free on contract) is one of the smallest devices we've seen to date and features the Windows Mobile 5.0 OS.

It may run the latest OS, but this isn't your average business tool. For instance, those expecting versatility will be disappointed - there are no word processing capabilities, or support for push email. Aimed at the regular consumer, the 8500 features dedicated media buttons on the front of the phone. Design is similar to Motorola's popular RAZR, with a range of colours available, including silver and pink.

Inside the clamshell, the 2.2-inch display is sharp and bright, although it's not touch-sensitive. This means navigation of the Windows OS is done using hardware buttons below the screen. The keys are laser cut from a single piece of aluminium, and we found them large and easy to use.

There's a 1.2-inch screen on the front of the phone, which can be used as a viewfinder when you're taking photographs. It can also display details of the person calling, and features an analogue-style clock when idle. Thanks to the OS, it's easy to synchronise the 8500 with your laptop - and with a Micro-SD reader you'll be able to add up to 1GB of memory for storing MP3s and media files.

You'll also be able to transfer calendar details, and video clips taken with the 1.3-megapixel camera will play on your laptop without problems. However, with a 200MHz processor and 64MB of RAM, the Qtek struggles to run the OS smoothly. Even simple actions, such as sending a message or taking a photograph can be a time-consuming process.

We found call quality to be good, with clear sound reproduction. Connectivity comes in the form of Bluetooth - allowing wireless connections to your laptop and other devices, and the inclusion of EDGE enables rapid downloads. We found the Qtek stylish, well made and easy to use. However, it doesn't offer anything new or innovative. We also found the lack of processing power frustrating.