Panasonic VS3 - Review and problems


Panasonic VS3 - Review and problems

About Panasonic VS3
When electronics giants such as Panasonic come up with mobile phones that actually make a mark, the future bodes well for us mere mortal consumers. Featuring possibly the brightest display of a mobile phone yet, Sindre Lia examines Panasonic's new VS3 in hope of finding a handset worthy of a top rating.

The tri-band GSM 900/1800/1900 MHz Panasonic VS3 measures 96 x 46 x 18 mm and weighs 102 g, confirming its ultra-slim form factor despite being a clamshell handset. In fact, the VS3 is top-of-the shelf in terms of design, as it also sports a nifty one-push auto open button putting future fumbling attempts of opening the phone comfortably to rest.

In open mode, the VS3 offers a comfortable keypad providing good tactile feedback, as well as a 2.2" QVGA display with 16 million colours, 300-candela brightness and a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels. The specifications speak for themselves, of course, but what's pleasantly surprising is that despite its impressively bright and clear screen, the VS3 also delivers good battery life.

Furthermore, the Panasonic VS3 sports a user-friendly user interface with an intuitive icon based menu. Text input is a breeze, as is browsing the mobile internet with the internal WAP 2.0 browser. The VS3 also features a 32 MB internal memory, polyphonic and MP3 ringtones, as well as support for SMS, MMS and Java MIDP 2.0. Connectivity-wise, however, the VS3 only offer GPRS, Infrared and USB - unfortunately lacking Bluetooth and EDGE. Neither does it support calendar and phone book synchronization.

The VS3 does, on the other hand, come equipped with a 1.3 Megapixel camera which, courtesy of its high shutter speed, produces some of the best instant-capture shots we've seen in a handset. Controlled by means of a dedicated camera button on the right side of the handset, the camera also records video clips at a resolution of 176 x 144 pixels, with both stills and videos easily added to MMS messages from within the camera application.

The reception and voice quality of the Panasonic VS3 are average, while the phone offered approximately 3 hours of talk time and 5 days of standby time during our test period as opposed to Panasonic's claim of 4.5 hours and 9 days, respectively.

Availablity & Price and availability
The Panasonic VS3 will be available in August throughout Europe, selling in the €325 EUR without subscription.