Sometimes you can tell a book by its cover, as is the case with the MWg Atom Life. It comes packaged in an attractive blue box with a substantial magnetic flap cover. Lift the cover and you're presented with an attractive smartphone cradled in the center of a blue field. To its right you find an abbreviate list of its rather substantial specs.
Traditional PDA layout
The MWg Atom Life is a small Windows Mobile 6 Professional device. Although it incorporates an unlocked GSM phone, it has a traditional PDA layout without an integrated QWERTY thumb keyboard or number pad. It ships with a comprehensive printed user manual, a set of comfortable ear buds with extra pads, several international plug converters, an AC charger, a USB sync/charge cable, an extra stylus, and a Getting Started CD. Sadly, there is no carrying case or cradle provided with the device. Also, it is an unlocked GSM phone, which means that you must provide your own SIM card before the phone will function.
Above the 2.7-inch color QVGA touch screen you'll find an LED panel that lights up when your battery is low and when you're charging your device or receiving incoming messages. To the left of the LED panel is the lens for a front-facing camera, which allows you to take self portraits. It can also be used for video phone calls, but unfortunately, no U.S. wireless carriers support this feature yet.
Below the display is a five-way navigation button flanked by six hardware buttons: the left and right soft keys, the Call and End Call buttons, and buttons that activate the Start menu and Windows Media Player. The last button can be reprogrammed by the user to launch other applications. Stereo speakers flank the hardware buttons.
On the top left edge of the device is an opening for attaching a wrist-loop lanyard. About an inch below it you'll find two volume control buttons, and the infrared port is located at the very bottom of the left edge. The stylus silo is located on the top right edge of the device. Below it are two additional application launch buttons. By default, these activate the voice recorder and the built-in digital camera, but like the Media Player button, they can be reprogrammed.
A miniSD card slot is located on the top edge of the device, along with the power on/off button. A 2.5 mm stereo headphone jack is located on the bottom edge of the device, along with a recessed soft reset button and a standard mini-USB connectivity port.
On the top back of the Atom Life we find the lens aperture for another 2.0 megapixel camera along with a small self-portrait mirror and a mini-LED strobe flash (a nice feature that's missing on many other devices). Finally, the battery cover on the back of the device lets you access the 1,530 mAh removable battery; the...