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PREVIEW: The hidden Motorola MPx220 features
Posted by Arne Hess - on Sunday, 01.08.04 - 16:39:25 CET under 08 - Reviews - Viewed 8989x
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We've already seen some previews of early Motorola MPx220 samples but so far non of them have mentioned the one or the other hidden feature of the Motorola MPx220 Smartphone and while I'm still working on my own complete review, I think it's time to talk about these features already.
Please note that these features might not be available in all the Beta ROM versions out there right now (for instance the Camera Self-Portrait feature disappeared in one ROM version I had) but it's pretty likely that it will appear in the final release.

Camera Self-Portraits
For MMS and other situations it might be useful to make a photo of yourself. While the MPx220 have a mirrored body it doesn't includes a mirror beside the camera like most mobile phones have it today but it has an external display.
If you press the camera button slightly longer, the camera application starts even if the phone is closed and now the external display can be used as a viewfinder!

Unlike the photos you made with the main display as viewfinder, these photos are automatically stored in the "My Pictures" folder for later use.

All together this isn't working that bad, beside the downside that the external display isn't that bright and because of the mirrored display it's hard to watch. While it works more or less within rooms it's not useable outside in the sun anymore.

Keypad Background-Light
The second feature is about the keypad background-light and uses an idea we already know from the early Compaq H3600 iPAQ Pocket PCs: a light sensor. This light sensor was used in the early days of Pocket PCs to save power. If the environmental light was bright enough, the backlight of the display switched off. Now Motorola picked-up this idea again but not for the screen backlight but for the keypad backlight!
Normally the MPx220 has a blue keypad light which works pretty well and bright. However, in the sun or bright rooms you don't need a background light for the keypad at all and here the device switches-off the backlight. The sensor is on the bottom of the front, left from the "MPx220" writing.

This is pretty clever since it saves a lot of battery in situations where you don't need the backlight without reducing the convenience of using the keypad.

Cheers ~ Arne