SlashGear Review: Helio Fin

James Allan Brady - Aug 16, 2007
SlashGear Review: Helio Fin

So this morning I received in my hot little hands a Helio Fin. Its been well covered on SlashGear, and even more so in our forums. If you want the full list of details you can read the full information here.

The new features this Helio has going for it, though, are what you are likely most interested in and thus what I will cover most. First, there is the 3MP camera that is built in, then there is the thin and sexy clamshell form factor; I have borrowed a pink RAZR for comparison. Other than that there’s Helio’s Ultimate Messaging Suite and Ultimate Inbox. The new features on the software side aren’t small in comparison either. First there is Helio On Top or H.O.T., then there is HelioUP making it ever easier to geo-tag and instantly upload photos and videos taken with the Helio Fin. Last but not least there is Garmin Mobile, their new turn-by-turn GPS navigation software.

I plan on showing all of the above in the review, but Garmin Mobile will probably have to come later as I know how eager you all are to get the news; well, I’m just as eager to get it to you. So let’s begin!

Upon first inspection I was very impressed with how small and lightweight the Fin is, it’s taking some getting used to: I am used to having a flip phone where either the screen portion or the keypad portion is significantly heavier than the other, which isn’t the case with this phone, it seems nearly perfectly balanced.

As usual with Helio handsets the user interface is simple enough for a 2 year old to figure out, and that’s a good thing. There are pictures below, and video here.

The Helio Fin

As I stated above, the phone is extremely thin, and very good looking. The dark blue magnesium body looks black from a distance, and looks great from any perspective. It really is a much longer phone than the RAZR, but not in a bad way: it feels great in the hand and the screen looks amazing.

helio fin

helio fin

helio fin

Pics of Fin and comparison to the RAZR

helio fin

helio fin

3MP Camera

The Camera is quite easy to use, and uploading with HelioUP is even easie: just shoot the video or snap the picture and then a little HelioUP button comes up for the right soft button, hit that and then it asks for some basic info and you are uploading.

Ultimate Messaging Suite

The Ultimate Messaging Suite is a breeze to set up and use and is quite speedy with the 3G connection.

Ultimate Inbox

I only use Gmail and my Slashgear account, setting up my Gmail account has been a breeze. I’ll work on setting up my Slashgear account later.

Helio H.O.T.

Helio H.O.T. is the new RSS reader and it works great, it comes with all of the Yahoo feeds pre-loaded as well as a few others including The Onion; you can add more through your Helio account online.

Buddy Beacon

Not much new here, I don’t know very many people with a Helio handset, in fact the list is currently one person long, which says a lot about technology and Indiana as well as about how many friends I have! But it came up, did the update and then started working immediately with MapQuest Maps.

GPS with Google Maps

This app came up easily and started working instantly, it knew right where I was and worked almost exactly like it does on my PC.  Once again, this isn’t a really new feature, but it’s still impressive.

MySpace on Helio

This is accessible via the browser window, and just like everything else on the Helio, it looks great. It is easy to navigate and write on too.

Final Thoughts

I love it. There are some downsides, well really just two: the first is the microSD card slot, which is underneath the battery cover, right below the battery, meaning you have to remove the battery to insert or remove a card. The only other thing is that I don’t like how the small external display collects fingerprints like it’s CSI, but that is easily fixed by just wiping it off. Like I said, overall I love it and I don’t foresee myself having need of another phone for quite some time.

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