On the surface, the Ice from Taiwanese upstart Mobinnova looks like a decent WinMo set, it really does. The spec sheet's solid enough with a wide QVGA display, AGPS, integrated FM radio, HSDPA, and a secondary touch screen for navigation (a la LG Venus) -- but regrettably, the specs only tell half of this tragicomic tale. Up close, questionable engineering decisions start to come out of the woodwork. Take the d-pad, for example: sounds like an awesome idea, but the screen the Ice uses is so dim you can barely make it out under normal lighting. Not that you'd have to make it out, since -- as far as we can tell, anyway -- the only thing it ever shows is the d-pad, which begs the question why they're using a display here in the first place (we'd figured that opening Windows Media would trigger a transition to music controls, but no dice). What's more, Mobinnova's skin to take advantage of the 400 x 240 screen is possibly the worst manufacturer-issued skin we've ever seen on Windows Mobile, with text that looks like it was hastily downscaled to the point of being illegible at the Ice's dot pitch. Now that Sony Ericsson's said to have made the leap to these guys, we're a little worried for the future of XPERIA, honestly.

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Mobinnova Ice hands-on

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