Published on July 29th,2011 at 12:37 PM
By >Daimaou - G.G-B

[Review] Fujitsu F-07C, the first ‘real’ Windows Phone 7?

[Review] Fujitsu F-07C the first real Windows Phone 7?

Face it, Microsoft lost the mobile war and despite its best efforts, the company still has a lot of catching-up to do! Don’t take this the wrong way, but even if Mango is a nice update, Windows Phone 7 came two years too late, with fewer noticeable changes to make it a worthy competitor to both Android and iOS smartphones.
So while many manufacturers moved away and went “Android” crazy, Fujitsu decided to take matters into their own hands to fix once and for all this Windows Phone 7 fiasco by creating the F-07C, the first TRUE phone capable of running Windows 7.

The F-07C was introduced for the first time in early May during a Docomo Press conference in Japan. Only available via NTT’s Docomo network, the F-07C is a phone like no other that comes powered by an 600MHz Intel ATOM CPU with 1GB of RAM, running on Symbian and a virtualized version of Windows 7. Yep, there is no dual boot here, but thanks to the wonders of virtualization, Fujitsu was able to offer a fully functional Windows 7 desktop OS on a tiny Symbian phone.

First Impression

The F-07 is not what we can call, “compact.” I mean sure, if you compare the F-07C with any other Windows 7 Netbook, this new “smartphone” is way smaller than anything you can compare it with, but with a size of 125x61x19.8mm and weighing 218g, the F-07C is by far one of the bulkiest smartphones available nowadays in Japan. Still, no pain, no gain, the F-07 is the only ATOM powered smartphone we know of in Japan and the only one capable of running Windows 7.

Once you get used to the size of the F-07C, you have to admire the amazing work that Fujitsu and its team of engineers put into it. The F-07C is a pure technical marvel, extremely well-built, and solid. With zero tolerance for second-guessing, the F-07C shows how good the Japanese are when it comes to building compact devices and showing how ahead they are in this area.

But as usual, Fujitsu did not develop a simple “smartphone” and decided to bring the full “Windows Experience” by adding one of the most compact QWERTY keyboards I had the chance to play with. Designed to be mainly used with both thumbs, the F-07C keyboard is surprisingly quite easy to get along with, and typing a short message or entering a url is rather unpainful.

Still, the most frustrating part of this keyboard is definitively its “tiny” trackball that is quite difficult to master and can bring a sudden burst of unimaginable frustration forcing you to quickly give-up using it and jump on the F-07C 4” SVGA touchscreen whenever you need to point and click.

Intended to replace your laptop on-the-go, Fujitsu had the brilliant idea to offer its F-07C with a nice little “Desktop Kit” including a USB mouse and keyboard, as well as a docking station that will let you connect your F-07C to any external Display via HDMI plus offering you four useful USB ports.

Here as well, there is not much to complain about, the docking station is compact enough to be carried around and if you’re not too crazy about the Fujitsu USB mouse and keyboard combo, you can also use your very own or even invest in a nice Logitech wireless combo.

Everyday Usage

Before we move on to one of the most important parts of this review, I have to warn you that we are not going to spend any time reviewing the “Symbian” part of this phone. There is actually nothing here to really talk about and the “dumb” phone side of the F-07C works pretty much like any of the other Symbian-powered phones available worldwide. So instead of wasting any further time, let’s jump directly on the “netbook” part of the F-07C.

When you power-up your F-07C for the first time, you will immediately be thrown to the rather dull Symbian experience (I can’t wait for Symbian’s death), but thanks to a little button placed on the side of your phone, you have the choice of swapping between the OSs, jumping from Symbian to Windows 7.

As I said earlier, the F-07C does not offer a real dual boot experience, but it will in fact run a virtual Windows 7 machine on its Symbian OS. While this process is in fact totally transparent for the user, it makes however a huge difference when you are swapping from one OS to another, giving you an almost seamless experience whenever you have to jump between them.
Still, to achieve such “bliss” you will have to boot Windows 7 like on any other device and as you could have guessed, running on a CPU clocked at 600MHz, the F-07C is rather “slow” to boot-up. Still, once fully loaded, the F-07C is rather snappy, or as snappy as you can get with such an entry level CPU.

Being limited to the rather small size of the screen, you will quickly find yourself doing basic tasks like checking your email, viewing attached PDF, Excel or Word files, surf the web, chat online, update your Facebook profile page and even edit a few docs, but not much else.

Having the F-07C with me for about a week, I tried to force myself to dump my iPhone for a while and use the F-07C as my only device, but to be honest, it did not really work for me. And despite what you may believe, the most frustrating thing that forced made me to turn back to my iPhone was the F-07C’s tiny four-inch SVGA screen, that way be big enough for the average smartphone, but way too small for your basic Windows 7 needs.

Once at home I also tried to “work” with the F-07C for a while by installing the F-07C on its docking station hooked-up to one of my screen.

I knew that here as well, I should not expect much, after all the F-07C is a rather underpowered PC, but I was not expecting so much frustration here neither. Don’t get me wrong, I knew what to expect, but once plugged to a real screen with a keyboard and a mouse, you quickly forget that you are working on a mobile phone and expect the F-07C to behave as well as any other nettop or netbook available on the market.

Add to this the rather disturbing fan noise that your F-07C will continuously make once plugged into its cradle, plus the fact that it cannot even handle the most basic DivX movie you are throwing at it, and you quickly realize that despite its amazing build quality and impressive achievement of being the first phone to run Windows 7, the F-07C will only be able to offer you a very limited “Windows experience,” destroying your dream of an extremely capable working station away from home.

Now if you wonder how the F-07C handles the Microsoft Office Suite, I’ll say that it will of course let you open four DOCX, XLSX and other MS Office files but don’t even think about having Outlook and Word open at the same time. The same is true for pretty much everything. The F-07C is only capable of handling one thing at a time efficiently, killing any hope for multitasking-addicted people like myself.

Now, there is the question about battery life. Yep, the F-07C is a greedy little buddy and it will only be capable of running Windows 7 for an hour and half on the go, which is, all things considered, not that bad at all. In an hour and half a lot can be done, but running out of juice so quickly when the F-07C is your only phone could become annoying rather quickly.

Another problem I ran into was the rather stubborn WiFi module that Fujitsu installed on the F-07C that would not connect to certain WPA2 access points, weird, but really annoying.

Conclusion

Well this is a tough one, I mean, yes, the F-07C is not as amazing as one would expect and it definitively needs a better tweaked Windows 7 installation for a snappier experience by first removing all the pre-installed crap like Norton for example, but the F-07C is also an impressive little device. I mean, where can you find a totally autonomous Windows 7 compact PC with 3G and WiFi that can fit in your pocket and just weight 218g?
When you think about it, the F-07C is a really impressive piece of engineering and you have to admire the work that has been done here, but against an iPhone or an Android smartphone, the F-07C has a lot of difficulty justifying itself.

Via Fujitsu
              
[Review] Fujitsu F-07C, the first ‘real’ Windows Phone 7?[Review] Fujitsu F-07C, the first ‘real’ Windows Phone 7?[Review] Fujitsu F-07C, the first ‘real’ Windows Phone 7?[Review] Fujitsu F-07C, the first ‘real’ Windows Phone 7?[Review] Fujitsu F-07C, the first ‘real’ Windows Phone 7?[Review] Fujitsu F-07C, the first ‘real’ Windows Phone 7?
[Review] Fujitsu F-07C, the first ‘real’ Windows Phone 7?[Review] Fujitsu F-07C, the first ‘real’ Windows Phone 7?[Review] Fujitsu F-07C, the first ‘real’ Windows Phone 7?[Review] Fujitsu F-07C, the first ‘real’ Windows Phone 7?[Review] Fujitsu F-07C, the first ‘real’ Windows Phone 7?[Review] Fujitsu F-07C, the first ‘real’ Windows Phone 7?
[Review] Fujitsu F-07C, the first ‘real’ Windows Phone 7?[Review] Fujitsu F-07C, the first ‘real’ Windows Phone 7?[Review] Fujitsu F-07C, the first ‘real’ Windows Phone 7?[Review] Fujitsu F-07C, the first ‘real’ Windows Phone 7?[Review] Fujitsu F-07C, the first ‘real’ Windows Phone 7?[Review] Fujitsu F-07C, the first ‘real’ Windows Phone 7?
[Review] Fujitsu F-07C, the first ‘real’ Windows Phone 7?[Review] Fujitsu F-07C, the first ‘real’ Windows Phone 7?[Review] Fujitsu F-07C, the first ‘real’ Windows Phone 7?[Review] Fujitsu F-07C, the first ‘real’ Windows Phone 7?[Review] Fujitsu F-07C, the first ‘real’ Windows Phone 7?[Review] Fujitsu F-07C, the first ‘real’ Windows Phone 7?
[Review] Fujitsu F-07C, the first ‘real’ Windows Phone 7?[Review] Fujitsu F-07C, the first ‘real’ Windows Phone 7?[Review] Fujitsu F-07C, the first ‘real’ Windows Phone 7?[Review] Fujitsu F-07C, the first ‘real’ Windows Phone 7?[Review] Fujitsu F-07C, the first ‘real’ Windows Phone 7?[Review] Fujitsu F-07C, the first ‘real’ Windows Phone 7?
[Review] Fujitsu F-07C, the first ‘real’ Windows Phone 7?[Review] Fujitsu F-07C, the first ‘real’ Windows Phone 7?
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Comments
 

  • Anonymous

    What kind of garbage is this?

    And by that I mean the article, not the phone.   It’s as if the author knew nothing about Windows Phone 7 and just sort of stuck it in their thinking it applied to the phone, when it doesn’t. I’ve never seen such ignorance from a “news’ source

    • Anonymous

      Yeah We found one ! Our Own Windows Phone 7!!! But still, Windows Phone 7 still as a long way to go, as for Installing a Windows 7 OS in a Phone, well, Fujitsu at least gave it a try!

  • Anonymous

    It’s not a virtual machine, the Symbian part and Windows part are *completely* separate. I see some people running Windows portion without the phone part turned on. See the device manager, they are mainly connected to each other via internal USB bus. Check out 2channel thread for more info.

    • http://twitter.com/auktionadm auktion@dmin

      I also wondered why people were believed F-07C would have a virtual machine for Windows 7.

  • http://about.me/cesarcardoso Cesar Cardoso

    “powered by an 600MHz Intel ATOM CPU”

    Fujitsu downgraded the F-07C? It had an Intel Atom Z600 running at 1.2GHz when announced.

  • http://www.djsmobiles.com DJRipster

    I would love to trial this device for myself…

  • UMPC-Germany

    Hi, can it run Aero at decent speeds? Aero probably would look awesome on that screen!

    Is the GMA600 accelerating Video (e.g. Youtube) or isn’t this possible when running Windows virtually in Symbian OS? I wished they had made 2 processing units (like HTC Shift) instead of emulating Windows?

    Thank you!

    Nice Review!

    Btw, at those who think that device is rubbish: it’s more like a demonstration what is possible right now. Many UMPC users were dreaming of a very pocketbale full-Windows pc for years. Now we have it- 4 inch!! Those who are interested in the F-07C make compromises when using the device. The possibilities alone to run Outlook, Office, Chat, Chrome, any other program on the go and carrying the device in your pocket is enough for that kind of users. 

    I am really looking forward to the F-C07, because it has specs that Viliv S5/N5 or other WIndows-MIDs/UMPC don’t have: really pocketable size, full phone capability and Windows. Moreover it’s rather state of the art when having a look at the screen resolution (DPI), new Atom-platform etc. However, performance is slow, but i guess it’s still convenient. 

    It is just a tiny hightech device- and even if it could get outdated very quickly (Windows 8 + ARM) it is still worth buying it right now. Upcoming ARM-Windows 8- devices might not be compatible with alle native Windows-Applications, as far as i know.

    Regards

  • UMPC-Germany

    Hey, it’s already available for pre-purchase on eBay. I found an UK-seller who offers shipments from Japan and the UK in August 2011. (about ~€700 incl. shipping). The devices are unlocked and seem to work with 2100 Mhz European 3G-Networks. Language can be switched to English. I wonder if it supports European GSM 900 for voice calling. 3G 2100Mhz is not available everywhere.

    However this is a rather good price for a brand-new imported UMPC. I expected it to cost about 1000-1200€.I also found one on Conics but it is heavily overpriced. 

    • Daniel

      Danke UMPC-Germany. Good to see a comment from home. This device comes very close to my ideal smartphone/computer.

    • Daniel

      Will you buy one? And would you trust that ebay-seller? Conics seems to offer two units at once when I look at this price.

    • Daniel

      Regarding to the network question: The Fujitsu website read that it supports 3G+2G/GSM. So voice calling
      should work without UMTS coverage, too.

    • UMPC-Germany

      I wait for some buyer’s feedback before ordering one. Right now it’s not 100% sure that teh eBay sellers chips from JP or UK. With custom charges (and Einfuhrumsatzsteuer) it will get much more expensive. 

      have a look at the F-07C thread at umpcportal (dot) com

      I am user “Reader” in the comments.

      MfG

  • Anonymous

    All phones from docomo after Apr 1 2011, including F-07C,  are SIM locked, but officially unlockable at stores for a fee. I don’t know about exporting though…

  • Daniel

    By the way: Does it have any ports directly on the device?

    • Anonymous

      Yes Micro USB

  • Ahmed A. B.

    Perhaps the authour of this load of crap needs some insight as to what a smartphone is.

  • Echo082003

    the most ugly phone i’ve ever seen.. it looks like this was made for back to the future movie..

    • UMPC-Germany

      there have been much uglier UMPCs in the past. This one really looks like a regular smartphone, people might think it’s from the year 2007/2008 but in fact they wouln’t consider it runs full Windows Home Premium.

      But you’re right. It’s very thick for instance.

      But when you compare it to the Sharp WIllcom D4 it appears really small. I’ve seen a photo comparison and the D4 at least looked twice as bulky as the F-07C.

  • Nekojcat

    Just a quick comment… rather, means not. If it is a rather small screen, it’s not a small screen ;) Pet peeve exhausted. Thanks for the review. I’m intrigued by this device, but I hear what you’re saying about it. It’s just a bit too small, and a bit too under powered to really take seriously. That being said, I still have to marvel at just what has been crammed into this tiny package. 

    • Twentypercenter

      When used as an adverb to modify an adjective, “rather” means SOMEWHAT or A LITTLE BIT. It does not and has never meant “not” when used this way. Learn the language before you criticize others for using it. Idiot.

  • jose

    ALL WHAT YOU SAY SOUNDS LIKE A CALUMNY. THE INTEL ATOM Z600 IS A 1.2 GHz (NOT 600 MHZ). IS A NATIVE X86 PROCESSOR, THEN NO NEED TO VIRUTALIZE THE WINDOWS.
    WHAT ARE THINKING?

    • Moonman

      600MHz is the frequency it is clocked at IN THE device! Atom is x86, but virtualization is not made to change the CPU instruction set) it is to run an OS within an OS. How easy is it to use win7 to make phonecalls? Your comment is pointless.

    • Human

      Calumny?  There’s no possible way you understand what that word means, given how you use it.

      As Moonman said, processors can be clocked at speeds below their spec.  This is very common in mobile handsets as a power saving measure.  Also, the fact that an Atom processor is an x86 part has nothing to do with whether an OS needs to be virtualized or not.  You’re thinking about emulation, I hope.  If not, WHAT ARE THINKING?

  • UMPC-Germany

    @author:disqus : what makes you sure that Windows 7 is being virtualized?
    Thank you!

    • Anonymous

      That what I was told during the press conference, I was also told that the F-07C would run at 1.2GHz too :(

    • Mood

      Some buyers told me that it definately runs on 2 SoCs. There is no virtualization.

  • Anonymous

    Why so slow with reviews on this site, you’re in Japan for Pete’s sake :) Couldn’t you guys get your grubby little paws on that 1st wp7 mango phone, the fujitsu-toshiba one waterproof and 12mpx camera ?

    • Anonymous

      Coz unfortunately, I am alone to test these devices here in Japan, and I have already 3 review to write and add the fact that I really WANT to take some holidays this summer… If anyone in Japan want to help… let me know !

  • Alex Nif

    What about Sharp Willcom D4 (WS016SH)? Everything almost the same, just install Win7 to it instead of pre-installed Vista – and you get almost the same compact pc!

  • Shahar_m

    Can you use the micro usb on the device with micro usb to serial adapter, for reading (for example) a memory stick flash or installing usb Bluetooth dongle there?

 

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