Review: NEC 525HDM High Definition Mobile Handset

Review: NEC 525HDM High Definition Mobile Handset


The NEC 525HDM (High Definition Mobile Handset) has to be one of the best buys for a high-resolution colour screen phone on the market today. Although the embedded camera is low in resolution, the handset features GSM/GPRS quad-band 850/900/1800/1900 MHz international compatibility and retails for only $69.99. I really question how anyone is making any money off this deal; it was only released to the US market this past November.

The 525 sports two LCD screens, an internal 2.2 inch, 65K colour display with truly VIVD colour, you have to see it to believe it, and a mini external 4K LCD.

The 100K, 2X digital zoom embedded camera lets you capture images, and immediately send them as MMS or Email. Sure the camera captures at low quality, more of a novelty feature if anything, but who buys a camera phone for capturing family occasions or special events.
Also, when the flip is closed and the camera is activated, you can see the output on the mini LCD screen. The phone also features the infamous “snap shot” sound, which I was unable to de-activate.

When you first get the phone, you will notice how quiet the speaker is, you can hardly hear a voice in a silent room even if you turn the volume up all the way. NEC has some type of dual voice volume control. To adjust this you will have to go into the main menu, press 1,1,1 (Settings, Phone, Voice Volume) then raise the “Master Volume” as much as you can. I have never seen a phone having dual volume controls, and realize it could pose a problem to many users. Adjusting the primary volume to its maximum while in a call is not sufficient, you must adjust the secondary volume also. Who reads the manual anyway?

Using the NEC HDM website, users can easily download links to ringtones, games, and desktop images to their phone. The mMode service is very fast, I was surprised to how quick it was to retrieve larger java games. When you receive an email after requesting a game from the, you will simply have to press the Left arrow button in the message, this allows you to select the link in to download your requested item. The website offers many free downloads to choose from, and many premium downloads are also available for a small fee.

The handset features dual processors for separate Java application processing and uses DoJa. DoJa is a version of Java, created specifically for the mobile environment by NTT DoCoMo and Sun Microsystems. The handset runs very fast, especially in gaming and graphics display. The only problem I found in respects to speed was a delay on immediate startup when loading your phone book for the first time. If you have only one phone entry or fifty, the system takes about 40 seconds to load your numbers.

The battery life is exceptional, with over 5 hours of talk time and around 150 hours of standby on a thin 800mAh. Charging is also very quick. The phone measures a bit thick at 1-inch x 3.9-inches long and about 1.8-inch wide, but still acceptable.

A full list of features are available on AT&T’s website, there are way too many to list.

Important Features

– Camera – 100K pixel, timer, 2X zoom lens. Choose either display as viewfinder.

– Color themes – 4, personalize display to suit your mood

– Dual processors – separate Java applications processor for lightening fast game play

– E-mail – mMode and up to 2 POP3 accounts

– mMode support with xHTML and CSS, allowing for complete style sheet and background display

– External 4K display for color picture caller ID and Number Caller ID

– HTTP browser allows for secure socket layer (SSL) internet connection

– Infrared – between 515/525 to 515/525 only, PIM and Phonebook entries only (USB cable for sync/data transmission)

– Memory – 1 MB dedicated to phonebook, pictures, and ring tunes

– SMS- send up to 32 concatenated messages for a total message size of 4,896 characters. Character counter details message size as you enter text.

– Selectable font, font sizes, font color, and background color for SMS

– Synchronize phonebook, calendar and to-do list via USB cable (purchased separately) and included sync software for Outlook only. Purchase full version of sync software for additional cost

More photos available here.