A Closer Look: Design
Looks are important part of any consumer's purchasing decisions, and it is only fair that we "guesstimate" the PHC-105's selling potential based on our first impressions of its design.
Having said that, it seems that users who were expecting the PH-105 3G wireless camera to look as cool as those security cameras hanging from the ceilings of most MRT stations and shopping centres will probably have something to be disappointed in, considering that the PHC-105 resembles a futuristic computer mouse more than a wireless camera.
We won't be surprised if somebody actually tries to use the PHC-105 as a computer mouse, considering that its design just seems to screams 'trackball'.
The dome that gives the PHC-105 its unique 'trackball' look is more than just a piece of plastic placed there for show. According to the instruction manuals provided by PROLINK, it houses a infrared body detector which is used in two of the camera's shooting modes: infrared mode and motion caption mode. And no, it does not light up under any circumstances. After all, you would not want to attract too much attention to what is essentially a discreet surveillance camera now, do you?
This dome really does not do any favours for the PHV-105's mouse-like image.
Of course, one cannot exactly call a device a camera if it does not have an image sensor to capture videos or stills. Located at the top of the PHC-1056's front are the all-important image sensor (which does not look much different from the ones found on your standard smartphone or on a notebook's built-in webcam). Don't expect compact camera-quality stills from this device though: PROLINK's specifications page claims that the sensor is only capable of capturing stills at a maximum resolution of 640 x 480. To put it bluntly, any mobile phone with a camera can take higher-quality stills than the PHC-105.
You probably also noticed that there is a ring of what appears to be eight diodes surrounding the PHC-105's image sensor. Well, we got news for you: these diodes are not LED flashes. Rather, they are used to emit infrared waves for use in the device's 'night mode'.
Located on the device's right side are the obligatory on/off switch and mini-USB connector. Like most smartphones on the market today, the PHC-105's mini-USB connector serves two purposes: to charge the battery via the supplied charger, and to serve as a means for connecting the camera to a PC in order to extract captured images held in its built-in storage unit.
The PHC-105's left side is a lot more simpler, although it houses something far more important: the SIM card slot, which is well protected by a plastic cover.
Of course, you are not going to simply attempt to shove a SIM card down the reader without jumping through a few hoops; such is the state of most mobile communications devices today, and the PHC-105 is no exception. Flipping open the plastic cover reveals a SIM card tray and a tiny yellow release button which can only be accessed with a small and hard-enough tool, such as a pen or paper clip.
See that blue smudge on the release button up there? That is not a manufacturing defect, but remnants of ink from our pens which dried over and refused to disappear.
The good news about the PHC-105's SIM card reader stems from the fact that it accepts regular-sized SIM card slots, and not the cumbersome, uncommon microSIM format found in a certain OEM's mobile communication device. This means that users do not have to resort to cutting up (and destroying) their SIM cards in the process.
Lastly, the PHC-105's rear consists of little more than a tiny button and what appears to be a small speaker unit. A quick read of the bundled instruction manuals reveal that the button is not there for people with itchy fingers to press on at their fancy: it is used to reset the camera back to its factory settings. Of course, one would expect a button with such a destructive function to be properly labelled, but it appears that this is not the case for the PHC-105.
You really don't want to let anybody push that button