i-mate Ultimate 8150
- I-Q services, VGA output
- Average keypad, battery life
As a PDA, the i-mate Ultimate 8150 is a reasonable choice. As business tool it's quite a feature-packed device with some additional functionality provided by i-mate's I-Q feature.
Price$ 1,079.00 (AUD)
Offering a comprehensive list of business features and a powerful hardware base, the i-mate 8150 Ultimate is a solid Windows Mobile 6-based smartphone, even if it is a little drab looking. To set itself above every other Windows Mobile-based PDA, the i-mate 8150 Ultimate includes a VGA output, making it perfect for mobile-presenters, and includes access to i-mates 1-View services for convenient data access and the security of an offsite backup.
The Ultimate 8150 is a step up from the Ultimate 6150, an essentially identical model without an alpha-numeric keyboard, but with a slightly larger screen. Like the Ultimate 6150, the 8150 has a decent amount of horse power, using the Intel XScale PXA 270 520MHz processor with an NVIDIA GeForce 5500 graphics chip. Thanks to these two points on the specifications chart, the Ultimate 8150 runs the Microsoft Windows Mobile 6 operating system very smoothly, without too much delay between menus and when running multiple applications. There is 128MB of RAM and a 256MB ROM. This is expandable with a MicroSD card, but the phone only supports 2GB cards.
It supports networks up to and including 3.5G HSDPA speeds (Tri-band, Quad band and GPRS) and has Push e-mail support. Also, if you use an exchange server at your office you can have e-mails directly pushed to your phone via a free Custom I-Q profile. By creating and configuring your profile on i-mate's Web site you can receive work e-mails, you can send free SMS (using your company's data link, rather than the phone network) and IT administrators can perform maintenance on your phone remotely, among other things. This service also allows you to store a database of files that you will want to access regardless of your location, so there's no risk of leaving an important document at home. This also works like a backup, allowing you to save important documents offsite. I-Q will also allow you to remotely format your phone should it be stolen or lost, protecting sensitive data.
Call quality is fine in both normal and speakerphone modes, even if it doesn't quite compare to regular mobile phone quality, a problem generally seen in all smartphones. As a Windows Mobile 6 phone you get the usual features like Office Mobile, MSN and all the standard PIM functions, such as the calendar and notes, and you also get Windows Media Player 10 mobile edition for music and video playback. Pictures can be taken with the 2-megapixel camera and a second VGA camera on the front of the phone makes video calls easy. As well as being able to play music files, the 8150 Ultimate has an FM tuner, allowing you to listen to the radio. Headphones are supplied, but any 3.5mm headphones can be connected using the mini-USB adapter included in the sales pack.
The 2.5in TFT screen offers just 65 thousand colours, but has excellent brightness and the touch-sensitivity is adequate, even for handwriting recognition. Unfortunately, one of the selling points of this phone, its alpha-numeric keypad, is badly designed and not very tactile. For connectivity the i-mate 8150 offers Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/i and Bluetooth 2.0 (with A2DP wireless streaming), Infrared and USB 1.1. The aforementioned VGA output is easily connected to any monitor or projector with a D-Sub input by using the included cable. The phone will output with a maximum resolution of 1024x768 making it perfect for presentations.
Battery life is rated at a fairly average 240min, which is likely to be less when using the camera, 3G functions or using the media capabilities. Standby time is rated at 150 hours.
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