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PREVIEW: O2 Germany's Motorola MPx220 Windows Mobile Smartphone
Posted by Arne Hess - on Monday, 10.01.05 - 14:43:06 CET under 08 - Reviews - Viewed 19513x
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It took a while but as it looks now, o2 Germany is close to release its Motorola MPx220 Window Mobile Smartphone, announced late last year.
I had the chance today to play with the latest ROM version and the responsible project manager at o2 Germany explained me why it took a little bit longer then expected.

Most important for o2 Germany is the proper functionality of their Home and Cityzone indication and while I've recognized some problems with the previous ROM versions, the latest one indicates home and city proper now. So this Smartphone is the first one which will supports o2 Germanys Genion service (indication-wise).

However, even if it is smoothly integrated right from the carrier name, o2 had to use its own plug-in they developed with Motorola to integrate home and city indication. In case you are within your Homezone, the typical house icon is also displayed, left from the home-tag.

The rest of the Homescreen is pretty much the standard Microsoft Homescreen, except the MRU list which isn't a MRU (Most Recently Used) list anymore but fixed shortcuts instead, linking to o2 Active (O2's WAP service), Inbox, Pocket Internet Explorer, MSN Messenger and Call History.
Please note that the customization above is o2 Germany specific. I have no idea/information yet how the O2 UK implementation looks like.

However, for the German version there isn't anymore carrier customization, not on the device itself nor in the OS then the link to o2 Active and the typical o2 bubble background (and for sure the typical start and shutdown images):

Talking about o2 Active: the latest o2 Active version, launched before Christmas last year is already supported with the MPx220 and even if it looks like Web, it's WAP!

All the rest is the same as what we already know from the previously released MPx220 versions - available in the US:

  • It's running Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition
  • Supports Quad-band GSM and GPRS (something I've already tested successful last month when I was in Seattle)
  • Includes Microsoft's Bluetooth stack without any (previously from Motorola announced) additional Bluetooth profiles
  • Includes a "1.3 Megapixel" camera

Unlike other sites reported, the MPx220 is supporting a 65k display only - not 256k (as previously announced by Motorola) and the reason for that is easy: the Smartphone OS isn't supporting more then 65k colors! Well, that's nothing which bothers me - it's pretty much enough for me.

The sales package is expected to include:

  • the Motorola MPx220
  • a 1000 mA battery
  • a 110 - 220 V charger
  • an USB synchronization cable
  • The user manual and warranty card as well as the CD-ROM

As you can see above, o2 Germany will carry the silver version of the MPx220, not the brown one as it is available in the U.S.

As the MPx220 project manager told me, o2 (both - Germany and UK) wanted to make sure that Motorola has fixed the major bugs we saw before with the early Cingular launch (too silent speaker and microphone, etc) but it wasn't possible to major improve the camera quality. Also o2 Germany had to test the Genion indication functionality extensively to make sure this is working proper. Therefore o2 ran into a small delay but preferred to launch a device delayed but with all the known bugs fixed then releasing it too early with some major bugs (voice quality) and I have to agree with him.

It will be available during January and will cost 179,95 Euro including an o2Active 50 (50 free minutes per month included) plan or 199,95 Euro with an o2 Active 100/o2 Genion plan.

Cheers ~ Arne

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