Carlo had some hours with an O2 xda II, I had it now for two weeks - thanks to
O2 Germany - where I've
tested it intensive enough now and it's time for the long promised review.
Because the xda II includes so many facets, I've decided to split it into the
Let me begin
with part 1 - which will covers the hardware. Part 2 will covers the features
and additional software while part 3 will covers the O2 Active User Interface.
us start with the hardware, something everybody loves to see and to hold in the
hands. As before, the xda II is comes along in this silver finish and while the
xda II is triple band, includes Bluetooth and a camera; HTC was able to remove
the antenna and put it into the device-body as well without extending the overall size
of the xda II, compared to the xda.
This means, that if you are already a xda user you will already know the size of
the xda II - which is also similar to the HP iPAQ H3900/5000 series.
As you can see on the left photo below, the xda II also includes the two phone buttons on
the bottom and the Calendar and Contacts bottom on top. Between the phone
buttons we have the D-Pad which is a little bit smaller now - also similar to
the HP iPAQ H500 series which makes proper navigation a little bit harder now.
If you scroll up/down it might happens that you also move left/right because
your push wasn't exact enough. All these small D-Pads are a development I don't
like at all but we have to live with.
The backside of the xda II completely changed - compared with to the xda. While
the xda hadn't a removable cover, with the xda II you can remove the silver
plate. Under that plate, the battery is hidden as well as it will gives you the
option later to add extension packs to the xda II. The upper black area includes
the camera and an external antenna connector. Because of these design changes,
you are not able to use your xda extended battery anymore with the xda II.
On the top side of the xda II you will find
the SD card slot now which will also support I/O cards like Wi-Fi or GPS accessories as
well as the power button and the IrDA port (which isn't - unfortunately -
consumer IR compatible which means you can't use the xda II as a remote control
for your TV).
On the bottom you have on the left side the soft reset button, in the middle the
serial/USB port which is the same as with the xda and on the right the protected
On the left side of the xda II you have the Voice Notes record button on top,
the volume slider in the middle and the camera button as the last one.
I personally don't use voice notes the camera button is pretty handy. Pushing it
once starts IA Camera, pushing it again makes the photo. Making pictures with a
Pocket PC (maybe even cell phone) was never easier before. The slider in the
middle is for the device (phone and PDA) volume only and can't be used for any
other applications like for scrolling up and down. Definitely something I'm
missing and I hoped to see with the xda II.
The right side doesn't include any buttons or slots since the SIM is under the
Amazed I was by the fact that the xda II is lighter then the xda
because it feels similar, if not even a little bit heavier. Also it is a little
bit thicker and longer while its width is less.
|Size mm (T x W x L)
||19 x 69.9 x 130
||17.8 x 72.7 x 129.0
An amazing improvement to the xda is the screen. While both screens are 3.5
inches, the xda II screen is a TFT transflective screen at 65,536 colors (that
kind of screens HP also uses for the iPAQ H3900/5000 series) which is a real
improvement to the previous 4096 color TFT reflective screen.
The result is a
sharper and stronger image in all conditions like sun light or dark environment.
Below you can compare the xda II screen (right) to the xda screen (left).
The xda II is hardware wise a masterpiece! It's not larger or heavier then
Pocket PCs without that feature set but includes also Bluetooth, a VGA camera
and a triple band GSM/GPRS module! But the xda II doesn't looks that geeky but
truly serious. Holding it in the palm of your hand and using it is a real
pleasure and I'm amazed about the screen. Like before with the iPAQ screens,
that kind of screen is the top of the art today and makes using it in a bright
environment a pleasure too.
Because this xda II was is development sample
(but with the final hardware features) I don't know how the case and headset
looks like but even without that stuff I enjoy to use it and well, it mostly
replaces my Smartphone (daytimes).
That kind of Pocket PC is the device I was
dreaming about since my first Windows CE handheld in 1998 and I can't find
enough words to say how much I enjoyed to use it so far.
O2 and HTC did a great job with the further development of the xda. While
that device was unique too, when it was released and a top of the art Pocket PC,
the second edition will also includes everything now other - non Phone Edition -
Pocket PCs already include: Bluetooth and SDIO. I'm pretty sure that these two
features, as well as the announced CF/VGA pack will make this Pocket PC also an
interesting device for users who hadn't used a Phone Edition so far.
Cheers ~ Arne
Related Links : [REVIEW: O2 xda II - Part 2] [REVIEW: O2 xda II - Part 3]