we have seen in part 1 of the review how the O2 xda II (aka HTC Himalaya/Andes,
aka i-Mate Phone Edition) looks like and compares to the previous O2 xda Pocket
PC Phone Edition, this part of the review is about the features and specialties
of the O2 xda II.
It's not a generic Windows Mobile 2003 Pocket PC or Phone
Edition (see the Microsoft website for the overall features) overview but
dedicated to the xda II features itself.
The xda II is based on Microsoft's new
Windows CE .Net 4.2 operating system and runs on an Intel XScale CPU with 400
It includes by default 128 MB RAM and 32 MB ROM. The RAM space can be used to
install additional applications or to store files like documents, etc. and this
RAM size doesn't forces the user anymore to install applications on the SD card
because of the limited memory available.
In addition to the RAM and the ROM, the xda II also includes a non-volatile
memory to keep files or personal data available after a hard reset. The size of
14 MB is even enough to keep a ROM backup on the device.
Unlike the xda before, the xda II includes a removable main battery now which
allows you to change the battery if it drains. In addition to that battery the
device also includes a backup battery. However this one is designed to keep your
data alive for 20 minutes only and isn't a backup if your main battery is empty
but only to allows you to replace the main battery without loosing all your
To save battery power you can also adjust the backlight. However, unlike with
the xda before now you can control the brightness instead of turning it on or
off only! Also the xda II supports ClearType by default now without using 3rd
party applications to enable it.
Talking about standby and usage time is always subjective but from my experience
the xda II is at least as good as the xda which was/is one of the best Pocket
PCs available concerning standby and usage time.
In my daily intensive usage
(general PDA stuff plus GPRS with web and E-Mail) I've used the xda II for about
4 - 6 hours before I had to recharge it and without any usage but switched-on
and logged into the GSM network it ran for at least 4 days or so.
According to HTC the xda II should have a talk-time from around 2 - 4 hours,
a PDA usage time of around 13 hours with an overall standby of 150 - 170
hours and a data retention time up 72 hours (if your main battery is empty and
the device switch's off automatically).
The xda II includes 2
connection types beside the typical ActiveSync and IrDA connection: WAN (Wide
Area Networking) using GSM and GPRS because it's a Phone Edition and PAN
(Personal Area Network) with Bluetooth thanks to the Bluetooth support of the
Windows CE. Net 4.2 system.
For your WAN connections you can use either GSM CSD (Circuit Switched Data) or
GPRS (General Packet Radio Service).
CSD connections supports now either
analogue v.32 or digital (ISDN) v.110 connections.
And also the GPRS connection types and settings are enhanced - compared to the
xda before. While you can select now between PAP and CHAP for your network
authentication (which is supported with the previous O2 xda in the latest ROM's
only) new is the support for the GPRS speed you want to connect.
While class 8
offers you 4 slots for receiving data and only 1slot for sending data, class 10
allows you to receive data with 3 slots only but sending data with using 2
Which class is the best for you depends on how you use GPRS. If you
only receive data (like for downloading E-Mails or surfing the web), class 8 is
the perfect one for you as it allows you to use up to 4 timeslots to get the
If you also send a lot of data (sending E-Mails with
attachments or sending MMS messages), class 10 might be the better configuration
because it doubles the speed for uploading data.
In my tests I've reached connection speeds up to 51 Kbit/sec which is close to
today's GPRS limit. An amazing result!
Also the xda II is a real GPRS class B handset now which means it stays
connected during voice calls but goes into the idle mode only. This means you
don't have to reconnect to GPRS after you had a voice call and also you don't
need to turn off GPRS to receive voice calls. You simply can stay online and if
you get a call, GPRS suspends during the call.
Microsoft left the option to disconnect from GPRS anyway in Pocket PC Phone
Only with 3rd party tools like Spb's GPRS Monitor you can disconnect from GPRS
if you don't want to stay online anymore - for instance to save battery or you
press and hold the red call button for around 2 - 3 seconds.
But the xda II
isn't the first Pocket PC 2003 Phone Edition only, it's also the first Pocket PC
Phone Edition ever which includes Bluetooth and unlike HP, HTC decided to use
the original Microsoft Windows Mobile 2003 Bluetooth wizard.
The xda II supports multiple Bluetooth profiles including headset, ActiveSync or
Modem which lets you use the xda II as a wireless modem for Bluetooth equipped
Related Links : [REVIEW: O2 xda II - Part
1] [REVIEW: O2 xda II - Part 3]