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REVIEW: O2 xda II - Part 2b - The Features
Posted by Arne Hess - on Wednesday, 22.10.03 - 18:04:35 CET under 08 - Reviews - Viewed 13060x
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After 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.

Multimedia
The camera on the backside of the xda II can be either launched through the dedicated camera button on the side of through the Start menu.

IA Style provided the camera application which let's snap a simple picture or even record a small video.

Because the camera is a VGA 0.3 Megapixel camera you can snap photos up to 640 x 480 pixel. If you use a smaller resolution then VGA, the camera also supports a digital zoom.

The camera can be used in portrait or in landscape mode and you can switch between the orientation. After you've started the camera the display acts as view finder:

After you've snapped the photo IA Style Camera asks you what you want to do with the picture you made and offers you several options.
First icon: return to camera, second icon: send by E-Mail or MMS, third icon: delete, 4th icon: watch album.

If you select send a pop-up window asks you how to send the photo. If you select E-Mail you switch to Inbox but if you select MMS you switch to the MMS composer.

As before, the xda II doesn't includes a OS-based MMS client but a 3rd party client. However, it's not from EZOS anymore now but from ArcSoft.

The MMS client works pretty intuitive and lets you add photos, videos and tones to the templates.

After you've composed your message you can send it to the recipients, either as MMS to MMS or as MMS to E-Mails.

The ArcSoft MMS client is also used to view received MMS messages and also includes a Today plug-in.

In addition to all the multimedia stuff above, the xda II also includes IA Styles IA Caller ID.

And Caller ID also incorporates directly with the camera.

Other Applications and Programs
Beside the special apps above the xda II will also include the standard Pocket PC 2003 applications like Pocket Outlook and Word and Excel but O2 also added ClearVue PDF and ClearVue PPT as bonus software.


Also it includes tools like a SIM card manager or a backup utility.

Final Conclusion

If I take part 1 and part 2 of my reviews I get the feeling that this Pocket PC is the most complete device available today. Yes, it misses built-in Wi-Fi but that's something you can expand with t Wi-Fi SD card anyway and if you also add this LAN feature to the xda II it supports PAN, LAN and WAN - in just one device! 8O That's really amazing!

But anyway, the hard and software features are amazing enough anyhow even without Wi-Fi support and the device convinced me for several reasons:

  • It's the most up to date and state of the art hardware you can get today for Pocket PCs (Windows Mobile 2003 for Phone Edition, XScale, 128 MB RAM, 64 MB ROM, GSM, GPRS and Bluetooth)
  • It's not heavier or larger then other Pocket PCs in this calls (HP iPAQ H 5000 series)
  • It includes the most useful software by default and you can start using it right out of the box

Maybe there is one disappointment and that's the price. While you will get if from PPCW.Net for 849 US$/Euro it's even not cheaper if you buy it from O2 (Germany) without a contract. There it will costs 799 Euro (499,95 Euro if you subscribe for a 24 month contract).
That's a lot of money for a Pocket PC "only" but for that price you get the latest mobile technology at all. HTC and O2 did their best to fulfill all the customer wishes they get in the past and therefore I really have to admin: "a job well done"

Cheers ~ Arne

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Related Links : [REVIEW: O2 xda II - Part 1] [REVIEW: O2 xda II - Part 3]