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REVIEW: The O2 - DE xda Smart Menü
Posted by Arne Hess - on Tuesday, 09.07.02 - 15:36:00 CET under 08 - Reviews - Viewed 7633x
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For some weeks now, the xda is commercially available in the O2 countries Great Britain, Germany, Netherlands and Ireland and since my exclusive preview from last year, not so much changed. Also because the xda is launched by O2 in every subsidiary, in general it looks equal everywhere, except the German one. That one comes with a Today screen plug-in called "Smart Menü" and parts of the Connectivity Suite. The xda Smart Menü was developed closely by O2 Germany together with the German company V2R (Vision To Reality) while the Connectivity Suite is V2R's top selling configuration tool, which is also used by other network operators such as Vodafone.

Smart Menü
The basic idea of the Start Menü is to integrate more on the today screen than an information overview only. The Today screen is the best place to add additional functionalities like starting programs.
From the Smart Menü, the user is able to navigate through most of the standard Pocket PC applications as well as additional xda specific programs.

As you can see in the upper screenshot, above the standard Pocket PC information are additional shortcuts like "Office", "Tools" and others. This shortcuts are links which brings you to a new page with more options.

Additionally, O2 added some shortcuts to some major applications like the Pocket Internet Explorer or the WAP browser.

Connectivity Suite
The idea behind the Connectivity Suite (CS) is to helps user setting up all its communication settings on an easy way. This means, that the carrier edition of CS is preloaded with all required information to setup E-Mail accounts as well as dial-up connections for CSD and GPRS and even HSCSD is supported. With its auto start routine, it installs right from a CF or SD card and the customer has to select the required parameters only.
Also included into the Connectivity Suite is a kind of Start Menu Light which integrates shortcuts to the most used Pocket PC online applications like Pocket Internet Explorer or Inbox, depending on the requirements of the operator.

The Connectivity Suite should become also available in a consumer version within this summer and can be downloaded from V2R's website.

Final Conclusion

It seems as the German product management at O2 really had a brainstorming when they've included the Smart Menü into the German version of the xda.
A pre-version was already shown on CeBIT last year ;-) and was called "Offline Portal" at that time. Since this days, O2 went into the right direction by trying to give the customer the best user experience. Even if you are not a Pocket PC owner today, the Smart Menü and the Connectivity Suite helps you to understand the O2 xda within minutes as it is simply "tap and run". Together with the Smart Menü, the Pocket PC typical Start button isn't required anymore - for preinstalled standard programs.
I hope to see the Smart Menü available form V2R soon too and what I've heard from them, they are also working on a consumer version. Until this one is available, the German O2 xda Today screen is unique and O2 (Germany) did a real fine job!

Cheers ~ Arne

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Posted by Brian on 10.07.02 - 00:00:00

no XDA in Ireland yet, we always seem to be last sad - XDA should be arriving on the 22 July from the last update

Posted by Arne Hess on 10.07.02 - 00:00:00

@Brian: Sorry to hear, I thought all the time Germany was the last one! :-( Anyway - it will be launched in Ireland also soon and you can expect a great device! ;-)

Posted by Anonymous on 14.07.02 - 00:00:00

i will by O2 PDA or D1 MDA (same). Can i also take W-LAN-Card or Blue-Cards ?
What is the better modell from this two ?
Teh Casio and VCompaq are too great ...

Posted by Arne Hess on 14.07.02 - 00:00:00

@Anonymous: It's the wrong comment section here as it is about the "Smart Menü" not about xda/MDA features... ;-)
However, because both devices has no SDIO SD slot, you will not be able to use any future SD sized W-LAN card nor today's available Bluetooth SD cards!

Cheers ~ Arne

PS: Yes, the Compaq and Casio Pocket PCs are great too, however both are not Pocket PC Phone Edition!

Posted by Andre on 20.07.02 - 00:00:00

Love to buy this XDA model for daily use in Hong Kong. Any idea whether I should expect any problems with my current GPRS connection? Guess that except for possible problems with guarantees its just up & running in no-time?

Appreciate your input Arne (or others using this machine in other countries already).

Posted by Anonymous on 21.07.02 - 00:00:00

I own an XDA an use it in HK - no problem with GPRS.  Up and running in 5 minutes (and that was with a unit purchased overseas - the CSL versions are already set up for operation in HK).

Posted by Anonymous on 01.08.02 - 00:00:00

v2r sux

Posted by Arne Hess on 01.08.02 - 00:00:00

@Anonymous: That's a little bit to simple to flame V2R anonym...
Any reason? Just your post is useless...

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