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REVIEW: Vodafone 1210/VDA IV Windows Mobile Smartphone
Posted by Arne Hess - on Thursday, 12.04.07 - 00:04:01 CET under 08 - Reviews - Viewed 21851x
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Earlier this year, Vodafone released the Vodafone 1210/VDA IV (the name depends on your local Vodafone subsidiary), a budget Windows Mobile Smartphone, Vodafone clearly launched to address the business segment better. Unlike all the VPAs and VDAs before, the 1210/VDA IV isn't manufactured by HTC but is made by AsusTek.
The Vodafone 1210/VDA IV is a Windows Mobile 5.0 Smartphone (and therefore isn't sporting a touch screen), supporting triband GSM/GPRS/EDGE (without support for the North American 850 MHz band) and singleband UMTS (but leaves HSDPA support). It's powered by an Intel/Marvell PXA270 CPU at 312 MHz. The 2.2" color LCD supports QVGA and the device has 128 MB ROM and 64 MB RAM which can be extended through microSD cards. While the device sports Bluetooth 1.2, it lacks WiFi as well as any cameras. The Vodafone 1210/VDA IV neither has a main camera for photos and videos nor has it a front facing camera for UMTS video calls.

The sales package includes the mobile phone, a Li-Ion battery with 1100 mAh, the charger with mini USB plug, a USB to mini USB sync cable, a stereo headset, a CD-ROM which includes ActiveSync as well as a printed manual and a quick start guide.

The silver/black colored candy bar Smartphone isn't an eye-catcher on the first sight but it has its intrinsic values, especially for business users. It's a good and serious looking business utility without any gadgetery and features on the front the dial-pad, the two call buttons as well as the Home and Back keys and the two soft keys.
Above the screen, the device has a power button which is at the same time the LED to indicate WAN connectivity (GSM and UMTS) as well as Bluetooth activity. The centered joystick works excellent for navigating through the menus.
On the backside the device features a (Windows Mobile typical) extra loudspeaker which is used for hands-free phone calls or Media Player playback:

On the left side, the Vodafone 1210 features a short key to launch the web browser and the volume buttons. On the right, the device isn't featuring any keys:

On the bottom you will find a standard mini USB port as well as a 2.5 mm stereo earphone jack:

The (U)SIM and microSD card are located under the battery. Therefore the micoSD card cannot be changed without switching off the device:

Size-wise the Vodafone 1210/VDA IV is pretty standard and compares to other candy bar Smartphones:

The device feels solid and is a pleasure to hold and use it:

The Vodafone 1210/VDA IV is powered by Windows Mobile 5.0 for Smartphone and sports AKU 2.6. Therefore it supports Microsoft's Push E-Mail (in combination with Exchange 2003 SP2) which might be one of the use cases Vodafone had in mind when it launched the device.

All other features are pretty common for a Windows Mobile 5.0 Smartphone except one exception: the Vodafone 1210/VDA IV has Opera Mobile 8.65 preinstalled as its default web browser while the Internet Explorer Mobile is also available. By now, Opera Mobile 8.65 is the best web browser a Windows Mobile device can get since it offers a real web experience:

Another extra Vodafone added is Westeks ClearVue Office Suite since the Windows Mobile 5 Smartphone platform lacks Microsoft Office applications. The ClearVue Office suite includes ClearVue Document, ClearVue Worksheet, ClearVue Presentation, ClearVue PDF and ClearVue Image which allows to open virtually every attachment a user might receive:

I was pretty impressed by the battery runtime. The device, Bluetooth and the screen backlight turned on, streamed a TV program (using SlingPlayer Mobile) exactly 3 hours while attached to Vodafone Germany's UMTS network. This is pretty good for a UMTS device. The stand-by was close to Vodafone's advertised 180 hours - I've reached something around 3.5 days without any use.

Final Conclusion

The Vodafone 1210/VDA IV isn't a beauty nor is it an eye catcher. It's a budget workhorse which is fine since many business users needs such workhorses. The missing camera(s) might be irritating at the first sight but if you don't use the camera or your are working in an environment where cameras are forbidden, the Vodafone 1210/VDA IV could be your first choice, since all the other features are state of the art. And even if the device hasn't have a camera, for sure it allows to receive MMS messages as well as it is ready to go to entertain your with the inbuilt Windows Media Player Mobile which can be used to listen MP3s or watch the latest movies on longer business trips.

Thanks to UMTS and it's inbuilt Bluetooth capabilities, the device is also a great modem and the 3 hours continuously use time in 3G are not too bad, at least not for a Windows Mobile device.

Without a contract, the Vodafone 1210/VDA IV is available SIM free and unlocked for 251,68 Euro. With a 24 months contract, prices starts from 58.74 Euro.

Cheers ~ Arne

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