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WARNING: Better don't buy 'pre-production' MPx220 Smartphones
Posted by Arne Hess - on Friday, 08.10.04 - 12:04:52 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News - Viewed 11031x
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Recently I had a longer talk with Motorola about their MPx220 Smartphone and some problems I've figured out with the engineering sample I got. For instance the stand-by time became dramatically shorter with the last ROM versions and also the external display was too dark in my humble opinion.

The reason, why the battery drained that fast - compared with earlier ROMs I've tested - is because the latest ROM builds (and the one which will be  commercially released) are designed and optimized for the final hardware, which isn't the same which was used for the pre-production engineering samples. While I had around 1 day stand-by at first, it went down to around 6 hours only. Now, with the final hardware, the current stand-by is up to around 2 - 3 days while the ROM still contains some debugger software which reduces the stand-by as well and which is - for sure - removed in the commercial version.

So if you buy/bought a pre-production device, and you will manage it to get the commercial ROM for it, be aware that your battery time will be something around 6 hours only, while the commercial version is expected to work at least 3 days or so.

Another thing is the external display which was pretty dark and not that useful to use it as a view finder for self-portrait camera shots and more or less completely useless to use in bright environments, like on the street. Also this display design is changed and now you can see the caller ID, even outside in the bright sun!

Conclusion: Motorola hadn't only improved the software but also the hardware and the latest software will not work that good with the previous hardware anymore but great with the final device. Therefore my clear advice is to keep the hands off from pre-production units, doesn't matter how alluring it is.
On the other hand, the final Motorola MPx220 will become a great device, even better than expected and it's worth to wait for!

Cheers ~ Arne


 

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Comments
Posted by Arne Hess on 08.10.04 - 17:38:56

[1] I don't have a list of HW changes and at least I don't care that much. Motorola never sold the pre-production units but they are designed for carrier tests and conferences only, so not a big deal and nothing to blame Motorola for.

Motorola really did a great job in developing the (more or less) final version and the one I was able to test comes pretty close to that (I think, even if I don't have a release date yet).

Sometimes waiting is worth and here it is like I never heard that somebody wanted to buy a pre-production test-car.

The specs hasn't changed, therefore nothing new about Wi-Fi for the MPx220.

Posted by McHale on 08.10.04 - 15:56:08

I would love to hear what the list of changes are.

-Mc

p.s.  did WiFi get mentioned at all?

Posted by AvWijk on 08.10.04 - 18:00:29

I wonder, too. Because the OMAP 1611 CPU hás 802.11g support!

BTW I'm from NieuweMobiel.NL Netherlands and I have an MPx220 beta-release, its very old - from April 2004, but it's with the nice brown/black colour. The inner screen looks great and the outer screen too, it should be this good in the final version smile But the cam quality here is very bad and I'll hope for Motorola that they improve it so much that it is comparable with SonyEricsson S700i's camera quality  big_smile That would be great, wouldn't it. Ofcourse I had with this prehistorical beta-version software and GAPI problems I couln't run JAVA or any multimedia-player software at all. I noticed some constuction problems either, the flip is loose and the miniSD card flap is very stiff. Also, three days battery life is short, that should be a week (Orange SPV C500!)

But when thinking of the final version as I wish it would be - the MPx220 is great, espescially the black version is the most beautiful clamshell phone I've ever seen.

Posted by Arne Hess on 08.10.04 - 18:14:34

[3] The three days are my personal estimation! If it is longer - GREAT big_smile but that's the minimum I expect from today's tests!
However, I never trust in the marketing stand-by times, doesn't matter if Smartphones, Pocket PC, Notebooks, cell phones or what ever runs with batteries.
All these values are under perfect conditions I never reached. ;-)

Posted by AvWijk on 08.10.04 - 18:58:44

True, true. But my older phone, the MPx200, reaches a battery life of 4 days with normal/light use. I've flashed the phone with the well-known Windows Mobile 2003 ROM pushing the battery to its limits! With the original WM 2002 ROM the battery life is under the same conditions only 2 days.

The battery of my test-Mpx220 is 1000mah (!) at 3.6 volts zo 4-5 days of normal use would be what I expect of it. Hoping Motorola would upgrade the battery to 1500-2000 mah, even a longer time can be reached.

Posted by Arne Hess on 08.10.04 - 19:38:12

[5] I'm talking about using  it which means < normal use/heavy use which includes E-Mail, Web/WAP, heavy PIM and in best case navigation... ;-)
For light use, I can also take a PAYG phone! ;-)

Posted by Ernest Lansford on 08.10.04 - 22:26:19

My Samsung SPH i330 is basically 'junk'.  I want to wait for the new MPX to be released in December but the MPx-220 sounds interesting.  Does the MPx-220 have WI-FI Capabilities?

Posted by lutzh on 09.10.04 - 00:24:57

well the phone is on sale now at expansys usa - i wonder if they start selling pre release units but as its clearly to see and read the most ugly bugs are still there. checkout modaco thread "220 now available in the USA... but all is not well!" opened by modaco owner paul.

quote1: I took some sample pics with the camera to test it out. The bad news is it's still terrible. The flash is useless--in most cases it just makes the picture green.

quote2: Another disappointment is the volume. I can barely hear the person speaking on the other end with volume up all the way. The person on the other end also had issues hearing me.

quote3: Weak Battery.

looks like its still a looooong way for the mpx220 to be a good smartphone. meanwhile you may be more happy with the c500 from orange or the t-mobile sda i guess :-). good luck with that great phone, o2.

cheers, lutz

Posted by maketrue on 17.10.04 - 15:47:46

[9] Hi. Do you know if there are some updated ROMs available somewhere for download? Which is the latest ROM version available? The ROM Versions I have in my phone are the following:
Carrier: 0.110.4001.0
Manifacturer: 0.316.0.0
Microsoft: 4.21.14230.0
Language: 0.150.0.0
File System: 4.21.14230.0

Posted by Arne Hess on 11.10.04 - 01:53:15

[7] No it doesn't have Wi-Fi! So far, no Microsoft Smartphone is supported by 3rd party Wi-Fi manufactures like Socket or SanDisk. :-(
Not to mention that the MPx220 has a miniSD card slot only and today there are no miniSD I/O cards available.

Posted by Arne Hess on 11.10.04 - 01:43:09

Important Note: Some guys like Lutz asked in several forums (don't know why he blames me...) what I want to tell with this story and it is pretty easy: I want to make sure nobody loses money by buying pre-production devices from unknown sources and even more important: losing money by buying a pre-production device from ebay just to figure out it's a complete waste (Or how can you be sure these devices are final hardware http://search.ebay.com/mpx2...)!?
Problems with the final release HW and SW can be fixed with ROM updates but if you have an old HW no SW will fix nothing.

Posted by Ernest Lansford on 11.10.04 - 03:09:48

[10]  Thank you for the information.  I need a new phone.  I 'think' the MS Spartphone is the right telephone for my needs (outlook, contacts, calendar, etc).  I am ready to move away from the Palm OS.  I read on Phonemag.com about the new Moto MPX due in the states in Dec '04.  What do you know about the MPX?
Thanks--
Ernest

Posted by Manh on 11.10.04 - 23:38:38

HI, thanks for the heads up. How would I know which is the FINAL MPx220 production?  There's stuff that I don't quite understand when using smartphone.  If I were to unlock the MPx220 and switch over to T-Mobile..going for the 39.99 plan (Seattle, WA), do I need to pay extra for using internet, email, etc?  :?:

Posted by Arne Hess on 31.10.04 - 18:45:02

[13] Motorola MPx Smartphone ROMs are not officially available for download.
If you need/want to update your ROM, you have to send it to a Motorola service center. All ROMs you can find for download are not officially licensed by Motorola for making them available through Internet download.

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