Douwe Osinga's Blog: 2005Feb15_1

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

So I gave up waiting for the Benq P50 or the Motorala Mpx. They are great phones, but they have one drawback: you can't buy them in the real world. When T-Mobile announced their MDA IV with even better specs, I knew what I had to do. Not keep waiting for the cellphone of tomorrow with ever better specs but that is never available, but settle for something great that exists. I bought a T-Mobile MDA Compact.

T-Mobile is just the label. It didn't come with a network (Switzerland must be one of the last countries not having their own T-Mobile). The MDA Compact is actually produced by HTC and goes with the codename Magician and is variably known around the world as i-mate Jam, QTek s100, XDA Mini and MDA Compact.

I have the phone for less than a week and I love it. It runs Windows Mobile Second Edition (which makes a lot of people around me go 'oh, evil'). It reinforces my believe that MS might just win this battle. It is not the software it comes with (though it ships with a reasonable complete set), it is the ease for third parties to develop stuff for Windows Mobile that will do it.

One thing I expect from a phone nowadays is to be able to play Seinfeld. Well, for some reason the mobile version of Windows Mediaplayer (which otherwise runs circles around anything I've seen on a Nokia phone. No wonder they're considering licensing this). But there is Betaplayer, which installed in a snap and played the Seinfeld I had on my disk without any conversion. Full screen, full frame rate, great sound.

Internet Explorer isn't too great, but Opera has a great replacement. Playing MP3s from an SD card always has the drawback that even at 1GByte, you can't put enough music on it. The iPod shuffle solves this nicely. Luckily enough there is PlayList Sync which will copy random music to your phone so you'll always have something fresh.

There is a port of putty and python and so on. Oh, it is also a great phone, though dialing without a keypad and on the touch screen isn't ideal. I also like it that it syncs and charges over USB. No stupid external adaptors (well, there's also an adaptor, but that's, well, stupid). The screen is very bright and crisp. Also, the phone is relatively small.

Syncing is kinda slow, I suspect it's only USB 1.1 and the battery life can't be that good considering all the features, but for now I'm happy