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o2 XDA Mini S Review - Pocket PC Phone With Qwerty Keyboard, Wi-Fi & Bluetooth

XDA Mini S Pocket PC Phone

A Cheaper Alternative To The XDA Exec? Lets Take A Look.

You can get a xda mini s free with o2 if you take out a £35 a month 18 month contract - so if you're thinking about upgrading your mobile phone or replacing your Pocket PC the mini s could be well worth a look.

First a quick word about how much better Pocket PC phones are than regular phones. They have many, many more features, applications & uses. They have touch screens, loud speakers and can almost replace your laptop. So if you've never used a Pocket PC (phone type or otherwise) trust me, they are a much better investment and you'll be amazed what you will use it for. The only problem is that they used to be too big... With the mini-s they are now almost the size of a regular cell-phone - superb.

Right - specifics for the XDA mini S. We're going to be spending our money on a wireless Phone PDA with a built-in sliding qwerty keyboard. What that means is you get a quad band phone (usable all over the world), Bluetooth 2.0 for accessories (head-sets, GPS receivers), mini-sd card slot for extra memory, SMS (long & short), 1.3 megapixel camera for photo's and mpeg4 videos, mp3 player, speakerphone & voice recorder.

The XDA mini S has 64mb of sdRam (plenty enough) and 128mb of Rom (you won't need more), a 2.8" 64k colour touch-screen and a TI OMP 850 200 Mhz processor. Navigation wise you've got a 5 way navigation button, 5 buttons you can program yourself and obviously the slide out qwerty keyboard.

But what is actually like to use? At first I was a little reticent about the size of the screen. My old XDA was a bit of a brick - but the screen was a good size. I needn't of worried, although smaller, the screen has a higher resolution, so some of the letters are a little small, but very, very usable. I'm used to entering text with either the hand-writing recognition or the on-screen keyboard, so I was very excited about the addition of a slide out keyboard. No more scratched screens & aching wrists!!!

Releasing the keyboard makes the screen go into landscape mode, and two finger (or thumb!) typing is possible. It's no Psion, but for the first time I felt like I could actually write some worthwhile documents on the device, rather than just Texts and small memos. Bravo to the XDA mini s!

Next up lets take a look at the supplied software, all of which is Windows Mobile 2005. We get Pocket versions of Word, Excel, Internet Explorer, Contacts Calendar, Notes, Tasks, Powerpoint, Media-Player and MSN messenger. The most useful applications for me are calendar, contacts, tasks, inbox (e-mail & sms) excel & word. You can organize your whole business life on one of these little devices, and let it sync with your desktop to transfer all your contact information.

I've been very impressed by the XDA mini S, and would recommend it to anyone in the market for a new Windows Pocket PC Phone.

Comments / Questions:


hi can i use this as a hand held navigater (i do a lot of hiking ) Richard.

Not recommended - its not water or shock proof, the bright screen will drain the battery, and you'll need a wired or bluetooth GPS receiver. Get yourself a Garmin handheld, you want something reliable when the fog comes down.

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