i-mate announces Windows Mobile 6 devices

by Shijaz Abdulla on 17.06.2007 at 16:18

i-mate has announced its new Ultimate series of mobile devices, which run the new Microsoft Windows Mobile 6 operating system.

Read my earlier post on Windows Mobile 6 features.

Thank you Ebrahim Ahmadi for this update!

From PDA2k to X-BOND

by Shijaz Abdulla on 20.01.2007 at 16:20

My views on this subject have changed with time. Please scroll on to the end of this post for latest information.

My i-mate PDA2k had served me flawlessly (well, with ROM updates) for the past 2 years. But now, with the onset of newer and better (read: smaller) handhelds, my PDA2k with its handful size was becoming more of a subject of public attention (and conversation!).

It was time. I finally decided that I should get rid of my PDA2k and have it replaced by newer, more “handy” technology.

I had already begun looking away from the i-mate, with other competitors like Eten and i-teq coming up with innovative and pretty cool devices. First on my wishlist was the Eten Glofiish X500 with its GPS capability. After doing some research on the web, I decided to get down to GOSI Shopping Complex and have a look myself.

The Eten Glofiish X500 was cool with its GPS capability, but I ended up buying the i-teq X-BOND. I also looked at minute features (even the carry case – which apparently was a book-type case in the Glofiish – the type without the belt clip).
The X-BOND has TV and FM Radio receiving capabilities (although the TV antenna attachment is kind of … well.. big). Apart from the usual software (Word Mobile, Excel Mobile, Powerpoint Mobile, Pocket MSN, and the lot) it came with great software that lets you block incoming calls selectively (Block list), answering machine (wow), set up a background noise while you attend calls (you can make your boss/friends believe you’re in a car, in the street, in a meeting, or even at the airport!).

Thinking again, I wouldn’t need to use much of GPS – it would be one of those things which would be good to have, but rarely used. So I finally decided to go for the i-teq.

For me, it was more about doing out with the old and in with the new. You can see for yourself what that means!:

The new and the old: X-BOND (left) and PDA2k (right)

Update (25-Apr-2007): Don’t buy this device!

I found the following issues with the i-teq X-BOND:

– When you use GPRS for sometime, and the device goes into standby, it never comes back on again. During this time, you will not receive incoming call indications although the calling party will hear ringing.
– If you do a soft reset under this circumstance, sometimes you lose the latest additions to data (new contacts added or new SMS message received or last few calls in call history)
– There was one instance where I had to do a hard reset and re-install the ROM because the device went bonkers. Incoming calls automatically went into ‘Speaker ON’ mode.
– The TV feature doesn’t work well indoors.
– Online support is no good. The forums in the members area are full of people who hate the device. Now the forum doesnt work. They blocked people from adding new messages to their forum.
I guess we will have to wait for the next ROM update from iteq.

July 12, 2007: They still havent released an update, they still haven’t responded to customer queries by email, the forum on the members area of the site is dead. Everybody there hates the device. They will not survive in the market.
– They have another brand name called G-Smart. It is the same inferior device with a different branding.
– The screen is of inferior quality and is prone to scratches – the ‘original’ stylus that came with the device itself makes scratches on the LCD display.

It is PDA vendors like iteq / gsmart that give Windows Mobile a bad name. Microsoft should thoroughly screen these vendors before giving them the right to use the Windows logo on their devices.

January 8, 2007:

I left the phone switched off for a month, and then the phone became a dead brick. It wouldn’t turn on. I took it back to the service center in Bahrain, they sent it to Dubai and after 2 weeks of “fixing”, they sent it back. Now the phone boots, but the microphone is dead. The person on the other end can’t hear me. My warranty is expiring on January 19th. No software updates released yet. Repeat: DO NOT BUY THIS DEVICE.