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T-Mobile MDA Review

18 March 2006

T-mobile MDA.jpg
CNET reviews the T-Mobile MDA and writes – ‘Armed with built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, EDGE support, and Windows Mobile 5, the nondescript T-Mobile MDA–a rebranded version of the HTC Wizard–makes for an enticing addition to T-Mobile’s staid lineup of long-in-the-tooth handhelds. As one of CNET’s editors put it, it’s like a Sidekick for grown-ups. Indeed, this unassuming-looking phone makes it easy to jump on to available hot spots, manage your messages, open and edit Office documents, and crank your tunes.’

PCMag reviews the T-Mobile MDA and writes – ‘The 195-MHz processor doesn’t have a problem with basic Web tasks or with music synced via Windows Media Player 10. It can even handle full-screen video synced via WMP 10, albeit at reduced rates of 10 to 15 frames per second. On SPB Benchmark test suite, the MDA did surprisingly well on graphics, but scored very poorly on CPU and file system tests; the one processor-heavy application we tried, Skype, failed miserably.
Like so many other PDA/phones, the T-Mobile MDA doesn’t look good when compared with the easy-to-use Palm Treo 650 and the powerful Sprint PPC-6700. The Treo is a better phone that gives an unmatched one-handed experience, though it lacks Wi-Fi. The PPC-6700, meanwhile, blends Wi-Fi with high-speed, wide-area EV-DO for an unparalleled one-two punch of Internet power. The MDA isn’t a bad PDA/phone, it just isn’t the best. ‘

InfoSync World also reviews the T-Mobile MDA and they write – ‘The T-Mobile MDA is the little communicator that could. Granted, it’s void of fancy features such as high-resolution screens and 3G, but it manages to strike a fine balance between having just enough of the ones that really matter and size. Highlights include a first-rate thumbboard, near all-encompassing connecvitity and excellent battery life, whereas modest performance and limited memory should make power users think twice before purchasing the MDA. Everyone else, however, are likely to find themselves superbly pleased.’

Phone Scoop reviews the T-Mobile MDA and didn’t seem all too impressed – ‘ For users in large corporations using Exchange – where the integration between Windows Mobile and Outlook or an Exchange Server is an advantage – the MDA is a compelling device. It is one of the best put-together Pocket PC Phones so far. Unfortunately, despite T-Mobile’s best efforts, Pocket PC Phone Edition is still not a good choice for most users. The Windows Mobile 5 version is more user friendly than the last, but it is still not friendly enough.’

MobileBurn reviews popular T-Mobile MDA and has this to say – ‘There is no denying that the T-Mobile MDA, a variant of the HTC Wizard, is a very capable device. It has EDGE data and 802.11b WiFi connectivity, as well as options for USB, Bluetooth, and even infrared. There is little more that one could ask for there. The keyboard is reasonably usable, and the display is quite good as well.
But in my opinion, for a device to be truly practical as a phone, it must be usable with one hand most of the time. This is where the MDA falls short. Microsoft’s Windows Media 5.0 OS requires more buttons for one-handed use than are available on the MDA. As such, for a very large percentage of operations on the device, one is required to use their finger or the included stylus on the touch screen – something that most always requires a second hand.’

A recurring theme that I’m seeing in the T-Mobile MDA reviews is the keyboard – people don’t seem to care for it at all. It does look like it could be improved, as in the Cingular 8125 version. Sluggish performance seems to be a concern for many as well…. I’m not sure why the 195 mhz CPU was chosen for this device. What was wrong with the 416 mhz used in the PPC-6700? I know, different architectures, blah blah. Still.. why change something for the sake of changing it?

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