PDA Phones

Currently, I’m looking at a couple of PDA phones, which can be used for email and web browsing. Here are a few options: Motorola MPx (300), O2 XDA IIs, IIi / i-mate PDA2k / MDA III / Audiovox 6600, Blackberry 7100, Danger Hiptop 2/Sidekick II, and PalmOne Treo 650.

Since I’ve been a PDA user from the first (Palm) Pilot, and have been using Pocket PCs for the last couple of years, my preference is a device that is more than just a phone.

Basic requirements: Email access to POP3/IMAP accounts, web browser (preferably supporting JavaScript and latest standards), QWERTY keyboard, auto-sync with Outlook, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, speaker phone.

Nice to have: Quad-band including GSM 850, EDGE, memory slot, VGA screen, MSN Messenger, 1.3 mega-pixel camera, video capture & playback, Flash Player 6 (or Flash Lite) compatible.

Of the nine devices listed, only the Blackberry 7100r is available locally. I checked it out over the weekend, and find it less than what I’m used to in a PPC-based device. Pros: Blackberry push email (although there is only 1 push email account; so other POP3/IMAP accounts have to be forwarded to this one account; decent size and looks like a phone. Cons: Bluetooth only works with headset or car kit, and can’t be used from a computer or for wireless synchronization; keyboard is not true QWERTY; no memory slot; no camera; the Canadian/Rogers version does not have icon-based interface (all text); no Wi-Fi; no EDGE; not many 3rd-party apps; may get addicted like other Blackberry users.

If the O2 XDA IIi or the Motorola MPx is available today, I’ll probably pick one up. Unfortunately, these devices won’t be available until sometime next year, and there’s no end to waiting.

The closest device that is available immediately from online resources is the i-mate PDA2k. This seems like an ideal all-in-one device, covering almost all my basic and nice-to-have requirements. Pros: Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition; slide out keyboard; 128MB RAM; SDIO slot, landscape mode, all the Pocket PC applications (and Flash Player 6), option for voice-command/dialing. Cons: Still using a 400MHz processor (compared to 624MHz in some of the newer devices); QVGA (240×320) screen; VGA / 0.3 mega-pixel camera; no built-in push email; no EDGE; bigger than a regular phone, more expensive than other devices.

The Sidekick II, used by some Macromedians, also got my interest. It isn’t available in Canada yet, and no one seems to know when it’ll become available. It’s not as full-featured as a Pocket PC, but the “big” keyboard, email and IM apps are major selling points. Can’t say much unless I check it out myself.

Mike Downey showed me his Treo 600 and it seems to be a practical device. However, after checking out the specs for the latest Treo 650, it hasn’t changed my mine about Palm OS based devices.

It would be great to hear from current Blackberry, Treo, Sidekick II and i-mate PDA2k / O2 XDA IIs users, and get first-hand opinions…

14 replies on “PDA Phones”

The HP h6300 series is using a slower processor (200MHz), and some reviews are not favorable; the good thing about it is the longer battery life. They are also unavailable from HP Canada at this time.

The Sony Ericsson P900/P910 are tri-band devices (no GSM 850), and aren’t very fast either. For about the same cost as an i-mate PDA2k, I’d rather choose a quad-band PPC-based device that I have many applications for, and can run Flash Player 6 instead of Flash Lite.

OK, I wasn’t aware that The P9xx would not run on some US networks.

About speed, you might want to see it for yourself. The Flash player is faster on a P9xx than on most Windows Mobile Device (Using the speedometer test app).

Philipe, I got it from a local (Toronto) shop, which doesn’t have it in stock anymore.

Actually, I first ordered one from eBay from a company called B2 Global; they had listed more than 8 available at the time. After charging my card and saying they’d ship within 2-3 days, on the 4th day they told me it was not in stock. Because of the exchange rate, eBay is refunding $70 less than what I paid for. The price from the local shop is actually lower than B2 Global’s, but not by $70.

BTW, the XDA IIs is thinner and narrower than my Dell Axim X5, and is “pricelessly” more useful.

I like th Treo, the OS is nothing great, but it serves my purposes…i can use it as an organizer, mp3 player, shoot short video clips and most important for e..i can go pretty much anywhere in the world and use the phone device.

blurb from PALM”
Available as a dual-band digital CDMA phone, and as a GSM quad-band world phone

What about if you want to use it for power point presentations and hook it up to a data projector. Any thoughts

this applies to pda2k/XDA IIs/XDA III/MDA III/M2000/SX 66/ QTEK 9090 etc

I have owned the pda2k for a few months now. its an amazing device, here is my short list of things i am extremely unhappy with even after installing the firmware fixes from imate, the bluetooth is a complete disappointment….and the placement of the mic, the voice FROM your device is horrible to the listener.

There are other smaller issues but I can live with those, but for a 900 USD device its critical that a main feature such as Bluetooth worked as advertised by imate and then the phone call on this quad band phone is no where close to acceptable.

SO i recommend that all general pda2k users email imate management and apply pressure on them to get their engineers to produce a fix before they rob a lot of customers. By the way, there is no official support from imate and they are TOO BUSY RELEASING OTHER PRODUCTS. Imate has promised all their registered memebrs on that the new release with ALL the fixes will be released in a few days, but this has been going on for months, few days has transltated into few months and I know pda2k and the series is not a priority for them anymore.

You dont want to beleieve me? visit and try and register? what you can’t? because imate doesnt want potential customers to know the real issues that current owners are actually facing….that should be proof enough. visit and checkout the forums section for more info on this.

Management: ; ; ;

Employees: ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;


I bought an xda 02 iis some time ago thinking that I could push emails rather than having to log onto the web and go into my webmail account.

I now found out that it’s not possible to push emails with the xda 02 iis because of windows 2003 operating system.

Can anyone please assist or confirm this.



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