First Review: Fast 3.5G I-mate Ultimate Smartphone

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The new Ultimate 8502 from i-mate takes the stress out of mobile computing by providing users with a smartphone that can possibly do it all. This phone promises blistering upload and download speeds and provides clever features not found in any other smartphone.


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The 8502 uses Telstra’s Next G network, allowing the phone to achieve speeds of up to 1.9Mbps for uploads and up to 7.2Mbps for downloads. The 8502 also has built-in GPS for navigation, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g for wireless Internet browsing, Bluetooth, and can be used as a modem for your PC using the USB cable or Bluetooth connection. These options give the 8502 that ‘edge’ in terms of connectivity, providing users what they need to stay connected.
 
The 8502 weighs 140 grams and is heavy when compared to other phones. It sports a 2.6-inch QVGA touch screen and comes with a raised, pyramid-like QWERTY keypad. This design allows for an easier text inputs despite its compact layout. The hotkeys above the keypad did not pose any problems, although we did not like the small 5-way navigation key found on the right side.

A scroll wheel and OK button can be found on the left side of the unit, while a zoom button/volume adjust button, voice recorder hotkey, and camera hotkey can be found on the unit’s right side. In addition, a USB port (for charging, synchronising files, and display) and a 2.5mm headphone jack can be found at the bottom of the unit. The stylus located on top of the unit makes touch-based input straightforward and is the fastest way to use the phone. There is also a 2-megapixel camera at the back of the 8502 that is used for 3G video calls or taking simple snapshots.

 


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The Ultimate 8502 comes with a pouch, USB Sync cable, Video Out cable, AC adaptor, Stereo headset, and Microsoft ActiveSync Software. It has a 400MHz Qualcomm MSM 7200 processor and uses Windows Mobile 6 Professional for its operating system. Since the unit is powered by Microsoft, one will have access to programs like Office Mobile (Excel, PowerPoint, and Word), play audio and video files using Windows Media, view photos using the Pictures & Videos software, browse the Internet using Internet Explorer, chat with friends using Windows Live Messenger, create new contacts, and post new appointments/meetings using the Calendar software.

Users can also download multiple personal or office e-mails on the go as the 8502 is able to separate incoming e-mails into different folders. The phone can also send or view Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and PDF files, and can be customised to download e-mails at any specific time.

One of the features that we like about the 8502 is its Video Out function. By hooking up the unit to any screen (plasma, LCD, projector) available, users may be able to display their PowerPoint presentations, have bigger video calls, and even watch video streamed from the Internet on the big screen. Users may even use the unit while connected to the big screen, giving it added versatility.

 


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You can customise your phone by logging onto the i-mate website. And if your phone gets lost, you can always lock it.
i-Mate’s 8502 comes with ‘i-Q’ functions to give users complete control over their unit. After signing up and registering your device on i-mate’s website (www.imate.com), one may be able to customise your phone with your e-mail settings, set up home page and website favourites, and set phone password policy.

The website also offers a security function that automatically locks your phone and/or erase stored data in case it gets lost or misplaced. The ‘Lock My Phone’ function will play a loud siren continuously as soon as it is activated and may only be turned off by the owner of the phone. One will also have the option of deleting personal data, applications, and settings by ticking the delete box. The phone can be restored to its previous state by simply re-activating the unit and synchronising the files via Microsoft ActiveSync.

Telstra has included its My Place software on the 8502 which gives access to Telstra Business, Foxtel, Yellow Search, BigPond Music, Web Email, Call 1234 Info, Whereis Maps, BigBlog and Photos, Downloads, My Stocks, Business Apps, and My Account. The unit promises a talk time of up to 4 hours and a standby time of 180 hours, with it lasting a couple of days before having to recharge the unit.

See page over for conclusion, product specifications, and final rating.

 

 Conclusion:

Despite sporting a hefty price of $999, i-mate’s Ultimate 8502 comes with a lot of connectivity options, customisable programs, and various functions that will make mobile computing easier than ever before. If you need a smartphone that will put everything in your hand, then look no further as the 8502 delivers.

Product Specifications:

Processor: 400MHz Qualcomm MSM 7200
Memory: 256MB ROM, 128MB RAM
Phone: Tri-band UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA 850/1900/2100, Quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900
Operating System: Windows Mobile 6 Professional
Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g
Bluetooth: 2.0
Screen: 2.6-inch QVGA 262k colour LCD Touch Screen
Camera: 2.0 Megapixel digital camera/video with fixed focus
Video out: Composite
Expansion slot: Supports Micro SD expansion cards
Windows Media Player: Supports MP3, WMA, WMV, MP4

Talk time: Up to 4 hours
Standby time: Up to 180 hours

Dimensions: 116 x 55 x 15mm
Weight: 140 grams

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i-mate Ultimate 8502 | $999 |  | www.imate.com

For: Ease of use; Windows Mobile OS; Wi-Fi; GPS; Fast HSUPA/HSDPA speeds; Customisable; Security features; Telstra programs; Video Out; Video Calling
Against: Heavy phone; Keypad is too small; Camera does not have auto focus capabilities
Conclusion: Forget your notebook, the i-mate Ultimate 8502 is the only gadget you’ll ever need

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