O2 XDA IIi
- 1.3 megapixel camera, Impressive screen, faster processor, upgraded memory
- Average audio quality, on the larger side
The O2 XDA IIi keeps many of the features we liked in the earlier model, while also boosting processing power.
Price$ 1,599.00 (AUD)
Released in June this year, the O2 XDA IIi triband smartphone retains many of the functions of its predecessor, the XDA IIs while shipping with a faster processor and more memory. Weighing in at 200g, the XDA IIi is slightly lighter than the XDA IIs and is housed in a sleek silver casing.
Users who are familiar with the O2 range will instantly recognize the distinctive XDA form factor, with the XDA IIi boasting the same large 3.5" inch LCD screen. The XDA IIi looks almost the same as the XDA IIs apart from the fact that fewer buttons are on the front and no slide out keyboard is provided. We quite liked the keyboard on the IIs, as it offered a quicker and hassle free way to enter text, rather than the somewhat hit and miss affair of the character recognition.
The design of the XDA IIi has been streamlined with a polished silver finish that serves to enhance the screen size. Underneath the display are three controls, a five way navigation joystick and two call buttons. Flanking the speaker the top of the unit are two shortcuts to the Calendar and Contacts while a camera shortcut and volume control are on the left hand side. We found the volume control a little fiddly to use at times and would have preferred a traditional dial. The USB and power connection are at the bottom of the device, with the headphone jack rather oddly positioned on the bottom right.
Other key differences with the previous model are the faster processor - an Intel XScale PXA 272 520MHz - and more memory, including around 60MB of non volatile memory. Non volatile memory means that even if the battery dies, all data stored here will be retained. An SD slot is also provided for extra memory cards.
For connectivity the XDA IIi ships with Bluetooth, integrated Wi-Fi and a USB connection. The inclusion of Wi-Fi on the XDA units sets them apart from many of their rivals, although using both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi will drain the battery life. Multimedia users won't feel left out either as the unit comes with a 1.3 megapixel camera that also captures video. Windows Media Player is included so the unit can act as an mp3 player, but don't expect to be blown away by the sound quality. Running on Microsoft Windows 2003 SE, the XDA IIi is primarily a business device and has support for Pocket Word, Pocket Excel and Pocket Explorer, all of which make it easy to view and edit documents while out and about.
As a PDA device, the XDA IIi excels, and we enjoyed using the gorgeous colour screen, although it is rather prone to picking up fingerprints. Applications loaded quickly and we have no complaints either with the performance or the design of the unit. As a phone however, the XDA IIi suffers from the same fate as many of its rivals, in that ergonomically speaking, it is not perhaps as comfortable to use as traditional mobile phones. While the XDA IIi is on the larger side, the array of connectivity and applications offered make it almost ideal for mobile professionals.
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