i-mate JAMA 101

A budget smartphone running the Windows Mobile operating system

i-mate JAMA 101
  • i-mate JAMA 101
  • i-mate JAMA 101
  • i-mate JAMA 101
  • Expert Rating

    2.00 / 5

Pros

  • Compact size, minimalist design

Cons

  • Small display, no keyboard, no 3G, no Wi-Fi, tri-band GSM, Bluetooth 1.2, USB 1.2, mediocre camera, slow processor

Bottom Line

Although it has a reasonable price tag, the JAMA 101 is simply missing too many features. The lack of 3G and physical keyboard will force most users to give it a miss.

Would you buy this?

A compact and budget smartphone running the Windows Mobile operating system, i-mate's JAMA 101 is a largely unremarkable device. Although the pint-sized design will suit some, the limited features will turn away many potential purchasers.

Perhaps the best feature of the JAMA 101 is its size. It's reasonably compact for a Windows Mobile phone and the matte black rubber-style finish helps give it a sleek feel. The handset feels comfortable to hold in your hand and it's small enough to slide into a pocket without being noticed. Although some may lambast the boring design, others will appreciate its simplicity and minimalist approach.

Of course, there are always advantages and disadvantages of compact designs and the JAMA 101 is no exception — it doesn't possess a physical keyboard. For those who need to perform heavy data entry, using the on-screen keyboard and stylus will quickly become frustrating. The small size of the display also doesn't help in this regard and it's recessed quite deeply into the unit. The screen also has a fairly mediocre viewing angle and tends to be quite reflective in direct sunlight. Despite this, video content is displayed reasonably well and text is crisp, although the font size was a little small.

The controls are fairly standard, with a five-way navigational pad doing most of the work, alongside two selection buttons, dedicated Start and OK keys and answer and end call buttons. On the right side lies a dedicated camera button and volume controls.

Although the JAMA 101 hasn't been designed to compete at the top end of the market, this doesn't excuse its lack of connectivity features. Like the JAMA 201 it's a standard tri-band GSM phone with EDGE support — the lack of 3G will force many potential users to look at alternative handsets. The fact that this is a tri-band phone and not quad-band also means it won't work in the US, so keep this in mind if you are a frequent business traveller.

Bluetooth is present, but it is only the 1.2 protocol rather than the faster 2.0 version (and there is no A2DP profile). Wi-Fi is a notable omission — combined with the lack of 3G connectivity, this handset isn't really recommended as a business e-mail device, despite its use of the Windows Mobile OS.

A standard mini-USB connection handles charging and synchronisation, though strangely this uses the 1.2 protocol, meaning it's somewhat slower than the USB 2.0 interface found on most new phones. A 2-megapixel camera with self-portrait mirror is present, but it has no flash or autofocus. As expected, images produced are mediocre and quickly pale into insignificance when compared to other alternatives.

For general use, the JAMA 101 and Windows Mobile 6 OS combine to work reasonably well, though it isn't as swift as we'd like when opening applications. Part of this is perhaps due to the specifications — the 300MHz Samsung processor certainly isn't inspiring, nor is the 128MB ROM and 64MB RAM. A microSD card slot allows extra memory, though i-mate hasn't included a card in the sales package.

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