i-mate JAMin Pocket PC Phone

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– Bob
Marley


INTRODUCTION

Ever since I bought the
JAMin I havn’t been able to get that song out of my
head, but frankly, I’m mighty proud to be jammin’! The JAMin is the latest Pocket PC
Phone from i-mate. It’s also known as the HTC
Prophet, Qtek S200, XDA neo, Dopod 818pro, and will
certainly take on a few other brands as other
carriers pick it up. Read on to see what grounds
this device is set to break!


WHAT’S HOT

The i-mate JAMin is a lot like the
original

i-mate JAM (HTC Magician)
. Some new additions
include 802.11b/g, Bluetooth 2.0, 200Mhz TI OMAP
CPU, 128Mb ROM, 64Mb RAM, 2.8″ QVGA screen, Windows Mobile 5.0, and a
much improved 2MP camera. The JAMin also adds quadband GSM/GPRS
and EDGE similar to the

K-JAM
it supercedes.


Device (no cover)
Size (inches)
Weight (grams |
ounces)
i-mate JAMin
4.18″ x 2.31″ x 0.68″
150 | 5.30
4.40″ x 2.30″ x 0.90″
180 | 6.40
4.80″ x 2.88″ x 0.76″
186 | 6.56
4.60″ x 2.79″ x 0.82″

165 | 5.82


4.25″ x 2.28″ x 0.93″

160 | 5.64

4.92″ x 2.81″ x
0.71″

210 | 7.40

4.18″ x 2.31″ x 0.68″


150 | 5.30


4.70″ x 2.90″ x 0.70″

175 | 6.20
4.60″ x 3.21″ x 0.58″

138 | 4.80

5.17″ x 3.03″ x 0.59″
187 | 6.60
4.50″ x 2.80″ x 0.64″
158 | 5.57

Click on any
of the above handheld links for the review.


WHAT’S IN
THE BOX

The JAMin comes with a Mini-USB cable, AC
adapter, stereo headphones with talk button/mic/volume
control, vinyl case, extra stylus, software CD and
manual.

(all images link to higher resolution)


THE DEVICE

Let’s take a closer look at the device
itself.


Black is the new silver! The JAMin’s body is encased
in a hard rubber non-slip black shell. Very stylish, and very
comfortable.


The JAMin’s form factor is the same as the original


JAM
. You still can’t beat this “smallest
Pocket PC” form-factor for pocketability!


    The 11 button navigation area at the bottom of the
JAMin is the best design I’ve ever seen on a Pocket
PC Phone. All future Windows Mobile devices should
have this hardware button layout. It’s by far the
most user-friendly for one-handed navigation. (The
Treo 700w also has a similar layout.)


On the left side you see the Camera button, volume slider button,
Communications Manager button, and a lanyard hole. If you hold down the Communications Manager
button, it will activate another custom function
who’s default assignment is the voice recorder.


At the top, you see the SDIO slot. Yes, that’s right
it’s regular SD, not the new Mini SD or Micro SD
memory slots found in other phones. That means you
can still put a nice 4GB SD memory card in here for
all your music and movies.


    On the right side is the infrared port, power button, and the stylus silo.
If you hold down the power button for about 4
seconds, the JAMin will bring up a Yes/No dialog
asking if you want to continue with a full power
off. If you choose Yes, it will shut the device off
completely, meaning it won’t use the battery at all.
That means the device won’t wake up for
appointments, phone calls, emails, text messages or
anything until you turn it back on and boot up.


On the bottom of the device is the soft reset button, Mini-USB port, 2.5mm 4
connection headset jack, and a microphone hole.


On the back is a reflection mirror, speaker grill,
external antenna port, and 2 Megapixel camera lens.
The ring around the camera lens can be rotated to
switch it to macro mode for close-up photos.


    Here’s the JAMin with my Bluespoon 5G; still the world’s
smallest Bluetooth Headset. I was pleasantly
surprised when using my bluetooth headsets with the
JAMin. The bluetooth connections seem to be very
much improved.  Where Bluetooth headset
connections would get significant interference when
turning your head or going behind a wall on other i-mate
devices, Bluetooth connections on the JAMin are
practically flawless. I can actually use a bluetooth
headset while in a different room! By the way, the
bug we saw in the K-JAM where activating Voice
Command via a bluetooth headset won’t work if the
device is in suspend mode is fixed in the JAMin.
Yes, if the JAMin is in suspend mode in my pocket, I
can now activate Voice Command via the Bluetooth
headset with doing any registry hack.


The


i-mate JAM
,


K-JAM
and JAMin are similar in size, but
the K-JAM is significantly thicker, as it has a slide-out keyboard.


In our stack-up, you can see how thick the K-JAM is
on the bottom. The JAM and JAMin are exactly the
same thickness.


    The stereo headphones included are the same ones
that come with the i-mate K-JAM. The Talk button, volume
control slider, and microphone are on an in-line
plastic piece lower down the cord. There’s also a
little plastic clip that attaches the two headset
wires together. This can be used to go around your
neck and keep any tugging
pressure off the ear buds headphones. (Note the name
of the song playing in Media Player, click to zoom if neccessary.)


 





i-mate JAMin Pocket PC Phone



February 24, 2006

Review by:
Adam Z
Lein,
Senior Editor

Jump
to: PAGE 1 |
PAGE 2 | PAGE 3

 

CAMERA

The i-mate JAMin comes with a new
built-in camera that puts other Pocket PC cameras to
shame. Special thanks to Jackie for modeling.


The Camera application is the same version of the one normally included in the HTC
manufactured devices. For some reason it only takes
pictures in landscape mode.


The 2.0 megapixel camera is much
much better than the built-in cameras of any other
Pocket PC phone. Click the above image to see it
full resolution. I shot this at the 1.3Mp though
since the 2Mp setting takes up too much memory.


Here’s a sample of how the camera
does in a poorly-lit scary basement. As you can see,
a bit of noise crops up in these conditions, but you
can still see plenty of detail. Let’s look at how the
K-JAM handles the same conditions…


This photo was taken in the same
conditions with the i-mate K-JAM
(with it’s flash on). Obviously the JAMin’s camera
is many times better than previous cameras from
HTC products.


The macro mode is perfect for
“scanning” text or business cards in OneNote Mobile
for conversion later with OneNote’s optical
character recognition. But the depth of field is
very narrow, so be sure you take your picture
straight-on if you’re going to run OCR on it.



INTEGRATED SOFTWARE

The i-mate JAMin includes all of the
software improvements of Windows Mobile 5.0, however
the early release models do not include AKU 2 with
the Messaging and Security Pack. I’ll go over a few
of the phone-specific Windows Mobile 5.0 features
here, but I’ll focus on those added features that i-mate
has provided with 3rd party programs. Most of these
enhancements are basically the same as what was
added to the K-JAM. So if any of this sounds
familiar, it is.


The Comm Manager mainly handles
WiFi power settings and

Bluetooth
settings. It also has a button that
toggles the audio settings to vibrate mode. Then
there’s an ActiveSync button that simply launches
ActiveSync.


The Settings menu at the bottom of the Comm
Manager gives you access to the normal Microsoft
Bluetooth stack settings dialogs where you can
manage and create bonds with other Bluetooth
devices. The software here is improved over Windows
Mobile 2003SE as there are no longer two Bluetooth
settings dialogs. You can configure COM ports and
ActiveSync pairings all from this dialog.

The WiFi Settings dialog is not
very feature rich, but it gets the job done.

The new Contacts program in
Windows Mobile 5.0 is very much improved. You can
even sync Contact photos with Outlook 2003 and
Exchange 2003 SP2. i-mate added integration for
adding Voice Tags to each contact as well.

Even contact specific ring tones
are integrated with the Contacts program. However,
the ringtone settings are not synced with Outlook,
which means if you have to hard reset, you’ll have
to re-configure all of these.


When someone calls you, their
contact photo appears as a notification window on
the bottom of the screen. Things run so much more
smoothly with an OS level Photo ID integration.


The new Phone application interface is very
much improved. No longer are there blank buttons,
and all the functions are accessible from the Menu.
That means you don’t have to know the trick to
turning on the speakerphone. On the other hand, the
directional pad hardware shortcuts for accessing the
Speed Dial and Call History are no longer present.

The Smart Dialing add-on from HTC
has been updated to support the Windows Mobile 5.0
Phone application. The version included with the
JAMin is an updated build which seems to be much
faster as well.

The Messaging application also
uses Contact photos for emails and text messages.

Unfortunately, the MMS integration
is very lacking. The interface doesn’t look like the
other messaging accounts anymore, and it doesn’t
even use the soft-keys for menus! i-mate uses
ArcSoft’s MMS Composer 3.0.7.19 here, by the way.

The Phone Pad T9 Predictive Text
input panel is included in the JAMin’s ROM. The
large buttons are supposed to make typing text with
one big thumb easier.

i-mate has also included a ZIP
compression program in the JAMin’s ROM. It’s
obviously not designed for Windows Mobile 5.0
though.



i-mate includes the above Voice Speed Dial
program from Cyberon for voice activated dialing.
You can record voice tags for calling any contact as
well as launching Applications. It works quite well
except that launching the Voice Speed Dial program
does not pause Windows Media Player so that it can hear you.
You can also edit the registry to get a different
voice recognition program to launch via the
Bluetooth headset if you choose.

ClearVue PDF is included in ROM
for viewing PDFs. Also notice this application is
not designed for Windows Mobile 5.0. ClearVue PDF
tends not to display PDFs very well though.

The JAMin also includes a MIDlet
Manager.

There’s a little application for
setting up your Club i-mate email account
automatically. This saves you from having to enter
all those Exchange Server settings.

In the System Settings tab there’s
a control panel called Clear Storage. This will
basically do a hard reset and restore your JAMin to
the default.

The JAMin comes with a nice
version of Backgammon.

Skype is also included in the ROM
of the i-mate JAMin. It’s still not designed for
Windows Mobile 5.0, but it will run sometimes. You
need a soft-reset’s worth of available memory just
to run the program. Luckily Skype is un-install-able
via the Remove Programs control panel.






i-mate JAMin Pocket PC Phone



February 24, 2006

Review by:
Adam Z
Lein,
Senior Editor

Jump
to: PAGE 1 |
PAGE 2 | PAGE 3



BENCHMARKS

Since Spb Benchmark from

Spb Software House
has not really been updated for use
with Windows Mobile 5.0, which includes many changes
for increased performance and battery life (as well
as a different way of working with storage memory),
we can only compare Windows Mobile 5.0 devices to
other Windows Mobile 5.0 devices. But I’ll throw in
a comparison with the i-mate JAM (a non WM 5.0 device) just for a display of how differently Spb Benchmark renders the two operating systems.

    In real life, the i-mate JAMin
with i’s Texas Instruments OMAP 195MHz processor is noticeably
slower than the i-mate JAM with a 416MHz Intel
processor. If you’re downloading email over WiFi
while playing music in Media Player and switching
between a few other applications, the JAMin will get
extremely slow, to the point of hanging. However, if
you don’t multi-task too heavily, you should be
quite pleased with the performance. It can certainly
play video in Windows Media Player quite nicely both
from the Mini SD card or streaming internet.

BATTERY

    We
tested the 1,200 mAh battery on maximum backlight during
normal usage with Bluetooth on. The JAMin
lasted for about 8 hours 10 minutes. Turning down
the backlight and shutting off wireless when not in
use will give you over 10 hours of usage.


HELP SUPPORT


i-mate maintains a very useful support website and
community for their customers.

Clubimate.com
has forums, live-support chats,
update downloads, software purchasing capabilities,
etc. all available to imate customers. The
live-support chat’s aren’t that helpful as the
operators tend to only give out cookie cutter
responses. imate also now offers some

device tutorials
as well.


BUGS AND WISHES


The JAMin has some of the same bugs as the K-JAM.
When using Windows Media Player, if I pause/stop the
music and shut the device off for a while, sometimes
when I turn it back on, Media Player doesn’t
recognize any Media Library. If I go to the menu and
access the library again… then all is well.

 


A lot of the third party software included on the i-mate
JAMin was not entirely updated to support Windows
Mobile 5.0. The MMS client integrated with the
Messaging program still doesn’t support soft-keys or
the new menu interface. In fact, most of the 3rd
party applications included in the ROM still don’t
support the new menu interface in Windows Mobile
5.0. Be sure to check out the

Windows Mobile 5.0 Fix Site
for updates on what
software is or is not compatible with Windows Mobile
5.0.


The issue where WiFi sometimes can not
obtain an IP address from a DHCP server correctly is
still in the JAMin just as it was in the K-JAM.
It doesn’t seem to happen all the time, and a soft
reset tends to fix it.


I also wish the JAMin had more program memory and a
faster processor. I’m the type of guy that likes to
multi-task alot. So I don’t have time for my PDA
phone to be slowing down and freezing when trying to
run a GPS Navigation program while listening to
music and answering the telephone.


The JAMin only has a mono speaker and it’s located
on the back of the device… where the palm of your
hand usually is. I don’t know why engineers think
this is a good idea. My hand tends to muffle the
sound, and this in no way helps the sound gets to my
ears which are located on my head (grin).


PURCHASING



The

i-mate
JAMin can currently be found at a number of online
retailers including

Mad Monkey Boy’s Gadgets
and
Expansys.
It’s selling for about $649 right now. 



PROS



  • Quality 2MP Camera with macro mode


  • Thin, small and lightweight


  • 802.11b/g WiFi


  • Great Bluetooth performance


  • Great battery life


  • Quad band 850/900/1800/1900MHz GSM


  • Non-slip hard rubber body


  • Quality 2MP Camera with macro mode


  • Thin, small and lightweight


  • 802.11b/g WiFi


  • Great Bluetooth performance


  • Great battery life


  • Quad band 850/900/1800/1900MHz GSM


  • Non-slip hard rubber body


  • Quality 2MP Camera with macro mode


  • Thin, small and lightweight


  • 802.11b/g WiFi


  • Great Bluetooth performance


  • Great battery life


  • Quad band 850/900/1800/1900MHz GSM


  • Non-slip hard rubber body


CONS

  • 200MHz TI
    OMAP processor can be slow
  • Mono
    speaker is on the back
  • Could use
    more program memory
Value
Ease
of Use
Features

Overall

What
do these ratings mean
?



OVERALL IMPRESSION

Since some of you are probably just
purchasing the variations of HTC Wizard (T-Mobile
MDA, Cingular 8125) and HTC Apache (Verizon XV6700 and
Sprint PPC-6700), as they’ve recently become available through North American phone carriers, you may be wondering how they compare to this new HTC Prophet model.
Honestly, despite some shortcomings such as the lack
of keyboard, I firmly believe the Prophet is
superior. I was pretty disappointed with the
thickness of my K-JAM whom I lovingly refer to as
“Fatty McFat Fat,” so now that I’m using a device as
thin, small, and light as the original JAM, I’m much
happier. I don’t miss the keyboard at all, since there are a lot of terrific graphical keyboard programs that can help you type faster, such as TenGO, Fitaly, and Calligrapher. I
didn’t really like having to look at the keyboard on
the Wizard too… it meant I couldn’t see exactly
what I was typing.

    In addition to
the beautifully small form factor, the JAMin shines
above other Pocket PC Phones in a few other aspects.
Its Bluetooth radio is the most powerful on any
Pocket PC Phone I’ve used. Old headsets that would
create static when the phone was in a pocket on
the opposite side of my body or in another room, work
flawlessly with the JAMin. Then there’s the camera!
Again, the camera on the JAMin is the most powerful
on any Pocket PC I’ve seen.

    Finally, we’ve
got some significant improvements to the Pocket PC
Phone’s body design as well. Instead of the smooth
shiny silver plastic that most Windows Mobile
devices sport these days… and ever since the iPAQ
H3600 made it popular… we’ve got a hard non-slip
matte rubber shell now. Why didn’t some one think of
this sooner? Granted the shiny silver plastic did
serve a purpose of dissipating heat, and the black
rubber will certainly absorb heat, but it’s winter
time right now and the JAMin is running just fine.
There’s also major improvements in the hardware
button layout: there are a full 11 hardware button
functions in the lower thumb-area of the device.
Having the D-pad, action button, two soft-keys,
start menu, and Ok buttons all in one place are a
boon to one-handed usability. All future devices
should implement a similar layout! Actually, the
Treo 700w and HTC Apache models do implement a
similar layout, and that’s good.

    Overall, if
you’re already familiar with Pocket PC Phones and
you’ve been spoiled by the original JAM’s form
factor, you’ll love the JAMin. Just be sure to load
some Bob Marley music into Windows Media Player.

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About The Author
Adam Z. Lein
Adam has had interests in combining technology with art since his first use of a Koala pad on an Apple computer. He currently has a day job as a graphic designer, photographer, systems administrator and web developer at a small design firm in Westchester, NY. His love of technology extends to software development companies who have often implemented his ideas for usability and feature enhancements. Mobile computing has become a necessity for Adam since his first Uniden UniPro PC100 in 1998. He has been reviewing and writing about smartphones for Pocketnow.com since they first appeared on the market in 2002.Read more about Adam Lein!