Feeds
65%
i-mate SPL Windows mobile phone

i-mate SPL Windows mobile phone

It ain't heavy... in fact, it's rather lightweight

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

While the battery life is enough to keep business travellers happy, it's the missing ingredients that a corporate user might expect these days that stand out. For starters, the phone's connection capabilities are starting to fall behind the times. Naturally, 3G browsing is available, but the only way to share an internet connection on the i-mate is by connecting it to a PC using Bluetooth or physical USB lead. That seems quaint by today's standards, with the current batch of mobiles making use of Wi-Fi connections to cut down on call charges and data-access costs.

i-mate SPL Windows mobile phone

However, the biggest omissions here are the mobile versions of Microsoft Office's component apps, which would need to be added for full out-of-office use.

The two-megapixel camera moves the phone into consumer territory once more. It can capture good-looking UXGA images up 1,600 x 1,200 and the 2.2in screen shows them off well. The video function even picked up sound well at a small concert, even if the images themselves were grainy and just slightly too dark even on the Night setting. However, the delay caused by the operating system stops it being a true snappers delight.

The button on the outside of the i-mate should be a quick way into the camera, with just one more button press needed to take a picture. But the spinning wheel of death that appears in the centre of the screen as the SPL struggles to bring up these functions mean truly spur of the moment images won't make it into your photo album. This is especially apparent on the Burst function, which is supposed to take several quick images but works more like time-lapse photography. Blame has to be laid at the door of the 200MHz processor, backed up by 128MB ROM and 64MB RAM.

Verdict

The problem with the i-mate SPL is that it's not businessy enough to take on something like the Blackberry Pearl and it's not lifestyle enough to compete with the kind of models that come free with today's 12-month contracts. Businesspeople will miss crucial tools such as office software and casual users will miss being able to press the star key and easily lock the handset. Falling between two stools like this means the i-mate is a good choice for those who like a little work with a little play. Sadly, everyone else will find it lacking.

Boost IT visibility and business value

65%
i-mate SPL Windows mobile phone

i-mate SPL Windows mobile phone

Succeeds at most things, but excels at nothing
Price: £265 inc. VAT RRP

More from The Register

next story
Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
Shaves price, not screen on mid-2014 model
iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks
New plug not compatible with official Type-C, according to fresh rumors
FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'
Wow, it looks like nothing else on the market, for sure
YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator
Fanbois prepare to experience the great Cupertin-O
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
Things are looking up in Flappy Bird sequel
'Swing Copters' offers the same gameplay but in a different direction
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.