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T-Mobile MDA III

 T-Mobile MDA III Discontinued
10th July 2004

There's quite a lot of really interesting things going on with the Windows-based T-Mobile MDA III, and they're not all from a technical perspective either. But since we love our gadgetry, let's see what T-Mobile have come up with first.

Well.. it's clear from the photograph that this isn't like anything else currently available in the European market. This is a big PDA style phone with slide out QWERTY keyboard which looks like some sort of mutant version of an O2 XDA II crossed with a Siemens SL55 with a few other genes thrown in for good measure. Previous T-Mobile models have been standard Windows-based units built by HTC (who also make Smartphones for O2 and Orange), but the MDA III appears to have been developed jointly with Daxian Telecom and China Unicom who have a CDMA version of the same phone. (Edited: in fact this is the HTC Blue Angel handset)

There's a PDA-standard 240x320 pixel display in 65,000 colours, which is touch sensitive and can be used with a pen. At the time of writing, we believe that the MDA III has a VGA-resolution digital camera. We think also in the mix is wireless 802.11b Ethernet, bringing the MDA III into the same class as the Nokia 9500 and Motorola MPx. There's Bluetooth, tri-band GSM, GPRS, 128Mb RAM expandable on MMC cards, and the usual array of Microsoft Office compatible applications such as pocket Excel, Word, Outlook and Internet Explorer. T-Mobile say that support for Blackberry messaging will be available later in 2004.

Basically, The T-Mobile MDA III is basically a top-of-the-range Windows-based PDA which also does phone calls. Wireless Ethernet and GPRS support mean that it can work either in the office, at home on a Wireless LAN or anywhere there's a GPRS signal. This combination of features makes the MDA III a very powerful handset, rather like its rivals.

The MDA III measures approximately 125x70x19mm and weighs around 210 grams. Talktime is around four hours with about one hours wireless Ethernet use. Standby time is something in the region of 7-8 days.

So.. that's the technical bag of tricks, and it's very impressive. What's more impressive is that T-Mobile have managed to get themselves a killer handset that should enable them to make inroads into the power user and business market in those regions where T-Mobile is still quite small, such as the UK.

Why do we say this? Well, put simply, the MDA III is the best Windows Smartphone on the market, and businesses love Windows. Wireless networking and a keyboard move it into a class above the O2 XDA II and it's certainly a huge improvement over the Orange SPV E200 and Orange SPV C500 in terms of features. Blackberry support will certainly help this device get a foothold in many large corporations. We believe that T-Mobile have certainly got a winner on their hands here, and the MDA III is certainly one of the best new phones of 2004.

Price is unknown at present, but we would estimate the unsubsidised price to be about 700-800. Availability in from September in Germany, later in other regions.

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T-Mobile MDA III Provisional Specifications

Available:

Q4 2004

Network:

Quad-band GSM

Data:

GPRS + 802.11b wireless ethernet

Screen:

320x240 pixels, 65,000 colours

Camera:

640x480 pixels

Size:

Standard PDA format device
125x70x19mm, 210 grams

Bluetooth:

Yes

Infra-red:

Not specified

Polyphonic:

Yes

Java:

Limited

Battery life:

4 hours talk / 7 days standby

OS:

Windows Mobile 2003 for PocketPC Phone Edition

 

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