Review Friday: Blackjack II

Starting today, I will try to review some of the more interesting gadgets that I have been playing with. The first installment will be on the Windows Mobile phone that I won last week at TechEd. After attending a Mobile Security session, I won this phone for knowing the original code name for the first Windows Smartphone (that was “Stinger”). The phone is a SAMSUNG Blackjack II with AT&T branding.

The list of features is good:

  • Windows Mobile 6.0

  • Tri-Band UMTS (3G) and Quad-Band GSM

  • 128 MB RAM and ยต-SD port (up to 4GB)

  • GPS

  • Thin (0.4″) and light-weight

  • 2.0 MPixel camera

In general, the device is easy to handle. It has a jog wheel that feels a little flimsy, but it works ok (so far). The keys are a little small for my clumsy fingers, but that way the phone does not get too big, so it is a good compromise. While the above feature list ist good, there are a few things that are sorely missing:

  • No WiFi – this is probably the biggest shortcomming on this device.

  • Proprietary connector – now standard USB, no standard headphone jack, no antenna extension – just proprietary connectors. This was acceptable in 2000, but I am no longer willing to tolerate this in 2008.

UMTS/3G internet services are quite good, at least in most places North of Boston. As such, most web sites suited for mobile browsers display quickly and efficiently in IE mobile.

The advertised add-on software (mobile TV, Navigator, etc.) is rather disappointing: some of it works all-right, but pretty much all of the applications are only short-term trials. This is highly annoying, especially since there is no easy way to remove the various links to these app from the Start menu.

Overall, I am quite happy with this new toy (especially at the price), allthough I would probably not have extended my contract for two years and paid USD 99 for it.

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