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O2 Xda Exec

The proprietary power charge connector that we’ve seen on earlier Xdas has been abandoned for a mini USB type, so you should be able to use universal USB charging gear when away from the office. This slot doubles for synchronisation and you get a cable in the box. Our review unit did not have desktop software with it, but I assume retail packages will include the new ActiveSync 4 that partners Windows Mobile 5. Beware of this as I understand it will not support WiFi synchronisation except with Exchange Server.

So far, then the Xda Exec comes across as a device aimed squarely at professional users. But there is one oddity here - stereo speakers are built into one of the long edges so they sit in front of the keyboard when you are in ‘laptop’ mode. Their sound quality is pretty poor and the speakers seem a bit out of place and under-powered.

I’m happier about the 3.5mm headset jack as this means you can readily loose the so-so stereo headphones O2 bundles and replace them with your own. This will matter if you ever want to use the device for music listening, as while quality is passable-to-good through what O2 provides, it can definitely be improved upon with a better quality headset. Note, though, that if you do use your own headphones, you’ll need to work out how you are going to deal with voice and video calls.

When it comes to calls, video calls are easy to make in both ‘Pocket PC’ and ‘laptop’ modes, and the viewing screens are larger than those we’ve seen on many handsets though they don’t by any means occupy as much of the overall viewing area as they could.

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