MWC 2008: i-mate Makes Blackberry & SideKick Rivals

HSDPA, WiFi, GPS, Windows Mobile - what's not to like? (Apart from maybe the last bit)

Though not the first brand on everyone’s lips, i-mate is beginning to establish itself as a manufacturer of reasonably priced Windows Mobile smartphones and we quite like them having never rated a model below 7 (or above 7, but that’s a separate point). Consequently, we quite like these…

The ‘Ultimate 9502’ and ‘Ultimate 8502’ take obvious styling tips from both the SideKick and Blackberry designs respectively, but with HSDPA connectivity offer mobile speeds that neither of these more illustrious brands can match (yet).

Beyond this, the 9502 is the clear front runner with WiFi and Bluetooth plus a dazzling VGA resolution 262k colour display, integrated GPS, full screen video playback and direct video out letting it connect straight to monitors and projectors. With a full Microsoft Office Mobile suite pre-installed this may come in more handy than you might think. As for the 8502, it combines its slim line Qwerty thumbboard with a 2.6in 65k colour display, is also down with the GPS and video playback and comes with the same Office productivity software.

Sadly we’re no clearer about other factors such as size, weight, camera, release and cost – but the useful twosome have certainly done enough to peak our interest. Could an ‘8’ be on the horizon…?