The Xda IQ has built in support for Microsoft’s Direct Push email service. Companies with networks that run on the latest update of Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 can pump email out to the Xda IQ without having to make any more software updates. Support for Direct Push is available for increasing numbers of connected Windows Mobile 5.0 devices – Pocket PCs and smartphones, but you may need to upgrade the device ROM first and having it out of the box could be quite an advantage.
Direct Push email is very much going to appeal to corporate users, and O2 builds on that fact by augmenting the standard Windows Mobile applications with ClearVue’s readers for Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents, as well as PDFs. These aren’t pre installed, but installing them from the provided CD is no problem. Whether you want to squint at Word documents and suchlike on the 2.2in, 65k colour 320 x 240 pixel screen is going to be your choice, of course.
Installing these applications will eat into the onboard memory. After hard resetting my test device it reported having 28MB of free memory and 13MB of free storage. You can install programs and save data onto miniSD cards, but O2 doesn’t provide one to start you off. As is the norm for Windows Mobile Smartphones the card lives under the battery so buy the biggest you can afford if you don’t fancy powering the device down to swap.
The Xda IQ is quad band and has EDGE support. Now, O2 doesn’t have an EDGE network in the UK, but some of its international roaming partners do. With infrared and Bluetooth alongside Wi-Fi the wireless options are comprehensive.
I found the Xda IQ’s general performance to be on a par with other Windows Mobile Smartphones. For all its pretensions as a mobile email device you probably aren’t going to want to write long messages using the keyboard: the Xda IQ is more useful for incoming than for outgoing email communications.
All Windows Mobile Smartphones that come my way undergo the same battery test. I force them to play MP3s from a memory card for as long as possible, with the screen on as long as possible and volume cranked up. I turn off all wireless options except GSM. Running this scenario I got eight hours and 20 minutes of music before the battery died, which is pretty respectable.
The XDA IQ is every inch a Windows Mobile Smartphone. The advantages of EDGE and quad band GSM if you are an international traveller, Microsoft Direct Push if your company network can use it, and the free ClearVue software if you need to read documents, are significant. Wi-Fi also has its uses, but VoIP is probably not currently going to number among them for most users.
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