Socket SoMo 650 Semi-Rugged PDA Review - Socket SoMo 650 Semi-Rugged PDA Review


In terms of wireless connectivity, we get 802.11g WiFi and Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR. As Socket partly designed the SoMo to work within its own product line of add-on laser scanners, RFID readers and magnetic bar scanners, some thought has clearly gone into getting all this stuff to work properly, and Socket has installed its own WiFi and Bluetooth management software to help make sure that remains the case.

Certainly we had no issues hooking up the SoMo to our wireless network or Bluetooth devices, and connections were perfectly stable. As the unit also supports fast roaming, it can switch between connections within seconds.

The screen is a little less impressive. At 3.5in its a decent size and perfectly bright and clear, but it’s also limited to a rather basic 240 x 320 resolution, which seems a bit old-school after the iPaq 214 with its 4in, 640 x 480 display. I’m sure Socket would argue that it’s perfectly functional and fine for the intended market, but given that this isn’t exactly a budget PDA, it seems a little miserly to me. After all, big, high-resolution screens aren’t just for video playback – they also make a range of business tasks easier.

Our test unit came installed with Windows Mobile 6 classic installed. A set of pretty straightforward navigation buttons, calendar, contacts, email and today hotkeys and two customisable buttons – one on each side – help speed up everyday use.

The good news is that the SoMo 650 is an excellent performer. With an Intel PXA270 processor running at 624MHz and 128MB of SDRAM it powered through contacts, spreadsheets and emails, but also coped extremely well with more intensive – if less business focused – applications like video playback and (ahem) the Pocket PC version of Guitar Hero III.

Despite the power, battery life from the 1200mAH Lithium Ion cell is pretty good. Socket claims the battery should be good for a day of solid use, but having had the unit in reasonably regular usage for three days I think they’re not doing it justice. And that’s with WiFi and Bluetooth switched on much of the time.

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