HTC 8125 / 8100 / MDA (USA) / K-JAM / P4300 (Wizard)
Phone Scoop Review
May 3, 2006 by Eric Lin
In-depth review of T-Mobile's feature-packed MDA Windows Mobile PDA phone, AKA the HTC Wizard. With Video Tour. read review ›
Why I love the MDA
This is a phone with incredible connectivity and functionality; not a replacement for a laptop. Having said that, WOW. My Treo toting friends are very jealous.
What I love: MDA feels great in the hand--smooth rounded corners. I like the distinct buttons on the keyboard that stand out (and slide back in when not in use) from the black background, and a beautiful (large phone-sized) screen. EDGE is decently fast loading web pages (set to one column for easier navigation) and wifi was a snap to connect to my home Apple network. Not a single lock up in the 4 days I have had the device (consider how many time Windows machines freeze up-have to expect that sometimes with this phone, right?). Touch screen is easily navigated with a light touch of my fingernail (sometimes too lazy to pull out the stylus). Phone reception is excellent and dialing with the touch screen is easy. I have easily modified Word and Excel files--nice. It was easy to set up my Yahoo & Gmail email accounts. TMo's customer service is miles ahead of Cingular--I get talk to a real person in 30-45 seconds and only a 1 year contract with TMobile (I'll want something new by then).
Not so thrilled about: Speakerphone volume could be louder. It's a bit thick.
Remember, this is a $350 phone with computer power and apps that fits in your hand.
I call it the MBT (MY BEST TOY). Loving it
I've been using my T-Mobile MDA for about a month. Absolutely LOVE it. It does eveything I expected and + more. Used to carried Moto V600 and my Dell Axim X30 PDA. The MDA replaced these 2 and does more things and does them better.
- The size is right, not too small, not too big.
- Good phone reception
- One-hand operational (thanks to WM5 with softkeys)
- Hard-key keyboard.
- OK quality camera is a bonus
- Comm/connections: WiFi, bluetooth, IR, USB
- Very good battery life
- Display screen is so so, hard to see in sunlight.
- Slow CPU for some PDA usages
- Speaker phone volume is below everage,
- Questionable sliding keyboard durability.
- No charging/sync cradle included, just USB cable.
- A little heavy and thick.
To get the most out of the MDA, you'll need to customize and tweak it a little. Out of the box, it's work fine. But if you want to take it to the max, spend time to learn and see how other owners using it, 2 good resources are:
I got the MDA with the expectation to replace my V600 phone and my Dell Axim X30 and to carry just one device instead of two. On the PDA side, I use pocket outlook to keep all my contacts and appointments. I often used my Axim for GPS navigation with the Globalat Bt-338 bluetooth GPS receiver and Mapopolis. I didn't expect the MDA to work well for GPS because of the slow CPU. But to my suprise, it performs better than the Axim. I ran GPS navigaion and talked on the phone without a problem. Thing I love most about the MDA is the voice dial feature using Microsoft Voice Command. I don't even have to touch it. Either I am calling a person in my contact list or dial by numbers, Voice dial works real well without training. It recognizes my spoken English words with heavy accent. GREAT TOY, GREAT BUY. Highly recommend MS Voice Command, Smartkey, VoiceEnable app and bluetooth headset (Jabra)
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Falling in Love
I got my phone on October 6, 2006, and at first it was alot less than what I expected it to be. I couldn't find certain things, the programs ran slow, and i really considered returning it to T-Mobile and getting a SDA. Thankfully, my boyfriend is a Techno Geek and he helped me to realize I had an MDA and not necessarily a phone. Once I grasped that concept I was falling in like.
I stay in Houston, Texas, but I attend Prairie View A&M. That just means that I am around wireless networks and alot of interference so the phone aspect doesn't work that well. I get a point or 2 lines, and you have to get a Mini SD
-Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Power Point)
-Up two 8 email accounts delivered to your phones inbox (no charge)
-Talk as long as you want whenever you can
-Internet works perfectly
-Capable of listening to music through bluetooth (with proper software upgrades)
-Beam pictures from your phone
-Make ringtones out of your MP3s
-Capable of turning off unnecessary features (phone, bluetooth, etc)
-Has a flight mode that turns your MDA into just a PDA
-not user friendly without prior windows experience or research
-memory sucks (invest in Mini SD)
-depending on your network, the phone is not one of the most useful features
Overall, the MDA is a quality phone, personal assistant, Music player, or internet browser. Once you own one, you will fall in love.
Even better then I expected
I decided to give this phone a 5 because it simply is the culmination of every advance that is now available in N.A. and on Cingular.
It is very well made, with an excellent screen, very good sound quality & reception, and a nice form factor.
WM5 is great and there are so many great features that HTC added in. Two of my favorites are the phonepad sip (a fun T9 style touchpad for data entry) and the smart dialing.
The keyboard is fantastic. A note: pressing the red dot twice locks it into number/symbol mode (then press it twice again to put it back to reg. mode)
About the speed, I also own an hp 4705 and this often runs similiarly. PI is a slow program.
Another tip: the d-pad will scroll through all the today items and the traybar icons.
Sound (earpiece & stereo speakers & inc headphones)
Screen (switches quickly when open & close the keyboard)
Keyboard (backlight could be somewhat improved)
stable (its a pocketpc, if you load it up, it will need soft resets, here's where they put in another nice feature, holding down the power button put it halfway through a soft reset letting you finish it at a later time)
Size and weight
Camera is ok, well featured & fun
Comm Manager & volume managment
Awesome! (if you can find one)
First of all, good luck finding one of these phones outside of Ebay! These are not easy to get from Cingular. There are LONG waiting lists at the Cingular stores (Minneapolis/St. Paul area) and I hear they are not shipping from online orders promptly either. I was lucky enough to get the ONE (1) that was shipped to a Cingular store (my brother in law is a manager there). With that said, this is a really great phone/PDA. It is everything it is advertised to be, and more. It is not very large and heavy. The shape and size is much better than Blackberry and Treo, and it works as a PHONE much better than those devices. This thing is actually a real cell phone! The signal strength and call quality is as good or better than my Moto V551. Battery life is great, far better than expected. The Wifi works perfectly, just as it should. There are just NO disappointments (yet). Camera is good,(average) and as expected. Nice large screen for viewing pictures and internet is a big plus. Bluetooth works great. I could ramble on and on about this device, but if you are reading this, you know what this thing does. I will say that I think they have got this thing perfected, and all the early bugs worked out. I have had none fo the problems mentioned by the users of the early-release models. I definietly recommend buying one if you can find one!
Large hi-res screen
Nice form factor (not big, bulky, and heavy)
Great battery life
Great call quality
Stable Windows OS
Comes with leather case!
Not much of an instruction manual included
Hard to find one for sale!
Bought one from Mobile City. Plugged in Cingular SIM card and phone worked. However, to get onto Media Net, you have to define the connection. The access point name has to be wap.cingular and the user ID has to be WAP@CINGULARGPRS.com. Mine is actually called the K-Jam and only out in Europe I guess. There are no accessories I can find at this point such as car chargers, cradles, etc. Phone is great. Windows Mobile 5.0 light years ahead of 3.0. Don't even consider saving a few bucks and buying a phone that uses 3.0. Appears you have to reboot quite often to hook into Internet. For a 1GB Mini SD card, go to the I-Mate web page as they have them for $60.00. I got riped off paying $110.00 in Best buy. I-Mates 'on-line chat support' is useless. I have been trying for three days now to get them and I never get any answer. If Cingular had this phone now, even locked to them, I would get it straight from Cingular. I just did not want to wait as I neede something that runs 5.0.
Overall, it's a great little phone/mp3 player/PPC PDA/802.11 wireless/BT/camera/video.
With all of the flexibility comes choices and so there is a learning curve needed. I come from a strong Palm background and this is my first go at PPC. Palm has PPC beat. However, Palm is evolving so slowly which forced my switch to PPC.
With a Palm, every record can be public or private, not so with PPC, everything is public.
I have to buy 3rd party software to hide my password files and stock information.
And this device runs on Windows Mobile 5.0, which I understand is very stable. Contrary to other user reports, I have not had to reset mine at all. However, WM 5.0 is ahead of the software developers. Many essential programs are not yet available such as a backup of your device.
The phone sounds good both Tx/Rx, wireless works good once I found out I needed to predefine my DNS servers. BT works with my old Jabra 200.
The phone service came right up when I took my Cingular SIM from my old phone. Camera is OK,
get a real camera if you want great shots.
I haven't tried GPRS and may never, too expensive for me. Keyboard too small for touch typing, strictly thumb-board.
I have my KJam setup to play music over my BT.
Changing military time? Start/Settings/Regional Settings/Time/Time style/h:mm:ss tt
Clearing call timers: Start/Phone/Menu/Call History/Menu/Call Timers. Whew!!!
Buy it at Mad Monkey Boys, best price I found.
Good and bad
I got the tmobile version, I've only had it for a month or so and haven't had extensive time to dig into it but here are my thoughts
Cost was ok with my upgrade it was about $200
Easy to surf the web, if pages don't use complex scripting
Good mp3 player if you get a sd card and the headphone attachment (costs extra) $$
Plays movies fine
Stylish, very good geek factor
Easy to teather to my laptop for edge internet connections
Voice dial seems to work well
Plays mp3s as ringtones
Best battery life I've ever had on a phone
Good screen and keyboard
Phone reception could be better, but isn't too bad.
I haven't found a way to get active sync working through bluetooth
OZ instant messenger uses the internet but still costs as a SMS message for every text send/receive (ridiculous)
Phone volume is rather poor unless you use a headset
The phone locks up sometimes when the camera app is open
I don't think the specs are correct about distinctive ring, the phone doesn't seem to have that feature. There is 3rd party software you can buy to do this tho. $$
Obvious upgrade needed for minisd card $$
Closing an app doesn't really close it, it basically just minimizes it. You have to go into the memory settings to actually close something. This causes the whole phone to slow down periodically until you do this.
Pictures are not very good, but most phones are the same.
Overall I'm pretty happy with it, I'm just not thrilled. If they had just put a little extra memory, included the headphones device (the headphones that come with it are ultra cheap) and distinctive ring I would have been very happy. Oh well.
Cingular 8125. . .
Hello and I hope that this is helpful to all:
Please remember that I am upgrading from a Motorola V600 to this PC Phone
PRO: Way too many to list but briefly:
1. Excellent layout. . very logical
2. Excellent screen. . simply wonderful
3. Excellent price point, mine $300
4. Simple elegant Wi-Fi, Blue-tooth and Sync functions
5. Microsoft 5.0 Software with lots of bundled software included
6. Excellent Mega Pixel Camera, simply wonderful photo ability
My biggest problem: You must either have the phone on or standby for the Alarm to work. . so if you use a phone as a wake up alarm you have a problem if you receive ANY telephone calls, e mails, text messages etc. . .and I get them from all over the world. . .and so I would ALWAYS be woken up during the evening or morning. . . THIS TO ME IS A VERY GLARING PROBLEM and may cause me (read I Will)to return this lovely device and wait for something that does not have this already annoying problem
8125: great, but not perfect
I have owned an SX66 for about 8 months, and really like it. It has a crummy bluetooth * implementation, and is dog slow on GPRS, but it works pretty well as a connected PDA. It has pretty decent reception as a phone, too (see below).
There was a lot of buzz in anticipation of the new 8125, and I couldn't wait to get my hands on one. I've had mine for about a week now, and like some things, but not others. It is a marginal improvement over the SX66- for me anyway.
* New keyboard (but still no Caps, or Num/Symbol lock indicators)
* Smaller form factor (except screen is smaller, but that's the price)
* Much better bluetooth
* Wireless manager
* Faster web/Email access
* Standard USB Mini-B connector and cable for computer connection, and charging
* The battery can't fall off, as it does sometimes on the SX66
* Slower CPU (MS Voice Command works great on the SX66, but almost stinks on this)
* Applications take awhile to switch or load
* New ActiveSync (required) doesn't work through Wi-Fi
* Phone reception not as good. It doesn't work in all the places that my SX66 does.
* Speakerphone so tinny that it's hard to understand, it's louder than the SX66, though that doesn't help
This phone also uses a Mini-SD for expanded memory. So my collection of SD cards won't work, and there's no 2GB card readily available yet. Also there's no way to allocate the built-in memory between Programs/Storage as there was in Windows Mobile 2003.
I will update this review as I gain more experience with the 8125.