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HTC SDA (USA) / SP5m (Tornado)


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Once again T-Mobile demonstrates that it provides the best products and services to the Road Warriors


May 13, 2006 by Proxcause

The executives and selection staff at T-Mobile have introduced another cutting edge piece of hardware with the HTC Tornado /SDA. As a litigator, this phone fits in perfectly as a replacement for my Nokia 6600 for keeping in touch with the office. Bluetooth and WiFi technology works seamlessly. This phone is the way to go. I find the Blackberry just too clunky to use as phone.

There is a bit of a learning curve however with the Windows Mobile 5 operating system. I have found that a number of my programs will not work with Mobile 5. I would appreciate any tips from members on a workaround to implement Active Synch Remote Display which will not work with WM5. Due to the small buttons a compatible version of Remote Display would be a perfect addition to the device to tweak it before you hit the road.

The ability to connect, charge and even print from the SDA via usb is a big plus. Chargers and adapters can be left at the office!!! One less thing to carry. The speaker phone is one of the best I have used. I have outfitted the device with a 2-gig card. You will not face any memory issues as you add applications and files.

You might want to adjust the Normal ringer settings to vibrate and ring.

Thanks T-Mobile. The competition asks if you can hear them, while T-Mobile reliably delivers both data and voice with an affordable unlimited data plan.

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Just a lil Buggy...


Jun 23, 2007 by pentaside

Upon receiving my new phone, I was ecstatic. This would be my first smart phone, and jumping from a Samsung T509 to an SDA (tornado) is pretty big. I picked the SDA because of it's huge list of features. I wanted a phone that did everything. After playing with a co-workers MDA (wizard) for a couple days, I decided that touch-screen wasn't for me, so the SDA was the next closest choose.
Unfortunately, bug after bug had me sending this phone back. I got my first one around September, and by May of the following year I had been through 8 of them. I just kept having to exchange by mail every couple of weeks. I had problems with everything you could think of, from one phone not recordings anything (texts, call history, missed calls, etc.) to another one that would randomly set the alarm off. Finally I was aloud to do a multiple exchange on my SDA, and I'm out of that nightmare.

- Great screen quality
- Mini-USB charger/Data cable
- Sync capabilities
- WM5
- Wi-Fi

- Overly compact buttons
- Joystick can get worn easy
- No hot-swapping
- Very low memory
- Buggy (or I have bad luck)

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Didn't Last a Year


May 20, 2007 by CarolynSmalley

This phone was good while it lasted - but it didn't even last a year before it was trash. I've had the phone for eleven months and the mouse stopped working, it locked up constantly and occasionally would just give me a tri-colored screen that says Tornado!

The learning curve wasn't too bad.
The mouse is easy to use.
Has MOST of the features a PDA ought to.

With T-Mobile, does not support any ringtones.
Can't store much music at all.
Doesn't hold up to daily use for a year.

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Meh should've spent more


Mar 21, 2007 by Rebel44

I have had this phone for almost a year now and have many mixed feeling for it. I'm a big guy with big fingers, and i love to text. not only is it nearly impossible for me to text on this phone, but the screen is hard to read while texting. if you're looking for a phone with a good music and camera feature... this phone rocks.. but thats about it.
Windows Meadia buttons easy to use
easy access button for the camera
screen has good clarity
speaker is loud
lots of fun features

joystick button rarely works
buttons too small
buttons too close together
poor reception most of the time
breaks easily
battery life goes way down after little use
wifi stops working as well after little use
no flash on camera

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The Red-Headed Stepchild


Jan 6, 2007 by lovetoflyfish

Let us not forget that we're talking about phones here.
The SDA is a good phone.
Reception is very good, build is solid, display is fabulous. Do I lament that I do not have the latest/greatest “thing” out there? NO, this just may be it!
I wanted a candy-bar sized phone that improved on the capabilities of the Nokia that served me so well.
With the addition of some Reg-Hacks and Mods, I not only have a solid phone but a device that plays movies, music, NES games and the list goes on…

Reception and Sound Quality
Build and Size
Great Screen
WM 5 OS w/available Mods/Hacks
Syncs well with Outlook (Sugg. Get Activesync Toggle!)
Connectivity – Bluetooth, IrDA, USB, Wi-Fi

Button layout – Not so much that they’re small but the placement; too low on body of phone.
More space is given to the media buttons. ???
Joystick – Yes, it is not as responsive as you would like but you learn to use it better over time; it’s a “feel” thing.
On board memory is low – Manufacturers and Carriers should know better by now. This is why we are seeing imaginative users out there partitioning 4GB storage cards so we can use them in our phones.
WM 5 OS – While it allows for a lot of possibilities it is a limited OS in some respects. I’m surprised that MS was not intuitive enough to anticipate user’s needs. Perhaps they were hampered by the Carriers (my belief).

miniSD Card behind the battery – I don’t think that this is a detriment because it takes just seconds to replace and while you do have to wait for the boot up it does force one to soft-reboot their phone which is a good thing every once in a while. With 2GB cards becoming the standard accessory to buy for your phone I find it difficult to believe that some one would complain about having to switch cards every eight hours or so. There is, as well, a door missing that could/would allow lint, dirt, etc into phone or be broken off or lost.

I gave it an extra .5 on the rating to make up for the bias towards the Dash and BJ.

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It served it's purpose for the time being.


Oct 6, 2006 by chocolateman85006

It was an okay phone during the time that i used it. My first PDA/Smartphone or whatver you call it. I bought it when it first came out (last time I ever do that; I could've waited and gotten it for cheaper and with a 1 gig card for free, but that's life). What's good about it is good and what sucks, sucks.

Camera & video are second to none!
I like the windows set up.
Loud volume.

Battery was weak as ----.
T-mobile's internet was excessively slow.
Very easy to scratch up.

Now i have a Q and an 8300. Good phones. The SDA had it's purposes, but I'd recommend the Q over anything.

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Good phone that could be better


Sep 19, 2006 by sammycorleone

I've had this phone for three months and there are some really nice things about this phone but there are some major drawbacks.

- Wi-Fi works great. You can browse real web pages, not condensed ones
- Good phone
- Nice, big screen. It is very bright and pleasant to browse the web. Overall the entire phone has a nice design

- The 4 way toggle wheel. This is by far the biggest con of this phone. This thing annoyed me so much mainly because it was so small and so unresponsive. There were times when I felt like smashing this against the wall because the toggle would not respond to the way where I was commanding it to. You can imagine how frustrating this can be when you're browsing the web and you can't scroll down or across on a certain page. This is perhaps the main reason I gave this phone an average rating rather than a good rating.
- Microsoft Windows! I don't know if it was just my phone but this phone acted up a lot. There were times when the screen would freeze and take about 5 or so seconds before it responded. Again, I don't know if my phone was faulty or if this is how all the Windows based phones are.
- The keypad seemed a bit congested. I have skinny fingers yet I still found it difficult to send texts because the buttons were so stiff and compact.

Overall, this is a good phone. Not great nor horrible. If you're interested in getting this phone, I strongly suggest you test it out at a store and play around with the toggle wheel to see if it's something you want. I gave up on this device and got me the Blackberry Pearl, which is much easier to navigate. But for those of you that want a phone with wi-fi and a good camera and are considering this as an option, I strongly suggest you take it for a test drive before making a decision.

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Aug 23, 2006 by lkmj

I've had mine for about 2 months. It isn't perfect, but it works great for me. I'll never go back to a regular phone. I love having my calendar and contacts with me without having to carry my Palm too.
I love the small size
Outlook sync works perfectly
Screen is beautiful
Reception is great
Love the MP3 player

Buttons are small, but I am used to them now
Wish it had more memory
I REALLY wish I could sync my Notes from Outlook without buying a 3rd party program
The Speaker should be louder
Joystick doesn't always work correctly

This is a powerful phone and I'm so glad I decided on this one. I'll never own a non-SDA phone again. Way to go HTC & T-mobile!

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Decent Phone


Aug 16, 2006 by epeters13

I owned the phone for a test period of 3 days. I give myself 3 days to figure if I like it or not. I ended up returning it.

Solid Quality
Good Reception
Nice Display
Clear Voice Quality
Strong Vibrate feature
Comfortable in ear
Accepts 2.5mm plugs

Speaker Phone
Buttons Press themselves in pocket
Windows OS has delay
No need for Media Controls

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Aug 5, 2006 by jdjunaidi

great phone for the techie person does it all ...I mean all the goodies a phone has plus a PC!!!!

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