My highlight of going to the recently concluded IT Show 2008 was about I-mate’s entry in the PDA Phone market in Asia. I’ve been a fan of I-mate devices when they were still being manufactured by HTC. I even owned an I-mate Jasjar which became very popular because of its mini-laptop-tablet-style 3G phone.
Despite of the bad press about the Dubai-based company that include discontinued units, delayed releases of their products, and lately employees quitting their jobs at their U.S. headquarters, it seems to me I-mate is still bent on continuing their business where they used to be one of the biggest Windows Mobile brands a few years ago. It would be interesting to see how I-mate would penetrate the market now that HTC is leading the pack.
Now to the phones. I-mate has 4 models in their Ultimate line-up – Ultimate 6150, Ultimate 8150, Ultimate 8502, and Ultimate 9502.
The Ultimate 6150 has a 2.8″ VGA touch screen, 640×480 pixels resolution, XScale PXA 270 520 MHz with NVIDIA graphics accelerator, 256MB ROM, 128MB RAM, HSDPA capable, Bluetooth, WiFi b/g/e/i, 2MP auto-focus camera with flash, Stereo FM Radio, and Video output for monitors, projectors and display. The Ultimate 6150 is ideal for people who prefer to use an on-screen keyboard and like a PDA form factor.
The Ultimate 8150 has a smaller 2.6″ VGA touch screen with 640×480 pixels resolution, XScale PXA 270 520 MHz with NVIDIA graphics accelerator, 256MB ROM, 128MB RAM, HSDPA capable, Bluetooth, WiFi b/g/e/i, a 2MP auto-focus camera with flash, stereo FM radio, numeric phone pad and video output for monitors, projectors and display. This is for users who want to use a phone pad for fast SMS & quick number dialing.
The Ultimate 8502 sports a 2.6″ QVGA touch screen with 320×240 screen resolution, 400 MHz Qualcomm MSM 7200 processor, 256MB ROM, 128MB RAM, HSUPA and HSDPA capable, Bluetooth, WiFi b/g, integrated GPS, QWERTY Thumboard, 2MP auto-focus camera with flash and video output for monitors, projectors and display. People who want a powerful, fast mobile PDA will appreciate the Ultimate 8502 with built-in GPS for and QWERTY thumboard for fast SMS and emails.
Lastly, the Ultimate 9502 has a 2.8″ VGA touch screen with 640×480 pixels resolution, 400 MHz Qualcomm MSM 7200 processor, 256MB ROM, 128MB RAM, HSUPA and HSDPA capable, Bluetooth, WiFi b/g, Integrated GPS, 3MP auto focus camera with flash, built-in QWERTY thumboard (after screen slide-out) and a video output for monitors, projectors & displays. End-users who want to have all the powerful features in one single device will not look any further as the Ultimate 9502 is now available in the market.
All of these devices run on Windows Mobile 6 and I was advised (I hope it’s true) if an upgrade is available for Windows Mobile 6.1 they will offer a free upgrade. The Ultimate line can be used anywhere in the world, as they have Quad-band GSM, Tri-band 3G with HSDPA, and HSUPA for the 8502 and 9502. And another deal that they are offering is 24 months international warranty! That’s one more year than the usual 1-year warranty offered by other brands.
The prices of the Ultimate line range from S$998 up to S$1348. These are introductory prices but they’re not sure how much it would cost when they go full blast in the retail stores.
More pictures and videos will be uploaded soon on my coverage of I-mate.