Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Handheld newcomer Dopod seems to have saved the best for last when it announced the launch of its latest PDA-phone, the 818 Pro. Sporting a tiny form factor, 2-megapixel camera, Bluetooth and TI's OMAP processor, the new Dopod is, on paper, an improved version of the popular Xda II mini, with wireless LAN and the new Windows Mobile 5.0 OS. However, with almost similar features as the upcoming Xda Atom, it is not hard to see who the Dopod is targeted at.
Both the Dopod 818 Pro and O2 Xda Atom may offer similar specs such as a 2-megapixel camera, Bluetooth and Windows Mobile 5.0, but they actually share more differences than similarities. In terms of dimensions, the 818 Pro is marginally thinner than the Atom but is 6mm longer length-wise. It should also be noted that the Dopod sports a matt surface finish which gives it a more solid feel and a lot less fingerprint smudges than the Atom.
In Dopod's favor are its upgraded connectivity components such as the Bluetooth v2.0 (compared with the v1.2 on the Atom), 802.11b/g wireless LAN (Atom has 802.11b) and quadband GSM support (versus Atom's triband). The 818 Pro also comes with a larger 2.8-inch LCD display, which is 0.1-inch more than the Atom.
The biggest advantage, however, is Dopod's employment of an SD/MMC card slot instead of a miniSD which O2 has on the Atom. This should not only go down well with those who already own SD cards, the fact that they are generally more affordable and available in higher capacities than miniSD will be the stronger pull factor for many buyers.
Like the Dopod 838, the 818 Pro will run on the TI OMAP 850 (195MHz) chip which is likely to be a bottleneck for the handheld considering the various multimedia functions onboard. O2's faster Intel PXA272 Bulverde (416MHz) processor should have a slight advantage here. While the screen size of the Dopod is 0.1-inch larger than the Atom's, it displays only 64K colors, compared with the Atom's 256K colors. FM radio, a feature that's available on the Atom, is also not offered on the 818 Pro.
With a retail price of S$1,128 (US$662.21), the 818 Pro is S$200 (US$117.41) more affordable than the Atom. Together with the improved connectivity options and SD/MMC card expansion, the Dopod holds some advantage over the Atom. However, the slower processor remains a possible Achilles' heel in Dopod's plan to steal O2's spotlight. The 818 Pro is expected to be launched in mid-December 2005 and will be available in five colors (silver, pink, lavender, black and blue).
Form factor Pad
Dimensions 108 x 58 x 18.2 mm
Weight w/battery 150 g
Primary display resolution 32 x 240 pixels
Phone type Quadband
Networks GSM850, GSM900, GSM1800, GSM1900
Connectivity options Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPRS/GSM, Infrared, USB, SDIO
Messaging features SMS, MMS, Email, Instant message
Ringtone options MP3 ringtones, WMA ringtones
Calling Features Speakerphone
Additional phone features Supports polyphonic ringtones including Midi, WAV, MP3 and WMA
Built-in digital camera? Yes
Maximum camera resolution 2 megapixels
Camera sensor type CMOS
Maximum digital zoom x
Maximum optical zoom x
Operating system Pocket PC
Main processor type TI OMAP 850
Main processor speed 195 MHz
RAM 64 MB
ROM 128 MB
Expansion option(s) SD, SDIO, MMC
PC connectivity Windows
Battery type Rechargeable 1,200mAh battery
Removable battery? Yes
Installed applications Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 (operating system); Internet Explorer; Pocket MSN; windows Media Player; Outlook Mobile; Word Mobile; Excel Mobile; PowerPoint Mobile; ClearVue PDF; ZIP; Camera; Wireless Manager
Included accessories Charger, USB cable, PDA case, wired earphones cum handsfree kit and extra stylus.
Monochrome or color Color
No. of colors 16 bit
Touch screen Yes
Backlit display Yes
Built-in speakers? Yes
Built-in mic? Yes
Desktop software included Yes
Synchronization with desktop Yes
Cradle included? Yes
Batteries rechargeable? Yes
AC adaptor included? Yes
Base warranty 1 year