"Best form factor on the market considering what is packed into this little beauty."4.5 starson by jaysandkays
Pros: Tiny form factor, SD slot, Bluetooth, Great Screen
Cons: Small Memory but you can get an after-market upgrade to 128MB if you wish (But I think it voids warranty)
Summary: Before my I-Mate Jam, I had an O2 XDA2 and although I loved it, it was just too big. The XDA2, like this IMate Jam, also didn't have built-in WiFi and so I had an SD 256-WiFi card to use, but to be honest, web-surfing on hand-helds is a pain in the you know where and so the next platform I was to get didn't have to have built-in WiFi but it did have to be smaller.
Keeping an eye out for the next best thing (which would have been the BenQ P50 but that has been delayed for release for well over a year now), I saw the unofficial info on this IMate Jam... I was immediately hooked and I HAD to have it; now that I do own one, I just love this thing. In fact, my first one got stolen after a month... did I fret and go buy a el-cheapo phone to get by? Heck no! I bought another IMate Jam immediately.
As for the device itself, it is an incredibly tiny form factor that contains a PocketPC (Win Mobile 2003 Second Edition), a tri-band worldphone, 1.3 MP camera, and thanks to Windows MediaPlayer 10, it is also a movie and MP3 player. The downside is that due to its internal 64MB RAM, it certainly needs more memory. It's lack of WiFi is not necessarily too much of a negative in my book because of the limited memory and because surfing on handhelds is a painful and difficult experience using PocketIE... so painful and frustrating that I just don't do it.
To be frank, this unit has taken the place of my handheld, my phone, my MP3 player and my digital camera. If I needed any one of these items as a super-functional top-of-the line tool, then the IMate Jam is not good enough to replace whatever that particular function would be, but for me as an all-in-one guy who needs an advanced tool for my busy work schedule and to double as other tools so I'm not lugging portable media/MP3 player, digital camera, and PDA, this thing ROCKS!
To do this review for USA customers is kind of a tease. I travel to Asia constantly and it is disappointing that some of the US carriers don't pick up some phone models that the rest of the world enjoys, like this one (yet). Note that I'm not talking about the awesome offerings in Japan and Korea (that are generations ahead of what we get here in USA) because those are designed for their own country-specific CDMA networks... I'm talking about GSM world phones.
As for the IMate service, as stated above, you can get this unit from at least 3 different sources but, you will find slightly different benefits in both the software package and the after-sales service and support. XDA has their free MyXDA support web site for registered device owners which from my previous experience as an XDA2 owner, is good. But I don't think it is as good as the ClubIMate which is also free for folks who buy and register their I-Mate device.
The ClubIMate has free forums, up-to-date device info on known problems and fixes, freebee software giveaways, and even online real live person tech support (which I have used and their tech folks are very good).
There were some early problems with 1.3 MP camera quality but that has been fixed with current releases. There were also some problems with Bluetooth connectivity (re-connectivity after restarting the pocketPC when an item was paired) but that has also been fixed with a patch.
I find that IMate has been very good about keeping on top of things and taking care of its clientelle. Of these three sources for this ODM product, IMate in my opinion is the best for service and so the IMate Jam beats out the XDA Mini.