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QTek 8500 continues to drop in price - a Christmas bargain?

39 posts in this topic

Posted

About a week and a half ago, I was trawling the web looking for items to feature in possible 'Christmas Gift Guide' for MoDaCo.

8500hisnhers.png

During my travels, I came across the Expansys QTek 8500 His'n'Hers pack, which includes a Black QTek 8500 AND a Pink QTek 8500. The price? A storming £359.95 INC! (more details).

What struck me about this first - obviously - was the price. Upon further investigation, the Black QTek 8500 comes in at £209.95 here, and the Pink QTek 8500 at £199.95 here, so the His'n'Hers pack is definitely a bargain, but the phones are very cheap amongst their peers individually.

This set me thinking.

The QTek 8500 is the only Windows Mobile clamshell out there, and is a very capable device. The clamshell market has always been very popular too, so I can't really understand why there isn't more chat around the device on MoDaCo. Is it because the networks haven't picked it up in the UK? Is it because people don't realise how cheap it is? Is it something else?

I also realised that this is one of the few devices that I've not used for any length of time / reviewed. I had a QTek 8500 for a week or so, and really liked it, but never reviewed it. So... Expansys kindly agreed to send me one, and i'll be giving it my usual 'going over' :)

For you QTek 8500 owners out there though, i'd love to hear your thoughts on the handset too! Here's a chance for you to discuss the oft-overlooked king of Windows Mobile clamshells :D

P

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Posted

Technically the MPX220 is still out there as such Makro are selling them SIM free.

I think the main reason any device does not take off is when the networks do not really pick them up.

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Posted

I think it was overlooked because it was just blah. Sure it's nice....especially if you are into flip phones. Kind of big when opened, which isnt the end of the world. Battery was just okay. Features were the same as most smartphones. Keypad was okay.

It was just okay.

PS...just like my Blackjack, I remember the battery cover being really hard to take off. :)

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Posted

Well, the Qtek 8500 is leagues ahead of an ancient device like the MPx220 though isn't it. The MPx220 was good enough at the time, it's an old dog now tho :)

You might be right about the networks... although the SP5 for example was popular, despite not being on a network.

P

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Posted

I dont know that stats....but I dont think it's a HUGE seller for Cingular is it? Can anyone confirm that?

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Posted

So what you're saying though encece is it's good :) Exactly my point... maybe because it was good rather than being rubbish or revolutionary it got less press?

Although having said that, it IS a thin clamshell, and in that respect revolutionary for Smartphones.

WM5 AKU2 too IIRC!

P

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Posted

Thing is with the Cingular version, they've bumped up the memory (good), but also bumped up the battery, losing the cool 'thinness' perhaps?

P

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Posted

I love the Expansys 'his'n'hers' idea.

Basically says to me 'Get yourself a nice new phone, but get the missus one too and don't get into trouble' :)

P

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Posted

I'll tell you why... CRAP CAMERA!

That and fashionable types don't understand anything as feature packed as WM :)

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Posted

Oh come on, all HTC device cameras are pretty crap :)

You could be right on the fashionable thing tho :D

P

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Posted

I bet if they'd got Paramount licensing to sell it as Star Trek communicator they'd have sold more.

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Posted

Haha!

Whatever happened to the company that was supposedly making an officially licenced Star Trek WM device?

Ah ha - this one: http://www.sonamobile.com/themephones/main.asp

:)

P

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Posted (edited)

Just to let any potential purchasers know, expansys seem to be selling the "Qtek 8500 Smartphone" black version that you linked to for 209.95 but also the "HTC Qtek 8500 Smartphone" black version HERE for 199.95!

Also, Paul (or anyone else that has had experience of the two phones), as an upgrade from the c550 what overall would you say is the better choice a strtrk, or an excalibur??? Value for money, features, screen, build quality etc. I want AD2P and WM5 but not sure whether I'd prefer the clamshell or the qwerty...

James

Edited by Jamma14
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Posted (edited)

I've had one for about 5 months now, and I'll give you my feedback

QTEK 8500 is useless in the U.S due to a missing calls problem. The phone goes into a deep sleep mode when not in use, and is not awakened by a call or message. QTEK were working on this issue, and admitted the problem was due to the compatibility with the 850/1900 MHz bands in North America. The problems can be found here and at Howard Forums here

Without going into detail, HTC/QTEK have still failed to fix it, so I'm not suprised it has not taken off very wll overseas. I'm in the UK so fortunately did not have this problem.

First I'll list the things that disappointed me:

1. I didn't like the fact I had to use Comms Manager to turn off GPRS (There is no red button to cancel it except the power button). I'm used to that now and this is a Windows Mobile 5 feature and not a problem with the phone.

2. A successful GPRS connection was hit and miss. Since a hard reset, it's pretty very reliable so this was perhaps a one off.

3. Phone storage. The 64MB (Cingluar 3125 has 128MB) is a shame. After installing a few programs, Sprite Backup, ClearVue, Fizz Weather and more onto my Storage Card, they still use some of the phone's storage. At the moment I have 6MB free. I've tried all the tweaks, email to storage card, IE cache etc, but I feel it's still not large enough. Installing CAB files now has to be done manually from the Storage Card.

4. The keypad gains dirt, and becomes apparent when the outline of the keys appear on the screen. Wiping the phone can remove the dirt and the problem goes away, but I never had that with my Motorola MPX200. Perhaps it's the rubber membrane like keypad.

5. Battery life. Fine with little use, or no use of Bluetooth, I can get 3 full days 3 x 24hrs (without switching off at night) out of it. But using TomTom 5 or CamerAware for more than 3 hours with Bluetooth on, and the battery is gone. Again, Cingular 3125 will not have this problem due to the 1100mA battery. I'm still waiting to Expansys to release the more powerful battery See here

6. The phone itself felt plasticy and cheap when I first got it, but I think that could be because it's pretty light and very thin compared to other phones out there.

7. The camera is crap. Althought it's 1MP, the delay when trying to take a photo is too long, you miss the vital shot if taking photos of animated objects. Daylight of a inanimate object is fine, night time forget it. Video Camera is similar, useless unless in a well lit area, and does not compare with the SPV C500 (my previous phone) which wasn't that bad for Videos.

My main drawbacks would have to be the battery life, phone storage and Camera. If 3125 version was available, I would have gone for that. It's not, so I have to live with these 3 flaws.

Aside from the above, I still think this is the best and smartest phone I've had, but my phone history is nowhere near most of the members of this Forum have had:-

My Smartphone History is : MOtorola MPX200, Orange SPV C500 and QTEK 8500.

The Motorola MPX200 lacked a Camera and Bluetooth

I wanted a Motorola MPX220 but couldn't get one at the right price

The SPV C500 had the Camera and Bluetooth but wasn't a clamshell

The QTEK 8500 has the lot!

I like the Media Buttons on the outside of the phone. These are a great feature when playing MP3's, and the external display I like too.

The call quality is great, and the thin form make it easy to fit into any pocket. (back jeans pocket not advisable :D )

The QVGA screen is crisp and very clear (when clean :) )

Lack of Operator backup could be a big deal to some. Luckily I'm with Orange who already support Windows Mobile devices so have not had any operator issues or experienced any lack of Smartphone functionality that I would with other operators. One example, is that I'm on PAYG, and with O2 you cannot use POP email with PAYG. With Orange PAYG there are no restrictions.

This has been a great replacement for my broken SPV C500. It contains all the features I want on a smartphone, the same features I had with my SPV C500 with the added bonus of all the new functionality that comes with Windows Mobile 5.

Overall, this is the best phone I've had so far. I've always preferred the clam shell phone, mainly because when it's opened the actual ear piece is on my ear, and the mouth piece close to my gob. Other smaller phones just feel too small when in use, and I've always felt like I had to shout when using them. Everyone who has seen my phone (not Smartphone aware) are envious on what it is capable of, and those with Pocket PC's like the fact it appears to be a miniature version.

It maybe doesn't compare well against other smartphones but those who do not own a smartphone and want a clamshell mobile phone that is packed full of features, this has to be it.

One feature I would like to have seen would be WiFi.

P.S I'm no good at reviews, and this was not intended to be one, just a collection of my thoughts, and opinion on the phone I've purchased. I'm looking forward to Paul's in depth review on the QTEK 8500 and to see what his opinion is. Especially as he's reviewed the other phones in the market, so would be keen to see how this compares to those.

Edited by paholman
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Posted

That was a great review! Paul....HIRE HIM! :)

You also reminded me of the memory problem, and other problems as well. The memory thing killed me.

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Posted

That was a great review! Paul....HIRE HIM! :D

You also reminded me of the memory problem, and other problems as well. The memory thing killed me.

Thanks :)

Almost forgot, another small problem. The Headset/Charger/Sync port. QTEK for some bizarre reason decided against mini USB and a seperate headset jack, and now they all share the same one. It actually works well, but I would have preferred a seperate headset jack personally.

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Posted

I'm in love with mine. It has the perfect balance of the WM5 os which I prefer over the Motorola interface and size.

I think it's a great phone for those that don't want their phone overloaded with extra bits and pieces they install but still want the advantages of WM5 and want something small and light.

Mine has the stock os on it only. The camera is good enough too.....

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Posted

I just wish Samsung would make a D900 form factor device with WM5 on it.

Imagine the D900, but running Wm5. Even without Wifi/3g that would rock!

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Posted

I have the 3125 and have been using it as my main phone phone it good at one thing and that is it is good at being a phone, Maybe that is why it didn't take off. It has awesome reception and is very sturdy and its windows mobile and thats about it small and works what some people want in the end i would give it 4 and a half stars out of 5 it would have 5 if they had put a 3g radio in the thing

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Posted

I just wish Samsung would make a D900 form factor device with WM5 on it.

Imagine the D900, but running Wm5. Even without Wifi/3g that would rock!

I'd certainly buy one :) now if only they'ed make it

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Posted

i placed an order, almost, for this device from expansys. good deal on the O2B - accessories including bluetooth earpiece! shame didnt go through do to my existing almost expiring contract on O2 so I have to port my number to a different network PAYG SIM, then from that back to O2 when I place the order.

grrr

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Posted

:D I've had the Cingular 3125 for a few months now, and I simply dig this smartphone. It has everything I need to function through the day. It would have been better if it did have 3G, but it really wasn't a big factor for me. With the Bluetooth, I do not have issues with the mini-jack or the placement of the storage card. But I do expect a change for the storage card placement in the next gen version of this phone. (If it ever happens.) My biggest complaint is still with Cingular. They really haven't supported this phone. When it came out, there was no form-fitting case, no car charger, no games, etc. Most of the Cingular Mall does not work, yet. (STILL doesn't!) That's just plain idiotic. All my software and hardware support came from other sources. The 3125 smartphone is an awesome piece of hardware and if you don't need the powerhouse of the PDA types such as the 8525 or Palm units, (and if you don't really need this 3G stuff), this is the only sound choice for a clam shell type. You people can keep your Dash-es and Blackjacks, t'ank you very much--have a nice day!! :)

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Posted

I've had my Qtek 8500 for a couple of months now and overall it's a brilliant little bit of kit. It's just a shame that I've already scratched it, right between the outer screen and the media buttons, because it is a mighty sweet looking phone.

For those that have used a Windows Mobile 5 phone before there is no need to go in depth into the features it has and doesn't have. There are obviously a few changes here and there, like the option to enable or disable the answer on open of the clamshell and configuration of the outer screen which allows you to choose from clocks, wallpapers, caller ID info and message count and even see "now playing" info from Windows Media Player, otherwise everything else seems to be present and correct and pretty much identical to every other Windows Smartphone I've seen.

Of course like any phone there are a couple of annoyances, the main big one being the battery life which as already mentioned is fine if you leave the phone idle, but if you use it for bluetooth or GPRS or Windows Media for MP3s then the phone will be dead in a couple of hours.

The camera software is also really rather atrocious. Even at lower resolutions it seems to lag the phone terribly which means that you will always miss those action shots no matter how hard you try. And I wouldn't even bother trying to take low light level pictures, they just turn out to be a dark, grainy unrecognisable mess.

There is one issue with the phone which I've come to despise. What is it? It's the mini-jack on the phone of course. It's not because it doesn't work but because the supplied headphones have a nasty habit of disconnecting. They don't fall out, rather they rock in the socket and cause the audio to be diverted to the loud speaker. I've lost count the number of times I've been listening to music on the way to work and ended up letting the whole bus listen to my tunes. Got many a weird look from that. I'll admit I haven't been given the opportunity to try other headphones with they could easily be at fault, but still it does get really annoying really fast when they won't stay put.

Despite the above I still love this phone. Out of all the phones I've ever had it's the one I like the most. Yes it has flaws but then so did my SPV E200. Definitely worth the £249 it cost me and better still most definitely a bargain at £200!

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Posted

Personally for me the spec and the fact it's clamshell isn't enought to make up for the terrible looks!

I cant understand why smart phone manufacturers can only seem to make one good looking phone for every three rubbish ones!

(Only my opinion, i know most wont agree)

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Posted

I think it looks great! :)

p

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