For my usage, 3G is far more important to me than Wi-Fi. I can count on one hand how many times I have used Wi-Fi on my SP5. Compared to 3G Wi-Fi has very limited coverage and for the most part Wi-Fi is not free to use publicly. Compare that to virtually unlimited 3G use with T-Mobile for a few pounds a month - For the same cost Wi-Fi would get me 1 hour's use at Manchester Airport (and even then I'd probably be using my laptop....via Bluetooth to my MTeoR on the 3G network).
Anyhow, I digress......3G/wifi rant over - back to the comparison between the iMate SP5 and the HTC MTeoR....
The SP5 is a nice looking phone, well built and perfectly proportioned. The MTeoR is no different. In fact the build quality feels even better and because the phone is thinner it feels better proportioned. Although slightly heavier, the MTeoR is thinner than the SP5. I have to conclude, in the flesh the MTeoR is a very nice looking phone indeed. It is easy to see which is the newer model.
For me one of the most important things on a phone is the keypad, after all it's the main man/machine interface. In my opinion the C500 for example had an awful keypad with the original SPV being the worst on any phone ever. The SP5's keypad looks fantastic, but because there is no gap between the keys and typing can be a bit of a chore if you have large hands like me. The MTeoR sports a fantastic keypad on paper. I thought the keys were going to function like the new Apple Mac Book, but alas, they are mealy strips of rubber with slightly raised areas where the keys are. The keys take more force to push then the SP5, but because there are gaps between the keys you are less likely to press 2 keys by accident then you are with the SP5. Overall though I am slightly disappointed with the keypad on the MTeoR.
The screen of the MTeoR is brighter than the SP5 and they keypad illuminates blue in the dark.
Externally, the main difference between the two phones is the fact that you can insert the MicroSD card into the MTeoR via an external flap, unlike the SP5 where the SD card sits under the battery. The MicroSD card is absolutely tiny if you have never seen one before - about 10 times smaller than a regular SD card!! Yes another card format to go out and buy
The MTeoR also sports a Sony-type scroll wheel. It can scroll a page up and down and well as a pushing to click as well as adjusting the earpiece volume. Personally, I prefer to do the former of these functions with the main navigation joystick as I find the side scroll wheel a bit too fiddly for my liking.
The MTeoR does not have a conventional mobile phone headphone socket, instead it uses a mini USB type socket. If you listen to a lot of music via the phone, that may be a disappointment to some unless you can find an adapter for your personal headphones.
As far as speed is concerned the MTeoR is noticeably faster than the SP5 both in boot up and general operation.
External sound quality on the two devices is comparable however, the SP5's speaker has slightly more depth and therefore better than the MTeoR.
Sadly the MTeoR sports a rather disappointing 1.3 mega pixel camera in the same realm as the SP5. While the rest of the mobile world are surpassing 3 mega pixels as standard, Windows Smartphone's are still messing about with camera of this quality. Photos taken with the MTeoR are comparable to the SP5 - not better, although the camera software itself is slightly improved.
There is a slightly difference in the bundled applications between the two devices. In addition to the SP5 the MTeoR comes equipped with: the ClearVue suite enabling you to view Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF files. Gone is File Manager and has been replaced by File Explorer which sadly is a cut down version. So much so it does not even recognise or open ZIP folders.
The MTeoR is not supplied with any automatic operator settings configurator, so you have to manually enter all of the MMS, GPRS settings manually. Sadly the SP5's auto configuration CAB file will not work on the MTeoR due to "insufficient permissions" issues as detailed below.
When you scroll down the apps on the start menu, the SP5 simply scrolls between the same 3 programs, the MTeoR however scrolls though the entire start menu which is better.
To lock the phone's keypad, you press and hold the red end key the same as the SP5. What is different however, is the SP5 will also disconnect your data connection at this point. The MTeoR does not, which I prefer.
To complete the software differences the MTeoR sports a few different looking icons.
Battery life is HUGELY different between the 2 devices and I am very disappointed to report that the MTeoR fails miserably. I appreciate that I am still in the testing phase with the MTeoR so I am using the battery far more than my SP5 but even with that aside I would say the MTeoR has HALF the battery live of the SP5 and even that would be optimistic! Since Friday I have charged the MTeoR about 5 times. The SP5 is still on 3 bars! To give you an example, from a full charge, an hours browsing with 3G or 3G modem usage will reduce the MTeoR'S battery to about 50%. 3G usage seems to be a killer. I have not really had the opportunity to see how the phone fairs in standby mode. There is worse to come.....As soon as you use the MTeoR it starts to get hot. After about 15 minutes I find the phone is uncomfortable to hold because the phone gets so warm. The same happens as the phone is charging but to a lesser degree.
And there's even worse to come! The phone is rigidly locked and no current method of unlocking Smartphones works. The result is several apps will not work and if like most Smartphone users you want to tweak your phone a little you can forget it! The phone is so locked down you can not even move apps from the main start menu to the Accessories folder - "You do not have enough permissions to perform this operation". So you pay £300 plus for a non-contract phone and you can't bloody use it the way you want to. HTC are aware of the issue and they say they are waiting for a new unlockable ROM from Microsoft.
So to conclude, will I be discarding my SP5 in favour of the MTeoR? Well I will because now I can carry a single device instead of a phone and 3G modem (my SP5 & JasJar are now on the market However, I was really anticipating the release of this phone and I have to admit my slight disappointment with the fact that the phone is unlockable, the poor battery life and the fact you can cook an egg on the device when in use.
The Good Points:
1) It has 3G
2) In the flesh it is beautiful and thin
3) The screen
4) The ClearVue suite
5) The data connection remains when you lock the phone
The Bad Points:
1) Battery life (very bad point)
2) The phone can not be unlocked (very bad point)
3) The phone gets hot in use (very bad point)
4) The keypad is not a good as it looks
5) Some buttons are fiddly the use.
1) The locked ROM problem is causing all sorts of problems. You can do the odd registry tweak here and there like you can on ANY other WM5 Smartphone, only to find that they crash the system at some later date. I am on my 3rd hard reset so far. I guess my advice would be until they fix the locked ROM issue, use the phone as is and don't try any tweaks whatsoever, no matter how small.
2) The battery live is absolutely awful. As bad as the very first SPV phone ever produced....remember that, charging every night? I woke at 11am this morning (late I know), In total did about 10 mins browsing and about 10 minutes of calls all day. No BT usage and 12 hours later the phone is barely on 1 bar. If I used my SP5 in this way I would still be on 4 bars. I have charged my MTeor more since I've had it (6 days) than I have charged my SP5 in a month. I think the battery drains if you are on the cusp of a 3G service, then the phone appears to hunt from GPRS to 3G at a frightening rate draining the battery as it does so. There is an option to tell the phone ONLY to use 3G or only GPRS but why should I have to mess about with that all the time? Another user has told me if you set it to 3G, the battery drains by 50% in a couple of hours if you have no 3G signal.
3) Overall, I have to say I am disappointed. I have written at length to HTC today and will follow it up with a phone call. If they can not give me assurances of a fix, and soon at that, I may have to eat my words, return the phone and stick with my SP5. Sadly a couple of other MTeoR users have already PM'd me and told me that's exactly what they are going to do. What a pity!
Edited by Pagemakers, 08 August 2006 - 11:32 PM.