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Paul Reviews... the UBiQUiO 501

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#21
gerryr

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Well, I have a Ubiquio 501 and I must say there were originally some problems with crashing, especially on the old ROM. Fortunately, Expansys is very proactive about it, and they have released a new ROM so you can flash the phone yourself. The new ROM is incredibly stable and now the phone is rock solid.

The good news is that an even newer ROM release is going to be available soon!


Hi ZSX

Is it running the AKU 3.3? (if it is you should get a screen during boot up saying Microsoft Direct Push )

Do the keys make a loud click when typing? minor thing I know but I think that would put me off the thing.

tx
gr

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#22
ZSX

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Hi ZSX

Is it running the AKU 3.3? (if it is you should get a screen during boot up saying Microsoft Direct Push )

Do the keys make a loud click when typing? minor thing I know but I think that would put me off the thing.

tx
gr


Yes, it is running AKU 3.3.

The keys are not all that noisy, at least in my opinion, and it is nice to have both tactile and auditory feedback.

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#23
ipub

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Hello!

My first post here but I thought I'd say thanks for your review. I bought one of these 501's off the back of this and have to say you've been very fair in your assessment.

I was using an old o2 xda iis and have to say that this ubiquio is very similar only that its a little more sturdy as it lacks moving parts, smaller screen and sharper image. My xda was made of metal and has been dropped on pavements many a time. I very much doubt this 501 could take that sort of a drop being made of the same plastic as the dell keyboard I am typing on.

The expansys staff have been pretty helpful with problems (and if you read their forum there are certainly plenty of people with them re this phone) although I only had one. When I turned it on it refused to accept most sim cards. A hard reset sorted that out as mentioned on the support sites.

The CPU is pretty slow but not unbearable. The ROM is much more stable than the XDA iis thats for sure. That baby crashed everytime I closed any application I installed myself and sometimes whenever it felt like.

If you're looking for a fully functional PDA that is a bit smaller than average but still feature packed, this is the one for you. Just don't expect it to be amazing. It does what it does well but certainly isnt flashy about it.

Thanks again for the review!

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#24
ipub

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I had a problem with the EIMI number corrupting and reverting to one that was blocked in the UK. Leaving me with a dud phone..

very strange but an email and a post on the expansys support forums got the manufacturer to email me a fix.exe within hours. Very good considering I didn't even buy it from them.

I've now updated to the latest ROM, which wasn't the most user friendly way of doing it.. from them and the phone is solid as a rock. Hasn't crashed once in two days. Automatic Direct push mail, soon as i connect to my home wifi connection it automatically downloads my hotmail messages and logs me on to msn.

I would really recommend this phone to people like myself who arent massively techie and just need a phone that works and does what it says it can. I use mine for Tom Tom sat nav, wifi, sms, email, gprs and dvd wmv's converted at 15 or 20 fps. works fine.

Phone does creak a little but despite that it is very sturdy. If you have doubts, just get it and patch it up! Its the cheapest thing on the market that does so much for so little and the support expansys give is well worth the initial teethin trouble i had.

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#25
rohinsadh1

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Hi,
Great review.

I am planning to buy I-Mate Jaq3 and wanted to know how is the call sound quality. The person on the other side could hear clearly ? Also how is the sound volume specially in high noise areas like in traffic, etc...

How was the GSM network connectivity ? Compared to any other handset of any brand was the network strength as good / better / worst ???

I am buying this as a replacement to my stole K-Jam ;) what would be your comparision pointers between the two and how you feel about going for Jaq3 instead of K-Jam...


Thanx dude...
R.

Edited by rohinsadh1, 23 March 2007 - 05:31 AM.

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#26
ipub

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I've had the 501 for over 6 months now. Overall I am happy however some bugs have seeped in.

The keys are starting to wear and the characters arent all entirely visible. This isnt too bad as I remember where things are however even worse the keys are sticking or not working totally correctly, leaving text messages like :

"hiii immm neeeeeeely theeereree. Seee ou soon x"

You can of course still use the on screen keyboard but that leaves you with a screen the size of a 1999 mobile phone.

- the cpu is incredibly slow, it just about manages Tom Tom 6.
- Dont expect it to manage video of a higher quality than streaming gprs.
- the casing is incredibly creaky.
- the firmware needed attention on purchase
- the screen is soft and pressure seems to discolour the screen like an old plasma
- the soft screen is easier to scratch that its brothers
- the recessed screen collects dirt and grease like a scoop and is hard to clean.
- the text on the keys wears off slowly.
- People think it's a blackerry
- no docking station.
- no case
- one extending stylus supplied
- typically poor camera for Pocket PC's.


+ incredibly thin
+ good size
+ mass storage
+ high quality, bright display
+ compact jack of all trade design
+ sturdy from knocks
+ no moving parts to worry about breaking (keypads)
+ manages built in msn messenger, Internet explorer and hotmail / SMS texts, almost at the same time. On WIfi. Not bad for a slow CPU.
+ reasonable battery life. I manage a weekend of usage without a recharge. (easily manages a 5 hour trip with tom tom & phone running)
+ Can be charged from a usb / pc connection which is handy for work.
+ reasonable costs.
+ most stable pocket pc with phone i've used.

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#27
dt_matthews

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Just to say:

Expansys now have a free wm6 upgrade for the 501 -- has anyone tried it and got any comments on how it went and how the device performs post-upgrade etc?

Cheers,
dan

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#28
dt_matthews

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... p.s. am i the only person that gets a torrent of script errors when i navigate through forum posts???

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#29
ipub

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Just to say:

Expansys now have a free wm6 upgrade for the 501 -- has anyone tried it and got any comments on how it went and how the device performs post-upgrade etc?

Cheers,
dan



Installed it on mine after reading your post. looks slightly better, works much the same. Installation process was faultless for me though I did lose my mobile memory / contacts so its worth backing these up first.

comes with three themes, dark blue, guava red and wm6 green. slight improvements to IE and media player though the CPU is too slow to be useful for anything good.

Thankfully still compatible with tom tom 6 i was running on wm5 though all the GPS settings, gprs, mms, email and wifi settings, need to be readded.

Feels slightly more rigid in terms of software but unless you're taking advantage of the HTML mail and anything more technical in the new release, dont expect anything much more than an asthetic facelift.

Personally speaking, I don't see how this is justified as a seperate release rather than just a firmware update to wm5.

With all the hype wm6 received I am a bit disappointed but I'm sure somebody who knows more of what it's capable of will be able to give you a better idea.

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#30
surfturtle

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DO NOT BUY Ubiquio 501 or i-mate JAQ3
they work great if you just want to use office applications but it will not run any games except for the really simple ones like solitaire.

I tried running 50 games on it and only one worked properly.

There is a problem with the graphics driver which causes problem in games and video playback. There is no official solution for it. And I could not find help for it anywhere else either.

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#31
MitchellO

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I tried running 50 games on it and only one worked properly.


Mate it is pretty obvious that most games won't work on them because they are landscape devices. Most games are designed for portrait 240x320 only, so to say don't buy them for that reason is ludicrous.

Edited by MitchellO, 30 November 2007 - 06:47 AM.

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#32
surfturtle

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I enabled the portrait mode on my Ubiquio 501 and it still the games would not run properly. The games do load but there is some problem with the graphics driver which makes the games extremely slow. Its so slow infact that it seems like your watching a slowmontion replay.

This is a Pocket PC not a smartphone which means it will run the games in whichever mode they are designed. This is not an issue for games which are designed to be played by the stylus but in some games where keys are required there might be a comfort issue since you will need to titl the phone to view it properly and the keys will be out of reach. But apart from that landscape and portrait is not an isse with Pocket PCs.

I have an imate JAM and k-jam and I use the same games in both landscape and portrait modes without any problem.

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#33
ZSX

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Goodness! Looking at my previous post in this forum it looks like I have had my Ubiquio 501 for nearly a year now. In the interim I have upgraded the firmware twice with the official builds to its current Windows Mobile 6. The fact that I have not moved on to another phone is a testament to how well it suits my needs. I just wanted to add a few comments to ipub's 6 month view:

The keys are starting to wear and the characters arent all entirely visible.


The print on only one of my keys is starting to wear down, especially the 'alt' key in the lower left corner which switches from number to alphabet mode on the keyboard. This is pretty good for a phone which I leave in my pocket with no case at all.

This isnt too bad as I remember where things are however even worse the keys are sticking or not working totally correctly, leaving text messages like :

"hiii immm neeeeeeely theeereree. Seee ou soon x"


I don't have a problem with my keyboard except for that 'alt' key which means that my sentences come out "I''' -11 (") -""?J" instead of "I'll see you soon!" It means I have to keep an eye on the screen rather than just bash out the text quickly.

- the cpu is incredibly slow, it just about manages Tom Tom 6.
- Dont expect it to manage video of a higher quality than streaming gprs.

320x240 video in mpg or wmv just doesn't run smoothly using Windows Media Player or TCPMP unless you use a very low framerate. I find that I just encode video into 3GP and that seems to work fine.

- no docking station.
- no case

It may not come with a docking station, but they do exist. I have the one without the extra battery slot.

It has been a year and I am still very happy with the device. It is easily the most stable Windows Mobile PPC phone I have ever used. Now, of course, I am starting to itch for something new, and could do with 3.5G rather than GPRS...

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#34
dabotsonline

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Stumbled across this vintage review after reading an article on The Register: http://www.theregist...ails/page4.html !

Just a suggestion, Paul: many of the instances of *it's* should actually be *its*.

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