Considering the heavy demand of cell phones running on Windows Mobile platform, many manufacturers are trying their luck in this segment. But i-mate is one company, which is scoring above all by offering a great set of features on their phones. The latest entrant from i-mate is the Ultimate Series and the most powerful of the four devices is the Ultimate 9502. Running on Windows Mobile 6.0 Professional, this device has a 2.8inch touchscreen display followed by the D-pad. It can also be operated using the hidden QWERTY keypad that appears when the screen slides out horizontally giving it a palmtop feel.
The jog wheel on the left panel provides another option for quick navigation. Talking of quick navigation, this Ultimate comes with a lot of shortcut keys added all over the device. A key for messaging and Internet Explorer can be traced above the display whereas home key and 'Ok' key are placed just below the display. Next to the jog wheel (on the left panel) is the 'Ok' key for selection and wireless manager for managing all the connectivity operations. The right panel comprises of the volume keys, notes key and the camera key.
However the back panel was not so congested with just a speaker and a 3.0-megapixel camera with flash. All these short keys might sound simple but we took some time getting used to them. It seems that the company has been really thoughtful about user's experience and has therefore added a lot of easy access keys. However, they forgot to maintain the weight of this device. The phone weights 200 grams and is heavy to hold. It's not just Ithe powerful interface of this phone that leaves a mark on users mind. But the enterprise apps thrown on the Ultimate 9502 are equally worthy of all praises. Talking about connectivity options, one can share data using EDGE, Bluetooth, USB and even video-out cable.
Although we had to configure GPRS settings manually, once through it didn't gave us any problems. The presence ofWi-Fi (a must feature in this segment) saved us from all the network related issues. Configuring e-mail clients was also easy and the Web browsing over the Internet Explorer was as usual a pleasant experience. This device offers a complete office suite (word, excel and power point) and comes loaded with ClearVue PDF reader as well. Even the handwriting recognition feature was present and was one of the best we had ever come across.
It is worth mentioning here that it is a GPS enabled phone and will take care of all your navigation and routing needs as well. But the only thing that bothered us was its performance. We felt that the processor on which the device operates could have been a bit faster. It is feature loaded not only with business applications but also vvith multimedia features. The 3.0megapixel camera with flash takes care of all the imaging needs. It takes some time to start up but offers decent image quality. Even the results we obtained using flash in dark conditions were quite acceptable.
On the music front, it comes loaded with media player and the sound quality was nothing to talk about as the voice was clear but we think it lacked volume.
Unlike the other Ultimate series phones we reviewed earlier, the battery life of this particular handset left us a bit surprised. A single charge lasted for a day and a half with major focus on accessing the Web based features like e-mailing, and an hour of calling.