I waited for about 2 weeks after T-Mobile released the MDA Vario. It’s a Pocket PC running Windows Mobile 5, not unlike the iPAQ I bought a while back, plus it connects to T-Mobile’s high-speed EDGE network. So I get relatively high-speed connections over the air (I have seen upwards of 200Kbps).
I’ve been spending the last few weeks familiarizing myself with its features, its software and what’s available for it. Since it’s an HTC Wizard, there’s a really active and knowledgeable user community over at xda-developers.com. With the right software you can load QTek’s code or Orange’s code or iMate’s code or even a load from T-Mobile UK (those are different sellers and mobile providers). Why would you want to do that? Each provider can, and usually does, customize the phone with their own features. Not to mention that HTC releases their own updates every so often.
On a technical level it’s a truly amazing phone/PDA combo. It’s not for everyone but I’m keeping it. Does it do everything as well as my Blackberry? No, but it does somethings MUCH better and that’s why I’m keeping it. What things? Its browser selection is much broader with PIE included (but there’s also Mozilla’s MiniMo and, of course, Opera) and the high-speed connection makes it oh so much more pleasant to surf. It’s got push email, meaning I don’t have to specifically check my email — when a new message is delivered, it gets sent to the phone automatically, which is very similar to the Blackberry. It can stream audio and video and play WMA, WAV, MP3, OGG and a whole host of other file formats, plus, it’s got a whole world of add-ons and applications. Oh, and did I mention it’s got WiFi, too? So if my cellular connection isn’t working, I can switch on the WiFi and get connected that way. And the Internet service option offered by T-Mobile includes unlimited hot-spot time. Last night, I was at one of my local restaurants which was a few doors down from a Kinko’s. I switched on my WiFi, just for grins, and found a T-Mobile hot-spot. Sweet! Oh, and did I mention that it has a 1.3 megapixel camera, too? Yeah, so I can snap a picture and upload it to one of the mobile picture services and, yes, T-Mobile includes one in their service plan.
So, yes, I’m keeping it and retiring my Blackberry. Over the next little while Ill be posting links to some sites and software I find particularly useful or helpful.