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O2 Ireland XDA Exec questions: MP3s, software/skype, vs Palm Pilot

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 9 ✭✭✭ MetL


    Has anyone got the XDA Exec yet?

    I want to know if it is limited or altered by O2 Ireland in any significant way, (apart from being sim locked onto O2 network), for example, can I play any MP3s, can I install any software (e.g. Skype)? I'm curious to what extent O2 modify the installed software/firmware on a device like this.

    I've asked in O2 shops and the sales people didn't seem too sure. I've sent an email to O2 but I want to hear consumer's side also.

    Related question...
    (This is a pretty subjective question I didn't post to O2.)

    I'm thinking of getting this phone to replace my old Palm PDA. Have any serious PDA users switched to XDA or Windows Mobile and how did they find it?

    The XDA Exec is very expensive, I'm trying to find out if it is worth it.


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Comments



  • skype - i have skype for pocket pc (xda 2) installed and it works fine. But i warn you - the gprs costs are massive. So better to attach via wireless com son the xda exec.

    it has windows media player so plays most mp3 although it wont play a certain type of music file such as mp4 i believe - i will need to check that.




  • Thanks!

    Yes - Skype I will only use on WiFi (home and office mostly).

    I'm not too concerned about various types of MP3s, more about whether O2 prevent the phone from playing MP3s from any source. I.e. Whether the phone would be blocked by O2 (somehow) from playing MP3 I got from my CDs as opposed to music downloaded from O2.

    Maybe I am being a bit paranoid?
    (But I've been reading Digital Rights Ireland and that would make anyone paranoid... )




  • MetL wrote:
    Has anyone got the XDA Exec yet?

    I want to know if it is limited or altered by O2 Ireland in any significant way, (apart from being sim locked onto O2 network), for example, can I play any MP3s, can I install any software (e.g. Skype)? I'm curious to what extent O2 modify the installed software/firmware on a device like this.

    I've asked in O2 shops and the sales people didn't seem too sure. I've sent an email to O2 but I want to hear consumer's side also.

    Related question...
    (This is a pretty subjective question I didn't post to O2.)

    I'm thinking of getting this phone to replace my old Palm PDA. Have any serious PDA users switched to XDA or Windows Mobile and how did they find it?

    The XDA Exec is very expensive, I'm trying to find out if it is worth it.


    I've had an iMate Jasjar (aka XDA EXEC) for about a year now, I inititally used it as my main phone for a short time, but to me honest found it too bulky, even with a blue tooth lcd headset.

    However it is really excellent as a mobile data device, I purchased one of the excellent Brodit powered car mounts and use it for push email from exchange, web browsing and remote desktop connection to clients' servers.

    I'm on Vodafone so the new €40.50 per month unlimited (well 5gb cap) tarrif is great for me.

    A friend recently got an XDA Exec from O2 and found that it was not SIM locked, even if yours is, it is easy to unlock them.

    When first booting up the Exec if you select Corporate mode it doesn't install most of the extra O2 stuff

    Finally it is also very easy to reflash it with one of roms from the unbranded manufacturers such as iMate or QTEK

    www.xda-developers.com is a great resource for this device, check under the "Universal" forums.

    Hope some of the above helps you.


    Rgds

    Stephen




  • skearon wrote:
    [...] www.xda-developers.com is a great resource for this device, check under the "Universal" forums.

    Hope some of the above helps you.

    Thanks! Incredibly helpful, in fact I think based on your reply, and what I can see on that web page, I'm going to go ahead and buy it. Now I just have to find an O2 store that still has them in stock.

    Being a long term Palm user (PSION before that) I can live with bulky. The only requirement I have left unanswered at this point is whether I can sit down with it in the front pocket of my jeans without injuring myself! (I guess I'll try that out in the shop.)




  • Greetings,


    I have my XDA Exec about a week now, Find it great.
    Good for MP3
    Great for Videos.
    It feels lighter than My XDAIIi
    The camera is much better.


    If you want to use the video phone you will need to be supplied with a new SIM card from O2.
    I am not sure when it will be available in the O2 retail shops.

    My olnly complaint so far is that there are no accessories avail in Ireland.
    and also that there areno S/W updates avail on the O2.ie web site, but are on the O2.co.uk site.

    And Skype works great, but as said by others only use with a WiFi connection,

    It also works great with SAT Nav.

    Regards
    Silverski


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  • How much did you pay for your exec?
    Im a business customer and I am thinking of getting one of these in a few weeks, maybe even a month from now.




  • Sparky-s wrote:
    How much did you pay for your exec?
    Im a business customer and I am thinking of getting one of these in a few weeks, maybe even a month from now.

    Maybe your question was for silverski, but I've been shopping around, so I thought what I found might interest you.

    O2, 12 month contract, XDA Exec, verbal quote in O2 store:
    Active Life 250 (€50 per month) - €479
    Active Life 150 (€35 per month) - €579
    Active Life 40 (€20 per month) - €629
    Maybe even cheaper with higher level usage, I didn't ask (I'm not a heavy user.)

    I tried a couple of other places, and they either matched O2 price (and wouldn't budge), or told me that XDA is O2 exclusive(?).

    The phone is actually a "HTC Universal" but sold as O2 XDA Exec, Qtek 9000, i-Mate JasJar , etc. so I went looking on eBay!

    One (non-dodgy) seller in the UK seems to have got about £400 / €600 each for the unlocked ones (I saw about five units sold). I don't think it is worth the hassle and will probably just get one in an O2 shop.

    ...but having researched more than I should have, I'm thinking of waiting for this one: HTC Hermes - I think also known as: O2 XDA Trion, QTek9600/HTC TyTN, i-Mate JasJam(JamJar?), etc.
    See http://www.gsmarena.com/o2_xda_trion-1572.php




  • @MetL
    You can generally unlock the XDAs pretty easily. Try www.xda-developers.com before you spring extra cash on an unlocked ebay one :)




  • silverski wrote:
    My olnly complaint so far is that there are no accessories avail in Ireland.
    and also that there areno S/W updates avail on the O2.ie web site, but are on the O2.co.uk site.

    It's possible that since the exec has been out in the UK there are older software versions there, since teh Exec has only been launched in Ireland the updates are incorporated into the unit's been sold here.

    silverski wrote:
    ...but having researched more than I should have, I'm thinking of waiting for this one: HTC Hermes - I think also known as: O2 XDA Trion, QTek9600/HTC TyTN, i-Mate JasJam(JamJar?), etc.
    Yes, looks nice alright, but you could wait for this to come out and then once it's launched you'll see something else. Technology it's a vicious circle...




  • Just a couple of things to point out.

    The XDA Exec as branded by O2 is slightly different to the standard model - HTC universal. Apart from the black shell it's also got a funky blue keyboard backlight. The others QTek, iMate, T-Mobile, Vodafone and Orange versions all have silver/matt shells with a red keyboard backlight.

    There are no internal differences to the devices sold here and the ones in the UK. The operational differences are in the software versions. As mentioned already there are various carriers and hence, various software ROMS that you can load on the Exec. You will need to CID unlock before switching to a rom from a different carrier. This is not the same as SIM unlock, which is actually not required on the O2 XDA range - they are all unlocked.

    Lastly, the Hermes is brand new and it's considerably different to the Exec. The exec has a VGA screen and a 520Mhz intel x-scale processor. The hermes has a QVGA screen and a 400Mhz stacked Samsung processor.

    The Hermes is the successor to the Wizard (o2 Mini-S) there is no successor to the Exec announced yet, and the Exec is almost one full year old. It's been on general release in the UK since last October.

    Hermes will be generally available in late August/September with some online stores receiving stock end of July. It's already available via O2 in Germany and Dophod in Aisa, but the keyboard mappings are different (qwertz) so it would be better to wait a while.

    Getting the Exec from the UK would be less expensive than buying it here.

    Cheerio
    Howard

    [Edit - Hermes doesn't have dual core TI, it's a stacked Samsung]
    PS. Note there are two incarnations of the Hermes/TyTN so far. The O2 one using different styling and provides two extra buttons to the left/right of the d-pad.


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  • What he said.... just one other thing with those xda/s 2 and i etc etc . if the battery goes dead on them you lose all your information on it.... now its easy to sync again with your pc and get your mails an adresses etc but any wallpapers , photos letters ,, text messages ... gone...dont know is the new one improved on this be interested to know.. (doubt it)




  • A question for the guys running skype...

    I just bought a new xda mini s yesterday. All is good. Bought a new motorola bluetooth headset that is working fine.
    But it doesnt seem to work with skype? Like my skype calls are coming through the xdas speaker and mic.
    Is this normal, or do I have to change a setting somewhere or something?




  • JohnnieM wrote:
    What he said.... just one other thing with those xda/s 2 and i etc etc . if the battery goes dead on them you lose all your information on it.... now its easy to sync again with your pc and get your mails an adresses etc but any wallpapers , photos letters ,, text messages ... gone...dont know is the new one improved on this be interested to know.. (doubt it)

    There's a operating system software revision betwee the XDA2/s/i and the newer exec/mini-s. The new ones use Windows Mobile 5 which brings the addition of peristent storage meaning you don't lose information if the battery dies.

    Cheerio
    Howard




  • hshortt wrote:
    There's a operating system software revision betwee the XDA2/s/i and the newer exec/mini-s. The new ones use Windows Mobile 5 which brings the addition of peristent storage meaning you don't lose information if the battery dies.

    Cheerio
    Howard

    great might trade up...




  • hi.
    slightly off topic but does anyone here know anything about the o2 atom (aka the ipaq rw6828 aka htc athena? i think) and whether it will be available in ireland/uk anytime soon.

    the atom is the first ppc-phone i have seen that seems truly portable/ pocketable. (the imate jam aka o2 xda mini is also pocketable but doesn't have integrated wifi)

    the atom is about 140g and about the same size as the jam but has integrated wifi and a good 400mhz+ processor.

    imho all the other ppc-phones i have looked at (like the jasjar/o2 exec which is 200grams plus) just seem a bit bulky/ heavy/unwieldy.

    btw, skearon, i'm intrigued about vodafone's "unlimited" data tarriff for e40.50. is this price inclusive of everything or is there like line rental on top of that again.

    i have been paying way too much for my gprs data and this sounds like it could suit me. can you tell me anymore about this?

    thanks




  • m Kennedy
    the xda mini s does indeed have integrated wifi!
    however its processor is only a measly 200Mhz




  • m Kennedy
    the xda mini s does indeed have integrated wifi!
    however its processor is only a measly 200Mhz

    i didn't mention the xda mini s.

    the xda mini (imate jam) doesn't have wifi.
    the xda mini s (imate kjam), as you say, does.

    but, yeah i agree that a lot of these ppc phones come with weak processors. the imate jamin is another (200mhz) which apart from its processor is near-perfect, imho.

    anyone with any info on the atom/hp rw6828?




  • Can anyone confirm that the XDA Exec will have Blackberry come Sept? Asked in local O2 store and they advised that a software update will be available then to upgrade with BB Connect.

    Thanks

    Eoin




  • afaik the XDA atom is an Asia only phone.

    The most similar Pocket PC phone would be the HTC Hermes, which has everything you want plus 3G. Its due out in the next month or two.

    A wildcard entry would be the Samsung SGH-I750, is a slider phone with a numeric key pad instead of a qwerty one. Im very tempted by it. Release dates are still a bit up in the air and its only WM2003SE but with lots of Samsung addons like Stereo bluetooth.




  • Oops didnt realise there was a Mini and a Mini S.
    As for the Atom, first I ever heard of it was your post.
    Then after work I'm showing off my Mini S to a friend who works in O2, who took some pleasure in telling me that they were ok, but not a patch on the atom. She seems to think the Atom will be available here but not until the end of the year at the earliest.
    Have you considered the mini s by the way? Im delighted with it, even tho it has such a brutal processor. Once I took off the O2 Active rubbish its been running fine for me, Skype and MSN pretty much on all the time, and has been fine using Minimo, Word, Outlook and Excel. Got a VNC program called Mocha VNC which should be a good test for it


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  • Greetings all,

    Good news for those of you who wish to avail of XDA rangs of PDA phones and the other ubits with so many various names EG. ATOM, Mini s Etc.

    The compnay that manufactures and developes these units is called HTC, they have always developed great phones for Mobile companies like O2 and others, but now have decided to market the phones directly and have just launched their european web site, www.htc.com.

    I have not seen prices list on the website yet, but now we out of the dark about the product ranges............

    Regards
    Silverski




  • hi.
    tbh JuncoPartner i'm a bit wary of the thickness of most of these devices (generally 20mm plus except for the imate jam, imate jamin, o2 atom).

    but the kjam (o2 xda mini s) is a device that alot of the technorati raved about when it came out first. they loved the slide out keyboard and its relative lack of bulk compared to e.g the htc universal/ imate jasjar/o2 xda exec.

    its processor got mixed reviews with some saying they noticed no problem with speed.

    btw, is your o2 xda mini s 3g-enabled? the atom apparently isn't so that's a bit of a drawback i suppose.

    as for the htc hermes, that appears to have roughly the same dimensions as the xda mini s so i'm not sure about this yet.

    htc have another 2 devices coming out soon as well: the htc muse and htc trinity. not sure about the specs on these but i think they use micro sd which is a bit offputting. anyone with any info on these?

    btw, can anyone tell me if a device has EDGE or UMTS does that mean it will work on the 3g network in ireland. and can anyone here refer me to a list of 3g-enabled ppc-phone edition devices.

    thanks.




  • silverski wrote:
    Good news for those of you who wish to avail of XDA rangs of PDA phones and the other ubits with so many various names EG. ATOM, Mini s Etc.

    All of the XDA range (except the Atom) have always been available Lock free under the I-mate, Qtek and Dopod brands. The only difficulty is the multitude of names they go under.
    mkennedy wrote:
    btw, can anyone tell me if a device has EDGE or UMTS does that mean it will work on the 3g network in ireland. and can anyone here refer me to a list of 3g-enabled ppc-phone edition devices.

    No Irish network has Edge (2.5g) yet. Meteor keep making noises about it though.

    All the 3G networks in ireland are UTMS.
    list of 3g-enabled ppc-phone edition devices.

    HTC 3G devices are as follows :

    HTC Universal (aka MDA IV or VPA IV or O2 Exec or Imate JasJar)

    Due for Imminent release (August on Expansys)
    HTC Hermes 3G version of Mini S/K-Jam (aka HTC Tytyn or O2 XDA Trion)
    HTC Mteor 3G smartphone (aka HTC Breeze)

    3 Months + away
    HTC Muse 3G Music smartphone with 4GB Flash (aka Qtek s300)
    HTC Trinity 3g + GPS (basically a hermes with internal GPS)

    6 Months
    3g Version of Motorola Q rumoured (Q yet to be released)

    You will also find 99% of new WM devices will have micro SD slots.




  • thanks for that, secret_squirrel.

    the trinity looks like an interesting device. can't find full specs on it anywhere though (dimensions/weight etc).

    so it's only the devices that specifically have umts (?sp.) 3g that will work on ireland's 3g networks, right?




  • Yep you also need to remember that you might have to enter a few different settings in obscure places to get complete functionality on the networks. Thats assuming you start off with a sim-free unlocked phone.

    If you get a locked one (there are a lot on ebay, mainly people selling their upgrades) you will also have to have in unlocked.

    If you dont want 3G you can already get a pocket pc phone with built in GPS (and a full sized sd slot I think) in the Mitac A701.




  • Yep you also need to remember that you might have to enter a few different settings in obscure places to get complete functionality on the networks. Thats assuming you start off with a sim-free unlocked phone.

    If you get a locked one (there are a lot on ebay, mainly people selling their upgrades) you will also have to have in unlocked.

    If you dont want 3G you can already get a pocket pc phone with built in GPS (and a full sized sd slot I think) in the Mitac A701.

    yeah, the mio a701 was another device i was looking at with interest but it's 22mm thick and doesn't have integrated wifi- meaning obviously if you want to add sdio wifi you can't add (much) extra memory.

    it's attractions are i suppose that its only 150 grams and it has sirf starIII gps (afaik).

    thanks anyway.
    btw is the muse a smartphone or a ppcphone edition device?




  • Having owned an XDA II for the past 2 years I upgraded to the XDA Exec about 3 weeks ago. After a period of configuring and testing the device I decided to return it for a refund because of the following issues:

    1) Recurring glitch (about every 5 seconds) when playing back audio files (standard .wav files), stored on an SD card, through the speakers. Playback is fine when you use earphones so the problem seems to be with the speakers in the Exec (I've tried another Exec and the speakers playback problem is still there - it seems to be across the whole Exec range; the XDA II didn't have this fault)

    2) Ran into problems installing the supplied software (ActiveSync etc.) which necessitated a soft reset. The device froze (i.e. pressing any of the buttons, even removing the battery etc. had no effect) at the O2 logo screen when trying to power up after the soft reset. Eventually had to do a hard reset; again the device froze at the O2 logo screeen when trying to power up!

    3) Unstable infrared connectivity

    I'd be very interested to hear if anyone has experienced the playback problem above. Decided in the end to return the device for a refund as I didn't fancy being a 'beta tester' for a product which despite having many desirable features and being available in the UK for some time now seems to have got through 'quality assurance' with a few issues!




  • I returned my XDA Exec today. While overall it was pretty good, I had a severe problem with my unit which forced me to exchange it and I opted for the money back instead.
    PMcG wrote:
    2) Ran into problems installing the supplied software (ActiveSync etc.) which necessitated a soft reset. The device froze (i.e. pressing any of the buttons, even removing the battery etc. had no effect) at the O2 logo screen when trying to power up after the soft reset. Eventually had to do a hard reset; again the device froze at the O2 logo screeen when trying to power up!
    In my case, half way through the install of a PDF viewer (came on a CD in the O2 XDA box) the device froze. Soft reset done nothing, hard reset brought me back to the O2 startup screen (O2 bubbles picture and some red numbers), which then froze. Repeat hard resets and removing and replacing the battery done nothing. O2 advised they had to replace the unit, and in fairness they tried pretty hard to find one for me. But I had lost confidence in the device at that point. Fancy features asside, my phone + PDA need to be very reliable. I am totally dependant on them.

    Overall I was impressed with the XDA Exec, but I think it was just too bulky to use as a phone. A bit too bulky for my pocket also (Expect the line: "Is that an XDA Exec in your pocket or are you pleased to see me?", also, don't sit down too quickly if you wear jeans...)

    The applications were stable, but not quite stable enough (compared to my old Palm Pilot). The web browser didn't work in enough sites to make it a good internet solution. The unit was a bit awkward with buttons on every edge making it hard to hold and maneuver sometimes.

    Really though, I freaked out at the thought of (a) having to do a hard reset in an airport somewhere and (b) the fact that hard reset might not work! So I've opted to keep phone and PDA seperate for now, and got myself a small, cheap, functional, Samsung SGH-S400i. PDA will be selected in the coming weeks on the basis of realiability, I'm seriously thinking of going back to Palm OS.

    (Totally off topic... iMode email is quite nice.)




  • Would be interesting to know if those problems are common on all Execs, or only on the O2 ones. Wonder if O2 have fusked up the branding software?


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  • Would be interesting to know if those problems are common on all Execs, or only on the O2 ones. Wonder if O2 have fusked up the branding software?

    Having returned my XDA Exec about 2 weeks ago for a refund (see earlier post) my advice to anyone considering purchasing an Exec would be to test it immediately and thoroughly (including performing soft and hard resets).

    My own experiences again were:

    1) soft and hard resets, rather than returning the device to its factory settings, instead 'froze' the device at the O2 bubbles screen making it completely unusable. A few minutes (by the O2 testing team) browsing forum.xda-developers.com would have highlighted this issue.
    2) recurring glitch when playing back audio files (stored on an SD card) through the Exec speakers, making speaker playback unusable
    3) unstable infrared connectivity (would 'see' my laptop one day, then wouldn't the next despite no changes to the settings on either device)

    O2 salespeople and O2's Data Support Centre (1740) were of very little help. It's almost as if they've knowingly released the device on the Irish market with hardware and rom bugs and are hoping customers won't discover them. Says a lot about testing and quality assurance at O2.

    The feature set of the device is phenomenal but at present, like MetL, I would have very little confidence in the reliability of the product and in O2's ability to support it.

    PS On a separate issue O2's 'trickle-feed' approach to distributing the device in Ireland seems pretty bizarre. From ringing around O2's so-called 'Experience Stores' (their flagship stores) it seems that each store gets only 2 or 3 of the devices each week. These are promptly sold and then it's a wait until the next week for another 2 or 3 Execs!


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