iMate Jasjar - 1 year later

Published Wednesday, July 11, 2007 3:20 PM

I own an iMate Jasjar phone and have done for about 1 year. I recently returned from a snow holiday in the lovely snowy mountains here in New South Wales, Australia.

I took my phone along and given that I had some issues with it, thought I would give my feelings on the phone after an approximate year of usage. Normally you read reviews of the phone based on its paper specifications and after only a short time of using it. Well, here is the other end of that.

Its not going to be too long, don't worry.

So, the good stuff:

  • It has a great set of features.
    3G is one of my favorites. I use it all the time. Bluetooth works well, expandability is great, camera works well, swivel screen is good.
  • The Keyboard.
    The keyboard is good because its bigger than most. It lights up automatically in dark environments. However, I thought I would use it a lot, but its actually a lot less than anticipated. Its not real good for one hand use.
  • Screen Size
    Good size, clear, 640 x 480 resolution.
  • Swivel screen.
    You can flip the screen in landscape or portrait mode easily. Nice.

The bad stuff:

  • As a phone, its extremely poor
    If you want a phone, don't buy this unit. It "can" act as a phone, but its really bad, bordering on the extremely frustrating to use to the extent I want to throw it. When I was down the snow, people were happily using their mobile phones to make and receive calls. Not me. Phone function was useless. Now some might say, yes but what carrier were you with. Vodafone is the carrier, which can be attributed to some of it, however my wife's phone is also with Vodafone and it worked fine. Its a $200 Sony-Ericsson toy in comparison, but at least it worked and we relied on that while down there. Its an important point. We *relied* on that far cheaper phone to make calls in a relatively remote location. My $1500+ all singing and dancing  unit simply could not pull it off.
  • Slow, Slow, Slow.
    Its as slow as a wet week. Its got a 500Mhz proc, and feels slower than all phones I have used to date. A lot of the time, I want to dial my voicemail which is 121. I press the numbers 121, and 4 seconds later, the display reads 112 or something stupid, getting the numbers out of order, and taking ages to display. Really poor. App performance is quite slow too.
  • Big and Heavy.
    Its big and lugging it around requires big pockets. Pretty solid though.
  • One handed usage
    Forget it. Its a 2 handed beast. You might be able to get away with some stuff, but not much, and not without hand gymnastics.
  • Flip closed usage
    I answer calls with the flip closed generally. It has 2 buttons on the side which answer or hangup calls. These buttons feel unresponsive, sometimes they are either slow to activate (meaning you press the answer button multiple times, causing all weirdness with the call), sometimes you just don't hangup, meaning you better be careful what you say after you hang up, else you could get into some trouble.....
  • Usability
    Poor. This is mostly because of Windows Mobile. Look at Nokia and Sony Ericsson (and perhaps iPhone). Those phones are designed to be phones and used like them. Direct and simple for the functions its intended for (in general). Windows Mobile phones try and shrink a desktop onto a phone. Sorry, doesn't work well.

Conclusion:

  • Would I buy it again?
    Nope. Too slow and unreliable. Core functions, like making and receiving calls are an afterthought.
  • Would I recommend it?
    Only to a small percentage of people based on their requirements of course, but for general usage, nope.
  • So would I consider it a good unit?
    Functionally impressive, some great features. Execution leaves a lot to be desired. Lots of promise, little in the way of delivery and implementation.
by Glav
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Comments

# SteveP said on Wednesday, July 11, 2007 7:36 AM

Can't argue there really.  I'd feel lost without mine, but it's not a great phone at all.  Speed can be improved by upgrading to one of the "cooked" WM5 or WM6 Roms which give better performance than the standard carrier released ROMs.

Cheers,

Steve

# help.net said on Thursday, July 12, 2007 7:26 AM

Well I own also a Jasjar and I almost agree with your comments except maybe the fact that I don't use it as a phone but more like a small laptop replacement when I travel or I am in a conference and I want to browse on the web.

OK noe I have to admit I upgraded recently the Jasjar to Windows Mobile 6 and it's now so good and so responsive!

Pity that the upgrade is not yet official!

# Tim said on Monday, July 16, 2007 8:58 PM

I had similar issues with my hp hw6515. Phone performance was abysmal at best. After owning it for a year and a half I swapped back to a run of the mill nokia and am much happier.

Using the inbuilt GPS was fairly frustrating, and always left me wishing I had a separate device that responded to finger input instead of stylus input.

The windows mobile OS was garbage as far as usability, and the phone & contacts app were particularly bad. The one thing I did like was the "canned text" in the messaging functionality. Being able to use MSN on the train was kind of cool too.

The only thing I miss is the qwerty keypad on the hp. Having the big keyboard exposed all the time would probably make the jasjar closer to 1 hand friendly.

# Jonathan Jacob said on Sunday, July 29, 2007 3:52 PM

Its been 8 months and I'm really getting annoyed with the darn JasJar! It does not power up properly, everytime I try to Charge the dam PDA something or the other has to come up. For instance, last week the darn thing refused to charge any more...and apparently the power point on the JasJar is no working...Warranty apparently does not cover it!!

~ This is annoying ~ lets how i-phone is better!

# J ROM said on Friday, August 10, 2007 1:13 AM

I have the Jasjar, where did you get the upgrade from WM5 to WM6?  i-mate told me they were still testing to see if it would work.

# Glav said on Friday, August 10, 2007 1:46 AM

J ROM, I dont have the WM6 update yet. I am also waiting for it and hoping that will make things a lot better.

# J ROM said on Sunday, September 9, 2007 5:57 PM

Reza? wm6 for jasjar...have you upgraded?

# Mike said on Tuesday, October 9, 2007 9:28 AM

I have owned a Jasjar for the past 19 months and I find it to be an absolutely fantastic device. Let me note from the start though that I don't use it as a phone - I use it as a PDA/laptop replacement (I carry a separate mobile phone - I feel that I need access to my calendar, appointments, and files whilst taking calls so 2 devices are a necessity). Yes there is phone functionality on the JASJAR but this is more of an additional feature than a core function. However, the phone capability does enable one to use 3G data services - so much faster than GPRS and very helpful to me when I am on the road.

The large processor makes the JASJAR among the quickest of pocket PCs and the VGA screen is amazing for watching videos. Load it up with some choice 3rd party programs and you really do have a device that you can take in place of your laptop in many cases.

If you are just after a phone - this is perhaps not the device for you. It is a powerful pocket pc with phone capabilities that enable internet and e-mail usage. I would strongly recommend the JASJAR to anyone looking for a PDA and I have not come across anything else that is as good since it came out.  

# Glav said on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 8:09 AM

>> The large processor makes the JASJAR among the quickest of pocket PCs

Which actually equates to really slow. Sorry Mike. The performance is quite poor. Notet that I have seen a Jasjar with WM6 and it is considerably faster, not that it was an official update from iMate or anyting.... God forbid.

Thanks for your comments though Mike.

# Raed Al Badawi said on Tuesday, October 23, 2007 8:48 AM

I am facing a lot of problems with Jasjar, specially when i upgraded it to mobile 6, no video call, very bad response and many times it gets locked by itself.

So i reinstalled the original one. The disadvantage is that i lost the remote desktop feature.

Please guys, any one knows where to download a good windows mobile 6 which has the video call?

Please advice.

# NILTOJ said on Tuesday, October 23, 2007 8:57 AM

hi, i also own a jasjar for a couple of months and can see people talking about the wm6 upgrade, i need it but not able to get it, help please

Thanks

# fred harrison said on Wednesday, December 12, 2007 10:53 PM

check xda-developer.com and do a search

# sakm said on Wednesday, August 13, 2008 7:27 AM

hi,i am a jasajar user for a couple of month, using this asa pone is really bad, to know the caller every time,but as apocket pci ts fine, but quite slow.

# adam said on Friday, April 3, 2009 10:56 PM

thanks for the information. i was going to buy it but i see all the problems. thanks

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