Tuesday, January 25, 2005

[PDA/Cellphone] Xda II Mini vs HP6315

I have had the O2 Xda II Mini (equivalent to iMate Jam) for a few weeks now, it's about time I do a small subjective review of it. Since I am kinda lazy, I thought it would be a time-saver to do this in comparison to my "old" HP iPaq 6315.


With only Bluetooth and GSM to manage, the Mini appears to be more stable than HP6315 in changing wireless modes. The HP6315 would sometimes get stuck while trying to turn off its cellphone mode; the PDA functions still worked fine, it's just that it would be stuck "in-between" wireless modes unless I soft-reset it. I suppose I can't blame HP though, it does have to manage more combinations between Bluetooth, WiFi, and cellphone.

In terms of PDA functionalities both HP6315 and Mini were quite stable, i.e. I only remember cellphone related crashes/hangs on both.

Winner: Mini


Nowadays I make more phone calls on my Mini since I started getting T-Mobile coverage at home, but then I used to surf at home using HP6315's WiFi too, so I guess the daily usage was about the same on each. This battery life comparison is light years from being scientific, but I FEEL that HP6315's battery lasted longer and I didn't have to charge it as often.

Winner: HP6315


HP6315 has a slower processor in order to save battery consumption, and its effect can be felt.

Winner: Mini


My HP6315 was the third unit I tried after returning the previous two defective ones, so I could say that generally HP6315's cellphone voice quality were not as good as Mini's. I could always hear some background static while making calls on the HP6315. This static is absent on the Mini, and both were used on the same T-Mobile network in the same region.

Winner: Mini


The Mini has Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition while the HP6315 only has the Windows Mobile 2003. Other than the screen orientation feature, there aren't much observable differences between the two OSs on these two machines. I have seen some other changes but nothing that really improves my user experience.

Winner: Mini

Bundled Backup Software

HP6315's bundled backup software is far advanced than Mini's. With HP's built-in software I can completely backup and restore everything according to checkpoints. Today I just had the "pleasure" of using Mini's built-in xBackup software, and I think it didn't backup data files at all, making ActiveSync delete all its My Document files and forcing me to recover them from trash. Mental note, next time do a My Document backup before using Mini's xBackup restore functionality. And xBackup is extremely slow at backing up the same amount of data compared to HP6315.

Winner: HP6315

Dialer utilities

HP6315 has none. Mini has the Smart Dialer, Photo ID, and T9 input.

Winner: Mini


Both screens have the same QVGA resolution, but the Mini's screen appears sharper because all those dots are packed into its 2.8-inch screen vs HP6315's 3.5-inch. It took me half a day to get used to Mini's smaller screen, but overall I am not complaining about the size difference. Besides, HP's screen has a yellowish cast which is only more apparent next to the Mini.

Winner: Mini


No competition here.

Winner: Mini


HP6315 has every thing one would need to get online. The Mini is lacking in the WiFi department. The Mini does have some software advantages, but that's it.

Winner: HP6315


HP6315's camera is crap. Mini has a 1.3 megapixel camera, and its picture quality is better than that of HP6315. Still, both are made for novelty purposes. The Mini has better camera software.

Winner: Mini


While the HP6315 has WiFi and slightly better battery life, it just isn't enough to beat Mini's small size, better software, and higher quality hardware. I don't think it's a surprise since I have already ditched the HP in favor of Mini. Trust me, size does matter when it comes to PDA phones!