Windows Mobile (soon to be Android), and other toys aka gadgets
Samsung Mondi - initial impression - fantastic
The last thing I needed was another mobile device. When the Mondi was announced, I just could not resist. A 4.3" 800 X 480 screen, WiFi, Bluetooth, WM6.1, sliding physical keyboard. and built-in GPS. No wonder, the credit card leaped out of my wallet when I was able to locate the Mondi in the US. I am a big fan of WM devices, and the Mondi specs indicated it would be one of the best. I just received the Mondi yesterday, and I am very impressed. I will update this brief review after I have more hands-on time with the Mondi.
- Great screen quality - 4.3" 800 X 480 screen looks awesome, and responds well to both finger, and stylus input. With the 4.3" screen, you don't need the stylus. With ClearType enabled, text is very sharp, and easy to read.
- Physical keyboard is easy to use, has a nice feel, is backlit, and has a navigation pad. I am a big fan of physical keyboards.
- Although I still prefer physical keyboards, the on-screen Samsung keyboard is one of the best software keyboards I have used. The on-screen keyboard is easy to use with the 4.3" screen. A nice addition is when you hold down a key for more than a second, the second character (usually a number, or punctuation) assigned to that key is selected. My Touch Pro also has this feature, and I use it constantly.
- WiFi, and Bluetooth both work fine. Easy to connect, nice app to turn on/off/airplane mode, and work as expected. The device supports WiMax; however, I am not in a WiMax area. This device is such a pleasure to use with WiFi, I am sure it would be great with WiMax as well. Hopefully, WiMax will be available in my area soon.
- Have not had a chance to use the GPS yet, but with the beautiful screen, I am sure it will be fine. All maps are included.
- Mondi has both a rear camera, and a front messaging camera.
- Samsung has done a nice job skinning the WM interface. With the big screen, even the standard WM interface is finger friendly.
- Both Internet Explorer 6, and Opera Mobile are included. When I navigated to the SPB Software site to download the latest versions of my favorite apps, I was very pleasantly surprised when the flash videos showing the features of the applications on the site played fine in IE due to the included Flash Lite. Not only did they play fine, they played without dropped frames via WiFi. Full Flash support would be great; however, Flash Lite is a good start.
- In addition to about 90MB for program storage, 4GB of built in storage is included, and MicroSD cards (up to 32GB) can be added. After booting, about 40 MB of RAM are available for program execution. I would have liked more, but 40 MB should be ok to multitask desired applications.
- Samsung widgets are supported, and the widget screen is easily selected via hard button. I am a fan of hard buttons, and regret the recent fad to eliminate hard buttons.
- Nice 800 MHz processor which results in snappy performance. The power setting includes a performance tab with user selectable high, low, normal, and auto performance settings which adjust the speed vs. battery life. The default setting is auto. When it is available, one of the first settings I change is the performance setting. As you probably guessed, I immediately change the setting from auto to high (full 800 MHz) which makes for a noticeable performance boost. It is like adding a turbo.
The tone of my remarks demonstrates how impressed I am with this device. I know it is now fashionable to mock WM, but for my needs, it is the best mobile OS available. I have found WM to be very stable, reliable, "just works", with a plethora of business type applications that meet my needs.