The JAMin from i-mate is based around HTC's Prophet design. It builds on i-mate's JAM range of small-format Windows Mobile handhelds, and is available SIM-free.
The small overall size of the JAMin should appeal to those who are looking for a connected Windows Mobile device and want to be able to use it for voice calls without feeling too conspicuous.
Measuring 58mm by 108mm by 18mm and weighing 150g, the JAMin is not much larger than a Windows Mobile smartphone, and about a third heavier. Nevertheless, its screen measures 71mm (2.8 inches) diagonally and it runs Windows Mobile 5.0 for Pocket PCs, which delivers more productivity to business users than the smartphone variant of the OS.
Beneath the screen sits a lozenge containing Call and End buttons, a navigation pad with central 'select' button and four shortcuts. The top two of these link into the Windows Mobile 5.0 softmenus, the bottom two activate the Start menu and provide an 'OK' function.
Mains power is provided via a mini USB connector that sits on the bottom edge of the device, alongside a 2.5mm connector for the included stereo headphones. On the right edge is the power button and slot for the stylus -- a thin and poorly weighted example of its ilk.
At the top there's an SD card slot, while the left side has a button that, on a short press, accesses the wireless communications management module, while a long press allows you to make a voice recording. There's also a slider for adjusting system and in-call volume, plus a button for use with the built-in camera.
At the back, above the cover for the removable battery, sits a lens for the 2-megapixel camera and a self portrait mirror. There is no flash.
The JAMin comes with a belt-clip-style carrying case, a stereo headset, a USB cable for connection to a PC, a spare stylus, a mains power adaptor, an application CD, a printed quick-start guide plus a more complete printed manual.
The JAMin incorporates a quad-band GSM phone with GPRS and EDGE support. It comes with pre-configured settings not only for UK operators but for others from around the world too. When you switch the device on for the first time, or after a hard reset, you choose your operator from the provided list and wait for the device to configure itself, which takes just a couple of minutes.
Processing power for the JAMin is supplied by Texas Instruments' OMAP 850 processor, which runs at 200MHz. The memory complement is quoted at 64MB of RAM and 128MB of ROM, but this is not the full story, as the system uses up some of each type. Checking the memory after a hard reset revealed 37MB of storage available for your own applications and data -- you can boost this with an SD card in the SDIO-compatible slot, but that will cost you extra as no card is supplied.
The 71mm screen is small for a handheld, but because its 320x240 pixels are squeezed into a relatively small area, text appears very sharp and clear. There's no denying, though, that people who have difficulty reading small print may find it less than perfectly legible at times.
Both Bluetooth and 802.11b/g Wi-Fi are included along with infrared, which is sometimes omitted from handhelds these days but remains useful, in our opinion.
The camera, whose lens sits at the back, shoots both stills and video using the main screen as its viewfinder. You can cycle through various settings using the navigation button. These include MMS video, stills for use with contact information and sports shot and burst modes.
Depending on the type of shot and its resolution, there's a maximum of 10x digital zoom available, however images do become very grainy at this zoom level. More useful is the macro mode, which you activate by twisting a circle surrounding the camera lens. This allows you to get to within about 80mm of the subject of your photograph, and may prove a useful feature.
The standard Windows Mobile 5.0 software bundle is boosted by several additions from i-mate, including ClearVue PDF reader, a voice control tool for dialling contacts and launching applications, a Zip file manager and the Skype VoIP software. Finally, CA's eTrust Antivirus software can be installed, although there are no known Pocket PC viruses in the wild and installation will consume precious system resources.
We found some operations a little sluggish on the JAMin, and after we'd synchronised our contacts and calendar to the device the pre-installed Skype software refused to run.
There is no official estimate of battery life from i-mate, but in our tests we found it to be roughly what we'd expect from a Windows Mobile 5.0 handheld. When the JAMin played MP3 music with its screen forced to stay on, we got 7.5 hours of battery life.
This device's compact dimensions will appeal to anyone looking for a functional but convenient connected handheld. Our only real concern is the issue we experienced running Skype.
Additional editing by Kate Macefield