Review: i-mate JasJam

Review: i-mate JasJam
Review: i-mate JasJam

If you're one of those people that's been looking for a phone for a long time, chances are you know what it feels like to be burdened by choice. In the case of mobile phones, the market might be seen to have just too much choice.

Finding one that matches your specific needs gets harder and harder as more and more companies release more and more devices.

But if you're someone who wants a phone that gives you the power to write SMS's with ease as well as a whole array of features, it might be time to check out the Windows-powered i-mate JasJam.

Also known as the HTC Hermes, the i-mate JasJam is a Pocket PC phone using a slide-out screen with a keyboard underneath. The JasJam fits quite well in the hand and after using it for a few minutes you'll probably find the design and layout of pretty much every part easy. With a flick of the thumb you can slide the screen out for easy access to the keyboard while the rest of your hand can push it back into position.

When it does lay in your hand, you'll find it's a pretty comfortable Pocket PC. Push the power button on the right-hand side and you'll find an easy to use Windows Mobile 5 screen waiting for your touch. The stylus is in a strange place, the bottom right corner, but when used makes using the JasJam that much easier.

The moment you slide the keyboard out, the JasJam switches itself into landscape mode, a feature many Pocket PC's still don't entirely have. What this means is that you'll get more screen real estate on the horizontals making it better for typing. And pretty much anything can use this embedded landscape mode from contacts to games to the phone program.

The keyboard is an excellent feature and most of the keys have been thought out quite well. Using a QWERTY layout, you'll find yourself in familiar territory in no time. About the only area where this keypad skips a bit is with the "tab" button being so close to the "space" bar. Just be aware of this as I found myself frequently hitting the "tab" and not the "space".

That said, the keyboard makes writing on the go a treat. whether you're a fan of the Short Message Service (SMS), a frequent e-mailer or someone who just loves writing on the go, you'll find that the keyboard is on the JasJam is something that you won't be able to live without. I'm sad that I'm having to move back to my old standard keypad, to be honest.

So already we've got this phone pegged out to have some pretty nifty features. Well, it doesn't stop there. The i-mate JasJam also sports WiFi b & g, Bluetooth, and two cameras. Out of those, the WiFi is quite possibly the most useful providing you with very good speeds for web surfing, email, instant messaging, and anything else your digital unwired heart can think of. The Bluetooth works fine and if you're a user of Bluetooth hands free devices, you'll be happy to know everything should work fine.

I personally wouldn't be looking at the JasJam for a camera however. Yes, it does work, but neither the two-megapixel camera on the back nor the video-call camera on the front provide all that brilliant quality in any time other than daylight.

Aside from that, i-mate have done an excellent job bringing this top device to the market. There are some glitches from time to time with random screen glitches and slow downs. It's a shame that i-mate chose not to include more on-board memory and sided with MicroSD for the memory amount. The sound quality could also be a little better as it really didn't do anything to distinguish itself from other handsets on the market in that department.

Having said that, if you're in the market for a Pocket PC where you're likely to get more use out of a keyboard than the phone as a handset, the i-mate JasJam might just be worth taking a look at right now.

Product: i-mate JasJam

Vendor: i-mate

RRP: $1299

Website: i-mate JasJam

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