i-mate JAQ3 Reviewi-mate JAQ3 5.5
We were disappointed by the speed of JAQ3. We didn’t expect it to be the fastest PocketPC phone, provided the 200 MHz TI OMAP processor, but it proved to be much slower than other phones using the same processor. Often you have to wait when going through the menus, while heavier applications, e.g. games, make it even harder for the phone. Its poor performance was most strongly felt when watching a video: it just couldn’t visualize correctly.
We used Spb Benchmark to compare the JAQ3 system performance with other PocketPC Phones.
JAQ3 is not a champion in the ‘strength of reception’ discipline either, but it is good anyway. It manages to keep the signal in places with poorer reception, but it is weaker, compared to the HTC Wizard. (6.5/10), which we use as reference.
The sound during conversation depends to a great extent on how you handle the phone. Our first remark here is on the position of the microphone: instead of using the standard position in the phone’s lower part, it is situated under the emailing button, over the QWE keyboard. When talking on the phone you have to hold it in a specific manner, so that it does not touch your cheek and mute the microphone. Furthermore, since it on the left, holding the phone to your right ear ensures better results than holding it to your left one, since in the former case the microphone is closer to your mouth.
We would also like to point out that, because of the upwards location of the display, it happened quite often for us to press the „Mute” or “Hold” button without realizing it, when talking on the phone.
The microphone itself is not the best one either. They can hear you very well on the other end, but your voice sounds shrilly and slightly remote, as if you were on the speakerphone. If you try to hold the phone close to your cheek with your shoulder, it’ll be difficult for the person on the other end to understand you, because the microphone in this case will ‘drill’ into your face. Holding JAQ3 to the right ear, we had the benefit of a loud sound with very good quality.
The sound that you hear is all right, though a little muted. When holding the phone right, the sound improves considerably.
JAQ3 has left us with mixed feelings: on the one hand, we like the form-factor very much (in spite of the big size) and the always-available keyboard, which is simply terrific, but on the other hand the convenience of working with the operational system (in spite of the great number of shortcut keys) is inadequate, since this system is more optimized for Portrait display. This makes us think of the square-display phones (like Treo 750 and HP 6900-series), which are somewhere in the middle but lose on the poorer resolution.
For us, the greatest disadvantage is the low quality of conversation (in case you aren’t holding the phone ‘correctly’) and the slow reactions, which should be optimized. However, maybe this is the price you have to pay for being ‘unique’ since JAQ3 and JAQ are the only PocketPC phones in this form-factor. If the above-mentioned shortcoming of JAQ3 prevent you from purchasing it, but you still want a Windows Smartphone with a keyboard that is always accessible, there a few options we can recommend: to buy one of the popular smartphones like Samsung BlackJack and Motorola Q (Q9) or to compromise with the 80 pixels of the display width and to opt for Treo 750 (700) or HP 6900 (6500) series. However, if you don’t want to switch to the Smartphone version nor to the smaller resolution, JAQ4 will probably overcome the problems of its predecessor.
- Wonderful keyboard
- Shortcut keys
- Huge size
- Small display, not very optimized due to the Landscape orientation
- Microphone is in the middle and the phone should be held at funny angle in order to get normal sound quality
- Low camera quality
- Slow performance