i-mate Ultimate 6150 Review

Introduction and Design

i-mate’s Ultimate line includes four phones and only one of them is not equipped with any hardware keyboard – 6150.

Just a quick review of the specifications is enough to convince us that we are about to discuss a phone, entirely targeting the prosumers. The model is equipped with a 2.8” display, 520 MHz XScale PXA 270 processor and a monitor/projector connector. Using the connector, you’d be able to easily present your ideas on a big screen. This feature has been added in order to save you carrying your laptop to such meetings.

The package includes:
  • i-mate 6150
  • Leather case
  • User’s manual
  • Guide
  • Software CD
  • Spare stylus
  • Charger
  • Wire earphones
  • Monitor/projector cable
  • Data cable


Most people’s first reaction when they see i-mate 6150 is negative. It is usually compared to building materials (brick). The phone really is massive and heavy. Its weight is justified by the fact that the front panel and the back lid are made out of metal.

Most consumers do not realize that the phone is designed for work. From this aspect, 6150’s appearance is very nice without any unnecessary elements. Unfortunately, its shape is quite uncomfortable and could be quite irritating during a talk.

You can compare the i-mate Ultimate 6150 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

Almost the entire front is taken by the touch sensitive 2.8” display. It has a resolution of 480 x 640 and supports 65k colors. Since it is not leveled with the front panel surface, and is placed deeper in the body, pressing the areas towards the edges, could be quite uncomfortable. The screen is very sensitive and offers good picture, but it is not usable in direct sunlight. Besides, it gets dirty pretty easy even when you carry it in a case.

Over the display are located the video calling camera, the brightness sensor and the LED indicators for the status of the device. The last ones light up in red when you have a missed event (call, message, alarm), in orange when the phone is charging and in green when everything is OK.

The only hardware buttons on the front are located under the screen. They are all backlit in blue and are small, which makes them relatively hard to use although they are easily pressed and clearly felt (click). The strange thing here is that the ОК button and the “clear” key are actually the same one. It deletes when pressed normally and acts as OK when pressed and we don’t think this is the best solution.

The first thing we wondered about when checking out the controls was “Why do we need to have a joystick on the front panel and a rotating wheel on the left side?” They are both equally comfortable and have the same function. By using them, you can move up down (left-right also for the joystick) and to confirm the different options. This facilitates using the phone without touching the screen. After we were using it for some time, we found out that depending on the hand you are holding the phone in and the screen orientation (vertical/horizontal), one of the two control methods is always extremely handy.

On the left, we also have the OK button, which in contrast to its twin located on the front panel is activated when pressed once, cannot be used as “delete” and is hard to push. Also here, we see the microSD slot, the shortcut to the Wireless manager and below them, the hardware restart button, accessible only with a stylus.

On the opposite side is located the VGA cable slot, used for a monitor or projector connection. In contrast to the other model of the manufacturer with such functionality (8150), here we don’t have a cover, thus leaving the button unprotected from contamination. Next to it are the miniUSB connector and the small, hard to press camera key.

The top side houses the power button and the IR sensor. The stylus is hidden in the left corner. It is very user-friendly, which is quite an important fact since you’ll probably use it frequently.

The 2-megapixel camera with LED flash and small mirror is logically located on the back. If you remove the big metal lid, you will see the battery and the SIM card slot below it.

i-mate Ultimate 6150 Video Review:

i-mate Ultimate 6150 360 Degrees View:


i-mate 6150 is a Windows Mobile 6 Professional based device and as a whole, its software, and possibilities are almost entirely identical to the other phones using the same operating system. Nothing will surprise you if you have previously used the OS. You should bear in mind that certain problems and positive features are present not only in this phone or the make’s models, but for the models using this operating system (WM6 Professional).

The manufacturer has added some small interface personalizations. By default, on the homescreen is located a row with icons thanks to which you can get to the profile settings, to change them with one click only or to rotate the screen on 90 degrees. The interesting extra here is the automatic profile control. When it is activated, the phone automatically switches between the different modes.For example, if you have a meeting set for a specific time, the „meeting profile” will be enabled.

Another function that distinguishes the model from the other Windows Mobile phones is Device Customization. To take advantage of that function you need to register in the manufacturer’s site (luckily, it’s free). There, you can select the model of the phone you are using, and your personal preferences for the more complicated options. Such are the exchange file server, POP3/IMAP4 email, Internet account, adding favorite sites, installing software and placing your personal information under protection. Afterwards, all that information is synchronized with your phone, without having to connect it to a PC. You can consider for a PC Suite, which is always at hand, because it is online.

Unfortunately, personalization as of the interface design (a la HTC Touch) is not present and there is only a simple i-mate theme.


The phone book of i-mate 6150 is identical to the other WM6 phones. The number of contacts that can be added is not restricted and depends only on the memory available. All contacts are displayed as a list; each field consists of the name and the number of the contact, while a letter placed beside them indicates what the type of the number is (w – work; m – mobile, etc.). Pictures are not displayed even if there is one attached to the contact.

In the upper part, there is a field to perform a name search, and if you want to look for a contact by other criteria (e.g. company), you’ll have to use the “Search” application. Below there are tabs with different letters (divided in groups of three) just below it. This way you can arrange the contacts so that only the ones beginning with a given letter are displayed. These two search features are quite handy and they make finding a particular contact in the phonebook very quick.

Unfortunately, it’s a different story when adding a new one ; there are too many fields available and you’ll have to search for the most frequently used. You can write almost everything you want, but strangely, you are able to add only one mobile number.Personal photos and ringtones can be assigned to each contact; there’s no restriction on the dimensions of the pictures but they are visualized in very small size even on an incoming call – we think they are useless.

You can dial a number, not listed in your phonebook by simply using the hardware or the virtual keyboard, which appears after you press the Answer button. Pressing the buttons you will start imputing the digits of a possible number, but at the same time you will search the phone book as if imputing a text by a predictive text input system. So, to call John you can press 5-6-4-6 and the matching contacts will be visualized in the list.


Alarms can be accessed through the home screen, by tapping on the clock icon. There are three and each of them has its own settings for repetition, name, and melody. All alarms can be active simultaneously, and overall they are easy to use and do what they are supposed to. We are rather disappointed that their number is limited to three, as it was in the previous version of the OS.

The next tab in this menu is the clock; there is a field called Visiting next to it, which can be used as a World Clock – select another location and the phone starts using its local time. The clock has an option to be displayed on the title bar of all the menus, which is handy.

The Calendar is absolutely standard for a Windows Mobile device and here, you can enter your appointments. You can use options like: reminder (PRIOR NOTICE 1/5/10/15/30/45 minutes, 1/2/3/4/5/6 hour/day/week), recurrence (Once, Every (same-day-of-the-week), Day (same-date) of every month, Every (same date-and-month) for every year, sensitivity (normal, personal, private, confidential). You can also add attendees (required or optional) from your contacts where e-mail addresses have been added and where meeting requests will be sent.

Examining the calendar can be done by day/week/month/year/agenda and you can choose starting day for the week and the week duration (5-6-7-day week). The appointments for the day are clearly shown in their time limits, so you can see your free time at a glance.

You have Tasks menu, where you can add to-do items. For a given Task you can set subject, priority (normal, low, and high), start/due date, reminder (to be notified if it’s due), category (business, holiday, personal, seasonal) and write a note. The Task can have recurrence (Once, Every (same-day-of-the-week), Day (same-date) of every month, every (same date-date-and-month) for every year and sensitivity (normal, personal, private, confidential). Examining the tasks in a list, you can easily see which of them are finished and which are not. The tasks options can be: sort by (status, priority, subject, start date, due date) or filter (all, recent, no categories, active, completed).

The Calculator is simple but its buttons are relatively big and can easily be pressed with your fingers. Features like scientific calculator and unit converter are still missing.

‘Notes’ are simple notes in which you can input text by the onscreen keyboard or by hand as an image. They can be synchronized with outlook.

is an application searching in all files in the phone. You can specify certain types of files (calendar/contacts/excel/messaging/notes/etc), but the best option is All Data, which will rummage everything in your phone.

File Explorer is the mobile alternative of Explorer in Windows environment with computers. We use it to view the phone memory, including the system folders of the device, which feels like working on a PC.


Different message types are placed in a single menu - SMS, MMS and e-mails. There is nothing unexpected here. Entering text is done by one of the following touch display methods:

  • Block Recognizer
  • Keyboard
  • Letter Recognizer
  • Transcriber

We think that the on-screen keyboard is the fastest and most convenient way to do it, but if you train the other methods, they can also be quite handy! Combined with the T9 predictive system, entering text with the phone is pretty quick. Unfortunately, none of the text input methods are automatically visualized when you enter the message/email writing menu for example, which is very inconvenient since there is no hardware keyboard.

Just a few steps away, is the option to add your e-mail account (POP3 or IMAP) and to use it on your mobile phone. Very nice extra is that the phone can try to get the email settings automatically from the internet, and so we configured our Gmail Account by entering only the username and password. Windows Mobile 6 already supports HTML formatted e-mails.The client is very similar to the Outlook on a computer, you can filter your inbox to see just some results, reply to a message, or forward it to other person.

The support for attachments allows you to download or send one, in addition to the text body. The phone can be set to synchronize with your company Exchange Server.


One of the big advantages i-mate 6150 brings is that it is a global phone and can be used equally well in Europe, Asia and the States even for a high-speed Internet access, thanks to the HSDPA (1.8 Mbps) support.

WiFi and Bluetooth come standard. Bluetooth is mainly used for connecting to other nearby devices, as accessories (earpieces, car-kits, multimedia devices) and for data transfer (transfer of files to/from another phone/PC). Cable connection can also be used, via the miniUSB port.

Like all other Windows phones, you need to have ActiveSync (Windows XP) or Windows Mobile Device Center (Windows Vista) installed on the computer to connect to it. The program will let you easily synchronize the phone (contacts, emails, and organizer) with Outlook.

With WiFi you can connect to a wireless LAN network covering you, use it as an Internet source and view the shared documents (input \\name-of-computer in Internet Explorer and you will see what is shared). You can also install an additional antenna for better signal but since it is not included in the package you’ll have to purchase it separately.


Like in every WM6 phone, we have the mobile version of Internet Explorer present here. Unfortunately, the name is the only thing that relates it to the PC version. Large pages can be loaded, but it happens slowly. That’s where the agony begins: you have three options for visualization, One Column, Fit To Screen, Desktop. The first two deactivate horizontal and allow vertical scrolling and the last one tries to show the page as a PC. It performs ok and does the job. Navigation though, is not comfortable. You cannot zoom out or pan, for easier repositioning (like the iPhone), and if more text is present, be ready for constant scrolling in both directions, since there is no option to fit the text to the screen (as in S60).

Overall, the browser is usable, but uncomfortable and far behind the competition; we avoided using it, unless we really needed to do so. The light upgrade to version 6.1 doesn’t change things much and it’s time Microsoft equipped its business phones with something more competitive. A good example is iPhone’s Safari, the Symbian S60 phones and even some “not smartphones,” by manufacturers such as Sony Ericsson, Samsung.
However, since this is a PocketPC if you don’t like this internet browser, you can install another one. Unfortunately, at the moment there are no descent alternatives available. There are only a few perspective programs, which are expected to come out in the future, and at the moment only their beta versions are available: Opera Mobile 9.5, SkyFire, and even Microsoft’s own DeepFish.


A business-oriented device such as i-mate 6150 is not expected to make perfect pictures and that’s why the camera has quite primitive functions.

It takes about 5-6 seconds after holding the inconvenient left side button for the interface to start. Focusing is relatively quick (2 seconds), but there’s no way to turn off the picture preview (appears after 4 seconds) and you can’t take consecutive shots.

The good news is that almost all settings (resolution, camera mode, flash power on/off, effects) can be adjusted directly from the screen without entering the options submenu. The bad news is that the icons are very small, ugly and not finger-friendly.

The pictures are of rather low quality. The colors are unreal, there is a lot of noise and overall, the details are slightly blurred. Sometimes, although rarely a strange geometrical distortion of the picture can be seen in some photographs. We first met this annoying problem in HP iPAQ 614.

A camcorder is also present, with option to record in QVGA (320x240) in MPEG4 format. The quality of the videos is low, since the frame rate is low too – only 15 fps.

Viewing images with i-mate 6150 is not one of the most pleasant activities. Jumping to the previous/next picture, by touching the screen is only possible in the slide show mode. In the rest of the cases, you’ll have to rely on the joystick.


i-mate 6150 is equipped with the standard mobile version of Windows Media Player. It is a multimedia player for music and video files. MP3 format is supported, as well as WMA and WAV. After updating the library with files, all supported types are found, and they can be added to playlists. This function is not well implemented and organizing them is quite hard. Songs can be viewed by artist, album and genre, as these are taken from the ID3 tag of the files.

The phone plays videos in the h.264 format, which provides good quality. As a whole, it plays videos relatively good and you’ll be able to watch smoothly QVGA clips. If the resolution or the fps are too high, the picture will not correspond to the sound.

You can’t really enjoy quality music with i-mate 6150, since it only has one small speaker, which if at maximum volume makes an awful sound. This could be expected from a phone which is not designed for music in the first place, so we switched on the earpieces of the set with the hope of making things better.

Luckily what we heard on through the earpieces was not that bad, but when at maximum the result wasn’t good. That’s why we recommend using the earpieces for wired handsfree mainly.

The phone has a FM radio with RDS, which uses the headphone' cable as an antenna for receiving signals. This function is pretty convenient, especially in moments when you’ve had enough of the music uploaded on the device.


The phone comes with 128 MB RAM and 256 ROM internal memory, which can be expanded via a microSD card. Unfortunately, there is no additional task manager and you’ll have to use the standard one. It is hard to access, and you’ll definitely need it when you overload the phone.

As we’ve already mentioned, you are able to connect i-mate 6150 with a monitor/projector via cable. It can transmit picture and sound. The visualization and controls are on a good level and we didn’t have any trouble.

Unfortunately, although it supports Office 2007, i-mate 6150 performed unsatisfactory in one of its main functions, namely viewing documents. It is absurd not to be able to view and open them directly from the file manager, and to have to start the respective application (e.g. Word). The small PowerPoint presentations are play well, but the larger ones (20-30 MB) you’ll have to wait 9-10 seconds for the next slide to load. The effects do not visualize correctly, and in some loaded pages, an “insufficient memory” message appears.

PDF files are opened with ClearVue, which was very problematic. The pages load slowly (about 2 seconds), and navigation is done only using the scroll bars below and on the right of the screen.

Overall, we are very disappointed from this software element, because it limits the presentation capabilities, and this was supposed to the key feature of this phone.

There are numerous programs created for this platform, almost as much as the ones intended for PCs with Windows operating system. The most popular are the various utilities for personalizing the PPC, multimedia players, file explorers, Instant Messengers, etc. You can download third party applications to be used instead of the preloaded ones.

The model is equipped with NVIDIA GoForce 5500 graphics card, which should offer high picture quality while viewing video and pictures, and the ability to play 3D games. To our regret, the phone doesn’t come with any applications which to take advantage of this feature.


During our tests with SPB Benchmark, the device performed quite well, in some aspects surpassing phones as HP iPAQ 614 and Eten X800. Despite the positive test results, in everyday use, 6150 is sluggish, especially after starting 2-3 applications.

For a business phone, such as i-mate 6150, the sound quality during a talk is extremely important. In this aspect, the model did relatively good; the volume at both ends is sufficient to have a normal conversation and you’ll understand every word perfectly well although the voices sound somewhat sharp.

The loudspeaker also performs well. Unfortunately, as we mentioned above, it is on the back of the phone and you’ll have to turn it around, to hear better. Voices are heard quite loud and sharp.

i-mate 6150 is equipped with a 1530 mAh battery, which according to the official data provided by the manufacturer, should provide up to 4 hours of talk time or 150 in standby mode (too short for such a device).


i-mate 6150 possesses all main features of a good business phone – quality sound during a talk and stable (although somewhat sluggish) performance. The standard advantages of the Windows Mobile devices are present here as well.

Unfortunately, the inconvenient and slow document viewing makes connecting the phone to a monitor/printer pointless to a great extend, eliminating one of the more interesting functions. Therefore the phone transforms into another regular solution for the prosumer group. In this category, we’d prefer HTC Touch Diamond in any aspect, including the user-friendly personalized interface, the design and the fast operating speed.


  • Fast and reliable
  • VGA display
  • Global 3G phone


  • Hard to use without a stylus
  • Bulky size and shape, making it hard to use during a talk

PhoneArena Rating:


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