Wednesday, 30 September 2009

T-Mobile's 3G new Dash SmartPhone

T-Mobile's new Dash smartphone is the latest example of this trend. The long-awaited Dash (previously known by it's code name, Excalibur) is widely seen as a challenger to Motorola's trendy and popular Q, a phone which is currently available only through Verizon Wireless. While it's not quite as stylish as the Q, after spending time with the Dash we found it to be a potent device that competes well with the Q in most other respects.

Like the Q, the Dash, which also runs Windows Mobile 5, packs a lot of punch into an extremely small package—though one that is a hair's breadth larger than the Q. The quad-band GSM Dash measures a diminutive 4.4 x 2.5 x .5 inches and weighs a scant 4.2 ounces with its battery installed. That battery is rated for up to 5 hours of talk time and 9 days on standby.
Powered by a 201 MHz ARM processor, the Dash has 64 MB of RAM and 128 MB of Flash ROM, though only about 20 MB is user-accessible. You can augment the storage capacity with a microSD slot that can be found inside the battery compartment, but thankfully you can access it without having to remove the battery. This gives you plenty of expansion potential, because even the Lilliputian microSD cards are available in gigabyte-plus capacities for less than $100.

With a relatively slow-running processor, we thought the Dash might be a bit lethargic when running applications, but the phone was actually quite responsive.
For data access over cellular, the Dash supports GPRS/EDGE, which is the best technology T-Mobile's network currently offers though significantly slower than 3G data technologies like the EV-DO available from Verizon and Sprint. Undoubtedly reflecting T-Mobile's interest in wireless hotspots, the Dash also includes built-in Wi-Fi, a feature that's absent on the Q. The Dash also supports Bluetooth 2.0 for wireless audio and synchronization, and you can use the phone as a modem by connecting it to your PC via either Bluetooth or USB.

One of the Dash's biggest gee-whiz components is its spacious 2.4-inch TFT display, which is bright and sharp and capable of 320 x 240 pixel resolution with 65,000 colors. The other is its full QWERTY keyboard, which will be of particular interest to those that make extensive use of e-mail or text messaging while on the road.

*Talk and standby times and other specifications are provided by the manufacturer and are approximate. Actual performance varies based upon features or services used, network configuration, signal strength, operating temperature, customer use, and other factors.
**The Bluetooth word mark and logos are owned by the Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by T-Mobile is under license. Other trademarks and trade names are those of their respective owners.