Qtek S200 review: A genuine tool box

Jiř Kuruc, 06 June 2006. Read the original review at MobilMania.cz
Pages: 1234567

SMS and emails

Qtek S200 combines email client and SMS/MMS editors into one single application called Inbox. Here you will find three folders; with SMS, MMS, and Outlook emails. The latter covers messages synchronized with Outlook. If you create a new email inside this folder, it gets saved onto the PDA and sent away as soon as you start a new synchronizing procedure.

Personal email accounts can be created in an application called Inbox. It supports the IMAP/POP3 email protocols. Each email message created in this folder is sent instantly. Optional automatic control on fixed intervals is available as well. Attachments can be both received and sent out.

Qtek S200 Qtek S200 Qtek S200
A view at the application Inbox; email folder remains unchanged during synchronization

As to SMS, modifications are scarce. The only change worth mentioning is the unlimited storage capacity for both incoming and outgoing messages.

There is one feature I did like in Nokia Communicator: if a message could not be sent because of poor signal reception, the phone would automatically send it once the signal level returns to normal. I strongly miss this function in Qtek S200.

Good old processor

Qtek S200 is driven by the good old Texas Instruments OMAP850 processor at a frequency of 195 MHz. In reality, few pocket computer processors have raised so wild discussions as this one. Some hate it, others love it. What is doubtless, however, is its high integration level. As you can see in the picture below, nearly all functions of this pocket computer are backed up by a single chip. It is no wonder then that HTC has decided to apply exactly this type of processor: one chip simply means lower production costs. Yet, this doesn't seem to have had any notable impact on the final price of the communicator.

Scheme of the Structure of the Texas Instruments OMAP850 Processor

Regardless to what people say, my personal opinion is that these 200 MHz are insufficient to drive an OS like Windows Mobile 5. The processor shows significant lags in carrying out relatively common tasks, for example work with calendar or opening the mail folder. Even when the calendar has already been read into the memory of the device, switching between individual views takes ages. A test of Fujitsu-Siemens Loox N560 with Intel XScale PXA270 processor of 624 MHz immediately after the testing of Qtek S200 feels like replacing an East-German Trabant with a Formula 1 racing car. Of course, 624 MHz is an extreme power with extreme energy consumption, but still, an Intel processor working at a frequency of 412 MHz would have been more than ideal.

While Qtek S100 plays videos in DivX format seamlessly (resolution for PC and a bitrate of slightly more than 1 Mbps), Qtek obligates you to reconvert all video records into a resolution of 320 pixels in order to achieve a bitrate of 250 kbps. Lags were present in a few other energy-consuming applications as well. Qtek S200 requires a significant dose of patience especially in case of auto navigation.

Modest memory and card usage

Both OS and applications are located on 128MB Flash ROM. The OS uses a major part of this memory space; user is then left with a bit over 47 MB, which is relatively enough for applications and documents, but not for storing the pictures from the built-in 2MP camera. In order to use more complicated applications (like navigation, multimedia (music, video) you will have to get yourself an additional memory card. Qtek S200 is equipped with a SD memory card slot. In other words, this is good news for owners of older big-capacity cards. If, on the contrary, you are still only a potential memory card buyer, I recommend you to get yourself a smaller one (miniSD) together with a plastic adapter for SD slot, because new communicators tend to give up on big SD slots.

Qtek S200 Qtek S200 Qtek S200 Qtek S200
Statement on integrated memory capacity

RAM is said to have a capacity of 64 MB. Only 44 MB of all 64 are available though. After the soft-reset the OS and the two resident applications (SPB Pocket plus a Pocket Controller), which I had additionally installed, "ate up" 21 MB and I got left 23MB. During the tests of Qtek S200 I did not manage to use them all, yet memory that remained free was not much. Here we can talk about one of the major changes brought about by the new OS against the older ones, as user doesn't have to worry anymore about which application can or cannot be saved into the phone memory.

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