The T-Mobile Ameo is essentially a re-badged HTC Advtange but with hot keys to T-mobile’s Web ‘n’ Walk service and a few software tweaks, for example the Ameo has the Opera browser bundled for tabbed browsing.
Taking the opportunity to road test it for a few days I’m pretty impressed. The device has a 5″ screen with a 640 x 480 screen-res which offers exceptionally clear text and some impressively sized icons allowing for easy control of the device and applications.
If your experience of Windows Mobile is limited to the use of smartphones such as the MDA/Vario or a standalone PDA you’d perhaps be surprised at how much more useful it is when coupled with a keyboard and decent sized screen.
In camera mode the screen doubles as the viewfinder and the camera can take both still and moving images with resolution and quality able to be controlled by the user. A second camera on the front of the Ameo acts as a ‘webcam’ for video calls.
If the impressive 8GB hard drive isn’t sufficient additional storage space can be added via the miniSD card slot which is positioned under the battery making it a bit of a chore to swap cards – an external slot would have been preferable.
The device somes in two parts – screen and optional keyboard which can be stored in the bundled leather case making it resemble a very 80’s filofax.
Let there be no mistake, this makes for a poor phone unless used with a bluetooth headset. Use it without one and you’re either going to have to clamp something the size of a small paperback to your head or shout into the speak hands-free, neither of which are ideal.
As standard it ships with a cable to connect it to your screen – yes it has a micro VGA output – and another cable is available from the manufacturers allowing it to connect to more devices. There’s also a mini USB Data Cable bundled as well as a wired handsfree set.
As you’d expect it can sync to a Windows PC but neither Microsoft nor T-Mobile seem concerned at the inability of Mac users to do likewise, this is especially a shame after T-Mobile opted to include Mac support on their USB Web ‘n’ Walk modems.
The brushed steel finished casing gives a feeling of robustness and value and the bundled leather case/holder adds an additional layer of style.
The Ameo is a powerful device ideally suited for busy freelancers or mobile office workers.and it’s unlikely ever to be a mass market toy but for those with a legitimate need to email, surf and write on the move it’s an ideal substitute for those times when you wouldn’t really need to take a laptop with you but still need to work.