The i-Mate JASJAM is essentially the i-mate rebranded version of the
Dopod 838 Pro with a few different localisation quirks. As HTC, the OEM
manufacturer of the JASJAM/838 Pro no longer manufactures phones for
i-mate, it's probably the last locally available HTC phone you'll see
that isn't under the Dopod banner.
The other phone that the JASJAM resembles is the i-mate K-JAM; while
each phone has a slightly different keyboard layout, they've got the
same sliding side-mounted keyboard arrangement, and identical front
button layouts. As with the K-JAM, the JASJAM is a pretty bulky little
phone unit, measuring in at 112.5 by 58 by 22mm and with a carrying
weight of 176 grams. Given that smartphones are normally pitched at the
business user, it'll slip into a jacket pocket with only the slightest
bulge, but the same can't be said of a pair of tight stubbies or an
A-line skirt pocket.
The JASJAM runs off a 400MHz Samsung processor, with 128MB of onboard
ROM and 64MB of RAM; this can be supplemented with microSD cards which
slot in the bottom left hand corner of the phone. It's a Windows Mobile
5.0 smartphone, so it's natively got access to Word, Excel, Internet
Explorer and the ability to act in a Blackberry-like fashion from an
Exchange server. It was commented on in the Dopod review, and we'll
restate it here; while the ability to plug a 2-megapixel camera into
the JASJAM is all well and good, it's probably not a feature that's
going to endear it to your IT purchasing department if you're looking
at it from an enterprise buying position.
The JASJAM's 2.8-inch 320x320 pixel display has good clarity and in
a similar fashion to the K-JAM, flips into landscape mode when the
keyboard is slid out. The stylus sits next to the bottom-mounted USB
port, and is an extending model that's just small enough to roll away
and hide under a notebook, as we discovered during testing. Thankfully
we found our stylus, eventually -- navigating touchscreen menus with
your digits is a pain, even with the help of the JASJAM's side-mounted
On the connectivity front, the JASJAM offers Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/a),
Bluetooth, quad-band GSM, 3G (UMTS), EDGE and HSDPA. It's that last
factor that's important to the JASJAM's offering locally, as it's a
Telstra exclusive within Australia on the HSDPA-enabled Next G network.
Infrared is also offered as a connectivity option -- does anyone really
care any more about infrared? Answers on the back of a postcards to
somewhere else, please.
The JASJAM's 1300mAh battery is rated by i-mate as being good for 4-5
hours of talk time and up to 200 hours standby time; we found it
necessary to recharge the unit on average just over every two days with
fairly heavy usage, including the battery-draining Wi-Fi option. For a
smartphone, this places the JASJAM in average territory, but given that
they're units that are designed to synchronise with other data sources
on a frequent basis, the lack of a real long-term battery probably
isn't too much of a problem.
We also tested the JASJAM's ability to work on the Next G network
with mixed results. If you're just looking for a quick data portal
through to your e-mail and for Web access, then there's not too much
wrong with how the JASJAM uses Next G, presuming you can stomach the
rather painful excess data charges that Telstra's very fond of. Where
the JASJAM will lose appeal on a personal, as opposed to enterprise
level is that it's not capable (at the time of writing) of plugging
into the value added services of the Next G platform -- most notably
the mobile Foxtel offering. Tastes vary, but from what we've seen of
mobile Foxtel, and given the add-on price it entails, we'd say you're
not missing that much.