HTC T-Mobile MDA Compact IV in-depth review -

Look and Feel

The MDA Compact IV is undeniably good looking, its small size and black shell are enough to catch the eye.

 

Ease of Use

TouchFLO 3D is a great idea on paper but can be tricky to get the hang of in practice.

 

Features

Wi-Fi, GPS and HSDPA, an accelerometer and 4GB of built-in storage all help make this a really feature-rich smartphone.

 

Performance

The TouchFLO system proved to be the bane of this smartphone, just as it had with the original HTC Touch Diamond.

 

Battery Life

T-Mobile offers just two hours of talktime and 200 hours on standby. This is far below par for a Windows Mobile smartphone.

 

 HTC T-Mobile MDA Compact IV Review -
3

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:53:06 PM

2

out of 10

Performance

10

out of 5

Look and feel

4

out of 5

Ease of use

8

out of 5

Features

6

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

Looks stunning and is packed with features.

Cons:

Falls over in the handling department and is short on battery life.

HTC’s Touch Diamond’s good looks and style remain on T-Mobile’s own version, the MDA Compact IV – albeit with some tweaks. Its corners are slightly more rounded and it’s a bit lighter. Also, HTC’s version of the device has a diamond-cut pattern on the back, while T-Mobile has opted for a flat grey back. While, it’s not so different from the norm, we do prefer it to look at, and its matt material means it should pick up fewer fingermarks.

The flat front of the Diamond remains and, apart from a reversing of the call and end keys and home and back keys, nothing has changed. The area beneath the screen is flat and this includes the D-pad surrounding the select button. We found it easy to accidentally hit one of the four iconed areas instead of making a D-pad selection until we got used to pressing it in precisely the right spot.

We do, however, still really like the size of this Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional device. It is tiny compared to the competition and it fits very neatly into the pocket.

 

T-Mobile MDA Compact IV - TouchFLO 3D

TouchFlo 3D has had a makeover and now appears in T-Mobile white and pink rather than HTC black and white. You still sweep and swipe around to get to things like your fave applications, the current weather, photos and music, but T-Mobile has added a link to its Web’n’Walk service.


Scrolling through photos and music tracks is still a matter of swiping the screen. But, as with the Touch Diamond, we found the difference between tapping to select and touching the screen to start a swipe took a while to master.

 

T-Mobile MDA Compact IV -4GB and counting

There is a massive 4GB of internal storage on the MDA Compact IV, but there is no microSD slot. We’re impressed by the built-in storage capacity, but the inability to simply copy files to and from a flash card is a disappointing omission.

GPS and Wi-Fi are built in, as is HSDPA and a front-facing camera for two-way video calling. Our review sample came with the CoPilot software pre-installed to take advantage of that GPS capability, and Google Maps is also pre-installed.


An accelerometer rounds out the features. As well as catering for auto-screen rotation, for example when you are viewing pictures, you can use it with a get-the-ball-round-the-maze game that is included.

 

T-Mobile MDA Compact IV -The verdict

The MDA Compact IV suffers from the same problems we found on the Touch Diamond. Short battery life and a fiddly user interface detract from small, neat and feature-packed hardware.