It’s not the prettiest smartphone we have ever seen, but the offset mini joystick on the front fascia does give it an air of individuality.
The QWERTY keyboard is tiny, but its keys are nicely raised from each other so they are reasonably easy to hit.
There is no GPS, but it does have HSDPA and Wi-Fi, and you can send the screen’s contents to a TV or projector via a provided cable.
There were no performance issues noticed during testing. It is easy to navigate using a combination of mini joystick, side-mounted scroll-wheel and touch-screen.
The battery life is quite strong for a Windows Mobile Professional device. You should get a couple of days between charges unless you thrash the Wi-Fi and 3G.
Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:52:12 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
The ability to send the screen?s contents to a projector could come in handy.
There?s no GPS, and it is difficult to use the keyboard quickly.
The Ultimate 8502 has a QWERTY keyboard, but the keys are quite small, so if you are planning to type a lot of text then this probably isn’t the smartphone for you.
I-mate has made the most of the space, though, with each key raised in its centre to make it easier to hit accurately. We managed a reasonable speed for creating SMS and email messages, but we would not suggest you try to use this smartphone for long and complex emails, or for document creation.
As with other smartphones in the Ultimate range, the 8502 has a neat trick up its sleeve when it comes to viewing information − you can use the provided cable to send the screen’s contents to a TV or projector.
The cable is a miniUSB at the device end, and it will convey sound as well as pictures, and you could use it to show presentations, pictures, or webpages.
The cable shares the same connector as the mains power connector and stereo headset. And the video-out connector has a through-port so you can charge the smartphone while projecting its screen contents.
Communication is well catered for with 3G and HSDPA support, and is bolstered by HSUPA for faster uploading if your network operator supports it. It is also quad-band, with built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and the controls to turn these on and off are on the main screen.
However, the device lacks a front-facing camera to make two-way video calls. We think this is a sad omission, as the only camera it has, which is found on the back of the casing, is hampered by having just a two-megapixel lens and no auto-focus. A flash lifts it slightly in terms of capability, though.
With no GPS antenna, the Ultimate 8502 is not cutting edge. Still, combining Windows Mobile 6.0 Professional with its touch-screen capability, and adding in a keyboard does mean this could be a good smartphone for the frequent communicator.
We also like the slightly offset navigation button. The mini joystick adds a little individuality to the look of the Ultimate 8502, as it sits off centre towards the right of a row of shortcut buttons on the front fascia. And if you don’t like it, there is a scroll-wheel on the left edge that you can use instead.
The i-mate Ultimate 8502 doesn’t set the world alight with fancy features or stunning hardware design, but its video-out could come in handy, and it is a solid