i-mate k-jam

Back in early January, I posted about this phone and asked for reader feedback on it.

I got pretty much universally good feedback (other than Ross at Mobius who warned me that it wasn’t going to work for me).

Well Ross was right.  It didn’t work for me.

I am not posting this as a slam on the phone.  It may well be a good phone for many users.

Yesterday I got an email from a reader who said he was going to get the phone based on all the positive feedback I got on it.

And I realized that at this point, it would appear that I am a fan of the phone.

And so I have to set the record straight.  And I also promised a review of the phone and never did it.  So here it goes.

From the minute I got the phone, I had issues.  I got an unlocked GSM version of the phone and when I put my T-Mobile SIM card in it, I did not get a signal.  It turns out that there was no signal in my office and my home even though I got signal on my Treo and Sidekick in those places.  So for a couple days I wondered what was wrong.  Finally with the help of the dealer who sold me the phone, I realized that it worked, just not in my office and my home.

The Edge network seemed to work on the phone but honestly I wasn’t getting browsing speeds any better than I was getting on the T-Mobile network on my Treo which did not have Edge support on it.

Then I started using it for phone calls.  That worked pretty well, particularly with a Bluetooth headset.  But windows mobile isn’t the best phone-oriented operating system.  I got used to it though and could have easily dealt with that.

I found the phone a bit slow to move from application to application (phone to main screen and back).  But it wasn’t a huge issue.

Then I enabled activesync and copied my contacts and calendar to the phone.  That killed the phone. I have ~9800 contacts in my outlook database and a large and active calendar file too.  I think it was the contacts, but who knows.  The phone seized up and it took about five minutes to switch screens after that.

I didn’t even get around to synching email.  I put the phone on my bookshelf along with my Newton.  It’s the graveyard for devices that are a bit before their time.

Their may be windows mobile phones that work well.  I hear good things about the Treo 700w and the i-Mate Jasjar.  Maybe it just takes a fast processor and a lot of memory to make windows mobile work on a phone.  Or maybe it was all operator error on my part.

But if you want a summary of my experience with the i-Mate K-Jam, it was pretty poor.  Maybe my son Josh can use it, but I can’t.

So I am using a Sidekick right now that I will probably give to one of my kids when I figure out what my next smartphone will be.  At this point, I’ve tried them all. And none of them really do it for me.  But I can’t live without one either.

#VC & Technology