Telecom New Zealand implemented their CDMA network a while ago, and although the offer of funky mobile phones is not comparable to the competition, their data solutions seem to be equivalent. Users of their CDMA network have PC Cards and Pocket PCs to help them connect to the internet. Telecom New Zealand branded their CDMA product as "Mobile Jetstream", Jetstream being their ADSL product, to give an idea of speed.
The Audiovox Thera incorporates the already known Pocket PC functionality: Outlook synchronisation (contacts, calendar, e-mail), additional programs available from a number of on-line stores including Handango, Pocket Outlook and Pocket Internet Explorer, with the added value of the mobile phone.
There are two direct competitors to this device: the QTEK 1010 and the Palm Tungsten W. Both work with GSM networks, so the Thera is your device by default if you're connected to the CDMA network and need the mobility functionality without having to carry a laptop with you.
The memory is 32MB, which is less than what we get in newer devices, but still enough to add a variety of programs. In my case I've installed a demo of Access Netfront browser. This browser allows me to access websites with contents that sometimes Pocket Internet Explorer can't render well. The Thera also has a SD slot, so memory expansion is guaranteed.
The CDMA is a little faster than the GPRS network offered by the competition, and I've donwloaded e-mails without problems and fast. Browsing is a different story. Although the network is faster, the Thera comes with an Intel StrongARM processor running at 206MHz, making the rendering of web pages a slow process - you can browse and it works very well, but expect a slow response from this device.
As for speed, using the meter in this site gave me readings of up to 64kbps , which is 50% faster than I can get on the GPRS network.
The box contains a headset, which is very convenient, including a remote control. Like the Palm Tungsten W, this is a data centric device with voice capabilities. The headset is there so the user can talk and crunch data at the same time! The standard cradle is also there, but as other Pocket PCs it can be connected directly to the charger, without requiring the cradle - good if the user travels a lot.
The voice quality is really good, very loud without the headset, and just right with it. Just to complain, the screen is not bright like the HP iPaqs, not very usable outdoors, but good enough for indor usage, or in the shade.
Operating System: Microsoft Windows for Pocket PC 2002