Telecom New Zealand will soon introduce a new Windows Mobile Pocket PC to the local mobile market. The Triton is a Korean made (Cyberbank) CDMA 1xRTT compatible ruggedized Pocket PC and I am told this is the first English transalation of this device. Even though this is the first translation of this device to an English version, they have done a good job.
The Triton has a different layout, certainly not the standard one for a Pocket PC. For example it comes with a rubber made keypad with some function keys, a directional pad and the standard mobile phone keypad.
While the model I played with comes with a built-in digital camera and flash, Telecom New Zealand have plans to introduce a second model with built-in barcode reader.
The design actually makes it easy to operate the Triton with a single hand, and the size helps balance the unit in the hand when using it. The Triton measures 159mm X 73mm X 21.8mm and weighs 310g.
The Triton Pocket PC
Being a ruggedized device, the primary target market is field force automation. The Triton is water and dust resistant and its body stands drops of up to 1.4m into a concrete floor (no, I have not tested this). There are four rubber pads around the case and all connectors are protected with rubber covers, making it ideal for workers who need to take their handheld devices outdoors.
And there are lots of connectors in this model. There is a cradle connector at the bottom, a USB plug (ActiveSync) on the right side, the infrared and on the top we can find the headset and expansion adapters: one PC Card (Type I), one SD/MMC slot and one mini-USB host for external USB devices. I even tested it with a standard PC USB keyboard and it worked without a problem - it seems the drivers are already pre-loaded into the system.
Multiple expansions: PC Card, mini USB (host), SD/MMC
Rugged looks: rubber pads
The Triton is based on an Intel XScale PXA255 with options to run at 200MHz or 400MHz, selectable from an application in the Settings menu – the reduced speed should help improve battery life. It comes with 64MB RAM and massive 160MB flash memory with 128MB available as a file store. Good approach since it makes sense to store data in a permanent memory when using a device such as this in the field. It would be very convenient for Windows Mobile 5 also, if you ask me…
The TFT LCD measures 3.5” (240x320 pixels) and is quite bright when in maximum backlight. It is also easy to read when outdoors – where I suppose most of the users of this device would really have it.
It runs Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition, and comes with the standard software, including Pocket Word, Pocket Excel, Inbox, Contacts, Calendar, Calculator and ActiveSync. The Triton comes with Windwos Media Player 10 Mobile for Pocket PC, the latest version of Windows Media for Windows Mobile.
Plenty of memory
And although it is running Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition and it is CDMA capable, this is not a Phone Edition device. The Phone application is not the Windows Mobile standard, but a third party application. It works really well and integrates easily with the device though. I also had it synchronising with my Microsoft Exchange Server over the air via CDMA 1xRTT without problems. Users can expect a good throughput when connected to the CDMA network in urban areas.
The Phone application provides the interface for voice calls and SMS (Short Message Service). It integrates with the built-in Contacts and even allows you to add a picture to contacts – but only for use within the phone and used when an incoming call is announced.
The voice quality is really good, sounding loud and clear. Other parties did not complain of my voice either.
Users can apply skins to the Phone application (and I found a few with Telecom written in different colours) and configure the phone from here.
The Phone application
Integration with Contacts
The SMS applications is nice and easy to use, although I found that messages received from a GSM network would not show the sender’s phone number. I am sure this will be looked after by Telecom in due course (isn’t that right folks?).
Writing a SMS is easy like in any other application, and in addition to the standard input methods found in other Pocket PC devices, there is the POZ Keypad. When this is selected users can cycle through 1-A-a using one of the function keys, and enter the text using the keypad, like in any other cellular. Other functions keys provide backspace and carriage return. This works with all applications, but does not have predictive input.
The SMS application
The built-in digital camera (VGA, 300 kpixels) is useable, but you should not expect high quality pictures from this device, but the application is easy to use, with a good Photo Album application. The CB Camcorder application can record up to 200 minutes of low resolution video (no sound) on that 120MB space available. This time is reduced to 20 minutes if a high resolution video with sound is store in that space.
The Triton comes with a Li-ion 1800mAh removable battery and a built-in Li-ion 100mAh backup battery, used when to keep data if the main battery runs out of power. The cradle provides space for an extra battery so users can always have a spare one charged and ready to go. The specifications promise up to 4 hours talk time, and 12 hours stand by.
Battery and built-in camera (with flash) in the back
The Camera application
Good memory space available
Options for built-in bardcode reader
Plenty of expansion options
Rubber numeric keypad
Need to fix the SMS application when sending/receiving messages from GSM networks