Thoughts on the i-mate SP5m (HTC Tornado)

Microsoft gave each Mobius attendee an i-mate SP5m and I am working on a review for The phone gets excellent reception, better than the Nokia N90, and the 320×240 display is beautiful. The device came loaded with some applications and now I have no memory left to install my own applications. I may do a hard reset and start over with applications I want soon. At first the large number of buttons below the display may seem a bit confusing and the keypad buttons are definitely quite small. However, the buttons are actually designed well with their curves and I haven’t had any issues pressing buttons. This device has media buttons, Internet Explorer, back, play/pause, forward and 4 small rectangular buttons above these for the two soft keys, Home, and back navigation. A couple MAJOR flaws with the Tornado since it is designed as a media phone is the lack of USB 2.0 suppport and the fact that the storage card is under the battery. I would expect a media focused device to use USB 2.0 and have an easily accessible memory card to load up with music or video.

The device is quite hardy, as evidence by the 3 foot drop it made out my truck when my elbow bumped it yesterday. I was ticked since my devices are always in mint condition and I use extreme care when handling them. Luckily, there is only one minor dent/scratch on the top next to the IR port and everything works like a charm.

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