New Phone – O2 XDA Mini S

Finally after something like twelve years with Orange, only five or six phones and one plan change ever, I’ve woken up and moved to get a better deal. Not only a better deal but a better phone. One which can successfully take away the need for my outdated and ailing Palm Pilot and replace my previous overly small Windows Mobile, but keep all the features of both.

No tall order is it? Yet I’ve done it and it’s working better than I expected.

There’s not a lot of choice when looking for a Windows Mobile Phone in the UK especially when you actually want one that’s usuable.

Abroad there seems to be so much more available. As an avid reader of Gizmodo and Engadget I’m actually amazed at the choices for mobile computing users. Yet you just can’t find any of those handsets over here and being offered by a phone provider.

That is until I caught the options from O2. Amongst their XDA range they sported two Mobile Windows Phones with proper QWERTY keyboards, something I was specifically looking for.

After a lot of deliberation I went for the Mini S rather than the next phone up, the Exec. The Mini S carries everything I wanted, and over the Exec it carried the physical size. Here are the features I was looking for and found in the S:

  • First and foremost a phone
  • Full POP3 Email
  • Browser
  • WiFi
  • Bluetooth
  • Word Processing ability
  • QWERTY keyboard
  • Speakerphone
  • Vibrating alarm
  • Voice activation
  • Outlook synchronisation for calendar, tasks and contacts

There were a number of reasons I wanted these features. I wanted to be able to carry all my contacts and calendar wherever I was; to be able to store passwords, etc and take with me; write articles and post them; be able to read my regular websites on the move as well as collect and respond to my email; use a bluetooth headset with voice activation for driving, basically replace my Palm, iPaq and my previous mobile all in one.

The Mini S is everything I need, and the only issue I’ve found with the phone is the convoluted process required to switch back and forth between WiFi and back to GPRS. It takes quite a few extra selects rather than just clicking WiFi on, however it does work superbly and the browser is very handy.

The rest of the phone is very useable and as soon as I had the handset powered up I was able to start writing, downloading email, etc. It did take some time to figure out the WiFi settings, but I got there.

So now I’m sitting in my cinema room, listening to the audio commentary for Sideways, and writing this on the Mini S.

I really do love this phone, it’s doing everything I wanted it to do and it’s very convenient and easy to use. Writing on the go is a very simple thing to do now. I’d wholly recommend it to anyone who wants a PDA combined with a mobile.

5 comments on “New Phone – O2 XDA Mini S”

  1. Simone Reply

    Awww Richard, it does look nice! Kinda heavy on the pockets though.

    I dont see the point of getting a phone like this with my very immobile lifestyle, but then who knows!

  2. Patrick Reply


    My wife is on O2 – and the service is not good! There seem to be loads of blackspots in Edinburgh, and a low number of lines (or equivalent) – sometimes I can’t even get her answer service!

    I hope you have better luck…

  3. Richard Brunton Reply

    Have to say O2 has given me excellent coverage so far, and the phone is superb for writing on the go. So many of the recent stories here have been written on the phone and just pasted across in the evening.

    The WiFi is superb as well. Came out of the Cameo screening, had a coffee in the bar, connected to the free WiFi and rattled away. Or…I could have connected to a few other sites that were round about!

  4. Nige Reply


    Its not just me then! My brother and I are both techies, (we both have degrees!) and both spent the best part of an hour trying to figure out how to swap between wifi and GPRS on my mini s. To no avail.

    The O2 literature is appalling for help. Can you tell me how you figured this out?

    PS we were in a wifi hotspot and were connected at the time.



  5. Richard Reply

    Hey Nige. Same here, I’m a big techie too and it took an age for me to find it.

    Start > Settings > Connections > Network Cards

    This is also available from the Comms Manager page by selecting…

    Settings > Wi-Fi Settings > Menu > Network Cards

    You can now see the connections, both preferred and in range. The connections will be cycling through attempts at connecting, if the Wi-Fi isn’t connected already. Select one of the connections and you can see the settings for that connection, including:

    General – Which connection it uses

    Network Key – Authentication, Data Encryption, Network Key

    802.1x – 802.1x access control

    Does that help? Oh, also bear in mind I’ve just put on the latest OS update from O2, but I think the previous setup was very similar.

    Let me know if that helps.

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