By April 10, 2008

i-mate JAMA 101 review

The i-mate JAMA 101 – it’s a mini JAMin!

10 second review:
Device: i-mate JAMA 101
Cost: SIM free only: £199.95
Available from: Devicewire
Summary: a mini version of the popular JAMin but needs a little work to be a as much of a star as its predecessor
Best of: size and looks
Worst of: can be slow at times

i-mate JAMA 101

i-mate JAMA 101

The Full Review

Hot on the heels of the x150 reviews we featured a few weeks ago we’ve had a hands on with the consumer equivalent the i-mate JAMA 101 the JAMA range is i-mates first foray into the consumer marketplace after the dissolution of their relationship with HTC so it’s quite key to their brand image, we’re going to look at how the JAMA measures up. The 101 is an upgraded version specs wise and styling wise over the original JAMA.

I-mates HTC devices have stood them in good stead, the JAMA looks just like a mini version of i-mates HTC JAMin which was a massive favourite of mine. The JAMA certainly turned heads the styling and size are fantastic, the screen is a little smaller than is ideal but you’re getting a really compact PDA here with Windows Mobile 6 professional on board.

What’s in the box?

The usual bits and pieces come with in the box with the JAMA and you can see more in Matt’s JAMA unboxing video but the basics are:

  • i-mate JAMA 101
  • Mains charger
  • Battery
  • USB Sync/charge cable
  • User guide
  • Screen protector
  • Wired stereo headset
  • Spare stylus
  • Application CD rom
  • i-mate JAMA 101 specification:

  • Microsoft® Windows Mobile® 6 Professional
  • Samsung 300 MHz processor
  • 128Mbytes ROM 64 Mbytes RAM
  • 2.4″ 240 x 320 touch screen
  • GSM/GPRS (class 10) Tri-band 900/1800/1900 MHz
  • 128MB ROM, 64MB RAM
  • Micro-SD card slot Memory Expansion (up to 2GB)
  • Nominal Talk time 4 hours, up to 150 Hours Standby
  • 2.0 Mega Pixel-Effect camera with 5x digital zoom
  • Bluetooth® v1.2
  • USB1.1
  • Environment
    My usual enterprise environment exchange 2003 server using exchange activesync


  • Size: it’s tiny, really compact
  • Looks: I’m a fan of the matt black finish of the JAMin and the JAMA has the same styling
  • No Lights:

  • No sign of life: the JAMA has no visual indication that it’s on, no LEDs no lightsn no nothing. After my experiences with the ATOM this was disconcerting, I like a flashing LED at least to let me know the device is still alive.
  • Battery life: I got a day’s use of the JAMA but that was it, I’d hope for a bit better, I know it’s small but you need more juice than this
  • No WiFi, 3G and only USB 1.1: I suppose this is down to the size of the JAMA but I can’t help feeling it’s a retrograde step.
  • Lowlights:

  • Flaky software: the JAMA hung far too often and refused to come back from the dead after I cleared the memory of my data prior to sending the JAMA back.
  • Erratic Bluetooth: possibly another symptom pf the same problem however the JAMA’s Bluetooth just kept shutting down and a reboot was necessary to get it back sometimes.

    The JAMA 101 is a really really good looking device, a great size, great finish and a real tactile feel; it looks the entire world like a smaller version of the JAMin.

    The JAMA is a real eye catcher and elicited a great deal of comment, it’s a very compact and attractive device, the matt black finish is traditional i-mate and the JAMA sits nicely in the palm.

    i-mate JAMA 101 next to HTC TyTN II

    i-mate JAMA 101 next to HTC TyTN II

    Form Factor – The design cues
    Physically, notwithstanding the keypad and the slight difference in screen size the two devices are identical the arrangement of ports and buttons follows the same scheme on both the x150s:

    Simple LED notification at the top – strangely inactive on the review device

    i-mate JAMA 101 top view

    i-mate JAMA 101 top view

    MicroSD card slot cover and external antenna on the left hand side

    i-mate JAMA 101 left side

    i-mate JAMA 101 left side

    Stylus, camera button and volume rocker to the right

    i-mate JAMA 101 right side

    i-mate JAMA 101 right side

    Headset and USB sockets covered by plastic flaps, Mic and reset buttons to the bottom

    i-mate JAMA 101 bottom view

    i-mate JAMA 101 bottom view

    The keypad is set out logically

    i-mate JAMA 101 keypad

    i-mate JAMA 101 keypad

    And the expected camera and self portrait mirror with handsfree / audio speakers to the rear

    i-mate JAMA 101 back

    i-mate JAMA 101 back

    The JAMA has the nice high impact matt black plastic finish no fingerprint problems here.


    The JAMA is a bit light on connectivity options, GSM and GPRS not 3G and HSDPA and no WiFi USB 1.1 not 2.0, I suppose this is the price you pay for the compact form factor but I think the omission of WiFi in a non operator device is a disappointment.


    Frankly the JAMA was a bit flaky in operation, the processor and memory are a bit under specced the device came close to a reset a couple of times, but never actually needed one.


    Despite its compact side the JAMA is well laid out the only criticism I have is that the camera button is a bit too central and you obscure a fair bit of the screen with your hand when using the camera. The screen is small and the onboard keyboards need the stylus for successful operation.

    Look and Feel

    The interface is pretty much vanilla Windows Mobile 6 Professional, there’s an i-mate themed today background but nothing fancy, if you are used to the WM6 interface then there are no surprises here either.


    There’s nothing unusual in the loaded applications on the JAMA the only surprise is the profile controller which allows the user to assign profiles much as in windows mobile 6 standard phone devices.

    i-mate JAMA 101 settings

    i-mate JAMA 101 settings

    Profile controller is pretty self explanatory

    i-mate JAMA 101 profiles

    i-mate JAMA 101 profiles


    Stability was a little disappointing, the JAMA locked up a few times but came back), when handling documents the device grinds a little, never actually needing a reset but very nearly getting the stylus treatment a couple of times. The biggest problem for was Bluetooth which kept turning itself off for no apparent reason a real pain when driving and using a headset.

    Overall Assessment

    The JAMA was a real pleaser initially and the styling certainly gained a positive reaction, however the lack of 3G and WiFi were a bit of a disappointment and with continued use the lack of visual notification and the fiddly on screen keyboards were a bit of pain. I wouldn’t replace my current devices with the JAMA at the moment but with an update to iron out the stability issues the JAMA could be a real winner.

    Review by: Alasdair

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    Posted in: Reviews

    About the Author:

    More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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