Long time readers will know I hold a soft spot in my heart for the Motorola A3100, one of their few Windows Mobile Professional devices and likely the last for quite a while. While the device seems to have skipped USA completely, its been showing up in secondary markets like Brazil and Australia, and the version being seen on the Telstra network down under has been receiving some pretty good reviews.
PCWorld has this to say about the QVGA device:
Motorola’s MOTOSURF A3100 is one of the most pleasing Windows Mobile devices we’ve had the pleasure of using. The screen is mediocre when compared to other phones, and text entry will frustrate, but both the TelstraOne Experience and Moto Homescreen skins make this smartphone intuitive to use.
Smarthouse, on the same theme, found the integration with the Telstra network and its TelstraOne service to be excellent, meaning users would hardly ever need to leave the slickly animated home screen.
The TelstraOne interface is responsive on the A3100, which made it easy for us to open applications and browse through the applets. Everything task that we could possibly think of was taken care by the interface: it displayed upcoming appointments, incoming SMS/MMS/Email, current task, and even a browser shortcut.
The â€˜Menu’ allowed us to check currently running apps, go to Telstra’s My Place, customise the handset (change image, change theme, auto size background, etc.), view all applications, edit the phone settings, and even update the TelstraOne interface.
Since the A3100 still runs on Windows Mobile 6.1, one can still have access to all the programs and settings by pressing on the Windows Start icon. But since just about everything is present on the TelstraOne interface, there is really no need to bother browsing through the Start menu.
The device scored a solid 4/5. For reference the HTC G1 only achieved 3.5 and the HTC Touch HD 4.5.
Its a real pity this smartphone was never sold in the US, but for Telstra subscribers looking for a Windows Mobile phone with a nice interface, low price, good Opera Mobile browser and that all important 3.5mm headphone jack I cant think of a better choice.