Metallic Marvel: The Dopod 595 Reviewed

By Darius Wey on Thursday, November 23, 2006

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The Real Life Tests
The 595 is fortunate enough to have a fast Samsung S3C2442A 300MHz processor, which is sufficient for most demanding tasks. The device also comes packed with 64MB RAM and 128MB ROM, though the user-available portion is severely limited. If you recall, Dopod's bundled applications aren't installed following a hard reset, so I took the liberty to provide two sets of data here: available storage and program memory with Dopod's applications installed, and the same scenario without Dopod's applications installed.

Hard Reset; No Applications Installed
  • Total Storage Memory: 73.81MB
  • Used: 8.13MB
  • Free: 65.68MB

  • Total Program Memory: 53.60MB
  • Used: 22.48MB
  • Free: 31.13MB

  • Hard Reset; Applications Installed
  • Total Storage Memory: 73.81MB
  • Used: 14.53MB
  • Free: 59.28MB

  • Total Program Memory: 53.60MB
  • Used: 24.88MB
  • Free: 28.72MB

  • The point to note here is that of the 128MB of storage, half is available for use. Dopod's applications eat up a little over 6MB, so take advantage of the fact that it's available as a separate CAB file and don't install them if you don't need them. After a few weeks of use, you'll find yourself wanting a storage card because the 60-70MB available just doesn't cut it. Fortunately, microSD cards are reasonably affordable these days. Smart shopping can get you a 1GB card for around $30 USD, or a 2GB card for well under $100 USD. On to RAM, half of the specified 64MB is available for use. Fortunately, the 595 (and the Smartphone platform) is generally memory-efficient. It can run multiple day-to-day applications in the background and barely affect performance. Demanding applications (e.g., Windows Media Player Mobile) may eat a bit more, but the bottom line is, the overall performance of the device isn't greatly impacted upon.

    Next, it's all about wireless!

    Figure 45: Bluetooth is a treat.

    The 595 includes Bluetooth 2.0, but no Wi-Fi, which isn't necessarily a frowning factor as we take a deeper look at the wireless capabilities of the device later in the review. Overall, the performance of the Bluetooth radio is quite good. The Microsoft Bluetooth stack supports hands-free operation with Bluetooth headsets, and I managed to score around nine metres in open space with my Jabra BT500 before audio started to crackle. It was a slightly different story when testing my Bluetake i-PHONO mini stereo headphones; I only managed five to six metres in open space, though it's worth pointing out that ranges attained are multi-factorial in that it highly depends on both the handset and the headset. Unfortunately, stereo audio over Bluetooth (provided by A2DP) has quality issues. Using the 595 and Windows Media Player Mobile, I experienced cutouts every ten seconds or so. This isn't so much a problem with the hardware, but rather the profile itself as A2DP in AKU 2.x is riddled with issues. AKU 3.x offers dramatic improvements, but that's of little significance until Dopod chooses to update the 595 with AKU 3.x.

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