All in all, this is an impressive device that is a competent contender in the PDA/phone battle. With its integrated web-browsing capabilities and competitive pricing, it may just have the edge.
An interesting device, the Pogo. Fundamentally it's a PDA/phone combo but, unlike other devices on the market, full colour, wireless, web browsing is built-in to this funky device - more on this later.
On the PDA front, a diary, contact book and message centre allowing SMS and email to be sent are all present, along with a range of games and built-in MP3 player.
The device is pleasantly different in design, shaped like some sort of alien life-pod and sporting a 256-colour operating system devised using Macromedia Flash.
The result is an individual, eye-catching device with a colourful interface that will without doubt appeal to the under 30's, or anyone with an air of 'trendy' about them.
Size-wise, the Pogo is about twice the thickness of a Palm V and covers roughly the same area. It has a slightly larger screen size sporting a 320 x 240 pixel resolution.
The PDA features are fairly standard, with the contact book storing three phone numbers and an email per name. The functional diary provides enough detail for hectic lives, and with both a hands-free kit and speaker included, the phone and MP3 functions can be enjoyed in private or in public.
The MP3 player utilises an optional MultiMedia Card slot for storing tunes, and provides standard play and search functions only (no playlist support).
Back to its web browsing capabilities. Utilising a proprietary compression technology it is possible to achieve speeds comparable to that of a 56K modem, albeit with more limited accessibility. There are sites and technology that remain inaccessible, and obviously, downloading or streaming is not currently possible. But the vast majority of sites load without trouble, and are perfectly readable.
Storage of data on the Pogo is mostly done online, and is collected whenever the device is turned on. This has the advantage of data being accessible even when the Pogo isn't with you - all you need is internet access. Any data entered via the web will be synchronised with the Pogo next time it is accessed.
There are a few niggles worth mentioning. Firstly, the stylus is way too thin and takes a little getting used to, which, along with the lack of handwriting recognition software - ubiquitous on other PDA devices - makes the entering of text a little cumbersome. Instead, a soft keyboard is used to input data. Unless you intend to compose email essays, this is no great problem.
The OS is fully updatable however, and software can be developed by third parties, which between them will undoubtedly solve the problem in time.
Another downside is the cheap rubber screen cover that looks unlikely to survive vigorous usage, although the screen itself is more robust than the average PDA/phone. Considering the £300 price tag, you would expect an effective solution to these two problems.
The Pogo is currently sold exclusively via The Carphone Warehouse priced at £299 (inc. VAT), plus a connection fee of £30 and a £7.99 monthly charge for mobile internet access. Full details of tariff charges can be found at www.carphonewarehouse.com.
Pogo Technology: www.pogo-tech.com