Rethinking the Mini

For the second time since I bought it 11 months ago, my O2 hung so badly that it couldn’t be rebooted the usual way (by poking a hole at the base of the device). This time the warning message I got, shortly before it hung, was along the lines of ‘Out of memory’.
After numerous attempts in vain, I had to do a hard reboot, resulting in my phone data being lost. Fortunately I was at home and managed to install the latest Windows Mobile patch (in the hope that it’s more stable), and re-install my Bible software. Fortunately, all the data in my memory card was fine.
The first time it happened to me, though, it was more scary. I was on the road, heading towards a colleague’s home for dinner. The O2 mini was lying peacefully in my car’s cup-holder. I can’t remember exactly when it happened, but I noticed the screen didn’t look right anymore. I touched it with my fingers and it didn’t respond. Rebooting didn’t help.
Naturally I didn’t have the O2 manual with me, and I really needed to get it working again. I did a hard reboot and then realised that all my contact data was wiped out. How was I to find my colleague’s place now? I couldn’t even call for help. Fortunately, I remembered the road she stayed on, and found the right condo. (Note: Prayer does help!!)
But it was a harrowing experience. No phone I’ve used before, has hung so badly on me. At worst, my Nokia phones would just get slower and slower. But even when they hung, I could restart them without problems. I noticed however that Windows Mobile doesn’t totally close apps after you’ve exited them. So after a while a lot of RAM is being used, but when you check, no programs are running in the background. The only option left (as far as I know) is to reboot the Mini.
That’s the most serious flaw in my Mini so far. The user interface sucks for SMS too – why is the numpad so small and pushed to the side? And if you meet an old friend on the street and he rattles off his mobile number to you, you can’t just key in his number, then ‘Save as new contact’. You must go into the address book, create new contact, then scroll down to the mobile phone field, and enter the number.
Having said all that, it’s cool to view my PDFs, Powerpoint slideshows (yes, all one of them) and keep Excel spreadsheets on my little Mini. But these are all just NICE to have. I’d very much like a phone lets me SMS quickly without fumbling with my fingers / using a stylus. A phone that lets me call people from my address book with minimal scrolling and searching, and won’t hang on me again.


  1. Just a Stranger

    Might like to checkout Sprite Backup
    It allows you to save an executable backup on your memory card; so you can restore your last backup when out in the field.
    Doesn’t the O2 Mini have some kind of persistant storage? Even my ancient HP6365 and O2 XDA would restore the calandar and addressbook on a hard reset…

  2. Queenie Bikini Oink

    Hmm…sounds like you need a phone that can work as a phone…not as a computer!

  3. vantan

    To Queenie: Well, why can’t they design a PDA phone that works well as both a PDA and a phone?
    Bells and whistles aside, I do want to have a portable Bible reference with me all the time. And if I don’t need to carry a separate PDA, all the better.
    But the essentials (making calls, sending SMSes) should work, and it should be easy to do.
    Whatever the case, whether it is a PDA or a phone or both, the system should not keep on hanging. Hopefully the patch I installed will do the trick.
    To ‘Just A Stranger’: Nope, the only data that’s preserved are the files stored in my removable memory card.
    Thanks for the link to the backup software. However I don’t have a PC, just Macs, so it’s trickier for me. I’ll just continue to rely on iSync to restore my address book (if it hangs again).

  4. abraxis

    Hmmm. Sounds like my adventures with my Blue Angel (AKA o2 XDAiiS).
    When I first started using it, I kept getting these nasty “Out of Memory” messages that would persist even when I performed a soft reboot. It had so little memory that I couldn’t get back into the desktop.
    I finally figured out that one of the side keys was a audio record button and that I was creating huge audio files that was hogging up memory when I inadvertently was pressing the record button as I was putting my Blue Angel into my pocket.
    So I reprogrammed the button. That problem solved. But then there’s all the other stupid Windoze Mobile problems. Like having to reboot your phone each time you turn off bluetooth. The only reason I jumped to WM from Palm was for built in Wi-Fi and Skype.
    Just got a new SLVR. At least that doesn’t have you reboot each day!

  5. Just a Stranger

    It’s a O2 Xda II Mini that you have right?
    Check out the “Permanent Save” feature (Pg 83).
    Start > Settings > System > Permanent Save
    (You need to do this again to ‘restore’ after a hard reset).
    If you’ve got a friend with a PC, you can install s/w on your Mini as a ‘guest’ after installing ActiveSync. Alternatively, look for cabinstaller – it’ll allow you directly install .cab files on your PPC.

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