MDA Pro is name under which UK users can buy the device more generically known as the HTC Universal, from operator T-Mobile. The phone-cum-PDA-cum-kitchen-sink does everything bar make the tea.

Running the latest version of Microsoft's mobile OS and sporting a 72x55mm colour display, it's a worthy replacement for PDA and mobile, and a follow-on to the MDA Vario (reviewed here, also from HTC).

The Pro's design is unusual but functional. Open it up and you've got a standard clamshell PDA with full qwerty keyboard. Spin the screen around and fold it flat and you've got yourself a Pocket PC. Fold the screen the other way and it's a phone. All very impressive.

A 1.3 megapixel camera capable of producing passable pictures is built into the back, and there's another in the lid for video calls. It supports 3G in addition to GPRS, so you can grab fast data where available or drop back to more sedentary means when out of range.

T-Mobile is bundling the Pro with its new Web 'n' Walk price plan. Prices start at £30 per month, which includes 100 minutes of talk time plus 40 Mbyte of data.

For a PDA it's not overly large, but fans of super-slinky mobiles may find it somewhat clunky for phone use.

It's tri-band, so you won't have a problem using it in the States, and it features built-in Bluetooth, so transferring data will be a cinch. There's a standard mini-USB connector on the back, so you don't need to worry about expensive proprietary cables, and the USB port doubles as a charging socket. It will also recharge itself when connected to a PC.

The Pro is reasonably priced, too. Sign up for a Web ‘n' Walk package and you could get it for £100.

Specifications

  • Tri-band (900/1,800/1,900MHz) GRPS/GSM phone
  • Windows Mobile 5.0
  • IrDA
  • Bluetooth
  • 72x55mm colour display
  • SD card slot
  • 1.3Mp digital camera
  • standby battery life (hours)=200; talk time=5
  • 132x79x22mm
  • 210g


OUR VERDICT

Despite its quirky design, the MDA Pro really does have it all, whether you're after a clamshell, a Pocket PC-format PDA or just a mobile that offers a bit more. Sign up for the right plan, and it's an absolute steal.