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T-Mobile MDA Compact IV review

Compact and stylish mobile computing

Tmobile MDA Compact IV
There is no doubting the T-Mobile MDA Compact IV is a small and attractive-looking device which is easy to pocket

Our Verdict

A well-featured device which is let down by its dodgy interface


  • Sleek styling
  • Good screen
  • 4GB internal memory


  • Poor battery life
  • Usability issues
  • Non-expandable memory

T-Mobile has taken on HTC's Touch Diamond and personalised it to fit in with the MDA range of Windows Mobile devices.

There have been some changes to the hardware, most notably the loss of the diamond-cut, fingerprint-magnet back casing in favour of a flat grey backplate.

Interface issues

Windows Mobile Professional 6.1 is overlayed with HTC's TouchFLO 3D interface. This has been given a colour change so it fits T-Mobile's white and pink livery. It certainly looks impressive on the 640 x 480-resolution screen.

Unfortunately, the usability problems we had with the Touch Diamond remain, namely the finger sweeping required to control the interface is not always intuitive and easy to use.

Battery life is also a let-down. The quoted talktime of two hours is simply way behind the competition, and if you want to use the built-in Wi-Fi or GPS antenna away from mains power you'll find it depleting even quicker. An accelerometer allows for automatic screen rotation when you twist the device in your hand.

Attractive phone

There is no doubting this is a small and attractive-looking device which is easy to pocket. Its HSDPA connectivity makes for fast web browsing, and there is a front-facing camera for two-way video calling.

The drawstring bag it comes with might not be practical, but it does protect the screen. Its 4GB of memory may be welcome, though we missed a removable SD card for ease of data transfer.

In the end, usability with the T-Mobile MDA Compact IV is not great, and battery life is poor.