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Total PDA

Pocket PC Explored - Help and Advice

This page contains information on Microsoft's Pocket PC Operating System, with links to useful online web resources, frequently asked questions, reviews, and recommended software.

Total PDA

o2 XDA Orbit - Combined PDA and mobile phone
From the same manufacturer of the o2 XDA Mini, this is a high-spec mobile phone and PDA in one package. As well as being a GPRS-enabled mobile phone, it carries the latest Windows Mobile 5.0 software, has a built-in GPS receiver for satellite navigation, has built-in Wi-fi and Bluetooth, a 2 megapixel camera, and also supports USB connectivity. Released in November 2006, this is a top PDA/mobile in a tiny package.

Vital statistics:

  • OS: Windows Mobile 2005
  • Connectivity: Quad-band mobile, GPRS , Bluetooth , Wi-fi, USB
  • Camera: Built-in 2 Megapixel camera
  • Screen: Colour touchscreen
  • Memory: 64 MB SDRAM, 128 MB ROM

Available from O2's online store (o2 XDA Orbit) or from T-Mobile (MDA Compact III), free on selected tariffs.See our o2 XDA Orbit for more details

o2 XDA Orbit

o2 XDA Trion - Combined PDA and mobile phone

The XDA Trion from mobile phone operator o2 follows in the line of o2's successful range of mobile phone / PDA devices. As well as being a high-powered Windows Mobile PDA, it's also a high-powered quad-band mobile phone with 3G and GPRS for Internet and Email access, has onboard Wi-fi, a megapixel camera and a nifty little sliding keyboard.

  • Connectivity: Quad Band mobile, 3G, GPRS , Bluetooth & Wi-fi
  • Camera: Built-in camera (stills and video)
  • Screen: Colour touchscreen
  • Dimensions: 112 x 58 x 22mm, Weight 176g
  • Processor: 400MHz

The o2 XDA Trion is available free on contract from

o2 XDA Trion
Dell Axim X51 Pocket PC LOWEST PRICE!

OS: Windows Mobile 5.0
Expansion: SD / CF card slot
Display: 3.5" (240x320 pixel) TFT touchscreen
Memory: 64MB models available
Power: Removable Li-ion battery
Connectivity: USB / Bluetooth and Wi-fi

Availability: Now, priced upwards of £209 inc. VAT & delivery from Dell consumer site.

For more, see our Dell Axim page
Dell Axim X51

T-Mobile MDA Compact
This tiny pocket PC / mobile phone from UK operator t-mobile is a tri-band device with Bluetooth, GPRS and a 1.3 megapixel camera. Comes with Pocket PC versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, Media Player and Internet Explorer

OS: Windows Mobile 2003
Navigation: Touch screen, four-way navigator
Battery life: Rechargeable
Memory: 64Meg
Connectivity: USB cradle

The MDA Compact is currently available free on selected tariffs from

T-Mobile MDA Compact

Fujitsu Siemens Pocket Loox

An excellent range of popular Pocket PC devices. Here's a summary of the models:

  • Pocket Loox 420 - 400MhZ processor and 64Meg of RAM with Bluetooth and Wi-fi
  • Pocket Loox 610 with Bluetooth and optional Wi-fi
  • Pocket Loox 710 - Wi-fi and Bluetooth enabled
  • Pocket Loox 720 - With camera and VGA screen

Availability: Upwards of £200 from: Amazon and PC World

Pocket Loox 610

Buying a Pocket PC?

Looking to buy a Pocket PC? Try some of these links to make sure you get a good bargain...

  • If you're looking to buy online, try the following mainstream stores first: PC World and Amazon.
  • Kelkoo - Check out the best UK prices on new Pocket PC hardware.
  • or - Bid for machines and accessories, and sell unwanted PDA stuff



Pocket PC Book


A selection of screenshots of the Pocket PC Operating System:

Today view
Internet Explorer
Email on the move
Media player video
MSN instant messanger
File browsing
Synching to a PC


Software to check out:

Navigating with TomTom

TomTom Navigator. Excellent routeplanning software from mobile navigation experts, TomTom.

In-car navigation is big business with satellite navigation systems running into thousands of pounds. If you happen to have a Pocket PC, you can achieve the same results for a fraction of the cost, thanks to TomTom Navigator.

You can use this software to replace your in-car map books, and as a searchable street directory, but it comes into its own when coupled with a GPS receiver. You can plan a route to your chosen destination, and when your journey starts, see a moving representation of your car as you travel - best of all, you'll get spoken turn-by-turn directions, so you can't make a wrong turn. Also runs on Symbian devices and Palm OS PDAs.

For more, see our TomTom Navigator apge.

DigiGuide, via Avantgo - Forget buying TV listings magazines, or struggling with the TV section of the daily newspaper, by getting daily TV and radio listings synched to your Pocket PC or Palm PDA. There are two offerings, the Radio Times handheld, or DigiGuide. Our favourite is the digiguide offering. Firstly, it's cheaper than the BBC's offering, but it offers up to a month's worth of programme listings, allows you to mark your favourite shows (and get an email reminder if you like), and it has a companion online service, so you can search listings from your web browser. Best still, if you have a complex channel line-up (such as a Sky package), you can type in names of favourite series (past and present), and see if and when they get repeated on any channel - occasionally that old classic sitcom will get repeated somewhere - and you'll be in the know.
For details, see the Radio & Telly Guide page


How can I transfer data from another PDA? Moving data from one PDA to another, or trying to convert a non-standard file into Pocket PC format can be troublesome. As it's such a common question, we've created a dedicated conversion page. If the information on this page isn't useful, or we're missing a format, please let us know.
Looking for software? Check out for one of the widest ranges of Pocket PC software out there. If they don't have what you need, try
Installing software Looking for help with software installation, or ActiveSync? See our dedicated ActiveSync page
Copying files to a Pocket PC

If you have files on your computer that you'd like to copy to your Pocket PC, there are several ways to achieve this:

  • PPC Mobile DeviceActiveSync - Certainly the easiest option, you make use of the Pocket PC's ActiveSync software supplied with your Pocket PC. When your Pocket PC is docked with the desktop, you'll find you can use the connection to copy files using drag-and-drop. Go to Windows "My Computer", and you should see a "Mobile Device" icon. Double-click on this icon, and it should open up the files and folders on the Pocket PC.
  • Infrared - If your Pocket PC and desktop computer (or other PDA, phone, etc) both have infrared, you can beam files to and from your Pocket PC. It's a case of lining up the infrared windows and using the apporpriate software the beam files
  • Bluetooth - If your desktop computer and Pocket PC have Bluetooth, you can beam files in either direction. For more on Bluetooth, see our Bluetooth Pocket PC section
  • Memory card - If your Pocket PC takes memory cards (such as MMC or SD), you could get a card reader for your PC, and use that to transfer files
  • Email - A last resort, but you could email files to an email account, and then configure the Pocket PC to download emails from that account. Not ideal, but may help if you're trying to get a small file and away from your normal desktop. More on using Email on our connectivity page.
Looking for accessories? For a good range of Pocket PC spares and accessories, we recommend you try Partmaster - Spare styli, cases, Memory cards, leads and batteries can all be found on the Partmaster site for to-the-door delivery. Also recommended for accessories, is or you can try bidding for a bargain on
Activesync problems

For problems with ActiveSync, see our page dedicated to Microsoft's PC synchronisation solution, Activesync

I need help connecting

We offer some pages of help on this, as follows:

Help with Bluetooth Pocket PCBluetooth allows you to connect to mobile phones, PCs and other compatible devices without wires. Some Pocket PC devices come with Bluetooth built-in, and some can use attachable, CF or SD card Bluetooth modules.
For help with Bluetooth connectivity for your Pocket PC, see our Bluetooth page.
Help with Wi-fi If you're looking to set your Pocket PC up to connect to the Internet or to your desktop PC using 802.11 wireless networking, see our dedicated WiFi page.
Where are my backups stored on the PC Try: c:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Microsoft\ActiveSync\Profiles

You may come across Pocket PC software asking you to pick one of these options. These acyronyms represent the processor (CPU) type that powers each model of Pocket PC, and the options represent earlier days of Pocket PC development, where an application had to be compiled for a specific processor.

Just about all of the more recent Pocket PC 2002 / 2003 / Windows Mobile devices are either 'ARM' or 'PXA' (Intel XScale), and in just about all cases, ARM apps should also work on XScale processors. Early Casio Cassiopeia devices were MIPS and the early HP Jornadas were SH3.

If you see software making this distinction, it may indicate that the software may have been complied a few years ago, and therefore may not run on the latest machines. If in doubt, check with the software author.

Text input

A Pocket PC keyboardPocket PC devices support a number of different text input methods. When you're in a place where you can type text (such as the Word or Notes applications), you should see an icon in the middle of the bottom toolbar - a picture of a pen or a ketyboard. Tap this to open a pop-up menu that offers the following input methods:

  • Keyboard - A small tappable keyboard
  • Transcriber - Supports handwriting recognition
  • Block Recogniser and Letter Recogniser - Two different ways of inputting text, one letter as a time, as you draw them on the screen


How can I take screenshots? If you need to capture a sample of a Pocket PC screen, for inclusion on a website, for a magazine, or for technical support reasons, there are two shareware products that we recommend - Screen Capture Utility from ValkSoft, or PocketShot
Free up some memory If you're finding your Pocket PC is grinding to a halt or running low on memory, it's worth noting that when you close an application with the button in the top right of the display, you're not actually closing the application, just minimising it, so it's easy to fill up your memory with open applications.
To solve this, there are several Task Manager applications out there (including the excellent Battery Pack Pro), but our favourite is Magic Button, which replaces the Close (minimise) button with a Close (and exit) button. Magic Button is available for free from
Pocket PC switch on Noticed that your Pocket PC has the habit of switching on and off of its own accord? This could be that you're using ActiveSync v3.7 or higher. By default, the Pocket PC will try to connect to a server every 5 minutes. Go onto the Pocket PC ActiveSync app, and go to 'Tools', 'Options' and the 'Schedule' tab, and see what the current setting is. It may need tweaking.

Envirofone - cash for your old mobile phones
Need help with your Pocket PC? Ask in our forum

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