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Torn between BenQ P50 and the Wizard...

60 posts
Thanks Meter: 2
By Midi_Amp, Member on 8th September 2005, 03:36 PM
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Hi all... After some thorough and deep thinking, I have finally decided to buy another Windows Mobile device. HTC Wizard is definitely the device of choice for me, as it has the one thing I need to have, a QWERTY keyboard... Except the processor powering it kind of downer (although my hopes are up again with the recent benchmark). But today, out of nowhere... I got myself a BenQ P50 to be tested! The fabled device that shook the gadget world last year, and off course, a laughing stock of many because it's only available in Taiwan and some part of England if I'm not mistaken...

I work for a gadget magazine, and the arrival of the P50 is a shocking event indeed in my country (it is sold by private importer, not BenQ). It has BT, Wi-Fi, PXA272@416MHz, and QWERTY keyboard WITH backlight! (I remember reading it doesn't have a backlight) And should I mention the price? It's only US$610! US$40 cheaper than the O2 XDA II Mini (the price might hike as demand soar... And I bet it will)

Off course it only has 64 Megs of RAM and ROM so WM 5.0 upgrade is out of the question. But it has QWERTY keyboard and Wi-Fi, with a proven fast and power efficient processor. But currently, XDA II Mini has nothing to offer besides longer lasting battery to boot against the P50 (The P50 has a laughable 1260 mAH)

One thing I like about WM 5.0 is the persistent storage, but other than that, nothing... I dunno... It's very tempting to buy the P50, as the Wizard might be available early next year here in my country... I am ready as I can be to let go my Treo 650.
8th September 2005, 09:14 PM |#2  
Senior Member
Flag Biggleswade
Thanks Meter: 62
Ive heard really bad things about the BenQ - poor build quality, poor performance, poor battery life etc...

The Wizard's TI CPU is far more battery efficient than Intel processors and (apparently) does more per clock cycle than an Intel CPU.

The Wizard is smaller (because the keyboard can be slid away) and the keyboard is backlit too.

Windows Mobile 5.0 is a godsend - persistant storage means that not only will you never lose your apps or documents but you'll also have a longer lasting battery!

I seriously would forget the BenQ.
9th September 2005, 07:04 AM |#3  
OP Member
Flag Jakarta
Thanks Meter: 2
Okay... Your point is very much valid except for performance (the joystick doesn't offer good tactile feedback, and the QWERTY keyboard is not as practical as the Blue Angel). As of speaking, I am running spb benchmark program on the P50, XDA IIi result will follow... I will update my post after the benchmark. But anyway, does anybody have a benchmark result for the Magician?
9th September 2005, 08:13 AM |#4  
Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 4
From what I read on the Hofo thread on the P50, the ROM and its updates are horribly unstable and have all kind of flaws. Screen not turning off, problems with speaker, etc etc. Enough bad news for me to wait for the Wizard. WM5 is something I really look forward to, since I hate worrying about batterylife and losing my data. I have Big Storage on my Compact, so I save almost everything in there, but still WM5 would be ideal for me. Plus the benefits of the Wizard over the magician in terms of Wifi, keyboard and a better bluetooth stack are enough to convince me of the Wizard.
9th September 2005, 08:28 AM |#5  
Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 1
That P50 looks really nice. Keyboard, WiFi, only problem is it says WM2003 and not WM5. But as it isn't released yet who knows. Any idea on expected date and price?
9th September 2005, 09:59 AM |#6  
Junior Member
Kent, UK
Thanks Meter: 0
Personally, i don't really like the look of the P50. It just looks odd with the keyboard squished on the bottom. Also ooks like the keyboard will be very akward to use as it's right at the very bottom and all that weight hanging out of your hands, far to dropable.
9th September 2005, 11:15 AM |#7  
Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 4
It is for sale through various channels, just check out the thread on the P50 on Hofo ( There are quite a few people who own one there and all are more or less unhappy with it. It is definitely running 2003 SE and there is no WM5 upgrade to look forward to. prices etc can also be found there. To me the P50 looked nice a year ago, but with the WM5 devices around the corner the P50 is old school and too late to market.
9th September 2005, 06:58 PM |#8  
OP Member
Flag Jakarta
Thanks Meter: 2
As promised, direct comparison between the P50 and XDA IIi (Alpine) using spb benchmark... From the left most column... BenQ P50 (optimized mode), BenQ P50 (battery save mode), and Alpine (Turbo mode). The modes I stated is located on the battery tab on the settings menu. Well, it's a good news benchmark wise... Especially on the graphics, despite the processor of both device push 320x240 pixel, the small screen probably helps. Dunno, it seems consistent that devices with smaller screens perform better on spb's graphic index bench.

And yes... The unit I tested is horrible... If I closed the mic when using speakerphone, there's a weird feedback sound. The sound from the speakerphone is minimum (I use the speakerphone to speak normally, because the internal speaker is so weak) but when I used the speakerphone the mic often brushed my cheek... And there's that electric feedback sound problem. Not to mention the very dark camera... It's very awful... The picture taken with my Treo (VGA) is whole lot better in quality :x

But after all, I am reviewing an engineering sample, so probably that's where the problem is... I'll be asking for a non sample product next monday.

Battery... Well, it's not that bad, comparable to the Alpine's 1300 mAh actually.

But all in all... This device (feature wise) can bring down the Magician to its knee (discounting the problems it have). But compared to the Wizard...It's like you guys tell it is... A no contest... But I will monitor closely the processor power of the Wizard.
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