With the boost of 3G speeds, Sprint added support for its Sprint Music Store where you can wirelessly download music to your phone or PC. To transfer songs from your PC to the smartphone, you can use Sprint's Sync Manager software and the included USB cable. We tried downloading several songs but ran into a number of problems. We could get a preview of the song and view the album art, but once we hit the download button, it would start for a few seconds, then return with a message saying the music store was not available. It took us five attempts before we were able to download one song. Sprint has since told us that its engineers are conducting more tests, so the Sprint Music service will not be available at launch. Instead, it will offer it as an over-the-air download in mid-July. Also, the Mogul doesn't work with Sprint TV at the time of this writing, but you can use Windows Media Player 10 Mobile to view TV shows recorded on your Windows Media Center PC or to tune into your favorite AAC, MP3, WAV, WMA, MPEG-4, and WMV music and video files.
More than the multimedia capabilities, the Sprint Mogul is a tool for staying organized and working while on the go. The upgrade to Windows Mobile 6 Professional Edition brings a collection of small but notable improvements to the PIM functions, including a more robust Calendar app and Windows Live integration. You also get the full Microsoft Office Mobile Suite for creating, viewing, and editing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files, as well as Adobe Reader LE for opening PDFs. To learn more about these features and to get a full rundown of Windows Mobile 6, please check out our full review here.
The Mogul ships with Microsoft's Direct Push technology, so you get real-time e-mail delivery and automatic synchronization with your Outlook calendar, tasks, and contacts via Exchange Server. In addition, there's a new e-mail search function, and you get more of a true Outlook experience as your Inbox shows messages that are flagged and marked as being of high importance. It works like the Smart Dial feature on Windows Mobile 5 devices, where you start typing in a word while in your Inbox, and it will pull up messages automatically with that term in the subject or contact field. As we noted in our review of Windows Mobile 6, the e-mail functionality is even more robust if your company has upgraded to Exchange Server 2007. There is, of course, continued support for POP3 and IMAP accounts, but now you can also view e-mails in their original HTML format, regardless of account type.
We used ActiveSync 4.5 to synchronize our Outlook data from our PC to the Mogul and had no problems. The e-mail search worked well and was a real time saver, and we could view HTML message just fine. We also configured our device to retrieve e-mail from our Yahoo account every 15 minutes, which it did successfully.
Finally, the Sprint Mogul is equipped with a 2-megapixel camera with an 8x zoom and video-recording capabilities. The camera settings are on a par with those of the other Windows Mobile 6 devices with the bonus of including a flash; you have your choice of five resolutions, four quality settings, white-balance control, and various effects. There's also a self-timer, a time-stamp option, a picture counter, and flicker adjustment, among other things. For video, the Mogul can capture clips with or without sound in MPEG-4, Motion JPG, or H.263 format. There are only two resolution choices, but you get the same white balance and color effect settings.
Picture quality was mixed. While colors were bright, particularly the oranges and yellows, the overall image had a hazy effect to it. It's fine for contact pictures and quick snapshots for multimedia messages and e-mail but not much more than that. Video quality wasn't much better, and it was murkier than the T-Mobile Wing.
We tested the dual-band (CDMA 850/1900; EV-DO) Sprint Mogul in San Francisco using Sprint service, and its call quality was generally good. Despite a slight background hiss, we were able to carry on conversations without any problems. We were also able to interact with and be understood by our bank's automated voice-activation system. Our friends said sound was clear on their end, though they weren't particularly impressed with the quality. Unfortunately, things took a dive when we activated the speakerphone. Even at its highest level the volume was weak, and we had to constantly ask our callers to speak up and vice versa. On the upside, we had no problems pairing the Mogul with the Logitech Mobile Traveller Bluetooth headset.
The Sprint Mogul gets a bump in memory over that of the Sprint PPC-6700 with 256MB of ROM (versus 128MB) and 64MB of RAM, but it has a slightly slower 400MHz Intel PXA250 processor (compared to 416MHz). Still, it can't quite keep pace with heavy multitaskers. The apps are memory hogs, and with only about 17MB of free program memory, it fills up pretty fast. On more than one occasion we got the message that there wasn't enough memory to launch a program. You can stop running programs by going to Settings > System > Memory. You can also alleviate some of the problem by taking advantage of the microSD slot.
Based on the poor speakerphone quality, we weren't surprised that music playback through the unit's speakers was poor. Songs sounded tinny and lacked volume and richness. On the other hand, we were impressed by the video quality. Pictures were clear on the Mogul's sharp screen, and there wasn't as much pixilation as we're accustomed to seeing on smartphones. Web sites also looked great, and thanks to EV-DO speeds, we enjoyed fast load times.
The Mogul's lithium-ion battery is rated for 4.1 hours of talk time. In our battery tests, we got 6.5 hours of talk time on a single charge. According to FCC radiation tests, the Mogul has a digital SAR rating of 1.13 watts per kilogram.