Telstra Debuts i-mate Ultimate On Next G

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i-mate first showed off its Ultimate 8502 and 9502 models at 3GSM in Barcelona last month, but Telstra is claiming the first actual rollout of the device anywhere in the word. Both the candybar 8502 model ($999) and the slide-out keyboard 9502 (effectively the JASJAM's successor at $1,099) will go on sale for use on the ludicrously speedy Next G network on March 25. A post-paid model will follow on April 8 ($100 a month over 24 months).

While i-mate is still largely a business phone company, apparently the JASJAM also found quite a following in the consumer space, and both Ultimate models are being similarly pitched at a dual audience. Keyboard aside, the main differentiator is the camera, which boasts 3 megapixels on the pricier 9502 and a more standard 2 megapixels on the 8502. The phone can be remotely locked via a password-protected web site, handy if you're prone to losing devices. It runs Windows Mobile 6.0 (a 6.1 upgrade is in the works, apparently).

You can access the expected Next G features such as Bigpond TV, though we can't really recommend that given the costs involved. We've currently got our slippery hands on an 8502, and will post a lightning review before the models go on sale next week.

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