Towards the end of my post about Exchange last week, I mentioned that there was one other thing that made the whole setup all the more sweet. I was talking about my new T-Mobile MDA, a PocketPC phone.

My last phone, as some of you know, was a Symbian Series60-based Nokia 3650 smartphone, and when the time came to upgrade, I was looking for either another newer Symbian device or a WM5 smartphone. Then T-Mo launched the MDA here in the U.S., and I fell in love. :)

T-Mobile MDA The MDA (also known as the MDA Vario, HTC Wizard, i-Mate K-Jam, Qtek 9100, or Cingular 8125) runs the new Windows Mobile 5.0 OS, and features a 200MHz TI OMAP850 processor, 64MB of RAM and a 128MB ROM, with a MiniSD flash memory expansion slot. Being a PocketPC, input is primarily stylus-based, but there's also a nicely hidden, full QWERTY keyboard that slides out from the side. And at the back, is a 1.3MP camera with a tiny little flash.

Now, since the phone runs WM5, the Exchange Server integration is nothing short of amazing. Contacts, tasks, calendar events and emails sync over-the-air with ActiveSync using WiFi (yes, it has a 802.11b/g radio) or the carrier's data plan. I actually find myself reading and responding to emails between classes because it all just works so damn well. And the handwriting recognition is great, so I almost never have to slide the keyboard out either.

The 2.8" 240x320 QVGA display is bright, vivid and crisp, and automatically switches to landscape mode when you slide out the keyboard or turn on the camera. The form-factor is surprisingly compact for such a powerful device. Granted, it's not RAZR-thin, but it's small enough to fit in my palm when the keyboard is tucked away.

There are just so many cool things about this device that one post simply doesn't do it justice. I've been scouring the web, looking for interesting third-party apps built for the Windows Mobile platform. After all, it's the apps that truly set smartphones and PocketPCs apart from regular cellphones. I'll share my thoughts on some of the best ones I've found in future posts.