2.5 star rating

Zumobi Beta Review

Pros: span id"intelliTxt" name"intelliTxt"spandiv class"bt" style"MARGIN 0px; PADDING-TOP 10px" Free; Quick access to information; Pretty smooth experience on touchscreen phones div divdiv
Cons: Cant create tiles for Web sites; Limited number of applications; Not as fun on smart phones without a touchscreen
The Verdict: This Windows Mobile app tries to make accessing Web-based content more fun with a unique tile interface, but it’s not ready for prime time.



The iPhone has the widget thing nailed, but owners of Windows Mobile devices aren’t completely out of luck. Zumobi recently launched a beta version of its software, which brings games, news, and more to your Windows Mobile 5 or 6 device. The first release of the software is intriguing, but, not surprisingly, it has some flaws. If Zumobi adjusts some of its UI issues and adds more features before its final release, it could become an application worth recommending.

How Zumobi Works
Article Continued Below

The free Zumobi application features Tiles, small programs that draw content from the Web (make sure you have an unlimited data plan). After we signed up on the company’s Web site, an SMS message with the Zumobi download link was sent to our phone. The download took 3 minutes, and installation took another 5, which is too long for our tastes. 

Zumobi has certified and recommends using the application on the Motorola Q, Samsung BlackJack, HTC Dash, and HTC Touch, though it should work on most phones running Windows Mobile 5 or 6.
Tiles can be sent to your handset from a gallery on Zumobi’s Web site. The site is free, but there is a small sponsor link at the bottom of each tile. The selection includes AP Sports, Flickr, MTV News, and Solitaire. Unfortunately, only 75 tiles were available when we tested the product (versus up to 20,000 from competitors such as Plusmo). Our favorite was a surprisingly challenging game of Hangman. Zumobi is fun to use, as you navigate among the tiles by zooming in and out.

Touchscreen Phones vs. Non-Touchscreen Phones

The HTC Tilt handled Zumobi quite well most of the time, without a ton of stalling. Its touchscreen makes navigating Zumobi a really cool experience: Simply click an area of tiles to zoom in on, and swipe across the screen to view tiles in different directions. It’s perfect for those who find themselves visiting Flickr a lot, or reading news headlines, because this interface helps you get there faster. We also tested Zumobi on an HTC Touch, and found the Zumobi experience to be the same as it was on the Tilt. We also liked how articles were already loaded and ready to read when we clicked on a tile.

Zumobi looked a lot cleaner on a BlackJack than it did on the Tilt because the icons are smaller, but the performance was much worse. There was an unusual amount of lag, and each tile icon took about 4 seconds to load. Navigation without a touchscreen isn’t nearly as fun, because it doesn’t feel as interactive, and you have to rely entirely on your number pad. It also crashed every time we used it.

Zumobi Verdict

Zumobi, in its beta stage, leaves a lot to be desired. We wish you could create tiles for Web sites, similar to the Web Clips feature on the iPod touch and iPhone. Zumobi plans to support more phones throughout the year, including possibly the iPhone, but currently it only works with a limited number of handsets.

Although Plusmo isn’t as compelling graphically, it’s ad-free and doesn’t limit the number of tiles you can have on your phone at one time; Zumobi caps it at 16. Nevertheless, if Zumobi can beef up the number of widgets, it will be worth a second look.

Related Links:
Windows Mobile 6 Review
Microsoft's new smart phone OS isn't revolutionary, but it's faster and offers many welcome productivity improvements.

Helio Mysto Review
Helio’s sleek slider is a solid investment for those looking tap into the carrier’s cool features.

Verizon Wireless SMT5800 Review
This unique slider smart phone from HTC is easy to carry and offers good performance, but it skimps a bit on features.

Tags: Zumobi Beta, zumobi, Cell Phone Apps, Software, reviews

Technical Specifications
Zumobi Beta

Software TypeCell Phone App
All Product Types Accessories eReaders Laptops Networking Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS AVADirect Averatec BeagleBone BenQ CTL Corp. CyberPowerPC Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Eurocom Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Google Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo Maingear MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Razer Sager Samsung Sony Sony PlayStation Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv Vizio VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating Editor's Choice 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 21 4 5 6 7 8 9
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1136 x 768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1792 x 768 1900x1080 1920x1080 1920x1200 2560 x 1440 2560 x 1600 2560 x 1700 2880 x 1620 2880 x 1880 3200 x 1800 3840 x 2160 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options