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Motorola MC9500K Product Review



Product Review of the new Motorola MC9500K

With great anticipation my brand new Motorola MC9500K mobile computer arrived on March 25, 2010.

Motorola MC9500K - click here for product information page 

First impressions was that it is a solid unit with a nice balance and weight to it. I couldn't wait to start playing with it but the first thing to do was charge the battery.

The model I had ordered was the MC9596-KDABAB0000 - basically the version with everything!

  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth
  • Mobile Phone/GPRS
  • GPS
  • Imager barcode reader
  • 3.0 Mega-pixel camera
  • Alpha-numeric keypad

In this review I will cover:

  • unpacking
  • setting up
  • battery
  • barcode scanning & demo program
  • Wi-Fi
  • mobile phone
  • gprs
  • colour screen
  • Soti Pocket Controller Pro
  • DataWedge
  • Camera

 

Unpacking

Inside the MC9500 box is the unit itself and the new battery pack as well as a Quick Start Guide & Regulatory Guide. Read the Quick Start guide to save yourself frustration.

MC9500K Quick Start Guide

 

Setting Up the MC9500K

If you want to test the phone you will have to insert your SIM card. According to the Quick Start Guide here are the instructions:

  1. Press the Power button to suspend the MC9596-K.
  2. Wait for red Decode LED to turn on and then turn off.
  3. Unhook handstrap.
  4. Press battery release buttons and remove battery.
  5. Remove SIM cover using flathead screwdriver.
  6. Slide SIM card holder to the left.
  7. Lift card holder.
  8. Insert SIM card into SIM holder.

With point 3 to unhook the strap, stretch it up past the camera to unhook it.

To release the battery in point 4, squeeze the two battery release buttons. I have found that this is not enough to get the battery out. Using the stylus push the tip into the bottom to push the spring loaded clip in to get the battery out. Be gentle. 

Squeeze in on both sides Squeeze in on both sides Push here with Stylus

With point 5, I had some problems trying to get the cover off since I was uncertain about how much force to use. Being a metal flat head screw driver you are going to slightly damage the plastic cover trying to twist it off. Be as gentle as possible not to damage the edges too much.

MC9500K removing SIM card cover - twist with a flat head screw driver to pop off the cover MC9500K removing SIM card cover - twist with a flat head screw driver to pop off the cover 

SIM Card cover - front view SIM Card cover - rear view

Make sure that you do not damage the rubber seal that is in the groove. If you do not replace this SIM Card cover correctly the MC9500K will not be water proof or meet the IP67 rating.

MC9500K insert the SIM card MC9500K insert the SIM card & lock into place - gold contacts should face down

Replace the SIM Card Cover.

Insert the battery and rehook the strap.

Turn on the MC9500K.

The battery pack will probably have enough charge to power the MC9500K but it is best to charge it overnight.

 

The Cradle

The MC9500K cradle is a stylish new design and unlike all previous cradles that relied on the Motorola mobile computer being inserted into the cradle, this design allows the MC9500K to hang and gravity pushes the unit onto the contacts.

MC9500K hangs on the cradle and gravity pushes it onto the contacts 

 

Connecting the Power Cable and USB Cable 

At first I was puzzled as to where the power and USB connections were hiding on this cradle. They are at the top of the cradle at the rear facing down.

MC9500K cradle connections face down - at rear of the cradle 

The power supply is the same one used for the MC9090 series. P/N#: 50-14000-148R

The USB cable is not the standard USB cable. It is a micro USB cable (type B plug). You can buy this at Jaycar for about $10.00.

Part Number is WC7724, EAN barcode 9319236958391

Micro USB cable required for the MC9500K cradle

 

Battery

The new battery with the indicator feature is a brilliant idea and is so easy to use even though you can check the battery status within Windows via 'Start' -> 'System' -> 'Power'. Regardless, pressing the 'circle' button is easy. Pressing the Motorola logo does nothing.  

The big advantage is you can test a battery that is not inserted into an MC9500K.

Motorola MC9500K new battery with indicator Press this button to see the battery charge status This is the Motorola logo - pressing here does nothing. Will light up when the Battery Status button is pressed. Green = Healthy, Red = Unhealthy Battery level indicator Ergonomic battery

After pressing the button the indicator panel will light up:

Battery indicator displays the amount of battery charge remaining This will light up: Green = Healthy battery, Red = Unhealthy battery

Battery indicator displays the amount of battery charge remainingThe Motorola logo will light up:

Green light = Healthy

Red light = Unhealthy

5 bars in the display indicates the battery is fully charged. One to four bars means the battery is partially charged.

X means that the battery is unhealthy. 

 

Barcode Scanning & Demo Program

Straight out of the box the MC9500K can't scan a barcode. However, after you connect your MC9500K to your wireless network and open Internet Explorer (Start -> Internet Explorer), the default web page opens:

MC9500K Internet Explorer default web address  

Tap on 'Get Demo' to download and install the application.

MC9500K demo program - install this to see some cool features 

Once you have installed the 'Demo' program run it to see the following features:

  • Scan
  • Motion
  • Battery
  • GPS
  • Camera

I'll leave it to you to explore each of these functions. However I will show you the 'Challenge' feature in the 'Scan' demo since I think this is a really cool thing to see. 

Note: if you have installed DataWedge V3.1 and it is running, the Demo program will fail to run and will eventually give you a 'Stack Overflow' error. Exit DataWedge first before running the Demo program.

 

Wi-Fi 

Windows Mobile 6.1 on the MC9500K has some new menu options in the 'Wireless Manager' when compared to the MC9090 with Windows Mobile 5.0:

MC9500 Wireless Manager

Support for:

  • IPv6
  • Logos & Certificates 

Connecting the MC9500K to a wireless network is the same as for the MC9090 or any other Motorola mobile computer.

If you are connecting with TKIP encryption, for example, you will be asked for the 'Security Mode' in which case you would select 'WPA - Personal' or 'WPA2 - Personal' assuming your existing Windows Mobile 5.0 MC mobile computers are connected with 'Authentication = None' and 'TKIP' as well.

MC9500K wireless profile  

The Wi-Fi is fast and the MC9500K connects quickly. In general, you will notice that Windows Mobile 6.1 runs faster than Windows Mobile 5.0.

 

Mobile Phone

As mentioned above, insert your SIM card and you are good to go. As a mobile phone I have found the clarity of the voice conversation to be excellent. More importantly, the volume with the speaker on means you can have a conversation in hands free mode with the MC9500 at arms length or lying on the passenger seat next to you and you can hear the person clearly. I was really impressed by this.

If you thought you got strange looks using the MC55 as a mobile phone (see MC55 review) then the MC9500K will leave onlookers speechless.

Motorola MC55 vs MC9500K 

 

Connecting to Telstra Next G

If you have a PIN code for your phone when the MC9500K turns on it will ask you to enter it in. You will have only three attempts to get it right. You are only asked for the PIN code after a warm or cold boot or if you have removed or inserted your SIM card. Turning the MC9500K on and off does NOT ask you for the PIN code each time.

 

GPRS

If you are connected to a wireless network and have the phone on as well, any internet connection will default to using the wireless network. When you leave the office and are no longer connected to your wireless network, the MC9500K will automatically try and connect via GPRS.

You will have to setup your GPRS and have a phone plan that includes data.

The settings that I have successfully used on the Motorola MC55, MC9094 and MC9500K are as follows: (tap on 'Start' -> 'Settings' -> 'Connections')

MC9500K Connections MC9500K Manage Connections 

Since I have already created a new modem connection, I am going to 'Manage existing connections'. 

If this is your first connection, tap on 'Add a new modem connection' and fill in the details:

MC9500 edit connection MC9500 My Connection - select Cellular Line (GPRS) MC9500 - GPRS connection to Telstra - use telstra.wap.mnc001.mcc505.gprs    

If creating a new connection: select 'Cellular Line (GPRS)' from the drop down list.

Access Point Name: telstra.wap.mnc001.mcc505.gprs

or

telstra.internet.wap.mnc001.mcc505.gprs

MC9500 user name and password MC9500 Advanced Settings MC9500 Advanced Settings - IP Address for DNS and Alt DNS  

For the 'User Name' and 'Password' I have used my email address and password which is the same as on my laptop for Outlook.

After entering in that, tap on the 'Advanced' button.

Tap on the 'Servers' tab.

In this screen I entered in:

203.50.170.2 for the DNS.

For the Alternate DNS I entered in 139.130.4.4

Then tap 'Ok' which returns you to the User Name/Password screen.

Tap 'Finish' in the bottom right hand corner.

Make sure the 'Wi-Fi' is off and now try connecting to Internet Explorer. Your GPRS connection 'My Connection' should work and connect you to the internet. If you have connection problems you will get a notification. Check your settings and spelling.

One thing that causes problems is if this screen says: 'My ISP'

MC9500 My ISP - usually works when 'My Network' instead

I have found it to work when it says: 'My Work Network' 

MC9500 usually works when 'My Network' instead of 'My ISP' 

To change this setting, from the 'Connections' screen 'Tasks' tab, select the 'Advanced' tab:

MC9500 - manage connections MC9500 - select networks - advanced tab    

then 'Select Networks': change to 'My Work Network' in the drop down list. 

 

Colour Screen

The colour screen on the MC9500 is bright and easy to read in a wide variety of lighting conditions. 

 

Soti Pocket Controller Pro

As you can see from the above screen shots and video presentation, Soti Pocket Controller Pro installs and runs on the MC9500K without any problems. Read more about Pocket Controller Pro.

 

DataWedge V3.1

DataWedge allows you to scan barcodes into any application without having to do any programming. Any barcode data is placed into the application where the cursor is positioned.

Please note that if DataWedge is running that the Motorola Demo program will not function properly. Exit DataWedge to use the Demo Program. 

DataWedge V3.1

 

Camera

The 3 mega-pixel camera takes really good photos however I have noticed a slight delay between when you take the photo and hear the shutter sound to the actual image taken. When taking a photo do not move until you see the image on the screen about a second after you hear the shutter sound. Moving before then you will blur the photo.

Note: If DataWedge is running the camera will NOT work. Exit DataWedge first. 

 

Summary

Likes:

In my opinion, the best barcode scan engine I have seen in 20 years in the industry. The SE4500 2D scan engine is awesome.

Easy to hold, well balanced and very ergonomic.

The battery is brilliant. The indicator feature gets rid of the problem of staff leaving the office with flat batteries.

 

Dislikes:

Haven't found one yet!

If I have to be really picky I would have preferred if they had used the same USB cable as the MC55/70/75/3000 cradle.

 

Still Not Convinced it's a Good Investment?

Fedex has bought 100,000 Motorola MC9500K's. Enough said!

Fedex buys 100,000 Motorola MC9500K's for their delivery drivers 

Comparing the MC9500K to the MC9090 Series

We have prepared a comparison between the MC9500K and the MC9090 brick version. To read more click on the picture below.

Motorola MC9500K vs Motorola MC9090K  

 

Related Information

MC9500K Information

MC9500K Videos & More

MC9500 Holsters & Cases

Review written on 3rd April 2010