Exeda Andriod Phone: Excessively Ugly


We just got a little tip (Thanks Dean) about CompuLab’s brand new Android Phone they have coming out called the Exeda. After doing a little background research it appears that CompuLab is an Israeli company with products used in datacom, medical equipment, transportation and avionics.

While they have a Handheld Computer, the Exeda would be their first ever mobile device:

First we have to give them their due respect becaues they’re doing EXACTLY what we had hoped many, many more would do which is take their manufacturing capabilities and build a phone you could just plop Android right on and immediately have a competitive device.

Unfortunately, this device looks somewhat… horrendous. Aside from the fact that it, simply put, is ugly… what were they THINKING with their choice of navigational elements?

So you’ve got a little trackpad in the middle with a left click on the left and right click on the right… but then there is an up and down button on one side and a left and right button the other? Is that incredibly inconvenient or am I hallucinating?

When I first looked at the company’s website I immediately thought this was some kind of hoax but nwo I’m pretty sure it isn’t… simply because CompuLab seems to be a legit company although their website makes no mention of the Exeda phone. They are, however, Microsoft Certified partners, their other device runs Windows and the Exeda will (if real) have a Windows Mobile option instead of Android.

Apparently this thing isn’t really meant for your average consumer as being offered in wireless and wired formats is part of its mission to serve enterprises as an Enterprise Digital Assistant:

exeda is designed to serve as an enterprise digital assistant (EDA). Comprised of embedded components, the exeda has guaranteed long-term availability and can be custom configured when ordered in volume.

Software developers will appreciate exeda’s special development platform. exeda offers to developers –

  • Open source u-boot bootloader
  • Detailed hardware and software documentation
  • Full BSP’s
  • 10/100Base-T Ethernet port
  • JTAG interface
  • RS-232
  • Unlocked SIM

The Exeda uses a 3.5″ VGA display with touch screen, full QWERTY and capacitive touchpad. Here are some of the other specs:

  • A choice of wireless voice/data modem – quad band GSM/GPRS, CDMA or 3G UMTS
  • 802.11g WLAN
  • Bluetooth V2.0 + EDR
  • 2 USB ports
  • RS-232 port
  • 100Base-T Ethernet through RJ45 connector
  • SDIO socket
  • JTAG header
  • Marvell PXA270 520MB CPU
  • 128MB RAM
  • 2 banks of internal FLASH, 512MB each
  • 2MP camera with flash
  • GPS with built-in and external antennas
  • MicroSD socket with SDHC support
  • Built-in microphone and speaker + 3.5mm stereo jack
  • High capacity 3000mAh battery
  • Dimensions: 4.9” x 3.7” x 0.6” (126 mm x 96 mm x 16 mm)

Apparently Exeda was SUPPOSED to be in Las Vegas at CES 2009 in booth North 403 but judging from the lack of Android coverage we can assume they did not attend. Can we get some confirmation on this? After cross referencing a few sources it seems they were supposed to attend but did not?

Our guess is that the Exeda will be quickly forgotten.

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. Hmm….. I would actually like to try the trackpad with left and right click. These phone looks like a data entry geek’s dream. The gray on gray looks pretty bad though. I would like to see it with a glossy black frame.

  2. Looks as though device manufacturers are in a race to produce the ugliest devices for Android. This takes a lot of effort, given the G1 set such a low standard. Or could it be, that since the G1 was so popular, in spite of its ugliness, that it encouraged other companies which now believe the US mobile consumer will buy — anything?

  3. ha ha ha….
    you make me laugh.
    don’t let the die-hard guys here hear you call the G1 ugly.

    good question? does the OS functionality (really verse) have a part to play?
    There is so much you can do with android. It supports lots of HW functions
    No excuse.

    Someone please make something nice out of android.

  4. This thing doesn’t really strike me as a phone, as much as a PDA with WWAN. It doesn’t do voice and SMS/MMS does it?

  5. Looks more like a development platform rather then a consumer product. And of course android is a perfect fit for this role.

  6. I can confirm that Compulab is, indeed, a legit company. At my previous job, we used their embedded computer modules as a major building block of the Wi-Pics pro digital imaging appliance. They provided excellent hardware, BSPs and support.

    I’m more than a little disappointed that, barring anything else not to like about this product, you chose to attack its aesthetics. The Android fans in the blogosphere are constantly calling on manufacturers to turn out Android-powered gadgetry. Then, Compulab comes along and effectively sticks their neck out – did you notice this is their first product that’s actually targeted at an end user and not OEMs? – by investing time and money, and all we can do is say “it’s ugly”?

    I used to work for a very wise manager who, whenever I’d get bogged down trying to get an electronic design perfect out-the-chute, would gently remind me: “progress over perfection”. As much as we’d all like to believe it’s mainstream, Android is still very much in its infancy, the plaything of early-adopters and the tech-savvy. So how about we applaud this “progress over perfection” and thank Compulab for lending incrementally-more legitimacy to our fledgling OS.

  7. Don’t buy phone with blood on it.
    Boycott Israel,

  8. Looks good to me, personally. A little wide, but I guess that’s for the keyboard.

    What I find most intruiging is that according to this article, is had a touch screen in addition to the touch pad. Seems a little excessive, but then again as we Android phans touted with the G1, more input methods mean more choice. Hopefully this finds and fills a niche, as Android also needs to take off in the business sector as much as the consumer one.

  9. I agree with Dave, the more devices the better who cares about aesthetics?
    We aren’t Iphone snobs.

  10. Ethernet port?! Fuck yeah.

  11. @dave Thanks for the information on Compulab. I agree with you 100%. What are you working on nowadays if I may ask?

  12. WHAT are you talking about with all this stuff about it being ugly? Shouldn’t you be letting your readers decide for themselves if it’s ugly or not? I personally think it’s got a very unique form factor and looks pretty cool! It might look odd, but it’s definitely not “excessively ugly”.

    Also, I think a trackpad on a phone is a great idea.

  13. Do you have see the size !!?

    it’s not a phone… so biiiiiiigggg

  14. Accidently I came across this post.
    Hummm …
    Here is some information:
    Actually we did presented in CES. See the picture –
    Exeda was designed for best usability rather than for pretty look.
    It is not consumer device, and it doesn’t address expectations of consumer market.

  15. Looks like it’s time for an update, see post above.

  16. Yup. In my haste I overlooked some rather important details. I still think its clunky looking and the navigation could have been designed better, but a company rep emailed me correcting me and I admit… I made so wrong assumptions.

    I offered them a full post on phandroid, with a disclaimer from me at the beginning, allowing them to talk about what their product was all about since I clearlly missed the point. I’m still waiting to hear back.

    I call people out on this blog and I don’t mind being called out when I’m wrong. And in this case… there were some important details I was wrong about. Admitted!

  17. @dave

    Your criticism is well placed. Thanks for the comment.

  18. @Rob – Thanks for allowing my comment and for your response… Beaucoup kudos for running a blog where everybody can contribute, even if they have a differing opinion. There are certainly plenty out there who would have happily filed my comment away in the spam folder!

    @Justin – After we finished the first hardware design for Wi-Pics, the electronics workload dropped off sharply; most of the work that needed to be done was software. I opted to move on so they could reinvest my salary in a software developer. I now work for General Motors’ Powertrain division, developing electronic components for GM’s Hydrogen fuel cell engines.

  19. voice commmand and video call feature must be built in to exeda and shoul be compatible with 1700 /2100 GSM bands to be able to use this device in USA with t mobile carrier

  20. I may be on my own here but this is the first phone that has made me sit up and take notice for a long time. I like that it is big and bulky as i am fed up with straining my eyes trying to see tiny print due to ever smaller phones.

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