Mobile Phone and PDA Part 1
Those who know me reasonably well understand that one of my (many) character flaws is an unhealthy lust for gadgets. So right now I’m trying to wrap my mind around the set of tradeoffs as I sort through a buying decision for my dream PDA/mobile phone combo.
(The Samsung i730 is looking good, but I’ve only seen pictures. Also, it’s not clear how long before they offer a built-in camera. [So should I ditch my camera rqeuirement? Heck NO!]
Alternatives to the i730 include the Blackberry 7290 [also not shipping...], and the Treo 650 [several friends use Treo 650s, but it doesn’t (yet) float my boat. Rememer, on my own nickle (actuall several hundreds of doll) I actively used a Color Danger/T-Mobile Sidekick for well over a year.
You know you are SICK when you carry a WORK mobile, plus a PERSONAL SideKick, and also drag around the not-very-skinny Tungsten-C. It was too much, even for me.
The Dnager Research Sidekick is actually pretty close to what I want. The SK-2 did not quite make teh grade, but the coming Sidekick-3 (this Fall?) could be very close. Oh, SK-3 will not be on Verizon. Damn!
Finally if I relax my requirment that my new toy include a QWERTY keyboard, the selection space expands a good bit.
Confession: I may even consider dumping Verizon for nother US carrier! That would be difficult, not unlike converting to a new RELIGION. Besides, Verizon is way ahead in terms of rolling out EV-DO fast data service…
Two years ago I purchased a Palm Tungsten C. It cost me about $500. Ouch. (More on this later). I continue to use My T-C several times a day. For my taste it’s still a great choice, assuming you desire a few things:
The Palm OS. I first started using a Palm (V, then Vx) in 1999. The Plam Vx is the finest PDA every made. The slender form factor and great battery life are unmatched. The monochrome display lost it’s charm, since I could not read it in dim light. I HAD to have a backlit color diplay. Otherwise I’d still carry a Palm Vx.
QWERTY keyboard for text.
Reasonable battery life (basically not an issue in pratical applications).
Good screen resolution. 320×320 pixels is nice. State of the art two years ago, but now it could be a little brighter, a la Treo 650.
Bulit-in WiFi. I bought my Tungsetn C for its good keyboard, nice color display and WiFi. But the WiFi has not been a big win for me. It has poor signal strength, and has been a bit buggy.
Removeable memory. The T-C uses an SD flash card. Reasonable size, reaonable price. Good stuff.
WHY MY TUNGSTEN C MUST GO
I need/want Bluetooth to sync wirelessly with my IBM ThinkPad T41. In my dreams, (maybe with a hack) I’ll also use Bluetooth on my mobile phone to conect as a high-speed modem for the ThinkPad.
My contact list and calender belong on my mobile phone. I constantly look up numbers in my Tungsten C, then diali using my Kyocera 414 mobile. That’s brain dead.
I want email and instant messanging anywhere, not just at WiFi hotpots.
That’s enough for now.