December 17, 2004
The Bluetooth Weblog is wondering how many of us agree that overly smart phones have negligable value.
SlateÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Paul Boutin says that instead of shelling out over $600 for a Treo smartphone, why not just get a cheap cellphone like the Nokia 6600? His reasoning is that how many of the TreoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“wondersÃ¢â‚¬Â will you really use, such as the QWERTY keyboard and fast wireless connection? Plus, Boutin says you can add a number of features to the Nokia without having to spend a bundle of money to do it.
What I want (at the moment) in a phone is pretty simple: let me get rid of carrying both a phone and a PDA, and use it in a pinch for wireless connectivity from my notebook.
From a functional standpoint, this means I want:
- GPRS and something faster (EDGE, whatever), available both on the device and from my notebook via Bluetooth.
- Functional mail reader, with at least a prayer of being able to reply (even if it’s hunting and pecking an on-screen keyboard with a stylus.)
- A web browser that’s at least marginally usable in a pinch.
- 802.11 (g, preferably, so I don’t slow everything else down) support for the above two items, that can be used to speed things up if it’s available.
- A screen big enough (in both width and resolution) to make reading e-books comfortable.
- A version of Mobipocket Reader.
- Wireless iSync to my address book and calendar (bluetooth or wi-fi).
- DECENT AUDIO QUALITY!
- DECENT BATTERY LIFE
- DECENT FRINGE PHONE SERVICE
Beyond that, I could care less whether it’s Palm, Windows Mobile/Phone, Series 60, or something else entirely.
I want one device that provides me with phone service, mail service, and a good e-book reader (the latter two being 99% of what I do with a PDA, and I use both a lot) for when it’s the only device I’m carrying, and I want it to be able to get at least usable connectivity for my notebook I’m carrying that.
My old 3650 isn’t -that- far off. Add Edge/EvDO/3G whatever support and a bigger screen, and I could get by with it for a good long while. It has scads of battery life, gets good reception where most other people’s phones crap out, and syncs via iSync. Unfortunately, reading mail or e-books on it is a line-at-a-time affair, and sound quality is mediocre.
Ultimately, a phone could replace my iPod too, and I’d be happy. Perhaps the new Apple / Motorola deal may eventually do that, but it’ll be awhile before we know.