I’m considering replacing my SmartPhone (a Motorola MPX200) with something else. I’ve developed a real love-hate relationship with my phone. I like all the “smart” functionality, but I hate what a rotten phone it is on occasion. I often go straight from basking in the glow of techie gadget goodness to being on the verge of tossing the phone out the window. Heck, I’ve gotten so desparate lately that even tin cans with yarn between them have begun to seem appealing. I’m interested to hear your recommendations. Here are my various requirements:
* I prefer a SmartPhone or Pocket PC with phone capabilities. At this point, I’m leaning toward a Pocket PC because I want to be able to run all the PPC software out here, and having a small form factor isn’t that important to me.
* I need something that takes an SD or Mini-SD chip. I store lots of music and other things on my current phone and would need to continue to.
* I need something that gets a good phone signal. This is my biggest complaint with the MPX200 — it’s only a tri-band phone and gets horrible reception for reasons I won’t get into here. I often have no signal at all at my home.
* I prefer a GSM phone so that I can change to another vendor if need be (after I unlock the phone, of course, though I’m not necessarily looking for a phone that is already unlocked).
* I’d like to keep the price under $500. This is somewhat negotiable — regardless, I still have to get this passed my wife 🙂
* I need something with built-in Wi-Fi. When I’m somewhere that has a wireless LAN, I want to use it rather than my phone minutes to surf the web, get email, etc.
* I need something with Exchange sync. I want to sync with my Outlook email, calendar, etc.
* I need built-in Bluetooth. I often use a wired headset now, and it’s a giant pain that I have to always untangle cords when I pull it out of my pocket. The MPX200 does not have Bluetooth, so I’ve had no choice. I’ve also tried sending the single over FM to my car stereo, but that is only so effective.
* I think I would prefer a device with an optional keyboard of some type. I often send email from my phone, and doing everything on the numeric keypad is tedious to say the least.
* I prefer something that I can charge from my laptop or any other PC with a USB port. One of the things I like about the MPX200 is that its charge jack is actually a mini-USB port. A simple cable (one that I use with lots of other things) can be used to charge it. I know that there are little kits you can get to charge virtually any phone from a laptop, but that is just one more piece of proprietary hardware that I’d just as soon not have to carry around.
So, let me hear your recommendations. The longer I use the MPX200, the better the yarn-and-tin-can solution looks :-).