Your gadget recommendations

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 :-).


Comments (6)

  1. Jeff says:


    I’ve had the Samsung i730 for a couple of months now and love it. It’s got Windows Mobile 2003 (rumored to be updated to 2005 in Q1-06), but meets most of your requirements (not sure about the tri-band, to be honest). If you’re in an area where Verizon’s EV-DO network reaches you, you get broadband level speed… built in bluetooth, wifi, slide-out keyboard, and so on.


  2. We’ve been using the HP6315’s in our office for a while now and while for the most part they work fine, there are a number of issues we’ve encountered. Anyone without a good computer/IT background or at least the time to experiment and play with these things wont enjoy them very much.

    We use them with Tmobile and can say at least their tech support does a somewhat decent job.

    The built in wireless works well in our office and while it took some time, we found blue tooth headsets that work decently (we selected logitech ones).

    We often use the sd memory cards to swap large apps around the office or bring home and I use it to load about 500+ mb of mp3’s to listen to on the road.

    Overall they work but we’ve posted some comments on them and while they dont appear favorable, we still use them daily.

  3. Simon says:

    I’ve got a SPV M2000, slide out keyboard, bluetooth, wifi, sd slot. Essential with any poct pc is 2 batteries, you never want to run out (although its better).

    Phones not great but better than a treo 600 I had (awful).

    I would have one with as much memory as possible, I’ve hardly got anything on it and its almost full. Browsing quite good, alough Orange have branded it to go the Orange home page (v annoying).

    Software wise Egress is my choice for an RSS reader, works really well.

    Would be nice to have a VGA screen to watch them movies, like the I Mate Jam given out at the PDC 🙁

  4. Dima says:

    I’m using i-mate JAM from February, and I’m very satisfied – despite of its 320×240 screen, I had Toshiba e800 with VGA screen, but that’s not something that really needed in case of PocketPC phone…

  5. Chris Hedgate says:

    The i-mate JASJAR from Expansys is really nice. It is a bit large, but with a bluetooth headset you can keep it stowed away in a bag or jacket pocket. For the $149 it sold for at the PDC it was a great buy, though I guess the standard price might be a bit high.

  6. Joe Webb says:

    I have the TREO 650 (palm-based) and LOVE. I’ve used PPC for years and am VERY glad I made the switch, great device. Does everything you mentioned, I think.

    Using the TREO, I can VPN into client sites, establish a TermServe session, and manage remote servers. Browse the web. Send and receive email – even using push technology with 3rd party software.

    I read where they are releasing the TREO 700 model that will be PPC based. If that’s true, I’d suggest looking into that one.


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