Greg on PDA/Phone devices


Greg Hughes has a great write up on a bunch of “smartphone” PDA type devices. I have never used a Blackberry, and probably never will because it requires that middleware be installed, and Microsoft just isn’t going to do that. So I am stuck to chose between Windows based Mobile devices and devices that support Exchange ActiveSync (The Treo 650 is one).


I think Greg raises excellent concerns about the Audiovox 5600 and the Siemens SX66 (or whatever your carrier calls this thing, there are at least 3 different companies hocking this device, and none of the companies who place their name on the device actually make it).


Greg has this to say about the Audiovox 5600:



“But the software apps are a little glitchy, and I lost count of how many times this thing either reset itself or required me to pry the battery out of the back and replace it in order to get it started and working again.”


“Audio quality was good. It’s small and compact and has a certain “neato” quality. But it doesn’t allow me to quickly and efficiently communicate, except via voice calls.”


And this to say about the Siemens SX66:



“Bluetooth worked better than any of the other devices in hands-free mode, and the keyboard makes it more accessible and usable than the Audiovox device by far. But the keyboard’s pimple-style chicklet bubble layout was painful to use in the real wold – keys are tiny and way too close together unless you;re six years old (probably not the target market). Battery life was pretty awful, especially if you use the WiFi at all.


“To top it all off, this morning I grabbed the device and went to turn it on, but it did not respond. Yet, the little green service light was flashing so I knew it had power to it. I pulled the battery put it back (the Windows Mobile version of CTRL-ALT-DEL), but still no response. I started driving to work and tried it again while I was stopped for coffee at the local store. Voila! Up it comes, but totally reset, nuked, blown away, default ROM settings – everything I had set and stored before was gone. Good thing the important stuff was on my SD card… I’ve read and heard rumors of serious software problems with this phone, and when you combine that with the lame keyboard that looks cool but isn’t at all usable, well… Returned, with prejudice.”


And this is my point. These devices are not reliable enough to use as a phone. My Treo has missed a single phone call in 30 days and that was due to some third party application that I run that is buggy (but I can’t live without for now).


Greg was not a fan of the Treo 650, and I agree that they keyboard is a bit cramped, but the Blackberry is no option for me, and I happen to like the 650. The number of excellent applications available for the device + the form factor are what hold the device ahead of every available Windows Mobile device.


I do agree that the usability of the Palm OS could be better. It takes to may steps to do simple things, and the OS constantly launches and quits applications since you can only run one at a time. This makes multitasking or even doing a single task across multiple apps take longer than it should. Windows Mobile is much more efficient across applications.

Comments (3)

  1. Eddie says:

    Omar,

    Do you know of anyone using the PDA2k < http://www.clubimate.com/index.asp?PageAction=DETAILS_PDA2K >? Is it likely that this device is just as buggy (prone to re-sets, etc.) as the Audiovox and Siemens devices you’ve mentioned?

  2. Richard says:

    I have tried a few PDA/Phones and have settled for the XDAII which I have had for over a year now. (also known as XDA III, MDA III, Qtek 9090, PDA2K ) http://forum.xda-developers.com/

  3. unhappy pda2k user says:

    this applies to pda2k/XDA IIs/XDA III/MDA III/M2000/SX 66/ QTEK 9090 etc

    I have owned the pda2k for a few months now. its an amazing device, here is my short list of things i am extremely unhappy with even after installing the firmware fixes from imate, the bluetooth is a complete disappointment….and the placement of the mic, the voice FROM your device is horrible to the listener.

    There are other smaller issues but I can live with those, but for a 900 USD device its critical that a main feature such as Bluetooth worked as advertised by imate and then the phone call on this quad band phone is no where close to acceptable.

    SO i recommend that all general pda2k users email imate management and apply pressure on them to get their engineers to produce a fix before they rob a lot of customers. By the way, there is no official support from imate and they are TOO BUSY RELEASING OTHER PRODUCTS. Imate has promised all their registered memebrs on http://www.clubimate.com that the new release with ALL the fixes will be released in a few days, but this has been going on for months, few days has transltated into few months and I know pda2k and the series is not a priority for them anymore.

    You dont want to beleieve me? visit http://www.clubimate.com and try and register? what?? you can’t? because imate doesnt want potential customers to know the real issues that current owners are actually facing by only alllowing current owners to register and join their forums meanwhile they DO NOT HAVE ANY CUSTOMER SUPPORT ANSWERING ON THE FORUMS….that should be proof enough. visit http://www.pocketpcdubai.com and checkout the forums section for more info on this.

    Management:

    ahmad.aldulemi@carrierdevices.com ;

    shadi.zaytoon@carrierdevices.com ;

    ann.degnan@carrierdevices.com ;

    Employees:

    maria.merchak@carrierdevices.com ;

    anoop.nair@carrierdevices.com ;

    youssef.houry@carrierdevices.com ;

    feroz.abbas@carrierdevices.com ;

    claire.towlson@carrierdevices.com ;

    john.williamson@carrierdevices.com ;

    sunil.jassal@carrierdevices.com ;

    srushti.ghisad@carrierdevices.com ;

    sami.awad@imate.com ;

    mohammad.khalil@imate.com ;

    jim@imate.com ;

    raef@imate.com