Why is it all of the phones I am interested aren’t carrier subsidized? HTC unveiled the S743 at CES. This phone is pretty much everything I want in a phone:
- Windows Mobile Standard
- Slide out QWERTY keyboard
- WiFi and GPS
- Numeric Keypad
It’s a phone first, PDA / email device second which is exactly what I want. I really wish AT&T would pick this device up. Looks like it will be north of $600 unsubsidized at Best Buy, CDW, etc. Bleh. I like this phone better than the Xperia X1 I have had my eyes on for a while.
I still want to see one of these phones. I just read a review on PocketNow.com which proclaims the X1 as the best Windows Mobile device ever. There are a ton of pictures and videos in the review and the lack of one handed use still concerns me. It is nice to see that it weighs much less than the AT&T Tilt which is really a heavy phone. I recall reading somewhere that the X1 US carrier announcement should come out this week and I think it will be T-Mobile because my contact at AT&T has told me they aren’t going to have it. Bummer. I am also looking forward to seeing the AT&T Fuze which should be available in the next week or two as well.
This morning I received a package and in it was new repaired Pantech Duo. I popped my SIMM card in and the battery and it powered up and seems to work just fine. Unfortunately I left the USB cable at home, at least I think I did because it isn’t here at work, so I can’t sync it with my laptop which means it doesn’t have all of my contacts and calendar on it but I am happy to have it back.
After almost two weeks of use, I am sending the AT&T Tilt back to our AT&T Account Rep who I had borrowed it from. Much to my surprise, I really didn’t like the phone. While I really like the slide out keyboard and even though the phone is on the heavy side, ultimately it was Windows Mobile Pro that turned me off. I also could not get my Jawbone headset to pair with it, not sure why that was an issue since I haven’t had a problem with it pairing with two or three other phones.
IMNSHO Window Mobile Pro really is a PDA first, mobile phone second usage model. It is simply too hard to use with one hand to make it a viable solution for me. I actually have reverted back to my old standby AudioVox SMT5600 which, while an ancient phone, simply works. It is showing it’s age though, some of the buttons are getting a little stickly. I hope the Touch Flow interface which HTC has on their newer phones addresses this problem.
One of the features which I really like about Windows Mobile Standard is the ability to quickly find a contact simply by starting to enter a name or phone number. The possible choices are quickly narrowed down and it is easy to dial the default contact number or show all of the numbers and select one. This same usage model is a PITA with Windows Mobile Pro and with the Tilt, really requires using the stylus unless you have a long fingernail to use instead.
It seems like most of the new Windows Mobile phones are based on the Pro version instead of the Standard version. I’d love a phone like the HTC S740 but it doesn’t appear that AT&T will offer it. I am trying to keep my options open by getting my Pantech Duo repaired but it has been several weeks since I sent it to RMS Logistics and I haven’t heard a peep out of the repair center. Guess I ought to check into that.
For the past 4-5 days I have been playing with an AT&T 8925 Tilt (AT&T’s version of the HTC’s TyYN II). I am a big fan of Windows Mobile phones, I have been using one for years and I love the way Windows Mobile simply syncs to Outlook. My life is in Outlook so getting a phone to sync with Outlook is very important to me. Windows Mobile does it very well.
There are two versions of Windows Mobile right now – Standard and Pro which are also known as the Touchscreen and non-Touchscreen versions. This Tilt has WinMoPro 6 on it – I haven’t upgraded it to 6.1 because it isn’t mine, I need to return it. It belongs to the AT&T rep who calls on my employer. I had asked her if it was ok if I updated it to 6.1 and yesterday she sent me an e-mail telling me to go ahead so I will probably do that later today.
The Touchscreen version is much different than the non-Touchscreen version and I don’t think it is better. Years ago I had an iPAQ and the Tilt feels much more like an PDA first, phone second where as devices running the non-Touchscreen version feel like phones first, PDAs second. While it is much easier to work with the calendar and contacts, it is much harder to use as a phone. In fact, it is clunky. It would be nice to try the TouchFlo interface HTC is known for but it isn’t included on the AT&T version of the phone so no luck there.
I have actually sent my Pantech Duo in for repair after using this phone – the Pantech Duo runs WinMoStd (non-Touchscreen) and it just much easier to use. AT&T’s WindowsMobile roadmap doesn’t seem to have much on it although a guy at the local store told me they were getting a new HTC device in November.
I could get an iPhone through work but after playing with a co-workers, I am not sold on it. The iPhone has the same issue I have with the Tilt – I don’t like using the touchscreen. On an I phone I probably hit the delete key once for every two letters I type. If an iPhone had a slide out keyboard like the Tilt has, I’d be all over that.
I am taking the Tilt to Europe with me next week – using it for a few days while traveling will be a real test. After that it goes back to our AT&T rep and hopefully my Pantech Duo will be back by then. I am kicking myself for not sending it in earlier. Not sure why it didn’t occur to me to look into a repair. I was hoping new phones, in particular the Sony-Ericsson Xperia X1, would be out by now but there isn’t anything, at least from AT&T, on the near horizon I am excited about.
I still don’t know what to get. It doesn’t look like the Sony-Ericsson Xperia X1 which I want is going to be available on AT&T Wireless (my provider) so getting one will be a challenge.
My AudioVox SMT5600 needs to go, it just doesn’t do enough any more, particularly after using a Pantech Duo for so long. Right now I am leaning towards the BlackJack II but I know as soon as I commit, something else I want will come out.
I like the HTC phone which Verizon (SMT5800 I think) has now but there is no way I am switching to Verizon to get it. I like the freedom GSM gives me. Get a new phone – pop in my SIMM card and it works! Travel outside the US – my phone works!
I am in a bit of a quandry because I mushed my phone, a Pantech Duo. About a week ago I had two of my girls and one of their friends with me on a hike through the Haw River Basin. The water was up a bit so it was a lot of stepping from rock to rock as we moved down stream and it was slicker than snot. Keeping two 8 year olds and a 6 year old from falling in was a challenge and at one point, I lost my footing and fell in the river, landing on a large submerged rock. Fortunately my fall was broken by my phone which was in my pocket!
It doesn’t work very well any more. Actually, it turns on but the screen is cracked and it was full of water. Fortunately I have an older Audiovox SMT 5600 (aka HTC Typhoon, an older Windows Mobile phone) which still works so I popped my SIMM card out and put it the old phone and was off an running. I love the simplicity of changing GSM phones – I have some co-workers who swear by Verizon but the flexibility you get with GSM is a huge benefit plus my phone works pretty much anywhere on the planet which is nice since I have to travel internationally a couple times a year.
So now what do I do? I miss the keyboard from the Duo more than I thought I would and my old phone is very sloooooooow. The phone I want (Sony-Ericsson Xperia X1) isn’t out yet and I don’t know if will be available from AT&T Wireless either. Hmmm – I wonder if I can return my phone? I can’t recall if we have insurance on our plans or not.
I enjoy listening to the TWIT podcast but I have come to the conclusion that I am 180 degrees out of phase with Leo Laporte when it comes to technology. I don’t have a Mac but I wouldn’t mind having one – I have an HP running Vista and I am reasonably happy with it. I love WindowsMobile and wouldn’t think of getting a phone that doesn’t have it, and I have an Xbox 360 (actually two of them) and although I haven’t heard him say it directly, but in several episodes the way he has referenced the PS3 platform certainly implies that he thinks it is better than the Xbox 360. Am I worried about this? Nope – just find it interesting that in several key areas, I am 180 degrees out of phase with the guy who leads a podcast I enjoy listening to.
I want this phone!
I am a huge fan of WindowsMobile phones – I have owned a bunch over the years going all the way back to the Motorola MPx220. WindowsMobile gets a lot of criticism but I find it works well – the fact that you can find a contact by first name, last name, or phone numbers simply by pressing the numeric keys is by far better than any of the competing solutions.
I am currently using a Pantech Duo right now which is ok but the dual hinging is a little sloppy and the audio sometimes cuts in and out. It is however, the first phone I have had with a full keyboard which I like a lot. I wasn’t sure I would but I find it pretty useful. My friends at Sony-Ericsson tell me this phone should be available soon – hopefully AT&T Wireless (my carrier) will carry it.