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SmartPhones, do they really work?

9 posts in this topic

Posted

My SmartPhone (Motorola MPx200) recently passed away, or at least that's what it looks like (cf my thread). Now I'm planning to buy a new cell phone. I'm not sure what I should do though: I could get a simple phone that does what it's supposed for less than 100 Euros. Or I can spend twice that amount (probably more) on a phone that's also a PDA.

I did that once, with the MPx200, and although I got it for only 180 Euros, I haven't been entirely pleased with the PDA part. Some drawbacks:

- slow:

* it takes around a minute to turn on. This isn't a big problem, but in some occasions, eg. when the battery is low, a quicker boot would still allow me to send that crucial SMS. Now it just boots and half way through it switches off.

* menus were slow

* the overall latency is very high compared to standard phones, which is annoying in some cases

- instability:

* sometimes Windows would just crash. Or at least stop to react. All I could do in such an event was to remove the battery and restart the phone.

* sometimes the phone wouldn't start either: it would just hang at the "Hello Moto" screen. Removing the battery AND SD-card and restarting it after replacing just the battery would sort this out. Once it had booted correctly, I could turn it off and put the SD-card back and then start it fine.

- limited use:

* I bought it because of the affordable price. I wasn't planning on watching films or anything on it, I just liked the idea of being able to read ebooks and stuff like that on the way. The screen isn't perfect for that, but as long as I stuck to .html or .txt files opened in Internet Explorer, it worked really well. Internet Explorer was surprisingly fast. However, .pdf or .doc or other files were a nightmare: first of all they need 3rd party viewers that aren't freeware. Once installed, those programs either produced unreadable results (one PDF-viewer didn't have the resizing option so I had to scroll like a madman constantly) or took about a month to load a document

* when I got the phone, I immediately started looking for programs to install. Some of them were useful and nice (eg. Quickclose) but most of the programs available for SmartPhone just seemed crappy to me: if they worked on my phone, they usually didn't really do what they we're supposed to do, or only did it half assed BUT did have a bunch of other equally useless features I wasn't looking for. On top of that, only a handful of programs were freeware.

Those are my experiences with the Motorola MPx200 in combination with SmartPhone 2002 and 2003 (the latter being the better OS).

What I'm looking for in my next cell phone is:

- better reaction time

- lower boot time

- the ability to comfortably read documents on it. I don't mind the small screen (Internet Explorer was pretty nice to use), but I would like to be able to read all major document types without having to scroll all the time

- MP3 or WMA or OGG or whatever ringtones: can't help it, they're the nicest ringtones. :)

- the availability of freeware programs that do what they claim: I like the "KISS" approach (keep it small, simple), so I don't like software suites with a gazillion features. I want a small program that does one thing and does it well. If that's not possible, I'd consider a phone with a well documented SDK so I can (try to) develop my own tools.

I don't know if my wishes are realistic. But that's why I started this topic: I'd like to know if I can find such a phone or if I should just stick with a simple phone and get a seperate PDA or possibly laptop to the other stuff.

Also, I'd like to hear experiences with other cell phone OS'es like Symbian and GNU/Linux as I haven't worked with those yet.

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Posted (edited)

It sounds a little like your looking for a book, not a phone. :)

Edited by Silent.knight
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Posted

It sounds a little like your looking for a book, not a phone.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hehe, touche. I just like to have something useful to read around when I'm waiting or on the train. I usually have a book with me, but there's a lot of stuff I'd like to read that's only in digital form like howto's and tutorials on IT subjects.

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Posted

Well the reader software for the PDA is not bad. I actually have a few e-books on my PDA, some IT technical manuals too so i'd say if that's what you are after it is worth it. Since i've had my M500 i've never been happier, got fed up with a phone and a PDA filling up my pockets.

If you want the screen size however the M500 isn't for you, it is a cut down screen size so you would probably want to look at something a little larger. Do you have any preference on manufacturer?

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Posted

I'm having doubts about Motorola right now. But they still make very pretty and affordable phones. I hope my dead phone was just an incident. Apart from that, I have no preferences about manufacturer. As long as the phone works on European networks, it's cool.

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Posted

I got a SPV C500 for about £50 of eBay and it's served me well so far.

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Posted (edited)

I'm really digging this M500 (HTC Magician). Is it nice to work on? Is it fast? Could you please tell me your thoughts about it, JamieDow? And be very sceptical! :)

Edited by Fubarovic
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Posted (edited)

I'm really digging this M500 (HTC Magician). Is it nice to work on? Is it fast? Could you please tell me  your thoughts about it, JamieDow? And be very sceptical! :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

If you get a contract, you may not have to pay for the phone (or at least on part of the cost). If you take the cost of the phone, say £200, that's equal to 10 months at £20 plus another 2 months to take you to the end of your contract. Unless you spend less than £40 in a year, I figure in this situation, it's better to get a contract.

Edited by username132
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Posted

I'd recommend an spv c550. You cna get them from Orange for about £90 direct now (see hurricane forum). 320x240 screen, miles better battery life than the mpx200 and faster processor.

Games are covered by the freeware emulators in the smartphone games forums by parallax (ahem). Productivity wise I'd recommend papyrus (outlook replacement) from sbsh and clearvue document reader. Both work fine on the phone and bump up the price by not that much. Certainly less than 180 euros.

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