I've had one for about 5 months now, and I'll give you my feedback
QTEK 8500 is useless in the U.S due to a missing calls problem. The phone goes into a deep sleep mode when not in use, and is not awakened by a call or message. QTEK were working on this issue, and admitted the problem was due to the compatibility with the 850/1900 MHz bands in North America. The problems can be found here
and at Howard Forums here
Without going into detail, HTC/QTEK have still failed to fix it, so I'm not suprised it has not taken off very wll overseas. I'm in the UK so fortunately did not have this problem.
First I'll list the things that disappointed me:
1. I didn't like the fact I had to use Comms Manager to turn off GPRS (There is no red button to cancel it except the power button). I'm used to that now and this is a Windows Mobile 5 feature and not a problem with the phone.
2. A successful GPRS connection was hit and miss. Since a hard reset, it's pretty very reliable so this was perhaps a one off.
3. Phone storage. The 64MB (Cingluar 3125 has 128MB) is a shame. After installing a few programs, Sprite Backup, ClearVue, Fizz Weather and more onto my Storage Card, they still use some of the phone's storage. At the moment I have 6MB free. I've tried all the tweaks, email to storage card, IE cache etc, but I feel it's still not large enough. Installing CAB files now has to be done manually from the Storage Card.
4. The keypad gains dirt, and becomes apparent when the outline of the keys appear on the screen. Wiping the phone can remove the dirt and the problem goes away, but I never had that with my Motorola MPX200. Perhaps it's the rubber membrane like keypad.
5. Battery life. Fine with little use, or no use of Bluetooth, I can get 3 full days 3 x 24hrs (without switching off at night) out of it. But using TomTom 5 or CamerAware for more than 3 hours with Bluetooth on, and the battery is gone. Again, Cingular 3125 will not have this problem due to the 1100mA battery. I'm still waiting to Expansys to release the more powerful battery See here
6. The phone itself felt plasticy and cheap when I first got it, but I think that could be because it's pretty light and very thin compared to other phones out there.
7. The camera is crap. Althought it's 1MP, the delay when trying to take a photo is too long, you miss the vital shot if taking photos of animated objects. Daylight of a inanimate object is fine, night time forget it. Video Camera is similar, useless unless in a well lit area, and does not compare with the SPV C500 (my previous phone) which wasn't that bad for Videos.
My main drawbacks would have to be the battery life, phone storage and Camera. If 3125 version was available, I would have gone for that. It's not, so I have to live with these 3 flaws.
Aside from the above, I still think this is the best and smartest phone I've had, but my phone history is nowhere near most of the members of this Forum have had:-
My Smartphone History is : MOtorola MPX200, Orange SPV C500 and QTEK 8500.
The Motorola MPX200 lacked a Camera and Bluetooth
I wanted a Motorola MPX220 but couldn't get one at the right price
The SPV C500 had the Camera and Bluetooth but wasn't a clamshell
The QTEK 8500 has the lot!
I like the Media Buttons on the outside of the phone. These are a great feature when playing MP3's, and the external display I like too.
The call quality is great, and the thin form make it easy to fit into any pocket. (back jeans pocket not advisable
The QVGA screen is crisp and very clear (when clean
Lack of Operator backup could be a big deal to some. Luckily I'm with Orange who already support Windows Mobile devices so have not had any operator issues or experienced any lack of Smartphone functionality that I would with other operators. One example, is that I'm on PAYG, and with O2 you cannot use POP email with PAYG. With Orange PAYG there are no restrictions.
This has been a great replacement for my broken SPV C500. It contains all the features I want on a smartphone, the same features I had with my SPV C500 with the added bonus of all the new functionality that comes with Windows Mobile 5.
Overall, this is the best phone I've had so far. I've always preferred the clam shell phone, mainly because when it's opened the actual ear piece is on my ear, and the mouth piece close to my gob. Other smaller phones just feel too small when in use, and I've always felt like I had to shout when using them. Everyone who has seen my phone (not Smartphone aware) are envious on what it is capable of, and those with Pocket PC's like the fact it appears to be a miniature version.
It maybe doesn't compare well against other smartphones but those who do not own a smartphone and want a clamshell mobile phone that is packed full of features, this has to be it.
One feature I would like to have seen would be WiFi.
P.S I'm no good at reviews, and this was not intended to be one, just a collection of my thoughts, and opinion on the phone I've purchased. I'm looking forward to Paul's in depth review on the QTEK 8500 and to see what his opinion is. Especially as he's reviewed the other phones in the market, so would be keen to see how this compares to those.