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The Peek - When all you care about is email!

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#1
nickcornaglia

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By now you have probably heard of the Peek, the email only device that does nothing more than allow you to send and receive email. That's right. Just email.

Can I make a call on it? No.
Can I surf the internet on it? No.
Can I play music on it? Take Photos? View my calendar? Run other apps? No. No. No. And, no.

If all the bells and whistles are what you desire...a true convergence device that does it all...and then some, then the Peek is not for you. The company states this themselves boldly on their page.

The Peek was born out of necessity when, company CEO, Amol Sarva, a seasoned wireless industry entrepreneur's, wife Ursula wanted a device that let her read her email while away from work on maternity leave. They couldn't find one that fit her number one need of simplicity...that is, with allthe bells and whistles she didn't want nor need. So he, with the help of others, after research and market tests, created the Peek. (http://www.getpeek.com). Nice to have friends & skillz!


A main feature of owning the Peek is the cost. Currently, the Peek costs only an amazing $49.99. Service is $19.95/month without any contract, charged to your credit card for as long, or short, as you wish. Service is currently only available in the US as it uses T-Mobile in the background as it's service supplier....and international roaming is not currently available. So you're stuck state-side.

So if email is all that it does, how well does it do email?
I had it registered to my son's gmail account. Setup was as simple as entering in his email address and password. The rest is automatic. Almost any POP3 (only) account can be used. The website lists but is not limited to: AT&T™, Comcast®, Verizon, Roadrunner™, BellSouth®, SBCGlobal, Earthlink®, Cox7®, Charter, Cablevision, and "many others". If you have a problem with your specific provider or account, Peek says to give them a call at 1-877-677-PEEK and they'll fill you in on compatibility or help with your setup from their end. Emails send and receive fairly quickly...but not immediate. Understandable as this is a periodic POP3 sync and not Push...but emails go out immediately upon SENDing and are received within minutes. Quick enough for me as I never had the need for immediate mail push.

Hardware/Software...
The device is offerend in three colors: Dark Grey, Cherry Red, or Aqua Blue. We received the baby blue unit, which makes it look like a toy, in my opinion. I'd personally go for the Grey or Red...but that's just me.

The screen is bright and the text is easy to read even outdoors. One handed navigation is easy with a clickable side scroll wheel and back button that sits directly under it. (al la Blackberry). Pressing the scroll wheel gets you to simplified menus that change context depending on which folder/screen you're in.

The keyboard keys are spaced out nicely but are waaaay too difficult to click to make any lengthy typing very uncomfortable. Maybe it's something you need to get used to as I'm currently using a the software keyboard on the iPhone so I may just be out of practice....Nah! It could be a lot easier to type on. There are also keyboard shortcuts that can be used to go to top and bottom of email lists, open or delete...to speed things along.

As you may have gathered...not much to offer on the software side of things. But I should add that along with email, there is a basic contacts list. Contacts are automatically added when you reply to a message or you can add them manually.

Image attachments can also be viewed on the device, though if they are small, there is no way to zoom in that I could find.

There are also a few different notification sounds to go along with the LED reminder of new emails.

In addition to emails, you can also send and receive text messages by entering a phone number in the TO: field. You can receive text messages as well, by someone either replying to the text message received (a routing address in the form of a hodge-podge of letters and numbers will be your temporary return number) or if their phone allows they can enter your email address into their TO: field.

In The Box...
Peek mobile email device
AC charger
Rechargeable lithium ion battery
Thin suede protection case.
10-Page Quick Start Guide

Specs...
Battery Life: 4-5 days under typical usage
Dimensions: 4.0 x 2.7 x 0.4 in (102 x 68 x 10mm)
Weight: 3.8 ounces (109 gm)
Display: 2.5 inches (320 x 240 pixels (QVGA), 65k colors)
Memory: 8MB of user memory (alot of email!)
Radio: US Triband GPRS (800, 1800, and 1900 Mhz)
Data: GPRS (Packet Data standard in GSM)
CPU: Embedded 104MHz ARM7 TI chipset
OS: Peekux
CPU: CPU is an embedded 104Mhz ARM7 that is part of the Texas Instrument Locosto chipset

Conclusion...
The Peek is a nice device if access to email is all you are about. Great for the non-tech savvy. (grandma? mom?) Or maybe even kids who aren't allowed to carry phones in school but are allowed other electronic devices. I would have loved one of these for my son a couple of years ago when I didn't think he was old enough for a phone but wanted him to learn how to email. AT&T used to offer a device called the OGO that was a text only device. But they later added phone service to it and then discontinued it altogether as phone service got cheaper. (Now he is at the phone age...so I missed the boat). But the Peek has filled in that little gap. A little niche gap....but a gap none-the-less!

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#2
PaulOBrien

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I really liked the one-off-payment deal they did, that was a nice model!

I wonder if the buttons become easier over time?

Where's the unboxing video! :(

I would be interested to see a European launch of this device...

P

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#3
nickcornaglia

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I really liked the one-off-payment deal they did, that was a nice model!

I wonder if the buttons become easier over time?

Where's the unboxing video! :(

I would be interested to see a European launch of this device...

P


I was wondering what happened to the pay-once model. Have a call in to ask. No video as the phone came in a plain brown box already opened. (Believe it's someone's device!)

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-Nick

#4
nickcornaglia

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Side Note: Trying to fix the layout so it looks good on the news page. Float doesnt seem to be working there.
EDIT: Needed to use a table.

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