In my new business venture I need a cell phone. I’ve had several “smart phones” in the last few years, and not been terribly impressed with any of them. The Windows Mobile (WM) phone I had was ok, but very large. The Blackberry (BB) I have is not very cool for the work I need/want to do.

I should point out that I’m not interested in an iPhone. There’s so much wrong with that path that I’m not interested in going down it for the sake of a couple features.

Here are some things I’d want from a Smart Phone:

A real IMAP client
I think the thing that would be most important to me would be email, and I’d want a real IMAP client. I haven’t found a good one on any phone yet. The WM phone simply didn’t have one at all. It was very sad. The BB’s built in email is wretched, but I found a Java based IMAP client. It’s ok, but leaves a LOT to be desired. Anyone know of a good one?
SSH client
As long as we’re going down the Smart Phone path, let’s talk SSH. There’s a GREAT ssh client for WM phones. The best one for BB is essentially unusable.

That’s it really. Is that so hard? I did a tiny bit of research on the Palm Pre today. I was impressed to see that jpilot is still in active development. I used that with my original Palm Pilot.

I also don’t want to break the bank for a toy I won’t use much. If I can’t get what I want, then I’ll get a dumb phone that makes great phone calls and be done with it.

So, what’s your advice?

7 thoughts on “Cell Phones

  1. Well, I use bb. but only for phone and email so that is no good for you. I had the iphone. too expensive.

    I dunno man. Highspeed wireless usb stick and your laptop?

  2. I’m not totally up on my email protocols, but the Android phones have exchange support. I believe they can do IMAP, but don’t quote me on that.

    I personally just picked up a Samsung Moment (yesterday in fact) and I’ve been fairly impressed so far. I played around with the Pre in the store, it’s a slick phone and I think it’s well worth looking into. I went with the Moment because I’m a big fan of google, but I would have happily walked out with the Pre if the Moment wasn’t available.

  3. My Omnia uses Windows Mobile 6.1, the packaged email client does IMAP reasonably well, and PuTTy runs on it just fine.

  4. Ditto what Shawn posted. The n900 may be the best phone available. It’ll be my next phone/computer/netbook/bread slicer. And you get root.

  5. Is the iPhone really that bad? What have I been missing out on? I’ve still got my 1st gen iPhone purchased on the day it was released and am still very impressed by it. It was the first phone I ever owned that continuously gets upgraded, new features added, huge amount of software support for it.

    Is the iPhone IMAP client not “real”? Works great for me, I use it both with our in house exchange server, and with Gmail/Google for Domains.

    And no problem with SSH, I pop up terminal, I can SSH to the phone or SSH out to other devices. Heck, I can even SSH to my AppleTV from it.

    I open a VPN to my office computer and use VNC to control my desktop. I even tether it to my laptop giving me internet access on the go. (Jail breaking required, but the 3 minutes of work to accomplish that task never scared me much.)

    Just curious what the major downsides to the iPhone are… other than Apple’s overprotective behavior in the App store, cost of service, and people’s complaints about AT&T (which in my area, AT&T is the only service worth owning if you actually expect to place or receive phone calls).

  6. There are lots of reasons to hate the iPhone, but Tim Bray summed it up pretty nicely here:

    “The iPhone vision of the mobile Internet’s future omits controversy, sex, and freedom, but includes strict limits on who can know what and who can say what. It’s a sterile Disney-fied walled garden surrounded by sharp-toothed lawyers. The people who create the apps serve at the landlord’s pleasure and fear his anger.”

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