I’ve had my new phone for a couple weeks now, and I have several impressions.
The first is that any additions are very expensive. With my previous PDA, software was primarily free. With this one, not only do most things cost, but cost enough to add up quick. There’s some voice activation software I want, and it’s $40. It won’t take very long before I have more in software than in the cost of the phone itself.
So here’s a rundown of the good and bad.
- It’s a PDA. This may sound like overkill, but it greatly increases the flexibility of the phone aspect. I wanted a custom ringer, but rather than paying for one, I dropped a wav file in the right place in the file manager and it appeared in my list of options. (Ghostbusters BTW)
- The camera rocks. Great resolution, large viewfinder etc.
- The camera flash. It’s not really a flash, but rather a steady VERY bright light. I haven’t used it as a flash, but it’s GREAT for lighting the back side of my computer under my desk. And the phone sits nicely on its side.
- Wifi. The wifi works great. IE4 for the phone is FAR better than I would have expected. Opera costs a LOT, and Minimio crashed the phone hard. 🙁
- The keyboard. It’s solid, the keys aren’t too small, and I can run it with two thumbs quite easily.
- The voice recorder. It’s VERY easy to use, and has excellent quality.
- Recharging. It charges over USB, period. If you need to plug it into the wall, the adapter has a USB plug on the end. The 12 volt charger for the car has USB on the end. This means that in a pinch you can go to radio shack and buy a $4 USB cable and charge your phone. Sure beats proprietary.
- It’s quiet. The ringer doesn’t make much noise, the alerts make even less, and the speaker you listen with is very quiet.
- There’s no Escape key. This won’t matter to most of you, but for you VIM users, just think about it. I’m not sure what I’m going to do about that.
- There’s no hardware Control key. Again, most won’t care, but Pine wants it. There’s one in the on-screen keyboard, but I wish I didn’t have to use that.
- The Camera. If you want to take a picture, you either find "camera" in the start menu, or hold down the camera button for 5-7 seconds. Then you point it at your subject and press the button. 3 seconds later it takes a picture. So if you see something cool, it’s going to be about 10 seconds before you can take a picture of it, and you need to pess the button 3 seconds before "it" happens. Kids don’t wait for that.
- Memory issues. If you start a program, and then hit the X to Make It Go Away, it doesn’t close the app. Presumably to allow you to open it back up quickly. After a time though, everything’s running, and you have no memory to do anything. Then you click start, Settings, System, Memory, Running Programs, Stop All Programs.
Last night however, I went to take a picture of the big fish my father-in-law caught, and it said it couldn’t, there wasn’t enough memory. Killing all the apps didn’t help. So as of right now, I can’t take any pictures at all.
- PIcture messages. With my old phone, I could take a picture, and send it via sms to an email address (my Flickr address for example). With this one, I apparently can’t do that. I have the same plan, and The Lady said I should be able to. I’m going to take it to the store and make them show me how.
- Number fields. When editing a contact or something, it doesn’t recognize that a given field is probably going to be all numbers and turn num-lock on. There isn’t a num-lock, so when entering phone numbers, I have to hold down the Alt key while entering the numbers.
- The number pad. There’s no physical humber pad for dialing, like with a regular phone. This means you essentially can’t dial without looking at the phone, and carefully pecking away at the screen, or looking while you find a contact. I knew this would be annoying going in though, so I can’t really complain.
- The media player. I haven’t dug too deeply, I may be able to get around this, but it looks like to manage the audio and video on the PDA, I have to use the Sync functions in Windows Media Player 10 on the desktop. WMP10 on MY desktop doesn’t see my device, even though the rest of the OS does. I think though that I can drop files into My Music and My Video and it should play them.
I think that’s it for now. On the whole I’m happy with it. I’m going to get that voice activation software, it quite handily nullifies the issues of pecking out the numbers you want to call.
UPDATE: I figured out how to soft-reset it, and that took care of the memory issue. There’s a hole on the bottome big enough for the stylus to reset it. They knew it would need to be easy to restart it. 😉