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technoid
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Reged: 05/07/04
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What's the best hybrid PDA - Cellphone
      #10669 - 05/07/04 05:49 PM

I've been out of the loop for a while. I'm one of the original folks who bought the first Palm (and took it back the next day - it didn't have the ability to store e-mail addresses in the address book; how useless). I waited and bought a Palm V. BTW, the battery still works 5 years later. I've been putting off getting a cell phone for some time (most of my jobs supplied one anyway), but I really need to upgrade, and I'm finding the researching a bit overwhelming. Let me describe my ideal PDA/Phone scenario and see who can recommend the closest match.

Phone capabilities:
* Connects easily with major carriers with same plan, performance, support, etc as any other cell phone (verizon, sprint, etc - just not AT&T or Qwest!)
* Is bluetooth enabled to allow a bluetooth wireless headset. Although you may be in love with your pda screen, the side of your face is not where it belongs.
* Voice dialing. "Call Home", dials your home number... I understand that this voice recognition isn't done in the device, but a call is placed to a central computer that does the recog, lookup, and dialing for you. Anyone got any more insight on this. Of course ideally, this would all be done in the device itself.

PDA
* I like PalmOS, but would consider an alternative.
* I liked the backlighting on the Pocket PCs (very strong)
* Good Color
* I still like the grafitti stylus approach (down with keypads)
* Camera
* MP3 Player
* GPS
* AM/FM radio
* Internet browsing/email, etc
* Seeing the time, callerid, etc without flipping it open
* Ringer off switch (programmable too)
* Expansion port
* Work with MS Outlook via USB
* 8 hr+ battery life.

* Quicken ready
* Secure connection to bank web site.
* Lots of great software (small so they don't take up a lot of mem)
* Lots of memory

Extras:
* outlet or battery power amplified speaker phone.
* meaningful, hardware upgrade discount
* good user and programmer support (free is best).


I probably left some stuff out...


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LisaGModerator
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Re: What's the best hybrid PDA - Cellphone [Re: technoid]
      #10720 - 05/09/04 06:58 PM

Check out the more recent Palm OS smartphones, they're clamshell models that look just like regular cell phones. Look at our reviews of the Kyocera 7135 and Samsung i500. The Kyocera will give you the MP3 player and an SD expansion slot. Neither has a camera, though you can use the Veo SD camera with the Kyocera.

Bluetooth is hard to find on US Smartphones, but since these two models are the size and design of traditional mobile phones, maybe you can live w/o the BT headset? Of course you can use wired headsets with any smartphone.

If you want BT and a camera, then there's the XDA II reviewed on this site. It is quite expensive however, and sold only through importers. It should make it through an 8 hour day but if you want 8 hours of actual usage total, consider a 2nd battery.

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Lisa Gade
Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview


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technoid
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Reged: 05/07/04
Posts: 2
Re: What's the best hybrid PDA - Cellphone [Re: technoid]
      #10757 - 05/10/04 01:23 PM

I'll go look at these, but I realized I forgot to include one criteria:
Large PDA screen. Since I don't even like keypads, I prefer a PDA experience.

Of course I'm really looking forward to the foldable panel so that I can have a real screen size like my laptop or desktop, but am able to fold it up and put it in my pocket. Let me know when this reaches the market!

AFA BT et al, ideally, the PDA would stay in my pocket (with protective cover or in wallet), and I'd only have to take it out when I want to do 'PDA' type things. But when placing a call, I'd just use voice command on the BT headset. When checking the time or turning on/off the ringer, I'd use my BT watch; the watch would be the phone ringer anyway. The PDA in my pocket is like a server to my other devices (watch, headset, stereo headphones) all communicating via my 'personal' wireless BT network.

But back to "reality"... What would you recommend if you insert large PDA screen into my list?


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LisaGModerator
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Re: What's the best hybrid PDA - Cellphone [Re: technoid]
      #10771 - 05/10/04 07:20 PM

Well, if you want a large display, the Pocket PC Phone Edition models would be the way to go. We have several reviewed on our site. I myself use the Samsung i700 from Verizon and love it. It comes with both a regular and extended battery which means you should never run out of power.

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