Since it is becoming clearer that Palm Linux phones are vaporware, they were first promised in 2005, we decided to check out the competition.
We looked at Helio, iPhones and Windows Mobile phones.
Helio’s gps was entirely too cool, the Ocean model was comfortable, the key board nice. But the applications for todo/datebook/memos/contacts were either not quite there or missing. The fact you couldn’t get other software except games was a deal breaker. But the price is right and if you just want internet and phone and not other applications that’s probably the phone you want.
iPhone is gorgeous, the screen is huge, but the internet connection is slower than other options we looked at. ( In the store you are on a wifi net so the demo model is not representative of real world speed ) You can’t download and store pdf books on your iPhone which was a deal breaker for me. No gps either.
Palm, well we absolutely love our Palms, but we’re ready for something new, Treo hasn’t changed a much in a very long time and there is no reason to expect something new any time soon.
We picked up some Windows Mobile based Moguls by HTC from the Sprint store. They have everything Palm has with a larger screen and keyboard and we thought we’d see how well the Windows phone OS works.
Very first impressions ( and I’m sure these will change over the next few weeks )
– We had to buy missing sync to sync it with the Macs. Most everything exported and imported OK from the Palm. Much of what didn’t I transfered over the IR port.
– On Demand is as much of a pain to remove from Windows as it is from Palm. I haven’t figured it out yet, will post notes here when I do.
– PDFs are very difficult to read. The screen may be bigger but I have to zoom the pdfs to a size where I need to scroll side to side to read them, even with the phone in landscape mode.
– Landscape mode is cool, but you have to open and keep open the keyboard to use it in the browser.
– Yahoo! Go works, it’s a very nice application, something I had wished for on the Palm
– No GPS, Why is it cheap phones get GPS but not a single smart phone has it?
– It comes with a nice leather case, something Palm stopped doing long ago.
– The startup screen looks like an orange version of a blue screen crash. Is that the best they could do?
– The phone has more than one lock — a key lock, and a lock requiring a password. The password lock locked itself while I was playing with the phone and I hadn’t set a password. [panic] A soft reset fixed that. Later the other half couldn’t get the lock to accept the insanely long password he gave it and had to do a hard reset. ( So store your programs on the card, it comes with a 512 mb micro sd )
– It doesn’t feel as sturdy as my 700p, we’ll see how it holds up over time.
– You don’t have to convert pdfs to read them on the phone native pdf works just fine.
– You can bring up contact addresses in Google maps on both phones.
Things I don’t like or haven’t figured out how to do so far; read pdfs comfortably, set the phone not to ring for people not in contact book, and how to hide memos &c you don’t want easily viewable.
Things I do like so far; the large keyboard and screen, the today page at the main screen, a readable usable spreadsheet program, Yahoo! Go, Live Search (Windows), the camera is very much nicer.
Recommended Free Applications:
Yahoo! Go Yahoo! Go
Google Maps www.google.com/gmm/
Windows Live Search mobile.search.live.com ( This is not the ‘Windows Live’ already on your device this has maps, movies, local searches etc )
HTC Support: Mogul by HTC