Advice on a new cell phone.

Well, I’ve had my phone for two years now and it’s time for an upgrade. This time I’d like to go with a smart phone. From looking around it seems to me that there are four types of smart phones.
Windows Mobile Devices (most seem to be running WM6 now)
Palm, running Palm
Palm, running Windows Mobile.

Trying to do some research I’ve come across a few statements saying that Palm OS is not going to be made anymore. So assuming that’s true, it’s out. That leaves us with Black Berry, WMD and Palm running WM. Errr, that’s kinda where I’m stuck.
Here’s what I’m looking for, Push Email would be nice, but not required as I don’t have a problem checking my email periodically. I do want Bluetooth and WI-FI. In fact as I want to use the phone mainly to surf the internet, WI-FI is really important, since I already have it set up in my house. I won’t need it for whatever business people use their phones for other them light calander use but that’s it…I think.

Right now we’re with Verizon (our business), I was all ready to go out and buy the VX6800, but at the last minute, the boss (Dad) decided he wanted to check out AT&T’s prices. So now I’m stuck waiting for him to make up his mind.

I’m still gunning for the VX6800, but if we go with AT&T I’m looking at either the Tilt (same as the 6800) or the iPhone.

Has anyone used any of these phones, does anyone have any other suggestions?

I am in a similar situation as you. In the past several years, I have had a Palm Treo 650 (which I really liked - stable, etc - until it died) and a Palm 700wx (which I hate - windows mobile 5 - unstable - rebooting all the time, have to reset almost daily, etc.)

I am considering a blackberry now when my contract is up in March. I am wondering how those compare on stability, ease of use, etc.

I got an iPhone right before Christmas, and I looooooove it. My sister in law just got a new blackberry, and I think the iPhone is way better, and about the same, price-wise.

It’s super easy to use. In fact it doesn’t even really come with an instruction manual, just a pamphlet that shows you a few of the features. It’s incredible intuitive.

One big plus for me is that you can completely bypass the physical stores. Maybe it’s different where you live, but around here the cellular stores have a horrible staff, and I’m thrilled that I don’t have to deal with them. I bought the iPhone from AT&T, they shipped it to me two day air, and you activate it by connecting it to your computer via iTunes.

It synced up with my email automatically, and found my wi-fi without a problem.

The AT&T service includes internet access, but it’s slow compared to traditional wi-fi. What’s cool is that the iPhone is smart enough to detect wireless in the area and will automatically connect to a local hotspot if there’s one available. If not, it will use the AT&T service.

The web browser is pretty neat, and navigation is easy. You bring up a web site and just push it around with your finger to look at the parts that don’t all fit on the screen. If you want to enlarge an area, you just use two fingers to “pull” it open and it enlarges. Flip the iPhone sideways and you get a landscape view.

It also has a camera feature, which is kind of fun. It’s handy to be able to take pictures of stuff and email them immediately.

What else? It has a google maps feature, but I haven’t used that much yet. Oh yeah, you can make phone calls, too.

It’s worth it to go to and watch the videos there.

I have a palm Treo 700W running WinMobile5 and a Tilt with WinMobile6. Some factoids to consider …

Push email works, but only if you’ve got push at the other end too. With Exchange 2007 at work my email pushes just great. But the device cannot get push email from, say, Yahoo because Yahoo does not push. The device could do polling for email from Yahoo, which looks like push to you, but at significant cost in battery life.
The Tilt as a lot better for web surfing, but understand that none of these devices really provide any more than a rudimentary web experience. Lots of sites depend on javascript that’s just not fully available in the device. They also assume a much larger screen than you have and often their layout will not scale down to your screen size without massive usability failures.

WM 6 is better than WM5 in this regard, but it’s still not 100%.

Some websites are mobile-aware & will dish up a simplified but usable UI instead of the regular one. Many don’t. Having a mobile-specific UI is a two-edged sword, because although what you get is 100% usable the simplified UI may lack some feature of their site you want to use. And the URLs are all different, so you often can’t access ones you get from non-device sources or vice versa. Bottom line: Assume the worst & be pleasantly surprised once in awhile.

Another happy iPhone user here.

I used a Treo 650 for years, and I liked it a lot, though it never did fit comfortably in my jeans pocket. I have been greatly saddened by the downward spiral of Palm, so I didn’t know what I was going to do for a new phone.

Mail is good: it will automatically configure itself out of the box for several different providers. If you use Yahoo, you get the added benefit of push email.

The default Gmail configuration is easy to improve on since Gmail now supports IMAP. I have Yahoo and Gmail set up and my phone gets all Yahoo messages instantly and Gmail messages within 15 minutes (my polling interval).

It isn’t the most full featured phone, and you currently can’t modify it at all. It is to the cell phone what Mac is to the desktop computer world: Apple developed a very slick user interface and made some careful choices about what they felt most people would want. If you are happy with Apple’s choices, you will smile. If not, then you are limited in how much you can modify it.

It appeals to me because that very kind of simplicity is what attracted me to the Palm platform years ago: they didn’t have many bells and whistles on their apps; but they ran very fast and had exactly the features that most people needed.

Apple is releasing the iPhone SDK in February; I think it’s a safe assumption that once that happens, mods will appear like hotcakes.

I have an iPhone as well. I’m please with it. It lets me check email on the road and lets me surf the internet when I am bored. I haven’t used the youtube function very much, but it seems to work well. I use the maps quite a bit, although it would benefit from having a gps.

I like that it syncs up with outlook so I just have to enter things in once. I like the iPhone for internet. I seems more complete than other phones and once you get the hang of it, works well. I’ve surfed the dope on it as well.

I haven’t been thrilled with setting up bluetooth for when I drive but I’m hoping to have that bug worked out.

Hence my qualification with “Currently”

Believe me, I am monitoring this very closely!
One of the biggest gaps (for me) with the iPhone is the lack of a password safe like SplashID. I hope that is one of the first to be deployed after the SDK appears.

What’s iPhone SDK?

iPhone users. What’s the skinny on the battery life? Can you realistically listen to music for a few hours, surf the web for an hour, do a lot of email, and talk for say 1 hour without the battery dying?

To the OP, a couple of questions to narrow down what you want.

  1. do you want a smart phone or a PDA phone? Eg, do you need a PDA or just a phone that allows you to read and delete email, and surf the Dope? I need a PDA since I do extensive email work (phone keyboard IMHO is good for simple replies), take meeting notes, and a lot of other stuff.
  2. do you want a phone keyboard, virtual keyboard or physical qwerty keyboard? Your choice affects the size and form factor of the machine
  3. WM6 is the way to go if a WM device. Advantages are that WM5 is pretty much phased out by makers, and you get perfect synchronization with MS Office if that’s what you use at work. Again, depends on if this is important for you. It is for me.
  4. How much will you use the device? What kind of battery requirements, and do you need a swappable battery?

If you have an idea on the above questions, that will really narrow down your choices.

iPhone Software Development Kit.

Not sure how much you were following iPhone stuff — the iPhone currently has a fixed set of apps on it, what Apple gives you and that’s it.

They firmly stated that no 3rd party apps would ever be allowed on the iPhone, insisting that web-based AJAX apps were all anyone would ever need. Many people disagreed.

Within days after the iPhone was released, folks cracked it and began writing new apps for it. All was good until the first patch release came out and “bricked” all of the hacked phones.

Finally, Steve Jobs announced that they would, after all, make an official software development kit for the iPhone.

With the hacked phone smackdown so recent in people’s memories, many are waiting eagerly for the release of this SDK.

Rumors have it that the new apps will need to be signed by Apple, and would likely be sold only through the Apple Store via iTunes. Further rumor has it that Apple’s relationship with AT&T would make it so that they would never approve/sign an app that competes with AT&T’s services, such as a chat client :frowning:

I can’t wait, especially because I really do want my password safe back. I keep the Treo around just for that.

I’ll be honest: it isn’t nearly as good as my Treo was — I only charged the Treo every third day. But it isn’t bad either — When I put it on the charger at night, it is about two thirds full. If I wait two full days, it is dangerously low and beginning to complain.

I use the iPod app for 4 hours in an average workday. I have the phone on, BT on. I leave wifi off because I am rarely far from a computer, and when I am, I am far from wifi as well, so I use the Edge network.

The iPod Battery FAQ says that the battery doesn’t count a little charge cycle as much as a big charge cycle, so when you see that it is good for 300-500 complete charge cycles, that doesn’t mean that a daily topping off will eat your battery in a year.

Honestly, the reason I bought it (and many others do) is because it has such a slick UI, not because it is the first or best in any area. It just brings it together far better than others. Try one out at an AT&T store or an Apple store. The SDK will be the icing on the cake.

So would that be on a new phone, or is that software/firmware that will be downloaded to existing phones. That is, should I waid until February to get one (if we even go with AT&T which I kinda doubt anyways), or can I get one now that will be upgraded to that?

Not sure what the difference is between a smart phone and a PDA. Like I said in the OP, I’m not going to use it like hardcore business user uses theirs. I’d like to check my email, surf the internet, and probably make light use of a calander.

I’ve only used a regular qwerty keyboard on a phone a few times and I’ve never used a touch screen keyboard, so I’m not sure yet about that. So if I do like the iPhone, I’ll have to play with it in the store first. I dunno I might hate it. Eitherway, If I go with a smart phone, I’m pretty sure I’ll want a full qwerty keyboard (as opposed to a phone keyboard).

We use MS Office at work, (and Open Office on some computers). So yeah, that’ll be nice. The question is, can I tap into the network (via wi-fi) and share files that are on other computers with any of these phones? For example, can I pull an excel order guide off the network, edit it, and send it to the printer? Or is that asking too much? Of course being able to pull files from the network would really be icing, it’s a small building and I’ve never been away from computer wished I had access to a file on the network without having to walk 75 feet back to my desk. Besides I presume it would take just as long to pull up the file that way as it would to walk back.

I’m not sure yet. As long as the device can make it from 6 in the morning to about midnight between charges I’m fine. I usually plug my phone in every night.

If you have an idea on the above questions, that will really narrow down your choices.

No, it will be an upgrade for existing phones.

I have never once run the battery down on my iPhone. The official specs are 8 hours of talk time, 20 hours of music-listening, and about 6 hours of video-watching or web-surfing. Those are fairly accurate in my estimation.

So if we do decide to go with AT&T I and I decide I want the iPhone, we should wait until February to make the move?

Another question. Am I safe to assume on all these phones that have wi-fi, that you are not charged to use wi-fi since you’re not using their connection?

No need to wait for February. The SDK is something that tech-heads download and use to write software for the iPhone. You won’t use the SDK directly; the benefit to you is that there will be more modifications and other software available for you to use.

I’m a little confused about your second question. If you mean “Will AT&T charge me for using the internet” the answer is yes, but it’s built into your iPhone plan. Any AT&T Cell plan that the iPhone works with includes unlimited Internet access.

If you mean “Am I charged for using random wi-fi services that my iPhone automatically connects to if it finds them?” the answer is No. Wi-Fi can be open to anyone, in which case it’s free, or it can be secured by password or other types of security. If that’s the case, you either will not be able to access it at all, or you’ll have to go through a registration procedure where you provide a credit card to pay for access. You won’t just randomly all of a sudden get charged because you access someone’s wi-fi.

I assumed that even with a data plan for any of the smart phones, you still would pay by the amount of data that was tranferred. Based on that I assumed that using WI-FI would be free, so nevermind.

I have the casio G’zOne type-V from verizon. Before this one the longest I was able to keep a phone intact was a year.

I got a shiny red new Krazer and it was broken in less than a week. I asked the lady at the phone store foe either a Playskool or Tonka.

This phone is impact resistant and water resistant. I can drop it and it will still work. I can submurge it in three feet of water for 30 minutes, wipe it dry and use it right away, no damage…

I just upgraded my cellphone today with AT&T to the Pantech Duo running Windows Mobile 6.

I couldn’t bring myself to get the iPhone, I played with the sore demo, while it’s neat and all, I really didn’t care for the interface. I guess I am “old fashioned” - I like real buttons to push. Plus it is way bigger and heavier than I think a cellphone should be.

The Duo, so far seems really spiffy - the interface is pretty smooth and the full qwerty keyboard for texting and entering calendar stuff and whatnot is great.

You wouldn’t think it was bigger and heavier after two years of carrying a Treo in your pocket :).
I was amazed at how slim it was, compared to the huge thing I had been carrying. Of course, when I first bought the Treo, it was slim for its feature set.

I know what you mean, though. I still have a hard time reaching for the phone when I’m wearing jeans.

As far as the interface goes, you did the best thing: you went to the store to try one out. You either will love it or hate it. The keyboard often is the dealbreaker. It was love at first sight for me and I wouldn’t want anything else.