I'd like an iPhone lite, please

After watching the cool online demos of the iPhone, I’ve decided I want one. However, I don’t really want any of the phone or EDGE features. I already have an iPod, so I could live without that. And I can definitely live without the mandatory 2-year AT&T contract and $600 price tag.

However, I live among a plethora of Wi-Fi hotspots, and I would LOVE to have that web browsing experience in my pocket. Are there any “poor man’s” handheld devices that fully supports regular internet sites (as opposed to stripped-down mobile sites )? I’m sure anything out there will pale in comparison to that nifty Apple experience, but I’m cheap and open to suggestions.

The Nintendo DS offers a web browser for $30 that links into wi-fi that is Opera based.

Also, a PS2 will use wifi to get online.

I believe some Palm products (pda-type things) will too, but I’m not sure.

Brendon Small

This page says that there have been phones (Nokie, Samsun, LG) out for a full year that have a full web browser. Though, I do have to ask, do any of these phones have as good a browser as the iPhone demo?

Late-model Palm PDAs (Tungsten T|5, T|X and Zire72) can use the Palm WiFi card, but don’t bother. It’s slow (802.11b only) and Palm’s browser stinks. There have been no Treo phones that have WiFi, and they are currently having driver problems in their quest to fit WiFi into a future model, along with battery issues, and are now taking the position that it’s no longer necessary due to the proliferation of 3G/HSDPA services. (Sounds like rationalization to me.)

Windows Mobile-based phones though work quite well and most of the higher end units have 802.11b/g built-in. A VGA model would be ideal so you get a decent-enough resolution to be able to read pages with decent clarity and space.

The Palm TX has wi-fi built in. You can orient the image 90% so it’s displayed in landscape. The interface isn’t nearly as nice as what they show on the iphone and a little tough to navigate, but it’s pretty zippy for what it is. If you’re looking to duplicate your laptop wi-fi in miniature you’ll be disappointed.

No matter how you slice it, iPhone, Palm, or whatever, there’s just so much you can do with a screen that size, and font size and images can only get so little before you’re uncomfortable trying to read it. It’s definitely nice to be able to connect wherever you’re able, though. It’s just not pretty.


I wasn’t sure. I know my sister just purchased a Palm PDA (not sure what kind) that has a music player. She can’t get the music player to sync so she brought it to me, and said she could add wifi but chose not to because she would never use it. Honest, for the price she paid, I wasn’t that impressed, but it works for her because she is a nurse and it can be fitted with a nice med-reference program.

I’m thinking my laptop is still easier, wi-fi-wise, but I understand wanting something tiny. Maybe a smaller laptop/tablet pc would fulfill some people’s needs.

Brendon Small

What about Blackberry? Does it fit the criteria? We don’t have so many of them in use here in Bogotá.

I wasn’t trying to come off as snarky, or anything of that sort, and I understand that it is a completely different topic that I’m addressing. Sorry if it comes off that way (it did to me on re-read and I missed the edit window). I would look into the blackberry as well. A friend of mine has one and loves it.

Brendon Small

I have a Motorola Q, and I’m totally satisfied with the internet access on it. It’s not as fast or as easily navigated as my desktop, but it works just fine for nearly anything I need to do on the go. I only recently discovered that I could Google a business, have the phone number displayed in the results, and dial it directly from the search page. Man, was I ever giddy. True, it does oftentimes display stripped down mobile versions of websites, but I almost never find that irritating enough to wish I had anything different.

The moto Q as sold by verizon is a 3g phone so it has a much higher data rate than the 2.5g edge network that the iphone can use. Good browsers and mp3 players have been in phones for years. Apple’s innovation with the ipone is apples usual innovation a neat user interface and marketing.

Also, upthread, I said the PS2 - I meant the PSP. Sorry to post in here so many times - I was at school and was supposed to be listening to the “guest speaker” who gave the same presentation she did in 3 other classes I’ve had since I came to college here. Anyways, a PSP obviously is not a phone, but as others have suggested, there are decent phones with internet…


While I’m wrapping my head around the fact that somebody actually WANTS Wifi support in a phone, I don’t think any of the newer Blackberries do. Some of the 7000 series did, but I don’t think 8800 or 8300 do and I know for a fact 8100 does not. However, I find the browser on the latest version of Blackberry OS on my 8100 to be superior to many PC browsers. Sure there is no Flash or advanced Javascript, but CSS and basic Javascript work very well, and it’s about as fast as Safari on PC. The websites I want work well.

I just watched the iPhone demo and the interface is pretty slick. However, I wouldn’t trade my 8100 for it. The fact that it’s a touchscreen with no stylus and no handwriting recognition would drive me up the wall. I hate keyboards, especially QWERTY, and I basically had to settle for the 8100’s SureType. To me, the only valid reason keyboards are put on mobile devices is because it’s cheaper than making a big touch screen. Making a big touch screen and drawing a keyboard on it is rude – it’s the equivalent of making a digital camera that still uses film for an unknown reason.

This adds very little to what has been said about the Q already, but I just wanted to say that I’m both surfing and posting on the SDMB comfortably at this very moment.

Is that weird? I don’t see how it would be a detriment. And actually, I don’t even want a phone, but more of a pocket internet device, since that’s how I do 95% of my communicating.

Thanks for the ideas, everybody.

I guess I should add that Verizon’s cheapest 3g plan is $80. WiFi is free in most of the places I spend my time. Did I mention I’m cheap?

Something like this, maybe?

It was on Woot! a week ago or so for under $150 IIRC, but MSRP is around $250.

This is not true. I have a 3g plan on my phone and it is not $80. It is $5 extra to my $40 plan to surf the web.

We may have a winner. That and the newer N800 look like good bets. And they’re hackable Linux devices, which definitely appeals to the nerd in me. Thanks!

At work we were talking about those two Nokia tablets. One person had used both. He felt that the cheaper one was to slow for a good surfing experience and that the newer more expensive one was much better.