Just bought a Smart Phone, now what?

So, I decided to get a Samsung SCH-i760 smartphone, running Windows Mobile 6, and I gotta say, I rather like it, but for a few little things:

The phone is very loud. That is to say, the phone is very loud unless it is playing a ringtone. There is no way that everybody in the room doesn’t know I am making a phone call, but it has to be fairly quiet for me to hear my phone actually ring. I’ve got an MP3 of “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy” as my ringtone, is the solution here just to make the MP3 itself louder somehow?

No way to customize text message alerts: Boo. Can this be fixed?

Also, how can I get it to support Chinese characters? This is of interest to me since, well, I’m studying Chinese. I can use PlecoDict on it to look up words and characters, but outside of that program I see little boxes if I look at something in Chinese.

Installing Skype proves to be continually problematic. I got it to install once, but the interface became all garbled (but still functional in its weird way). Further attempts to reinstall Skype resulted in failure without comment. Also, MobiPocket seems to like to crash a lot after the phone goes into power saver mode.

Anyhow, what stuff should I get to maximise my smartphone experience? Any programs that make the phone parts work a bit better, perhaps?

Now what? Based on my experience with smartphones, now you start coming to terms that it doesn’t do all the cool stuff you bought it for particularly well, that the basic phone functions really aren’t that great compared to a basic phone, and that the battery life sucks. However, it may just be that I am unfortunate in these things, or that Windows Mobile is significantly better than the Series60 I put up with for two phones before going back to a dumb phone.

Actually, the battery life is pretty good on this phone, particularly since it comes with an extra battery as part of the basic package. Fidgeting around with it whenever I’m not in class, using its wifi antenna (which the manual tells me is power-intensive for the phone) to surf the web when I’m near a hotspot (so any time I go to the Dennys across the street from the motel with free wifi, or whenever I go to the bar that has free wifi for no readily apparent reason), battery is good for three or four days of use.

Have yet to figure out if it can charge off of USB, but if it can, I can plug it into my hand-cranked radio in the event of an emergency so I can continue to play solitaire even if the one rainstorm we get for the year in this part of California knocks out the power for four days again like it did a while back. (Yes, I bought a hand-cranked radio with a USB charger. Why yes, I am a nerd, thank you for noticing :D)

Really, the only big beef I have with the phone is the somewhat clumsy phone function, which I’m just learning to deal with, everything else is a minor nuisance. On my short-term to-do list is to get a bluetooth GPS receiver and some software to use with it, but that can wait until I ever plan to do much driving. Long term is to replace this phone with that oohso pretty Palm Treo Pro that I might be able to afford when this phone dies in a year or two.

That phone is more of a data device than a dedicated phone. You would probably be more satisfied if you pick up one of those blue tooth gizmos for the ear piece.

Declan

You should be able to see the chinese characters natively. I’m not sure about that model but the OS supports it. That said, you can install CE-Star. I think the free version allows you to read chinese text messages and documents (but does not let you write it). CE-Star is the standard that people use in China.

Yes, it will charge off of a USB.

Wifi sucks power as does having a bright backlight setting. Turning down the backlight and setting the sleep mode to kick in after 1 or 2 minutes will really save the battery.

I use PlecoDict too. Pretty awesome you can do your flashcards and look up Chinese on your device. .

Actually, just talking on the phone isn’t a problem so much as dialing. Also, I used to have a Jawbone bluetooth headset but I lost the stupid tiny little thing. Debating getting one of those bigass old school telephone style handsets that they sell on Thinkgeek that I can plug into the phone though. :smiley:

Hah, got CE-Star installed, and I can now read Chinese on my smartphone!

Now, if only I could figure out how to get the pinyin thingy to work. Or if I knew anyone who could receive Chinese text messages.

Yes , I can sympathise with that experience. But with me anyways its a minor flaw as I dont use the voice phone part much. I use my ipaq pretty much for internet only.

One thing however, actually two things. You never indicated that you have a data package to actually go with the phone. And secondly , I thought that phone has an internal gps.

Declan

I have a 10MB/mo plan, and I try to only use the phone when I’m at a Wifi hotspot so as not to use the data plan. Unfortunately, the phone lacks a GPS.

Meh that blows on the lack of internal gps, I was going to suggest google maps for the gps but its data intensive and might blow your data bucket out of the water.

Declan