smart phone is basically a phone that can access the internet. It usually has a bigger screen but only a regular phone keypad. The screen is not a touch screen. You can read email, word, pdf files and browse the internet.
A lot of people I know that use smart phones basically read and delete email, call back on important emails, or send a short text like email reply. Many people really like the smart phone and are not attracted to the PDA.
PDA/Phone/Internet combo is a PDA that’s also a phone. It will have a touch screen and may or may not have a qwerty keyboard. So it has full PDA functionality.
I often take short business trips with only my PDA phone and leave the laptop at home. For the way I work, I live on my smart PDA. Usually take both custoemr and internal meeting notes on it. Do a ton of email on it, including real replies. I’m often on the subway, in a taxi or waiting at the airport, so it’s really useful way for me to stay connected.
It’s really changed the way I work. reading email on the pda is much less intrusive than firing up the laptop. You can reply to those critical emails or schedule time to do it. No longer do I fly somewhere, have a day of meetings, do customer dinners, and then get back to the hotel and download a crisis and have to be up half the night. I know what’s urgent and what isn’t, and if there is a crisis, well I know about it during business hours and can often delegate it to someone else.
I surf and reply to the dope a lot on my pda. So, if you see replies without capitalizations, I’m probably on the PDA. I read all my wire story news on the PDA too, and prefer it even over my desktop.
For me, there are two killer apps. One is Microsoft OneNote, which I do 90% of all work on the laptop, and there is a mobile version (mobile version isn’t great but it’s still really valuable for me). Second, is that I have a chinese english disctionary and it has a flashcard function, so I’m able to review my Chinese characters during the odd free moments of the day.
Smart Phone versus PDA really depends on your profile and what you will actually use it for.
For recording interviews, you need to have an SD card with a lot of memory. I’m not sure how much would be required for several hours of interviews.
Again, make sure you get a windows mobile 6 device if you’re going down this route.