PDA Phones

I made my first PDA / Phone purchase in January of 2006.  I bought a Palm Treo 700w on the Verizon network.  It’s powered by Windows Mobile, and enabled me to synchronize my calendar, contacts, tasks and email instantly, with no additional server software or setup required.


I’ve enjoyed the high quality of Verizon’s network.  I know, we all have our own experiences to report on.  But for me, in the city, and in the country, my phone always works, and works well.


After dropping in a rootbeer float (I definitely do not recommend this), my insurance replaced it with a 700wx.  This is basically the same unit, but they gave it more RAM.  That means, faster, more stable, and more usable.


Recently, Verizon has released Windows Mobile 6.0 for this phone, and I updated to it.  MANY great improvements, and a few steps backwards.


Well, after dealing with this for almost three years now, I’ve figured out what my needs and desires are.  I like to think that I have above average needs since I’m a technology consultant.  However, some things are just nice to have, and aren’t really required.  But, since our business is based on service, it’s nice to have all customer’s contact information at all times, and my calendar and email real time as well.  That makes it easy to stay in touch with customers when I’m not in the office, schedule appointments, etc…


Also, having a web browser that gives me access to our management/billing system is a great tool.  I can enter my time in as soon as I leave a customer’s office.  This keeps everything up to date, and accurate.


So, I think my needs are:

  • Great phone quality and service – afterall, it IS a phone!  Dropped calls and low quality is not acceptable.
  • Contacts/Calendar/Email – This is a must.
  • Internet on the phone – again, this is very high priority because of some of the things I do for work.  On a PERSONAL level, it’s fun as well.
  • Providing Internet on my laptop – being able to get an Internet connection on my laptop through my phone is very important.  Since my entire business is run from our systems, our laptops and the Internet, this enables me to go places even when I need to work.  I still take vacations WITHOUT working, but if I want to take the family out of town for the weekend and I still have some work to do, it makes it nice to be able to get that last couple of hours in after the kids go to bed.

So, here are recent developments that make me wonder what the heck I’ll be doing in the future.

  • iPhone – Apple has really made an awesome device.  Whether you are an Apple fan or not, they’ve made a great application distribution system, a great Internet device, and a pretty stable one at that.  With support for Exchange Server synchronization for Contacts, Calendar and Email, it’s now an option.  Still, there’s currently no official support for tethering (connecting to my laptop for Internet access).  But, by “Jailbreaking” it, it’s possible.
  • Palm Treo 800w – this is the new revision of the phone I currently have.  They’ve made it more powerful, added Windows Mobile Pro 6.1, GPS and WiFi and even dropped off the antenna.  Also, native support for connecting with the laptop.  So, all in all, better, faster and more features.  But, still the smaller screen, which in a device like this is a major disadvantage in my opinion.
  • Palm TreoPro – basically what I mentioned on the 800w, except a much nicer form factor with a flush screen.

Since it’s a tool I use every day, I don’t mind spending money, so cost is not a factor in this decision.  With all technology, the longer you wait, the more changes you see.  When will we make a move?  Who knows.  If I want an iPhone, I HAVE to to go AT&T.  The major drawback there is that 3G isn’t as good as EVDO Rev A yet (EVDO is Verizon/Sprint’s technology), and that AT&T also doesn’t work as well as Verizon in the two rural areas I go to regularly.


What will the future hold?  WHO KNOWS?!?!?!?!?!

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