Now that all the major manufacturers have announced or released their major new mobile phones for this year, I’ve been having a look around to see what I should buy when my contract comes up for renewal at the start of November.
First, some details of my past few phones:
- Positives: Battery life, keyboard, integration of PDA and phone features, SD card
- Negatives: PalmOS has become rather limiting these days, poor voice quality, low screen resolution, poor camera
- Positives: Lots of Windows Mobile software, SD card
- Negatives: Not very stable, no keyboard, poor voice quality, battery life wasn’t great, poor camera
Samsung D600 (with a Dell Axim X50v as a PDA), my current solution
- Good battery life
- Good voice quality.
- Like the slider design
- Narrow (46.5mm – important when you also carry an additional PDA in the same pocket)
- Has a joypad (which I much prefer over a joystick)
- Good camera and great video quality
- Plenty of memory, and expandable through microSD
- Texting is poor – it doesn’t handle capitalisation changes well
- Doesn’t sync easily with other devices – my Mac or my Axim for example
- Not a smartphone or PDA. Would prefer to carry my Axim a little less
With 3G data finally becoming reasonably affordable here in the UK, I want my next phone/PDA combo to be 3G (which the D600 isn’t), and preferably have some more Smartphone functionality. I’ve been looking around, and unfortunately it appears that all the possible devices have some pretty major flaws as far as I am concerned.
One problem a lot of them have, is that I hate small 5-way joysticks with a passion. I briefly owned a Sony Ericsson W800 and found it horrible to use.
The Current Contenders
- Positives: Windows Mobile OS (so lots of software)
- Negatives: Joystick control, 1.3 megapixel camera (wake up HTC, this is 2006)
- Positives: Great camera, small (47mm wide)
- Negatives: Tiny joystick, not a smartphone
- Positives: Full Pocket PC (Axim not needed), huge keyboard, HSDPA 3.5G compatible
- Negatives: microSD (this matters a lot on a Pocket PC as microSD only goes up to 2Gb at the moment. I currently have 6Gb in my Axim), not convinced about how good a phone it would be, would miss the VGA screen from my Axim
- Positives: Series 60 smartphone, high res screen, large fold out QWERTY keyboard
- Negatives: Apparently very short of RAM, a little too wide (53mm), joystick
- Positives: Very good camera, Series 60 smartphone, large screen
- Negatives: Joystick
- Positives: Joypad, high res screen, slider design, Series 60 smartphone
- Negatives: Large (50mm wide and pretty thick), battery life is not great
Unfortunately none of the above devices quite work for me. An N73 with a joypad, a slightly smaller N80, or a TyTN with SD (not microSD) card support would probably be good enough to swing the decision, but alas, those products don’t exist.
When I finally make my decision, I’ll write a post explaining my decision. If any mobile phone manufacturers read this – please bring back joypads and SD card support, as your current joysticks and microSD cards are just too small.