Smartphone Thoughts

ARTICLE - Julie's Gear Diary - Two Days with the HTC S620

Kris Kumar - Sat Feb 17, 2007 6:05 pm
Post subject: Julie's Gear Diary - Two Days with the HTC S620
<i>"For the past 2 days, I've been using the HTC S620 (AKA Excalibur) Windows Mobile 5.0 for Smartphone quad band mobile phone as my main device. When I first received this phone back in January, I charged it up, synced all my PIM info with my iMac and tried to get acclimated to it. After less than one day, I gave up though. I just couldn't get used to not having a touch screen and I ended up putting it in my ever burgeoning phone drawer. I know now that I made a big mistake by giving up so quickly on this phone..."</i>

<img src="/images/Kris-2007Feb-Julie.jpg">

Julie, The Gadgeteer, is publicly admitting of being guilty of dismissing the HTC S620 (a.k.a. the Dash, a.k.a. Excalibur) as just another phone because it lacked a touch-screen. Finally Mother Nature had to intervene and show the error of her ways. Wink The one thing I do agree with Julie is the lack of a built-in notes application. It is so frustrating. I have SmartphoneNotes and OneNote Mobile installed but I miss the over-the-air sync of notes. Why can't Microsoft provide support for notes?
sven - Sat Feb 17, 2007 6:52 pm
Post subject: Re: Julie's Gear Diary - Two Days with the HTC S620
Kris Kumar wrote:
I have SmartphoneNotes and OneNote Mobile installed but I miss the over-the-air sync of notes. Why can't Microsoft provide support for notes?


Umm, what over the air sync of notes. We haven't had over the air sync except to a an Exchange Server since WM5, and that neither supports notes or files AFAIK, and not just on a SP.
aussienick - Sat Feb 17, 2007 10:45 pm
Post subject:
Wouldn't it be great to have a touchscreen version of the HTC Excalibur...then we could "professional" users instead of "standard" users!

But seriously a touchscreen version would be great, Iím torn between my Treo 750v and the Excalibur one has wi-fi and the other has a touchscreen and office mobile....
Mike Temporale - Sun Feb 18, 2007 7:25 am
Post subject:
I'm not sold on Touch Screens. I gave up on them years ago and I don't miss it. In fact, if you look at the new JAQ3 Pocket PC - it's the thinnest Pocket PC to date, and it's huge in comparison to these devices. I don't think they have the technology yet to make a touch screen as thin as a normal one.
Kris Kumar - Sun Feb 18, 2007 7:50 am
Post subject: Re: Julie's Gear Diary - Two Days with the HTC S620
sven wrote:

Umm, what over the air sync of notes. We haven't had over the air sync except to a an Exchange Server since WM5, and that neither supports notes or files AFAIK, and not just on a SP.


I guess "miss" was the wrong word to use. I wish Microsoft starts supporting notes sync for Smartphone not only thru desktop ActiveSync but also over the air using the direct push technology.
Kris Kumar - Sun Feb 18, 2007 8:00 am
Post subject:
LG Prada and Apple iPhone are great examples of devices with touch screen that are extremely thin.

I don't think manufacturers are trying hard to innovate at the hardware level.

One name that comes to my mind that should be a trend setter but isn't, is Palm. Why is a Palm device so bulky? Confused What are they packaging inside that chunky body?

But I agree with Mike, having a touch screen does not guarantee a great user experience. RIM has managed to prove that.
dean56 - Sun Feb 18, 2007 12:02 pm
Post subject:
it looks like the dash footprint is the exact same as the ipod. and yes it would be interesting if they made a version without the keypad. as with the blackjack i think the iphone will have battery life problems. pocket versions tend to not last very long with battery life. i find thi son eof the best phones to date. in VISTA there is one problem they need to work out... it does not recognize the memory card and therefore you cannot sync any media onto the card. i hope there is a fix soon! for all out there interested in GPS i have also installed Co-Pilot and it is working great. i own an HP6515 because of the internal GPS but after 5-6 months it burns out and i decided from now on to use only external bluetooth GPS devices to fix that problem. they now make them very small and alot cheaper in price. i also installed slingmedia and find it works fine both on EDGE as well as with WIFI. Both the new mobile google maps and windows live search work fine with edge as well. i wish it had 3G but obviously accept the trade off of smaller size to the need for more battery!

i also like the NON touch screan for everyday use. i find myself constantly cleaning the screans on pocket versions with touch screens

one final note. on Ebay i found a very small solar phone charger for $10 that is maybe the size of two zippo lighters. when i find myself traveling, outside or o0n the beach it works great. i am trying to figure out a way to hang it on the outside of my bag to charge while i am walking around...
JwY - Sun Feb 18, 2007 12:11 pm
Post subject:
Kris Kumar wrote:
LG Prada and Apple iPhone are great examples of devices with touch screen that are extremely thin.

I don't think manufacturers are trying hard to innovate at the hardware level.

One name that comes to my mind that should be a trend setter but isn't, is Palm. Why is a Palm device so bulky? Confused What are they packaging inside that chunky body?

But I agree with Mike, having a touch screen does not guarantee a great user experience. RIM has managed to prove that.


but the iphone doesn't use ppc styled touchscreen. someone commented that you can't wear gloves and use it so it isn't pressure sensitive. it is probably electrostatic like a touchpad or something along those lines which wm isn't exactly designed for (ie. stylus).
dean56 - Sun Feb 18, 2007 12:41 pm
Post subject:
touching or brushing the screen or whatever you do..... any contact with the screen will leave marks. it's the natural oils on your fingers. look at the video of steve jobs very close and you can see the screen with lots of marks. by the way, i can only wonder what marks women will leave with makeup when they answer the all. i'm ok during the colder months but find during the summer and hotter weather it's only natural to leave a huge mark on the screen.

just an observation.
crispeto - Sun Feb 18, 2007 1:17 pm
Post subject:
I had a Dell x30 before my Dash. I liked my Dell but not nearly as much as my Dash. I would take a SP w/ qwerty anyday over a touch screen. The Dash is the best electronic device of any kind I've ever owned and I've owned a bunch. We recently got a plasma TV and a Wii an I still like my Dash better. Is there something wrong with me?
aussienick - Sun Feb 18, 2007 2:27 pm
Post subject:
Mike Temporale wrote:
I'm not sold on Touch Screens. I gave up on them years ago and I don't miss it. In fact, if you look at the new JAQ3 Pocket PC - it's the thinnest Pocket PC to date, and it's huge in comparison to these devices. I don't think they have the technology yet to make a touch screen as thin as a normal one.


Thanks Mike, i'll have a look at the JAQ3. I've only had the Dash for a few days and am starting to get used to it, the one thing i dont miss not having a touchscreen is that other programs dont launch when i have the phone to my ear!
Kris Kumar - Sun Feb 18, 2007 4:33 pm
Post subject:
crispeto wrote:
Is there something wrong with me?


Hmm, where should we begin. Laughing Just kidding.

You will like your Dash even more one the WM6 update comes out.
Kris Kumar - Sun Feb 18, 2007 4:43 pm
Post subject:
dean56 wrote:
i own an HP6515 because of the internal GPS but after 5-6 months it burns out


Strange. Confused Is that a known problem?

dean56 wrote:
on Ebay i found a very small solar phone charger for $10 that is maybe the size of two zippo lighters. when i find myself traveling, outside or o0n the beach it works great. i am trying to figure out a way to hang it on the outside of my bag to charge while i am walking around...


Great idea. Which one did you get? Is it Solio?
Kris Kumar - Sun Feb 18, 2007 4:47 pm
Post subject:
JwY wrote:

but the iphone doesn't use ppc styled touchscreen. someone commented that you can't wear gloves and use it so it isn't pressure sensitive. it is probably electrostatic like a touchpad or something along those lines which wm isn't exactly designed for (ie. stylus).


Wonderful! This feature will be a big hit in the north-east during our winter. No wonder they are launching it in June, so that users do not discover it early.
Kris Kumar - Sun Feb 18, 2007 4:54 pm
Post subject:
dean56 wrote:
look at the video of steve jobs very close and you can see the screen with lots of marks.


Good point. Not sure if anyone else noticed this but Steve was often wiping his fingers on his jeans. Pretty much before each individual feature demo.

Personally I think that people rarely hold these devices (Pocket PCs, Dash, and now iPhone) to their ears, instead would use the BT headset.

The thing that I like is that with non-touch screen devices, like the Dash, is that when you do hold it up against your ears, use the phone and leave marks. You can easily wipe it off but with touch screen devices you have have to first lock the touch screen and then clean it. There is that extra step.
dean56 - Sun Feb 18, 2007 5:49 pm
Post subject:
the item was the Solar Panel Board Emergency Phone MP3 Battery Charger for 9.99. very small and cheap. it is not one of those very expensive solar chargers. and it is not meant to be.

as for the hp6515 with the GPS... well i don't know if it is a common issue but i know what happened to me... and after a year try fixing the phone! it costs you. i love the phone but by now it has become out of date and large in size. on the other hand, the software and seperate GPS device can carry over to any phone you have. i only bought it once and have use it on three deifferent devices. i bought that HOLUX one. the real small one that looks like a stick of gum. the Holux GPSlim 240 Bluetooth GPS Receiver SiRF Star 3 also on ebay as well. i probably would by the larger and more sensitive one that doesn't slide on the dashboard like this does..
ppatt - Wed Feb 21, 2007 8:03 pm
Post subject: I concur
I would never buy a phone with a keyboard because:

1. I'm a speed typist but touch screen is faster
2. I use SOTI pocket controlled that lets me use the synced device like any windows app when I am at my PC...much, much faster than even touch screen
3. I send voice mails not typed emails from these devices, faster than using keyboard
4. the remaining typing that I need to do is fine from the touch screen keyboard
5. keyboard adds unwanted bulk

I have seen Blackberry users cry when I showeed them how I send voice email from a windows mobile device. 60-70% indicate that they wished they could do that since it is easier than typing. They say they are unnecessarily brief and vague in emails sent from their device because they type at only a fraction of the speed that they can on a PC.

Among the latest generation Windows Mobile devices there are a healthy number of PDA phones sans keyboard and having touch screens.

Go for what suits you best and let others buy what suits them best. What you desire is out there.

Posts that suggest you be shown the error of your ways are myopically humorous. As they say at Burger King (or used to anyway), "Have it your way".
dean56 - Wed Feb 21, 2007 8:17 pm
Post subject:
you are right , but text in messages and emails are meant to be a form of reference and history as far as work goes. if it is for a voice message i usually just call them and leave a message? what's up with the sending the voice message thing? call em or text em...
Kris Kumar - Wed Feb 21, 2007 9:41 pm
Post subject: Re: I concur
ppatt wrote:
1. I'm a speed typist but touch screen is faster

That is cool. Most users find it hard to use the touch screen to type fast. So that is pretty good. In your case you are right to go for a touch screen device and reclaim the real-estate on the device which would have been taken up by the keyboard.

ppatt wrote:
2. I use SOTI pocket controlled that lets me use the synced device like any windows app when I am at my PC...much, much faster than even touch screen

It is much much faster than typing on the mobile keyboard as well. I use Pocket Controller myself a lot, with my Dash, when I am at work.

ppatt wrote:
Go for what suits you best and let others buy what suits them best. What you desire is out there.


Totally agree. That is why I love Windows Mobile platform. There are choices in all shapes and sizes and use cases. BlackBerry/Palm and now Apple can't beat that.

ppatt wrote:
Posts that suggest you be shown the error of your ways are myopically humorous.


Ouch that hurt. Embarassed Laughing Perhaps you didn't notice the Wink at the end of my statement.

Personally I think Steve Jobs is myopically humorous when he disregarded all the QWERTY devices in favour of his finger touch based iPhone. Don't get me wrong, I am neither opposed to Apple's design decision nor against touch screens. I also believe that it is upto user of the device to decide what they like.

Smile
Kris Kumar - Wed Feb 21, 2007 9:48 pm
Post subject:
I am sure everyone would love to see a device with the iPhone/Prada form-factor with a slide out QWERTY. Or a Vox with a touch screen (and of course thinner form-factor). That would be best of both worlds (and in Vox's case - best of three worlds).

Sadly we have to make choices and there are some trade offs that have to be made. And everyone's choices are different, there is nothing wrong to it. Wink
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