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Keyboard + Smartphone = Rocks
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Jason Dunn
Executive Editor


Joined: 30 Jun 2003
Posts: 1498
Location: Calgary, CANADA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:08 pm    Post subject: Keyboard + Smartphone = Rocks Reply with quote

I've been using a T-Mobile Dash for a couple of weeks now, and I have to admit it's something of a revelation to me: out of all the Smartphones I've ever used, the Dash is the first one I've used that has had a built-in keyboard, and I'm shocked at how much I'm enjoying using it. I'd been using an HTC StrTrk as my primary Windows Mobile device for a while now because it was a clamshell and thin enough to fit in the front pocket of my jeans. It was my phone, it was my hosted Exchange [affiliate] mobile device, and it did what I needed. While I certainly used it a lot for email, it was mostly deleting spam, reading submitted news, or composing very short replies. I've never been particularly good at T9 text entry, so the HTC StrTrk was more of an email and Web reading device than anything else.

What about other Smartphones with keyboards you might ask? As much as I wanted to get my hands on a Motorola Q, with them only having the CDMA version, I was unable to use the early ones I had access to. Then when Telus released the Q in my area, it had (and still has) a ridiculously expensive data plan. I just can't stand being locked into a single device, so I always stick in the GSM world with my trusty Fido SIM card. Sure, that means I never get to see the rocking speeds of EVDO (or even 1xRTT), but I'd give that up any day to keep the freedom of being able to switch phones whenever I want.

With the Dash having a great keyboard, I found myself sending far more email than normal from the device when I was at CES. I also found myself sending text messages. You may not think that's a big deal, but here's a little secret about me: prior to January 2006, I probably send a total of 20 text messages in my entire life. Being in my 30s now, I wasn't from the era when text message use exploded in North America (later than Europe of course), so most of my friends around my age don't send text messages much either. I tended to call someone if I needed to get in touch with them immediately, or send them an email if it wasn't urgent. In Vegas I figured out something that was news to me: people often can't hear their phones, or it's too loud to have a conversation, but a quick text message is an effective means of communication. Yeah, I know that 90% of the planet already had this figured out - I guess I'm a slow learner. Wink The keyboard on the Dash made text messages amazingly quick and easy for me, so I found myself sending them all the time - I probably pounded out 50 text messages during my five day stay in Las Vegas.

Because the Dash isn't a touch-screen device, it has a tough screen that I don't need to worry about damaging - I don't use the Dash in a case, which keeps it nice and thin. I haven't touched my HTC StrTrk since, and I think I've found the perfect Smartphone for my needs in the Dash (until I get my hands on a Cavalier of course).
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Rocco Augusto
Contributing Editor


Joined: 28 May 2005
Posts: 1216
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Keyboard + Smartphone = Rocks Reply with quote

Jason Dunn wrote:
I probably pounded out 50 text messages during my five day stay in Las Vegas.


pfft, thats nothing, i cranked out 51 text messages while i was reading this post! Wink

in all honesty, i have found myself sending less emails and text messages now that i have my Blackjack. this isnt a reflection on my Blackjack though as I find myself using WordPad to crank out 20-90 minutes worth of ideas for XHTML/CSS designs that I am working on. Great way to keep myself entertained during the morning/evening transit. This was something I could never do on my previous handsets as the screens were too tiny and made me want to bash my head against a wall Smile
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jcjdoss
Smartphone Pupil


Joined: 19 Mar 2005
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am a proud Dash owner. ever since I got my Dash I can actually take notes during church service. And I don't mean a word here or there, I mean real notes. I even look at the Iphone and think, "I'm not sure that I want to trade on screen typing for my keyboard". I will probably get an Iphone (I am known for having the latest and greatest) But I can't see it taking the place of my Dash. I just hope Microsoft steps up the Multimedia side of their devices
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crispeto
Smartphone Theorist


Joined: 07 Oct 2005
Posts: 274
Location: Portland

PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I couldn't agree more. I absolutely love my Dash. I had a SDA and didn't know if the upgrade to the dash would be that significant but it's been the most significant upgrade I've made yet. The keyboard is awesome and my emails have increased by 1000%. I had a BT keyboard with my sda but I sold it. I found I never used it with my Dash.
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T-Will
Smartphone Intellectual


Joined: 08 Aug 2003
Posts: 177
Location: Sacramento, Kalifornia

PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dittos, I LOVE the keyboard, it makes it so easy to do text entry and you don't have to whip out a stylus to enter data or looks up information, and it makes for great one-handed use also.

I also haven't kept my Dash in a case (I just make sure not to put keys or change in the pocket with my Dash) and the screen is holding up great. There are some slight scratches, but not noticeable when the Dash is on. I'm extremely happy to have gotten rid of my bulky Pocket PC and cell phone and combined them into one slim device.
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crispeto
Smartphone Theorist


Joined: 07 Oct 2005
Posts: 274
Location: Portland

PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jason, how would you compare the Dash to a PPC phone such as the Treo 750? Now that I have Documents to Go on my Dash, I find that there is nothing that I need a PPC phone for anymore. Your thoughts?
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egarayblas
Smartphone Pupil


Joined: 22 Mar 2006
Posts: 10
Location: Philippines

PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eversince I got a Smartphone with a keyboard, I have to agree with you, I was also texting more because its much easier than a regular phone. And here in Asia (particularly in our country), SMS is still the most popular mode of communication. I send an average of 800-900 text messages per month. Smile
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Gavino1212
Smartphone Pupil


Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 35
Location: SoCal

PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Documents To Go on the Dash? Surprised That's cool. But isn't that more for a ppc?

Can you actually edit docs with it? Great if so Smile

I love the Dash. I also have an SDA which in itself is a pretty cool device, but the memory is a great issue as many folk have found out. No probs with the Dash, would be nice to edit or permanantly disable xt9. And if there's a rom update, do something more with the Joggr.

I remember the media warnings about getting "Blackberry Thumbs" from too much texting and email. How bout Dash thumb?

I would prefer Hot Sync over Active Sync, I think I was able to do more with Hot Sync.

The Cavalier looks pretty neat. But what's the story? I hear it's postponed, then I see the article posted Wed.

From what I gather, it won't be carried by T-Mobile Sad Looks too fast for them...lol
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Mike Temporale
Managing Editor


Joined: 07 Jul 2003
Posts: 8981
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gavino1212 wrote:
The Cavalier looks pretty neat. But what's the story? I hear it's postponed, then I see the article posted Wed.

From what I gather, it won't be carried by T-Mobile Sad Looks too fast for them...lol


See my comments over here Cool
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MitchellO
Smartphone Ponderer


Joined: 15 Jan 2006
Posts: 91
Location: Leonay, Australia

PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jcjdoss wrote:
I will probably get an Iphone (I am known for having the latest and greatest)


Well, I don't think the iPhone really qualifies as the latest or greatest Confused

Since getting my Treo I send a lot of email and SMS from my phone. I have always used SMS, and for several years email, but with the Treo's excellent keyboard (and great SMS threading app Very Happy). Keyboards in phones are great Very Happy

I too carry my Treo 750v caseless, because its subdued and small screen offer plenty of protection. Just face it towards my leg in my pocket Very Happy
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