After delving deep into the phone once it was activated (which actually only took 2 hours instead of the 48 it mentions), there’s quite a few features that are both great and confusing at the same time. With a little practice, I was using the phone like a pro by dinner time. The learning curve is really flat lined and once you get the hang of how one app works, the other all work similarly. So, what are the pros and cons of this thing… well, I’ll tell you.
– On initial startup and when the phone rings, the multi colored LEDs under the D-Pad go nuts and produce a trippy AND customization light show. I have mine set to glow, HAL9000 like, pulsing in and out of reds and oranges.
– The scroll wheel is your friend. The little wheel on the right is the most important button on the phone, with one hand you can do anything. I like that.
– The keyboard is easy to use. Even my big meat hook thumbs can get in there and hit the right keys 99% of the time.
– Security in the phone of an innovative “combonation lock” as well as a password for more sensative data.
– Multiple sound levels without going to a menu. The volume buttons used for a phone call double as switches to change the sound levels of the device. Also, the phone has like 10 customizable levels from “extreme maximum loud” to “the led flashes and the phone is silent”.
– Email and AIM are easy to set up and use. Plus, a free email account tied directly to the phone doesn’t hurt.
– Email can support multiple formats (pop, imap, exchange, etc) as well as different levels of SSH!
– Once configured, speed dial is accessable without opening the keyboard through the use of the green “phone” button and the scroll wheel.
– Calandar, Notes and ToDo list are syncable to your computer and are actually handy apps.
– The “ring” menu concept is nicely executed and well designed. You can’t exactly get lost in it.
– Sound quality of the phone is excellent and the speaker phone setting is loud and clear.
Those are some of the highlights. There’s other little things that I like, but these are what come to mind. Now, there are a few things I think they can improve on (or change all together)…
– To unlock the phone takes two buttons pushed nearly simultaneously, meaning you need two hands. Not that easy for one handed use.
– The power button is really un-sensative. You’ve got to REALLY push on it to turn the phone on/off.
– The ringtones are few and far between and mostly crappy. Anything outside of the phones defaults you have to pay for ($1.99 per tone) and 99% of them are rap, r&b or soul. There’s a few under the “alternative” and “rock” categories I might use, but I don’t want to pay $1.99 to have my phone shout “We’re on the hiiiiiighway to hell!” everytime it rings.
– It comes with 1 (!) game and it’s an astroids clone. Pathetic. There’s no bejeweled clone and all the others, like the most pathetic version of Battleship I’ve ever seen, cost $5.99 each.
– Email is displayed as folders (inbox, saved, drafts, sent and trash), which is nice, but there’s no way to go strait to your inbox for example. There’s also no way to hide the unused folders (drafts?) and/or folders you don’t use (I don’t save “sent” email). Why should I have to scroll through those to get at my inbox?
– There were no instructions on how to import SIM card phone numbers. It was a feature burried about 5 menus deep. And when it did import them, it imported things like “Chip Cell” as “Cell, Chip” in all caps with the number in the wrong field. I had to retype half my imported numbers.
– In the phone book, you can assign photos to your callers… which is nice… except you can’t import photos. So, you have to have a photo of the person on your phone, taken with your phones camera. That wouldn’t be a problem except the phone only holds 36 photos and you can have 2000 contacts in your phone book. Also, if you want to use pictures for your contacts, you can’t delete them. Meaning, if you have 30 people with photo contacts, you only have 6 pictures left on your camera at all times. Very Weak. The alternative are the built in “buddy icon-ish” cartoon characters. They are perhaps the gayist anime icons ever.
– The web browser is slow. Useable, but slow. The phone downloads the page and then transforms it into a readable and properly formatted size for the sidekick. That’s neat, but it takes a minute or two each time. Bookmarks become very important so you can skip directly to what you need.
– The camera is pretty sad. The color sucks, it’s a very low resolution and it can’t take a picture without direct sunlight to save it’s life.
So, there you have it. Good phone, good email and phone features, it’s just a little weak on the “extras” and if you’re buying a phone like this, it’s really the extras that are supposed to make it or break it right? Well, for me it’s perfect. Just the right blend of what I need with a few extras to make it fun to use. I won’t be taking photos like crazy, but email and text messages will fly.
Oh, and if you want to send me an email directly to the phone, you can send it to my usually nickname at tmail dot com. If you can’t figure out what my usually nickname is, I probably shouldn’t be telling you.