September 22, 2007
four paths to mediocrity
I've just started using my fourth mobile phone this year. They all are lacking, in mostly different ways...
The Motorola MPx 220
This phone I've had the longest. It's a great flip phone factor (which makes it
very satisfying to hang up), and while it's technically a smart phone (running
Windows CE of all OSes), it has good phone features (the dialing feels nice,
and it's easy to look up names in the address book using the number pad).
It was a pain to sync with the computer without having to use some shareware
backup software, though. There was no pointing device, the data connection was
a bit slow, the browser basic, but even though the screen was pretty small, you
could play videos using TCPMP.. Also I like how easy it is to charge via the
USB cable too.
The Palm Treo 650
I think I had the biggest complaints with the Treo (in fact, I think it's the
one I'd be the least likely to go back to). From crashing silently and not
answering calls, to the touch screen annoying my face, to it being the largest,
the list can go on. The upsides are the huge software library (mmm the VNC
client was very usable), and incredibly good battery life.
The Nokia E70
This phone (which isn't really offered by any carriers in the US) was great,
and I think I may still use it. It's bluetooth support is by far the best
(I used BT dial up networking + GPRS on a 3 hour train ride last month and
it was outstanding), the phone has great features (WiFi, fast EDGE data,
great keyboard that flips out, a good SSH client that you can leave running
and come back to, even after making/receving calls or running other apps, etc).
The screen is really high resolution, too, but it's a bit small (so you really
have to get very close to read it). I really loved my old Nokia TDMA phones,
but I think Nokia needs to reevaluate some decisions they made on the E70's
firmware. For example, there's a button on the left side of the phone that
opens the voice recorder and starts it recording. It's very easy to hit, and
there's no way to override this function! Ack. Also there's no auto-lock
after a certain amount of time, so you have to be sure to manually lock the
keypad. Oh, and little things like looking up names in the contact list, with
the keyboard closed, is much harder than it needs to be. The MPX220's method
was far superior.
The Apple iPhone
I just got this yesterday (thanks DB), and there's definitely things to like.
I dig the screen. It's about the same resolution of the E70, but oh it's so
much bigger and easier to read. The web browser is fantastic. The phone is
decent. The homebrew software is getting there (VNC client looked nice, but no
keyboard yet? ack). Mmm, real headphone jack, too. Why couldn't they do that
on the E70? And it autolocks too. Hello, Nokia? But alas, no BT DUN (sad).
The touchscreen keyboard, while as good as I've seen for the type, makes me
wish I had the E70's again... Oh well...
So maybe I'll start carrying the iPhone and take the E70 with me on trips (for
when I need BT DUN)...