Friday, May 05, 2006

Cingular 8125 (HTC Wizard) vs SE P990i vs Nokia N80 vs Blackberry 8700c vs Treo 650

My 1 year old Nokia 6680 starts having the aging sign. It does have TONS of problems when the first day I bought it: Corrupt memory card, Slow menu, Camera white balance not correct. I know I can update the firmware to fix the above problem, but I'm living in the North America and the Nokia service center does not have firmware for N6680. I can bring/mail it to local/Internet dealer and ask them to flash for me, but I just don't trust them all. Basically, I'm screwed.

Now, I'm in the phone hunting again. I need a smartphone (PDA phone). I need a full feature PDA phone, wifi, EDGE, decent camera with bright flash (I only use it occasionally for fast note taking or remember where did I park), QWERT and regular phone keypad.

I have many choices. To begin with, my co-worker just bought a Cingular 8125. It's a nice little phone and a pretty solid feeling. The phone basically is a HTC Wizard and Cingular rebranded it as Cingular 8125. The does have a HUGE screen and a very nice QWERT keypad. However, it just have the QWERT keypad so I have to use 2 hands to type. It is very convenient to type in 2 hands especially you want to send a quick text message when driving (I know I know... don't use your phone when driving). In addition, I just don't have good experience with Windows CE (or Windows Mobile or Pocket PC or Windows Mobile Smartphone Edition). I owned a couple Windows CE based PDA before and I never have good experience with them. Plus, I'm a Mac/Linux user. Although there are 3rd party iSync add-on, I just don't like them. They always give me problems. Last, one more problem, Cingular 8125 is North American phone so it does not have Chinese!!! I can install CE-Star, but again, I don't like that way.

The next one is Sony Ericcon P990i (Go here for a very GOOD review of the phone). SE keeps delaying this baby so the hardware feature is not basically out of date. 802.11b? What the Fxxk!?!?!?! No EDGE? No way.... It does have the best form factor and software feature, but SE uses to have funny RF capability. I live next to a small hill side and I have very weak signal at home. I am sure I will have problem with this phone. However, it comes with the regular phone keypad, QWERT keypad, the latest Symbian OS 9.1 and UIQ 3.0, Auto focus camera, and it's touch screen. I'm sure P990i is an Euroean/Asian phone so Chinese is build-in. One last touch, you can update P-series firmware very easy without going to the dealer/service center. I'm sure when it comes out, it will cost > US$1,000!!! Man... way to expensive.

OK. Nokia N80. It does have 99% of what I want except it does not have QWERT keypad!!! Damn, what's going on with Nokia!?!?! Ebay is selling it for around US$800-$1000, but no QWERT keypad!?!?!?!? It runs on Symbian 9.1 and S60 3rd Edition. Nice nice little phone but no QWERT keypad. I am sick of using T9 to reply emails. Plus, it's selling for US$800-$1000. Way too expensive.

Next one is Blackberry 8700c. I never use Blackberry device. With the latest lawsuit with RIM, I'm wondering I should go for this phone or not. The phone has full feature as what I like but no touch screen. You have to use the scroll button to go through that huge list of software on the screen. I reallly have no idea how it works. However, I'm keeping my eyes on it at this moment. One thing, it does not have 802.11b/g feature. I can live with that. One mystery, can I use it as my wireless internet modem thru bluetooth with my Powerbook G4 1.6GHz???

Last one, Treo 650. I use PalmOS since the first one form US Robotics so I'm an experience Palm user. The UI for sure is not as nice as Symbian and WM, but it is simple. Tons of 3rd party software out there so for sure I can find what I need. The Cingular version blocks the Bluetooth DUN so I cannot use it as my wireless internet modem. Plus, what the fuck with that UGLY attenna? I know they will have a new Treo comes out without the attenna so I will keep my eyes on it too.

In conclusion, I don't think I will get any new phone until end of this year. I'm screwed. Come on!!! Give me a good PDA phone with the features I want!!! I'm willing to drop US$1k for any phone that can fit into my requirements!!!

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