I just posted my first impressions of the SE XPERIA X1a, which is the Windows Mobile device with the highest specifications available today. Then I read Zack's post a bit later today slamming Windows Mobile so I thought it would be appropriate to address his issues and post why I think Windows Mobile still has a lot to offer even though today they get no respect, as Rodney would say.
Smartphones and Cell Phones
It seems everyone in business has a smartphone today to keep connected to the office and enjoy their time away from the office. Matthew Miller provides you with news, commentary and in-depth reviews of the latest in mobile phones sporting iOS, Android, Wi
Matthew Miller started using a Pilot 1000 in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since.
I was present at Mobile World Congress in Spain last year and IMHO the device that generated the most interest and conversation was the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1. The device marked the first SE Windows Mobile device and also brought a customized user interface layer, called Panels, to Windows Mobile. In addition, the hardware looked fantastic with an 800x480 pixels resolution 3" WVGA display, stainless steel design and QWERTY slider keyboard. The device retails for a whopping US$799.99 and after spending several days with it I am not sure the high end quality alone is worth the premium price of admission.
There have been lots of rumors and screenshots on the forthcoming "Cupcake" update for the T-Mobile G1 Google Android device that may start rolling out as soon as next week. While most of the talk is about an on-screen keyboard, I think there is an even bigger issue that must be included soon or else my G1 will keep being used more as a hobby phone than anything else. The on-screen keyboard makes sense for follow-up Google Android products, but makes no sense to me for the current G1 hardware where the keyboard is perfectly fine and one of the real strengths of the device.
I was browsing my RSS feeds last night and Jack Cook's post jogged my memory about the Microsoft Tag demo we saw at Mobius December 2008. Microsoft Tag lets you create identifier tags for all kinds of things and can be used in magazines, billboards, web sites, in-store ads, and more to let you access a URL, dial a number, display text, or see vCard details. It only takes seconds to create tags and IMHO they are much more user-friendly than the QR codes I never quite grasped.
HTC spends a lot of time updating devices with a new feature here and there to get it right and reminds me a lot of what Sony did with the CLIE line several years ago. They launch new products every few months with a tweak made here and there to make it better when I think they should just hold off a bit and get it right the first time. The HTC Touch Cruise was just updated with geotagging capability called HTC Footprints, yet still misses the mark with a rather limited camera that may make reduce how much geotagging someone would have done if they improved the optics. The HTC Touch Cruise is a GPS-focused device in the HTC lineup that should have a larger higher resolution display that misses the mark in a couple ways.
Despite the slightly cramped keyboard I love my Palm Treo Pro and keep going back to it because it has a near perfect form factor and rock solid performance. I love the touches Palm put into it with the ringer switch, WiFi button, solid design, and long battery life.
A few more details and functionality of the Palm WebOS have been coming out now that the announcement has been made and Palm is moving towards release of the Pre. PreCentral.net posted the Sarah Lacy video interview with Elevation Partner Roger McNamee and there were some real treasures revealed that helps you understand why they invested so much money in Palm late last year. One of the coolest features is the contacts, calendar, and location based intelligence where your Palm Pre serves as your personal assistant.
Mobile World Congress 2009 kicks off in Spain in just over three weeks and the press releases are already starting to appear as companies get ready for big announcements and product showcases. One of the first releases concerns the nominees for the Global Mobile Awards. MWC is a mobile show focused on world markets so you will see many services that are provided outside the US in the list of nominees. I was pleased to see two of my personal favorite devices, the Nokia E71 and T-Mobile G1 appear in the Best Mobile Handset or Device category along with the INQ1, LG KS360, and BlackBerry Storm 9500.
The T-Mobile G1 (see my full review) is currently the only Google Android device on the market and is available only from T-Mobile. There are a couple of rumors surrounding the G1 that I am trying to verify with my T-Mobile contacts. The first one concerns a possible US$20 price drop for the G1 and the option to purchase one and activate only a data plan for US$34.99 with no voice plan. The second rumor is that T-Mobile is sending new batteries to current G1 owners.
I write a lot about all the great functionality and power of today's smartphones here on the blog. I spend a lot of time showing off my devices to family and friends, including the services and 3rd party applications I use on a daily basis to get things done. I followed a link from the IT Facts blog to the BBC news site that quoted a study that said 85% of users reported they were frustrated by the difficulty of getting a new phone up and working. As a mobile enthusiast who has been using PDAs since 1997 it is easy for me to get wrapped up in mobile technology and think everyone should be as familiar as I am with these devices. My friends and I are often found looking for the latest and greatest and wondering why a certain device has this or that feature missing. In reality, I think those people who don't read this blog and have cellphones just want a few basic features and could care less about the high powered features I care about.