Image Gallery: REDFLY Mobile Smartphone Companion First Impressions
A couple challenges facing Windows Mobile smartphone users is the small displays and small keyboards that limit productivity. Celio Corporation is getting ready to launch their REDFLY Windows Mobile Smartphone Companion and we have an early beta model to evaluate for a couple of weeks.
Inside the box I found a User Guide and Quick Start Guide.
This Guide gives you a good overview of what you need to get connected and running with the REDFLY.
The Burgundy color is professional looking and attractive. The finish on the device is the soft touch rubber we have seen on all the latest devices and feels great in your hand.
The bottom is fairly plain and a nice warning sticker makes sure this beta model isn't sold :)
There are several attachment points on the back of the REDFLY.
You can hook up a VGA cable and give presentations using your Windows Mobile device and the REDFLY.
One port is generally used to connect to your device and you can use the other for external drives, a mouse, or USB flash drive. The USB ports are powered so you can charge your Windows Mobile device as you use it with the Companion.
The device comes with an A/C adapter so you can charge it. Battery life is stated as 8 hours and I'll get a chance to test this over the next couple of weeks.
There is no clasp or magnet that holds the cover closed, but the strong, stiff hinges keep it closed well.
The touchpad has some texture to it and is colored the same as the outer casing. The left and right mouse buttons are large so they are easy to press.
The keyboard design is very good and I find that I can use it with two hands almost as if I was using a full size keyboard. unfortunately, there is no backlighting though.
As you can see all the buttons you will need are there and well spaced.
The keyboard design is fantastic.
By default these three buttons are set for the Today screen, Messaging application, and default web browser. I made sure the browser button was set to Opera Mobile since that is a much better browser than Internet Explorer Mobile.
You can control settings like brightness from the keyboard too.
The display is quite large, but it is not a touch screen and I kept touching it since I was used to using Windows Mobile this way.
There are two strong hinges that allow you to open the display up in a clamshell form factor.
The REDFLY logo appears on a white display. There is no OS on the device itself so nothing can be done without a Windows Mobile device.
You simply press in on the power button to turn on the display. Pressing and holding will pair the device the first time with a new Windows Mobile device that you connect.
Yes, that is my Apple Newton keyboard accessory shown below the REDFLY.
Boy, that U810 keyboard seems so much smaller in this picture.
The U810 really is a small device.
Checking out the keyboard sizes.
The REDFLY may serve as a good companion to the Advantage, especially with the larger keyboard.
The Advantage keyboard is quite small.
The Tilt is one of the certified models that work with the REDFLY.
The REDFLY makes a good companion for the Tilt.
Your device is mirrored on the REDFLY and the resolution is bumped up automatically.
You can quickly switch between apps using the Alt-Tab keys on the keyboard of the REDFLY.
This is a view with the standard Windows Mobile resolution.
I am running RealVGA here and as you can see a lot more appears on the display.
The screen real estate is valuable when working on spreadsheets and something like this is really not doable on the small Tilt display.
This is a much more powerful application and with the large REDFLY display you may get a real desktop experience on your device.
Pack light on your next trip to give a presentation.
There is now plenty of room on your display for so much more.
Your calendar is more usable on the 8 inch display.
This integrated PIM application works great on the REDFLY.
The REDFLY is still in early beta so there are bound to be a few bugs still.
Another application that needs some work.
Not too bad of a view and much better than on a phone.
Now this looks just like a UMPC browser, doesn't it?
Look at how much you can see with Google Maps on an 8 inch display.
You can definitely get by with viewing two translations side-by-side with this setup.
This wouldn't work with the Advantage, probably because of the Microdrive and internal card slot (aka storage drive). It is nice to be able to use the device as a transfer mechanism though.
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