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View Full Version : Newbie Feedback on Non-MS Phones!?


TomB
08-16-2003, 10:32 PM
Although I have been a heavy MS PDA user for five years, wireless phones are new to me. The following request for feedback is not intended to start a flame war, I just would like more information - so have mercy!

OK in the USA, other than the Siemens Smartphone with last year's processor and software at $500 after rebate, I see nothing from MS. On the other hand a lot of interesting Multimedia/PIM phones using other systems for free or $100/$150 with a contract/rebate. For instance, the Nokia 3650 has a good 176 x 208 screen, good battery life and multimedia playback. It will playback MP3s RA, AMR audio and MPEG4s and RV. It has a built-in camera for stills and video but don't get excited it is for fun use only. Granted this is no PPC, but at 176 x 144 x 10fps video, in a package you can own today from AT&T or T-Mobile for half of a H1940 PPC, I was impressed.

Now for your feedback. I am sure I am missing half the picture through ignorance, so Jason and company please fill me in - gently! Also, I can't find the button here to search for "todays active threads." :)

TomB
08-20-2003, 03:21 AM
Wow, either that was a pretty dumb question or the traffic here is still too light to support dialogs like this. I am seeing some pretty heavy hitters like Larry Bank posting so my guess is it was dumb. It would be nice to get some indication of why though so I don't make the same mistake again.

brntcrsp
08-20-2003, 04:01 AM
I'm not exactly sure what your question is. Are you asking for a comparison between the 3650 and a MS Smartphone? For $150 and less there is nothing Microsoft has out that is comparable to the 3650. There are no carriers in North America that have included a MS Smartphone in their phone catalog to date. You can purchase them through various independent outlets and importers for around $500 and up but any carriers to date do not support them. This is not meant to read they canít be used with GSM operators here; they can be, just unofficially.

As for features, you're going to find that the Smartphone is more flexible in terms of software, upgrades and bells and whistles. You may want to check out the article on the front page comparing a Tanager to a SE T616/0 to get an idea of how certain people view the device. Since I have used neither device I cannot speak in quantitative terms, but my research has lead me to some inferential knowledge.

Is there anything else specific you'd like comments on?

Also - recent posts can be found by logging into the site and clicking the "New Posts" link near the upper right.

TomB
08-20-2003, 04:50 PM
Brntcrsp, thanks so much for your reply. The problem is this is all new to me so I am stumbling around in the dark. When Jason was asking for help unlocking his phone yesterday I thought he either had forgot his password or was breaking and entering another's phone. NOW I think I understand, that phones are locked to the provider so they can't be used on another system. In some way, this "lock" causes a problem with some third party programs loading in the phone. Now I will display my ignorance again - does this happen with just MS phones or will the same thing happen on a Symbian like the Nokia 3650? Speaking of which, is the 3650 a "Smartphone" or does this name only refer to MS products? In other words does this forum only cover MS phones?

Also, thanks for your information on buying a MS Smartphone from a third party and using it on a USA system - I didn't know. Which brings up another question - I tried to read the FAQ here but it is for the board not Smartphones. Can you recommend a site or resource that kind of explains this whole thing? For instance, why would you need a reader program for a Microsoft Smartphone? Since it is a PDA - why couldn't you use Microsoft Reader? Or, if I buy the Orange phone in the UK, what operator would I hook up with in NYC to be able to use it? Or, are there more than two phone systems (microsoft and symbian) or do you need a system at all for a phone? If microsoft is the operating system what are GPS, GSM, CMEA? My guess is the broadcast protocal but how do I find what is what and who's got what? Maybe the simplest question should be: what MS smartphone that comes with the current 255 processor and OS should I be looking at that will work in NYC? If this doesn't exist, is something coming soon? Where does Jason's Orange SPV fit in on all of this? What about HTC's Tanager iMate which is today's featured retail item?

Let's take something that all people with PDAs are familiar with - MPEGs. the Nokia 3650 will do local playback at 176 x 144 x 10 fps at 64kb/s with OK quality. I notice that the smartphones do have media player - what resolution and performance can you expect on MS smartphones with WMV?

As you can see, I am pretty confused about all of this! So for starters a URL with a general explaination on Smartphones would probably be helpful to all newbies here like me! :oops:

PS Thanks for the location of the new posts button - I couldn't find it anywhere!!!

AppleMac
08-20-2003, 05:45 PM
1) Jason could have been talking about SIM-Locking ,which works on ALL phones, or application unlocking, which is exclusive to MS Smartphones.
SIM locked means you can only use the SIM chip the service provider gives to you, Application locked means you can only install software certified by your service provider

2)A smartphone is any phone which will allow you to download custom applications, connect to your PC etc. i.e. the Symbian OS 3650 (as well s the 7650, the Sony Ericsson P800 etc.) are all smartphones. This forum only covers MS phones, there are many other great Symbian OS forums out there. When someone talks about a Smartphone they usually mean something running on MS Smartphone OS 8)

3) It's not a PDA, its a Smartphone. Thus, Microsoft figured using a small, non-touch sensitive screen would not be that ideal for reading long EBooks.

4) You don't have to buy it on Orange in the UK. The latest offering from Orange, the SPV E100, is also available SIM-unlocked (which means you can use any operator) under names such as I-Mate, QTek 7070 etc. But if you do buy it on Orange, you would have to SIM-Unlock it. You can find tutorials on SIM-Unlocking online.

5) Microsoft Smartphone and Symbian are the two main operating systems. GSM is the network which you use it on. There is also CDMA. GPS is a navigation system, i presume you mean GPRS, which is a mobile data service i.e. you can use the Internet on an SPV through GPRS. GPRS for mobiles is like broadband or ISDN for home internet.

6) You 'll have to wait some time. Smartphones are not like PocketPCs where you can find them with 400mhz PXA255 processors anywhere in the world. The fastest announced smartphone would probably be the new MiTAC, at (i think) 200mhz. Also, service providers in the US need to offer the phones etc. etc. etc. You're better off getting a Pocket PC Phone Edition device, such as the T-Mobile MDA II, coming around christmas time with a 400mhz 255 processor. You can also get a Symbian OS device, which are blazingly fast even though their processors are clocked at 50-150mhz.

Smartphones are mobile phones which you can add software to, Microsoft Smartphone is an operating system for the devices. Symbian OS is another. None of them have very wide availability in the USA.
Bottom line: Move :lol:

TANKERx
08-20-2003, 05:57 PM
Some stuff on the 3650 (though you may be better visiting a 3650 biased site (http://www.allaboutsymbian.com) if you want to find out more about it.

The only drawbacks I find with the 3650 is the lack of stereo sound and the circular keyboard. I can't get my head round it and believe me, I want to because everything else about the phone is great.

It has more software available for it now than any other smartphone on the market, and that software is innovative. The 3650 has a remote control application, a quasi GPS system (it reads your cell and you can program it to alert you when you enter or leave a cell - it even lets you change sound profile if you go to work or church or something). You can get software to remotely lock your phone (should it get pinched), to keep mosquitios at bay and is even part of an Open Source development project which lets the hobbyist write applications for it without having to learn C++ (the language is called OPL and is mature and stable). It also has the usual stuff you'd want from a phone such as document viewers, FAX receive and send software and e-book readers (there's even a video recorder that doesn't limit you in terms of file size - a limit imposed by networks because of MMS).

As you can by now see, the phone is expandable and very flexible.

The vast amount of software available is staggering, and that's not even going near the Java capability that's also built in.

The PIM is pretty good; The calendar is about average, the contacts manager is AWESOME. Much of what you have to buy for the Microsoft smartphone can be taken for granted on a 3650 or equivalent (6600, 7650 , SE P800 etc).

However, if you're a PocketPC user and you are accustomed to doing things the Microsoft way, then you may find the Microsoft attempt more appropriate. It suffers a bit from speed and stuff, but I find it fits my lifestyle quite well (I currently use it in conjunction with a Nokia 9210 - in case anybody thinks I've turned coat ;-) ). It has some neat touches and there are usualy rumours of new firmware upgrades to fix known bugs.

The Microsoft platform does have some advantages - stereo sound being one of them, and over the air firmware upgrades another.

If you want flexibility and reliability now, and you can get a good deal on a 3650, take it or wait for the 6600 (a sensible Symbian phone - at last!). I'm still using my SPV so it's not that bad, but I can bear the crashes and hangs so it's horses for courses.

TomB
08-20-2003, 08:31 PM
AppleMac, Tankerx and Brntcrsp Thanks for the great, clearly written help. Jason, if you read this, the information is good enough for the beginnings of a FAQ. Just in case that doesn't happen, I am loading search terms into the subject here to help others.

Tankerx I have been playing with a 3650 I have on loan for a week now, and you are right, it is pretty darn cool. The dial pad is strange but I don't think I would ever use these devices for typing - that is just too crazy. Thanks for the URL - that site looks pretty interesting.

As far as my confusing MS Smartphones with advanced programs like Reader, the only MS phone I have seen is the AT&T Siemens. It looked like a PDA thus my confusion.

Guys, thank you all again for some great information!

brntcrsp
08-20-2003, 10:25 PM
Tom,
Here's a visual example of the difference between a Microsoft Smartphone and a Microsoft Pocket PC Phone Edition here are some aids:

Pocket PC Phone Edition
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/devices/images/17.jpg

and Microsoft Smartphone
http://www.orange.com/images/9428.JPG

You'll notice that the Pocket PC has no number pad, and a much larger screen due to the fact that it is primarily a PDA, and secondly a phone. The Smartphone by contrast has a much smaller sceen, but it built around a phone form factor, but is designed to be operated with one hand.

I linked those images from http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/default.mspx and http://www.orange.com/English/forwardthinking/thespvE100.asp

TomB
08-21-2003, 01:14 AM
brntcrsp - jeez no wonder I've been messed up - I have been thinking PPC Phone when the rest of the world has been talking Smartphone! BTW - according to a post by Jason, Nokia is buying Sega's multiplayer online games business. With the 3650 all over the USA through AT&T and T-Mobile, it sounds like these Fins are serious about media enabled phones. I would say it is critical for Microsoft to make a move in the USA - SOON!