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View Full Version : These things go to eleven!

03-17-2002, 04:06 PM
The coming days you'll see the Möbius 2002 and Cebit 2002 reports coming from Jason, who kept a journal and shot many pictures while attending both events. But today I wanted to share with you my thoughts on the Pocket PC 2002 Phone Edition and the Smartphone 2002. <br /><br /><img src="http://www.pocketpcthoughts.com/images/smartphone_phoneedition.jpg" /><br /><br />Above I present to you the players in my Thought, from left to right: HP Jornada 928 WDA, Microsoft/Texas Instruments Smartphone 2002 reference design, Sendo Z100, HTC XDA (first to be introduced by mmO2 as the O2 XDA in Europe).<br /><br />I played with all four devices for some time, and I must admit that they all looked great to me. The idea of having built in internet connectivity to my Pocket PC has always appealed to me. I've been connected using my iPAQ 3870 over Bluetooth to a GPRS phone, and I love the fact that one can have access to email, mobile sites, the corporate network, etc. from just about anyplace in my country. The things I don't like though is that at times, when I leave my phone in my bag, and keep the Pocket PC with me, I will lose connection when the distance between the two devices gets bigger than Bluetooth cares for. Next to that, Bluetooth does eat into the battery life of both phone and PDA. So although I love Bluetooth functionality (when it works.... ask Ed), I would still prefer one device combining the big screen for good email reading, browsing etc. with the GPRS conncectivity. That's why although a PDA/phone connection works for me, I still have my mind set on a Pocket PC 2002 Phone Edition.<br /><br />I do think the name "Pocket PC 2002 Phone Edition" doesn't do the WDA/XDA justice. To me the biggest difference between a regular Pocket PC 2002 and these units is not as much that they can act as a phone. To be honest, I don't really see myself using this one as my only mobile phone. I might use it as a phone incidentally. Seeing the integration between the other applications and the phone application made me feel it would be pretty easy to do. But the size (albeit not bigger than a current Pocket PC) would prevent me to use it as a phone on a day-to-day basis. It is small enough for a Pocket PC, but still pretty big for a mobile phone. From the feature set the wireless connectivity to the net over GPRS is far more important to me. I think of these units as Pocket PCs that can always be connected to the net, and next to that double as a phone. But I still don't know a better generic name for a device like this. Anyone else?<br /><br />Does my enthusiasm for the Phone Edition mean that I don't want a Smartphone 2002? No way. I want one too. At times when I go out at night, I will not bring my Pocket PC. All I bring is my GSM phone. But although my Ericsson T39 has POP3 email connectivity, the small screen is not suited for reading lengthy messages. Next to that, I'd like to have a full featured set of contacts, tasks and appointements with me at all times, so when I have to check things, I know it's all there. I want a phone that doubles as a PDA for the moments where size is important. That's where the Smartphone kicks in when I'm dreaming about my future setup. The Smartphone doesn't pretend to be a shrinked down full fledge Pocket PC. The smaller hardware platform brings limitations and those are taken into consideration. But within those limitations, the feature set is still highly impressive! And with the OS targeted at one handed operation for all its tasks, I think going from a mobile phone to a Smartphone will feel like a natural progression. <br /><br />And ever since Möbius I've been more aware than ever that I'll have to convince the office to put up a Mobile Information Server 2002. I've seen wireless Activesync straight to Exchange data in action, and it simply rocks! While you're away from the office, you can confirm meeting requests, and you get to check the latest email, appointments and tasks. Keeping the latest PIM information at your fingertips is one of the major goals of any PDA. With hardware and software solutions like this, there's no more need to have outdated information with you at anytime. This is a big progress for all those scenarios where work means being mobile.<br /><br />I'm really looking forward to the future of wireless connected devices. And I do hope that there will be many different suppliers to choose from within a year from now. So with much anticipation I'll be keeping my eye out for further announcements in the Smartphone/Phone Edition camp. If I've learned one thing from my hands on experiences, it's that these things go to eleven!

03-17-2002, 04:39 PM
I guess that I agree on every single aspect of your report!:) I too look forward to the PPC02 phone edition. I also use my EM505 combined with my T39 to get my emails and some occasional browsing, but this would just be the device I wanted and want, although I'd rather wait until new CE.net devices appear and I guess that there will probably be a CE.net phone edition...a drawback for this to really launch is GPRS prices, when the fares fall due to lot of users, this will really rock!

03-17-2002, 05:08 PM
once the whole "stinger" thing takes off and they get better phone designs then i see it replacing my PPC entirely. Even though mp3, videos, games and whatever are great, 905 of my ppc usage is basic PIM so the idea of a fully syncable phone for my contacts, tasks and schedule is amazing if they can get it in a smaller size (hopefully clamshell).

I'm still doing my "stinger" research, but my big fear about it is that they will eventually go overboard and try to make it do too many things that will overcomplicate such a streamlined phone OS.

03-17-2002, 05:56 PM
I also agree that the most important thing to add to my Pocket PC is easy internet connections (if not always on, than at least a fairly quick connect-time and faster page downloads, preferably with a much-improved Pocket IE); I can live without voice capability. Since I live in the US, I guess this will happen later rather than sooner.

Mobile Bob
03-17-2002, 06:26 PM
Thank you for the great report Marlof. :) All of these developments are very exciting. I especially look forward to Phone Edition and Mobile Information Server 2002.

I envision replacing my cell phone with a Phone Edition device; preferably, one with a larger (IPAQ sized) display. The larger size of the Phone Edition device does not bother me (although, I have not tried one yet), because I prefer to limit the frequency and duration of my phone conversations anyway. I'll give anyone my e-mail address, but only family members can have my cell phone number. I very much want to carry only one device with me, but to have it with me at all times. I don't want to have to fumble around for my phone in my book bag or laptop case. When I am wearing a coat (fall/winter), carrying a PPC and a cell phone is no problem. The other half of the year, carrying two devices is a burden. Providing clients with only an office phone number will be more practical once I set up a Mobile Information Server 2002 in my office.

The biggest issue for me will be finding the ideal Phone Edition design. I may find that all of the features I desire can not be incorporated into this particular device. I have regular access to WIFI (802.11b) networks, so I hope the device will have both CF and SD card slots. I also hope for the larger IPAQ size display, XScale 400mhz processor, either clamshell design or a crush-proof case, ability to add/swap-out rechargeable batteries, and of course the phone. Am I being to greedy? Maybe this thing won't fit in my pocket afterall; then, I'll just have to learn to live with two devices.

Looking forward to your other posts over the next several days.

03-17-2002, 06:55 PM
Hey Marlof

Great report! You make some very good points comparing the two types of devices.

Myself, I will easily replace my phone and HP567 with a new WPA. The larger size I don't see as an issue. Once clipped to your belt and used with a retractable earpiece, the size difference I think would seem minimal. Yet you still have a full function PDA with you.

I want it all!!!!


03-17-2002, 09:40 PM
I cant wait for these devices to come out either! I have always envisioned myself with both a phone or data enabled ppc and a really nice data enabled cell, in this case, a Smartphone. All for the same reasons that you mentioned. I get so impatient at times. I really want these devices to hurry and become available, because this setup would definitely go up to eleven!

03-18-2002, 06:04 PM
It's funny you should mention it, but I'm beginning to think that having a subset of my Outlook data on my mobile phone is actually more important to me than the POP3/Web connectivity side. If I could dock my Nokia 8210 into a cradle next to my Jornada and sync my tasks, appointments, contacts and notes to it I'd be a happy bunny ;-) Add half decent sync and you've got half a smartphone. As long as the Outlook side of things isn't compromised by the 'online' obsession I can see myself lusting after one of those.

03-18-2002, 09:45 PM
It's good to see some competition for the established and experienced phone makers (Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson etc). Hopefully, It'll help them remember that weak products, like those mentioned here, will one day catch up if they don't keep on moving, pushing and thinking outside of the box.

I can't say I'm particularly enthralled by the physical design of the two units in the middle. They look ten years old already, even if the technology within them is considerably younger. I'll need a bang on the head before I think of buying one.

Nevertheless, it's good to see that Micro$oft is getting some support from manufacturers who are eager to give the Smartphone2002 a chance.