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The blogged wandering of Robert W. Anderson

Q to 700w

For some time I have wanted a new smart phone, but I have been lazy about it — as a gadget-user I am not easy to please.  Choosing a smart phone is an exercise in compromise.  And the few minutes of time with one in a store isn’t sufficient.  My musts are:

  • For me it needs to have a pen (for writing w/Graffiti 2);
  • email / calendar sync (push);
  • extendable (tweakable);
  • and, of course, be a usable phone. 

David Sugarman* of Microsoft gave a Treo 700w to my business partner Nathan — this gave me the chance to take a hard look at a phone.  I’ve played with other phones extensively too (some Blackberry models — they’re all right, but they smack of proprietary platform).

Anyway, the 700w is a solid piece of hardware.  I have really liked the Palm hardware since their Tungsten line.  (I was a user of the Palm OS too, but abandoned that when Palm Source was sold).  I still have a T3 in excellent shape.  I should have sold that the minute I stopped using it, but I have a hard time parting with gadgets (any one want an Apple MessagePad 100?).

Anyway, I didn’t act on my lust for a new gadget.  As much as I wanted one, I have far too often bought something because I thought it would make my life easier only to find that I did not.

Then the hinge broke on my cell phone.  It still worked.  It just had the annoying habit of hanging up on people when I flipped it open. 

So David offered me a Motorola Q.  No pen, but I thought I’d give it a try.  After all, the penless UI (i.e., for WM Smart Phone) has some advantages over the Pocket PC UI. 

I explained the advantages of the penless UI to Nathan — a light bulb went off in his head.  He had thought that WM5 was just a little harder to use than WM-2003 (his old phone), but he realized that he was comparing an older penless model with a new penful (?) model.  It was the pen that was an impediment to his 700w experience; not the version of the OS.  

So . . .

Nathan has the new Q and I have the (pretty new) Treo 700w.  I am pretty happy with it.  It has some shortcomings, but all in all it works great.   The best thing about this phone is the push synchronization of contacts / calendar entries through Exchange.  The thing I would most like to change is that there is no good push e-mail solution outside of Exchange (or across multiple Exchange servers, for that matter). 

Thanks, David! 

*Industry Partner Manager and Mobility Lead, Capital Markets, Financial Services Group.

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