Pros Low cost, no contract email and texting (kind of), bundled in a lightweight easy to use (though somewhat crippled) package. Some of the technical staff are amazingly knowledgeable and considerate. Company has personal support.
Cons There is NO way to text FROM a cell phone to a peak directly; the cell phone user MUST use an SMS to email gateway address if their SMS client will not permit an email address in the SMS "to" line (many permit numbers only), or..., send you an email.
Summary Delivery times are terrible for email, between 6 and 15 minutes); Peek says they are working on it, but they've been saying that for quite some time (service times seem to fluctuate rather dramatically).
Contrary to what the CNET review says ( It will come from a 10-digit number associated with your Peek Pronto handheld, which they can then send messages to as well), you cannot send a text message directly to a peek device. It MUST go through and SMS to EMAIL gateway, which then gets dropped into your email account, which then gets picked up by PEEK and converted to a "pseudo" text message.
No threaded discussions in SMS of any kind.
System does not automatically highlight the newest messages first (one click open, for example, upon new message arrival).
Push email flat out doesn't work on Peek. Works fine on my Windows Mobile Phone and my Blackberry, both of which are setup with Hotmail and GMail, but don't work at all with Peek. Supposedly coming, but I don't see it on the horizon.
Seems to be a poorly implemented clone of the worst parts of the Sidekick infrastructure.
No rich content email (no hyperlinks, no images, no nothing, just everything converted to text).
Need a special cable that has a usb to serial converter board in it to do ROM upgrades; why they can't put a USB chip in this thing is beyond me, they cost mere pennies.
If they fix the performance problems of the backend, actually ISSUE THE TMOBILE NUMBER FOR THE DEVICE so that SMS works like it's supposed to, add a USB chip to the device so that the proprietary cable can go away, add threaded messaging, fix PUSH email, and add at least some support for formatted message content, this thing will be a messaging killer.
Until then, hold on to your current phone and messaging plan.
Pros Messages come into my Peek as fast as regular txt messages get to a cell phone. Communicate quickly and easily with friends, co-workers and family (especially great for technology-challenged family, i.e. grandparents) for a ridiculously low price.
Cons It didn't exist five years ago when I first got my cell phone / texting. I hardly use my phone anymore as the Peek takes care of everything I use frequently on a daily basis.
Summary If you are tired of throwing away your money to cellco's for over-priced data and messaging plans, the Peek is for you. It will give you full access to your email and SMS/txt on the go, anywhere T-Mobile has coverage. It will keep all of your contacts neatly organized, allowing you to quickly choose message recipients on the fly while composing a new message.
One major feature that is new with the Peek Pronto is push email, and I can say from personal experience that it is certainly fantastic. Emails from my Gmail account arrive at my Peek within 10 to 15 seconds of hitting my Gmail Inbox, and sending messages out is just as speedy.
* Another new feature with the Pronto is the ability to search your emails. If you are like me and save many more emails than you really should, this feature comes in handy A LOT. Looking for an email you received last week with your UPS tracking # in it? No problem. Pronto's search functionality will find it in no time.
* You can associate up to five different email accounts with your Peek, making it great for keeping track of all your work and play communications.
* Put a password lock on your Peek to keep all of your data safe, secure and well away from prying eyes.
The Peek Pronto has many more features than I've mentioned. Check out the web site for better descriptions and detailed pricing info. I hope to see some of you active in the community soon! We're always looking for more friendly people to join in this communication revolution with us!
Cons Buggy sofware. Overmarketing. Shady practices.
Summary As many other people I obsessed over missing an email that may be important. Unlike others, however, I do not travel that extensively and most of the time I am in front of a computer. Therefore, in order to keep plugged, I don't need a full-fledged mini-computer when I am on the road (read Blackberry/iPhone), but only something that will tell me if I am missing anything important. I thus wanted to give a try to the Peek.
The Peek only has email capabilities and for that I like it. There is nothing to distract you like a camera or a web browser. When you are on the road, you can look at the "new email" led ... if it blinks then you have new email, if it does not, there you have nothing to worry about. The simplicity of this device is a virtue. Unfortunately, as I detail below, the Peek is plagued by software bugs and plastered with marketing cover-ups.
1. The peek lost its signal; this is quite normal and it happens to my cell phone too in certain areas. However, when back in an area with strong signal, the Peek did not find the signal anymore. I asked the Peek to send/receive, and it froze. Nothing was able to stop the freezing, not even the on/off button. The only thing I was able to do was to remove the battery -- then the Peek was ok after I put the battery back. Even on the WORST cell phones, the on/off button did not fail; yet, on the Peek it did. Very sloppy programming.
2. The Peek touts that it's possible to have up to five email accounts. This "functionality" seems like a marketing trick ... most traditional email providers offer forwarding ... thus having FIVE accounts on the Peek does not mean much, other than something clever to say marketing-wise.
3. I nevertheless decided to check this "functionality". I added a yahoo account to it. I sent myself an email ... read it ... then, surprise! the new email led NEVER turned off afterward. It continued to blink although I had no new emails. In fact the only thing that stops the blinking is turning the Peek off after reading email then turning it back on. Another example of great software!
4. I wanted to set the time -- the Peek did not find the time immediately like any cell phone does. The Peek has two settings ... Manual and Network. The Network setting simply does not do anything ... or at least the time it keeps is completely inaccurate. The Manual setting does not do much either ... the only thing I noticed is that when I am switching from Manual to Network, the hour is moving forward by 1 hour. That is how I set my clock. Again, another example of great software!!
5. Peek says push email is offered, and email arrive instantaneously. Everyone in front of a computer will see this is not true - there is a delay of 1-2 minutes (I tried various things; minimum delay was 1 min 9 seconds, maximum delay was 4 min 48 seconds). You cannot say "push email" but deliver only every now and then.
6. Peek says the Pronto has pdf support. However, all I was able to read were not pdf files, but files one would get if text would be selected in a pdf file and pasted in Notepad. No figures, etc., no pdf functionality. Bait and switch all over again. I have not tried .doc files. Images work.
7. Even worse, despite clearly the Peek not working, you will still have to pay for one month worth of subscription. Thus, you may end up paying one moths regular subscription for absolutely nothing. Let me say it again: you pay for something that does not work.
In conclusion, this is a gadget that is based on a great idea: a tool offering email only. I would welcome a thing like that. I feel sorry that it does not work, for no other device out there offers ONLY email. The hardware seems sturdy and feels good to hold in hand; I cannot speak of the insides of the Peek though. Unfortunately, the realization of this idea is way subpar. The email retrieval is SLOW -- this is NOT push email the way I understand it. The software seems overly buggy and problematic. You never get your subscription fees back entirely, which seems shady for a start-up. Therefore, this being a simple device, all these deficiencies spell over-marketing, not to call it a bait and switch strategy.
UPDATE: I returned it, canceled my account as well. Meanwhile the Peek help desk answer some of my questions ... e.g. why would the new email led not stop blinking. The cure is to not select the battery saver mode. This is NOT a software which is running. Seems impossible to get the entire amount of fees back even though the Peek did not work.
Pros My Hotmail & Yahoo accounts were easy to set-up! Very easy to read screen & layout. The side scroll button, although old-school, was very functional.
Cons Don't let the email messages pile up; the more old messages in your inbox, the slower this thing responds & operates. Customer service is a mess! The text-messaging feature is a bit of a let down.
Summary If you don't need a phone, but are an email fiend, this is for you.
Pros It's a great concept if it were cheaper and 10 years earlier.
Cons Customer service isn't great. I bought one and paid the 19.95 activation that isn't listed on the website. The peek work very poorly. I emailed to cancel and they would not refund my 40.00 dollars in fees. stay away from this product