Pros Size, controls, and interface all rock!!!
Cons Worst desktop charger I have seen. No Wifi or Internet while calling.
Summary I own a XV6600 and I bought this Samsung i730 phone for my wife. After using it for a couple weeks we both have an opinion on it. My wife (certified cellphone killer) loves it and sofar it has survived her usage. In two weeks she has dropped it twice. Once while grabbing the baby it flew several feet to land on concrete and it still works fine! I would not recommend his test though
For starters the i730 is an awesome phone. The size is just right, and fits perfectly in your hand. It has a solid combination of unbeatable features such as broadband to 680kbps, wifi, bluetooth, among others. You will really appreciate the broadband speed. Try www.logmein.com and you can access your desktop pc from your tiny i730!
The processor at 520 mhz is plenty fast and smoothly runs even larger video files. Pictures come crisp and clean and it has stereo speakers which play music and your ringtones loud and clear. Where the XV6600 has a laughable ringer, the i730 is much louder especially when you choose the right ringtone.
The keyboard rocks!!! It has a smooth tactile feature and is a million times better than the keyboard on my xv6600. It slides out from the underside as I am sure you i730 enthusiasts are aware of. I used to think the blackberry keyboards were the best in the business for usability until I tried this.
This phone kills the Treo's. Dead and buried, put to rest. The only reason a Treo user would try this phone and go back is because they are not used to the interface. It's just like PC and Mac users. PC users almost never convert to Mac and vice versa. Palm users like things simple. But to all you palm and Treo users out there... TRY THIS... Make a phone call while simultaneously typing a message to a friend and making calculations in an Excel sheet. Can't do it can ya? How about typing in a Word doc while listening to an MP3 or watching a video? How about downloading an 8Meg data file, while simultaneously checking email... flash over send a text message... you get the point.
Palm users trade a simple operating system for the truly powerful multitasking that Pocket PC users have enjoyed for years. I have used Palm units and treos. I find them simply nauseating to use. Open one function, close another.... And the Treo screens are very fragile when compared to the standard Pocket PC.
The i730 in colloquial slang terms is dope, its the bomb, its the shiznit... its off the hook.... its hype.
Little things stand out.... Because the phone is so small you would think it would also have a baby little stylus. It has a unique 'telescoping' stylus that pulls out to twice its length.
Phone comes with slim battery and extended battery and extra stylus. It comes with a decent holster which is actually pretty good considering the burlap sack joke of a holster I got with my XV6600. Use the i730 holster and do not be tempted to use Verizon's lambskin case. It will last three weeks and rip open wasting your $25. This happened to three people I know including me.
All keys and functions are laid out well. The only thing that prevents me from running out this minute and getting one for me to compliment the one I got for my wife is I kinda like the big gorgeous screen on my XV6600 even though my phone is a juggernaut compared to hers. I may switch in a few months but for now I will see how things go.
Now for the only bad things I can point out so far....
The desktop charger is the worst I have ever seen. The only good thing is it charges both batteries at the same time. One in the phone and one on the charger. The bad thing is it has absolutely no support for the phone. You have to angle push the phone in... down and back to get it to connect which is a haphazard affair. Those of you who have the phone know what I am talking about. Many times I put it in the charger and it will connect and then fall out of the charger onto the table. That is very frustrating. The solution... Well the jerry-rig I should say.... Mount the charger next to your monitor. You can use the monitor to prop the phone up so it won't fall out of the charger, kind of like leaning against a wall so you don't fall down.
Other bad things.... the phone cannot use multiple services at the same time. You can't use the phone while surfing. You can't call while using wifi. This doesn't bother me particularly but it is an issue. I see the maufacturer's at having 'cheaped out' on the consumer because the XV6600 shares this limitation. Surfing while calling requires two transmitters and that costs money.... A Motorola RAZR can surf while calling but not at broadband speeds for instance... Ah, the tradeoffs....
But I see these flaw as very minor in contrast to what the phone can do. You will enjoy the phone if you do your research before buying....
Some more advice... Buy this phone from Verizon store directly or online from Verizon. Do not try to buy it from auction sites such as ebay. 1 out of 2 phones for sale are just con artists. I bought my wifes i730 from Verizon and when I looked to ebay I discovered a lot of swindlers and decided if I did want the phone to get it from Verizon too, even if I have to pay extra.
Thats all... I hope the review was helpful.
Pros form factor, power, sophistication, speed, expandable
Cons camera (if you need one). verizon's price plan.
Summary I just tried the treo 650 and the audiovox 6600 for over a week. When I heard that this was on the way, I made an appointment to get one to try as soon as possible and add it to the mix.
Not to bash the treo (it too has a great form factor and a camera), but the amount of software needed to work for a true power user could not emulate what the i730 could do out of the box. The ability to use multiple browsers, read pdf files on the device (and not have to worry about opening it on my pc first and then send it to my treo)was a big plus. I used software on the treo that allowed me to create an alias on the internal memory (forgot the name) and transfer the actual program to the sd card. Well, let's face it, 23mb of ram (or whatever is left) is not enough considering that I installed only 3 programs (they had to go in the internal memory) that I had less than 7mb left. Plus, it never worked like the pocket pc. I use both mac and pc environments and the palm os would work out of the box on both platforms. (I have to use markspace software to sync my mac with the i730). Once again, loved the 650 phone. Great for my kids. Not a true mobile device for the power user who needs as much of his/her office and various email protocols to send and receive all email on the road at all times (treo was buggy with my email. even with snappermail installed).
The 6600 had a nice size screen, but I could not use it for true one-hand operation. Although the i730 screen is smaller, it does offer higher quality over the 6600.
The Picsel browser is great for reading pdf files (native. on the go. you do not need a pc to read them first!). I also have the Netfront browser on the machine. It supports so many standards and the last thing that I am trying to get to work is the flash player that it claims will work on flash sites.
My cradle works fine. I called verizon and they made sure that the cradle worked correctly. I have used the extended battery and it gives me treo-like battery life. I get a full day+ of use (normal business use) with phone, email, internet, etc. and it does a nice job for a phone with all of these features.
Unlike the 6600 and the treo 650 i returned,there is the well-documented non-camera version of the i730 on the market at this time. I have complained about it from the time I placed my order last week and a few things came out of my concerns: verizon data rep said that there is no camera so the wifi could have enough room (?) -and- how many of us have taken lousy pictures with one of these phones/pda's only to realize later that if you really want to capture a moment, use your multi-megapixel camera and not one of these?! I deleted all of my photos when i returned the treo and the 6600 due to the very poor print and lighting quality.
Pick your poison. If you want a camera, wait for another version. I have read that other carriers may bring a camera version out but it may lack the qwerty keyboard (or something on those lines)and possible wifi. Who knows when you only have 15 days to make a decision on one of these.........
It is a lot of money. I took out three phone lines and had the treo650, the 6600 and the i730 for face-to-face testing.
The 6600 was a great device if you do not like the form factor of a smaller phone and if you like poor battery life....the treo 650 was wonderful with a little bit of everything...but falling short when you need the power-end functionality.
The keyboard and input for the pocket pc's provides many ways to get your data on the screen. The small keys of the 650 got on my nerves after a while. It was the only way to get text on the screen as well.
Good luck. Give all of these a full test run before your trial ends and you are stuck with these for up to two years.
EVDO is up to 500+k on the i730.....77k was the max on the other phones on a non-verizon network.
The internal memory config seems to be geared for windows mobile (200)5 ?? I guess we will see...
If you settle on the i730, it appears that it will handle the best that technology has to offer for the near future. Good Luck! I hope this helps someone who was in the same state of confusion that I have suffered over the past two weeks!
I am very pleased with this machine.
Pros Compact (Treo Size), Wifi Included, Fast Processor, Extended Battery Included
Cons Battery Life, Non-VGA, Only One Butten Press at a Time
Summary I recieved this phone earlier this week and wow can this little booger do a little bit of everything! This phone includes Wifi, Verizon's EVDO, Bluetooth, and Verizon's synch service. If I am not mistaken I do believe this is the fastest Pocket PC Phone on the market right now. This phone is compact, not quite as small as the Imate Jam, but very comparable to the TREO 650. While it is a little bulky, I do put the phone in my pocket. Not really that much bigger then my LG VX8000. The slide out keyboard is very slick and can be used for one handed use once a person gets use to it.
I cannot comment on Verizon's EVDO service because it is not avaiable in my area and I do not use Verizon's wireless synch. However, I have found the wifi to be good, not buggy like others are reporting and basic 1x internet service is good for retreiving emails on the road.
The i730 comes with some very useful software, infact as a long time Pocket PC user, the included software on this device is the best I have ever seen. The MIT software is great for one handed use and getting to programs, control panel options, or pocket off apps fast. The Piscal Browser, which I had never seen before, is great for web browsing and looking at documents such as pdf files.
As far as negatives go for this device, well the battery life after three days of use has been less then spectacular. I have only used the standard and I have not gotten a full day use yet. However, one should factor in the fact it is a a new toy . I owned an Imate Jam when I was still with Cingular and that phone went longer that is for sure. The extended battery will most likely take care of this problem though. It is 1700mah, but does make the device thicker.
Two other negatives I must include although, not that big of a deal. The i730 is not VGA, coming from a Dell x50v, it takes some time to get use to again. And as CNET mentions in thier review and from what I noticed tonight, only one button can be pressed at a time. So for the gaming professionals out thier, I guess that should be noted.
I hope this helps anybody looking to buy this great phone. I apologize for any spelling errors above. This phone earns a well deserved 9 from me!
Pros Sleek, easy to use, highly customizable, Win XP and MCE integration, dandy phone. It's powerful enough that it feels like a real computer.
Cons Truly minor stuff -- don't worry about it
Summary First, let me get some of the negatives I've seen mentioned elsewhere out of the way.
I HATE camera phones, and have been thrown out of way too many places for having one --that I never used anyway -- to ever consider having one again. So no camera is an absolute requirement for me. (My ratings, my rules.)
Ditto on the objection to not using WiFi and the phone at the same time -- an utter non-issue. Trust me, once you get a taste of Verizon's EVDO network, you're never going to want to use WiFi again. This assumes that you're getting the phone from Verizon, and that you live someplace that has EVDO (I'm in Boston)...and if you do, you'll laugh merrily at the poor souls stuck with WiFi. Heck the EVDO network feels faster than my home DSL (also Verizon).
(BTW, if you are indeed getting this phone from Verizon, be sure to look at the plans that bundle unlimited data -- yes, you need an unlimited data plan -- with voice plans. In my case, the bundle saved me a bundle over pricing them individually. There's a big gap between the voice plans, though, from 1350 to 4000 minutes, so if you fall in the middle, the bundles might not work as well for you as they did for me. Check it out, though.
Hey, and one reason you'll want an unlimited data plan is that it saves you $100 on the phone.)
I've also read objections to not being able to use the phone as an EVDO modem over BlueTooth. A speedy trip to your favorite search engine will turn you up a couple of ways to work around this.
So having blown through most of the big objections I've read about, I'm left with the tiniest of issues that leave me with a score of Spectacular rather than Perfect. You'll read in other reviews about how short the life of the smaller battery is - all true -- although I've been pleasantly surprised at how good the life of the larger battery is. The cradle connection could be better. I can't figure out how to change the text on the Today page (the basic startup page) from white to black, which would look better with my desktop picture. After it's gone to sleep, the backlight doesn't come back on when I tap the screen even though I've set that as one of my preferences. I'd be happier knowing that I can definitely upgrade the software to the next version of Windows Mobile (I've heard definitely yes, definitely no, and maybe), although I'm mostly happy with it as it is. One of the reasons why I'd like to upgrade though is so my company's server would be able to push Outlook data without my computer being logged on (which is how it currently works...and does very well, thank you).
That's about it for the negatives, which really are pretty minor in the scheme of things.
So now let's talk about why I'm so happy with a phone that costs so much more than many in its class.
One of the major issues that I've had with both the Blackberry and Treo are the inferior OSes. I make no apologies for preferring Windows, and my familiarity with it makes the computer parts of the phone that much easier to use.
Make no mistake -- this IS a computer, and a darn zippy one. Among my favorite features is how well it mirrors the functions of my business apps on Windows XP and takes advantage of the best parts of the Windows Media Center PCs I have at home. It brings me almost ridiculous glee to think about playing the shows I record in the MCE My TV folder on my phone.
In fact, anything related to multimedia is a joy on this thing. Adding MP3 ringtones is literally point and click easy (I'm using The Who's My Generation, ripped from one of my CDs), I watch movie trailers and music videos from the Windows Media website, and I have as my phone wallpaper the same image I use for my desktop -- automatically scaled and positioned whether I have my screen oriented horizontally or vertically.
That's another thing that makes the phone so easy to use -- vertical (like Treo) is the right orientation for the phone, horizontal (like Blackberry) the right one for the web. This phone provides the best of both. Switching orientations is a couple of clicks if you add the Launcher application to your Windows menu (do that on the Menu control panel, natch). Among the things that Launcher includes is a shortcut to switching orientation, which I do constantly throughout the day.
The phone's a real pleasure, with the best speakerphone I've ever used. The voice commands work great for both dialing contacts and dictating numbers. I haven't used a BlueTooth headset, so nothing to add on that front. I'm just enjoying it as a plain old phone. Who knew?
I like the keyboard a lot, although my fingers are big enough that I find myself typing with my fingernails. (Better than Treo to me, just a little less roomy than Blackberry.) So far so good, though. It's also easy to type with the stylus, especially when browsing the web. Clicking in a text field anywhere on the page brings it directly into focus, and automatically pops up the onscreen keyboard if you're browsing with the keyboard closed.
In fact, as cool as the keyboard is, I generally keep it closed. The touch screen is so responsive, even to my fingers, that I move around it very quickly indeed. It also appeals to the geek in me to have a more context sensitive UI than a fixed keyboard.
Oh, and it really does fit in my pocket just fine.
Bottom line: if you're going to spend this much money on a phone, you should get this much phone for your money.
Pros Q Keyboard and Loud phone
Cons Hard to find the Keyboard Backlight.
Summary I saw this phone 6 months ago at CES. Finally gave up and got the Audiovox 6600. The Audiovox is almost useless as a phone. No standard voice dialing. I purchased the Microsoft voice program but it does not work with any Blue tooth headset. The Samsung comes with voice dialing that works with the BT Headset and you can actually hear the ringer, something that the Audiovox has a problem with.
The holder on the Samsung requires you to place the phone in face first requiring you to remove it to see who is calling. I know that they did this to protect the screen and accommodate the extended battery but they should have put a micro screen on the back of the phone to display caller info. I have found a work around. The Microsoft voice command announces the callers name when available and the phone number when it is not. Once you have installed the MS voice dialing you can still operate the standard voice dialing program with the BT headset.
The Q Keyboard backlight comes deactivated and there are no instructions on how to turn it on. After a little exploring I found it under the power management settings.
Go into the Power Setting and select the Misc tab. You will see a dropdown menu with the phone listed, select the Keyboard backlight. Now unselect the “Turn of in the daytime” box and you will be good to go.