Pros Phone, PDA, Windows Look n Feel, EV DO, "Today View", Screen Clarity, Good-Size Keyboard
Cons No Battery Level Indicator, No Missed Call / Voicemail "on-screen" Message, Numbers on Keyboard not "Prominent", Screen gets very dirty
Summary This is my first Smartphone. I had a standard Samsung flip-phone before and multiple Palm based PDAs which "never made the cut".
I made a decision 2 years ago that I wouldnt get a new PDA until one came out nicely bundled with a Phone using Verizon Service, had a Microsoft OS, and wasnt too bulky.
I tracked the Samsung i730 from its first sneak peak until commercial availability and took the plunge exactly one week ago. Here is my assessment:
The phone functionality is kinda like driving a stick for the first time. Its awkward at first but you get the hang of it. Two ways to dial (1)using the stylus on the screen (2)using the number keys buried in the QWERTY keyboard. Send / End Buttons are native, phonebook is easily accessible, after the first day dialing a number can be done one-handed. You gotta setup your phone book. This is not a "dialers" phone. Its easily doable but not as easy your standard mobile phone.
The PDA functionality terrific. All of your appointments in one place, all of your contacts in one place (bye bye "darn their number is in my PDA"). Stop using Post-Its and start using Task Manager, when you use your phone you will be reminded you have 15 to-do's and two of them are high priority. The notes tool allows you to record a voice memos or hand write a short list.
What does the "always on" broadband connection do for you? Email delivered right to your pocket, AIM wherever you go, mapquest.com when you are lost in the car, and google when you are settling a bet in a restaurant. It really is very useful.
Things you should know:
Its a little big. Not the same as your little flip phone. The battery life is fine if you arent using it like your desktop PC. EV-DO aka 3x isnt everywhere and 1x is "acceptable" for light usage. The screen will get dirty. Imagine rubbing your cheek on your flat screen monitor, its gonna leave a mark. You will be using the Stylus often but after a few days you dont even realize you are using it., and besides all PDAs have a stylus. The phone is very usable without touching the stylus. If you are in a meeting or trying to sleep you can turn the phone function off but you can continue to use it as a PDA. When using it as a phone and PDA you cannot turn it off completely. The screen will turn off but it will ring when called.
The Bottomline: I have one more week to demo this with Verizon's Worry Free Guarantee and I am leaning towards keeping it for good. I think it will keep me organized and slightly more sane. This will be both a personal & biz device so I want to make sure I am ok with the size from a Biz Standpoint this gadget is a clear winner. Even though I say I am still on the fence, I highly recommend this phone to anyone who needs to combine their phone and pda, has a job which requires alot of followups & meetings, and loves technology. This phone delivers a WOW factor to anyone that see's it. Its a sign of things to come and could possible be the next killer device.
Once I decide to keep it....alright alright I am gonna keep it, im in denial....but I deserve to be its $500 bucks !!!
I am gonna buy a 1 gig SD card, screen protector, BoxWave sync cable, Car Charger, and 3rd party software to fix my CONS about the battery meter and missed call indicator.
Then I gotta find the software to Sync Lotus Notes r5 with this Device. Intellisync doesnt do it yet.
Pros Replaces my IPAQ 4355 and Motorola V710
Cons None so far
Summary After waiting nearly a year for Verizon to release this phone, I would say that the wait was worth it. The i730 replaces my HP IPAQ 4355 PDA and is a phone to boot!
I live in Los Angeles and thus in the EVDO network so my download speeds average about 600 Kbps - fantastic. At that speed, I no longer have to worry about finding Hot Spots for decent internet access. My data connection is always on so I get emails pushed to my phone via Wireless Sync and have my AIM always on so my clients can reach me when I am out of the office.
The phone aspect of the device is great. I can use voice command to dial any of the contacts in my contact list which was imported from my Outlook. The reception rivals my v710 and the sound quality is as clear. The speakerphone is pretty loud.
I've read complaints that the i730's drawback is that it is mainly a two-handed device. I would have to disagree. If you want to use it as a phone, you can definitely do everything with one hand - as a phone should be. However, if you want to use it as a PDA, you can do lots of things with one hand but a PDA is not meant for one-handed usage.
Pros Looks, screen, slider
Cons Bulky, awkward, os
Summary Well, I have been happy with the Treo 650 for a while now and decided to give the i730 a whirl due to its "cool" factor. I must say I am sticking to the Treo. The Samsung misses many areas if you want a tru PDA/Phone combo like I do. I just don't think this device is very phone friendly at all. Many obvious call features are missing - the treo has lots of icons and alert messages to inform you, but the Samsung makes you hunt through the OS to find info. I guess I feel the Palm OS is still more user friendly in that it offers easy notifications and no nonsense phone features that allow you to be very efficient. I felt the Samsung made you work harder to get the info you needed. Also, there are so many more apps for the Treo. I guess I was just taken in by the form factor - slider design - but in actuality, it's bulky and awkward to use this device. I will continue using the Treo until something better comes along, right now there is nothing that combines cellphone and PDA functions in such a nice sized device. Cheers.
Pros look, size, feature rich, keyboard
Cons battery life, no camera
Summary Long time Blackberry user here, but always wanted the pocket pc OS/phone combination. I got to say this is what i have been waiting for. i tried the Audiovox PPC6600 device and it was very akward to use.I had to keep resetting it all the time. This device with a 520 MHZ processor is fast. This device has come very close to the ease of a blackberry. Keyboard is usable and responsive.Pocket PC OS is great for playing mp3s. videos, email access, files. Wifi feature works without a hitch. Haven't had a chance to completely test the Bluetooth headset yet. EVDO speed is great for streaming video and file downloading. If you use pocket pc and want a phone too this is the device.
Pros Ease of use, everything rolled into one.
Cons battery life (expcected though) and thickness
Summary I have had this phone for about a week now and I love it. It works very well as a phone, clear and loud. I set it up just like a flip phone where all I have to do is slide it up to answer a call and slide it down to hang up. Very Simple.
I have watched been watching videos and listening to mp3's, both are amazing features of this phone.
Surfing the web using EV-DO is awesome too, very very fast.
Has built in Wi-fi, but cannot recieve calls while using it. Just use the EV-DO instead if you are waiting for a call, like I said, its FAST
All in all, I am really happy with this phone. The only real downside is the battery life, but what do you expect when you have all of these things rolled into one gadget. The phone comes with an extra battery which is another plus.