"Exactly What You Expect from a $500 Phone"4.5 starson by MikePMP
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.