"Not bad for first time users, but returning users most beware"2.0 starson by Tronsta
Pros: Great, streamlined OS, perfect integration between applications, great Instant Messaging suite, great phone, better keyboard than past SK's, faster Internet
Cons: Just a revamped version of the past 2 SK's, HUGE price tag with minimal features. You lose ALL your premium downloads from the SK2 or SK1. Crippled Bluetooth.
Summary: First let me say I've owned the SK1 and SK2, and loved both of them. If the world was the same today as it was almost 3 years ago when I first bought the SK1, the SK3 would be amazing. But the truth is, the SK is showing its age compared to smart phones like the Treo, i730, and MDA. I've used my SK's so much, I've burned off the letters on both the SK1 and SK2, and I even ripped off the rubber pad on the SK2. So yeah, I use these things a lot and I'm certainly not a hater. But, I was so disenchanted with the SK3 I returned it after a week for the T-mobile MDA. I've written a review for that as well if you’re interested.
Let me touch upon the good stuff. The SK3 easily looks the best of the SK family. It's a bit smaller than the SK2, maybe a tad lighter. It's more black and shiny, making for a much sexier look. The screen is not as smooth a flipper as the SK1 or SK2 but it's still relatively smooth, and is still the trademark feature. The OS continues to be smooth and super easy to learn. The integration is flawless, along with keyboard shortcuts and nice buttons; it lets you zip around the device software in no time. I miss this feature as the MDA and other similar smart phones take a little more effort to navigate through. The internet is DEFINATELY faster than the SK2 and SK1. I don't know if it's because of the EDGE network capability or what, but it's much easier to surf the Net on the SK3. They've increased the software space for applications and that means more catalog downloads. I didn't get a chance to max this out so I don't know how much faster the processor is on the SK3. Overall, to wrap up the good points, it's just like the other SK's but with some additional features, like Bluetooth headset ability and an MP3 player, along with a MiniSD card reader. The camera was nice, and has been beefed up. Though it doesn’t look nearly as good as other 1.3 mega pixel cameras.
Ok, on to the bad...
For me, the bad was so much more weightier than the good that I returned the phone. First of all, you lose ALL your premium downloads from previous SK's. Now, if you're a first time user, obviously this does not apply. But being a SK user for years, and with the addition of Tmoble allowing you to "uninstall" applications (taking them off your phone to make space but allowing you to reinstall them whenever you want without another payment) I had a TON of downloads. Everything from Time Traveler (an alarm clock, you believe you have to pay money for this feature?), to Terminal Client (VERY handy), tons of games and ringtones I had downloaded over my SK career. All of that was instantly gone, unrecoverable, wasted money. That's horrible. Why can't you bring the downloads over? Is it REALLY that hard to do? They did it with the SK2. This burned me by far the most since I’ve spend over 100 bucks on premium downloads over almost three years.
Next, the price is INSANE! 400 bucks??? 350 with a 2 year extension. The SK2 was 200 bucks when you traded in your SK1. They must have lost a ton of money on that deal, because there was no such deal this time. Consider what else is out there for 400 bucks: Treo, i730, MDA, 8125, Blackberry's, etc. These phones do at least twice as much as the SK3. The price was the second hardest hit for me on this phone.
Another burn was that your Tmail email account is gone if you switch this phone. This doesn't really affect users at all if you don't give up your SK, but it's good to know since they DO NOT tell you this until your account is already gone. I lost 3 meg's of saved emails because I didn't know this.
You get Bluetooth with this phone, which is nice for headsets, but is ONLY nice for headsets. There's no support for modem use, or even for transferring files. Wireless headsets are nice, but for 400 bucks, you couldn't give a full featured Bluetooth?
The key placement on the SK3 is easily the worst out of the three. The 4 corner buttons are placed closer to the screen now, meaning I accidentally hit the phone and hang-up buttons by accident while trying to hit the Cancel or Back buttons on the right side. The roller ball is great but overall I found the regular roller on the SK2 to be more effective.
MiniSD addition is nice but it's a pain getting to the card. It’s not conducive to swapping out a lot, you have to take the battery cover off and risk dropping the battery out while you're doing it.
There is a total lack of features for this expensive phone. Here's what the SK3 CANNOT do that other smart phones can:
CANNOT use MP3's as ringers
CANNOT download and use third party software
CANNOT use an alarm clock feature without buying one
CANNOT use voice dialing
CANNOT do video of any kind, though they've said you could, I've never been able to get it to work
CANNOT connect to WiFi networks
CANNOT download things from the Internet
CANNOT send multimedia text messages (video, pictures, etc)
CANNOT beam info to other phones via Infrared or Bluetooth
Bottom line: The SK3 might be worthwhile for a new user, but for a returning user, it is a total waste of money. As I said when started this review, a few years ago this thing would be top tier, cutting edge technology. But right now, it's trailing behind. The majority of its support comes from the young crowd who cares more about looks than guts. If you are one of them, this is the phone for you, to be perfectly honest, as there are not many phones that can compare to the SK3’s looks. But for anyone else who desires more than aesthetic worth for a device costing 400 dollars, search elsewhere.