Mobile phone roundup

March 05, 2004

It's been pointed out by more than a few people that I haven't bought a new mobile phone/PDA in quite a long time (seven months!). There are two main reasons for this: 1.) lack of money and 2.) there really isn't too much out there that can compete with my current phone. Granted, there are quite a few phones that have all of the features (and sometimes more) of the T610/616, but very few can offer all of this with the form-factor of the T610/616 and compatibility with Apple's iSync. Except for those that do it for a living, I probably follow mobile phone related news more than just about anyone (save Russ, who is constantly writing about mobile something or other), and the list below sums up those phones that I currently have my eye on (in preferential order):

  • Sendo X: This will be the best phone available when it is released. Absolutely nothing compares to its feature set + form-factor. This will be the phone to have when it is available and is the phone I've been lusting over the most the past few months — I just wish they would release the damn thing. Given it's capabilities and size, I'm sure it won't come cheap and I'm actually a little scared of what this dream gadget will cost.
  • Treo 610: A much needed upgrade to the excellent Treo 600. Rumor has it that this model will get rid of the archaic 160x160 resolution and jack it up to a wonderful 320x320. It will include Bluetooth (a must-have for me), something I can't believe they left out of the 600. Also, the internal memory will likely be pushed beyond the current 16MB. The one thing that I'll still take issue with is the external antenna; it's been quite a while since I've had a phone with one.
  • Nokia 6230: This phone's feature set and size are amazing and as plain and simple as it looks I think I might actually like its design, though I'd have to see it in person before I would consider ordering one.
  • Sony Ericsson K700: Update to the T610/616 — my current phone (the T630 can't really be called an 'update'); supposed to have a much better camera and more memory, and that is well and good, but it appears that this phone, like its predecessor(s), will not have a speakerphone. SE is really screwing itself by leaving this feature out — that alone will deter me from buying it (you think they would have learned their lesson after everyone complained about the T610/616's lack of a speakerphone). The worst part is that the speaker is certainly capable (the software just doesn't support it).. There will be a speakerphone and it will even allow you to play the FM radio through it. If the T610/616 is any indication, this will be a great phone.
  • Nokia 6600: This a possible purchase — not too many negative comments on this one except its size, and more to the point, its thickness and the apparent "hollow" feel it has to it. Notwithstanding these complaints, a lot of people have been really happy with it. Not only does it run Symbian OS, but it offers just about every mobile phone feature currently available. If I were to seriously consider this phone, I would probably hold out for its successor, the 6620.
  • Motorola V600: Much to my chagrin, a friend of mine just got this phone; it's the first Motorola device to include all that we've come to expect in a modern phone (Bluetooth, camera, etc). It feels very good in the hands, very solid, and the external lights are really neat, but I'm afraid the $600+ price tag is a deal-breaker for me. Nothing against Motorola, but if I'm going pay that kind of money for a phone it better include some practical PDA functionality and offer some sort of software expandibility (i.e., a strong development base for its OS where new apps are coming out for it all the time, like Symbian or Palm). I don't care how pretty it is, a $600+ phone-only device is just not going to cut it.
  • Nokia 3660: By all accounts this will be a great phone just like its predecessor, but also like its previous model, this one suffers from being bulky and ugly, something I don't think I can get past.
  • Sony Ericsson Z600: Essentially the T610/T616 in a clamshell. I really don't have too much to say about this phone other than that it is too think for my tastes and because it doesn't offer anything above and beyond the T610/T616, it's not really an option.
  • Sony Ericsson Z1010: This is SE's first 3G phone and offers some great features, but, like other SE clamshell phones, this one comes in a little too thick for me.

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