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  1.    #1  
    An overall thumbs up but not without plugging the Treo while he's at it.

    Phone-PDA Combo That Works
    On Wi-Fi Is Bulky but a Winner
    July 29, 2004; Page B1

    For people who rely on a smart phone or wireless PDA to do e-mail and access the Web, the Holy Grail has been to get a device that can work on both a cellphone network and on faster Wi-Fi wireless networks. The idea is that when you are near a Wi-Fi transmitter, your device will work at high speed, and when you're not, you still will be able to get online, albeit at slower speeds, via the much more widespread cellphone network.

    The cellphone industry has been working on such combo devices, and Nokia and Motorola have announced specific models. But this week, Hewlett-Packard, the computer giant, and T-Mobile, the cellphone carrier, announced what they say will be the first combined Wi-Fi/cellphone to reach the public. A wireless PDA that can also make phone calls, rather than a traditional cellphone, it's called the HP iPAQ h6315.

    The device is a Microsoft-based Pocket PC with an antenna on top. It goes on sale Aug. 26 for $499, plus either $79.99 or $89.99 a month, depending on which T-Mobile rate plan you choose.

    I tested the 6315 over the past few days. It worked very well and was smart enough to switch smoothly between the Wi-Fi and cellphone networks for Internet access with little or no input from me.

    In most respects, the iPAQ h6315 looks and works like any Pocket PC. It has a large, vivid color screen, and it synchronized contacts, appointments and files with my Windows PC just fine. It comes with 64 megabytes of memory, and it can accept SD memory cards for extra storage.

    Like the other Pocket PC phones I've tested, the 6315 isn't great for voice calls. It's big and bulky, and it lacks a built-in keypad for dialing, though H-P throws in a snap-on keyboard. Microsoft's phone software is very basic.

    As a combination cellphone and PDA, the 6315's design is inferior to that of PalmOne's hot Treo 600, which has better phone functionality and is smaller and lighter. The 6315 is best thought of as a wireless data device that also has voice capability.

    The unit has a built-in low-quality camera, and it includes Bluetooth connectivity for linking to wireless headphones and some other devices. It comes with the standard suite of programs Microsoft provides on all Pocket PCs, such as a Web browser and e-mail program, as well as "pocket" versions of Microsoft Word and Excel. H-P has added a photo program, and T-Mobile has provided instant-messaging software.

    To test the 6315's combined cellphone and Wi-Fi capabilities, I carried it around to a variety of locations around Washington, D.C., surfing the Web and sending and receiving e-mail.

    It worked fine everywhere. I was especially impressed with its ability to automatically switch to the fastest connection possible. It wasn't perfectly seamless, but it was close.

    For instance, I was walking down a downtown street, receiving e-mail over the slow GPRS cellphone network. Then I entered my office, and the 6315 quickly detected my Wi-Fi network and switched over to it.

    Next, I left the office and went back on the street, and the device switched back to getting e-mail on the cellphone network. But when I entered a Starbucks, it detected the T-Mobile public Wi-Fi network there and switched to it.

    In the suburbs, the 6315 smoothly connected to my home network after I entered my network's security password, and it worked fine in another Starbucks near my house.

    If you're in the middle of something, such as downloading e-mail or a Web page, the device doesn't switch networks until the current operation is done to avoid interrupting things.

    There were a few small hitches. In one case, where a lot of Wi-Fi networks were available, the 6315 popped up a list that failed to include the nearest one. In Starbucks, while the 6315 was able to switch to the Wi-Fi network, I couldn't get to the Internet until I filled out a form on a Web page. T-Mobile says that step will be eliminated next month.

    The device lacks the option to behave differently depending on the speed of the connection. For instance, you might like to get e-mail attachments when you're connected via Wi-Fi, but not on the slower cellphone network.

    I have never recommended Pocket PCs for heavy e-mail users, because they typically lack built-in keyboards. But the snap-on keyboard H-P includes free with the 6315 takes care of that problem. It worked well, though it makes the device even bigger and more unwieldy when it's attached. The overall effect isn't as good as doing e-mail on a BlackBerry or Treo, but then those devices can't use Wi-Fi.

    T-Mobile's basic $79.99 monthly rate plan for the 6315 includes 1,000 minutes of anytime voice calling, plus unlimited data: e-mail, Web pages, instant messaging. That includes free use of T-Mobile Wi-Fi hot spots, such as those at Starbucks. The $89.99 plan adds the ability to redirect your corporate e-mail to the device.

    All in all, the HP iPAQ 6315 is a winner. I wish it were a bit smaller and that the keyboard was built in. And I still prefer Palm's software to Microsoft's. But for mobile e-mail and Internet addicts, the ability to use both Wi-Fi and the cellphone network is a big plus.
    Last edited by ghileman; 07/29/2004 at 02:13 AM.
    Off to iPhone land...
  2. #2  
    So it's the MS version of the Tungsten W with WiFi added...
  3. #3  
    So it's the MS version of the Tungsten W with WiFi added...
    except it is smaller, has bigger size screen, with functional SD card, ARM powered, GPRS/WiFi handover capability, BT, 6hr battery......

    Tungsten W? does it even have built in MIC let alone BT head set profile?... oh yeah, now that's a cutting edge phone for you.

    One is out of production failed experiment nobody wants to buy the other is a new class of machine PalmOne can't possibly produce until late next year. (twice the size and half the capabilities, same as always)

    Kepp dreaming about that ACE treo.

    HP iPAQ h6315
    4.68" x 2.95" x 0.73" 190 | 6.70

    Tungsten C
    4.8" x 3.07" x .65"; 6.3 oz.

    -------------
    Mossberg is a dork.

    Like the other Pocket PC phones I've tested, the 6315 isn't great for voice calls. It's big and bulky, and it lacks a built-in keypad for dialing, though H-P throws in a snap-on keyboard. Microsoft's phone software is very basic.
    phone software is VERY basic? wtf? treo 600 can't even do half of what built in PPCPE phone app can do.
    This is coming from a guy who thinks treo 180 and treo 270 are the second coming.
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by suskind
    phone software is VERY basic? wtf? treo 600 can't even do half of what built in PPCPE phone app can do.
    This is coming from a guy who thinks treo 180 and treo 270 are the second coming.
    FYI it is a known fact that Palm software equivalent of MS Office is better then Pocket office that comes with PPCs. And of all the phones I have seen the Treo line has had the best phone software (TakePhone is the shiznit!).
    Iím a lucky man to count on both hands
    The ones I love..

    Visor Pro -> Visor Edge -> Treo 180 -> Treo 270 -> Treo 600 -> Treo 650 -> T|T2+SE T68i -> Treo 600 -> T-Mobile MDA -> Treo 755p -> Treo 800w -> Treo 755p -> PALM PRE -> Palm Pre 2 -> HP Palm Pre 3

    Twittering about
  5. #5  
    It's funny, because after reading the review, I would have thought the conclusion was that the phone was a bust, not a winner. He stated a few different times that the device was bulky, didn't have an integrated keyboard, and wasn't as good at being a phone or an e-mail device as the Treo 600. I find all that funny because the Treo 600 is coming up on it's year anniversary.

    I am impressed by the HPs wi-fi switching as I'm sure this is no easy feat. I expect the first version of a Treo with wi-fi to not be able to do this too seamlessly.

    The other thing that got me in the review is that the cheapest plan for this device is $80?!?! I pay half that with Sprint, which amounts to nearly a $500 savings a year.

    It seems like this phone breaks some new ground with it's wi-fi. If only it could have taken the ground-breaking stuff from phones nearly a year old with it.
  6. #6  
    I have a rather superficial comment. I can't imagine anyone was thinking this will be a winner, otherwise they would have given it a better name (or model number) than "h6315". What a catchy name!!

    Seriously, it looks quite attractive, but I think the name is completely stupid.
  7. #7  
    I think the following paragraph from the article best summarizes the review:

    "As a combination cellphone and PDA, the 6315's design is inferior to that of PalmOne's hot Treo 600, which has better phone functionality and is smaller and lighter. The 6315 is best thought of as a wireless data device that also has voice capability."

    Depending on what you like, one may be better suited for you than the other. However, I am surprised that Walter didn't mention anything about the battery life.
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by bigredgpk
    FYI it is a known fact that Palm software equivalent of MS Office is better then Pocket office that comes with PPCs. And of all the phones I have seen the Treo line has had the best phone software (TakePhone is the shiznit!).
    oh please, comparing built in ROM freebie against bundled thirdparty apps?
    Does treo even come with freebie office apps?

    let's compared third party against third party,

    http://www.softmaker.de/tmpdetail_en.htm
    http://www.softmaker.de/pmpcomp_en.htm

    does it even have a webbrowser that doesnt' croak after 5 minutes?
    Please come back about a year from now when you have something worth considering, instead of kiddies version of softwares.
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by Rome
    I think the following paragraph from the article best summarizes the review:

    "As a combination cellphone and PDA, the 6315's design is inferior to that of PalmOne's hot Treo 600, which has better phone functionality and is smaller and lighter. The 6315 is best thought of as a wireless data device that also has voice capability."

    Depending on what you like, one may be better suited for you than the other.
    Which is exactly why I said it's like a Tungsten W...
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by Mol
    Which is exactly why I said it's like a Tungsten W...
    what's a Dungsten W? Another Palmone masterpiece?
  11. webdave's Avatar
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    #11  
    Please don't feed the troll.
  12. Silver5's Avatar
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    #12  
    The 6315 seems to be a really impressive device for PDA users. Alot of us like to have access to our PDAs, but have really nice cell phones such as the V600 Motorola or something similar that we need as well. Since we don't all want a phone in one pocket, keys in another, then a wallet and a PDA in the other two pockets of our pants, devices like this are really sensible. The Treo does this for me, but it isn't a complete package...I have to buy all kinds of programs to fill in the gaps on the PDA side; apps that are included on the PPC.

    The 6315 probably won't replace my Treo 600, at least not right now. It needs a permanant set of keys to be a real phone for me. However, many people like the touchscreen method of dialing, and when I look past my distaste for that I find that the PPC phone works very well, better than the Treo 600 actually...it has bluetooth, replaceable battery, all conference calling options, and though I haven't tried the speakerphone on it I assume it won't be as bad as the Treo 600 is...it could make a really good phone, and it is actally nice to fit it in a pocket.

    The Treo 600 is not as good at being a phone as some people make it out to be. It is missing some very important things! No ability to choose a party in a conference call to close that line, extract for private conversation...etc, just isn't there. Speakerphone is ultra mediocre (echoes, vibrations, "dude, you sound really far away..." and other issues). No bluetooth!! I can't change the battery when I get low on power...either I wait to charge the phone for an hour or two, or I'm without one. Instead of an extra battery in my bag, I have to have a backup PHONE!

    Overall the Treo 600 is really good, but it has some serious flaws. The 6315 might be the better choice if you can overlook the lack of a keyboard/keypad. Instead of being die hard fans of PPC or Palm OS people should look at a good device for what it is...
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by Silver5
    ...snip...The Treo 600 is not as good at being a phone as some people make it out to be. It is missing some very important things! No ability to choose a party in a conference call to close that line, extract for private conversation...etc, just isn't there. ...snip...
    Small correction here. This shortcoming is due to Sprint's implementation of the phone software, not a shortcoming of the Treo 600 itself. The GSM version of the Treo 600 handles conference calling very well (easy ability to switch between callers and disconnect individual callers). Sprint's implementation was designed to charge more call minutes to their users.

    I've experienced no problems with the speakerphone whatsoever. I have no doubt that some users have had issues with it on their particular carriers in their particular locations. ...and I would submit that those problems are likely due to location/coverage (or lack thereof).

    As is often the case, many people attribute problems with coverage and/or carrier implementation to the device itself when they shouldn't. They should be looked at separately because they are indeed different issues.

    Your other points are valid and I agree that the Treo could be better. There is always room for improvement and innovation. The Treo 600 was introduced last year (over 9 months ago). Technology moves fast. What is feasible today (with the H6315) may or may not have been feasible with the Treo 600 over a year ago when it was being developed (especially with the Treo 600's smaller form-factor).

    There will always be a balancing act between price/performance/technology and physical size/ergonomics. You can't please everyone with a single device no matter how hard you might try. The best that can be hoped for is to find a good balance and hope that it's enough for the time being.
    --Inspector Gadget

    "Go Go Gadget Pre!!"
    Palm Pre on Sprint

    Palm V--> Palm IIIc--> Visor Prism--> Visor Phone--> Treo 270--> Treo 600--> Treo 650-->
    Treo 700wx--> HTC Touch Diamond--> Palm Pre & HTC EVO 4G.
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by Silver5
    ...
    Instead of an extra battery in my bag, I have to have a backup PHONE!
    Not true. You can buy an extra battery for the Treo and carry it with you. What you don't have is an internal replacable battery. But the external battery solves your problem, albeit resulting in a less attractive package.
  15. F1Turbo's Avatar
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    #15  
    I think I read another review (PC Mag?) which says 6315 has NO speakerphone capability?
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by webdave
    Please don't feed the troll.
    Who's the troll this time? We're only discussing a device that is somewhat competitive to the Treo.
  17. #17  
    The speakerphone is the best part of my Treo. No one I've talked to has been able to tell the difference between it and regular phone.
  18. Silver5's Avatar
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    #18  
    Small correction here. This shortcoming is due to Sprint's implementation of the phone software, not a shortcoming of the Treo 600 itself. The GSM version of the Treo 600 handles conference calling very well (easy ability to switch between callers and disconnect individual callers). Sprint's implementation was designed to charge more call minutes to their users.

    I've experienced no problems with the speakerphone whatsoever. I have no doubt that some users have had issues with it on their particular carriers in their particular locations. ...and I would submit that those problems are likely due to location/coverage (or lack thereof).
    ....from Insp_Gadget

    Actually, I have the GSM version and conference calling on it doesn't not allow these things. It is really annoying, and even though it is not a part of the Treo's hardware, the Treo 600 is a hardware and software package and the software makes it so the device is incapable of these tasks. It's too bad, because my $100 T610 SonyEricsson can do this...

    Issues with the speakerphone don't have anything to do with coverage, at least not in my case. In my car, which is very quiet, people can't hear me when using the speakerphone. People complain when I am at home 1 foot away from the phone as well. All of this in really good coverage areas too...

    All I'm saying is that the Treo 600 has alot of little issues that no phone that is this expensive should have and that there are others that can do a better job.
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by Rome
    I think the following paragraph from the article best summarizes the review:

    "As a combination cellphone and PDA, the 6315's design is inferior to that of PalmOne's hot Treo 600, which has better phone functionality and is smaller and lighter. The 6315 is best thought of as a wireless data device that also has voice capability."

    Depending on what you like, one may be better suited for you than the other. However, I am surprised that Walter didn't mention anything about the battery life.
    I think this excerpt does capture the Treo-6315 comparison, which is what matters most to some of us as Treo users. And to me it is a fair comparison and an accurate assessment -as far as it goes. *But* Mossberg's review is not of just one more "combination cellphone and PDA": it's of the first WiFi-phone combination device on the market; and for this, there is no Treo -or anything else, yet- to compare. I'd guess that the battery life was not an issue at all, or it was acceptable given the superior performance he reported.
    You may be right; I may be crazy. But, the Treo may be just the device I've been looking for.
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by Mol
    Who's the troll this time? We're only discussing a device that is somewhat competitive to the Treo.

    Mol, I think he was referring to suskind, i.e., Ska, PurpleX...

    Anyway, I would be very suprised if PalmOne did not bundle DTG, Real, Versamail, etc with the Ace. In fact, it would be down right stupid if they didn't imo...
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