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  1.    #1  
    hehe, sorry for the gay title, i always wanted to be so pretentious. ive been using the Treo 600, pda2k, jam and sp3i for a combined time of about a month, with each product getting at least 5 days worth of attention, so i figure id post my thoughts on each and offer some final opinions on the lot of them. keep in mind, these are all personal opinions of mine and i will NOT take time to argue them with people intent on proving my thoughts wrong (as this trend seems quite pervasive on these boards). anyways, on with the show:

    Imate PDA2k:
    Likes:
    1. huge screen
    2. superior video and audio playback
    3. mutlitasking
    4. today screen

    Dislikes:
    1. Glitchy OS
    2. unreliable
    3. one handed naviagtion a joke
    4. size

    Firstly, I have to specify that im biased towards the PalmOS for smartphones, whereas I prefer wince for standalone PDAs. The first thing that stood out about the device was the size. People will tell you its not that much bigger than the treo, and that when the slider is hidden the footprint difference when compared to the treo is negligable, but at the end of the day, the device does feel bigger in your hands because of the width, and regardless of what people tell you, the slider is a pain in the a$$ to open with only one hand. this leads to one handed operation. it works pretty decently if you dont mind occasionally tapping the screen directly, but tapping the screen, even if only once, excludes the device from contention as a one handed device. sure its not that big a deal to tap the screen now and again, but the smudges those prints leave behind are beyond annoying, and require me to wipe away on a consistent basis. you may say, "but this is a pda, pulling out the stylus isnt a big deal, youre just a lazy mofo!" in which case id counter with my claim that if this smartphone wants to be considered as such, as opposed to a convergent device with dual phone/pda functionality, then it needs to offer true one handed support, much like the p800/900 series. the pda2k doesnt, and for some it might not be a big deal, but for me it is. when u HAVE to touch the screen for as basic a thing as making a phone call (im not considering voice dialing because my worplace has a lot of ambient noise and recognition is pretty worthless as a result) the device can no longer be considered a phone.
    i have no qualms with the keyboard, it does its job, though my favorite pda keyboard to date has to be the one from the Tungsten C. nothing's even come close (havent testes rim devices though, so opinion might change on that). the screen is absolutely brilliant (even if there is a noticeable yellow hue which doesnt really bother me) and the today page is fantastic when loaded with pocket plus and a few other cool apps. this is a region in which the palm handhelds are way behind. the newer crop of palms offer a semi-practical today page, but it pales in comparison to the flexibility and expandability that win mobile 2k3 offers.
    overall, the reasons why i wouldnt use this device on a daily basis are essentially exclusive to the fact that navigation and easy access to necessary info is a burden unless you add tons of expensive software upgrades. as a pc replacement, its a fantastic alternative, though i would personally spend double and get myself a flybook (www.flybook.tw.com)

    imate SP3i:
    Likes:
    1. perfect size
    2. software expandability
    3. MS office integration
    4. design

    Dislikes:
    1. lack of touch screen
    2. slow data input (no keyboard)

    I must admit i used the sp3i the most out of the 3 imates im reviewing. the reason for this is because it fit the bill exactly in terms of phone replacement (it was used in favor if my SE T610) and did a wonderful job of keeping my PIM in perfect sync and within easy reach. when it comes down to it, I have no complaints about the sp3i for what it offers/doesnt offer. it does what its SUPPOSED to do. it doesnt pretend to be a laptop replacement, and it's not stuck between two product segments, it's essentially a really good mobile. the problem is, it's not a really good smartphone. thats not saying it wont attract lots of interest from most users (i cant see why anyone would want a symbian based device when they can get this for the same price), it just cant take over the responsiblity of dedicated phone/pda because it's simply not a pda. i will be keeping the sp3i for those occasions when i go out in the evenings or on the weekends and dont want bulging pockets, but want to have access to my pim data nonetheless. i also want to be able to sync the phone with my outlook profile so that i can readily update my blackbook entries or add notes about favorite restaurants etc.. if this thing had a sd card slot instead of a mini-sd without sacrificing size, id be in 7th heaven (just because im gonna have to go buy a mini-sd card now )

    imate JAM:
    Likes:
    1. size
    2. design
    3. speed

    Dislikes:
    1. OS (again!)
    2. lack of proper input methods
    3. battery life
    4. stylus

    the Jam was the last product i used before settling on my preferred device, and i must say, i was really impressed with the size/features combo this thing offered. i had never seen or used a device that could do so much whilst occupying so little space in your hands. though it offers only 16mhz more processing power when compared to the pda2k, the relative speed difference when running it through its paces is noteceable and appreciated. making calls however, is again (due to the OS), a pain. you HAVE to touch the screen to make calls, this is unavoidable unless the person youre trying to call is still in your call history box. navigating through your contacts is a bit better than on the pda2k cause of a program (forgot the name) which pops up when pressing the on screen T9 digits. it works just like a normal cell phone where if you want to call allen, for example, youd press 2-5-5 and get a list of all persons whos names have letters that combine to correspond to the respective numbers on the screen. not bad, but again, you need to use the screen, and if youre driving in the car and need to make a quick call, i can tell you from experience that you NEED to look at the screen and aim your finger just right to tap on the number you want tapped. this is particularly difficult on a screen the size of the jam (2.8" i believe). another minor point which i felt is necessary to mention si the stylus. it sucks the big one. it just feels terrible in my hands and its sort of annoying to remove from the slit on the side of the device.
    HTC have done an awesome job at shrinking the the dimensions of the jam which makes calling it a phone accurate and believable. it will attract a lot of people's attention mostly for its size, and slight resemblance to what has now become the industry standard portable device. however it still doesnt cut it as a phone because it's simply not usable with one hand unless youre touching the screen and also because on screen buttons are super small and difficult to access unless youre sitting idly on a chair.

    i wont go over why i think the treo is still the winner, albeit with a smaller margin than what i used to think, however ill be sure to post a review of the gsm version of the 650 as soon as it becomes available to me in a months time.

    at the end of the day, the reason why i pick the treo over the imates is because none of the imates can be categorised with it based on featureset. the pda2k is too wide and doesnt offer true one handed navigation, the sp3i doesnt do enough aside from basic PIM and the jam lacks a keyboard. were you to add a sliding keyboard to the jam, id say you have a winner. either that or make it run palm OS. the sp3i for me is a keeper, but it wont be replacing the treo, only acting as a complement to it.

    not sure if any of this helps anyone, it was just my way of sharing an opinion from the perspective of someone whos USED all 4 devices as opposed to those coming from someone who studied the pictures and spec sheets.
  2. hduty's Avatar
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    #2  
    Great post, spacehog. Especially the JAM part, as this is the first "test" I've seen of it so far.

    I got to play around with the pda2k this weekend, and I was *very* impressed. So much in fact that I've already placed an order for one. Hopefully I won't regret it....
  3. Iceman6's Avatar
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    #3  
    Thanks for the writeup, spacehog. Looking forward to your review of the 650.
  4. #4  
    spacehog, thanks for your post. I was seriously considering the i-mate JAM - I love the size, shape and general physical design - and had been trying to work out how one-hand friendly PPC2003 was. I haven't used a PPC for two years (almost exactly) and figured that MS must have improved the stylus dependency, especially for the phone edition variant of the OS. Have they really not? Could you confirm that things are as bad as your post implies? Which of these can be done one handed:

    1) leave one app and launch another?

    2) open the browser, navigate to a link on a page, go to that page?

    3) refresh a web page?

    4) return to a previous web page?

    5) open Pocket Outlook and open the inbox?

    6) open an email message, read it and then close it again?

    7) adjust settings - simple things like screen brightness, ringer and alarm volume?

    8) make a phone call?

    Sorry for the lengthy list, but your input would be very much appreciated.
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by spacehog
    ...testes rim devices...


    I was ROTFLMAO.

    Oh yeah, excellent review.
  6.    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by illustreous


    I was ROTFLMAO.

    Oh yeah, excellent review.

    i didnt think anyone would catch it.. good eye illustreous, good eye
  7.    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by MarkC
    spacehog, thanks for your post. I was seriously considering the i-mate JAM - I love the size, shape and general physical design - and had been trying to work out how one-hand friendly PPC2003 was. I haven't used a PPC for two years (almost exactly) and figured that MS must have improved the stylus dependency, especially for the phone edition variant of the OS. Have they really not? Could you confirm that things are as bad as your post implies? Which of these can be done one handed:

    1) leave one app and launch another?

    2) open the browser, navigate to a link on a page, go to that page?

    3) refresh a web page?

    4) return to a previous web page?

    5) open Pocket Outlook and open the inbox?

    6) open an email message, read it and then close it again?

    7) adjust settings - simple things like screen brightness, ringer and alarm volume?

    8) make a phone call?

    Sorry for the lengthy list, but your input would be very much appreciated.

    hey markc, ill try my best to answer your questions.

    1. fine, so long as you dont mind touching the screen
    2. pretty difficult unless u have very small/accurate fingers. for links i would personally need a stylus
    3. see 1.
    4. see 1.
    5. see 1.
    6. if the mail message occupies more than one page on the device, scrolling will be a pain without the use of a stylus cause for whatever reason, pressing down on the navigation pad doesnt automatically scroll down the page, as one would expect it to do. otherwise, youll be fine with one hand
    7. see 2.
    8. one handed not a big problem if you use that finger dial app i talked about. if you have to use the contacts database, then youll need the stylus.

    hope this helps
  8. jglev's Avatar
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    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by spacehog
    hey markc, ill try my best to answer your questions.

    1. fine, so long as you dont mind touching the screen
    2. pretty difficult unless u have very small/accurate fingers. for links i would personally need a stylus
    3. see 1.
    4. see 1.
    5. see 1.
    6. if the mail message occupies more than one page on the device, scrolling will be a pain without the use of a stylus cause for whatever reason, pressing down on the navigation pad doesnt automatically scroll down the page, as one would expect it to do. otherwise, youll be fine with one hand
    7. see 2.
    8. one handed not a big problem if you use that finger dial app i talked about. if you have to use the contacts database, then youll need the stylus.

    hope this helps
    I assume (and truely hope) that your are referring to the Jam and not the PDA6601. It has been said (from what I read here and on HoFo) that one handed operation is pretty decent on the 6601. I would greatly aprreciate it if you could please re-answer the above questions regarding the 6601 instead of the Jam.

    Thanks,
    Jeff
  9. davpel's Avatar
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    #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by spacehog
    hey markc, ill try my best to answer your questions.

    1. fine, so long as you dont mind touching the screen
    2. pretty difficult unless u have very small/accurate fingers. for links i would personally need a stylus
    3. see 1.
    4. see 1.
    5. see 1.
    6. if the mail message occupies more than one page on the device, scrolling will be a pain without the use of a stylus cause for whatever reason, pressing down on the navigation pad doesnt automatically scroll down the page, as one would expect it to do. otherwise, youll be fine with one hand
    7. see 2.
    8. one handed not a big problem if you use that finger dial app i talked about. if you have to use the contacts database, then youll need the stylus.

    hope this helps

    If you are referring to the PDA2k, your answers are almost entirely incorrect. Half of these things I figured out how to do one-handed on my own, the other half with a little help from Farzon Almaneih. The only item on your list I'm not sure about is changing system settings. Otherwise, all it takes is assigning a hard key to the context menu. Then you are set.
    Last edited by davpel; 11/16/2004 at 09:24 AM.
  10. hduty's Avatar
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    #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by davpel
    Otherwise, all it takes is assigning a hard key to the context menu.
    What's the context menu??

    Are you saying that you can replay to an SMS without touching the screen even once?
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by hduty
    What's the context menu??

    Are you saying that you can replay to an SMS without touching the screen even once?
    Yes
  12.    #12  
    these are all answers pertaining to the jam. ive started a post over at hofo, go check it out in the pocket pc subforum. i share the same username there
  13. #13  
    spacehog, thanks for answering my questions and for all the info in your hofo thread. I suspect the JAM isn't for me, which is a shame because I really love the size. I'll take a look when it hits the shops over here, but your posts have certainly convinced me that buying online without handling the device would be a big mistake.

    On a more general note, what on earth are MS doing making a phone os with an interface that is so reliant on screen taps? Perhaps the PPC people should talk to the Smartphone guys.
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by MarkC
    spacehog, thanks for answering my questions and for all the info in your hofo thread. I suspect the JAM isn't for me, which is a shame because I really love the size. I'll take a look when it hits the shops over here, but your posts have certainly convinced me that buying online without handling the device would be a big mistake.

    On a more general note, what on earth are MS doing making a phone os with an interface that is so reliant on screen taps? Perhaps the PPC people should talk to the Smartphone guys.

    Either install voice command, or get a nice screen protector. For eg. there is a thumb geture dialer that doesn't exist in Palm. PPC touch screen isn't made out of pudding, use it. Some people even use virtual buttons to play emulator, and it's just fine.

    It's treo user that is obsessed with thumboard, everybody else has no problem with it.
  15.    #15  
    call it what u will ("obsessive treo user") but a lot of people share my opinion. firstly, a screen protector is useless if you take proper care of the device and use a good case. all it does is dilute the colors on the screen (dont say they dont, check out the difference then come back) and even screen protectors smudge to a certain extent. a pda wasnt MADE to have fingers touching the screen, that's why vendors include stylii. if you dont mind using your fingers to navigate through your phone, thats fine. but dont go saying a thumboard isnt practically essential to making a good phone.
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by spacehog
    call it what u will ("obsessive treo user") but a lot of people share my opinion. firstly, a screen protector is useless if you take proper care of the device and use a good case. all it does is dilute the colors on the screen (dont say they dont, check out the difference then come back) and even screen protectors smudge to a certain extent.
    screen protector protect from minor scratches and accumulating oil. After that, there is no reason not using screen as input. Tons of software are written so the device can be operated using large thumbsize icon with all manner of clever short cuts and quick search.

    A PDA IS MADE with touchscreen for reason......TO TOUCH the screen.

    with touch screen a lot of complicated navigation scheme can be reduced to few thumb gestures. If ex treo users has some sort of phobia against touch screen, it ain't the worlds fault.

    and yes, thumboard is overated if people know what they are doing, instead of trying to scream....'But I want to do it treo thumboard ways'

    a pda wasnt MADE to have fingers touching the screen, that's why vendors include stylii. if you dont mind using your fingers to navigate through your phone, thats fine. but dont go saying a thumboard isnt practically essential to making a good phone.
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by suskind
    Either install voice command, or get a nice screen protector. For eg. there is a thumb geture dialer that doesn't exist in Palm. PPC touch screen isn't made out of pudding, use it. Some people even use virtual buttons to play emulator, and it's just fine.

    It's treo user that is obsessed with thumboard, everybody else has no problem with it.
    There are two things to consider here: the five-way navigator and the QWERTY keyboard. If you look back through this thread, you'll see that I was considering the I-Mate JAM (which has no QWERTY keyboard) and all the questions I asked of spacehog related to the use of the five-way navigator. You talk as if I'd no idea of what a touch screen could do, and this is nonsense. I mentioned above that I'd used PPC a couple of years ago (actually I had a Toshiba e740); I've also used a variety of Palm devices with a touch screen: Vx, m505, Treo 270, Tungsten T. All of these involved extensive touching of the screen; in all cases (the e740 included) many screen taps were much better accomplished with the stylus than with a finger. The reason should be pretty obvious: accuracy. The tip of a stylus is perhaps a mm across and fingers are, er, somewhat bigger than this! Tapping links, small icons, menu items is just much easier with a stylus - essentially the stylus is 100% accurate and finger accuracy (at least for me) <<100%. Enter the Treo 600... and the really fantastic job Handspring did with replacing screen tapping (and thus stylus) with the five-way navigator. Still 100% accurate, but now no need to remove the stylus! I don't know if you've ever used a 600 or if your experience would the same as mine if you did, but for me the five-way navigation on the Treo revolutionised the way I used a hand-held device and, however much you might tell me otherwise, I really don't want to give up this functionality.

    FWIW, I think I-Mate (Carrier Devices) have realised the need for one-handed usage in a smartphone and that's why they include a extra buttons on the PDA2K (relative to other PPC devices) to aid in using the device with one hand.
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by MarkC
    There are two things to consider here: the five-way navigator and the QWERTY keyboard. If you look back through this thread, you'll see that I was considering the I-Mate JAM (which has no QWERTY keyboard) and all the questions I asked of spacehog related to the use of the five-way navigator. You talk as if I'd no idea of what a touch screen could do, and this is nonsense. I mentioned above that I'd used PPC a couple of years ago (actually I had a Toshiba e740); I've also used a variety of Palm devices with a touch screen: Vx, m505, Treo 270, Tungsten T. All of these involved extensive touching of the screen; in all cases (the e740 included) many screen taps were much better accomplished with the stylus than with a finger. The reason should be pretty obvious: accuracy. The tip of a stylus is perhaps a mm across and fingers are, er, somewhat bigger than this! Tapping links, small icons, menu items is just much easier with a stylus - essentially the stylus is 100% accurate and finger accuracy (at least for me) <<100%. Enter the Treo 600... and the really fantastic job Handspring did with replacing screen tapping (and thus stylus) with the five-way navigator. Still 100% accurate, but now no need to remove the stylus! I don't know if you've ever used a 600 or if your experience would the same as mine if you did, but for me the five-way navigation on the Treo revolutionised the way I used a hand-held device and, however much you might tell me otherwise, I really don't want to give up this functionality.

    FWIW, I think I-Mate (Carrier Devices) have realised the need for one-handed usage in a smartphone and that's why they include a extra buttons on the PDA2K (relative to other PPC devices) to aid in using the device with one hand.

    your post is a proof that you don't know what you are talking about.

    1. there are more than enough dialer designed to help non thumboard PPC PE functioning comfortably with thumb. unless you are some sort of sea mammal, I am pretty sure your thumb is small enough to operate some of those dialer. (how big is your thumb footprint? half inch square? that's how big some of dialer skinable touchpad.
    2. unlike 2k, 2k2SE has more fonts options (ie. the small lines of texts can be mad bigger in the tiny 2.8 inch iJam screen)
    3. there are more than enough skinable fullscreen keypad inputs if you are into that sort of stuff. There is also more than enough t9 type predictive inut to help out messaging.
    4. Treo users don't know jack about PDA input. Trying to describe PPC input to a treo user is trying to describe porsche semi automatic transmission to your grandmother. She thinks the car lightswithc is too complicated.

    revolutionary? oh please... spare me. I bet you think datebk 5.0 is revolutionary too.
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by suskind
    your post is a proof that you don't know what you are talking about.

    1. there are more than enough dialer designed to help non thumboard PPC PE functioning comfortably with thumb. unless you are some sort of sea mammal, I am pretty sure your thumb is small enough to operate some of those dialer. (how big is your thumb footprint? half inch square? that's how big some of dialer skinable touchpad.
    2. unlike 2k, 2k2SE has more fonts options (ie. the small lines of texts can be mad bigger in the tiny 2.8 inch iJam screen)
    3. there are more than enough skinable fullscreen keypad inputs if you are into that sort of stuff. There is also more than enough t9 type predictive inut to help out messaging.
    4. Treo users don't know jack about PDA input. Trying to describe PPC input to a treo user is trying to describe porsche semi automatic transmission to your grandmother. She thinks the car lightswithc is too complicated.

    revolutionary? oh please... spare me. I bet you think datebk 5.0 is revolutionary too.
    suskind, If you look back through this thread you'll see that I asked eight questions of spacehog about using the I-Mate JAM. Since it is your belief that I don't know what I'm talking about, perhaps you'd like to answer them for me? For clarity, here they are again:

    Which of these can be done one handed:

    1) leave one app and launch another?

    2) open the browser, navigate to a link on a page, go to that page?

    3) refresh a web page?

    4) return to a previous web page?

    5) open Pocket Outlook and open the inbox?

    6) open an email message, read it and then close it again?

    7) adjust settings - simple things like screen brightness, ringer and alarm volume?

    8) make a phone call?

    It seems from the tenor of your post (and others that you've made) that you'd rather have an argument than a debate and rather score points than bring clarity, but it also seems that you also have a degree of knowledge of PPC and I for one would be grateful if could address the the questions above and say how each of the actions the questions refer to can be accomplished with one hand. It may be like trying to describe porsche semi-automatic transmission to your grandmother, but go on, have a go. Bear in mind that this thread already has spacehog's replies to these questions so what we (the Treo users who 'don't know jack about PDA input') are looking for is some sort of deeper insight. You've mentioned add-on dialler software, so part of question eight is covered and you might confine yourself to just addressing making a call from the contacts database for that one. Are there add-on apps or features of WM2003 SE that spacehog has overlooked that make 1-7 easier? This is a chance to redeem yourself. *Please* try to be constructive.
    Last edited by MarkC; 11/17/2004 at 09:43 PM.
  20. Iceman6's Avatar
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    #20  
    You think suskind knows the difference between a contribution and a flame? I don't.
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