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  1.    #1  
    Good day. I have a somewhat unusual question. I need (more like want) a small, pocket pc device to use in the car. Mostly for GPS, PDA functions, and wifi use when in range of free hot spots. Touchscreen would be a BIG plus.

    Searching for this type of device led me to some fast answers.

    First, there are no PDA's anymore. Not as we know them anyway. HP still makes a couple but they cost more than most smarthphones. All the old Palm devices cost more on eBay than they did new. Besides, they are all worn out now anyway, battery isseus, no wifi, etc.

    Second, if you do find a new "PDA" it is 99.9% certain it is going to have a phone built into it. So you are going to have data plan costs.

    Third, it came to mind that buying an old GSM ATT/Cingular smartphone like the 8525 and putting my SIM card in it would be an easy way to do this. It is a device that will work without a SIM but they go fast on the bay and sometimes for a bit too much money for condition. In addition, even though these are old and way past their subsidised costs for ATT, they will still add a data plan to you account for using it even with your voice only plan SIM.

    I started thinking that maybe an old, deactivated smartphone like a Treo 800w would suffice for my use. They have wifi, GPS, touchscreen, etc. And you can buy them all over eBay for next to nothing. So, the question is, will they turn on, and let you access the PIM, GPS, and wifi functions WITHOUT service provision from Sprint? This would be a separate stand alone device for PDA use.

    I know it sounds odd to do this but there really is nothing out there that serves as a PDA except for these smartphones. Shame to see the old ones gathering dust. Do you think this would work? I guess I am asking if anyone has tried to do this with a deactivated 800w?
    Last edited by Phog Allen; 07/26/2010 at 06:44 AM.
  2. #2  
    Phog, using an unused smartphone as a PDA is a great idea. The Treo 800w can do most of want you want it to do with one notable exception. You will be able to use it for Outlook Mobile, Office Mobile, as a browser with wifi, and practically any 3rd party application.

    The exception has to do with GPS. The 800w uses Assisted GPS (AGPS). That means it has to have a connection to a Sprint cell tower for the device to utilize the GPS function. Without a Sprint account you won't be able to connect to Sprint's network, so the AGPS won't work. I have a deactivated
    800w and I can verify GPS doesn't work. Sorry.
    Sharp Zaurus 5700/5800 > Rex 5000/6000 > HP Jornada 568 > Kyo 7135 > T-Mo MDA (Wizard) > iPaq 6945 > Treo 800w > Acer F900 > T-Mo HD2
  3.    #3  
    Thank you very much for your reply. I wondered about some of those functions. Our U.S. wireless carriers are pretty greedy about some of that. I may just go ahead and get one of these and see if there is some jailbreak software out there somewhere to unlock the gps feature. You know, with the way the carriers are charging for data plans even if you don't use them, we may yet see small, wifi connected handsets with voip features in the near future. Uh...wouldn't that be a PDA? LOL
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by Phog Allen View Post
    Thank you very much for your reply. I wondered about some of those functions. Our U.S. wireless carriers are pretty greedy about some of that. I may just go ahead and get one of these and see if there is some jailbreak software out there somewhere to unlock the gps feature. You know, with the way the carriers are charging for data plans even if you don't use them, we may yet see small, wifi connected handsets with voip features in the near future. Uh...wouldn't that be a PDA? LOL


    i doubt theres a way to "unlock" the feature..but what u can do is get a bluetooth external gps device..holux makes a great one. i had a holux gps receiver and BT'ed to my old pda. had tomtom map system..theres so many map systems out now for PDA. dont require net but do require 2+gb for map space. gps reciver was like 25 bucks if that anymore and the gps software...well u can find some "free" aka serials online for great map programs.

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