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  1.    #1  
    Yes, yes... envy me, I was at CES this year. I went mainly looking for whole-house video solutions and smartphones. On the former, I was not disappointed at all. On the latter, somewhat, but my experience in more detail...

    I've been looking for a good Palm-based smartphone for a long time now. The contenders are:

    1) Treo 600
    2) Kyocera 7135
    3) Samsung i500
    4) GSM phone + Sony UX50

    Thus, I made sure to hit all of these booths at CES. First up, PalmOne.

    1) PalmOne Booth

    INEXPLICABLY ABSENT?!?! WTF?! They had a booth setup in the South hall next to Spring according to the guide, but when we get there... Targus??? Ask around, and we're told that they're just "not there" and nobody knows why. Went to their private meeting rooms and noone there either. WHY ON EARTH was PalmOne not there? That really concerns me. The Treo600 is great, but if they're not at CES, it may indicate fundamental problems with the company.

    Fortunately, I got to play with a Sprint T600 in the Sprint booth. Not tremendously different from my GSM version... in fact, I didn't even notice the significant speed difference browsing that most people tout, but maybe I'm just unobservant.

    2) Kyocera 7135

    Ok, not bad. I'm kinda partial to it because it works on Verizon (my current carrier). But, this thing is one big mamma-jamma. I had read in the forums it was largish, and it is. Everything about it seemed fairly nice, but I wasn't able to test the wireless (What's your problem Kyocera... it's CES for goodness sake!) so my playing was fairly limited. Initial impression: too big, no keyboard are deal-breakers.

    Btw, for those of you waiting for the next Kyocera palm phone, the guy at the booth said the 7135 would carry them at least into the first quarter of 2005. Great.

    3) Samsung i500

    Ok, the form factor on this phone IS all it's cracked up to be. Clamshell design is VERY small and comfortable. But again, not able to test wireless?! And the Sprint booth was about 100 ft away (and trust me they had repeaters there).

    This phone felt very nice, had a fairly bright screen, and was generally pleasant. However, navigation requires a stylus, and of course, there's no keyboard. Having played with a GSM Treo 600 for short while, I've already become dependent on those two things.

    I would definitely buy this before the 7135, but not before the Treo.

    4) Sony UX50

    Ok, this thing is slicker than slick. Browsing on it is a 100% positive experience. The keyboard is functional, but the keys are somewhat more difficult to press than the Treos (I think because they're so flat). It's fast, it's SMALL, it's pretty, and it works very well.

    Downside for me is that puts me back using two devices, which after using the Treo, I don't think I can do. YES, browsing on the Treo is a compromise compared to the UX50, YES the UX50 does video tremendously well, and YES the UX50 is Wifi capable, etc etc. But, in my case, I'd rather compromise on those things to have one device than carry two devices. If you don't mind two devices, I can't imagine buying anything but the UX50 (for Palm users).

    Btw, I was NOT able to get bluetooth working with my friends GSM phone. Even the guy working the booth couldn't do it, simply saying that their software wizard on the host PC made it "really easy" so he never bothered to do it manually. I'm sure it was something simple we were missing, but Sony should really have made it easier to do on the unit itself, without software helpers. (FWIW, I'm a network engineer who has configured everything from Class 4 tandem phone switches to Cisco 7000s, so I do have a modicum of clue :-)

    As for my disappointment on smartphones, I really thought I'd see some next generation stuff. There were 0! Not one company was touting their next phone... only what they already had. Still, I got to lay hands on a bunch of phones I wouldn't normally have gotten to play with. But for any of you expecting news about the next great phone at CES, I can only say I share your pain.

    Ok, that's it... thanks for hanging in there this long. Hope this helps someone...

  2. #2  
    Thanks, sysvr4!

    Now, care to share some info about whole-house video solutions that you liked?
  3. #3  
    Not surprised. Just prior to the release of the original Treo, they had a meeting room in the balcony of the main hall. While walking the floor on a Saturday afternoon (the first time I was able to escape from the booth), I made a bee-line to the HS room to fondle the Treo. The room was empty, as if they cleared out in the middle of the night.

    A Treo was in a display case in the the main hallway along with other new gadgets.

    They don't seem to see CES as an important venue for this product.
    Volvo-driving, Sushi-eating, Latte-sipping Liberals Against Stereotypes.
  4.    #4  
    Well, it's way OT, but since you asked

    My favorite so far is the Denon. It will stream audio and video from an ethernet connected PC (network). You can see more about it on

    Samsung has one coming out that's a DVR, and mp3 player, etc. You can add movies to it from a network PC, but can't remove movies to a PC from it.

    Panasonic has their new Lifestyle server coming out. It does whole-house video and security. This one looks very promising.

    And, God help me, the Microsoft media server looked pretty nice. Despite my seething dislike for them, if they make it work better than all these others, I may just give it a go.

    Hope this helps

  5. #5  
    This post is extremely helpful.

    I've had my eye on the UX50 since its release and the only thing that has me not pull out the plastic on it is the need to carry a cell phone still (at least not for the price that it is). But I agree, I've played with it at a local CompUSA and damn if I can't keep my hands off that thing...ahem.

    Anyway, the Treo 600 is definitely a contender for my money (already ordered with Amazon, but its still being processed) - but your posting seem to hit my findings right on the head.

    Maybe someday Sony & Ericsson will release a UX60 (or some version of the UX50 that also has cell phone functionality) - and we can finally have an all-in-one unit.
  6. z3bum's Avatar
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    I normally don't pan devices, but I have to say that compared to the Treo 600 the Kyocera 7135 has alot of issues. The glaring on right now is battery life, which is short and sporadic, and, Verizon just pulled them off the shelves because of this! I fielded six 7135's in a client's office, and have been disappointed with their speed, expansion, battery life and use of a good browser/email. The unit comes with Qualcomms Eudora Internet Suite (Huh??? This got old two years ago, doesn't even support color!) OS 4, what's up with that? I gotta admit, the Treo 600 rocks, but my clients need Verizon... their solution? Return the 7135s and get the new Samsung I600 Smartphones (We hae Exchange 2003, so wireless synching!) Wish us luck!
  7. #7  
    There is no comparison between an OS5 smartphone (such as the Treo600) to an OS4 smartphone. (7135 and i500). Unless you only use them as a ordinarycellphone the Treo blows them away in every respect. You would have to be completely unfamiliar with Palm devices to make such a comparison.

    My .02

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