Why is it all of the phones I am interested aren’t carrier subsidized? HTC unveiled the S743 at CES. This phone is pretty much everything I want in a phone:
- Windows Mobile Standard
- Slide out QWERTY keyboard
- WiFi and GPS
- Numeric Keypad
It’s a phone first, PDA / email device second which is exactly what I want. I really wish AT&T would pick this device up. Looks like it will be north of $600 unsubsidized at Best Buy, CDW, etc. Bleh. I like this phone better than the Xperia X1 I have had my eyes on for a while.
After almost two weeks of use, I am sending the AT&T Tilt back to our AT&T Account Rep who I had borrowed it from. Much to my surprise, I really didn’t like the phone. While I really like the slide out keyboard and even though the phone is on the heavy side, ultimately it was Windows Mobile Pro that turned me off. I also could not get my Jawbone headset to pair with it, not sure why that was an issue since I haven’t had a problem with it pairing with two or three other phones.
IMNSHO Window Mobile Pro really is a PDA first, mobile phone second usage model. It is simply too hard to use with one hand to make it a viable solution for me. I actually have reverted back to my old standby AudioVox SMT5600 which, while an ancient phone, simply works. It is showing it’s age though, some of the buttons are getting a little stickly. I hope the Touch Flow interface which HTC has on their newer phones addresses this problem.
One of the features which I really like about Windows Mobile Standard is the ability to quickly find a contact simply by starting to enter a name or phone number. The possible choices are quickly narrowed down and it is easy to dial the default contact number or show all of the numbers and select one. This same usage model is a PITA with Windows Mobile Pro and with the Tilt, really requires using the stylus unless you have a long fingernail to use instead.
It seems like most of the new Windows Mobile phones are based on the Pro version instead of the Standard version. I’d love a phone like the HTC S740 but it doesn’t appear that AT&T will offer it. I am trying to keep my options open by getting my Pantech Duo repaired but it has been several weeks since I sent it to RMS Logistics and I haven’t heard a peep out of the repair center. Guess I ought to check into that.
For the past 4-5 days I have been playing with an AT&T 8925 Tilt (AT&T’s version of the HTC’s TyYN II). I am a big fan of Windows Mobile phones, I have been using one for years and I love the way Windows Mobile simply syncs to Outlook. My life is in Outlook so getting a phone to sync with Outlook is very important to me. Windows Mobile does it very well.
There are two versions of Windows Mobile right now – Standard and Pro which are also known as the Touchscreen and non-Touchscreen versions. This Tilt has WinMoPro 6 on it – I haven’t upgraded it to 6.1 because it isn’t mine, I need to return it. It belongs to the AT&T rep who calls on my employer. I had asked her if it was ok if I updated it to 6.1 and yesterday she sent me an e-mail telling me to go ahead so I will probably do that later today.
The Touchscreen version is much different than the non-Touchscreen version and I don’t think it is better. Years ago I had an iPAQ and the Tilt feels much more like an PDA first, phone second where as devices running the non-Touchscreen version feel like phones first, PDAs second. While it is much easier to work with the calendar and contacts, it is much harder to use as a phone. In fact, it is clunky. It would be nice to try the TouchFlo interface HTC is known for but it isn’t included on the AT&T version of the phone so no luck there.
I have actually sent my Pantech Duo in for repair after using this phone – the Pantech Duo runs WinMoStd (non-Touchscreen) and it just much easier to use. AT&T’s WindowsMobile roadmap doesn’t seem to have much on it although a guy at the local store told me they were getting a new HTC device in November.
I could get an iPhone through work but after playing with a co-workers, I am not sold on it. The iPhone has the same issue I have with the Tilt – I don’t like using the touchscreen. On an I phone I probably hit the delete key once for every two letters I type. If an iPhone had a slide out keyboard like the Tilt has, I’d be all over that.
I am taking the Tilt to Europe with me next week – using it for a few days while traveling will be a real test. After that it goes back to our AT&T rep and hopefully my Pantech Duo will be back by then. I am kicking myself for not sending it in earlier. Not sure why it didn’t occur to me to look into a repair. I was hoping new phones, in particular the Sony-Ericsson Xperia X1, would be out by now but there isn’t anything, at least from AT&T, on the near horizon I am excited about.