Phones forum


Smartphone in place of new PDA?

by work4fish / July 14, 2011 4:12 AM PDT

I'm not a PDA user, but I've been tasked with replacing our old PDAs at work which are used for data entry into MS Excel spreadsheets out in the field. From what I understand, I can purchase an unlocked smartphone and use it as a fancy PDA. Is that right? Do most smartphones now adays have the capability to read/write/save to MS docs that can be uploaded to a PC? If not, does anyone have any suggestions for a rugged smartphone that can accomplish this simple task?

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All Answers

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The only RUGGED units I know of
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 14, 2011 11:16 AM PDT
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That's the tablet. Google this for others.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 14, 2011 12:10 PM PDT

As these tough devices are not at Best Buy you have to break down the doors of makers to get the units at times.


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Tablets aren't practical...
by work4fish / July 15, 2011 3:38 AM PDT

Unfortunately, the type of work being done in the field does not lend itself to carrying around a tablet for data entry. The device must be small enough to fit in a shirt/jacket pocket and not hinder the worker's movements while the work is being conducted. Now I've run in to an additional problem of our fiscal dept not letting us purchase an unlocked "cell phone" for data collection, so it's back to researching PDAs.

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 15, 2011 3:46 AM PDT

I lead with the tough tablet then noted my error and equipped YOU to do the work.

MOTOROLA has these but you will NEVER find them in stores.

Does that clear it up?

Me? I'm porting from PalmOS and WinMo to Android and we use phones, pda and tablets. We have seen the tough units but the client always backed out of going with the tough units. You may discover why on your own but it was always the price from what I was told.

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Configure your own...
by John.Wilkinson / July 17, 2011 8:14 AM PDT

Buy an off-the-shelf model and protect it with a ruggedized case. OtterBox is one of the most popular manufacturers of such, though you'll need to look for a higher-end provider if you need waterproof and crush-proof cases.

To answer your other questions:
1.) Yes, an unlocked smartphone can function as a PDA. In fact, the smartphone need not even be unlocked in most cases - just purchased off-contract. (Unlocking would let you use it on a competitor's cell network.)
2.) Windows Phone 7 phones have native support for Microsoft Office documents. Android, iOS, et cetera devices generally require purchase of third-party software in the $30+ range.

Hope this helps,

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(NT) I agree, they Otter listen to this.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 17, 2011 1:57 PM PDT
In reply to: Configure your own...
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The Samsung Galaxy Note is coming out real soon.
by slims1179 / October 20, 2011 5:39 AM PDT

If you can wait for a REAL smartphone that is like a PDA, tablet and smartphone all-in-one then the Samsung Galaxy Note is the phone your looking for, but the bad thing is that your gonna have to wait until its released in the UK in Nov. 2011 and early next year for the US release. If your looking for more info, you can find it here:

Hope this helps!

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Can you test to see if they resolved the issues?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 20, 2011 5:43 AM PDT
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by asawa0220 / October 23, 2011 10:35 AM PDT

Any Android smartphone is able to edit MS docs with the use of some apps on the market. Or google docs. The trick should be in getting a phone with a screen with decent size and a nice strong case for it. ill edit this post later and put some useful links with some more specific ideas.

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