Phones forum


A smartphone for word processing?

by Computer-Gary / August 22, 2011 1:30 AM PDT

I have no idea if this is the right forum for my question, forgive me if I'm in the wrong place (and please direct me to the right place).

Back in the day, I used to have a Sharp Wizard electronic organizer which I used for writing down ideas, taking notes, that kind of thing. I'd like to get something similar that's pocket-sized, with a QWERTY keyboard, and either a USB connection or an SD memory card slot so that I can transfer what I write directly to my regular computer without having to re-type everything.

This would be something that I'd be carrying with me and using on public transportation, so I don't want a netbook or anything like that because it would be too large.

I'm not looking for fancy formatting or anything like that - just something simple that I can input plain text on, be able to save it, and then easily transfer it to a computer.

A friend suggested maybe a Blackberry, or an Android or something like that. I know absolutely nothing about smartphones - my current cell phone is a Samsung T239, which I'm very happy with, so I'd be using this other device exclusively for word processing.

Thanks for your help.

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All Answers

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I don't think you will be happy....
by birdmantd Forum moderator / August 22, 2011 2:01 AM PDT

...using a smartphone as a word processor. The devices with a physical keyboard or those with virtual (touch sensitive) are rather small and cramped. Most current smartphones use a Micro SD card that can be used on a regular PC with and adapter.

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Take a test drive of the black berry.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 22, 2011 4:43 AM PDT

Many folk type longish texts on that but I'd defer to pen and paper for my stuff unless it's some email.

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Plenty of options for editing quick MS Word docs, etc.
by Pepe7 / August 23, 2011 12:35 AM PDT

If you don't mind being limited to very basic document/spreadsheet creation features, there are certainly options for blackberry that would suffice. It's an easy transfer to the office PC, spare some of the syncing options available to your wirelessly, depending on which platform you ended up with. Personally, I'd chose a smartphone with a larger screen if possible.

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More info on what I'm looking for, and a related question
by Computer-Gary / August 23, 2011 6:55 AM PDT

Thanks for your comments, everybody!

I'm not looking for anything fancy when it comes to word processing formatting features and such - just the basics, and the ability to cut and paste. I just want to be able to get my ideas and thoughts down on paper - or pixels, as it were. And while I could use good ol' pen and paper, I don't like writing by hand - and even if I did, the various bumps and grinds NYC buses and trains go through don't make it easy to write legibly. Typing works for me, I can worry about formatting later when I've got the stuff copied into a nice Word Perfect document.

Another question I came up with, related to the matter at hand. I only want to use this device for word processing. I do not want to use it as a phone. Would I still have to sign up for some kind of service plan in order to use whatever device I select? Or, once I buy it, am I good to go?

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I have this old BB World Edition phone.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 23, 2011 7:05 AM PDT
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In that case, I would consider skipping a phone
by Pepe7 / August 23, 2011 2:11 PM PDT

Since the phone's make worse document editors/creators, I would skip it entirely unless you can find a really cheap blackberry (~$30 on craigslist, etc.). If you do buy a new smartphone from a carrier, you would be forced to activate it with a plan to get the subsidized price.
FWIW, $150-200 gets you an iPod Touch that is a wonderful little device that would allow you to do more than document editing. I could even show you how to configure it to be used as a free VoIP phone (over wifi) using the free app Talkatone, in combination w/ Google Voice. Free SMS this way as well. The Quickoffice app would also be available for the iPod Touch. Only drawback is lack of keyboard, but now I find it just as easy (after some practice) to type w/o a physical keyboard.

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I keep forgetting the iPod Touch.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 23, 2011 2:15 PM PDT

Great little machine.

There are some smaller Android units in the same size? Archos?

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try Nokia
by porsche10x / August 27, 2011 1:57 AM PDT

No personal experience, but I have seen a number of poor reviews of a lot of Archos products. I'm very happy with my Nokia N800. It's getting a bit long in the tooth now, but it's predecessor came out, I dunno, years before the iTouch, and, at the time, outperformed the iTouch in every way, features, speed, compatibility, flash, etc. The N800 has a software-only keyboard. The newer N810 has a fairly large and useable slide-out keyboard which would work well for simple, on-the-fly word processing. The linux-like OS is more PC-like than a phone which would be welcome for such applications.

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Taking off my hat.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 27, 2011 2:22 AM PDT
In reply to: try Nokia

I worry that the MSFT NOK marriage is distorting NOK's products. We'll see in a year or two how it works out.

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by Fi0S-Dave / August 26, 2011 1:11 PM PDT

If you get a Smartphone running Windows Phone 7, and an external Mini USB keyboard (they run around $20), you might have the best of both worlds. Yo can then send your document to Skydrive,
OneNote (for collaboration) or as an e-mail attachment, back to yourself, where you can retrieve it at home. WP7 offers much flexibility. Just make sure that the 'phone you get will recognize the external keyboard. My external keyboard is a bit smaller than the 'phone I am using (a Samsung Focus.)
The keyboard is made in China (of course!) and there is no name on it! A Bing search for "Mini USB Keyboard" should turn one up.


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Yes, but re-read the OP's comments
by Pepe7 / August 27, 2011 4:03 PM PDT
In reply to: WP7

He doesn't want a cellular provider, let alone a data plan. Sort of puts the kabosh on either One Note/emaling documents to an email address, or many of the marketed features of W7 for that matter.

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by Fi0S-Dave / August 28, 2011 4:10 AM PDT

Sorry, I didn't catch his second comment, I replied to his first post, which hadn't mentioned not wanting a phone!
In any event, my comment might still be helpful to others.

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Actually, I did mention not wanting a phone in my first post
by Computer-Gary / August 28, 2011 12:45 PM PDT
In reply to: Re-Read


Actually, I did mention not wanting a phone in my first post. At the very end, I said: "my current cell phone is a Samsung T239, which I'm very happy with, so I'd be using this other device exclusively for word processing."


Thanks for your replies. As I read them, I realize that I can (hopefully) make myself even more clear as to what I'm looking for, and in doing so I hope I'm not driving you guys crazy with my re-defining or whatever. The thing is that I know what I have in mind, but it's my responsibility to communicate those needs as best as I can in order to enable you to help me.

And now that I've read your responses and recommendations, I've become aware that I may have asked for too much in asking about a "word processing" smartphone. I guess the function I've been thinking of is more like a "notepad" or "wordpad," than an actual word processor. Something simple, with a USB port that would allow me to transfer my text to a "real" computer without having to re-type.

Thanks again for your help and advice! Happy

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