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Desperate for help in choosing a smartphone

by shawnfrazier / March 12, 2008 10:55 AM PDT

I'm very tempted to buy an Ipod Touch for use as a PDA and stick w/ my current regular cell phone but I'm now leaning towards getting a smart phone. I don't know anyone currently using a smart phone so I haven't had a chance to get an idea for the 'feel' of one but I do know exactly what I want to get out of one.

Here are the features I want and any input you may have is very appreciated!

-Web browsing: WiFi is good but I live in an area where it's spotty at best so some broad band is probably called for.

-Verizon Wireless: For the simple fact that I still have a year left on my contract and my employer offers a discount. "IF" a phone is out there that is absolutely perfect I would consider paying the early termination fees.

-E-Mail: Need to be able to check in real time.

-PIM: I live and die by my electronic PDA calendar. I use Google calendar alot but also need to be able to keep an off-line record. Also I would like to have a contact manager program that allows seperate fields for first and last names (small point but very irksome when you don't have it)

- Syncing: Must be able to sync PIM w/ desktop (Windows Vista 32bit Premium edition)

-Screen size: Bigger is better

These are the main features I'm looking for. Here are some that I'm looking at:
Samsung I760 - seems very nice and offered by VZW.

Blackberry - good industry standard, offered by VZW but I've never seen the OS or User Interface.

LG Voyager - not a smart phone but cheaper, nice interface but unsure of PIM and Web browsing.

Iphone - if, *IF* it really is all that good may be worth paying VZW early termination fee. (would have to be spectacular)

Any ideas?

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re: Desperate for help in choosing a smartphone
by slack184 / March 12, 2008 10:41 PM PDT

If you want real time email, don't go with the voyager. As far as I know, you can only sync to one email account and it only offers verizon's basic calender that you get on any normal cell phone. It won't sync with google calender, outlook, or any other desktop app.

As for the iphone, my wife's company uses them as a corporate phone and she absolutely despises it. She has said that as far as a multimedia phone goes, it's fantastic. However, when it comes to business oriented work, it's not that great. No real keypad makes it difficult to reply to emails. When we're together and she gets emails, she'll actually forward them to my phone to reply. Also, AT&T's edge network is a lot slower than verizon's EVDO so the download speeds are pretty slow when she's not in a hot spot.

I don't really know that much about blackberries since I've never used one. All the people I know who have one absolutely love them though (they aren't called crack-berries for nothing).

I was faced with the same decision a couple of months ago when upgrading from a treo 700P. I ended up deciding on the xv6800 over the I760 mainly b/c the XV has a better camera and is a little smaller (fits in my pocket pretty well). They both have the same size screen and run windows mobile 6 professional which should have no problem syncing w/ your Vista.

Other phones you might want to check out are the Sprint Mogul and the AT&T Tilt if you're considering leaving verizon.

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The samsung I760 is looking better and bgetter...
by shawnfrazier / March 12, 2008 11:05 PM PDT

Thanks for the input, I didn't know about the limits on the voyager, especially the calendar/e-mail limits, those 2 are deal killers right there.

I really like what I'm seeing in the I760, I guess my next step will be to go to a store and compare it to a blackberry so I can get a feel, those are my top two choices right now.

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xv6800 vs Blackberry
by MissMoy / March 18, 2008 4:39 PM PDT

I have both devices and would say they are both only ok. I too keep Verizon because I think the service is more reliable for the area I am in and I get an employer discount. The Blackberry was issued through work and the XV6800 is for personal use. I absolutely love the web access and speed on the 6800. The contacts have more options than I could have ever thought of for categorizing people. I like how easy it is to turn on the bluetooth and up the volume. I also like the options for the home page. I keep "agenda" view up and find it very handy.
The only thing I havent been able to figure out is how to use the keyboard when I am typing on a website. IE: Yahoo To Go! I am forced to use the stylus for typing. I cant figure out what the problem is and neither can anyone I know. The clarity is great for applications and web, but I think the pictures are horrible. I used to have a Treo 700P and a 650P, and the pictures seemed a lot more clear and bright. I find the scroll on the BB annoying sometimes as if you are scrolling too hard and actually press down, then you will be taken to a function. (like opening an email) That's not an issue on the 6800. I prefer texting on the Blackberry, the buttons are well spaced and easy to hit. I hate it on the 6800. You have this nice slide keyboard, but the buttons are so flat and close together that you rarely hit the right one. It's extremely frustrating. I send quite lengthy emails sometimes from my smart-phone and really need a good keyboard, and the 6800 doesn't cut it. I will get a different phone when my contract is up simply because of that. Another little annoyance is that the voice tag button is right on the side of the phone and I always hit that thing. I'm sure reassigning it to something less irritating would help, but the button would still be in the way. The BB seems to be well suited for right handed users and the 6800 seems to be better for lefties.
Both phones can receive emails from multiple sources (accounts) which I find handy as well. The bigger screen on the BB makes reading emails a little easier. The Blackberry seems to be a little lighter, but the XV fits nicely in a pocket. I havent been able to find a sleeve for the 6800 that allows for the sliding of the keyboard. Most have to be flipped open first. Another small irritant. I also want to point out that both phones seem to take a beating pretty well. I was concerned about the 6800 being sensitive to my lack of proper care, but it has been just fine. I have dropped that thing on cement, tile, mud, you name it and once I pop the battery back in, it starts up just fine. It only has a little ding in the casing. The battery cover is difficult to remove and put back on, but hopefully you wont to do that very often!

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xv6800vs Samsung i760
by maynardjw / March 22, 2008 3:10 AM PDT
In reply to: xv6800 vs Blackberry

I was a Blackberry user for several years and liked the benifits of it. I went to the xv6800 because it looked great in the Verizon showroom. Dont waste your time with it. Great for emails but lousy with everything else. Everytime you pick it up the screen switches and makes annoying sounds. If you fart it turns itself on! Way too sensitive.
I sent the xv6800 back and got the Samsung i760. Great move. Love almost everything about it. I've been using it for a few months and have no complaints other than battery life. (It comes with two, one HD)

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Update: Decided to get Samsung I760
by shawnfrazier / March 25, 2008 4:00 AM PDT
In reply to: xv6800vs Samsung i760

Thanks everyone for your input! I finally made a decision and went and got a Samsung I760 last weekend.

Here are my initial thoughts on it - keep in mind this is my first smartphone and I've only had it a week.

First impression: this is a wonderful device. It has everything I could want in a smartphone. Layout of buttons is nice, features are great. Since my contract wasn't up yet I ended up paying the full price but I think it's worth it.

The only 2 things I would change are:
-I would make it a clam shell design w/ a bigger screen when opened up. (this is probably just me - but I like haveing 2 screens)

-I would make the volume control an actual button or wheel rather then an option on the touch screen.

All in all I would definitely recommend this phone for anyone looking for a great smartphone.

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Fix for XV6800 keyboard not working w/Yahoo 2 Go, LiveSearch
by jimbogreene / March 25, 2008 6:53 AM PDT
In reply to: xv6800 vs Blackberry
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response
by silverbullet76 / April 11, 2008 6:43 PM PDT

I have T-Mobile, Blackberry Pearl, and my email works great. Don't get caught up in download/upload speed. Just how damn fast do people think they are gonna get. It a phone first, remember that. Phones like Blackberrys seem to have the best results in my opinion. Windows 6.0 phones seem to crap up, and you have to remember to close every dang application. reminds me of cleaning up after my little brother. Stick with the Blackberry. Or if you are going to go Windows 6.0, go with HTC products. Taiwan's High Tech Computer makes some cool toys. VZW doesn't usually screw with smartphone interfaces, and they don't cripple software features by trying to make sure everything you do is VZW. That would defeat the purpose of a smartphone. Don't mess with the IPhone. Neat toy, but FRAGILE. Blackberrys and HTC's are Tonka Tuff. Plus, you can accessorize the hell out of Blackberrys. RIM has a ton of stuff out there. Read CNET and Phonescoop reviews first, then ask around.

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Had both i760 and BB
by jtfoto / April 13, 2008 12:27 AM PDT
In reply to: response

I went through literally EVERY PDA phone Verizon has. You know that little "30 days" no questions asked thing they promote? Well, I used every one of their phones for 30 days until I found the true winner. I liked the BB world, but in the end the Samsung i760 was by far the best.

I've had it since the day they released it. I've dropped it, kicked it, sat on it and abused it. Still works great. For me though, the absolute best feature is the fact you can get emial and use the web WITHOUT buying a data package. You can simply access through any wireless hotspot. Won't cost you a dime extra. I have mine set up so it ONLY connects via wi-fi hotspots so there is never a data fee.

As for Windows Mobil 6.0, works great. Mine never locks up.

As for typing: I have somewhat big fingers, and tying on the BB was difficult at best. With the neat little slide-out keyboard even I can type fast on the i760.

Anyhow, like I said, I used every one of them, and I stuck with the i760. As with any PDA Phone, there are a few things I wish I could change, but this had the fewest flaws.

(Only downside is syncing it with a Mac....you can't. But I found a "workaround" for it Happy

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Completely agree about the Samsung I760 - best PDA/phone
by shawnfrazier / April 13, 2008 4:40 AM PDT
In reply to: Had both i760 and BB

I decided on the Samsung I760 and it is beyond a doubt the best pda/cell phone device I've ever used.

To correct something I said earlier in this post, I found a hard volume button about 2 minutes after I posted that it was missing one >.<, shouldn't have been too hasty to review and spent more time examining my phone.

I love the tough construction, the button layouts, features, and I haven't had any problems w/ Windows Mobile 6.0 so far.

There is only 1 thing I would make different but it is a minor thing with this phone. I would make it a clam shell design and have it open up to a little bigger screen. This has nothing to do with the functionality of it, I'm just paranoid of scratching the one screen it has. I'm very hard on phones and having a scratched screen is a pet peeve of mine, although this device is very, very solidly built - enough to get me to try it when usually a single screen is an automatic deal-breaker w/ me.

All in all, I would suggest this phone to anyone in the market for a smart phone.

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