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DataPilot Universal PRO (iPod/iPhone) review: DataPilot Universal PRO (iPod/iPhone)

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The Good DataPilot offers a lot of useful functions in an intuitive interface. It syncs with Outlook, and you can open multiple functions at once.

The Bad The capability and performance of DataPilot varies sharply by handset. Also, some functions are not available on Macs.

The Bottom Line DataPilot is an effective method for managing content on your cell phone.

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7.3 Overall

When you buy a new cell phone, it's not always easy to move your contacts and calendar from your old handset to your new one. Apple's iPhone made the syncing process easier by using iTunes, but even iTunes leaves an important gap in the process--new iPhone owners still have to get the data off their old handset. Fortunately, that's where cell phone syncing software like Susteen's DataPilot Universal for iPhone comes in.

With only a few clicks, DataPilot helps you remove any contacts, calendar appointments, music, wallpaper, pictures, and movies from your old phone. Then, after you've deposited all that content on a computer for safekeeping, you can transfer them to your shiny new iPhone via iTunes. Though it involves a multistep process, it remains an easy-to-use and functional product. It's not exactly cheap either--$59.95 at Apple stores and it's worth the investment if your soon-to-be-retired handset is loaded with information and media. And in any case, if you just blew $399 on an iPhone, you can afford an extra 60 bucks. The version of the DataPilot that we reviewed came with a USB cable and 10 different connectors. You also can buy a Bluetooth version of the software for $29.95, but naturally, you'll need a computer with Bluetooth to use it.

We tested the DataPilot with a Sony Ericsson W580i, which is just one on a long list of phones that the software supports. Though a Walkman phone cable is not among the 10 connectors that come in the box, you can buy extra connectors for $14.95 each. That's a bit pricey as far as we're concerned, so we just used the generic USB cable that came with our W580i. Of course, DataPilot advises against that, but we used the software without any problems. But if you would rather play by the rules, the included connectors will support a wide variety of LG, Motorola, Samsung, and Sanyo phones. Each connector bears an icon of a different animal so it's easy to tell them apart (though the dragonfly is a bit random). And if you can't find your model on the list, connectors for Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Kyocera Siemens, or RIM are available for the aforementioned $14.95 price. And one more thing, you'll need to check the compatibility list inside the box cover to see how many DataPilot functions your phone can support. For example, while the W580i will do almost everything, the Samsung SGH-D807 (if anyone still has one) will only transfer photos.

Installing DataPilot was painless. After inserting the CD, a series of onscreen prompts directed us through the process. Like other software of this type, it's important that you install the software before connecting your phone. If you do it backward, your computer won't know what to do. After connecting our W580i and installing a series of drivers, our computer recognized our phone, and we were ready to go. Though we tested DataPilot with a PC, it's compatible with Macs as well (minus a couple functions). Also, it syncs with Outlook, Outlook Express, and Palm Desktop.

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