Today is the last day for the Cingular 3125 smartphone before I move to the next device (8 down and 1 to go). I spent some time at this café in San Francisco using the Cingular 3125 as a modem for my laptop. It was actually a pleasant experience and I was able to get quite a bit accomplished. Of course, I had to exercise some “patience”--waiting sometimes for a few seconds for a page to load or an e-mail to be sent. But knowing that I have already set my expectations that speed would be marginal, it was not a problem and I was a happy user.
So what about the Cingular 3125 smartphone?
This is a tiny but mighty device. Don’t let the “innocent” flip phone look deceive you. This phone is quite capable and in many ways as capable as the heavy weights I used previously in the 81-day-experiment except for two areas where the trade-offs has been made (see the trade-offs described below).
In some ways, I found the Cingular 3125 to be superior to the other Windows Mobile devices I used earlier in the 81-day-experiment. I found the navigation and overall usability to be easier and far more streamlined than what I experienced with the Treo 700w and T-Mobile MDA. In addition the device seems more stable and faster when switching between applications or screens.
First: the lack of full QWERTY keyboard, but this is what makes the Cingular 3125 unique and appealing (its size and elegance which are hard to bring about when you have a full QWERTY keyboard in your hands).
Second: the lack of document editing capabilities, which you may not care about anyway, but if you do, then it is something to consider.
So which category does the Cingular 3125 belong to?
The Cingular network, and the speed
With the Cingular network, the 3125 smartphone can cross oceans with you and remain functional. It can keep you connected with the world at large. Can you imagine sitting on your balcony in the Alps, looking at the beautiful mountain tops, and if/when necessary, and you just hook up your smartphone to your laptop, and you’re instantly in touch with the world. Obviously you would rather be skiing or hiking instead of connecting to the Internet, but why not have the ability to do both if you choose to?
I had that experience recently with the T-Mobile MDA and BlackBerry 8700g. You can see my observations and some pictures relating to this overseas trip and how the devices performed on this trip (refer to the earlier days of the 81-day-experiment, starting on Setpember 25 and until October 8, 2006). I would not have been able to stay connected if I was using the Verizon or Sprint networks. Something to consider if international travel is in the horizon for you.
Now talking about speed, while the EDGE network is not yet up to par with the EVDO speed provided by Verizon and Sprint, the speed is still satisfactory and some time next year you are likely to see the EVDO kind of speed from Cingular and T-Mobile (using the UMTS network). But for now, the EDGE speed remains a not-so-strong point for Cingular and T-Mobile devices.
So how does the Cingular 3125 compare with the BlackBerry Pearl?
I will leave this discussion untill later in the experiment. I would say however that the two will be competing for the best “business & social” device award, or something along these lines.
Tomorrow will bring a new device! Another new device on the market, and one that is promised to be yet another winner. We will see how this turns out.