Stephanie: “Based on your experiment, can you provide an overall analysis of the rating for each device? I’m considering purchasing a smartphone within the next couple of months and would like your thoughts on the best model out there. Note: I do have Cingular phone service, so I’d need a smartphone that is compatible with Cingular service. Also, I very much want to use the Windows mobile operating system, so that I can sync my calendar, contacts, and appointments with my computer at work. I don’t need any fluff (MP3, camera, other special applications) – I just need the nuts and bolts. Thank you!”
Recommendations to Stepanie:
a) If you are planning on sticking to Cingular, and your main interest is the calendar, contacts, and appointments, I would say the Cingular 3125 or BlackJack would do the job well. They use Windows Mobile and they are small phones that you can easily carry with you everywhere.
b) The Cingular 3125 doesn't have a QWERTY keyboard (it is a flip-phone). The BlackJack does have a full QWERTY keyboard. But from your description, it doesn't seem that you are going to be doing lots of typing, so this may not be an issue for you.
c) Both of these smartphones offer full multi-media capabilities that you don’t need. But these are not in the way, and you can just ignore them (one day though, when you unexpectedly need to capture the moment, and the camera may come in handy, and then one thing leads to another and you find yourself watching TV on the little screen, who knows!).
d) If you are not in a hurry to make a selection (you said a couple of months), there is another device that you might want to consider when it becomes available. That is the BlackBerry Pearl from Cingular (no official date has been announced but rumor has it that it is coming soon). Currently it is only available from T-Mobile. It is not a Windows Mobile device, but it is fully compatible with Windows, and can sync extremely well with Outlook.
e) Finally, in terms of ranking the devices, this is what I will be doing over the next few weeks, so stay tuned and please visit the 81-day-experiment blog often to see more details (http://81dayexperiment.typepad.com/)
f) By the way, we also offer a PDF that provides a methodology for comparing devices if you are interested in more details. You can order it online at https://www.people-onthego.com/Online_Trn_OD_Handheld_TestDrive.html This will also be updated in the next few weeks to cover all the devices I used in the 81-day-experiment.