Windows Phone Thoughts: We Are Gathered Here Today...

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

We Are Gathered Here Today...

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 10:30 PM

The first feature I would like to talk about is one that I never in a million years would have considered a "feature" of Windows Mobile - Smartdial. This is one of those features that you think is really cool when you see it demoed or use it for the first time, but you never really pay any attention to how useful it is until it is gone. I'm just so use to picking up my phone and dialing a few letters of the name or phone number and getting a list of what I wanted that now that this one tiny little basic feature is gone I literally find myself getting annoyed and frustrated every time I have to dial a new number.

Next on my list of features I am on the verge of tears for not having is Internet Connection Sharing. If I have my laptop with me, it has just become second nature to plug in my data cable and use my handset as a modem. In most cases I find this to be distinctly faster if I want to do some quick browsing or I'm trying to find directions to a restaurant or want to write an email that is more than one sentence. Even with a QWERTY keypad, inputting more than a casual amount of data on any mobile device I have ever used is just too time consuming. I would rather have the option of using a much larger screen if given the chance and my Windows Mobile device via ICS has always given me the chance.

There are more features but out of all of them these features are surprisingly the two features I miss the most not having. Missing out on my contacts and email is annoying but while in town and out and about during work hours, there is a fair chance I will have my laptop with me and you can't spit in Portland without running into an open Wi-Fi network somewhere.

The only downside is now I have to get a new device and after spending the past day looking around, I really don’t see anything on the market that is available in the US that I want. Sure I can get a Motorola Q9, Samsung Blackjack II or a T-Mobile Dash to cure my need for a QWERTY handset – but they’re all old news and to be quite frank I find them all downright boring. If I am going to have to drop a few hundred dollars on a handset, I would like to feel like I am getting something new besides a new body for the device. Also with the release of the iPhone, it has forced handset makers to stop releasing such horribly ugly touch screen devices and lately I have really had my eye on an HTC Touch Diamond. To get a Touch Diamond however I would have to sign up with Sprint, which I am not in a contract so I could do, but I get horrible Sprint coverage in my neighborhood so that is out of the question. I could import a HTC Touch Diamond, but why in the world would I pay for HSDPA hardware I would never be able to use where I live? And where the heck is our Northern American HTC Touch Diamond?!

This actually leads to an interesting side note of my aimless ranting. HTC, if you’re reading this, you really should consider selling unlocked HTC branded phones here in the US. Everyone complains that there is not a market for it but that is because I can’t think of anyone besides Dell and occasional Best Buy that does it. If there was an HTC store or even a Best Buy where I could have cruised in today and picked up the device I wanted, I wouldn’t even be writing this. I would instead have written maybe a one paragraph blurb about the death of the longest surviving Smartphone I have ever owned and then went on to gush over my newly purchased HTC handset – which in turn would have made someone else want to go out and buy one and so on!

Anyways, I digress. To get back on topic I am even kicking around the idea of getting the HTC Dream because it is the only new handset coming out that is even remotely interesting at the moment that is within my grasps to get. Plus since it was designed by HTC it would have a familiar feel to it

While I know it sounds incredibly ridiculous, at least once in my life I want to own a Chinese knockoff of a popular electronic device and this might be the perfect time to take the plunge and buy a Meizu M8 when they finally get released toward the end of the year.

Then again these are all ideas I’m kicking around in my head. I truly have no idea which direction to turn to get this whole Smartphone mishap under control. That is where you guys come in. No matter what I end up getting one of the first things I am going to do is snap some pictures of it and write up my thoughts on it for our readers. So what do you guys think, should I stick with the Smartphone and keep my fingers crossed that when Microsoft releases Windows Mobile 7 I will actually get to update my device and not waste several hundred dollars? Should I graduate to the Pocket PC world and bite my tongue and import a HTC Touch Diamond or HTC Touch HD? Should I be even more daring and fulfill a lifelong goal of once owning a sleek but obvious knockoff? Or should I take the plunge and dip my toes in the water of Google’s pond and see what is going on outside of the Windows Mobile world?

I figure no matter what I’m doing, if I really hate my new device I can always return it and try a different option. Since I can’t make the decision though, I’m just going to throw it out there and get some input from everyone.


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