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Lori Lavender Luz

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hold the phone

It's been all sunshine and light so far in our reviews, so with this post I'm serving up a few clouds.

What does PDA mean to you? If you said "Public Display of Affection," then click here. If you said "Personal Digital Assistant" then keep reading, especially if you are soon to be in the market for a Smart Phone.

I bought my Treo 700wx (Sprint service, also available for Verizon) nearly two years ago, graduating from a Palm Pilot and combining two purse gadgets into one. This Fall, I am able to get out of my contract if I want to.

I don't hate my Treo. I like many things about it. Here's why I chose it in the first place:
  • I thought I'd be able to transfer all my Palm data (calendar and contacts)
  • Sprint service has pretty good value
  • I wanted a full keyboard, not just a number pad.
  • I'd read that slide phones tend to break more easily
  • It wasn't too chunky-clunky
  • It had internet access
But I found that my contacts did not transfer -- something went wrong with my data migration and I had to start from scratch. Time consuming and irritating.

My biggest beef, however, is with the sounds. Just after the warranty expired the ringer stopped working. I took it to a crowded Sprint store and waited with my two impatient preschoolers for over an hour for the tech to tell me, "we don't know what's wrong. Ya wanna send it to the factory to fix? It's $69 and will take two weeks. Or, we can get you a new phone for $100. You'll have to program in all your preferences again."

Ummm, NO.

I came home, googled my problem and found a work-around on a user bulletin board.

Recently, I lost more sounds. I still have the work-around ring, but there is no alert when I get a text message. There is no sound when I power up or power down. And yes, the ringer switch is in the ON position.

They are not fatal flaws. Just annoying ones. I have molded myself around my Treo, when it should be the other way around.

Here's my report card after 20 months:
  • Web access: Fast and easy to use. A
  • Texting and camera: A
  • Calendar: problems when changing time zones or going in/out of daylight savings. C
  • Interface: Free backgrounds available for the Today screen. B
  • Feel: Moderately light and compact. Keyboard is workable. B
  • Reliability: Like many Windows products, needs frequent re-boot. See aforementioned sounds. F
  • Customer Service: Improving, but a ways to go. B-
  • Price for phone: $400. I'd rather have an iPhone next time. C
  • Price for service: Sprint packages have good comparative value. B
All things considered, I have equal parts satisfaction and buyer's remorse. My thumbs are even -- one up and one down. Consider this is a lukewarm endorsement.

When I'm out of contract, I'll be investigating an iPhone.

Any feedback on your SmartPhone? We'd appreciate a guest review on a phone you either HATE or LOVE.


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5 chiming in:

chicklet said...

First, you're totally going down the road I am - my next review ain't all sunshine either. Second, love the grading system pardner. Third, I just got a Blackberry Perl a few days ago so I can't comment yet... but I will...

Mrs.X said...

I have a Crackberry through work and I HATE IT. But, not for the reasons that you would think. I am pretty anti-cell phones in general because I'm old school like that. But, if I have to have one (and my boss has told me repeatedly that yes, I do), I would like one that is more phone and less dinky phone attached to a keyboard.

I haven't gotten into the Bluetooth revolution - I just think there is something so weird about a person apparently talking to themselves until you look on the other side and their little Borg interface is hanging out of their ear.

Wow, don't know where all of that pent up frustration came from! No offense to anyone who has a Blutooth by the way - except that I still think it's really funny to see grannies with them. You go with your blue-haired selves!

Lori said...

Chicklet -- can't wait to hear about the Perl, and if it might be my next phone.

X -- cracking up about the Borg reference! Now I'll be thinking of you each time I see one (a Bluetooth, not a Borg).

Denise said...

I recently upgraded from an old school Blackberry to the Blackberry Curve for work. Compared to my old one, it is much sleeker and lighter, but still has the full keyboard which was important to me. Internet is a little faster, although still not perfect. Email works great.

I hardly ever use it as a phone though, so I can't comment too much on that. One thing that annoys me is that I hate having to lock the keyboard every time I throw it into my purse. I end up skipping that step and then it starts calling random numbers in my phone book over and over again. Oops.

Lori said...

Denise, I've started buying only purses that have a pocket sized for my Treo, just to avoid that. It's maddening.

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