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Review: T-Mobile MDA

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Replying to:  Replacement for Treo 650? by sethhirschel   May 3, 2006, 11:52 PM

Re: Replacement for Treo 650?

by WinHack    May 4, 2006, 11:10 AM

To answer your primary question: WM5 already "is" the refinement thus far, and since it was just released last year (11 months, plus or minus) you can expect it to be at least another 6-9 months before WM5-SE (Second Edition) will even hit the rumor mill. The Messaging and Security Feature Pack will be the next big thing for WM5, but that basically adds Push Email (think Blackberry) and some additional VPN/WAN capabilities.

There is virtually always new hardware coming down the pike. The issue is not how long to wait, but when to jump in. If you're having as many problems as you indicate, you clearly need a replacement. Mind you WM5 is a lot different from the PalmOS that you are used to. The hardware is very different as well.

For example, with a the 650 (and the newer 700 for CDMA), you have an always-exposed tactile keyboard with a number/dialer pad integrated into it. With any of the Wizard-based devices, your only keypad is on the touch-screen (which means you can't do the no-look-all-thumb dialing trick while driving). Even when you expose the keyboard by sliding it out, using the number keys means using the top row of the keyboard, not the normal dialing rectangle that most people expect from a phone. That's a big difference to get past, and most Treo/Cellular users have some issue with making that leap.

If you can get past that issue (by relying on voice dialing or being very talented with the touch-screen), I think that the Wizard-based devices are an excellent convergence device (iPod, digital camera, cell phone, PDA/PIM all in one) to have.

At the end of the day, one could argue both sides of the PalmOS/WM5 debate until blue in the face. At some level, they both have the same capabilities: Contact list, Calendar/Appointments, To Do/Tasks, Sync with PC/Outlook, download new/additional apps, MP3 player, camera phone, Internet browser, etc. Is WM5 "better" than PalmOS? That really depends on how much of a Windows "Power User" you are. If you're really a casual/normal user of Windows and your PDA, then they're both pretty much the same. If you're a real power user and desire things like Windows Remote Terminal Services access, advanced use of Outlook features and stuff like that, then WM5 will be more suited to your needs than PalmOS.

This is just like the Windows or MacOS debate: some people are just more comfortable with one or the other, regardless of technical debate or other reasoning. Sometimes it's because of who they know and what THEY are comfortable with. Both OSes do basically the same things--they just do them differently.

I, myself, prefer WM5 because of the number of things I can do within it. Some would argue that PalmOS can do anything WM5 can--they just may need to download an app to make it possible--and PalmOS is easier to use than WM5. That is a subjective viewpoint, however. I could argue the opposite side and it would probably never be resolved with any real solid agreement.

The key thing to remember is that no matter WHAT you do, there is usually a "buyer's remorse" window which allows you to return the device within 14 to 30 days and cancel the account and pay little to nothing for the privilege of testing. Just be sure to keep EVERY scrap of paper, every plastic baggie that something came in and you'll be fine.

You will find there are two types of people who have purchased a Wizard-based device: those who bought it and knew what they were getting into and worked around the known pitfalls, and then there are those who were expecting the simplicity of a low-end phone but got frustrated with one or more aspects of the device (which really aren't that difficult if you know who to ask, where to look, or know what you're doing) and bailed on the device for something better (read that: more appropriate for their technology level. I'd hardly call a Sidekick or a Blackberry or a RAZR unilaterally "better" than a Wizard). Which one might you be? Only time and some personal soul searching will tell.

Hope that helps your decision process at least a little. Good luck.

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