I've searched for this style of phone for over 3 years and finally found it (too late). This is a sad story (grab a tissue).
I postponed purchasing a cell phone because I couldn't justify the expense, and because I didn't want to have another device hanging from my belt in addition to my PDA. I knew someday someone would have the wisdom to combine the two in one smartly designed electronic device.
Recently I NEEDED to find a cell phone for my own business and I found I was right. Somebody did combine the two properly, but I (and a couple of friends and colleagues) missed the boat.
The KYOCERA 7135 the best combination of smart-phone I have seen yet (as of 1/2/06).
PALM OS PLATFORM: I prefer the stable, versatile, intuitive Palm OS platform.
GRAFITI AREA: I use the FITALY stamp overlay in graffiti area (for 50WPM input speeds).
RUGGED DESIGN: I prefer a phone to have a sturdy look and feel to it. The 7135 hinge acts like you could open and close it millions of times and not break it.
OTHER REQUIREMENTS: SD slot, 16MB, IR port, HotSync.
COLOR SCREEN: I was satisfied with my Palm OS's gray LCD screen, but I am overjoyed with the 7135's 160x160 color screen. It is smaller than my other PDA's screen, but the color, brightness and clarity outweigh the reduction in size (320x320 would've been nice but not necessary).
APPEALING DESIGN: Many cell phones try to be either too small or too cool. The 7135 is a great combination of form and function. It's pleasing to look at, to hold in your hand, and to hold to your ear.
SIMPLE KEYPAD: It's bad design to try to force a qwerty keyboard into a small area like some phone manufacturers do. Kyocera retained the graffiti area and a simple dialing pad.
Now the sad part...
I have to return this phone to the eBay seller because they improperly indicated its acceptability to U.S. Cellular as an unlocked Verizon phone.
RATS! I really like this phone.
When it works it works
I'm on my 3rd 7135, the first 2 lasted 6-8 months before going bad. They just started doing hard reset for no reason. I just got my 3rd one today (10/21/04). I love the phone and it works. I don't want to have to replace the phone every 8-9 months. I keep my phone sync with my desktop so getting my data back has never been a problem.
I understand if it breaks again i call have it replaced by verizon with a different phone along the same lines like the i600. I have to give verizon credit they replace all 3 at no charge to me. All i have to do is return the broken phone in 10 days. (NOTE: I do have the 2/month insurance)
So bottom line. I love the phone be it needs to be more reliable.
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Top of my list
While this phone may have problems with occasional restarts. It is the best overall when comparing included features, size and functionality. I used to carry both a pda and phone. It is much more convenient to carry one device for both functions.
Good combo PDA/phone, well built, good features, well executed
I just replaced a Motorola v60i cell phone and a Sony Clie PEG615T Palm OS PDA with a Kyocera 7135 smartphone (PDA phone), with generally good results, though not without some startup issues, which I'll cover below for those who care.
Overall, I'm happy with the new device, which happily combines phone & PDA, so I only have one device to lug around and keep charged. It works well as both a phone and a Palm PDA.
The screen resolution is adequate and the color good. The Clie double-resolution screen looked better, but, hey, it didn't have a phone embedded, so I'll live with the adequate, rather than stunning, display.
Volume and clarity is good, though you do have to put the speaker exactly in front of your ear canal to hear well, unless you use the speakerphone. The sound quality of the regular speaker mode is fine, but the speakerphone sounds strained, which is to be expected from a speaker that small pretending to be bigger than it really is. The person on the other end is intelligible, though, and not having to hold the thing up to your ear is a big plus that I didn't realize I'd appreciate this much.
Phone reception is good (on my replacement unit, that is - see http://www.epinions.com/content_158088859268 for more details).
I had gotten attached to the jog dial on the Clie, and I miss it on the 7135, but it isn't essential.
Integration of the phone features and the Palm functionality is pretty good, but not complete. See http://www.epinions.com/content_158088859268 for more details.
Despite the initial glitches, I recommend this almost-seamless fusion of two essential devices. Kyocera has a good implementation here. If either your cell phone or your PDA dies, you have a good excuse to upgrade one and lose the other.
Best out there but....
Pros: Love this phone. Carry it everywhere, even the gym to use mp3 on treadmill. Easy to use stylus for calender, to do list or address book. Cons: Not complaints but wish list. Palm needs to synchronize better with Microsoft i.e. exporting and importing address books and calenders. Bought this phone early from Kyocera directly, hope they come up with new and improved soon.
Best of Breed
This is one fantastic device. The more you use it, the more you realize just how powerful it is. And that's saying something too. This may be top-of-the-line, but that doesn't make it state-of-the-art. It's got (by today's standards) a slow processor (33 MHz), and a non Hi-Res screen (160x160). But what it is capable of considering those limitations is what really astounds.
Others mention the MP3 capability or the web-browsing or the e-mail. But really, the wild part about it are the POSSIBILITIES. Use QuickOffice Premier and edit a quick work spreadsheet in NATIVE format on the go. Get your work e-mail on your PDA and respond to it. Use MobileFile to stay in touch with remote files that you might not otherwise want to carry (or can't). Hotsync remotely to your home computer (or work) w/o cables or awkward InfraRed. Use the speakerphone to conduct a call while you review a document or e-mail. Heck, use it to change the channels on your TV with Omniremote.
Are there negatives? Yeah, sure. The keypad has poor tactile response. The device can be sluggish at times, the battery requires a charge more often than your old PDA probably and the device sorely needs a proper jog wheel and back button like the Clie's IMO. Worst thing is that this device experiences more resets than it should if you find yourself playing with a lot of different applications (How weird is it to say your phone CRASHED!). But what you gain in flexibility is so far and away more impressive.
It's great for an enterprise user. This device replaced my work cell, my MP3 player and my pager. Some people get off on the idea of playing movies on it. Can you do that? Yeah. I don't, but you can and that's the point. You can do SOOO much.
Easily the most impressive convergence device on the market. Right now. It's the one to beat.
Really Great Phone
I've had my 7135 on Verizon for a couple of weeks now and it's been great. After years of waiting for reasonably sized phone with a built-in PDA I'm glad I finally have one of these.
The phone itself is very nice. The clamshell form factor unfolds to a phone that fits the user's face well. Dialing is very easy - 1 touch from the address book or use voice dial (helpful when driving).
The PDA is bright, colorful and fully functional. Almost anything you can do on a wireless Palm (Palm VII) you can do with the 7135. Surf the Web at 14.4 on Verizon for the cost of your minutes or get the high speed data plan. It also has a voice recorder if you like to make voice memos/reminders.
This phone really assumes that the end user is a power users who understands how to use a Palm already. If you're new to Palm you'll have quite a bit to learn before you can fly.
-Customizable rings/alerts - if you can get it in MP3 format you can make it a ringer/alert
-Not the smallest phone (but if it were smaller your screen would be, too)
-Phone buttons are not as pronounced as they could be (can be tough to dial)
-MP3 player requires external SD card
-Can't use regular headphones to listen to MP3s
-Speakerphone is too weak to use as hands free when driving
7135: For those wanting an integrated Palm/phone/data device, worth the look
The 7135 is definitely larger than the standard cell phone these days, but not nearly so much as separates would total. However, the real strength is integration: this isn't for those looking for a simple phone, price alone should make that clear. However, as an integrated Palm/cell/data device, I love it.
Some "cons" mentioned by other folks here haven't been an issue for me. One run of battery was recalled; if charge seems an issue, see if it's a recalled battery.
Anyone complaining of data loss needs be aware that this is possible with any Palm. AFAIK, all Palms keep data in "memory" and so lose data given a complete absense of power or hard-reset/crash. If the data is essential, make sure you get a device that allows ready backup/restore. I had the 7135 over a year before the first time I had any data loss issue, but it can happen; it happened more frequently with the Palm Vx I had previously. However, the 7135 can backup data to an SD card with "BackupbuddyVFS" or similar app, for data restores in the field.
The cradle is NOT the only way to sync: kyocera-wireless.com sells USB/serial travel cables. Also, like most/all Palms, the 7135 allows infrared syncing: slower, but it works.
Battery life is OK, but I always have a AC & vehicle charger; areas with no/analog-only signal drain it quick. A plus: the phone aspect will shut down before the charge is gone, leaving enough to power the Palm apps & preserve the data for a good while. I also keep the backlight set to the minimum brightness, which seems fine to me except in brightest of sunlight.
I use Verizon's "standard" wireless internet, which is about a 14.4K connect. IMO, yhe high-speed isn't worth the price for the 7135's slower CPU, unless used as a wireless modem for a computer. The 7135 comes with 3 browsers: 1 text-only (no images = fast loading anytime text is enough), 1 WAP, & one which tries to show same as regular browser (though still on mini-screen).
Out of space, but I love mine!
I got this phone from Verizon as a demo a week ago and I cannot say enough good things about it.
First, if you get this phone and expect for it to be a combination of battery life of a cell phone with a PDA functionality, you are nuts. Battery life is shorter then normal cell phone, but not by much. With heavy usage of PDA functionality, phone and express network, phone lasted 2 days on full charge.
Second, the combination of two devices in one is awesome. I have tested the new Siemens SX56 from ATT and Audiovox Thera from Verizon - none of these devices are anywhere near the Kyocera. There are no problems running regular Palm applications, add-ons, and using the phone - I am a heavy phone user and have spent some time sitting on a conference call and playing Monopoly.
Third, form factor is actually better despite being bulky. Before getting the phone, my concern was that is just too big to carry on my belt all day. After getting it, I found that it is just plainly great. It takes up less space on the belt the any other smartphone out there because of the clamshell design. Putting that thing next to your ear is a bit weird at first since I am used to my small v60. But after sometime, you get to used to it and it is great. Being a heavy phone user, my hand always cramps up after holding the v60 for 30 minutes or so. This phone - no problem.
Overall, for those who do not want to carry 2 devices with them at all times - a PDA and a phone, this is a dream come true. And for $500 with 2-year contract, it is a great price since I expect to spend about $200 for a phone and about $300 for a PDA every year or so.
Where do I start? I am very happy with this phone. I have owned the 6035 since its debut and my concerns were answered in this phone. The color display is bright and clear. I was a dedicated Palm III user until the Kyocera's Smartphone series, so I can not comment on the performance differences btwn the 7135 and the Palm V/VII. However, I carry both a cell and PDA so I want them integrated. I researched all the rest and they don't even come close. This does not have a camera-and I don't need it. I am a MS Windows user and will switch to Mac in the next few months. This phone comes bundled with the Apple software also-GREAT. I like the ability to synch with my work contacts/calendar/tasks/memos. The connection is seamless and the 4.1 platform is even more user friendly than 3.5.
Nothing is without fault:
The resolution could be better, but it is the best thing available in the states. The VAIO is clumsey, expensive, and not a good fit for my lifestyle. The phone is larger than currently available phones, but it smaller and more convenient than carrying both a cell and PDA. The marketing by Kyocera was a huge mistake. At the debut of this phone, I only had one choice for a service provider. Verizon delayed the release for too long. I waited with the hope they would release this phone in a reasonable timeframe. They did not. For the first time in 12 years I have considered using a diff cell provider. When Samsung (i500 waiting to be released by Sprint) and the rest of the manufacturers finally produce something which rivals this phone, I will look due to the cumbersome process to get this phone.
For users wondering if a Palm is needed with their lifestyle: I didn't fully appreciate the features and convenience of using a Palm until I bought the Smartphone.
The 7135 has improved every feature in the 6035. Now that this phone is available to Alltel and Verizon (approx 35M users), I highly recommend and can verify the Spec sheet claims are true! Well done.