Siemens SX66 / MDA III / PDA2K (HTC Blue Angel)
Works well, just needs a few tweaks here and there...
This is my first Pocket PC Phone so please bear with me as I have nothing to compare it to. As a phone, it somewhat works. It's really wide, and with me having small hands doesn't make a good combination. Makes one handed operation a no go for me. Anyway, it exhibits ok RF performance and good call quality. Not the best, but the not the worst either. Speakerphone works well, good volume. Not so great out of the box( that's where all the tweaks come in). It's recommended to upgrade to a newer ROM and make some registry edits as I found it to improve the overall performance. Works well as a PDA. Numerous amount of available programs, excellent multimedia device (screen is humongous, fast processor, good amount of RAM), syncs with Outlook, PIM options galore, Wi-Fi, and the slide out keyboard is very useful.
-Ok RF performance and call quality
-Solid build quality (no squeaks or creaks, everything is lined up properly, and so on)
-Nice, big screen (wish it was higher res)
-It's a Pocket PC (so many programs to use, doubles as a PDA - *PIM functions, touchscreen/stylus combo for navigation and other functions, syncs with Outlook flawlessly,* makes for an excellent multimedia device - decent hardware specs, etc.)
-Slide out keyboard is very useful especially when texting, IMing, editing documents, emails, etc.
-SDIO slot (able to add SD expansion devices such as GPS and more)
-Prefer WM5 over the included WM 2003 (if you drain the battery with WM 2003, you'll lose some data)
-Phone is well supported (check out the SX66 Standardization Project and the XDA Developers Forums for a ton of useful information)
-Size (wider than I'd like it to be, hard to slip in pockets)
-Not so great battery life (to be expected considering the type of device and specs)
-Recommended to update ROM/Perform registry tweaks
-Uses proprietary charging/syncing port (personal preference - I'm a fan of miniUSB)
Love it or Hate it
1) As a PDA:
PRO - Having access to real-time email and appointments anywhere, anytime. (good.com GoodLink baby!)
PRO - Access all your Outlook/Exchange contacts and be able to dial them directly. Nothing new, but still cool.
PRO - The sliding full keyboard is good, but not great. Oddly, text prediction isn't as good as my old v60 which is surprising though.
PRO - Surfing the web with decent sized screen, cool. Great for boring meetings! Built-in WiFi so you can also get online at much faster speeds with WLAN.
PRO - Play MP3's and even DVD quality movies (compressed & converted Xvid/Dvix), how cool is that?
2) As a phone:
PRO - The only real Pro to it as a phone is that you don't have to carry 2 devices.
1) As a PDA
Really only one CON. MS Windows = Buggy! You must reboot DAILY, keyboard and dialing buttons will stop working, it randomly turns on in your pocket and emails people (that's always fun to explain the next day), etc., etc.
2) As a Phone
CON - Connection/sound quality is horrible. I've been using an Audiovox 5600 SmartPhone and it is better using the same GSM bands.
CON - Size. "Why are you holding a calculator to your head?" is a question I got asked when pulling out this brick of a phone. It's too large and cumbersome.
CON - No thought went into the on-screen phone controls or contacts dialing. For example: When getting a call, the on-screen "answer" button is tiny and hard to tap with your finger. Hello?? You have this huge screen, why a 15x5 pixel button?? Same problem with the size of other on-screen controls.
CON - Just *having* blue-tooth is a PRO, but its buggy on the SX66 and no v1.2
CON - Simplicity. I'm a fan of gadgets but as a phone it just sucks. I want 2-3 clicks max to dial. I shouldn't have to contort my body and put down my drink to answer a call. But maybe that's just me.
Cliff Notes: as a PDA it's great and a no-brainer as a replacement to other PDAs. As a phone, it's not for me. Get a Smartphone instead.
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Great, except for a couple of things
I won't go over all of the pros and cons- I checked all the reviews here before I bought the phone two weeks ago and they're mostly right-on. The guy who said it's plenty loud enough must have hearing a acute as that of a coyote (or his hearing aid is very good). It's pretty low, but still usable, except in public.
You do need to reset the device a lot. I do it almost every day and have needed to do it up to four times in a single day. (And, no, it is not defective.)
One serious issue I've had is that the mechanism that retains the battery is not well-designed. I thought that from the moment I bought it. A couple of days ago my wife handed me my phone and I noticed that it seemed to be going through the same setup process as when it was brand-new. Again, it's only two weeks old. It was going through that process, because the battery had come off, and had gone back on (barely). It was off long enough to cause the built-in NiMH backup battery to completely discharge. I have now taped my battery to the device. That's a shame because it is pretty polished looking for the most part, and because it's just a matter of time before the tape pulls off when I take it out of the holster. It takes some time (hours) to reinstall all of the software and get everything back where it was.
I'll say this though, ever since that happened the SX66 has performed a little better, and is more stable.
I considered a Nokia 9500 because of the keyboard. I opted for the SX66 because it runs Windows, and there's more software available for it. If you get this, you have to get MS Voice Command. It's awesome! Probably the coolest piece of software I've ever used. I'm an engineer so I am very impressed with what it does, even though I am no big fan of MS. Speaking of keyboards, though, the lack of indication for CAPS and NUM lock severely limit its utility.
Traded my Treo 650
Has almost everything the 650 does and then some.. and does it better! The only thing this phone lacks over the 650 is the camera quality, EDGE, and screen resolution. However, this phone does have WI-FI, bigger screen, slide keyboard, better speakerphone AND microphone, and WAY more native programs including FAX software.
The screen on this phone is MUCH bigger making it much easier to write on. The 650 did not natively have the ability to write on the screen or do it in complete words. The Windows Mobile software is SO EASY to use. Cutting, copying, pasting, navigating etc.. is so much easier. This phone also lets you have more than one application open where the 650 did not.
With the windows mobile software, I can have a message open, and a contact and move information between them without having to close either. This is a big downfall for the Treo. Coping and pasting can be done by either holding the stylus on the screen for a few seconds or by holding down the nav key. The treo is so much more complicated, and more un-reliable. Heck, you can even copy a phone number from an e-mail or text message and paste it into your phone dialer and call it without having to remember a thing. You can also assign notes to incoming, outgoing, and missed calls. This is a huge productivity enhancer!
The other upside of this phone is it knows when your cheek hits the screen versus the stylus and it will not do anything. The TREO is VERY touchy. You have to lock the screen on the Treo or else you will activate the speaker, hang up on the caller or swithch back and forth between calls without even knowing it. Windows Mobile does not do that. You can also turn off the screen during a call making it impossible to do anything on the screen while maintaining the call.
I could go on and on and on.. but you really should go buy it and experienc it for yourself.
You can also referency my Treo review.
a FAIR Review
I couldn't disagree more with the previous review. This phone is a great blend of PDA and phone. Supporting full data/fax capabilites. I got the i-mate PDA2K version through expansys US. The software included was complete, including truefax software.
Wifi and bluetooth both function very well. Bluetooth reception varies from headset to headset, some are very poor (Jabra 250) but my moto HS820 works great. Voice dialing works with MS Voice Command. Voice dialing from BT Headset works also.
Camera was not the best, but not the worst either (Worst=MPX220). But I don't like cameras in my phones anyway.
The keyboard gave decent tactile feedback, could be more, but the form facter makes this difficult. The keyboard works, and is integrated vs. the HP 6315s clip on choice.
Speed of the unit is nice, especially compared to similar units that still use 200 Mhz. processors vs. the HTCs choice of 400 Mhz.
Bluetooth, and WIFI
Good Cellular reception
Good clarity of voice calls
Speaker not the best for MP3s
Bluetooth headset reception can be poor
The previous reviewer gave this such a poor score based on the keyboard, and never having actually owned/really used the phone. If you're gonna score that low for a keyboard, perhaps you should be looking at laptops, and not phones.
I have the Siemens version of this phone and I must say that it is the most versatile, useful, feature-packed gadget I have owned. When I got my Nokia 9290 Communicator in 2003 I reviewed it (under TDLicious) as the BEST combo device created. Once the Windows Mobile devices hit the market the 9290 seemed...tired, sadly. I bought the HP 6315 immediately and LOVED it. Once the sx66 came out I sold my iPaq to my sister so that I could say goodbye to the clip-on keypad and HELLO to the integrated, slide-down QWERTY pad!
Keypad aside, the iPaq and the sx66 are quite similar. This phone is TRULY amazing. With the combo of QUAD-band GSM/GPRS, Infrared, bluetooth, and Wi-Fi this thing communicates in nearly every way possible! The Wi-Fi is spectacular, the bluetooth works seamlessly and so on. Then you have the IMMENSE amount of useable memory as well as an MMC/SD card which bumps you up to 1 GIG PLUS!
Anyhow, enough of my rambling-here is a pros/cons rundown.
-slide-out QWERTY keyboard(beautiful design)
-gorgeous, vibrant screen
-abundance of "hot" keys for various uses
-countless Microsoft programs
-syncs perfectly with your PC
-considering the features it is a compact size...FOR THE FEATURES
-works great as a video/music player
-great battery life
-SOLID, quality build (but NOT heavy)
-for a phone it is large, but for what it IS, it is a GREAT size (see PROS, above)- and bluetooth takes care of having to hold it to your head, anyway
In summary, this is the MOST versatile, functional, stylish, intuitive, feature-packed phone/pda built to date! If you are in the market for a true combo device that covers the entire spectrum of functionality you can't beat this unit. I have 13 GSM phones(from my 9290, my mpx200 to my razr v3, etc.) which I switch between for various purposes and circumstances and the sx66 leads the way-I use it 90% of the time!
In summary, GREAT!!
How can you not like it?
I've had this phone for almost two weeks. I avoided posting a review with my initial impressions for fear the phone would later let me down. It hasn't! This phone is absolutely awesome. When I first got it, I immediately updated it to Siemens latest code so I can't really comment on problems from the past. Here are some of my observations about this revolutionary phone.
As a phone, connections are as good or better than my Verizon T720c. I have never dropped a call and coverage with Cingular is good. I have a Jabra 2500 bluetooth headset and although I get a little static in standby, all of my calls have been clear. I haven't dropped any calls and they seem to transfer cleanly to the headset.
As a PDA it is everything my ipaq 2215 was and more. It's faster, has a nice package of software and with WIFI and GPRS it is much better connected. WIFI access is so common now that I can't imagine having a PDA without it. Even the faster cellular networks don't compare to WIFI and WIFI is usually free. Media Player makes a great MP3 player and the amplifier in the SX66 produces audio that is both LOUD and well balanced. One problem is the headphone jack. It has a 2.5mm jack that requires an unusual adapter to allow you to use a standard set of 3.5mm stereo headphones.
If you buy this phone make sure you also buy a copy of Microsoft Voice Command. Once you load this application you can talk to your phone almost like a communicator in Star Trek. With no training necessary, this program is incredible. It extends the functionality of the phone and is way up there on the cool scale.
If I could ask for one thing with this package it would be for the Voice Command software to accept commands made through the bluetooth headset. As far as I can tell this isn't currently possible.
In summary, if you are considering this phone, buy it. It works and is the most advanced phone you can currently buy.
A headset, a headset, my kingdom for a headset!
Why would siemen's use older technology in their phone? I tried to synch up the Motorola hs 820 and 810 to my SX66. No dice!
I also got the V3 Razor for my wife. Synched up in 2 seconds.
After 2 hours on a 3 way call with cinular texh and siemans tech support, we discovered that this state of the art smart phone does not support the newest version of Blue Tooth.
Siemens would only say that their headset was compatible, but they do not sell it direct.
I guess I will try to hunt down an older head set to see if it will work.
I will post results. If anyone else finds one, let me know.
One other thing. After not being able to access the cell data network, i was advised to turn off wifi, even though the phone is supposed to try to use wifi and then go to cell. Once i turned the wifi off, i was able to access the cell data net but it is soooooooooo slooooooooooowwwwww!
- QWERY keyboard, I been using them for a while and all of them are different a lil complicanted, but it efficent.
- Internet access to html website, unlike blackberry this phone is a pretty much do it all, going to spending about $100 for java and flash for pda.
- Signal with all pda are, how can i say, jumping, one second its full the next it is 1 bar, but with i never lost any signal.
- Sound is just the way it has been with all pda, there is other sofware with equalizer, but thats if you want to spend the extra just for a better quality.
- Biggeset CON of all, BLUETOOTH, siemens should have been aware of the newer version of bluetooth, 1.1, this phone has 1.0.
Great pda, good phone for me
I just picked up the Siemens SX66 from Cingular Wireless store two days ago. This phone looks great right out of the box. I bought the Moto HS-820 headset for it. I got them paired just fine but after 10 or so minutes, the headset would loose connection with the PDA. If someone called, they would not reconnect and I would have to use the PDA as the phone. This was a major bummer for me and after some research I found a bluetooth update patch that fixed all my problems. Good luck to everyone with the phone, the BT is annoying at first but now it runs GREAT.
The PDA is superfast, all of the options work nicely. I am very excited about my new phone :). I would recommend this phone to anyone that can afford it.. you won't want to go back.