BlackBerry Forums Support Community

Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 02-24-2005, 11:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
Admin & Founder
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Kitchener-Waterloo, On, Canada
Model: 9800
OS: 3.1415926
PIN: UnDisclosed
Carrier: Rogers
Posts: 5,268
Post Thanks: 6
Thanked 105 Times in 25 Posts
Default [02-24-2005] When a BlackBerry is Overkill

Please Login to Remove!

The phones are fine for reading, but not writing, e-mails

You'd like to get e-mail on the go -- and on a wireless phone that's a lot smaller than a BlackBerry. You can't quite have your cake and eat it, but if you are willing to forgo some e-mail functions and do e-mail without a keyboard, the latest phones using Microsoft's (MSFT ) Windows Mobile Smartphone software could be just the ticket.

I took a look at two new models. One is the Motorola (MOT ) MPx220, a compact flip-phone available for $320 with a two-year contract from Cingular Wireless. The other is the Audiovox (VOXX ) SMT5600 ($199, also from Cingular), a bar-type phone small enough to slide easily into a pocket.

Both feature big -- by phone standards -- and sharp displays, but they're still only about half the size of the screen on the palmOne (PLMO ) Treo. Because both phones run Microsoft software, they offer pretty much the same functions. The Motorola has a better camera, and the buttons on it are less cramped than on the smaller Audiovox. The Motorola also has Bluetooth wireless that can be used for cordless headsets, hands-free attachments for car use, or an external speakerphone. Ultimately, the decision between these two phones comes down to whether you prefer a flip or bar design.

UNLIKE A TREO, BLACKBERRY, or Pocket PC Phone Edition, the Smartphone is primarily a wireless handset. Like the bigger PDA phones, it syncs with Microsoft Outlook, and you can dial numbers directly from the contact list. But the Smartphone suffers in its data capabilities. The software includes a version of Internet Explorer that, in theory, is a lot more capable than the browsers on most phones. But it really works only with pages specially formatted for small displays, and even then, type can be woefully hard to read.

The usefulness of the e-mail varies with your mail setup and how you plan to use mobile messaging. The only mail program on the Smartphone is a version of Outlook. When you sync with your desktop, messages in Outlook are copied to your phone and any messages you have written on the phone are sent. Some corporate mail systems based on Microsoft Exchange can send messages as well as contact and calendar updates over the air.

While Treos, Pocket PCs, and BlackBerrys have standard software to access regular Internet mail accounts, Smartphones don't. There are ways to work around this. I used a service called 4SmartPhone (, which collects mail from my Internet service provider's post office and forwards it to Outlook on the handset. The service starts at $4.99 a month on top of a Cingular voice and data plan starting at about $55. Another possibility is Cingular's Xpress Mail, which lets you forward mail from your desktop. This gives access to mail stored behind a corporate firewall, but it may violate company security policies, and it won't work if your primary computer is a laptop that travels with you. Pricing starts at $60 a month, including a voice plan -- the same amount you might pay for Cingular service on a Treo 600 or BlackBerry 7290.

Aside from voice calls, the Smartphone is useful mainly for reading e-mail. The screen displays 10 lines of about 25 to 30 characters. But I didn't enjoy tapping out text on the dialpad. (The Microsoft-based Voq Professional Phone from Sierra Wireless (SWIR ) has a fold-out keyboard. But it's bulky and isn't sold by U.S. carriers, so it costs an unsubsidized $550 or so.)

Both the Audiovox and the Motorola offer everything you expect in a high-end handset and then some, with the Motorola having a slight advantage in capabilities and battery life, while the Audiovox is smaller. As a heavy e-mail user, I'm not prepared to give up the bigger screen and vital keyboard that a Treo or BlackBerry provides. But if your mail needs are less intense, a Smartphone may be the right choice for you.
Old 02-24-2005, 01:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
Talking BlackBerry Encyclopedia
Talldog's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Connecticut
Model: 8330
Carrier: Verizon
Posts: 213
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

Your needs had better be a LOT less intense, because writing anything more than "yes" or "no" with one of those things is excruciating.
Old 02-24-2005, 02:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
New Member
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 13
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

Originally Posted by Talldog
Your needs had better be a LOT less intense, because writing anything more than "yes" or "no" with one of those things is excruciating.
I can vouch for that. I'm an ex-MPX200 user who is now quite happy with my Crackberry 7230. You'd need to pry this thing from my cold dead hands now!

Closed Thread

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Polycom VVX410 VoIP Phone
Polycom VVX410 VoIP Phone picturePolycom VVX410 VoIP Phone
Polycom VVX410 VoIP Phone pictureLot of 2 Toshiba IP5132-SD VoIP Telephones
Lot of 2 Toshiba IP5132-SD VoIP Telephones pictureSamsung OfficeServ ITP-5107S VoIP Phone w/ Power Adapter CAT5e. KPIP07SEDE/XAR
Samsung OfficeServ ITP-5107S VoIP Phone w/ Power Adapter CAT5e. KPIP07SEDE/XAR  picture(5) Polycom IP 335 VOIP Phones w/power supplies
(5) Polycom IP 335 VOIP Phones w/power supplies picture

Copyright 2004-2016
The names RIM and BlackBerry are registered Trademarks of BlackBerry Inc.