What is the ultimate cell phone?
March 27, 2007 9:08 AM   Subscribe

Help me find the perfect convergence communication device (i.e. phone!) to make my nerdlife complete while I'm (endlessly) on the road. Hours upon hours of searching have turned up naught and I'm getting desperate.

I'm a one-man travelling road show, and so I'm always looking to converge. I'm hooked on my BlackBerry's PIM functionality, but I need more! I have some nifty wireless BT headphones, and want to be able to play music (A2DP/AVRCP) from a removable media card while surfing the intertubes EDGE or even 3G-style wirelessly (bluetooth tethering) from my MacBook, charge it using USB, not miss my email (push or frequent pulls, no size limit please), and be able to put it in airplane mode when I need.

The Motorola Q looks like nearly exactly what I want, but it's not GSM. The iPhone? Sure, but good luck unlocking it, and it's not here yet. I've broken down enough to say that cost is no longer an issue.

I'm also open to "creative" solutions - PDA + some sort of mobile skype + bt headset + SDIO mobile data card? (Does that even exist?).
posted by TheNewWazoo to Technology (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
So GSM is also a requirement?
posted by dcjd at 9:48 AM on March 27, 2007

I've grown fonder of my Sony-Ericsson W810i over the last year. Which does about all of that, and takes remarkable pictures too.

Don't know about it's standard PIM though, since I only use its address book, and keep the rest on my notebook. There's a limit to typing text with just numeric keys.
posted by ijsbrand at 9:53 AM on March 27, 2007

Best answer: You're not going to get the BB PIM functionality in any other device. Most (if not all) similar options are pull email.

If you're willing to wait a little while longer, there is a whole slew of new BB devices coming out this year and I would bet that either the 8800 or 8300 (specifically the 8330e) series may be exactly what you're looking for.

Check out their respective forums over at BlackberryForums.
posted by purephase at 9:59 AM on March 27, 2007

Best answer: I just moved from a Treo 650 to the Dash from T-mobile. If you like the Q but need GSM, might be worth looking into; I've been real happy so far. You're also getting wi-fi which the Q does not have.

The unbranded version, the Excalibur is also widely available.
posted by paxton at 10:01 AM on March 27, 2007

Response by poster:
Yes, unlocked GSM is a requirement. I cannot, in good conscience, purchase a phone that doesn't support a widely-available standard and allow use all over the world.

paxton, the Dash/Excalibur looks very promising indeed. Apparently you tether using WiFi, but that's just as good. I'm looking now to see if I can sync my iCal/Address Book/etc with it.

purephase, I'll look into the BB stuff, too, thanks.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 10:29 AM on March 27, 2007

I use the Dash with my Power Book, via Missing Sync. In all honesty the product works better than ActiveSync from MS has for me in the past.

I sync with USB or BT and tether for data with BT, the later is only possible under 10.4.9. The wi-fi comes in handy for streaming Sirius or browsing where EDGE just won’t cut it.
posted by paxton at 10:35 AM on March 27, 2007

Best answer: Err, how about the t-mobile mda with a data plan?

It can:

*Use BT for wireless headsets. A2DP supported with a hack.
*Uses Mini SD cards
*Can play all sorts of mp3s with Media Player and other media files.
*Can be used as a bluetooth modem, using another hack.
*charge through USB, and be used as a modem through USB.
*Has airplane mode.
*Has Wifi

Both it and the Dash would probably get you what you want, with the Dash having the Blackberry form factor. The MDA is a pda like device.
posted by zabuni at 10:35 AM on March 27, 2007

Wait 90 days and get the iPhone.
posted by sourwookie at 11:34 AM on March 27, 2007

Response by poster: The iPhone isn't confirmed to have A2DP, very likely won't be portable across carriers, and doesn't have removable media. It's made of 100% pure cool, tho.

Right now, it looks like the Dash is the best option - except for the GPS, it's basically a Q for GSM. Yay!
posted by TheNewWazoo at 11:59 AM on March 27, 2007

I really like my Nokia E70.

It has, more or less built in, two different types of push-ish "always on" email: Blackberry and Microsoft Exchange Sync.

I don't use the Blackberry, so I can't comment, but the Microsoft Exchange Sync works extremely good.

It has a full QWERTY keyboard, although you have to unfold it to use it.
posted by gregvr at 1:59 PM on March 27, 2007

Response by poster: Alas, gregvr, the E70 doesn't do A2DP, and I must justify my new toys! ;) Other than that, it looks nifty.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 4:27 PM on March 27, 2007

Wait 90 days and get the iPhone.

Or you could get the LG Prada phone today. There's always something new in a few months... Then again, the LG is Euro/Asian tri-band and so won;t work in the US until a carrier here modifies it.

The Samsung F700 has the same full touchscreen mojo, and a slide-out qwerty for rapid typing. The 5 Mpixel camera is sweetm and it does HSDPA which is impressively fast and necessary if you're going to be uploading 5 MPixel photos.

There's a wave of these expensive phones out there since last December. Most of them are too pricey for the US market, which focuses on cheaper phones. If the Apple-branded phone proves succesful at its higher price point, then it may prompt other US carriers to bundle more advanced, recent, or exspensive phones with their services in the future..
posted by meehawl at 5:51 PM on March 27, 2007

The Nokia N95, just coming out now, is the one I'm lusting over at the moment. I've got an N80 which is mostly nice but a bit short of RAM, and no A2DP (the N95 does have that).
There's an amusing video review here.
PIM functionality is decent built in or you can get a lot of add-on PIM software.

It's very neat being able to do VoIP over Wifi with the phone.
posted by Morbuto at 1:49 PM on March 28, 2007

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