What Cell phone to get
April 15, 2007 4:43 PM   Subscribe

What phone to get?

Can anyone recommend the phone for me?

Here's what I'm looking for:

- Not too big (cell-phone-size, not smart-phone size- Carryable in pants pocket)
- Really good ability to sync w. Outlook calendar, to-do list, contacts and notes (and really good powerful interface for that info on the phone).
- Big high-res screen.
- Camera with flash
- Decent mp3 player.

I've been playing with a Nokia 6126 (well spoken-of elsewhere here). I mostly really like it.

The most important thing to me is something that'll hold all my contacts and calendar info, and I love how the Nokia does that. The calendar's great, the contact manager is pretty thorough, etc.

But the camera has no flash. And the mp3 player sort of sucks (It has not rewind or FFwd, which is a big probelm for me, since I listen to a lot of long radio shows...)

If there existed a Nokia 6126 + flash Camera + better MP3 player, I'd love to get that. But I'm pretty sure such a thing doens't exist.

Anyone else have recommendations?
posted by ManInSuit to Shopping (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The Blackberry Pearl seems to meet all your criteria! (while it is a smartphone, it's much smaller than most)
posted by dcjd at 5:10 PM on April 15, 2007

Sounds like you want to wait for the iPhone.
posted by Industrial PhD at 5:22 PM on April 15, 2007

iPhone is smart phone sized.
posted by smackfu at 5:33 PM on April 15, 2007

Sony Ericsson K800i (European and ROW) or K790i (Western Hemisphere)

They have a 3.2mb camera with flash, motion control and other camera doodads. They have a Walkman-branded MP3 player. RSS reader, push email, decent web browser. Oh and you can use it to talk to people on the phone. I love this phone.
posted by birdherder at 6:01 PM on April 15, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I wonder- How are the calendar and other features on the Ericsson k790i?

I tried an Ericsson Z710i, and it was pretty great in a lot of ways, but a couple of things about the Nokia 6126 made me a lot hapier:

- While the Z710i had a big screen, it also used a big font, so you get very little text on the screen. On the 6126, the sreen can be pretty jam-packed w. info. I really like that.

- And the calendar/contact feaures on the Nokia were a lot more powerful. The biggest deal for me: on the Nokia, I could scan the calendar easily and see what I had on each day. On the Ericcson, I had to open each day to see what was in it.

I wonder whether the 790i has more powerful calendar than the z710i.
posted by ManInSuit at 6:12 PM on April 15, 2007

Except for the camera flash, the T-Mobile SDA fits those criteria. It was released over a year ago, so there's probably something better either already out or on the horizon (iPhone?).
posted by stopgap at 6:14 PM on April 15, 2007

iPhone? Why are so many people suggesting a vaporware product that's unsuitable for the OP's request? The iPhone:

A) isn't out.
B) doesn't have a camera flash that was specifically requested in the inquiry.
C) is probably feature overkill and price overkill for this person.
D) isn't out.

I realize most of us here want one, and that it probably will ship on time, but suggesting it just doesn't answer the question. I suggest trying Phonescoop's Phone Finder service.
posted by dendrite at 6:25 PM on April 15, 2007

posted by falameufilho at 6:26 PM on April 15, 2007

I have the 3125 from cingular (HTC StarTrk or somesuch).

Flip-phone form and "smart phone." It is alright with a 2GB microSD card. I use it as a portable mp3 player when I'm at work or in the shower (it hangs on the door knob after I put a wrist strap on it).

It cost $100 with rebate, which I got. I did the smart phone thing to get away from email on my laptop. The last time I used my laptop for personal email was for ... huh. I don't remember.

Downsides. I had to get various apps (not free) to get it setup how I wanted it, like a registery editor (its WindowsMobile), stopwatch/alarm.

Upsides. My T9 skills are getting mad crazy fast now. And its bluetoothy enough for Sailing Clicker. I also surf metafilter from work on it. haHA proxies ... take that.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 6:35 PM on April 15, 2007

As you can see from the responses so far, your criteria really work best with a Windows Mobile device of some sort. Have you considered looking for a small WM5 phone?

I would suggest (but I'm biased):

- O2 Atom Exec
- O2 Atom Life
- HP iPaq rw6828

I personally own the rw6828 and it basically the same size as my old (non-smartphone) Motorola e398. I carry it in my pants pocket every day and I don't get any funny looks (at least, not that I've noticed!) And of course, one of the best things about a pocket pc phone is that you can load heaps of useful software on it!

(Oh, and I'd also suggest that the iPhone, while an excellent choice, is probably a little bit big for your criteria).
posted by ranglin at 6:42 PM on April 15, 2007

I should have also mentioned that the calendar on PocketPC's is great, since that is what they are designed for. They also work really well for mp3's (and also movies) and most PPC's these days support bluetooth headphones as well. And of course the screen on one of the devices I suggested is more high-res than most normal mobile screens.
posted by ranglin at 6:45 PM on April 15, 2007

I work in the mobile industry so see lots and lots of phones. I currently use a Nokia 6682.

The N95 from Nokia is the next phone I'm going to own. It's fantastic (though battery life issues have been raised). It'll be spendy, though.

If you want camera + email and like Nokia's then check out the E61i (the E61 has no camera).

The K800i has been receiving raves all year and is pretty sweet.

If email is your main concern, the Pearl is a fantastic device and Windows Mobile devices, which previously sucked ass, have been getting better and better. The HTC Dash is very nice. I know several happy Blackjack owners (the phone is cheap, will soon be refreshed with Windows Mobile 6).
posted by donovan at 6:54 PM on April 15, 2007

Response by poster: Whew! Thanks for all these ideas. I'm surfing around, learning aboout all these phones. A couple things:

Maybe I should be clearer about what counts as Smallish: Anything over, say, 4" x 2" x 1", while maybe miraculously small for a smart phone, is still bulkier than I want (I'm used to a small cell phone, and really like that size...)

Thanks for all the tips: The Phonescoop's Phone Finder is awesome (though it doesn't search on some of the key features I want to know about).

I guess the hard thing to judge without actually seeing the phone is a sense of how good the calendar/conact apps are. Does anyone know of a a review site or somthing that had info and/or screenshots of these? For instance - on paper, both the Ericsson and Nokia phones that I tried have similar-sounding calendar and contact features, but once you acutally see them, the Nokia features are way way better....
posted by ManInSuit at 6:55 PM on April 15, 2007

The Moto Q is worth a look. I have one and love it, and it does all the things on your list pretty well. It runs WM5 Smartphone edition. Here's a good review that includes a video of the phone in action. Do you have a particular carrier in mind?
posted by jtfowl0 at 7:31 PM on April 15, 2007

Response by poster: jtfowl0 : Not sure about carrier. I'm in Canada, so I face the choices here (Fido, Bell, Rogers, Telus...)
posted by ManInSuit at 7:33 PM on April 15, 2007

The last thing Motorola made that was worth a damn was the 68000 CPU.

I have the Nokia N73. I /love/ it. I had to import it from abroad, into the US. I used "Import GSM" -- the company. You can find it on teh suparweb.

The N73 has been out for one year, so you can be assured that the firmware is stable.

I synch mine to my Macintosh over Bluetooth. It works without flaw, though OS X needed prodding before the last update (it didn't know about the model -- there was a 3rd-party config file to add).

I add calendar entries to my computer and to the phone calendar, and it works well. There's also a tool to synch to Google calendar, though I don't use it. Synching to more than one place is a bad idea in general.

If you get one (or nearly any recent Symbian-based phone), I recommend these apps:

- Calcium, an excellent calculator
- Google Maps
- Nokia's Podcatching software -- if you have unmetered bandwidth.
- Autolock, locks the keypad after some period of time (From Petteri Muilu)
- Oggplay, plays any music format. The UI for it needs some love, though.

You're in North America, so make sure you can use GSM with your favorite carrier.
posted by cmiller at 7:51 PM on April 15, 2007

Nokia N73 or N95. I have the former, the friend the latter. They're great phones.
posted by todbot at 1:42 AM on April 16, 2007

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