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Windows Mobile (soon to be Android), and other toys aka gadgets

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006
  Love the PPC-6700

After using the PPC-6700 for a few more days, I absolutely love it. I will take the full 30 days to evaluate the PPC-6700, but I am just about convinced the PPC-6700 is my smartphone for the future.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
  After first full day of use, 99.99% sure the PPC-6700 is a keeper

I did not take the PPC-6700 with me yesterday because it was raining in Boston, and I did not want to get the unit wet while still within the exchange period. I did take it with me today, Sunday, and I was very pleased. The Sprint signal, both voice and EvDO, were strong, and the PPC-6700 performed flawlessly. All applications on the PPC-6700, both built-in and third party, seemed significantly faster than the same applications running on the Treo 700w. Large emails opened significantly faster on the PPC-6700 than on the Treo 700w. The PPC-6700 has a faster processor, and more available memory; it certainly shows in the increased performance of the PPC-6700. The changes I made to the databases while out were easily transferred to the NAS drives via the built-in WiFi when I returned home. Overall, I am very pleased with the PPC-6700, and now wish that I purchased the PPC-6700 instead of the Treo 700w last January.
Friday, October 27, 2006
  Purchased Sprint PPC-6700 - initial thoughts, much better for my smartphone needs

I did purchase a Sprint PPC-6700 today to evaluate if it is a better smartphone for my needs compared to the Treo 700w. My first impression is the PPC-6700 meets my needs much better than the 700w. I have loaded my favorite applications on the PPC-6700, surfed the web, checked email, and watched some videos. I am very pleased with the results and overall performance of the PPC-6700.

I have described my frustrations with the Treo 700w in prior posts. Following are the main reasons I am trying the PPC-6700, and an initial evaluation of how well the PPC-6700 performs in those areas:

After a soft reset on the Treo 700w, you are lucky if you have 12 MB of available memory for program execution, and the system starts closing open apps. when you reach 5 MB of available memory remaining. With the PPC-6700, I have over 30 MB free memory after a soft reset. Finally, I can actually take advantage of one of the main benefits of the Windows Mobile platform, multitasking.

With the Treo 700w, the keys are a little too close together for me to type quickly. With the slide-out keyboard of the PPC-6700, the keys feel very comfortable, and there is enough space between the keys to allow me to type without worry about hitting the adjoining key as well.

Built-in WiFi - finally! With the Treo 700w, I had to remove the SD card, and insert the Palm Wi-Fi SD card in order to use WiFi. Many people question the need for WiFi because you have EvDO. I store most of my shared data on NAS drives on my home network, and WiFi is the fastest method for copying files to/from the NAS. In addition, I do print from my PDA's to several printers on my home network via WiFi. The built-in WiFi on the PPC-6700 worked great. I have printed to both network printers, and copied files to/from the NAS devices without any problems.

The Treo 700w's screen is small both in physical size and resolution. I did encounter a few apps. that did not display well on the Treo 700w because of the 240 x 240 resolution. The PPC-6700's screen is slightly larger in physical dimensions, and supports 320 X 240, which just about every Windows Mobile application supports. In addition, when you use the slide-out keyboard of the PPC-6700, the screen automatically changes to landscape mode. Overall, I am very pleased with the quality of the screen on the PPC-6700, and have not encountered any issues with it yet. My ideal device would be the Toshiba e830 with its gorgeous VGA 4" screen, and built-in WiFi/Bluetooth with EvDO added.

Syncing with the PPC-6700 is much quicker than syncing with the Treo 700w. With the Treo 700w, ActiveSync would sometimes take 4 to 5 minutes to complete. The PPC-6700, with similar amounts of data to be synced, takes less than half the time as the Treo 700w.

As you can see, I am very pleased with PPC-6700. I have 30 days to evaluate it before deciding whether to keep it, or return to the Treo 700w. I did not port my number from the Treo 700w, so the Treo 700w is still active. If I do keep the PPC-6700, I will just pay the early termination fee for canceling the Treo 700w's service agreement. Another benefit of the switch to Sprint and the PPC-6700 is Sprint's unlimited data rate is only $US15.00 per month compared to the $US40.00 I am paying for the Treo 700w. If I do keep the PPC-6700, the savings in data plan costs will pay for the new phone, and the early service agreement termination fee in 15 months. Based on my initial experience with the PPC-6700, I am 99% certain it will be my permanent smartphone; however, I will take the full 30 days to evaluate the device and the quality of the Sprint coverage.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
  CorePlayer causes my desire for larger screen to return

I tried CorePlayer on my VGA PPC's, and wow what a difference the larger screens make in the viewing experience. Although the Treo can display the videos fine, the videos look so much better on the larger screens of the Axim x51V, and Toshiba e830. My experience with trying CorePlayer on both the Treo, and VGA devices reminded me how much I miss a large screen on a PDA. I also was reminded that I need a PDA first, and a phone second. The Treo is a good phone, and an OK data device.

Bottom line is I am looking at other Windows Mobile devices with a larger screen, built-in WiFi, and non-crippled Bluetooth. My first unit to look at is the PPC6700 from Sprint. If I like it, I will pay the termination fee for my Verizon contract, and stop using the Treo 700w.

Monday, October 23, 2006
  CorePlayer 1.0 is Fantastic!!!!

I just installed CorePlayer 1.0 on the Treo 700w, and I am thoroughly impressed. I do not remember being so excited about new software since VisiCalc was released for the Apple II. CorePlayer allows playback of multi-formatted video clips, including mov, avi, mp4, and H264 clips. Video netcasts formatted for an iPod played back flawlessly, as well as avi and wmv clips formatted for Windows Media Player. I tried the movies created by three digital cameras, and all played back well on the Treo directly off the SD cards from the cameras. It is so nice to have one player that can play almost all the video clips I encounter regardless of format and/or container. The application seems extremely stable for a 1.0 release.

I assume future versions will support even more codecs; however, my experience is that CorePlayer 1.0 supports the bulk of the formats you probably would encounter.

I highly recommend that anyone interested in video playback on their Treo or other Windows Mobile device seriously consider CorePlayer 1.0.
I was a Palm OS champion for years, but switched to the Windows Mobile platform in 2005. My experiences using my Windows Mobile devices, and other electronic devices will be detailed in this blog. The posts reflect what I like, and do not like about a device, or application. Your needs, and opinion may be different.

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