Friday, September 12, 2008

A Quick and Dirty Guide to Selecting Your Next Smart Phone / Wireless Device

Confused by the number of wireless devices available for your use? You're not alone.

Despite the number of devices and the ever increasing confusion over devices, they all offer a big improvement over the numbers only pagers and the limited no-email devices several years ago. Remember the Motorola T-900, the TimePort or early Rim devices? If not familiar with them - then consider yourself lucky. Wireless handheld technology has come a long way since then.

This guide does not compare each device into depth. You can use this as a "Quick and dirty guide" to help you get started in selecting your next device.

The key is to determine what kind of user you are:
  • Just want push email and texting (sms) with some minimal personal information management? Select a Blackberry.
  • If you like to add / tool around with a number of third party applications, have above average technology and computer skills. Along with desire the to have to equivalent of a mobile Swiss army knife. Go with a Palm Treo or Windows Mobile device. Check out details for Windows Mobile devices at Microsoft's web site here.
  • If you want a cool device with colorful apps with a full touch screen, go with an iPhone or similar products like the Dare, Instinct, or the Voyager.
  • If you want the cool teen-factor, get a Danger Sidekick (only available from T-Mobile).
  • If you don't email or text much - get a "not so smart" cell phone.

Simple enough?

Be sure you do your homework and research online to learn about the plans, device features, costs, and coverage choices. Also go to stores to get a real feel of each product you are interested in. Another useful way of researching the features of products is to download and review the product manuals.

Every device and plan has their strengths and weaknesses. Choose what's best for your needs.

A side note: From what I have read is that some devices such as the iPhone does not have cut-n-paste ability. If this is a feature you need - be sure to check for it on the devices you are interested in.

The Blackberry, Treos, and iPhone do sync with MS-Office. So if its something you need - be sure to check the compatibility requirements.

Lastly, be sure to check on special "data only rates" for Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile if you rarely make voice calls.

Final word: Phone manufacturers have started to release new pda and phone models for the 2009 year. Such as the Blackberry Bold, Blackberry Flip, and HTC Touch Diamond and Pro. So if you are not in the need of an immediate new phone or a replacement - keep your eyes open for new devices coming onto the market.

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