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Handhelds Hardware

The Ultimate Phone/PDA? 186

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the hardware-to-lust-after dept.
P800guy writes "Psion Place has a review of the SonyEricsson P800 available in Q3, this looks to be the best PDA/phone combined in the world. Running Symbian OS v7.0, 208x320 color touchscreen, triple-band GSM compatible, Multimedia Messaging (MMS), Bluetooth, GPRS always-on internet connection, built-in digital camera, support for HTML, xHTML, Java, iMode, WAP, Word, Excel, PPT. Check out the pictures, open, closed. In the US it'll work on Voicestream, ATT Wireless, and Cingular just don't expect it to be offically supported from day 1 of release." Getting closer- now if it just had a few gigs of memory for MP3s ;)
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The Ultimate Phone/PDA?

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  • My Newton is showing its age...
  • The upside is it can do all those things - the downside is its very expensive!
  • Symbian OS (Score:5, Informative)

    by AirLace (86148) on Sunday April 28, 2002 @09:32AM (#3424318)
    I was on the beta testing team of the next-generation Nokia Communicator which also uses Symbian OS v7.0. It was pretty snappy and responsive and the hardware is sleek, but I was less than impressed by the 'office software' capabilities: In their attempt to support proprietary Microsoft formats they've neglected to offer export filters for open file formats. For example, the word processor can only export Microsoft .DOC, not .RTF or even .TXT. Similarly, the spreadsheet can only export .XLS and not CSV or tab-separated data. This is a step backwards, IMO, but sadly I doubt that few mainstream users will complain. It's just a bit ironic that even the office software counterparts in Microsoft Windows CE offer file filters for 'open standard' formats -- why can't Symbian?
    • Licensees usually use 3rd party conversion-software on their devices - I can't remember off the top of my head what Nokia and Ericsson do, but I think that's the case. If so, you should complain to Nokia - and your point is not valid for the P800.


      (Mod me down as uninformative, I didn't bother to find the press-release about what conversion-software the P800 would use ;)

    • Yes but wouldn't supporting more file formats have made the price higher?
      • Supporting *plain text* isn't exactly rocket science.
        • As an owner of Nokia 9100i Communicator - I know you can get the SDK and develop your application as much as you like..

          I hardly belive it isn't the case with the 92xx series - so you can get the SDK and write your own import/export filter..
    • I bought the first EPOC (what later became EPOC32 and Symbian OS) device in early 93: a Psion Series 3. It was incredible. A PDA with a (modest) programming language built in. The Newton came only later that year, not to mention Palm or WinCE.

      Since around the time WinCE was launched things went downhill. EPOC32 tried to become the better Windows. Unnecessary features cluttered the screen and hampered usability. New machines with faster processors were noticably slower than older models (seems that even faster CPUs took care of that). I ended up switching to a Palm, which offered less than even early Psion models, but made it simple to get simple stuff done. And of the proprietary PDA platforms, Palm seems to cater best to people who don't use the Windows/MSOffice combo.

      Symbian could have been cool, but the only apparent advantage over WinCE/PocketPC is that it's not made by Microsoft. A dubious advantage in the market place, as consumers don't care at best.
      • Note: I started as an Epoc programmer for Ericsson Mobile in -98, worked for Symbian for two years between -99 and -01, and I'm currently an Epoc (Symbian OS) Software development consultant for BlueLabs [bluelabs.se] - my views are maybe a bit biased ;)


        The advantage of Symbian OS over PalmOS is that it's a real OS ;) The advantage over PocketPC is that the programming model (Symbian uses their own version of C++ you could say) aids a lot in preventing memory leaks.


        There's of course a lot more to say than this, but Symbian OS is a really good OS you definitely want instead of PocketPC or PalmOS :) Promise. It's a pain to program for - it takes a while to get into.

    • I don't think I want my PDA to run Symbian. Am I wrong?

      I've always found that the most useful part of my PDA was software support. With PalmOS, I get Vindigo, which is one of the most impressive parts of my Pilot. I get AvantGo for stationary web stuff (I guess that's void with net-access pda) and I get a few closed-source medical databases of meds and prescription data. (I'm a MD.) I think all 3 of these are closed to other operating systems.

      It seems like I'll lose all this when I switch to a different OS? Am I wrong? Has anybody had a great experience with an OS besides Palm?

      Sam
  • Saw it in Action (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Teut (534090) on Sunday April 28, 2002 @09:34AM (#3424322) Homepage
    On GDC (Game Developers Conference) I saw this thing demonstrated and had time to play with it.

    Its small, smaller than the image suggests. Its fast, screen is awesome. The biggest worry "running time on one battery charge" couldn't be answered, the guys said the hardware wasn't final they had.
    Also the flip cover with the keys simply presses the touchscreen below it. Advantage: saves hardware, disadvantage: flimsy plastic look on the back and the display has to be fully powered all the time.

    They showed Lord of the Rings as MPG on it and demonstrated some PC-Phone connection stuff which looked pretty polished.

    This is a phone for me, can't wait :)
  • by MrSloth (544065)

    Not that I have a cell phone, a PDA, an MP3 player, a laptop, or anything else portable. Except for my really spiffy digital watch. But this thing is amazing!

    Now all i need is one that costs less than twenty bucks.

  • by n2dasun (467303)
    How much is this thing gonna cost? Also, how wide and thick is it? I almost bought the Kyocera QCP 6035(I'm a sprint customer right now.) before, but I dont think I could stand a phone that bulky. There must be more specs posted somewhere.
    • I still cant find specs, but it doesn't look to be too big here [telefonino.net], depending on how huge the hand is in that's holding it. Seems like a great phone, though. I wish we had one for sprint pcs here in the US.
    • It's about the same size as the Ericsson T68 and SonyEricsson T68i - just add a centimeter to the height.
    • I've got a 6035. Downloaded the 3D brochure ware (nice job). The sizes are close, 117mm tall for this thing.
      It's form factor bears similarity to the 6035, with the camera lense on the back.
      Looks like the stylus stows starboard on this new one. Does this bode well for the stylus loss statistics, or do they figure you just buy a gizmo pen that doubles as stylus?
      It remains to be seen whether you get much use out of the camera.
      Cases for these things are problematic. I throw mine in a HP 48GX case, which works well enough. Haven't heard of much difficulty with the flip, but I'm having strong thoughts of a Handspring Treo nonetheless.
      As with laptops, there may be no single right answer to the ultimate gadget question.
    • by raffe (28595)
      Well according to this [aftonbladet.se] its gonna cost $1000(10000 SEK)
  • by pommaq (527441)
    Cool phone, but I wonder how long it'll take for that little screen to be covered in ear wax. I want it to plug seamlessly into the brain instead!
  • where does the keypad go once its open? he pictures look like it just get taken off entirely :(
    • Re:im confused (Score:2, Informative)

      by Tha_Zanthrax (521419)
      it gets taken of entirely.

      the keypad is just a piece of plastic in which the button are placed. when a button is pressed it just pushes the touchscreen.

      http://www.sonyericsson.com/3Dphones/p800/p800.h tm l
      to see a demo
  • Of course, this still means you hav to by an ATT phone if you want to use a GSM compatible setup.

    Many companies will not permit you to use a third party phone on their service.

    • by bihoy (100694)
      Yeah, I was reading about this in the paper a few days ago. Implementation of both cell phone and phone number portability have be dragged out for years by mobile phone companies. Apparently the companies want to minimize churn by holding their customers hostage. They seem to have focused more on this technique as opposed to improving service.
    • by dgp (11045)
      GSM is all about interoperability. Perhaps you are describing the fact that a cell phone company can 'lock' a phone to their service, so you cannot get a cheap phone on a service plan and then sell it to someone else on another network. Otherwise any GSM phone should work on any GSM network. Voicestream has long ignored the Ericsson t39 and t68 - yet when I bought a 'unlocked' t39 off of ebay, I inserted my SIM card from my old phone and the t39 worked immeadiately.
    • Or at least they did; I used non-Voicestream hardware on their system about two years ago. They may have become more restrictive since then.
      • They've still got the same policy, which is one of the reasons I switched to them. From their customer help page:

        Question
        Can I activate VoiceStream service on a phone I bought from another carrier?

        Answer
        VoiceStream phones use a technology called GSM (For more information on GSM click here. GSM relies upon a smart card to function. If the phone you purchased from another carrier requires a smart card, you can activate it with VoiceStream. If your phone does not require a smart card, it will not be compatible with the VoiceStream system.

        If you would like to activate your phone with VoiceStream, or are unsure if your phone uses a smart card, please visit any VoiceStream Sales Office for assistance or call Customer Care at 1-800-937-8997.

        Note: You may be required to contact your previous carrier to unblock your phone for VoiceStream activation.
  • Geez, with all the product placement, slashdot could double as a Britney Spears movie.

    Yes, it's sort of a neat phone, but there are a *lot* of neat phones coming down the pipe. I hope they don't all merit a Slashdot commercial.

    Here's a link to a Samsung Camera [samsung.com] with a digital camera too. The camera even sounds nicer than the Ericsson.

    Sorry for being such a wet blanket, but I just don't see a whole lot remarkable about this topic.
  • Ericsson + Windows (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tka (548076)
    What ever happened to the 'ericsson adding windows to their phones' project? I guess they realized that symbian is pretty good (altough nothing can beat linux...).

    I think that many mobile phones can be thought as somekind of pre-PDA thing. You can check email with them, use calendar etc. Do we really need very colourfull screen on PDA's & mobile phones because it uses lot of battery? For some people it's a good thing but, I wouldn't actually really want it now.

    Just waiting for a new release of nokia communicator.. (it'll rock)
    • altough nothing can beat linux...

      Care to expand on that little nugget? I fail to see why Linux has any advantage over Symbian in this context. In fact, I fail to see how Linux even comes close.
      • I think he meant to compare a Linux embedded + GUI compared to the new Windows OS for the cellular phones (forgot it's name)..

        As much as I know - you'll need to do MUCH more to tweak Linux kernel to work on a cell phone, add a new GUI (QTopia won't fit - too big, but thats just my guess), and I hardly see why people want to use Linux there - it's not like you're sticking a free copy of debian into it - you'll need lots of closed source apps & support for it (think browser, calendar, and don't forget - all the modem stuff and the hardware talking)...

        In short - as it stands now - I didn't see any company sells a Linux solution for cell phone, and there's already some competition - Windows solution, Symbian Solution, GEOS solution (the one that comes with Communicator 9100), and others...
    • The partnership with Microsoft didn't work out (gee, what a surprise!) so they split up.
    • You mean this [www.hut.fi] one?
  • Can it run Linux?
  • Another Review (Score:5, Informative)

    by margaret (79092) on Sunday April 28, 2002 @09:51AM (#3424359)
    The register has another review [theregus.com] that's a little more in-depth...
    • Coverage on from the Cebit launch(as well as Nokia 9210 and Nokia 7650) [infosync.no]
      UI and included applications [infosync.no] And more on P800 [infosync.no]
  • by mgkimsal2 (200677) on Sunday April 28, 2002 @10:02AM (#3424385) Homepage
    The new zaurus keyboard on their latest is, imo, much more useful. I realize this is a 'phone' with PDA capabilities second, but it seems that these things are converging more quickly and if someone would keep all capabilities equal (PDA v phone v whatever else) the ultimate handheld device would be the outcome.
    • The Kyocera Smartphone is a pretty good phone/PDA combo. It's an 8MB Palm (v3.5.3) with a tri-mode phone. $99. I bought one last week and love it. I wish the internet service was always-on (rather than dialing up a PPP server), but that's not a biggie. I can use the thing as a wireless fax or modem out of my regular allotment of airtime.
      • That's actually what I have, except I paid over $200 at the time I got it. I actually saw it for $108 at circuit city, with a $100 rebate (total = $8 !!!).

        It's still intended as a phone with PDA stuff in it, and the zaurus is a PDA, with potentially a phone add-on (not sure, but I know it doesn't come with one).
  • Nokia 9210 (Score:2, Informative)

    by jsse (254124)
    If you want a phone with PDA function, Sony P800 is definitely your cup of tea. However, if you want a PDA with phone function, I think Nokia 9210i [nokia.com] will suit you.
  • picture of camera (Score:2, Informative)

    by kipsate (314423)
    A picture of the camera [pdastreet.com] on the back.
  • oy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Apreche (239272)
    I dont' understand the people who design this stuff. We have the technology, we just don't use it properly. I want a cell-phone sized device that is also a PDA, mp3 player, and digital camera. take a cell phone, replace the numbered buttons with a GameBoyAdvance style LCD screen. Use an IBM microdrive. Companies keep making all of these things seperately very well, but they can't seem to combine them correctly. I'm not going to buy one until they have what I want.
    • by broller (74249)
      replace the numbered buttons with a GameBoyAdvance style LCD screen

      Do you mean make it with touchscreen buttons for dialing? That will displease a lot of people who prefer to touch-dial instead of looking at the screen.

      Of course you can't please everyone, which is why we have so many totally different devices now.
    • by FFFish (7567)
      Basically, a Psion NetBook, with voice call capabilities. Gahd, how I'd spooge over something like that.
  • http://www.sonyericsson.com/3Dphones/p800/p800.htm l [sonyericsson.com] shows very nicely how this thing works. I couldn't get the plug-in to work in Opera and had to use IE instead. Now I feel bad... I have sined...
  • I have found that using duct tape to connect my ipaw to my mobile phone is much more cost effective.
  • Sony makes some of the best PDA stuff out there. There Clie line blows Palm and Handspring out of the water in my opinion, and this thing looks like it will give the other PDA/Cels a run for their money.
  • Getting closer- now if it just had a few gigs of memory for MP3s ;)

    Why? I would agree with a few hundred Mb (to 1 gig) for data storage, like text files, cache memory, ect, but gigs for mp3's?

    The whole point of this phone is to be connected all the time, every where. So I would like to download, or stream my mp3' from an online data storage medium, like my home computer or a music service.

    I don't know if GPRS, is allready fast enhough for this kind of usage, but UMTS will.

    /Domo
    • Re:Few gigs??? (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      3 interesting things about this phone:

      1) It is bluetooth enabled, and Toshiba has just announced a pocket sized bluetooth 5GB hard drive called the Pocket Server [toshiba.co.jp] which means that you should be able to stream data back and forth from this P800 puppy quite easily

      and

      2) Sony Ericsson have come up with a technology called TrickleSynch (which uses what they call SynchML)which will basically continually synch your data from phone to base using the always on GPRS 2.5G system. So theoretically you will be able to synch all your data overnight while you're sleeping.

      3) The company claims that the battery life will be around 12 hours of normal use, with 400 hours on standby. The design criteria was apparently to provide a product which only needed charging once a day or less under normal phone/PDA use. They claim to have achieved this by using a battery which is more powerful than the iPaq and by developing in-house a special low power screen.

      The phone is very cool, and not much bigger than my Nokia 8890, and the handwriting recognition actually seems to work, which is even more amazing.
    • If I'm not mistaken - with GPRS you're "always on" - meaning you're connected always, and you pay by amount of data transmition. So if you're willing to play MP3's by data transmition - be my guest, just take a 2nd mortgage to pay the bills ;)
  • Why merge the two? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ajiva (156759)
    Why are people so intent on merging PDA/Phones? They are not very size compatible. Like for example, I take my HandSpring Visor with me to school, but I just stuff it in my backpack and use it in class, but my phone I take *everywhere*. So I have to have a small phone (Nokia 8290). They serve two distinct purposes, and I refuse to merge them. I don't want a smaller PDA, its fine, and I don't want a larger phone, its fine.
    • by pauljlucas (529435) on Sunday April 28, 2002 @12:07PM (#3424795) Homepage Journal
      Why are people so intent on merging PDA/Phones?
      Because, IMHO, it's just plain dumb:
      1. to have phone numbers duplicated and eventually get out of sync between those in a PDA and those in a phone;
      2. to carry two things around rather than one.
      They are not very size compatible.
      If I'm going to carry a PDA around anyway, which is larger than most cell phones, adding cell-phone functionality to it doesn't make it any/much larger than the PDA.

      I also don't understand my so many people want microscopic-sized phones. Sure, they're kind of cute; but the buttons and screens are so damned small. Also, one's home/land-line phone is "normal phone sized" so why insist on much smaller cell phones?

      I take my HandSpring Visor with me to school, but I just stuff it in my backpack and use it in class, but my phone I take *everywhere*.
      I take my Kyocera QCP-6035 with me everywhere and use it more as a PDA than a phone. I use it in the supermarket (HandyShopper), the gym (thinkDB2), and other places.

      But those times when either I need to make a call or the select few people who have my cell number need to get a hold of me, it's great. In the Address Book app, I also keep store hours so I can know if they're open before I bother to call.

      The phone even does a number look-up in the Address Book app for the caller's name when no caller-ID information is transmitted. Nice touch.

      They serve two distinct purposes ...
      Not when it comes to the Address Book app where there is lots of overlap. The Speed Dial app also links to the numbers in the Address Book. Again, nice touch.
      ... and I refuse to merge them.
      Fine: that's your choice. Nobody is putting a gun to your head.
      • phone/PDA's are bigger than just the PDA.

        All of your other reasons can be remedied by:

        BLUETOOTH

        ( Now you know why Microsoft is attempting to kill Bluetooth.)

        LoB

    • ==[ Why are people so intent on merging PDA/Phones? ]==

      Because it's a pain in the butt having to carry around 2 devices, especially when generally a PDA is much bigger. I recently brought a T68m, solely on the strength of its calendaring features. I keep its calendar and phone number list in sync with my PC organizer and consequently my Palm is now collecting dust. I doubt I'll ever use it again.

      Having my diary entries for the next year and all my phone numbers to hand all the time, has turned out to be a god send. I doubt I'll ever use seperate devices again.
  • by bihoy (100694) on Sunday April 28, 2002 @10:59AM (#3424531)
    I wonder what functions the API will provide access to? One of my peeves with 3G (or near 3G) devices is the inability to programatically control the telephony functions of the device. For example it would be very desirable to be able to filter incoming calls. Particularly all the phone spam that these devices are going to be magnets for. If this device would allow for this then that would be *very* cool. At any rate, I want one!
    • Java (Score:3, Informative)

      by barnaclebarnes (85340)
      Its got Java so yes you can program apps for this phone. The java will be the J2me edition.

      /b
    • This comes down to the service creation APIs that live on servers in the 3G network - while 3G has a huge range of such APIs, and a lot of capabilities in this area, it's rather doubtful that these will be fully exposed to the customer. UMTS Release 5 (a later release of the main 3G standards) will be wholly based on SIP, but you'll still need to go through a SIP proxy).

      However, at least with EPOC APIs for C++ and Java you'll be able to fully program whatever features are exposed from the network.

  • I would rather have a network (blue tooth) or something like that that could keep my personal devices (as will as information on my laptop and desktop) synced. I want the phone lists the same and be able to pull a number form an email on my pda and dial it on the phone. It would also be nice if they backed each other up. So if my cell-phone gets smashed I can buy a replacement and the data will fill in from my other devices. (like a RAD array).

    is this so different?
  • Sorry for my complete unfamiliarity with overseas phone systems -- Is this a phone that you could take abroad and use then?

    How does that work? I've heard that pretty much everyone else in the world uses GSM. Is that enough to use your phone on their networks? How do they bill you?

    Thanks in advance for enlightening me!
    • Usually there's two ways:

      1. Enable international roaming with your US provider, then - as long as there's a GSM provider wherever you are - people can call you as normal. This costs a lot though, average $1.50 per minute and will be billed by your regular provider.

      2. Get a new contract with a provider in your new country. You'll get a new sim card for your phone, and your phone must be unlocked for this to work. This is obviously cheaper for usage, but most providers require a 12 month contract.

      This phone is triband so you can use it pretty much anywhere.
      • I would have to diagree that 'most providers require a 12 month contract'. Most providers have Pre Pay SIMS available that allow you to top up your account via phone cards/credit cards. In fact in the UK its something 85% of phones are on PrePay accounts. Getting a new SIM when you travel is good for price but then you lose the ability to receive calls on your normal number. Its a trade off between price and convenience....

        And to back up your statement on availability:

        DualBand GSM phones work in most countries apart from the US. TriBand phones work in the US as well as other countries. A quick check on Vodafone UK's website (http://www.vodafone-roaming.co.uk/) told me that I can use my phone in 132 countries. So pretty much anywhere. The only problem I have had while travelling was in Brazil where I could not get service.
        • Thanks for clearing that up..I was under the impression that PrePay sim cardswere inseparable from the phones that used them.

          To correct you on dual-band phones though :) - My Erricson T28 is only dual band and works in the US and the UK.
      • Is there a way to "un-lock" those GSM phones? I have Communicator 9110i and 8210 - any chance for those phones to be un-locked? how?
        • In Europe there's quite a large cottage industry that deals in breaking phones. All the major players on in on it: warez groups, organized crime. You can actually get it removed in a couple dozen places here in Warsaw.

          You can almost always unlock your phone in a couple minutes for about $10. There are sometimes problems with the newest phones, newest software. But, usually, it's not a problem.

          Check out Google [google.com] or ask electronics/telephone freaks in your local area. It will probably void your warranty though, so beware.

          This reminds me... Poland's largest cellphone operator, Era [www.era.pl], offered the Nokia 8210 for a symbolic 1zl ($0.25) to it's business customers who'd sign a 2 year contract. The phone was selling for 500-600zl with a 2 year contract so it was quite a deal. The phones didn't weren't simlocked, everyone I talked to assumed it was Era's way of showing appreciation to their business customers.

          Later it turned out that phones were supposed to have been simlocked and somebody just screwed up. Six people - a chunk of a whole division at Era - lost their jobs.
    • The GSM system allows you to take your phone to other networks according to agreements between the network operators; the precise details vary from operator to operator, but in general your "home" network forwards calls to the network to which you're roaming - the person who's calling you pays the normal charge and you pay the roaming charge to receive the call. When you make calls on a roaming network, you generally pay the same as that network's own home phones, plus some small percentage. I guess there's some sort of clearing system between the networks, because roaming charges usually show up on my bill from 1-3 months after the calls actually took place.
  • by pubjames (468013) on Sunday April 28, 2002 @11:23AM (#3424627)
    Fighting in the domestic entertainment appliance arena today are:

    Microsoft:
    XBox - success uncertain

    Other attempts at (non-hardware) domestic entertainment products
    MSN - dissapointing - not very profitable - failed to unseat AOL
    Microsoft Bob - 'domestic OS' - laughable failure
    Pocket PC operating system for phones and PDAs - moderate success, not a significant revenue generator yet
    Various TV/cable ventures - moderate success or failure
    Microsoft games - successful and profitable

    Sony
    TVs, music systems, VCRs, DVD players etc - very successful globally over many years
    Sony Walkman, personal stereos, mini-disc players - very successful globablly over many years
    PlayStation 1 and 2 - very successful worldwide
    Mobile phones - increasingly successful collaboration with major service providers

    Other domestic ventures (not hardware):
    Sony entertainment products (movies, record lables), generally successful or very successful over many years.

    Who would you bet on winning in the domestic appliance ring - the 900lb gorrilla or Godzilla?
  • http://theregister.co.uk/content/54/25054.html

    _
  • And I thought James Bond had it made.
    With GPS via Bluetooth and a built in Camera, all we need now is a miniature high-powered laser or other such energy weapon capable of burning through steel and this thing would be ready for use by all '00' agents.

    Regardless if it has the laser or not, I'm getting one of these killer P800's the day they come out with one for Verizon, since they just got the 3G wireless services up and running here in the Bay Area, it's time I got a phone capable of using the uber-network that floats in the air around me.

    And the idea of taking a picture and sending it over my phone to some one in an instant is just way too cool. I think that's going to be all the rage: take a picture - add a note and send it off.
    That's the ultimate in communication right there...

    Next time I'm running late for a meeting, I could just snap a quick pic of the nightmare traffic I'm stuck in and send it to the people waiting on me :)
  • "...this looks to be the best PDA/phone combined in the world." This thing would get you laughed off the subway car in Tokyo (by high-school girls with more advanced tech).
  • Several years ago, NTT Docomo released a phone in Japan that could store and play mp3's. The problem with the concept was a combination of price and target audience. The average person who desired to have their phone double as a walkman was college age and younger. The phone was priced at a modest $600 which most college students couldn't afford.

    The idea of the camera in the phone is quite useful and has been available here in Japan for quite some time and is very reasonably priced. Almost all the phones over here have a great deal of PDA functionality and connect to the internet which is very useful.

    But we return again to the target audience. The novelty of the phone being able to play my favorite mp3's and mpg's is going to wear off about two seconds after I read the price tag. The reason being is that like most salary workers, my day is fairly evenly divided up between work, commuting, eating, sleeping, and trying desparately to have something called a social life. Aside from amazing my friends during the "social life" part of my day, I have no time to play with gadgets, nor do I have any professional use for playing mp3's or mpg's. I didn't even get the camera phone over here because the cost didn't justify the very few times I would actually use that feature. IMO the P800 looks really cool for a technology demo, but I don't think they will be able to produce it at a sufficiently low cost for it to succeed. It's simple economics....when you have to pay rent/bills, support a girlfriend/wife/kids, and still manage to feed and entertain yourself, you find yourself seriously asking, "How often would I REALLY use this?"

    ----------
    • I agree the one thing I did see awhile back that I thought was neat was the camera that connected you to your pop e-mail. Kind of neat running out of room on the camera? Just e-mail your photos to youself. Also waiting for an important e-mail? Just check your camera. Neat!
  • When are the companies out there going to get a standard that we all can use together? 802.11x, Bluetooth, The funky Intel stuff, etc. It would be nice if I go over to a friends not to have to make sure we buy the same standard. At least some of the 802.11a people are making it so they do 802.111a and 802.11b.
    • When are the companies out there going to get a standard that we all can use together? 802.11x, Bluetooth ...
      802.11x and Bluetooth have disjoint intended uses. The former is for high-bandwith, medium-range wireless LANs for laptops. That requires big antennas and lots of power that laptops can provide.

      Bluetooth is for low-bandwidth, short-range wireless applications, e.g., cordless peripherals, PDA/phone sync'ing, i.e., things that don't have lots of power.

  • Ultimate PDA should be light to carry and of reasonable size (no larger/heavier than eg Nokia 62?? -series, IMHO).

    I can't find that information in SonyEricsson site and neither this nor The Registers review has any mention of the dimensions of this thing...

    I find that a bit confusing. Usually "forgetting" to mention these little details imply vaporware.

    Otherwise this thing looks very desiarable indeed.
  • Look at the number pad on your keyboard, and then look at the number pad on your phone. They're opposite. The keyboard starts at the bottom and works it's way up, while the phone starts at the top and works down.

    Each are standard in their own field; You'll never find a keyboard with a phone-style pad and you'll never find a phone with a keyboard-style pad, but they're opposite from eachother. When I finally get a computer/phone combination, what kind of pad will it have? And who was the monkey that allowed these standards to differ so drastically?

    Sam
    • And who was the monkey that allowed these standards to differ so drastically?
      AFAIK, the reason why numeric pads, taken from calculators, and, before them, adding machines, are the way they are is arbitrary.

      The reason phone pads are the way they are was a conscious decision by Bell Labs when moving away from rotary-dial phones to Touch-Tone. If you recall a rotary dial, the lower digits were on the top of the dial. To make the transition to Touch-Tone, they put the lower digits on the top of the pad.

      Before you criticize Bell Labs for not following the defacto standard, remember that if Apple and others didn't break with the 8.3 filename convention, we would have been stuck with that for many more years.

    • Both? (Score:3, Informative)

      by DABANSHEE (154661)
      I've seen computer keyboards that are designed for use in call centres where workers can dial out via the modem in the cvomputer & the computer's in effect also gets used as a phone.

      When used with the dialer software the number pad changes to the phone layout, while otherwise it uses the standard PC keyboard layout.

      To add to the confusion the keys have both numbers on it.

      So for example the '7' key has a little grey '1' printed on it next to where the '7' is printed, & 'home' is printed underneath. While the '8' key has a little grey '2' printed next to where the '8' is printed, & also has the up arrow printed on it to. Etc, etc.
    • Some keyboards allow to take out invidual keys and rearrange them. If you want some fun, rearrange your work buddy's num pad in phone-style order: He/She will have no idea what's going on since the key layout "looks right", trying to reinstal drivers etc... :-)
    • According to Donald Norman's Design of Everyday Things (great book, you should read it!), when AT&T designed the first touch tone phone they looked at keyboards for comptuers, and asked WHY, and were horrified to discover that there was no reason. AT&T then spent a lot of money to figgure out the best arrangement for the number keys and put that on the phone.

  • Perhaps a stupid question, but if this is a PDA, how do we input data? I don't see an alphanumeric keypad, and there's not the familiar PalmOS text input area.
    If it has Newton-style on the fly handwriting recognition, that would be WAY cool.
    Even cooler (but unlikely) would be voice recognition or OCR via the camera module
  • They managed to combine a flimsy flip-cover, guaranteed to snap off within a year with an exposed keyboard, guaranteed to accidentally dial people while the phone's in your pocket (yes, I know you can lock most phones, but can any regular cell user tell me they've never forgotten to lock the phone even once?)

    At least it looks like the flimsy cover isn't actually wired, so replacements won't cost an arm and a leg.
  • Ill wait until it has tricorder-like capabilities. Sure its great to have a ppt presentation on your cell phone, but what if you need to scan for alien life forms, detect neutrino emissions, or tell if somone has a tribble lodged in their -*Radio Edit*-? Plus tricorders have more blinking lights on them, so you cant go wrong with that.
  • by jimbo (1370) on Sunday April 28, 2002 @01:02PM (#3424987)
    Just bought one of these ingenious gadgets for my T39:
    http://www.wanna-save.dk/specialtilbud/defau lt.asp ?VareID=355
    Price: About $50.
    I plan on buying a P800 ASAP (MP3 or not - it ROCKS) and sent SONY-Ericsson a letter asking about MP3 support, they answered:

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    Thank you for contacting Sony Ericsson,

    With regard to your enquiry, the P800 does not have a built in MP3 player.

    Details of compatibility with accessories are not currently available.

    For further available information regarding this product you should log onto
    our website www.sonyericsson.com

    Should you require any further assistance please do not hesitate to
    contact us.

    Kind regards

    Mike Rowlands
    SonyEricsson Customer Support

    Telephone: 08705 237 237
    Fax: 0845 300 2439
    Email: questions.gb@sonyericssonmobile.com

    -----Original Message-----
    Sent: 23 April 2002 18:49
    To: questions.gb@support.sonyericsson.com
    Subject: Contact form CWS

    Product: MP3 Handsfree HPM-10

    Opinion: Buying a HPM-10 I wonder: Will it work with the P800 or will the
    P800 have a more practical builtin MP3 capabilities and a flashmemory
    expansion slot of sorts? (yes, I can actually imagine listening to music
    during a boring meeting).

    Thanks
    Best regards.
  • Look at the picture with the numpad showing. You can see the hinges and how there are slots in the base phone compartment for the hinges. Now look at the picture with the numpad opened up. There are no hinge slots at all in the phone. Where did the numpad go?

    I also see the shadow of the pen looking like a artists mockup. Shouldn't there be some reflection?

    If they can build this it looks good for those who insist on having a phone AND PDA in one device. I personally like the option of wireless connectivity between phone, pda, headset, etc. Keep the phones disposable and pack as much as possible into the PDA. IMHO.

    LoB
  • The white paper(PDF) [ericsson.com] on the on the SonyEricsson P800 has plenty of details. I'd recommend taking a look if your interested in this great new platform. I'd really like for Symbian gain popularity in the US.
  • It would be interesting if you could install a Voice over IP app on there. One thing I can't find anywhere is the resolution of the cam. The Nokia one is 640x480.

    Phillip.

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