Monday, October 29, 2007

Digital Dilemmas

If you've read previous posts you'll know I love gadgets. My phone of choice for almost the last year and a half has been the Palm Treo - firstly the 650 and when I managed to break that, it's successor the 680. I love the Palm operating system, so easy to use, but the Treo is not without fault. Back in September I therefore on a whim bought an HTC S710 Windows mobile smartphone in the belief this would be a new dawn for me in my mobile computing world.
However, all it's done is confuse me.
The main reasons for switching from the Treo were, in no particular order:
  • Poor battery life
  • Weak signal reception (compared to other phones on the same network)
  • Random restets
  • A dodgy onboard clock that could "lose" up to an hour a day - iffy if your smartphone is controlling your calendar and alarms!
The S710 looked a great replacement on paper. It still had the pre-requisite for me - a qwerty keyboard - a neat slide out contraption, which allowed the smaller form factor over the Treo. A great screen, system stability, great battery life and good signal reception. This, I thought was the way forward - goodbye Palm.


Try as I can, I just can't ditch Palm and the Treo. Although the S710 cures all the failings of the Treo, it's just not as fast and intuitive to use as the Palm operating system. I find the lack of a touch screen particularly frustrating, the spinning beach ball appears too often as I wait for applications to open and everything takes at least one or two more button presses in Windows Mobile than on the Palm. Worse, it's locked up on me a couple of times when browsing the internet.
I've spent the last week swithcing my SIM from the S710 to the Treo and back again trying to decide which is the device for me. There's absoutely no doubt in my mind, that were battery life, and signal reception better on the Treo it would be my preferred smartphone of choice by a country mile, but just when I think I can live with those failings, they let me down. So I switch back. 24 hours later, the Windows Mobile interface is driving me back to the Treo!
There's no sign of Palm fixing these problems - or even acknowledging they exist, so little hope there. There's an new version of the S710 out soon - the S730 which promises a faster processor, so may be worth a look. I'd rather be using the Treo though.

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