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List your PDA/smartphone history/experiences

Last response: in Cell Phones & Smartphones
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August 15, 2009 7:57:34 PM

I'm just curious as to other people's histories with PDAs and smartphones. I've had a pretty long and winding one, I suppose. What do you guys do with your old devices?

1. Sharp OZ PDA. Got this about 8 years ago, used the devil out of it. Good device, but was lacking in features...but the PDA world was still pretty young.

2. HP iPaq h1915. Got this the next year - it was the baseline of HP's PocketPC series, and came with Windows CE. Good machine, though it still was lacking since it had no wireless connectivity, and all it did was replace my Sharp unit and add in an mp3 player functionality in an age where ipods were bricks.

3. Dell Axim X30. 2 years or so later, I landed this little guy which lasted me a good long time. Used it in school a ton, saved my life on numerous occasions with this or that thing that I'd forgotten to do. It was a big device though, and pretty square. Ran Windows Mobile 2003.

4. HP iPaq hx2795. A powerful PocketPC that I got for free (with the GPS unit) from a company (I'd help them set up their fleet of the units, which they still use, though they're replacing them with blackberries). Windows Mobile 5 ran all sorts of new software that 2003 couldn't, and I loved that device to death.

5. UT Starcom XV6700. Less than a year after my latest iPaq, I jumped on the smartphone bandwagon. It's a brick of a device, and I still use it today. I'm very happy with it. I'll soon be replacing it with an HTC Touch Pro, though.

No one else I know was on the whole PDA deal before the smartphone came about, and even now, I only know a few people who have them. All of my devices still work well, but I really only use my phone and the hx2975 as a GPS. Other than that, the other devices sit in drawers. I tried getting my mother to use the X30, but she didn't really catch onto it, and soon got a blackberry instead. I thought the PDA was the greatest little thing - and still is, really, if a phone is attached. The level of connectivity I have to my personal and business servers as well as my home network is great - I could never go back to a standard phone running some OS developed for a carrier.
a b I Smartphone
August 16, 2009 2:21:47 PM

Well I've had Imate K-JAM which is my first PDA and wasn't happy with it,then i got Imate PDAL and i wasn't happy with that either,after that i got HTC TOUCH and it was a good device,the start of a something new in pocket PC's and now 2 days ago i got my HTC TOUCH PRO2 and I'm loving it and may write a review soon ;) 
August 16, 2009 4:11:34 PM

lol Maz, you're the only one to respond.

I'm actually kind of happy I can't get the Touch Pro2. Verizon doesn't offer it (yet, but no word if they will) and since they're dropping the touch, it's currently only $99 with a 2-year contract. I'm going to jump on that one.

The tilting screen and everything is nice, but there's not much the Pro2 has that the first version doesn't. So I'm not so upset about getting the older one.
August 17, 2009 4:02:37 AM

i have a bj2 through att and i left it out during MI's almost record winter and it still works, been under like 3ft of snow rofl, everything still worx perfectly - good thing about wm is you can get almost every kinda game you want free
a b I Smartphone
August 17, 2009 6:58:34 AM

frozenlead said:
lol Maz, you're the only one to respond.

I'm actually kind of happy I can't get the Touch Pro2. Verizon doesn't offer it (yet, but no word if they will) and since they're dropping the touch, it's currently only $99 with a 2-year contract. I'm going to jump on that one.

The tilting screen and everything is nice, but there's not much the Pro2 has that the first version doesn't. So I'm not so upset about getting the older one.

In IRAN,the price difference is about $100 between TP1 and TP2 and IMO $100 was worth it so i bought the TP2 :D 
August 17, 2009 3:36:12 PM

Wow..the price difference here is $300!
a b I Smartphone
August 18, 2009 7:31:01 AM

TP2 cost about $740 and TP1 costs $640,how much do they cost there?
August 18, 2009 4:24:47 PM

The TP1 is $99 with a 2 year contract (from Verizon), while the TP2 (which is only available from T-Mobile) is $349 with a 2 year plan.
August 22, 2009 4:14:37 PM

My first experience with a PDA-like device was some weird hybrid contraption thing the size of a Betamax tape, that was like a watch & dictaphone that my dad brought home to test from IBM, and it used EXPOSED floppy disks to record data and voice which you had to insert inside, and which I had exposure to because I helped my dad to figure out how to load and eject them, this was in the very early 80s around the original PC launch.

My first PDA like device would have been a Casio calculator watch I had in grade 6 (82-83) I couldn't tell you the model, probably even at the time, but I got it at Consumers Distributing like so many other cool watches. It had 99 phone # entries and place for 20 calendar based alarms with an 8 character note.

My first true PDA would be the early Psion II which mainly stayed in my locker and bag when not on my desk at home (didn't really use it for it's intended purpose), and then I had various PDA-like devices like the Franklin Calendar and Adress book with Dictionary, which was pocketable and I did use daily. Them my net major PDAs were the Palm add-on for the StarTac that I got when I worked with Motorola, and also the SuperPager which had basic PDA functions, and then the IBM Work Pad, followed by its replacement the WP-C3.

Now I work in the mobile industry and the list of all the devices that have actually been on my hip for more than a week, and are launched ;)  , are listed in my Public profile.

Frozen, if you have questions about the TP or TP2 let me know (PM me, I don't visit THGC as much any more), I just happen to have a TP2 as one of my current on-hip phones (I have work email on an Exchange and BES phone simultaneously, plus always and iDEN phone and then my personal (and one of the first Smartphones) the Kyo 7135 which I love, but is suffering a dying battery.

I would say the TP2 is worth the upgrade, because for our network it's 3.5G, it's got a zippy processor, much better screen for browsing webpages, the interface is greatly improved, and the keyboard is better spaced and more responsive. There's some Gimicky features but it is a better device, and to me it would be worth more, but not sure if for you it would be worth $250 more. I think it would also depend if you can do streaming on your account and the utility of that to you.
August 23, 2009 7:35:19 AM

Verizon (my carrier) doesn't offer the TP2 (yet...but they haven't said a word about it)..but with the TP at $99, I just can't pass that up.

Nice write, though - I never knew any company produced a device that used an unprotected magnetic disk. That's nuts. I don't even want to know how reliable it was.
a b I Smartphone
August 23, 2009 7:40:14 AM

Yup that's right ^ The screen is really awesome, 3.6" WVGA :D 
August 23, 2009 7:51:20 AM

My XV6700 only has a 2.8" screen, and I don't find it too difficult to VNC or surf the web. When I don't feel like scrolling with VNC I use SSH...I mean, even with the TP2 I'd still have to scroll.
August 24, 2009 5:43:59 PM

The nice thing about the TP2, it has a scoll pad on the right side which is also used for Zoom, but at 800x600 it's good with many web pages with full pictures, etc.

I'm surpprised VZ didn't get it, but it may be due to the HSPA support.

Anywhoo, overall it's sweet, it's still cumbersome compared to the TreoPro (which I like as a day-day small phone), but for all-out features & power it's tops currently.

PS, my UTStarcomm SUCKED, but I know alot of customers who loved them and never had the issues I had with it, for 3 months AWESOME, could finally read developer PowerPoints on the road, then after 3 months, continuous spontaneous white screens of death andoften not returning from reboot even after multiple hard reboots, it's HTC's early device, but it seemed hit & miss on build quality.
August 24, 2009 6:48:01 PM

The white screens of death were fixed with an AKU update for my device. I used to get them with my first month of the phone - then I checked Verizon's site for updates, and found one to fix it.
August 24, 2009 9:56:55 PM

Yeah mine didn't last that long (started getting corrupt rom with a shifted screen as well), I poped back to the Kyo7135 right away. That's the problem with being an early adopter, I wasn't willing to wait for a fix (which came 6 months after launch), but I had a working Kyo and so bye bye UT.

I have never seen an issue so bad as that one either, it was essentially a bricked phone, so took the warranty and swap out for a Pantech 8200 with the credit.
August 24, 2009 10:30:16 PM

I did get the phone pretty late in it's life..but that's when my contract was up. Oh, contracts, how I hate you so.
a b I Smartphone
August 25, 2009 10:20:58 AM

Well after using my TP2 for about 2 weeks I'm pretty happy with it really :)  the only problem i have is that i have to charge it mostly everyday but lets not call it a problem since i do lots of things with it everyday :) 
August 25, 2009 10:01:54 PM

See and actually I get that complaint alot, and really, I don't see it as an issue, ever since my first phone with a calendar, I've plugged it in before going to bed.

Now more than ever, plugging it in before going to bed just makes sense, and I get batteries for FREE so I don't need to if I was lazy.

I find alot of people are used to having it just sit in standby mode for days and days, whereas, now you just can't do that if you actually use any of the features.
August 26, 2009 12:22:46 AM

That's actually what the verizon salesman said when I used the TP in the store. She came up to me and said "You know, that particular device has a really low battery life...you might want to look at a blackberry..". I just pulled out my XV6700 and said I was used to it.

Charging before I go to bed is something I used to do all the time, but after 1.5 years of it, the battery was really degraded on my XV6700. It wouldn't last 10 minutes on the phone, and would run low in less than 10 hours. I got a new one for a mere $10, but it would have been nice if I hadn't needed it...

I've been searching for some kind of timer that once you turn it on, it only supplies AC power to whatever is connected to it for a certain amount of time, so the battery doesn't sit charging all night. I haven't found anything, though...I'm thinking of just building one.
a b I Smartphone
August 26, 2009 7:12:17 AM

hmm I've heard that always charge the battery when its empty otherwise battery life shortens
August 27, 2009 11:19:21 AM

Completely discharging batteries is bad for them, but PDA's and phones won't let a battery completely discharge as they'll turn off well before that so you shouldn't need to worry.

My history:

2003 - got an Orange SPV (aka HTC Canary). First phone that ran Smartphone 2002 and was brilliant - colour screen and MP3 ringtones when the rest of the world had bleeping monotone Nokia's. If only Windows had been able to stay that far ahead! Nice phone, horrible keys, ugly and a little tempramental!

2004 - Orange SPV C500 (aka HTC Typhoon). Lovely candybar-style phone that actually ran Smartphone 2003SE quickly and reliably. Suffered from dust getting inside the screen, but turned out to be easy to dismantle to sort. Still have it now as a spare and it runs fine with Windows Mobile 6.1 on it.

2005 - Orange SPV M500 (aka HTC Magician). First touch-screen phone and first 2.8 inch screen PPC. Ran WM2003SE and absolutely loved it. This phone made me realise I could never go back to a non-touch screen but I did miss a keyboard at times.

2006 - T-Mobile MDA Vario 2 (aka HTC Hermes). Just like my last phone, but with a slide-out keyboard and WM5. Switched to WM6 as soon as the first builds leaked, just made it a little nicer. After a year sold it to a friend, who's since sold it onto another of my friends. It's still going strong to this day. Very nice.

2007 - T-Mobile MDA Vario 3 (aka HTC Kaiser). Physically a little nicer than the Hermes, a little faster and built in GPS was nice. It had W6 on it when I got it, within 12 hours it was running WM6.1 Spent some time building ROMs for this and still one of my favourite phones. Well built, reliable and speedy.

2007 - Bought a QTek 8500 (aka HTC StrTrk) in bright pink! Expansys were selling them off at £25 and all sold out within 12 hours. Nice QVGA non-touch screen, now runs WM6.1 and is a great spare phone for when you don't want a bulky PPC in your pocket. Even the pink's grown on me!

2008 - HTC Touch Pro (aka HTC Raphael). Had to get it for the gorgeous VGA screen. Never seen a screen as nice in my life, and the rest of the phone is just as nice. Currently running WM6.5 and is as solid and good looking as the day I bought it. Wonder if the Touch Pro 3 will be out when my 18 month contract's up?!

To be honest, ever since I bought my first Smartphone, I've been really happy with each and have yet to buy a dud or one I ended up unhappy with. Just wish the Touch Pro had as much WOW factor as the early Smartphones and PPCs did, but sadly the rest of the world has caught up and their phones are now as flashy and impressive, but I couldn't go back to a feature (or dumb) phone now after getting used to running whatever apps you want.
August 28, 2009 1:11:34 AM

Confused Stu, do you mean the Touch Pro 2 in your last device?

And I've always known to completely discharge and recharge batteries - though, you're correct, you don't want to discharge them all the way on RAM based devices.
August 28, 2009 11:16:42 AM

No, currently using a Touch Pro not a Touch Pro 2 (HTC Raphael rather than HTC Rhodium). My screen's 640x480 rather than 800x480 and I've got a direction-pad (sort of!) rather than a zoom slider. Beyond that, the two are pretty similar.

Although nickel-based batteries do prefer full discharging before recharging to avoid the memory effect, this isn't the case with the Lithium-Ion batteries that most PDAs and phones have these days. Actually fully discharging one of those can damage it, so phones are designed to switch off and stop using the battery before the battery discharges to that point. This means on pdas with volatile memory you can lose your numbers, programs and settings even though the battery still has some juice in it! Probably way too much info, but just to show I'm not just spouting rubbish about keeping our batteries topped up: http://www.batteryuniversity.com/parttwo-34.htm

:) 
August 29, 2009 12:03:32 AM

I'll read that article in a day or two when I get time, nice link.

Most PDAs though have built in back up batteries that allow you to have your main battery dead for a small period of time.
August 31, 2009 10:20:07 PM

Also take note in that that it's more important not to store the battery with a full charge as that will more adversly affect the capacity of the battery.

We always store our demo devices with whatever charge is remaining in them and then recharge them anew before lending them out, this prolongs their life.

It's pretty hard to completely discharge a battery nowadays even if you're conditioning it, so I wouldn't worry about it too much with normal use, a short would be more of a concern in that respect.
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