Tuesday, November 07, 2006

My dream PDA moves a step closer

For many years 'convergence' has been a buzzword bandied about by pundits in the computer industry, and by just about anyone who has ever thought 'Wouldn't it be nice if I could carry just one compact, easy-to-use, stable, attractive, sturdy, cool device that allowed me to manage my contact details and diary, browse the web, 'phone, 'skype', MSN, text and email my friends, capture, store and view images and video, control my hifi, plan and navigate my journeys, store, organise and listen to my music collection...'

It's not JUST me who has thought that is it?

Oh, OK.

Well, anyway, back in April I blogged on this, using the then soon-to-be-released Mio A710 as an example of how close we were to a device that fulfilled these requirements.

The main areas where the Mio fell short was flaky software/hardware implementation, no built-in WiFi, and too much bulk (150g).

HTC are a Taiwan-based smartphone/PDA designer/manufacturer. Up until recently they have produced phones that mobile networks put their own badges on. However, recently HTC have started marketing a number of 'own-badged' products.

The soon-to-be-released HTC P3300 is their most advanced offering to date, boasting:

- Windows Mobile 5 *meep!*
- 320 x 240 pixel colour screen
- Quad Band GPRS/EDGE
- FM radio
- MicroSD smart card
- 2.0 megapixel camera
- Bluetooth 2.0
- WiFi

All in a 58x108x16mm (not much bigger than this picture), 127g package.

Early reports indicate that the HTC P3300 is less than perfect. The camera is average, the processor a little slow, the screen not bright enough in direct sunlight, nobody seems to like the 'rollerball' pointer device... and did I mention it runs Windows? Not something I'd be willing to part with £450.00 for.

But the important thing is that this is not a 'concept machine'. It IS possible to put all the components that I want into a box that is light enough to carry around in my shirt pocket.

Now, imagine if Jonathan Ives' team worked its magic on this thing. Slapped one of those new Samsung 640 x 480 pixel LCD panels on it. Shaved a few grammes and millimetres. Added a couple of memory slots. Then finished it off with a decent operating system, Bluetooth earbuds and a drop-dead gorgeous casing. Now that is a product that would have me parting with (over) half a grand.

Ah well, that's me dreaming...

but Christmas IS coming.


Jase (@X1) said...

we just KNOW the boys (and girls) at Apple are woking on something, there are too may rumours flying about for them NOT to be!.... now.... I have just bought a 5.5gen iPod... and a MacBook Pro.... how and I going to convince my girlie I NEED an iPhone?

ConradGempf said...

Didja see the review of the SonyEricsson K790 over at Cabel Sasser's (as in Audion!) place? Same price same sort of feature set. I don't think it's Microsoft-run since he specifically mentions how Mac friendly it is. The camera is 3Mpxl and with real non-LED flash. I don't think he mentions GPS though.


I know you're not a big fan of Sony these days, but Cabel Sasser should get some respect.

By the way, I keep meaning to ask: What's with Newcastle United at the moment? Even Watford are ahead of them. Is relegation inevitable do you think?

brett jordan said...

yes, the sony ericsson phones are excellent pieces of kit, it is one similar to the k790 that i told you a good friend uses to access his home server remotely with

however, no wifi or gps, and no native itunes compatibility

oh, and regarding NU, they've got BIG problems this season.

They have lost Owen, Ameobe and co, and are relying on an unproven striker to score goals.

Roeder seems to be getting loads of grief from the fans and press, but i really do not think it's solely his fault. after all, they've struggled to score goals ALL season.

IMHO, their main problem lies in defence. Bramble is simply NOT premiership defender material, he makes far too many mistakes.

Duff has not done for Newcastle what he was doing for Chelsea. Given is injured, and the squad has little 'depth'.

They need to look at the players they have, and play to their strengths. Scoring is going to be the main problem, as they haven't got a decent striker, even if chances were being created!

Conrad, as you know, I've got a soft spot for Newcastle, but things do need to improve, and improve quickly or they are going to be in real trouble by Christmas.

conradgempf said...

Thanks, Brett. That's pretty much what I thought too about Newcastle. "How have the mighty fallen", eh?

On the phones, why is wifi a big deal if the Bluetooth is good? Not that it matters, since I imagine GPS is the dealbreaker for you.

brett jordan said...

wifi is faster than bluetooth, and it means i can use the pda to browse the web at home, or in a coffee shop, use it with skype, etc... it really is a deal breaker, as is gps

the real deal-breaker though is the interface... i've tried using pocket pcs, sony ericssons and samsungs, and the interfaces are all obfuscatory and unattractive

i guess i really am waiting for an apple-designed PDA

fixyourthinking said...

The new Glofish is the dream PDA with sleek looks and everything you want ... I can only imagine what the Apple iPhone will be like in comparison to this actual shipping phone.


brett jordan said...

yep, the glofish looks cool, but it is a bit heavy (150g) and runs on the 'wrong' operating system :-)

Major Look said...

Having tried an all singing / dancing PDA / Phone / Camera, I have gone back to using my HP IPAQ 4150, Nokia 6310i phone and Carry a digital camera with me.

I think the phone is the part that needs to stay separate, wheras teh PDA and the camera (so long as processor speeds and picture quality are good) can be merged into one unit.

The main reason for the PDA not making a good phone is that often when talking on the phone, I need to see the PDA to make appointments, or use it for TomTom etc.

I know you can get it into speakerphone mode while using it as a PDA, but currently the software that these things runs on does not make that easy - especially when you have to do it immediately.

It would be great to have an Apple PDA, although 'The Missing Sync' allows very good connection from my Mac to the IPAQ, and as a usable device, the IPAQ has so many great features.

I have managed to read many books on the IPAQ as I travel on the train, using PDF Reader and Microsoft (yuk) reader.

The screen is not good for Internet browsing, but using the 'block recogniser' (AKA Palm Graffitti) does allow text to be input more easily.

It can use MS Word and Excel documents, so editing on the move is a reality, and the voice memo recorder isvery good indeed.

I link it to my car using a serial cable to the gps device, but also use a bluetooth GPS receiver for when I travel in other cars.

The Win Mobiles OS is flaky, but quick to reboot and as it is now 2-3 years old I guess I should be looking for a new, faster unit, so come on Apple, hurry up and launch what I need - an Apple 4150!