Monday, June 20, 2005

Audiovox SMT 5600

I got a new cell phone today, the Audiovox SMT 5600. So far, I've been really impressed. It runs the Windows Mobile 2003 SE operating system, so it syncs with Outlook beautifully and effortlessly. I did have trouble getting my laptop to recognize the device when plugged in via a USB cable. A trip to Best Buy to pick up a Bluetooth USB adapter fixed that problem. I can sync wirelessly and get pass-through Internet access via ActiveSync.

Transferring contacts has been a huge highlight: I had all of my contacts stored on the SIM card, so putting that into this phone brought it all over. But I'm switching providers to get in on the corporate cell phone plan (from Cingular to T-Mobile; I bought an unlocked unit). On the phone, I launched the SIM Manager application, selected all contacts, selected Add to Contacts. Sync with the Exchange server, and instantly my Outlook and cell phone contacts were unified. Beautiful. When I get the new SIM, I won't lose a thing. And if you've ever transferred contacts by typing them on the new phone while reading them from the old phone, you know why this is so nice.

A few other niceties: to find a contact from the home screen, just type as if you had predictive input. The phone will filter all possible matches from your contacts. I can use POP3 to check my Gmail account as well as my Exchange account. I'm getting an unlimited data plan with the T-Mobile service, which will be fun, but it's not all that useful now (I have to be within 10 meters or so of my computer with Bluetooth). The camera is average for a phone--as expected--but it takes videos with sound, which might be fun. I also didn't have to download any contraband software in order to transfer pictures, movies and files between the computer and the phone: ActiveSync makes it easy. (I always resented providers for locking out features like that and forcing you to pay to use their network.)

So far, I'm impressed with my Windows Smartphone! I'm starting to think about getting a Bluetooth GPS unit with mapping software. (Developers, check out this open source GPS API for Smartphone and .NET...I'm picturing grabbing live data from Google maps instead of pre-downloading maps to the device.) Gadgets are fun!


Travis said...

[Imported comment* originally authored by jason.] nice heads up on a windows mobile phone. time for a new phone next month and i had been looking for a replacement.

Travis said...

[Imported comment* originally authored by Travis.] Jason-
Check out all of the Windows-based Smartphones:

Travis said...

[Imported comment* originally authored by jason.] quick question, where did you pick it up and how much did you drop?

Travis said...

[Imported comment* originally authored by Travis.] I got it from eBay, unlocked, for about $290 in total (delivered, everything). If you don't need it unlocked, you can buy it from Cingular directly for $200 after a $50 mail-in rebate. It's more than I would usually spend on a phone, but it's really nice, and it's a Windows CE PDA, too.