Choosing next cellphone

Nearly two years passed since I started to use my current cellphone: Sony Ericsson k750i. It is great device but I feel more and more limited during using it. For example PIM is very simple (no recurrent events, no attenders) and none of my PDA devices has something more extended.

PIM — Agendus

Few years ago when I had PalmOS powered Sony Clie SJ30 I used Agendus application for PIM. Recently I checked newest version in Garnet VM emulator on my Nokia N810 tablet. It is really great and complex application. There is a support for event attenders, contacts linking, contacts history (tasks, calls, meetings) and lot more. Interesting feature is support for “Trip” events — I tested it with my GUADEC 2008 trip. I was able to add timeline for whole conference, bus trips from Szczecin to Berlin Tegel airport (and back) + plane flights and all of that linked as one trip with all components available in calendar, agenda etc…

Yesterday I installed Windows Mobile emulator and checked Agendus for that platform. It lacks some features from PalmOS version (trips are one of them) but is much better then default WM PIM. I do not plan to check BlackBerry or Symbian versions because they are not on a list of systems which I want to use.

Which system to choose?

So the problem now is which cellphone system to choose… I do not want Symbian because most of devices lack touchscreen (iirc only UIQ ones have it), BlackBerry is totally unknown for me and I also do not want to use totally closed phones like I did in last few years. PalmOS is trying to not die but nothing new was done on this platform in last few years so it is also not for me. Looks like the only choice is going to Windows Mobile cellphones.

Possible devices

Which one to choose? Most of devices use QVGA screens which is a very limiting resolution. After searching on web and discussing with few friends I have a few devices to check — Toshiba G900 (WVGA, new ~480EUR, used ~300EUR, hardware keyboard, no gps) or something from ETEN Glofiish devices with VGA screen (X650, X800, M800, M810). HTC has only Touch Diamond with VGA screen but it is too expensive.

Why not Linux phone?

Because there is nothing interesting now :( Openmoko guys moved from GTK+ to mix of E17 and Qtopia and when I saw result during LinuxTag 2008 it was nothing impressive. To add more confusion there are at least 4 different environments for Openmoko in development (GTK+ based OM2007.2, Qtopia on framebuffer, E17 + Qtopia on X11 and something called “Openmoko underground”). Also formfactor of GTA01/02 is not something I would call “nice” — have a look at any device manufactured by HTC…

And I did not yet saw Linux mobile platform with good PIM… Maemo lack it totally — even GPE contacts/calendar are hard to use due to lack of alarms functionality, Openmoko does not decided yet which PIM they want to support (not that there is something on a horizon)… So sorry guys but I will not buy Linux phone soon.

22 thoughts on “Choosing next cellphone

  1. android_coding

    I would consider the upcoming Google Android phones for the right choice. The code will be open sourced, you will have HTC devices running HTC and the os is very fancy.

  2. Marcin Juszkiewicz

    @android_coding: There are no Android powered phones on a market. When they get released it would be worth to look how good are they and what kind of applications will be available. But for now it is more unknown then Openmoko.

  3. hyartep

    i know you are looking for devices on a market, but s60 (symbian) with touchscreen should arrive leter this year.

  4. android_coding

    Marcin I wouldn’t say so. There have been 1800 applications sent in during the Google Developer Challenge. One of them is for exampe Enkin. ( http://www.enkin.net/ ) Regarding the hardware, I can tell you that there will be device in Q4 of 2008. (by HTC and lot other companys) In addition you could look at the Google IO Keynote where there was a presentation of the Google Android device:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vk1HvP7NO5w

    Regards from Germany!

  5. norilo

    Hey Marcin,

    I really would avoid the Windows Mobile phones. The hardware is really nice but the OS is really annoying for daily use. Why don’t you take a closer look at UIQ phones? They have a touch screen and allow 3rd party apps. Still Symbian is only a little bit better than WM.

    Well, then there is still the cough iPhone… ;-)

  6. seba

    Marcin, I know your problem… exactly mine. Having a Treo 180 I really consider getting the Palm Centro (which still appers as a leap to me :-) ) while I wait for something (android, openmoko) to happen…

  7. Marcin Juszkiewicz

    @seba: I used PalmOS for about year and do not plan to move back to that platform. It is really annoying to have to use hacks to get national chars “supported”.

    @cayco & Peter: iPhone is device which I do not consider at all. It has nice formfactor and slick design but as a platform it is closed more then Windows Mobile…

    @android_coding: 1800 entries from which 50 was chosen. Most of them does not look like I would use them.

    @norilo: I was able to play with WM phones and no one from my friends has UIQ based phone. Playing with phone only in operator shop does not count as usage rather…

  8. XorA

    I really like my Windows Mobile phone, Ive had the HTC Wizard and the HTC Kaiser (TyTN II) and never looked back.

    I’ve never found an interface or system that works as well and allows me to install the apps I want.

    I know the UI isn’t perfect, but its certainly the top dog for smartphones at the moment. The other all being severely lacking in usefulness or features.

    I wish there was a linux phone that lived up to my Kaiser, but sadly there isnt :-(

  9. Morten Pors

    This is a typical example of blogspam as it is hardly information that qualifies to take up bandwidth on a heavily exposed site like maemo.org. It is a pseudo discussion just for the sake of blogging something. Much like a typical thoughtfix post.

    I am sure your musings as to which friggin cell phone to choose next is of great personal interest to you. Don’t waste the community’s time with it.

    Good luck with whatever you choose.

    /Morten

  10. Marcin Juszkiewicz

    @Morten Pors: feel free to suggest maemo.org administrators to remove this (and probably few others) blog from planet.maemo.org website. From what I see there you would probably vote for remove many of them…

  11. chaishop

    KDE-Pim existed for Qtopia on the Zaurus long ago. It had a Kitchen-Sync thingy too. For the tablet its possible to sync GPE Calender with Google Calender.

    Basically what has to be done is using the libraries for the various databases and syncing with those. From there, just create a simple & functioning, Hildonized calender for maemo.

    Bounty on it, et voila.

    Unfortunately Nokia is more focussing on multimedia…

  12. chaishop

    Besides, Nokia recently announced Symbian will be opensourced. I’m still considering a N96! :-)

    “KDE PIM/PI is based on PIM applications from the KDE desktop suite for Linux. KDE PIM/PI includes KOrganizer/Platform-independent (or KOPI), KAddressbook/Platform-independent (or KAPI), K-OpieMail/pi (or OMPI), K-Phone/pi (kppi) and PwM/PI, a password manager with strong encryption.” From Wikipedia

    Too bad Opera/NetFront were pretty shit compared to MicroB on NIT.

    pim.kde.org is still alive, and with KDE4 being ported to Windows…

  13. Marcin Juszkiewicz

    @chaishop: KDE PIM/PI was nearly unmaintained fork of original KDE PIM and OPIE Mail. It had some nice ideas but cooperation with author was nearly not possible.

    GPE Calendar is simple application — I use it on N810 because there is no better alternative.

    Symbian platform is something what I do not considered and still do not plan to. And Nokia devices for it lack touch screens.

    And what bothers me when I look at PalmOS or WindowsMobile PIM applications is that they are designed to cooperate with application on desktop when it comes to external sources (like webcal resources).

    It is not so easy to write good PIM — otherwise there would be few good ones to choose from. Of course I am writing about applications for mobile platforms because this is subject of that post. I do not plan to run KOrganizer from KDE4 on any of my mobile devices.

  14. chaishop

    I see, later came GPE besides OPIE and the proprietary Qtopia thingy.

    What I meant with KDE4 being ported to Windows I was thinking it’d open up a cross platform way of PIM on *NIX and Windows. So, I mean more like KOrganizer from KDE4, and with the PIM applications on a device… like a Qtopia phone, or the N810?

    If there are libraries able to read from several calendars then they can cooperate each other too. Slowly but surely you have a lot of glue.

  15. zen

    Hi Marcin,

    I have exactly the same problem and similar background. Being Zaurus guy I didn’t wan’t to use WM phone. But after weeks of research apparently I was thrown into Wm world. My current machine is HTC BlueAngel, and what I can say is: great machine, but bit old.

    I’m thinking about Eten M800 and HTC Kaiser. M800 has VGA screen (I was playing with this box for a while, and Internet on VGA is just great), but lacks RAM – 64 is waaaay to little. HTC and xda-developers – that’s it. Hard decision to make.

  16. John Garger

    Can someone give me an idea whether or not I should go for a smart phone or just use a more stylish phone and wait for some better technology? I am on the Sprint network, and was referred to http://www.sanyowireless.com , but I’m not seeing any options that look like smart phones. I don’t need an MP3 player or a camera, I’d rather have a phone that is lighter and easier to carry. Any recommendations would be welcome.

  17. Marcin Juszkiewicz

    @John Garger: I think that everything depends what you need from phone. If you need phone for making calls and messaging then I suggest normal phone rather then one of smart phones.

  18. Pingback: Going to Android – Marcin Juszkiewicz

Comments are closed.

  1. […] to AndroidTweetOver two years ago I was thinking about next cellphone and wrote that it would be something with Windows Mobile. There were comments that I should go for […]