Friday, April 22, 2005

Windows Smartphones are they really smart

Well firstly what do I mean by a Windows Smartphone. Basically we are talking about a Windows CE like operating system running on a device which attempts to be as easy to use as a standard mobile phone.

For the last 5 months I have been using a Imate Sp3i Windows Mobile 2003 2nd Edition smartphone. The goal was to see if I could give up my Nokia business phone and IPAQ in favour of a single all in one device.

Is this device similar to the O2 Xda well yes and no. The functionality is very similar however the form factor is much smaller and there is no touch screen.

Does it work, well yes in my opinion, firstly every 5 minutes my outlook email and just as importantly my calendar and task information is wirelessly being synced from my SBS Exchange Server using GPRS.

Is it expensive ? Well the average cost appears to be around €15 per month which is nearly half the cost of running the Blackberry and unlike the personal Blackberry the smartphone is not just giving me pop3 email.

Do I need to install any software on the SBS server, well unlike the Blackberry you don't need to install any software on your Exchange server as Exchange activesync is built in.

What about typing large emails ?
Well if you need to type large messages or even if you use MSN Messenger on the run you can purchase a very affordable Bluetooth keyboard which makes typing easy.

Any downsides ?
Currently in Ireland there is no Windows Smartphones available on contract so it means at least in Ireland purchasing the phone without a contract.

Battery life is ok but nothing special at about 1 to 2 days depending on use.

Can't switch off the phone and have the phone turn on automatically with an alarm.

Other then the above the phone and it's ability to provide you with almost instant access to your emails when combined with Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 provides a very compelling mobile solution.

Comments always appreciated.


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