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I’m Home: Back on a Windows Mobile Smartphone

This week, Brian returned the Audiovox SMT5600 Windows Mobile Smartphone that he had been borrowing from me. I’ve been using a Treo 650 for the past week or so, long enough to get a feel for what I like (and don’t like) about it.

The day I got the Smartphone back, I switched over to it to make some direct comparisons with the Treo (web browser, email client, etc.). I sort of intended to go back to the Treo and keep using it for a while, to get a better long term feel for it, but it was such a nice feeling returning to the Windows Mobile Smartphone platform after such a long absence…

I switched from my Motorola MPX200 Smartphone to the Blackberry 7100t last October, because I wanted to get some real-life usage of a new platform. The Blackberry was a great device, and I’ll post more detailed thoughts sometime soon. Suffice it to say that I felt like I had explored the limits of what it could do, and was hungry for a new OS experience. Enter the Treo 650.

The Treo is also a great device, and I can definitely see why it’s so popular. I’ll post some detailed impressions of it, too (I’m still sorting all of the pros and cons of these platforms out in my head), as well as some discussion in audio and video on an upcoming TinyPodcast. But having used all three of these “smartphone” platforms over the last year plus, I have to say that coming back to Windows Mobile felt like coming home.

I am a Windows Mobile guy at heart. And I feel like I’ve come home.

I love the compact, solid feel of the SMT5600. I love the integration between the mail client, MSN Messenger, and the fact that I can set preferences for alerts in one place, instead of in every app. I love how well Bluetooth works – handsfree, voice dialing, Activesync, and using the phone as a GPRS modem for both my Dell Axim x50v Pocket PC and my laptop. I love the fact that the email client actually checks for mail every 30 minutes, instead of lying about it and delivering a big batch of messages every few hours. I love the fact that I can get a (text-only for now) version of Skype for the Smartphone. I love the fact that it has Windows Media Player 10, so I can stream all of my podcasts, music, and video from home using Orb.

It has its drawbacks, and areas where it’s bested by the Treo and/or the Blackberry. The Treo’s camera is much better. I miss a QWERTY keyboard (though T9 came back like riding a bike). I miss the larger screen and higher res of the Treo, especially the Blazer browser.

I’ll ruminate more on these items over the next little while, and I might switch from one to the other for a day or so to make some more detailed comparisons. I just wanted to give everyone an update, and let you know that Daddy’s home! :-)

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