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Samsung i730 + EVDO Tempting Me

I am being SORELY tempted by the recently released Samsung i730 Windows Mobile Pocket PC Phone Edition on Verizon. The reason being that EVDO – BroadbandAccess in VerizonSpeak, but basically 500+ Kbps to 2Mbps wireless data – is finally available in the Portland area.

I was poking around on the Verizon site, pricing out the i730. It would be $499 with a two year commitment. About what you’d expect. But the part that isn’t clear is how the data plan add on works. I’d be getting the 450 minute plan for $39.99, and “Unlimited Data Access for PDAs and Smartphones” is a $44.95/month add-on. But it doesn’t say anywhere if this includes EVDO/BroadbandAccess, or just the 140 Kbps “NationalAccess” CDMA data access.

Anyone know for sure if EVDO is included in this plan? They charge $80/month for straignt EVDO access on a PCMCIA card, so $45 on top of a voice plan sounds about right (if still a little spendy). But I wouldn’t put it past Verizon to not include EVDO in the add on plan.

If someone can set me straight, I’ll be that much closer to switching over to this phone. The lure of having a fast enough cellular data connection to do Skype is sorely tempting. I’m toying with the idea of using SkypeOut and SkypeIn for all calls. The fact that the i730 has Bluetooth, to share the blazing EVDO connection with my laptop, and WiFi to use when available is just icing on the cake.

Someone talk me out of this! Wait, don’t – someone talk me into it! I’m so conflicted… :-)

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14 thoughts on “Samsung i730 + EVDO Tempting Me

  1. Man, that sounds like a really sweet phone! i just got my XDA2s a few weeks back (Siemens SX66, HTC blue angel, iMate PDA2k, all the same). If only ireland had an EVDO network. some broadband providers are still only supplying a max of 500k/s!

  2. Josh
    I received this phone from Verizon’s PR for my site to review. The 44.95 is an all you can eat data plan. EVDO/1x also I have a note on my site how you can use the i730 as a modem for your laptop.

  3. I contacted Verzion and they said that the $44.95 was for the all you can eat access to include the EV-DO service. I have been wanting this phone for use with Skype and even had my droolings about this phone mentioned on the Skype Journal. When you get yours maybe we can see how well a i730 to i730 skype call is.

  4. Thanks for the comments, guys. With EVDO included, I think I’m going to try and switch over to this phone. I’ll definitely be posting on it here if I do so, so we’ll have to do some Skype testing, compare notes, etc. :-)

  5. Sal Bachu says:

    I just purchased the i730 with EVDO service. I too was thinking about using SKYPE for all calls…

    However…I dont believe you can force the phone to stay connected to the EVDO network continuously as I have noticed that everytime I need to get to the internet the phone has to dial out..

    This would mean that I will not be able to have the ability to receive every incoming call since the phone will not always be available online. Any thoughts?

    -Sal

  6. Irritating that EVDO isn’t “always on”. I’d expect that it would be. Heck, even GPRS is “always on”.

    If it’s designed that way, you’ll probably have to rely on a 3rd party hack/application to keep your EVDO connection active. As new as the i730 is, it will probably be a while until it shows up.

    Any enterprising Windows Mobile hacker/developer want to take that one on?

  7. Hmm seems strange that that includes EVDO as I have Verizon with the unlimited data plan here in LA, (on a treo 650 which can handle EVDO) and it is the National Access plan. NOT EVDO. The guys at the verizon place here say the EVDO is only on the $80 plan. Maybe things are different in Portland. Here in LA, I think the only EVDO you can get on a Treo is via Cingular.

  8. Actually, Kirk, EVDO is NOT available on the Treo 650 – I’d be all over it if it was. And EVDO is a CDMA technology, so since Cingular uses GSM (which in turn uses GPRS and EDGE for data), EVDO isn’t availble from them.

    Right now, Verizon and Sprint are the only EVDO providers, and AFAIK, the Samsung i730 is the only PDA phone that supports EVDO. Which is why I’m so excited about it. :-)

  9. Anonymous says:

    Actually Josh is mostly correct. Verizon also has the Audioxox XV6600 which is EVDO capable.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone know for sure whether the TREO 650 can handle EV-DO? I have heard yes and no. Sprint folks don’t seem to know, and Palm one won’t give a straight answer: something about hw/sw.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The original post “i730 has Bluetooth, to share the blazing EVDO connection with my laptop” insinuates that one can use Bluetooth as a modem connection for a PC. While the PPC Phone is bluetooth enabled, the supplied BT stack does _NOT_ support modem access. Consequently, if you want to use it as a modem you must use the sync cable.

  12. I understand that the Bluetooth stack doesn’t support the DUN profile to share the EVDO connection. But, I’m confident that someone will hack the stack soon to enable that functionality, and until then, I’m fine with using the sync cable.

  13. With all the power grabbing features, such as Bluetooth, WIFI and EVDO, the i730 eats up battery life quite quickly.

    Thankfully, Samsung ships the phone with 2 batteries. A Standard and an Extended. For heavy use, use the extended. The Extended is larger, so if you get your own case, make sure that it works with either battery.

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