Has the marriage of Palm and cellphone finally happened?
March 15, 2001 8:04 AM   Subscribe

Has the marriage of Palm and cellphone finally happened? I want one! But $500?
posted by darren (19 comments total)
There was a glowing review of this in last Thursday's WSJ "Personal Technology" column. The only downside the reviewer (Walter Mossburg) pointed out was:

"...my biggest problem involves the screen. It's narrower than the screen on a Palm V, yet it displays the same number of lines and the same number of letters in a line. That means the standard font is smaller than on a regular Palm and can be hard to read, especially since the screen seems a bit dimmer than the Palm V's..."

This, to me, looks better than the Handspring VisorPhone, particularly if you use the cell-phone part frequently (I can't get over the sticking-your-cheek-near-the-PDA-screen aspect of the VisorPhone) and the VisorPhone is about the same price...
posted by MarkAnd at 8:20 AM on March 15, 2001

The other downside - at least for now - is that Verizon has an exclusive with Kyocera. I am a very happy AT&T customer; from what I've heard about Verizon, I don't want to switch...
posted by m.polo at 8:33 AM on March 15, 2001

Does anyone have a link to the product that isn't behind the NYTimes subscriber wall?
posted by silusGROK at 8:34 AM on March 15, 2001

Here you go.
posted by gimli at 8:48 AM on March 15, 2001

Actually, this is the second one. The first marriage was the Qualcomm pdQ, which was released about three years ago and used a Palm III. It wasn't successful. But the Nokia 9000 was the first phone to include a PDA, though it wasn't a Palm.

I think that the reason they shrunk the screen was that the pdQ had a full-size screen, and the result was to make the whole unit immense and feel clunky. By making the screen smaller the phone could be made smaller, no small benefit. (Everything is trade-offs.)
posted by Steven Den Beste at 8:56 AM on March 15, 2001

I'm waiting for the version using the retractable flex-screen display from the PDA's in the movie "Red Planet."

Or maybe for an iteration of this Kyocera with a Bluetooth headset. That might do for now...
posted by Tubes at 9:36 AM on March 15, 2001

What? No MP3 player?

Pfft. I want it all, and I want it small. Except the screen. I want the screen twice the size of the phone. At least. And color. I want a big color screen with cinema aspect ratio and a dvd player. Only a little tiny one. Maybe the DVD player could be at home, and it could be linked via phone... but not with per minute charges - that would have to be free. Why can't these companies meet a few simple criteria for their equipment?
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 10:02 AM on March 15, 2001

When it comes to nytimes stuff, here's a hack that might be useful to MeFi readers and posters:

Just replace "www" with "channel" in the url. For instance, this doesn't require any registration. There have been other servers like this at nytimes.com in the past, I don't know if they still exist, but this one works.

posted by bug at 10:31 AM on March 15, 2001

OLED screens are coming. Hopefully, they'll leapfrog LCD's in most applications. Don't be too quick to buy that flat panel TV or monitor.
posted by gimli at 10:41 AM on March 15, 2001

I just got an e-mail from Handspring about the Visor Edge. Haven't heard anything about it til now, weird.
posted by pnevares at 11:16 AM on March 15, 2001

The other downside - at least for now - is that Verizon has an exclusive with Kyocera. I am a very happy AT&T customer; from what I've heard about Verizon, I don't want to switch...

I have the same problem. I'm very happy with Sprint PCS, and read about the exclusive. But when I go to Sprint's site, they have a link for this phone on my personal page [not on the main site]. When you click it, however, you get the older 2035 model. What a tease!

Does anyone know why I can't buy this phone and then call Sprint to activate it? How do these things work?

As an aside, I have to say Sprint has been falling behind AT&T, Verizon and Cingular in regards to the quality of the phones they offer. They'd better catch up, or us early, early adaptors are going to start jumping ship.
posted by darren at 11:45 AM on March 15, 2001

Where would you buy the phone from? That's how they manage these exclusives, since you usually can't buy the coolest ones at retail, you have to buy them in tandem with a "contract." You can buy one and then cancel the contract, but depending on which provider it is, that can cost several hundred dollars in cancellation fees.
posted by m.polo at 11:59 AM on March 15, 2001

Sprint has a general policy of not activating any phone they themselves didn't sell. Moreover, this phone is probably being sold by Verizon at a loss (which is the case with nearly all phones) and will have a subsidy lock on it. Which means that even if Sprint was willing to use the phone they wouldn't be able to reprogram the NAM. I think it likely that Sprint will eventually carry this phone, or one like it from some other vendor; the only reason Verizon has it now and Sprint doesn't is that Sprint is moving more slowly.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 12:08 PM on March 15, 2001

I just ordered mine today in the Verizon store on Third Avenue. The monitor is totally fine, the reduction of about 15% in the area of the screen is accomodated by a proportionate reduction in the type size, which is fine (unless, I suppose, you have some serious vision problems).

It has ALL the Palm Vx features and ALL the features of a market-leading cell-phone (except for size), with a highly decent cross-platform tool set (a web browser, e-mail program, fax/data link program, the ability to dial direct from your Palm address book and to add incoming caller-id captures to the address book).

My one qualm is that the fold-over keypad exposes the numeric keys in your wallet or pocket and they don't look terribly durable.

Kyocera has also abandoned some annoying features of older products (like the ThinPhone), such as a non-compatible headset jack (now there's a standard 2.5mm jack). Also, with built-in speakerphone, there's no need for a complete car set.
posted by MattD at 4:56 PM on March 15, 2001

In Asia, tons of phones have PDA capabilities. WAP capabilities, interenet everything, blah blah. I wish America wasn't so behind. :(
posted by swank6 at 6:12 PM on March 15, 2001

I wish America wasn't so behind

We're only behind because our existing phone infrastructure is so good. In europe and asia the landlines suck so bad everyone went cellular, so of course they're innovating in that realm.
posted by mathowie at 6:17 PM on March 15, 2001

Sigh, I'm really tired of Europeans and Asians sneering at US cellular technology.

The US cellular industry is so far behind that both the Europeans and Asians will be redesigning their systems (and completely replacing all their hardware) to use an air interface (CDMA) created by and currently in common use in the US -- because it's vastly superior to the air interface the Europeans and Asians are now using (TDMA) and they all know it.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 7:27 PM on March 15, 2001

Hahaha CrazyUncleJoe.... I want a hamburger, no a cheeseburger... I want a hot dog... I want potato chips... I want a milkshake...

Perhaps in the infamous words of the Judge, we should just tell these people 'You'll get nothing and like it!!'
posted by fusinski at 11:30 AM on March 16, 2001

The VisorPhone has been out a while now.
posted by abosio at 6:16 AM on March 20, 2001

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