Technology analysis of the latest gadgets, consoles, and computer architectures.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Well, my crappy Kyocera KX-414 (Phantom) cell phone has finally decided to stop responding to my A/C charger. It's been sending warning signs for months, and I ended up buying a new adapter last month to continue pushing it, but I can no longer get it to charge, so I'm using a friend's cell phone temporarily until I manage to replace this one.

On a sidenote, since my PDA isn't much use during the summer (my schedule of 11 - 5 M-F isn't very complicated), it's been sitting on my desk for months. The Handspring Visor Deluxe isn't doing too well these days; the casing is scratched to hell, I no longer have the plastic screen cover nor the Springboard spaceholder, and the mp3 player I purchased for it last year no longer works. I've been searching for a new PDA for almost a year now, and either I end up passing up decent deals at Dell for Axims or just decide to wait for something better.

Well, now that I need to purchase a new cell phone, it may be time to look into getting a Smartphone (a cell phone with built in PDA functions). U.S. Cellular doesn't give me many options, but since I'm sharing plans with my parents, I'd rather not switch, so I've been looking at the Kyocera 7135 Smartphone. It is equipped with a whopping 33 MHz Motorola processor (twice as fast as my visor), powered by Palm OS 4, includes a color screen, and SD expansion. It should last a few hours for talk time, around 8 hours for mp3s, and a few days standby. Although the CNET review isn't entirely accurate, it provides a decent summary of the device and its features.

One lacking attribute is the OS/Processor: without Palm OS 5 and an ARM-based processor, I won't have the flexibility to play video using any format but, more importantly, I won't be able to use the currently available WIFI SDIO cards. Although both of these features are meaningless with such a small screen, they would still be nice to have, and are characteristics I was looking for in a replacement PDA. However, I believe this may be the phone/PDA I will settle for, at least until the price comes down on the beauty called the Archos Pocket Media Assistant (PMA400). This $800 beast can play and record mpeg-4 videos and play mp3s using the equipped 30GB hard drive, and bundles Linux with PIM functions and WIFI with the Opera browser! Maybe one day I'll be able to at least hold this device in my hands for a few minutes, and maybe even get to have one to carry around, and just use WIFI for phone service using VoIP :)

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