But I couldn't wait. My venerable combination of the Palm TX and my Sony Ericsson Z520a has been falling down on the job. My TX is on it's last legs and, with a broken power button, there's no way to reset it to the original ROM. My Z520a has always been a little flaky (random restarts, laggy performance), but the capper was with my Jawbone: the Z520a kept dropping the Bluetooth. Not to mention that, as a GPRS phone, it doesn't even have the speed of EDGE, let alone HSDPA. So, my choices were:
A) Stick it out until the iPhone hits. Sure, it's supposed to ship in June. And the Nintendo Wii shipped in December, yet they are still not on the shelves. Now, with the legendary fan appeal of Apple, a truly amazing phone, and over 1 million inquiries to AT&T/Cingular so far, what are the odds I get my grubby mitts on one before the end of the summer? Sigh. Pass.
B) Pick up a Blackjack. I wanted to. I really did. The styling is great, the phone is slick. I just could not get past the sheer jankiness of Windows Mobile. And, with a very small screen with poor resolution, and no touchscreen, I simply could not do it. What put me over the edge was the fact tat everyone who has one keeps saying "Wait for Windows Mobile 6," and then I saw a video of it...and I was amazed at how craptastic it looked. Scratch the Windows Mobile devices.
C) Embrace the Crackberry. So many people love them. The appeal of on demand email is truly compelling, and the devices are looking sexier. But if I'm replacing my Palm with a smartphone, I want to download and listen to podcasts, watch movies, and more. The Crackberry ain't that.
D) Jump carriers, and pick up the Palm 700p from Verizon. EV-DO connections give DSL speeds to wireless, plus the familiarity of the Palm OS. Every owner I know loves theirs. But the price? Good god. $400 for the device, then another $130 a month for the service? Yikes.
So, what's a gadget guy to do? After a lot of research, consideration, and more, I finally came to a decision:
Yep, the Palm Treo 680. Picked it up today. As I type this, it's dutifully loading the applications I have come to love so much. What made me make the decision?
- Price. At $199 after rebate, it's a heck of a lot of phone and Palm for 1/3 the iPhone price, and half the price of the other Cingular (non-Blackjack) smartphones.
- Palm OS. Yes, I KNOW it's a dead OS. And I know Palm is up for sale. And I know it does not have true multitasking. But guess what? It works, and I already know the bugs. Not to mention, it's elegant, easy to use, and I already have a lot of $ invested in my applications for it.
- True multifunctions. Everything I get with the TX, plus more. Yes, I will DEFINITELY miss the TX's screen size. But already, with only 1 day, carrying the one device makes it a lot easier.
I'll post a full review after 30 days, but already I'm pleased. EDGE is far faster than GPRS, and makes web browsing tolerable. Cingular's XPress Mail, while absolutely one of the worst documented and marketed programs I have ever seen, is actually amazingly elegant, and brings the illusion of push email to the Palm, with no server issue. And the Bluetooth is far better: my Jawbone gets along with it just fine.
I'm not so excited about the slow syncing so far, but I will go so far as to say I'm hopeful it's temporary. My primary goal is to get Quick News and EZSync up and running, so it can get my podcasts with each sync, in the middle of the night; that will negate my primary need for WiFi.
It's a brand new day...and I'll be greeting it with a Treo.