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Pocket PC Phone vs Windows Smartphone Review

All Singing All Dancing XDA Mini S, or Tough Old SPV C500?



XDA Mini SIf you're thinking about upgrading your mobile / cell phone, and fancy windows based device, you may be trying to decide which is better, a Windows based Smartphone or a Pocket PC phone. Luckily enough I have been using both for the last couple of months, so I can try to shed a little light on the problem.

I use my phones almost all day at work - calling, sending texts, looking up contacts, using the calculator, organizing my calendar, tasks and to-dos. For the past two years a trusty o2 Xda did me proud until I dropped it one too many times and the aerial broke forcing it into retirement. (I still miss it....) Then I was lucky enough to pick up two devices from the car boot, each for less than twenty quid. The first was an Orange SPV C500 Smart Phone, the second an O2 XDA Mini S Pocket PC Phone. So you see I was faced with the question of which one to use, so I trialed the XDA Mini S for a month, and then the C500, to see which was best for my particular needs, read on to see my findings.

First up using the devices for actually making calls. Both have more than good enough call quality and reception, but the bulkier size of the XDA does make you feel a little self-conscious using it. The mini s is not huge (like the old XDA) but it is chunkier than your average phone. For texting the Mini S is brilliant, the pop out keyboard is much quicker than even the predictive text entry on the SPV, and multiple length texts are seamless, although you will get errors if you try to send them to more than one recipient at a time.

The camera is better on the C500; both for stills and video, but these are oldish phones, so they're not up to the quality of newer devices anyway.

Voice commands and prompts or tags work ok on both devices, and both worked with my Motorola ear-piece, but its worth noting that the C500 must have the keypad unlocked for this to work.

SPV C500Both phones will synchronize with your PC, so all your contacts can be downloaded, tasks, calendar, etc, with Outlook, and you can send e mail off line for synchronization later. I find this an excellent feature on both phones, and love the way windows makes sure everything is up to date.

The calendar feature work good on both, but the small screen of the SPV means you have to scroll down through your appointments, but I had no problems using the phone as my diary. What does let the SPV C500 down is the version of Tasks, or to-do's that is on the device. It is extremely cut down compared to the XDA Mini S, only allowing you to enter new tasks without categories or the intricacies of the pocket pcs version. Better applications can replace it, but you'll have to pay for them.

Forget the advanced MS Office features of the Pocket PC when it comes to the Smartphone, the Pocket PC wins hands down. The xda can view and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents, and view PDF's with Adobe Reader, none of which you can do on the Smartphone.

When we start to look at other software, the Pocket PC is streets ahead - there are loads of different applications available, from Navigation to games, anything you can think of.

So now you're thinking why bother with the Smartphone, the specification of the Pocket PC is so much better? For me, its two things, durability and cost.

If you work in an office environment then buy a Pocket PC phone, it's like a mini laptop, and has loads of great features that you'll enjoy using. Get one with a slide-out keyboard and you'll be laughing. It may only come at a high cost, but it'll last for ages and be well worth the money.

If you work, like me, in a workplace where your device will get plenty of knocks, maybe the Smartphone is a safer option, with a laptop in a secure area. You can keep an eye on your agenda, tasks and contacts, all in a tiny unit that has a battery that will last for ages. If you do break it, so what, get another one for a few quid on eBay, whereas Pocket PC phones are never cheap.

So that's my opinion, for a tough workplace go for a Smartphone, for a fluffy workplace get a Pocket PC.

Comments / Questions:

 

I am an avid pocket pc user - this for business.
I have tried the MDA Pro, the motorola q9, the latest nokia e90 yet all seem not to come up to the HP 6915.
The HP is now some 18mths old (I used to use the HP 6340] thus I am looking for a change [having tried the aforementioned new devices when launched - I seem not to be able to find anything which has come out recently that is as functional as the HP 6915] My Question is quite simple - ARE YOU AWARE OF ANYTHING WHICH IS NEW ON THE MARKET AND WILL SURPASS THE 6915?
Any advice would be gratefully appreciated Thanks in anticipation Happy weekend Kind Regards Alan

I'm a little out of touch with the latest Pockets PC's, but check out these links:

http://www.infosyncworld.com/news/n/8498.html

http://reviews.zdnet.co.uk/hardware/mobilephones/0,1000000685,39287726,00.htm

http://www.infosyncworld.com/news/n/7941.html

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