GSM phones and PDA

Many of the geeks are using today mobile phones, which are also PDAs. All major phone companies produce such devices now, and compete for the increasing number of users. Among my favourite companies is HTC – perhaps you haven’t heard about it, but you might have seen their phones with different branding.

Two of these devices could be seen on those pictures:
HTC Blue AngelHTC Apache

sold as (left) Siemens SX-66 (GSM) in the USA, but also as pda2K, xda-III, etc. and (right) as Sprint PPC-6700 in the US (cdma phone)

I use the SX-66, and it’s quite a cool device. With 420 MHz CPU, 128 built-in Mb RAM, 1 Gb SD card, wi-fi (802.11b), bluetooth, infrared, sliding keyboard, 4-band (850, 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz) great screen size and brightness, it’s one of a kind.

One big disadvantage – it uses Windows Mobile 2003, which means the battery needs to be charhed at all times, unlike other phones, as if it is not, the phone will ‘forget’ all the information stored.

The SD card makes it a real mp3-player and movie-watcher device. It has stereo headphones (great also for actual phone calls), which play music quite nicely.

Coolest feature of all: I have Skype running there, and also I use another service provider, which is much cheaper and in fact better than Skype – sip2go.com. It goes with software like xTen or Cicero. The Cicero is cool also because it can recognize when there’s wi-fi, and connects automatically to allow usage of the SIP phone that comes from SIP2Go.
That means that I don’t use international roaming AT ALL. I use the phone only in the US, with Cingular. Cingular gives me 600 min / month, and the roll-over function, so 8 months after I’ve started to use it, I have about 1500 minutes left from previous months, and making/receiving phone calls while I am in the USA is indeed free – within the monthly payments. When I travel, I use my Bulgarian GSM-card, and I also use intensively free wi-fi at hotels, airports, hot-spots, etc.

From the new devices today on the market, the best known is the jas-jar, which runs Windows Mobile 5.0. Biggest advantage – information can not be lost due to power failure.

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