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Treo 680 First Looks All Over Again

I think that I've been lucky with all of the phones that I've reviewed in the Smartphone Round Robin. I think there's a proper order. I began with the device furthest away in mentality to the iPhone, the BlackBerry Curve, and it was a fine device. I missed having a touchscreen, but it was a good device. Then, I got to use the Tilt for a week, and that was actually another good device -- very powerful with its touchscreen, and it has a form factor at least in parts reminiscent of the iPhone, though maybe without some of its ease of use. And last, I get to review the Treo, which is in many ways the closest of all of the phones we'll review to the iPhone. Did you know that iPhone owners were 7 times more likely to have used a Treo (or Sidekick) than any other phone?

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Round Robin: Windows Mobile Fond Farewell

Of all the smartphones we test during the Smartphone Round Robin, the constraints of our phone exchange is felt most with the Windows Mobile 6 AT&T Tilt. One week is just not enough to get a full grasp on what Windows Mobile can do. If you've read some of my other reviews, you'll hopefully recognize that as a compliment-dig.

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Round Robin: AT&T Tilt

For the past few days, I've been working with the AT&T Tilt, a Windows Mobile smartphone. I've used Windows Mobile before, so this isn't quite the new experience that the BlackBerry Curve was, but I haven't used the latest version of Windows Mobile (version 6) either. I used WM5 with a Treo 750 for a while, but I ended up dealing with a bad bug that prevented calls from ringing. That was pretty much a killer for the device, and I stopped using it.

And that would be the end of the story, but for the Smartphone Round Robin. And here we are again.

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iPhone 1.1.2 / UK O2 Details

Details of the iPhone's launch in the UK is spilling out rapidly, and O2 are making some last changes in preparation for iPhone's arrival. Their CEO granted an interview that gives a peek into Apple's carrier selection process. O2 has changed the way that they deal with limited "unlimited" plans -- they still limit them, but at least they will give users a warning before they punt people away. And lastly, UK gadget magazine tried out the iPhone for a while, and they have information about the 1.1.2, the upcoming firmware update and iTunes 7.5.

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Round Robin: Adios, BlackBerry Curve

So, my time with the Curve has come to a close. It's a dirty little secret of the Smartphone Round Robin, but I'm glad that I got to use the iPhone again for a day. I airlifted the 8310 Curve off to Jennifer of TreoCentral, and Kevin is shipped me the Windows Mobile-based AT&T Tilt. I got to keep my SIM card firmly seated in the iPhone for a full day!

It's been an interesting week with the Curve, but the limitations of it started to wear pretty thin on me as the week progressed. Once the newness of the curve wore off, I started eyeing my iPhone a lot more. I've been looking forward to shipping the Curve off so I could use my iPhone. Looking to the future, I began -- shudder to think -- looking forward to the Tilt. But there are some strong redemptive features to the platform.

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Friday Link Smörgåsbord

The fourth annual iLounge 2008 Buyers Guide works for the iPhone and iPod, and is viewable online for smaller screens like the iPhone, iPod Touch, or laptops. If you prefer, for desktop viewing.

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iPhone First Looks at TreoCentral

I just wanted to highlight Jennifer Chappell's excellent article at TreoCentral. Jennifer is the editor at TreoCentral, and usually uses a Treo 680, much like I once did. She's been taking the iPhone through its paces, and her excellent first look article is now up.


p> This review is more relevant than most out there, as iPhone owners were 10 times more likely to have used a Treo prior to the iPhone. I got bitten by the iPhone bug, and bitten hard. Using a Treo in the next week or so is going to be interesting.

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Round Robin: BlackBerry Curve

The BlackBerry Curve (8310)

For the first week of Smartphone Experts' Smartphone Round Robin, I was assigned the BlackBerry Curve 8310. As I've indicated in the Crackberry forums, I've said some nasty things about BB in the past. Some of that is going to have to be put behind me this week; this BlackBerry 8810 isn't going to use itself.

And don't forget - a comment on this post counts as an entry in the Round Robin Contest!

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Review: Speck Products ToughSkin

by Doug Morse

In the Beginning

Well, I thought I sit down this morning with my cup of tea and tell you about the Speck ToughSkin (store link, $29.95). Due to errands and just plain procrastination, the tea is cold. Anyhow, that’s enough about the start to my day and on to the review because things are certainly looking up. The Spec ToughSkin is a two part solution. The first is a ‘ruggedized’ silicon layer that fits snuggly around your iPhone. Then there is a plastic holster attached to a belt clip. The entire iPhone case can be plunked into the holster clip on your belt. This is, in theory, a best of both worlds scenario, or as Speck puts it ‘best case’ scenario. So I’ll start with the silicon case itself.

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Review: Mobi Products Protector Case for iPhone

by Doug Morse

Well, the bad news is that I just got a letter from Sprint. Suffice to say that I’m still going to be out three hundred bucks to cancel my contract. A wrong decision a year ago is going to cost me an additional couple hundred that I didn’t need to lose. I thought about calling them to try to sort it all out, but I realized I’d waste a couple hours on the phone with their customer service when instead I could be writing this fine review and getting paid a little something for it. Then I could call it all a wash. Just a bit of warning: Sprint offered me an additional 10% discount to up my contract for two years more a while back (this was before the iPhone was on the horizon). Unfortunately, it knocked out a 5% discount I already had. Net gain 5%. I may dash off a quick letter, but I think even that may be a waste of time.

So instead of wasting my time with Sprint, let’s move on to Apple and AT&T’s wonderful iPhone and Mobi Products Protector Case (store link, $19.95). Important things first: this comes in Smoke, Clear, Red and Pink, though studying all of the pictures, all of the cases are translucent. I received the Smoke version, which to my taste is neither here nor there. That said, it does seem to be the best of the options.

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