Review

Round Robin: TiPb vs. Palm Treo Pro Final Review

[This is an official Smartphone Experts Round Robin post! Every day you reply here, you're automatically entered for a chance to win an iPhone 3G, Case-Mate Naked Case, and Motorola H9 Bluetooth Headset! Full contest rules here!]

Of all the reviews I have to write as part of the Smartphone Experts Round Robin, I have a feeling this one is going to be the hardest. See, I was a Palm OS user since the Palm V and stuck with the platform through the Treo 680, before switching to the original iPhone.

That, year after year after year, Palm still hasn't been able to ship a successor to Palm OS Garnet is inconceivable to me to the degree that what I'm now holding in my hand, gorgeous and powerful though it may be -- isn't a Palm, isn't a Treo. Not really. I was funny about that in my video. I'm actually more than a little sad about it real life.

The Treo 800 series should really be running Palm OS 2.0 "Nova". Since it's not, however, I'm reviewing an HTC handset running Windows Mobile 6.1 -- something I'll be doing almost immediately again with the HTC FUZE/PRO.

How to handle that? To avoid redundancy, I'm going to stick reviewing hardware -- a front facing Qwerty this time, slider the next -- and breaking up the software into two parts. This review (and thanks to Dieter for the idea!) will focus on the traditional Palm core -- the four pillars of PIM (Personal Information Management). The FUZE review will cover everything else Windows Mobile (media, apps, maps, etc.)

And I'm going to begin, after the break!

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Round Robin: TiPb vs. Palm Treo Pro Video Preview!

[This is an official Smartphone Experts Round Robin post! Every day you reply here, you're automatically entered for a chance to win an iPhone 3G, Case-Mate Naked Case, and Motorola H9 Bluetooth Headset! More below!]

[Digg link]

I loved Palm devices and used them as my "main brain" from the Palm V all the way to the Palm 680, before transitioning to the first iPhone. But here's the thing, I don't feel like I left Palm -- I feel like they left me. Will the Palm Treo Pro be enough to lure me back?

Fair warning: About 1 minute of this preview is done "Zero Punctuation" style (without the salty language, of course!). Apologies to Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw and everyone at the Escapist for the poor (very poor!) parody, and to our readers... er... viewers, but it had to be done!

Check it out, then head on over to Treo Central to help me get this thing working! Every day you post, you get entered to WIN one of FIVE smartphone prize packs! And you can enter each site's contest, so don't forget to help Dieter un-harshen his mellow with the iPhone!

Prize details after the jump...

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iPhone OS 2.2 review

iPhone OS 2.2 build 2.2 5G77, at 246.4MB, is the second major point release to Apple's second generation mobile operating system. Following on release 2.0 (full review) on July 11, and 2.1 (full review) on September 15. Interestingly, while 2.0 had 8 betas, 2.1 only had 4 and 2.2 but 2. Is Apple really getting twice as efficient, or only spending half as much effort getting feedback?

Like 2.1, this update is also available FREE for the iPod Touch. Unlike 2.1, however, Apple is not providing the same functionality to Touch, with the Google Maps update notably missing. Since these updates don't seem dependent on either the cell radio or GPS, it's difficult to imagine why Apple chose to -- we'll say it -- shaft the Touch. Perhaps they'll blame their subscription accounting model again? iSigh.

Remarkable also by it's absence -- again -- is the much ballyhooed Push Notification Service (announced during WWDC 2008), intended to provide the semblance of multi-tasking to 3rd party apps by sending badges, sounds, and pop-ups through a central Apple server to alert users of, for example, new IMs or tweets. (Should we even bother to mention the continued, and continually unexplained, absence of cut and paste, MMS, unified inbox, video recording, etc.)

Note: We updated just fine using iTunes 8.0.1, but you may want to consider grabbing yesterday's 8.0.2 release first.

But enough dwelling on the didn't gets. Read on after the jump for the we gots!

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Round Robin: TiPb vs Android G1 Final Review

[This is an official Smartphone Experts Round Robin post! Every day you reply here, you're automatically entered for a chance to win an iPhone 3G, Case-Mate Naked Case, and Motorola H9 Bluetooth Headset! More below!]

Google's Android is the future of smartphones. At least, it's one of the possible futures. Alongside the iPhone, it's the OS I'm most intrigued by, and that the two companies have chosen such different strategies in tackling the future only makes it ever so much more exciting.

The iPhone is an ordered, iconic device made entirely by Apple, with all the integration and fit and finish -- and frustratingly capricious omissions -- that only a single guiding mind can achieve. Android, by contrast, is chaotic and communal, designed by Google to free developers and fit a multitude of tastes and form-factors -- with all the possible confusion and derivation open source has to offer.

Which one is "better" is a ridiculously impossible question to answer -- each platform has its strengths and weaknesses and each user their own unique needs and preferences. Frankly, we're fortunate to live in a time where there are so many truly awesome devices from which to choose. (Even a few years ago -- and yes, I'll say it, pre-iPhone shockwave -- things were far, far more bleak.)

For my part, all I can really do is tell you how I use a smartphone, and how well the Android G1 fits that usage bill.

I really need to point out, up front, that the G1 is a beta device. There, I said it. Unlike Windows Mobile or Blackberry OS, which have been on the market for years and years, and the iPhone OS which is already on 2.x, Android has just hit the market with all the promise and problems that inevitably go with that. The Android device I experienced this week will absolutely and without question be blown away by whatever Android device(s) hit the market next year. So, it's not a fair comparison for Android from the get go, and I beg everyone to remember that when I lay... er... get into it below the fold.

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Round Robin: TiPb vs. Android G1! Comment here for your chance to win an iPhone 3G!

[This is an official Smartphone Experts Round Robin post! Every day you reply here, you're automatically entered for a chance to win an iPhone 3G, Case-Mate Naked Case, and Motorola H9 Bluetooth Headset! More below!]

Okay, fair enough, I'm having a little fun up there, but with the Smartphone Empire Experts Round Robin officially under way and my iPhone frozen in carbonite for the next month, the G1 could be my only hope!

I'm still trying to figure out if this is the 'droid I've been looking for, however. Do I understand the awesome power of the open-platform of the Google? Or is it more concept now than device, twisted and confusing?

Check out the video, then head on over to Android Central to help me out. Every day you post, you get entered to WIN one of FIVE smartphone prize packs! And you can enter each site's contest, so don't forget to help turn Casey back to the iPhone side as well!

May the forums be with you!

Prize details after the jump...

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Review: Marware Sport Grip for iPhone 3G

 

The iPhone 3G has plenty of case options that range from hard polycarbonate cases to soft rubber options, from colorful designs to more understated lines. The Marware Sport Grip for iPhone 3G ($19.95) is a soft rubber case that incorporates subtle design and offers superb protection. How does it perform?

Read on for the rest of the review!

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Review: Griffin Wave for iPhone 3G

The Griffin Wave for iPhone 3G uses a unique wave lock design to create a snug fit for the iPhone and offer solid protection. The hard plastic case was unique among competitor’s offerings because instead of choosing a slide mechanism to connect the case together, it uses a front piece and a back piece to hold the iPhone. Does the Griffin Wave succeed as a case? We think so. Read on to see why.

Read on for the rest of the review!

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App Review: Goodrec for iPhone

Goodrec, from the company by the same name, is now available in the iTunes App Store for the absurdly low price of FREE and is also accessible online at their web site, www.goodrec.com

Although there are numerous apps that take advantage of the location-based feature the iPhone offers in order to serve up local eats, treats and other items, Goodrec is worth a hard look and download.

Even though it's free, does Goodrec deliver the goods? Is it worth taking up some space on your iPhone, or is it something you'll use a couple times and then banish to the electronic void of deleted apps? Read on for my take on Goodrec!

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Review: Incipio dermaSHOT Silicone Case for iPhone 3G

Everybody has his or her own definition for the perfect iPhone 3G Case. Some may want a hard plastic case, others prefer rubbery silicone cases but most prefer a case that is non intrusive and more importantly, offers protection while adding minimal bulk. The Incipio dermaSHOT Silicone Case for iPhone 3G ($14.95) is a rubber silicone case that tries to offer a layer of protection without adding much thickness. How does it perform?

Read on for the rest of the review!

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Review: BlueAnt Z9i Bluetooth Headset

Is there a difference between a high-end Bluetooth Headset compared to a normal one? With so many hands-free driving laws being passed these days, the question is obviously on many consumer’s minds. The BlueAnt Z9i ($74.95) is one of those high-end headsets that manages to combine a small and sleek form factor and with a powerful piece of technology, Digital Signal Processor (DSP). On paper, it is everything you want in a Bluetooth headset. How does it test? Does it accomplish everything it sets out to do?

Read on for the rest of the review!

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