Ok, I'm a gadget/phone nut and I spotted this Smartflip Smartphone awhile back and had one of those impulse purchase moments about 6 weeks ago and unlike me, this phone is near flawlessJ It's definitely survived the honeymoon period and no buyer's remorse, it's a delight and just had to blog about it!!

I reckon Windows Mobile 5 is the release that finally added the smart to the SmartPhone and the Smartflip IMHO finally adds the sizzle.

I love the industrial design of this phone, as the name implies it's a clamshell design so it closes up protecting the keypad and main screen, it is light (approx 90g), small and slips in to your pocket with ease without looking like you are pleased to see everyone!!

There are a number of incarnations of this phone from various venders including Dopod S301 and Qtek 8500. Steve's running with the Dopod S301 and likewise he loves it – think his only grumble is that it's light on main memory, but that is true of all the WM Smartphones at present...

I've installed the following software

  1. NewBreak from www.iliumsoft.com – an awesome little RSS Reader
  2. Gentimer – Clock, Stopwatch, World Map, Time Zones etc. Cool app and it oozes great design, I'm seriously jealous!!
  3. Microsoft Office OneNote Mobile - Ships with Office 2007.  Nice for capturing quick notes, integrated with device camera, sync to desktop
  4. WordPad - generally useful text and xml editor from http://smartphone.net/software_detail.asp?id=836
  5. Compact Framework V2 SP1 – which now installs mostly on a memory card but still takes about 1mb of main memory
  6. SQL Server 2005 Mobile Edition cose every phone should be running a database and I need it for my SMS Voting app
  7. My SMS Voting Solution
  8. The next version of my Convert and Tracking appJ
  9. I sync my contacts, calendar, a subset of my email, tasks etc via Exchange ActiveSync, I'm syncing against Exchange Server 2007 and it all works like a charm.

So here's what I love about the phone?

  1. It just works!! It answers calls, it syncs data, it runs apps and it does it without complaint. I've not had to reset this phone once or desperately gone hunting for firmware updates.
  2. Battery life is good, with light use the phone lasts 3 or 4 days, with heavy use, lots of calls, playing music for a few hours, taking a few photos then I get a good day out of one charge. Full charge time is about 1.5 hrs.
  3. Sound quality rocks, the sound quality from the ear piece speaker is loud and clear and I can hear conversations with ease and vice versa, again not always a given. The speaker phone works well too.
  4. The keypad is surprisingly good, tactical, back lite etc and there's no toggle action button to break off. That said it's early days for wear and tear to take its toll.
  5. A great music player – I picked up a 1gig micro SD card with the phone for A$45 (US$35), I've crammed on 18 albums which is around 240 songs in WMA format at 128bps. I love it, I never leave home minus my phone or my favourite music and cose it's my primary device it's always charged up.
  6. The industrial design is great, excellent external display with status info including number of texts, emails, battery life, media player controls etc. The external display doubles up as a camera display when the phone closed so if you feel the need to take a piccie of yourself you can make sure you are sitting pretty.
  7. The main display is bright and clear
  8. Preinstalled software is good, photo editor, PDF, Excel, Word and PowerPoint viewers
  9. It just works – did I mention thatJ

Stuff that is good enough

  1. The stock headphones are surprisingly good
  2. The camera. Ok, I have below zero expectations for any phone camera but it's surprisingly good in good lighting conditions, it's only 1.3MP but frankly it's enough when you are on the move but I don't think Ansel is going to be trading in his SLR anytime soon.

    I took the photo on the right from the phone, it's one of my fav haunts, click on the piccie and you'll get the original photo.

    Anyone care to guess where this was taken (except for JeffJ)?

Minor irritations

  1. The USB connector is non standard, shame not just a standard mini USB connector
  2. The micro SD card sits behind the SIM card, so a pain to swap. Actually I've not found a problem as I mainly use mem card for music and happy to sync up new music via USB and Windows Media Player when I get bored.
  3. It could do with more main memory, but if you move the IE cache to the memory card it's not really a major head ache.

Stuff missing

  1. No wifi
  2. No 3G
  3. No Infrared

So if you've not guessed I reckon this phone rocks, paid for it myself and no regrets – but as per all reviews your mileage may vary...

Hmmm, now the nice folk in marketing just gave me a JasJam to work with, looks great has every connectivity option you could imagine, 802.11g, 3G support etc. If you want to talk to me about Windows Mobile Development then drop me a line via my blog.

Cheers, Dave