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Verizon PDA/SmartPhones.....

Discussion in 'Tech: Medical Apps, iOS, Android, medical devices' started by Therapist4Chnge, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
    Faculty Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    I can upgrade my phone in June, and I'm considering a PDA phone. I have an Axim (which I just found out that dell discontinued?!) and I love it, but eventually I'll need to replace it. I don't know much about PDA phones, and I have no idea if I should look at the blackberry ones, PDA, etc.

    Here is what I need it to do:

    1. Phone (can't be huge)
    2. Long battery life...or additional batteries available
    3. Runs WM (preferably...though Palm is ok I guess)
    4. Runs Epocrates (either WM or Palm...though I need a decent size screen)

    Questions
    Do they come with a wireless card for LAN use?
    How do the data plans work on VZ? (they look $40+/mon!)
    Bluetooth?
    WM or Palm OS?
    Do I HAVE to have a data plan? (I just text and use the phone. I browse the web on my x50v on a wireless lan, which is what i'd like to do with the PDA phone)
    What else should I look for in a phone?


    I have heard good things about the Treo700...but it is $400-$500 and i'd rather not bite that big of a bullet if at all possible, especially since my Epocrates subscription will be $200/yr, and the data plan will be $ I think.

    I did see some stuff about double dipping with "New Every Two" and some online deals at VZ's website, and some other great info over at Howard's....but it is rather overwhelming the amount of information there. I need a "PDA Phone For Dummies" summary.

    The best case scenario for a Tre0700 is ~$200 after rebates, "new every two", and taxes, but I'd need a $40/month data plan. I have a corp discount, though i'm not sure they will knock much off on the data plans.

    -t
     
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  3. raceblk

    2+ Year Member

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    Hey, feel free to PM me. I take care of all of the Verizon Wireless stuff for my company and can probably tell you more than you want to know about them. A few notes:

    1. The smallest of the phones with a full keyboard is the Motorola Q. It's pretty sweet. The PN-820 is cool, and it's a normal flip, but if you ever want to do more than text (eg email), this is NOT the phone for you.

    2. Battery life...none of them are great - relative to normal cell phones. Get the phone and then buy a second battery off eBay or something.

    3. WM - that's the easy part. All of the phones run it except the one Palm OS that VW sells. When you know which one you want, call VW to find out when they are releasing WM6 on that device and make sure that Epocrates will run on that. Might be too soon to know for sure so you may want to get WM5, if you need/want it urgently.

    4. The phones with the best screen size are the ones with the flip out keyboard. I have the xv6700, and the screen size is awesome. (I also LOVE this phone.)

    5. Some of the phones have built-in WiFi, which is what I think you're talking about. The Treo - well, Palm is more than happy to sell you a WiFi card for it. Or do you mean a card/cable that allows you to get internet access on your laptop through your phone? If that's the case, you pay separately for the card/cable device and the access.

    6. Data plans are pricey, but the unlimited is the best one unless you absolutely WON'T browse for anything. BTW, Blackberries are the only Verizon PDA/Smartphones devices that FORCE you to have some kind of data plan. You can have the other phones and not have a data plan or even get a data block. And you can still use WiFi even with a data block, despite what the reps may tell you.

    7. WM or Palm OS - personal preference. Palm is historically more stable. I'm in IT and I like to break/hack stuff. I prefer WM.

    8. See no. 6. If you really want to browse using your own wireless network, I would suggest getting a phone with built-in Wifi. If you have to add the WiFi card, then you lose your mini/micro sd slot to the WiFi card.

    9. Go and test out the phone during that trial period. Try them all, if you want. Seems silly, but many people take it for granted. Each of the devices has a slightly different weight, look, and comfort level in your hand. Do you want something with a touchscreen or just a scroll? Do you have big fingers? Can you comfortably press the keys? What kind of keyboard do you like? Normal cell phone keypad, slide out keyboard that makes you use two hands or a smaller keypad that allows you to just use one hand? And then of course...accessories. I don't care what anyone says - you will NEED a headset of some sort with any of these phones. The form factor makes it harder to hear so definitely consider investing in one.

    So sorry for the long post, but PM me if you have any more questions. I, personally and professionally, have had a number of problems with the Treo 700 series. There is a reason that Verizon no longer lists the original 700w on their site, but still carries phones that came out before it...I'm all for getting the most bang for your buck, but make sure that you try out the phones first. You'll need to keep it for 22 months, and it's gonna cost you a bit so make sure you like it.

    One last thing - whatever you do - make sure that you get the insurance.
     
  4. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
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    THANK YOU.

    That post really helped me out.

    I need to cut out now, but I'll be back later to reply and ask a few more questions. If you don't mind, I'd like to keep this in the thread, since it may help others in a similar situation.

    As an IT-inclined person, I am definitely leaning towards WM for the hackability. My Axim does all sorts of fun stuff for me now, and I like to be able to tinker.

    -t
     
  5. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
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    The Q looks pretty good, a friend of mine has one.

    Figures. I know keeping the wireless and bluetooth on my Axim drains the battery. I'll just get a 3rd party one, or a car charger.

    I'm not in a huge rush, but if I can get a decent deal on one, I want to make the change......maybe sell my x50v if possible.

    You are the 3rd or 4th person to recommend that to me. After the Treo 700w debachle (I heard all sorts of bugs and whatnot), that is what people seemed to get.

    Exactly what I want. I am spoiled with surfing on my Axim.

    I heard about getting a data block, that probably is the best option. I don't do video/pictures or any of that stuff. Can I do txt'ing with a data block? As long as I can use the WiFi with the data block.....that is exactly what I want to do.

    For hacks...definitely WM. I love to tweak my hardware/software.

    EXCELLENT idea. I forgot about this....i think they recently changed it to be more lenient for people who want to try out phones.

    I'd REALLY prefer a touch screen, I don't like scrolling. I have big fingers...doh! I don't really know what I prefer with the keyboard, I guess I'll need to see what works the best. I use to use the Palm shorthand (on my VIII or whatever it was), then touch screen with my Axim. I think two handed typing is fine.

    I have a bluetooth headset that works pretty well. I haven't used it in a bit, but i'll probably just hang onto it, since most of the new BT's are expensive.

    Still $5/mon? For a $400+ phone...it definitely makes sense.

    I looked up the xv6700, that is the style I really dislike...drat, I've heard/really good things about it.

    Thanks!

    -t
     
  6. raceblk

    2+ Year Member

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    Chargers...third party city from the web. They all come in nice and handy.

    The data block is cool since you never have to worry about "accidental" data costs, which can be pretty steep with VW. And you won't get any picture or video messages either. You can get a texting plan - I have 500 texts plus unlimited in texts for $10/mo. And yeah, you can definitely use the WiFi with the data block, although some VW reps tell people that they can't. They want to make their money, too...

    Insurance...I actually had to use it once. Came with a new set of everything for the phone and I just paid the $50 deductible.

    By the way, not sure if you're interested, but there is a Skype client for certain WM phones. Nice addition if you go over your VW minutes for the month of if you want the cheapest allowed VW plan, and the cost is nothing compared to your VW plan.

    xv6700...yeah, the style/size isn't fantastic, but the keyboard is awesome for me, and I LOVE the screen size. Throw in built-in WiFi and you're all set.

    Good luck, and I'll be interested to hear what you decide on. I promise that I'm not trying to sell you on the 6700. I also think that the Q is pretty sweet and reliable for a smartphone, but I like having the touchscreen.
     
  7. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
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    The touchscreen is big for me, I'm spoiled with my current PDA (x50v). The Q is nice, but I think the Treo is what i'm going to end up with. I have a Skype account from way back when....hopefully I can still use it! :laugh: I'm either at home, school, or a hospital....so WiFi is definitely key!

    It may cost me $300 instead of $200, since I read the fine print, and i'm not sure i can swing the data block and the extra $100 off.....that is ymmv, i'm hoping to find a nice cs.

    -t
     

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