The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Sprint's new PPC-6700

I am currently looking at this COOL new PPC PE from Sprint. It is a GREAT device with a few uncorrectable issues, but 1st:

the GOOD- 1. It is the 1st Pocket PC Phone Edition to sport WM 5.0 (and I LOVE the new OS!) By beating everyone to punch for 5.0, Sprint has a sure winner for all of you early adopters out there. Samsung's i730 (Verizon) is WM 2003 2nd Edition, but should receive an upgrade in the near future.
2. The larger keyed, landscape oriented QWERRTY keyboard gets my vote for the best "thumb" keyboard I have ever used, with 1 exception (see the UGLY below)

3. The numeric layout of the keys is across the TOP row, so no more Palm 600/650, mini number dialing or numeric input--a big PLUS! A double-tap of button acts as a NUM lock (unlike the Samsung i730 that does NOT have a NUM lock option, and a poor numeric keyboard layout for left-handers (like me).

4. There a 5 programmable hardware buttons, but see the BAD below for addition information. The i730 has 5 buttons, but they are easier to map due to the hard engraved, recognizable icons.

5. The device will sync and charge using a STANDARD USB 2.0 mini cable!!! The Samsung i730 has a unique, proprietary Mini-USB "looking" cable, that, if lost, is a big problem, and it does not charge the unit.

6. Removable, replaceable battery! The unit can also use an optional extended life battery. The charger is equipped to charge the unit with this battery (or the standard battery) installed, as well as charging either battery in a 2nd charging bay. This is similar the i730, however, Samsung includes both batteries in the retail package.

7. Decent built-in still and video camera with light.

8. Built-in WiFi, Bluetooth, and EV-DO high speed data that can be tethered to a laptop. The i730 has all three as well, but cannot be tethered to work as a high-speed laptop modem.

the BAD:

1. Mini-SD slot! I have so many standard SD cards, now I have get the mini's. (I never even liked the Mini Cooper.) If you are going to have a Mini SD, complement it with a standard SD slot as well.

2. The unit has no place to attach a bungie. I am waiting for my 6700 to plop into the toilet at an inopportune moment. The i730 has a bungie hole to spare me this experience.

3. As mentioned above, the programmable hard buttons are difficult to map. I am hoping to get a map from Sprint in time for the review so I can share it with my readers.

4. Very little additional software in ROM or on a CD. The i730 gives you Sprite Backup in ROM, and the incredible Picsel Browser 3rd party app in ROM. (see Dale's review in the current issue of PPCMAG.)

the UGLY:

The keyboard is GREAT, however, the keys light up whenever the keyboard is touched. That would be great, except that the keys are silver, and the under light shining through the translucent keys is white, making the keyboard very difficult to use in daylight, or in a lit room. In a dark room, the keys look "black", and a red/orange glows lights some of the special function keys. I would like to seen a black keyboard with this back light, or a different color back light (neon green or neon blue would have been nice). Unlike the i730, you cannot set the back of this keyboard to only light during "night" hours. If you i730 users are not aware of this, e-mail me and I will tell you how.

MedEd

Can someone give me an idea

Can someone give me an idea whether or not I should go for a smart phone or just use a more stylish phone and wait for some better technology? I am on the Sprint network, and was referred to http://www.sanyowireless.com , but I'm not seeing any options that look like smart phones. I don't need an MP3 player or a camera, I'd rather have a phone that is lighter and easier to carry. Any recommendations would be welcome.

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