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Brad Fitzpatrick

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Need a new phone. Treo's dead. [Mar. 18th, 2007|07:17 pm]
Brad Fitzpatrick
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5 months after its 1 year warranty expired, my Treo 650 just shat itself for the final time. The keyboard's all whack now, pressing random keys on its own, not responding to other keys, etc.

And given that OpenMoko isn't quite ready yet software-wise, I should buy another phone. So...

Dear Lazyweb,

I need a new phone!

The new phone has the following properties, and you'll tell me what phone it is:
  • QWERTY keyboard -- for thumb-killing fast SMS'ing.
  • GSM, Quad-band, Unlocked -- gotta use it in Russia and Europe and Japan, and with pre-pay SIM cards not from T-Mobile
  • Sufficiently Hackable -- can I put apps from the Internet on it?
  • Good IMAP client
  • ssh client
  • Camera
  • Menus and navigation that don't offend me -- I don't want spinny animations and offensive shit common in the slow-ass gimmicky "Java phones"
So, what do I want?

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[User Picture]From: obra
2007-03-19 02:26 am (UTC)
Nokia E70?
(Note that for Japan, you need a WCDMA or possibly UMTS phone, not GSM)
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[User Picture]From: decklin
2007-03-19 03:05 am (UTC)
The E61 is also nice (quadband and wifi; both have WCDMA) if you want a more Treo-ey keyboard. I can't really speak to the keyboards themselves as I have an E50 (however: same IMAP client, MidpSSH, webkit-based browser, OggPlay, it's all pretty decent), which really doesn't do anything better except be small and thin.

I had a much older "fold-out" two-handed QWERTY Nokia once upon a time and... probably, you just have to try 'em both hands-on. I didn't like hunting with my thumbs, and I use Dvorak anyway now :)

None of the E series cameras are very good. All Series 60 phones could stand to be a little faster, but otherwise the navigation sucks minimally. (A co-worker bought a new Treo recently and I found the process of setting up his email kind of a pain.)
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[User Picture]From: preci0us
2007-03-19 02:55 am (UTC)
tmobile dash
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[User Picture]From: brad
2007-03-19 03:02 am (UTC)
eh, it's Microsoft. Somehow I doubt it works with Mac & Linux. I use no Windows.
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[User Picture]From: perpetualmotion
2007-03-19 03:05 am (UTC)


Who's your service provider ? I have a Cingular 8525 and love everything about it. You might not want a slider keyboard though (garage door opening ? Although I'm sure you can hack one of the hardware buttons on the front or side to fire up a shortcut in whatever browser you want to use on it), but it makes a big difference in typing convenience (along with the scroll wheel on the side). It's 3G, and I usually get around 700-900K down, around 150/200 up... Anyway, it's rebadged from the HTC TyTN, and lots of other service providers have their own rebadged versions - most of them with slight variations on minor hardware/software, but fairly similar. I bought a bluetooth GPS receiver for it (about the size of a lighter) and Tom Tom Navigator 6 is awesome. It would make a great GPS for the bike, with a mount for the gauge cluster. Lots of bluetooth helmet systems, too...

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[User Picture]From: perpetualmotion
2007-03-19 03:05 am (UTC)
Nevermind, yes, it's Windows Mobile 5.0 ;)
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[User Picture]From: matthew
2007-03-19 03:15 am (UTC)
I rather like my blackberry, but it lacks a camera. It does run apps from the net (gmail, google maps, etc) so that's all cool. Of course it's also a blackberry so it's got all that weird freakiness. There's probably better out there but it works for me (especially when work pays for it)
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[User Picture]From: taral
2007-03-19 03:24 am (UTC)
Treo 750p

Shame it's not out yet. :)
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[User Picture]From: brad
2007-03-19 03:25 am (UTC)
Treo gets no more money from me.

Fuck that "operating system".
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(Deleted comment)
From: baudehlo
2007-03-19 04:08 am (UTC)


Try a crackberry. Hey, I live in their town so I have to suggest it. :-)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: robflynn
2007-03-19 04:11 am (UTC)
I was thinking of purchasing a Cingular 8525/HTC TyTn as mentioned above.

I'm not going to be making a purchase for another month or so, so I'm kind of replying to tag this post for later viewing. Let me know what you end up buying.

If not, anyone else have suggestions as well? Where I'm moving has good cingular service, but not good Tmobile service, fyi.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: krow
2007-03-19 05:26 am (UTC)
Nothing on that open source phone you got?
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[User Picture]From: brad
2007-03-19 05:26 am (UTC)
I referenced that phone in my post.
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[User Picture]From: funjon
2007-03-19 07:12 am (UTC)
I know you will dislike a Windows Mobile phone, but I've been extremely happy with my HTC TyTN (the OEM version of the Cingular 8525, as referenced above). I use The Missing Sync (www.markspace.com) to sync with my Macbook Pro, which works well. As a bonus feature, if you have a data plan on your phone, if you update your phone to the AKU 3.3 rom and are using The Missing Sync, when you plug it in and turn on Internet Sharing, you get an IP address on the USB port. And it Just Works (tm).

The TyTN is a GSM/UMTS/WCDMA phone, so it will truly work world wide. It should work everywhere you want to go, including Japan (woo).

If you want to play with it ping me when I get back from Las Vegas on Tuesday night. I'll even be in the city Wednesday for dinner with a friend.
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[User Picture]From: robflynn
2007-03-19 09:25 am (UTC)
I find the handwriting reco. isn't too bad, either. It could read my sloppy writing.
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[User Picture]From: jwz
2007-03-19 09:34 am (UTC)
So Ash's Treo started doing that -- it would act like "Alt" had been pressed when you pressed half of the other keys, and some keys didn't work -- and he sprayed it with electronics contact cleaner and it works fine now.
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[User Picture]From: quappa
2007-03-19 09:59 am (UTC)
Look at SonyEricsson P990. There's qwerty, 2mp camera, wi-fi, umts and probably all the other mobile phone features ever imagined.
The only downside -- not enough native 3rd-party software.
Previous model p910 doesn't have wifi but supports much more software.

And you don't need GSM 900 in Moscow.
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[User Picture]From: boggyb
2007-03-19 11:37 am (UTC)
I've got no idea what's current in the cellphone market, but I can recommend anything by Sony Ericsson. In my experience their phones Just Work, and they punch out a better signal than most of the stuff around.
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[User Picture]From: eqe
2007-03-19 02:49 pm (UTC)
I think the Blackberry 8800 satisfies most of your requirements. Oops, except it seems to be lacking a camera. And I don't know what their installable software situation is.
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[User Picture]From: ioerror
2007-03-19 07:05 pm (UTC)
You can install unsigned java code easily. I have a few different applications installed, one of which is a very good ssh client.
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[User Picture]From: desh
2007-03-19 03:14 pm (UTC)
The "unlocked" part of things shouldn't be a concern. I'm told that Cingular is really good at unlocking phones if you call their international number, tell them you need the phone unlocked for abroad travel, and give it a few days. So if you find what you want among Cingular's US lineup, you should be good to go, and for a couple hundred bucks cheaper than the equivalent unbranded/unlocked phone.

And I'd recommend anything in Nokia's E-series. S60 is plenty "hackable". I don't know phone-specific details, though. (I know their N-series better because I don't like QWERTY.) Check out their site or the phonescoop.com phone comparison feature to find out what specifically you want.
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[User Picture]From: poligraph
2007-03-19 03:59 pm (UTC)
Nokia E70, Nokia E61i
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