Blog powered by Typepad

Become a Fan

« Dear Long-haired Girl from the gym shower | Main | Stranded »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


wow... you are efficient. I am an impulse buyer so is Ben. He wants the iphone, damn the camera, damn waiting... I would go with the Nokia N95. It looks great and it makes sense to me. I could use it, unlike many of the other phones. ATM I have a razor like yours, for me its been the best phone yet. But yea, the photos kinda suck.


I love my Sidekick 3 and it seems to fit your criteria.


Here's the first issue... I do not know of a device that has a full
keyboard and also takes great pictures. There are some that take so-so pictures
- enough for sharing on the web. But not any with auto-focus, white balance,
etc. that take printable pictures. This means you have to make a decision
between ease of use for email, and great pictures.

If email is more important, then I'd recommend a Treo or Blackjack. The
Blackjack, by the way, is 3G - not sure who told you otherwise. It's way fast
online! I think the Treo is easier to use, because it runs the Pocket PC version
of Windows Mobile (touch screen). The Blackjack runs the smartphone version of
Windows Mobile, so it has no touch screen (all menu driven). I don't recommend
the 8525 because it's just too big for my taste. It does have wifi though, so I
guess if I were surfing all the time, I might like it more. Narrowed down to one
device, with a keyboard, available at Cingular, I'd have to go with the

If photos are more important, then you will not have a full keyboard on
your device and will have to use T9 text entry to send/reply to email. I'm a
photo guy, so I just use these devices to read email, not create or reply to it.
There are small exceptions where I'll send quick one-liner replies, but it's
rare. So this means I just go with something that has a great

Unfortunately, Cingular doesn't have any of the camera phones I enjoy
using - such as the Sony Ericsson K790i or K750i. I love these phones because
they take great pictures and they are fast. Cingular does have a Sony Ericsson
W810. I think that one is designed more for music though - it's a
walkman-branded phone. It takes decent pictures for a camera phone, but I don't
think it has auto-focus like the K790 or K750.

It's too bad Cingular doesn't have more higher-end camera phones. There's
not really anything I can recommend on the list. Maybe that means looking at
unlocked devices. I have no idea how much unlocked devices are, because
manufacturers send me free phones, but it might be worth the extra

About the Nokia Nseries devices... You heard correctly about the N73 -
it takes great pictures, but it's way too slow to pull out of your pocket for a
quick capture. And yes, the N93 is a bit large for a phone, but not bad if you
think of it as the DVD quality video camera that it is. I don't have an N95 yet,
but would guess that it's not much different than the N73 in terms of speed.
Same operating system, from what I understand. And more megapixels doesn't
really mean much to me. That's a good lesson... It's the quality of the photo,
not the resolution, that counts. The Nokia devices are very nice. I would
definitely use one. I'd just have to understand that I'm not going to get that
spontaneous quick pic every time. If I had to choose between the Nseries devices, I'd probably go with the N80 because it has wifi. The N73 doesn't.

guess I'm not much help, really, but there you go...



Oh, by the way, I have all of the new Motorola "iconic" devices - RAZR, KRZR, SLVR, ROKR, etc. It sounded like you wanted to get away from your RAZR, so I didn't mention this. But if you want me to check one of those out, I can do so. I think a couple of them now have 2 megapixel cameras. I doubt they have anything like auto-focus and white balance though.


Sorry to keep spamming your post... I just checked out what you listed as the James Bond phone and it's a Sony Ericsson K800 - which is the same device as the K790. You mentioned that the camera is questionable. Not a bit! It takes absolutely fantastic photos! This is the best camera on a phone that I have ever seen. This is the phone I have in my pocket right now.


[this is good] Oh, I'm so glad you asked this. I have similar issues with my RAZR (cute, but I want better pictures for moblogging), and similar needs.

Papi Chulo

I have a Cingular 8125. It's not terribly unstable. Certainly no more than any other smart phone I've carried, and that's saying a lot. The job I had from 2001-2005 involved me carrying just about every smart phone that came out for some amount of time. Pocket PC can be frustrating, but so can all the others. What I do like about it as an OS though, is that it's easy to develop for, so you can find a lot of applications for it. The bummer is that most phones ship with too little memory to really support the stuff you can and should do with these phones. Don't know about the camera on the 8525, but if it's the same as the 8125, then it'll be a disappointment. Mine takes decent shots in just the right light, and horrible shots in anything else. Video quality is pretty much crap. I'm seriously considering the 93i... I'm hoping they'll hook us up with a deal.


Is the Pearl really a crappy camera? I heard it was ok. Barak has one and I thought his were decent.
And as for the "quality" of a camera in a phone, if all you want to do is take some pictures of the kids and such and moblog them (versus print them and frame them for grandparents), my 1.3 megapixel camera in my TMobile MDA (Windows OS) seems to be good enough for me. If I want anything better in terms of quality, I pull out a cutelittle Olympus 720SW digital with 8 megapixels that I just carry in my purse all the time.
As Todd noted, the issue I think (for all of us)is that we want just ONE (please oh please oh please) device to carry around and we want it to be great in all respects and to doeverything we need it to do.
(Uh oh. I thinkin that last part I started veering into that other post you were going to write about "settling down with the right person".)



I think the Sidekick 3 has a decent camera. If you go to Navelgazer's blog, the picture of her with George at the Lake from last Sunday was taken with it.


I use the Cingular 8125 in the form of its OEM company's model, the Dopod 838 Pro. As much as I am a mac fanatic, I won't say that it is a horrible phone. It fits all your requirements (and mine) and doesn't really feel unstable. In fact, there have been reports that the next version of its OS is much much more stable. And there is a chance for it to be released as a free upgrade either by the OEM company or via the nice hackers at can read about my experiences (and hopefully others when they join the group) a href=""here/a


Todd, you are not spamming my blog. I had all of my fingers and toes crossed that you would pay attention and give me your advice. There is no one I trust more to help me.
I figured that I was going to have to pick between good photos and email and frankly that just sucks. Are the demographics really so different? Is it really so hard to do both? Bah humbug.
If I have to pick, I'm going to pick camera. I love my kids and I simply won't carry around a camera. And if I did I still wouldn't want to have to download my shots or transfer from SD cards. (Lazy, lazy) If you were going to pick between the 93i and the K800, which would you pick?
And while I do think that the Razr has an awful camera, I still love the form factor. If any of the other Motorolastook better pictures I would consider buying one of them. Is there one that you love?
I also have figured that I am probably going to have to go the unlocked route. It's more expensive, but I don't want to be fenced into Cingular's bad taste in phones.


Hmph. I love my Treo. I've owned three of them now, a 300, a 600, and a 650. I can't imagine anything else.


I'm definitely not using a sexy phone now. It's a 3-year old motorola something or other flip phone. And like you, I am not an early adopter on electronics, although in most cases it's the money factor rather than the fear of bugginess factor. But I'll tell you, without having held one in my hand, I need an iPhone. I don't care that it will be obsolete as soon as I get one because Apple does that to me every time I buy something new (they released the Nano a week after I bought my Mini). I want the darn thing anyhow.

Kelev T. Cat

I don't know squat about cell phones, but purely based on the name I think you need to wait a few months for the HTC Vox. (The spec's might even match most of what you're looking for, too.)


Nice to meet you! What do you love about it?


I've heard about the Sidekick (mostly from fashion magazines) but I thought it only worked with T-Mobile?


Barak would be the guy to answer this. I did borrow my boss' Pearl and took/sent a picture with it. I found it to be very mediocre quality in ordinary office light.
There is just no way I'm going to carry a camera. Even if my purse was big enough, which I hope it isn't, it doesn't satisfy my need for instant gratification (attention span of a toddler, remember?)


Karen, I'm a dork and didn't see the Cingular part. I apologize.


This is hard because there are so many phones out there, each with pros and cons, and always something new not too far away from being released.N93i versus the K790? I guess that would depend on your video needs. The K790 doesn't do video anywhere near the N93i. If all you cared about was photos, then I would go with the K790. But these new Nseries Nokia devices that are coming out might be worth a look. Such as the N95 or N76.I don't know the specs on the N95, other than the increased camera resolution. And I don't have one of them yet, so I can't report about whether it's faster to get into camera mode - faster than the slow N73.The N76 is a nice slim phone, if you're looking for something like a RAZR body style. Technically, it's a hair thinner than the RAZR, too. And it's a real Nseries Nokia device, which means it has a real OS on it (Series 60 Symbian), which means you can install applications on it (Series 60 apps and Java apps). The Sony Ericsson phones are Java-only devices. The N76 has a fixed focus camera, not auto-focus, so it's not like the N73/N80/N93, but I'm sure it still takes decent 2 megapixel pictures.If any of the Nseries devices, with auto-focus cameras, got faster, I'd take any of them. That is, except for the N93i - which is what you were asking about, above. I can't use the N93i as my primary device, because I need to be able to get into camera mode with one hand. You see, the N93i forces you to flip open the phone, then twist the screen around, then it goes into camera mode. If you have a beer in your hand - which is how I prefer to test phones out - I am not going to put my beer down in order to take a picture with my phone. So that issue, along with the increased size and weight of the device, means I can't make it my primary device I put in my pocket.So again, I guess I'm not much help narrowing things down. I wonder what it looks like for availability, in terms of being able to buy something. Maybe that will help narrow down the choice.One last thought... wifi is really nice with these devices that take good pictures, because the file size of the photos is really large and takes a while to send to a site like Vox via GPRS. So, I think a device that could connect to my wireless router at home would be a big plus, so I could sync all my photos to Vox in a fraction of the time it would happen via GPRS. I looked at my desk and noticed the Nokia N80 and remembered it had wifi, which is cool.Okay, more later, if I can think of anything else to say.Where do people even buy unlocked phones? I don't even know where to look online.


I have a treo and I love it...I have had two now....I got a 650 about two years ago and just after christmas upgraded to the 700. I have the palm based OS not the windows. It syncs perfectly with outlook, I can check email, surf the web, and there is even a vox application for it that allows me to moblog. The camera isn't awesome...there is no flash or other settings but it does take decent pictures in good light. Video is crappy but I don't use it much anyways. The new 700 has a HUGE amount of user memory on it so I can load it up with applications that are useful to me, I use it for everything, a checkbook register, budgeting program, health and fitness tracker, caleandar, tasklist, email, you name it...the treo will do it...well...except rub your feet after a long day.
I believe there will never be a perfect phone...but the treo is as close as I have ever gotten.


[this is good] Thanks for the Great overview of the different phone models you're considering getting Karen. Including +'s and -'s for said devices.

Scott Kraft

I'm liking my N73. The only area where the lack of speed gets me is when taking a picture - there's a marked delay between the pressing and the taking. Otherwise, this isn't any slower than most "smart" phones. It's got a great screen, good web browser, acceptable email, and excellent picture taking. If you're looking for a heavy email device, don't get it. If you're looking for a handy camera with great photos plus email, web - go for it.


I would think the delay between pressing and taking pictures would drive one crazy. Why doesn't it?

Scott Kraft

I find that many digital cameras have this same delay and I've learned to time to it.

The comments to this entry are closed.