Looking for a VERY smart smartphone :-)

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Looking for a VERY smart smartphone :-)

Postposted on Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:16 am

Help me out, oh wise and generous gerbils of TR!

I need to replace my trusty, but aging Palm Treo 700p. I know exactly what I want, spec-wise, but I can't find it:
- an unlocked GSM device (no damn carrier will hold me hostage!)
- a 4.5 - 5" screen, 800x480 res min, dual-orientation
- 1+ GHz snapdragon or 800+ MHz Tegra2 CPU
- support for up to 32 GBytes memory via microSD
- HARDWARE KEYBOARD - this is the part that's giving me trouble...
- decent camera (ideally good enough to replace my Sony DSC-90, but that's hardly likely)
- A-GPS
- preferably a Linux-core OS (i.e., Android or WebOS) - sorry, won't consider WinMo at this point
- a WebKit browser
- WiFi, hopefully n
- Bluetooth - A2DP stereo at a minimum, but hopefully support for Bluetooth keyboards and mice as well
- USB sync with a laptop/desktop

The above are my minimum specs. Ideally, I'd also like it to support video-out (HDMI or even VGA) so I can use it with an external monitor, too.

The specs are basically those of the latest-gen HTC phones, except none of the ones with that screen size have a slide-out keyboard (that I've found, anyway). Hopefully, one of you will know of a model that I've missed somewhere.

The tough part: I want this by early July at the latest, as I have a major trip planned where I'll want/need it. If I can't find such a device by then, I'll get a GSM Palm Pre Plus to hold me over until the above device materializes (ideally from Palm, as I find WebOS far superior to Android, but Palm obviously has a shaky future at this point...)

Suggestions?
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Re: Looking for a VERY smart smartphone :-)

Postposted on Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:19 am

This specs are very close to Nexus...
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Re: Looking for a VERY smart smartphone :-)

Postposted on Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:22 am

Jigar wrote:This specs are very close to Nexus...


Nexus doesn't have a keyboard.
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Re: Looking for a VERY smart smartphone :-)

Postposted on Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:23 am

- a 4.5 - 5" screen, 800x480 res min, dual-orientation

This is a problem as I don't think any phones exist with screens of this size and you won't find any tegra2 handsets out till probably next year.

My mistake it's the hardware keyboard that's the problem otherwise the Dell mini 5 fits your specs.
Last edited by Ushio01 on Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:43 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Looking for a VERY smart smartphone :-)

Postposted on Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:29 am

Take a look at the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10.

http://www.sonyericsson.com/cws/product ... w=overview

It should have most of what you ask for, except I'm not sure about its OS.
Make some compromises, don't be so picky otherwise you'll be left with no cake.
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Re: Looking for a VERY smart smartphone :-)

Postposted on Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:41 am

Corrado wrote:
Jigar wrote:This specs are very close to Nexus...


Nexus doesn't have a keyboard.


opps, but apart from that, i was still close... :P
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Re: Looking for a VERY smart smartphone :-)

Postposted on Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:54 am

The phone will only be as smart as the user.

I'm not sure I'd worry so much about the CPU Mhz requirements, I'd put those after a number of your other needs.
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Re: Looking for a VERY smart smartphone :-)

Postposted on Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:00 am

dpaus wrote:- HARDWARE KEYBOARD - this is the part that's giving me trouble...


Hardware keyboard used to be very high on my priority list until I tried swipe. Now it's one of the last things I want. Have you given it a try?
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Re: Looking for a VERY smart smartphone :-)

Postposted on Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:29 am

How about a Palm Pre Plus? There is a patch to overclock the CPU to 800mhz and it supposedly has almost no effect on battery life.

http://www.engadget.com/2010/03/26/pre- ... oy-at-one/

That, however doesn't meet your screen requirements. In fact, I don't think your phone exists.
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Re: Looking for a VERY smart smartphone :-)

Postposted on Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:33 am

The closest you're going to find to you requirements is an Android based phone. Even then you're asking for a very large screen and a hardware keyboard. Yeah... I can't think of a single phone that meets all of those. The Nexus One comes close though. Could wait out for one of the Dell slate devices, specifically the Streak 5 but that won't have a keyboard and hard to say what radio options it will have.
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Re: Looking for a VERY smart smartphone :-)

Postposted on Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:48 am

Like Skyring mentioned, Android phones are the way to go for the features that you're looking for. The Nexus One is fairly close to what you're looking for, as is the HTC EVO 4G. However, the EVO 4G has no physical keyboard (like the Nexus One) and it's going to be for Sprint only.

I'll reiterate what Corrado said, your phone doesn't exist yet.
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Re: Looking for a VERY smart smartphone :-)

Postposted on Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:56 am

Ushio01 wrote:- a 4.5 - 5" screen, 800x480 res min, dual-orientation

That's actually MID/UMPC territory.
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Re: Looking for a VERY smart smartphone :-)

Postposted on Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:02 am

Motorola Milestone (GSM/UMTS version of the Droid) is almost exactly what you are looking for. It's an OMAP 3 Cortex A8 CPU rather than Snapdragon but the performance difference isn't massive and it has a hardware keyboard.

expansys has unlocked version
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Re: Looking for a VERY smart smartphone :-)

Postposted on Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:45 am

ekul wrote:Motorola Milestone (GSM/UMTS version of the Droid) is almost exactly what you are looking for. It's an OMAP 3 Cortex A8 CPU rather than Snapdragon but the performance difference isn't massive and it has a hardware keyboard.

expansys has unlocked version



Says no 3G Data in the US. Kinda defeats the purpose.
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Re: Looking for a VERY smart smartphone :-)

Postposted on Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:57 am

BoBzeBuilder wrote:Take a look at the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10


...except that it doesn't have a hardware keyboard

BoBzeBuilder wrote:Make some compromises, don't be so picky otherwise you'll be left with no cake.


For the last 6 months, my compromise has been to continue using my 700p, which still works fine. The specs represent the minimum it'll take to get me to pay big coin for a new device.
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Re: Looking for a VERY smart smartphone :-)

Postposted on Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:00 pm

tfp wrote:The phone will only be as smart as the user


Ouch.... :-)


tfp wrote:I'm not sure I'd worry so much about the CPU Mhz requirements, I'd put those after a number of your other needs.


Well, I could have just said "really snappy performance" but that's pretty open to interpretation. For instance, the Cortex A8 is great on the iPhone 3GS, but the very same CPU on the more demanding WebOS makes the Palm Pre a bit sluggish.
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Re: Looking for a VERY smart smartphone :-)

Postposted on Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:00 pm

Corrado wrote:
ekul wrote:Motorola Milestone (GSM/UMTS version of the Droid) is almost exactly what you are looking for. It's an OMAP 3 Cortex A8 CPU rather than Snapdragon but the performance difference isn't massive and it has a hardware keyboard.

expansys has unlocked version



Says no 3G Data in the US. Kinda defeats the purpose.


The euro milestone won't work with US 3G but the Canadian one does. We use the same frequencies as AT&T. It's annoying they don't use different names or model numbers to make it clear. wikipedia has details but I'm sure you can get confirmation elsewhere.
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Re: Looking for a VERY smart smartphone :-)

Postposted on Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:02 pm

Corrado wrote:How about a Palm Pre Plus?


As I noted in the original post, a Palm Pre is my back-up plan ($99 one a one-year contract from Bell Canada is a pretty good deal, and would hold me over until my dream phone arrives)
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Re: Looking for a VERY smart smartphone :-)

Postposted on Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:04 pm

ekul wrote:Motorola Milestone (GSM/UMTS version of the Droid) is almost exactly what you are looking for


Thanks, I'll look into that device! It sounds like you're in Canada, too - will this work on the new Bell/Telus HSPA network? And/or Robber's GSM? And, since I do a lot of travelling in the States, will I be able to roam on AT&T as well?
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Re: Looking for a VERY smart smartphone :-)

Postposted on Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:18 pm

dpaus wrote:
ekul wrote:Motorola Milestone (GSM/UMTS version of the Droid) is almost exactly what you are looking for


Thanks, I'll look into that device! It sounds like you're in Canada, too - will this work on the new Bell/Telus HSPA network? And/or Robber's GSM? And, since I do a lot of travelling in the States, will I be able to roam on AT&T as well?


telus is advertising the crap out of the milestone right now so I know it works there. They use the same frequencies as rogers and at&t should it shouldn't be an issue. The expansys forums had several people using the milestone on rogers so you're not in uncharted territory.
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Re: Looking for a VERY smart smartphone :-)

Postposted on Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:44 pm

ekul wrote:telus is advertising the crap out of the milestone right now


Yeah, I've seen their ads on buses, etc. So I went to their website to see what they had. In 15 minutes I was so frustrated, having not found a single bit of useful information, I left in disgust.
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Re: Looking for a VERY smart smartphone :-)

Postposted on Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:17 pm

dpaus wrote:
tfp wrote:The phone will only be as smart as the user


Ouch.... :-)


:D It's true though


dpaus wrote:
tfp wrote:I'm not sure I'd worry so much about the CPU Mhz requirements, I'd put those after a number of your other needs.


Well, I could have just said "really snappy performance" but that's pretty open to interpretation. For instance, the Cortex A8 is great on the iPhone 3GS, but the very same CPU on the more demanding WebOS makes the Palm Pre a bit sluggish.


That's kind of what I was getting at, not sure how to qualify it without trying out a lot of different phones.
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Re: Looking for a VERY smart smartphone :-)

Postposted on Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:23 pm

might i suggest an htc desire?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IwHEqvR5ts
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Re: Looking for a VERY smart smartphone :-)

Postposted on Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:31 pm

no51 wrote:might i suggest an htc desire?


No hardware keyboard
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Re: Looking for a VERY smart smartphone :-)

Postposted on Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:35 pm

dpaus wrote:
ekul wrote:telus is advertising the crap out of the milestone right now

Yeah, I've seen their ads on buses, etc. So I went to their website to see what they had. In 15 minutes I was so frustrated, having not found a single bit of useful information, I left in disgust.
The Milestone is Telus exclusive, so unless you can get an unlocked unit right out of the gate somewhere other than Telus, you will have to research on what you need to do to unlock the thing. But yes, it is available and works with Bell/Telus HSDPA+ network. By extension it should work with Robbers as well, you may just need to unlock it.

no51 wrote:might i suggest an htc desire?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IwHEqvR5ts
Desire does not have US/Canada 3G so it is out, besides it has no physical keyboard which does not fit the OP's requirements.

Still, none of the units suggested here have 4.5" screens, you need to adjust your expectations a bit?
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Re: Looking for a VERY smart smartphone :-)

Postposted on Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:41 pm

Flying Fox wrote:you need to adjust your expectations a bit...?


Yeah, I'm just slightly ahead of my time :-) I know I'm looking for a bleeding edge device. I've been holding out for almost a year (ever since the launch of the original palm Pre), but I have a major motorcycle trip coming up across the States this summer, and I wanted to have a music-playing GPS with integrated weather radar :-) big enough to see when mounted on my handlebars. If the Milestone doesn't work out, it looks like I may be out of luck :-(

We also develop mobile apps, so we're constantly looking for the latest devices, but I didn't know of one that met those specs. Since all of them are available on one device or another, and most of them on so many devices, I thought perhaps we'd missed one that some gerbil here would know about. Ah, well...
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Re: Looking for a VERY smart smartphone :-)

Postposted on Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:46 pm

Since Bell Canada, Robbers and Telus all screw their customers over royally for U.S. data roaming fees ($3/MB!!!!!!!), I may actually be better off to buy an AT&T GSM Pre+ with a one-year data plan, pre-pay it, and then simply change the SIM card when I get back. It literally could be cheaper for that 2-week trip!
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Re: Looking for a VERY smart smartphone :-)

Postposted on Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:51 pm

How about the nokia n900? Just about the smartest smartphone out there, and it can do cool stuff like run windows and other os'. Can also play n64 and ps1 games, and can be overclocked!
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Re: Looking for a VERY smart smartphone :-)

Postposted on Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:49 pm

dpaus wrote:Since Bell Canada, Robbers and Telus all screw their customers over royally for U.S. data roaming fees ($3/MB!!!!!!!), I may actually be better off to buy an AT&T GSM Pre+ with a one-year data plan, pre-pay it, and then simply change the SIM card when I get back. It literally could be cheaper for that 2-week trip!
Remember to include the cost of unlocking the device after moving back to Canada?

Sikthskies wrote:How about the nokia n900? Just about the smartest smartphone out there, and it can do cool stuff like run windows and other os'. Can also play n64 and ps1 games, and can be overclocked!

T-mob 3G does not quite work well yet in Canada and it will be spotty in the US.
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Re: Looking for a VERY smart smartphone :-)

Postposted on Tue May 04, 2010 10:14 am

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