Palm has a high-powered smartphone on the market – the 700p. I purchased this phone from the master of all hidden-charge companies, Verizon Wireless, on October 1st and for the first fifteen days or so, I have to say that I was very pleased.
Why denote the first 15 days? Well, with Verizon you can return any item purchased and receive a 100% refund within the first 15 days of purchase. Great deal, right? Right.
Except when your new, expensive smartphone becomes a glitch-ridden, buggy machine on day 16…
When I first got the phone, I spent a lot of time just getting used to it. The weak battery life was annoying and I’ve looked into getting the extended battery (I’m waiting for the price to drop a little bit). The remarkably low volume on the machine was and is still annoying, though I’ve managed to get a software program that boosts the volume to an almost obnoxious level. There is also this weird white screen lag that just pops up randomly. For Windows users, think the Blue Screen of Death – but only for a few seconds and a white screen. And the phone almost completely stalls after sending a text message – very bad.
On the bright side, this thing is an absolutely phenomenal Personal Digital Assistant. I don’t think that any smartphone/PDA out there could even compete with it in terms of getting “the job done.” I can (and I have) read Word documents, download e-mail, surf the web, manage my calendar, sync with my laptop computer, take pictures & videos, use MP3’s as ringtones (after installing free software), and do so much more with this machine. It’s really impressive in the breadth of possible uses that it has for the busy lifestyled, somewhat-of-a-business-oriented kind of guy.
Oh – and it has great game playing abilities so I can download and play Scrabble, Bejeweled, and Monopoly (all sweet games). I’ve also enjoyed the SD card reading abilities which allow me to take some of my favorite pics from the laptop and bring them with me on my phone. That’s a pretty sweet feature – and one that I didn’t think I would ever be making use of, yet I use it almost daily.
The phone DOES work, too…but when it wants to work. That white screen glitch and stalling effect sort of makes the phone aspect of the 700p a hassle to use because when you’re hanging up the phone using the touchscreen or even the red “end” button, you ultimately wind up with the screen freezing and then accidentally pushing another option (usually making a second call).
Another bright note is that the text message and video messaging features are all fully-functioning (when you look beyond the stalling out). Also, Palm lets you store these messages as an IM conversation – so it looks VERY similar to your AOL Instant Messenger conversations on the computer.
I also have to mention that I’m on my second actual phone. The first one had this weird technical glitch where whenever you plugged something into the port at the bottom of the phone (charger, headset, sync wire) and then unplugged it, the phone would seem to think that it still had something plugged into it. For example, I would plug in the wired headset and 1) the people couldn’t hear me talking into the microphone and 2) when I unplugged it, the speaker and microphone on the actual phone itself wouldn’t work.
Yes, I use a wired headset because no one could hear me when I was using the bluetooth device. When I returned the obscenely expensive Bluetooth headset to the Verizon Store, the guy behind the counter was surprised. He wanted to know where I was using the headset. Obviously, I told him that I was using it in the car while driving. His response? “Oh, well that’s why the people can’t hear you. There’s probably a lot of wind noise and car noise in the car.”
I almost punched the guy right in the face. Where exactly would I be using a wireless headset besides my car? Would I be one of those status-seekers who feel the need to walk around the mall or their offices with a little device hanging out of their ear? Hell no!
The bottom line on this device is that it could be a GREAT PDA if it didn’t have the white screen lag, but as far as usability is concerned, I find it lacking. Yes, I can use it to read Word documents and I can use it to manage a calendar and coordinate my schedule, etc, but with the technical glitches that haven’t been fixed by Palm yet, the device is just a pain in the ass sometimes. Once Palm releases some new firmware to upgrade the phone’s internal software, this will be THE Palm device to own!
Until then, look at the much cheaper, similarly styled Motorola Q.