My First Review: Sprint’s Pocket PC Phone, the PPC6700

I have this really cool pocket PC phone. It makes me feel just a little bit cooler than everyone else. But not superior, technology always has ways of humbling me. (see previous post)

I have been an owner of a HP Pocket PC for a few years now. I LOVE THEM. They really are a mini PC. I have also been an owner of a Sprint PCS Phone (who doesn’t have cell phones these days-I do not even have a home phone anymore). They both broke this last fall. I started to miss appointments and have to actually look up phone numbers manually! (GASP) I finally conned my wife into letting me purchase the newly released Sprint Pocket PC Phone, the PPC6700.

The Good

This phone has EVERYTHING! Pocket PC, calculator, address book, phone with call history and even can take notes on a per-call basis, camera with flash and fun frames, video camera, side slide out QWERTY keyboard that lights up, mini SD card slot (with my 1 GB card), Bluetooth, WiFi, email, text messaging, Windows Mobile 5.0, tons of programs (Pocket Word, Excel, PowerPoint), games, Windows Media Player, Pocket MSN, and my favorite: Instant Internet access (about 3.5 times faster than 56k diall up) wherever there is Sprint Vision or WiFi (it has excellent WiFi detection capability). And finally one very cool feature-it can act as a wireless modem for my laptop! SWEET!

The Bad

I am on my 4th PPC6700 handset. I purchased the $600 phone and received $200 in rebates. I bought it on a Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. I returned it on Saturday where they replaced it for a model that was actually able to make a call. Phone #2 seemed to lose it’s grip on the built-in stylus. I could not hear the phone ring in its case and I couldn’t figure out how to get the phone to vibrate and ring at the same time for quite awhile. I am not even positive that the early handsets had that feature, but we’ll chalk that up to user error. I finally figured it out on my current handset, that I received as a replacement towards the end of January-the volume button popped off of my previous one. Phone #3 had to be replaced with phone #2 the same day for some reason-I don’t remember now. A couple of days later Sprint replaced phone #2 with phone #4. I will give Sprint props: I had absolutely no roblems getting a replacement handset; I am on the replacement program. The ppc6700 does not have the Sprint’s Picture Vision feature, so you have to send pics from an Internet mail account. I can reply to pics my wife sends me, I just have to do it while viewing the pic in Sprint’s picture mail website. Sprint’s Power Vision is required to use the wireless vision Internet connection. If you don’t have it-say because it was told to you that you were getting it but it never really got provisioned-well then you are charged about $300 for a few hours of surfing. then you have to call to get it corrected and get a refund. All of which happened to me with just a little pain, again Sprint fixed the prob in the end, after I got transfereed to the right person. And after their research. After much battery drainage…

The Ugly

I love my phone. I hate the standard case that it comes with. I have dropped the phone a couple of times and have banged up the corners of the handset. This makes it look really grinded on the corners, but the design protects the rest of the phone’s important parts like the camera and keyboard. I also had a screen protector on it but had to remove it when the screen stopped responding to touch. I removed the protector and the problem was solved. But I saw my first teeny, tiny scratch on the screen just a few days ago.

Still-I Can’t Live without This Phone

I can’t live without this phone. OK, that’s a lie. But I simply LOVE this phone. I don’t want to live without it! Despite the bad and the ugly. It seems to be the best pocket PC Phone edition on the market right now. I can sync all of outlook via the PCS wireless feature. I can Google, Yahoo, eBay, game, email, make calls from my contacts, WiFi, talk hands-free with the speaker or my Bluetooth headset, take pics, record voice, stay informed with the latest news, weather, movie listings, listen to music, etc, etc, etc.

Odds And Ends

The phone did not come with Advantgo. It can be installed for free. The thought must be that one can get info off of the Internet in real-time rather than from a sync. I still like that program and now I can sync wirelessly (very cool). A few other free downloads includes Microsoft Active Sync, Pocket Money (which can only be used with the desktop version-that you have to pay for), and a few other Microsoft Pocket PC software, but be careful, the new Windows Mobile 5.0 is not backward compatible with all older software. Some cool software that I bought: Argentum (much like StarCraft) and I have Laridian’s New Living Translation PPC Bible-very cool.

I bought an $80 Bluetooth headset, again, very cool. I have a Motorola model, I would like for it to be louder, but my old vehicle died and I have a nice, quiet mini-van, problem seems to be much better. I am still getting used to wireless-headset ettiquet…I mean you look like you are having a conversation with yourself.

I bought a 1GB mini-SD card. You almost have to, there is a lot of memory, but it fills up quickly. The mini-SD card (about $70-Best Buy) came with a standard-sized SD card adapter-the mini SD just slips into the SD Card adapter and then that can be slid into my digital camcorder or my digital camera to take still shots or any other device that takes standard SD cards. I also bought a neat little flash drive adapter ($10-Comp USA) that takes the SD Card (that has my 1GB mini SD Card) and then allows it to plug into a USB port! VERY SLICK. So what I have had to do a time or two was use my phone to download from the Internet, save on my mini SD card, take the mini SD card and slide it into the SD card adapter and then slide that into the USB flash drive adapter and then plug it into my PC’s USB port and WALLA! I can view or transfer the files that I just downloaded from the Internet!

I also purchased a car plug adapter and a regular house wall plug adapter that accepts a USB cable; the phone comes with a USB to mini USB cable. So I can use the adapters to charge from a car or from a wall. The phone will chagre from any powered USB port.

Sprint’s PPC6700 Pocket PC phone still has some kinks to work out. However, I find that it is the best PPC Phone on the market. Sprint’s previous PPC6601 does not have WiFi and instant Internet access just about anywhwere is just plain unbeatable. The productivity tools and entertainment options are endless. But please, find a different case. Buy some accessories. And of course, treat it well.

Two thumbs up and 8 1/2 stars out of 10!

-Durk-

FOLLOW UP

OK, we’re a few months out. I still am on phone #4. It is still as cool as ever! I did upgrade the software on the handset. I wasn’t paying attention and that upgrade erased EVERYTHING! No big worries, I synced up and everything was OK. The newest ActiveSync does not play well with firewalls, but I perservered and figured it out. The upgrade included a voice dial feature, VERY COOL. You press a button, say the name of the person you wish to call and it automatically dials! I’ve beat Argentum like 10 times. I’ve posted eBay auctions with my phone. The phone is still in one piece. There are no major scratches on the phone. It still loses the stylus. I still love it!

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