HTC Hero

HTC Hero

The HTC Hero is going to be Sprint's first model running Google's Android OS. It will have a tablet shape with an HVGA touchscreen, wireless broadband, and Wi-Fi.

Google Android OSSprint's version is similar in many ways to the European version I reviewed recently, but there are some notable differences/improvements in hardware and software.

It will be available from Sprint on October 11 for $180 after a $100 rebate with a new two-year service agreement.


The European edition of the HTC Hero has a protruding "chin" on the bottom of the device, while the Sprint version is a standard bar-style phone. I must say that I like this version better; it is simply more pocketable and comfortable to hold. It doesn't stand out from the crowd so much in an aesthetic sense, but it's streamlined and modern. It's roughly the same length as my iPod Touch, but much narrower, and it feels good in the hand. It is heavier than the Touch, but not unbearably so, and feels very solid.

The controls are very minimal indeed. On the left side you'll find the volume up and down buttons, and that's it aside from the sync/charge port on the bottom of the phone. There are two very small Call and Disconnect buttons on the front panel, underneath the screen. The first couple of days I had a really hard time with them, because they were just too tiny to hit without really thinking about it, but now I'm not having any issues with them.

The other controls such as Menu, Home, Search, and Back, are pressure sensitive and not actual buttons at all, but I didn't have any problems with them.

The trackball is larger than the European Hero, and a little looser. My control wasn't quite as tight and precise as on the other version, but this one is a bit faster to use since there's more "play" before you have to reposition your finger to keep rolling.

The microSD slot is underneath the back cover of the phone, but thankfully it isn't hidden under the battery so you can change it out on the go if necessary.

The headphone jack does accept standard headphones, which is great -- I really don't like being forced to purchase a special headset or an adapter just to listen to my music.

The HVGA screen really is the star of the show here, and it's gorgeous. At 3.2 inches, there's plenty of real estate to play with here, and the colors are bright and vivid. Video looks great too, without any ghosting issues.

I found it to be very responsive to my touch, requiring only a light press of the fingers instead of heavy duty mashing. It also supports some multi-touch gestures, such as a pinch to make the text larger or smaller when you're browsing the web.

The virtual keyboard is the one aspect of the HTC Hero that I can't praise unconditionally. It works, and I like the feedback I get when I touch each key, but I wish that the keys were larger and easier to use. Even after practicing quite a bit, I still need to look at the screen when I'm entering text to make sure that the input is accurate.

I'm sure that if I had more time with the device that would improve, but right now the text entry experience just isn't as good on the Hero as it is for me on the iPod Touch. It's better than the virtual keyboard on many other devices, but not a perfect experience.


The HTC Hero comes with Android 1.5, but it has some special enhancements exclusive to this device. For starters it has seven panels on the start screen instead of just three, which means that you can set up different panels for all of your most-used functions, from the calendar and music player to Twitter, e-mail, web browsing and weather. You can access each one with a flick of your finger, and if you give it a little thought when you first set everything up, you may find that you never need to look at the application list in order to launch a program.

Another special addition is Scenes, which allows you to customize various layouts for your device such as Social, Work, etc. The Work scene customizes everything at the press of a button, putting your calendar and a world clock front and center, with the next panel containing a small weather widget in addition to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi settings, then your corporate Exchange account, and then the stock report. Choose the Play scene and you'll see your music player, photo album, Twitter account and web bookmarks. You can create your own scenes, starting from one of the pre-built versions or from a Clean Slate that allows you to start from scratch.

Wireless/Call Quality
This can sometimes be a sticking point for me; many smartphones are fabulous at keeping you connected and online, but don't do so well when you actually need to place a phone call. This is one area in which Sprint's version of the HTC Hero truly shines: the voice quality is phenomenal.

Even in my office, which is virtually a black hole as far as cell signals are concerned, my test callers said that they could barely tell that I was using a mobile phone. On both sides of the conversation, everything came through loud and clear. Results outside in noisier environments were almost as good, with very little interference from background noise and wind.

Other wireless options include both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and both of those functions worked perfectly during my testing.

The HTC Hero has full support for Microsoft Exchange, and it works perfectly. When you first set it up you can choose to sync email, calendar, and contacts. Attachments work just great, though you do have to go through the extra step of tapping on them and downloading them -- it doesn't happen automatically, even if they're just 1-2K in size. Some non-supported attachment types, such as HTML files, can only be saved to an SD card, while supported types such as Word and Excel documents can be opened from within the mail application or saved to your SD card.

QuickOffice is included with this device, and it's a great document viewer You can't edit Excel files, but you're probably not planning to do any heavy duty work on a smartphone anyway, so it's not a great loss. There's also a PDF viewer, so no matter what type of attachments you get on you Exchange accounts, you'll have the basics covered when you're on the road with the Sprint Hero.

The web browser is a joy to use, and very intelligent -- the text of the page appears quickly, so that you can get right into finding what you need/reading articles even before all of the graphics finish loading. I'm sure the Hero's EV-DO mobile broadband help out here. Scrolling is smooth as silk and very fast. You can use the trackball to jump from link to link if you like, and it serves as a quick guide that helps you quickly move through the content on busy pages.

Sprint Navigation is another winner, with clear maps, easy-to-use directions, and very quick location. Some GPS navigation apps seem to take forever to locate you, or don't do so very accurately, but I was very pleased with the performance of this device and application.

The Hero's music player works well, and I really like the cover flow-like view that shows off album art nicely for the track that's currently playing as well as the previous and next tracks. The controls are larger and easy to hit with your finger, and the sound quality, while better with headphones, is adequate with the external speaker, and plenty loud.

The Amazon MP3 store deserves special mention here as well. One thing I really appreciate with my iPod touch is just how easy it is to shop for new music on the go, and no other device has come anywhere near duplicating that experience... until now. You can browse the top 100 albums or tracks, browse by genre, or search for specific songs or artists. Tap a song title to hear a 30 second preview, or purchase it with just one click once you've entered your account information. It's easy and quick and a nice alternative to the iTunes store.

I spent quite a bit of time playing around with NFL Mobile, and I really got a lot out of the application, even though I'm not a football fan. It's well organized, offering quick access to news and highlights, and there's even a ticker running at the bottom of the screen for the latest headlines. When you first start the application you're asked to pick your favorite team, which then becomes a tab for quick access. NFL Mobile doesn't have a great depth of content, but if you want to keep up with basic scores and highlights on the go it does a good job of keeping you informed.

Other entertainment options include Sprint NASCAR Mobile (which is similar in many ways to NFL Mobile), Sprint TV, and a YouTube viewer, all of which work flawlessly. Video quality is very good, and everything works exactly as you would expect.

The 5-megapixel camera takes nice shots, but the quality isn't absolutely earth shattering. Photos come through crisp and clear, but the colors don't seem to be very well saturated. I should note that I took my sample photos on a relatively cloudy day, so it could be that the problem is more with the conditions than with the camera itself.

I really appreciate the zoom function, which is much better than what is typically found on mobile phones these days, though I did have to bump up to ISO 800 in order to get clear shots when using the zoom.

The sample photo included with this review was taken from the street of a house that was set very far back from the road -- the shot wouldn't have been possible without the good quality zoom feature.

Battery Life
Battery life is quite good; even with a lot of web surfing and network access I was only down about halfway by the end of the day, with some of that usage in an area with poor signal strength.

The Sprint version of the HTC Hero has a larger 1500 mAh battery than its European cousin, which is great for road warriors and heavy users. The device also charges up wicked fast, in just over an hour from a roughly 25% charge when I plugged it into the charger.

The power brick is relatively large, but extremely light, and it has folding prongs for simple storage in your travel bag. It works in conjunction with the USB cable that comes with your phone, so if you're traveling with a laptop you could leave it at home and just take the cable for use with your computer.


It will be hard not to gush here, because I really have enjoyed using the HTC Hero over the past couple of weeks. Everything just works, and is highly customizable, which is a real plus.

It may sound like a small thing, but the customizable panels on the start screen have really streamlined my user experience. Instead of trying to squint at a menu full of applications, I can pull out the ones that matter most and have instant access to them with a minimum of fuss. Depending on the widget styles you choose, you can see your latest emails and Twitter updates right there on the screen, since they regularly update. When you consider how often you check those sorts of things, that can save you a lot of time.

I know that there are many folks who are very attached to their iPhones, but there are some great alternatives out there. The HTC Hero is one of them, and if you want a great user experience in a sleek, durable device with great battery life and superior voice quality, take a close look at the Sprint HTC Hero.


* Superior voice quality
* Microsoft Exchange support
* 5-megapixel camera


* Virtual keyboard somewhat finicky at first, but practice makes perfect

Editor's Rating: Excellent


AT&T Pure

AT&T Pure

The AT&T Pure is this carrier's version of the HTC Touch Diamond2 -- one of the premier touchscreen-oriented Windows phones on the market today.

It will have a high-resolution touchscreen, mobile broadband, Wi-Fi, GPS, and the very latest version of Microsoft's operating system for smartphones.

The AT&T Pure has just launched at $150 with a two-year service contract of at least $70 per month, and a $50 mail-in rebate.

The Pure has a simple tablet shape that's centered around its 3.2-inch WVGA touchscreen. It's a relatively small device that's long and thin.

It's that thin shape that makes it easy to use with one hand; holding it in your palm while tapping on items on the screen is a breeze.

And at just 4.25 inches tall, 2.1 inches wide, 0.5 inches thick, and 4.15 ounces, it rides well in a pocket.

The Pure has a larger screen than the original HTC Touch Diamond, but it's not as big as the one that will be on the AT&T Tilt 2, a similar Windows phone with a built-in keyboard coming later this month. I think bigger screens are always better, but the Pure's is a good size.

One of Microsoft's goals is to make devices running Windows Mobile 6.5 easier to use with a fingertip, rather than a stylus. The device's screen has to participate in this, though. The Pure does so fairly well -- it's not so small that screen elements are tiny, and it reacts well to finger touches. It's not a capacitive screen, though, and you can use a regular stylus on it.

That's important, because while Microsoft has made a lot of progress on it goal, there are still times you're going to need to pull out the stylus.

This model doesn't have a hardware keyboard, so you need to depend on its on-screen one for text input. This has a new design for the latest version of Windows Mobile. This is a significant improvement over Microsoft's old one, but is similar to the keyboard HTC has been using for some time.

It has versions for both portrait and landscape modes, and as usually happens the landscape version has larger buttons that are easier to type on. The portrait mode is decent, if a bit cramped.

Buttons, Etc.
Because this model is so focused on its screen, it has a fairly minimal set of other controls.

On the front are the Call and Disconnect buttons, a Back Button, and the new Start button, which opens the Start menu. On the left side are the Volume Up and Down buttons, and there's a Power button on the top.

Underneath the display is the Zoom bar, which lets you easily control how you see things on the screen. It can enlarge or reduce the size of the text in most applications, and in the web browsers it zooms and and out on pages.

There is no directional pad or trackball, which is something I'm not thrilled about. The on-screen keyboard has directional buttons on it, which help a bit.


The AT&T Pure is a pro-sumer smartphone. With a focus on its touchscreen and no hardware keyboard, it's not ideal for heavy texters, but it's decent screen and mobile broadband make it a good choice for consumers who want a device for both work and their personal life.

It uses a 528 MHz processor, which is OK, but I'd be happier with a faster one. Generally speaking, speed and response time is average for a Windows Mobile device, but this processor was cutting-edge last year, and by this time next year will almost certainly be inadequate.

System Software
The Pure is one of the very first devices running Windows Mobile 6.5 Pro. This is an incremental update from the previous one -- version 6.1 -- with only a few significant changes.

The most noticeable of these is the merging of the Start Menu and the Programs screen, which I consider a major improvement.

User Interface
As it does with all its Windows phones, HTC has layered its TouchFLO 3D user interface over the standard Microsoft one. I can see how people like TouchFLO, as it makes it easy to access the most commonly-used features of the smartphone. And it's fingertip friendly.

This UI extends the homescreen with a number of tabs, each with a different focus: e-mail, music, calendar, applications, etc. You can switch between tabs with a flip of your finger.

If you aren't a fan of TouchFLO you can turn it off, and expose the new Today Screen that's part of Windows Mobile 6.5 Pro. This has more of a focus on consumers than the previous one, and now includes items like a music player and a photo viewer. And if you don't like this, you can even revert to the classic version.

Wireless Functionality
The Pure is a GSM phone, and can therefore be used around the world to make phone calls. But that's just the start of its capabilities.

It can connect to AT&T's mobile broadband network, giving you fairly speedy web browsing almost anywhere you go. Plus, if you're near a Wi-Fi hotspot you can get an even faster connection.

Surprisingly, AT&T allows you to tether this device, so you can share the 3G connection with your laptop.

This model also has Bluetooth, so you can use wireless headset and headphones.

The AT&T Pure can organize your business and your personal life. Microsoft Outlook Mobile can keep track of your address book, calendar, and to-do list, and synchronize these with Microsoft Exchange or Google.

Its e-mail software can handle both corporate accounts and personal ones, and a simple wizard helps you set these up.

If your job requires you to work with Microsoft Office files, the Pure is ready. You can view and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files, and view Adobe Acrobat PDFs.

Web Browsing
Windows Mobile 6.5 comes with a new version of Internet Explorer. While this has been improved in many ways -- it does a better job of rendering pages with advanced formatting -- it's still very slow.

This is even more true for what could have been a huge enhancement: YouTube support. This browser can now display in-line YouTube videos, but queuing these up is a sl-o-o-o-o-w process.

Fortunately, the Pure uses Opera Mobile as its default web browser. This is much faster than IE, and offers virtually all the same features.

The version of Windows Media Player on this AT&T phone can handle music and video in a wide variety of formats, including ones that are streamed over the web.

You can also access the YouTube mobile website for additional video, but not Hulu. In addition, the Pure includes AT&T's Mobile Video, which is a basic on-demand video service with a few news and entertainment options, or you can buy a subscription to MobiTV.

There's also a client for Facebook pre-installed.

Windows Marketplace
One of the new features in Windows Mobile 6.5 is Windows Marketplace for Mobile, Microsoft's on-device software store. This lets you easily find and install new games, utilities, etc. onto your smartphone.

This service launched along with the Pure, and the selection isn't great right now, but I know Microsoft is working hard to bring apps in.

This smartphone has a built-in GPS receiver, so you can use it to keep track of where you are and where you're going.

You'll need software to make use it, though. If you want, you can sign up for AT&T Navigation service, which gives you turn-by-turn spoken directions but requires a monthly service fee. Another option is Google Maps Mobile, which is free but has fewer features.

Battery Life
In my testing, this HTC model lasted for over two days of light to moderate use on a single charge. The large screens and faster processors on smartphones always result in shorter battery lives than on simpler mobile phones, and comparatively speaking the Pure's is very good.


The AT&T Pure is well designed, and a good fit for its target audience. I like the hardware -- aside from the lack of a trackball or D-pad -- and the wide array of bundled software is both useful and fun.

At $150, it's less expensive than I was expecting, and quite competitively priced.

That said, if you're someone who is planning on entering reams of text messages or emails, you should seriously consider waiting for the AT&T Tilt 2, which will have a physical keyboard.


* Good design
* Decent screen
* Loads of useful and fun apps


* No hardware keyboard
* Processor not impressive

Editor's Rating: Impressive


Sony PSP Go

Sony PSP Go

The PSP Go is Sony's latest device in the PlayStation Portable family, which has seen three different models since it was originally launched in 2005.

The latest is something of a departure for the line, since it's an all-digital handheld with 16 GB of built-in memory. It also sports a much smaller sleeker design since the UMD drive has been removed, but still has a 3.8-inch screen plus Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

It was released on October 1 in Ceramic White and Piano Black, and retails for $250.


The PSP Go is beautifully designed, and should incite lust in gadget lovers of all kinds, even if they aren't necessarily gamers. It can be best described as the elegant little brother of the original PSP, but thinner, slimmer, and lighter. Most of the space savings is in the narrower width of the device, since Sony went with a slider design and placed most of the controls on the lower panel.

The smaller size of the PSP Go means that it's the first model that is truly pocketable, and I'm not talking about sticking it in one of those gigantic pockets in your cargo pants either. The Go is roughly the same size as an iPod Touch, just a bit longer because it curves out on each side and a bit thicker as well. The old model simply had to go into a purse, backpack, or gear bag, so this is a welcome change for the better.

The display on the Go is smaller than on the original device; roughly 3.8-inch on the new model instead of 4.3-inch on the original. Even with that apparent downgrade, I'm really happy with the screen on the PSP Go -- it's bright, vibrant, and incredibly sharp. I didn't see any ghosting or interlacing, which was a problem on some of the early PSP 3000 models. And even though the screen is a bit smaller, I really don't miss the extra real estate either -- games and movies scale appropriately to fill the whole screen, and everything looks great.

There are three different brightness levels. The brightest setting is almost uncomfortably bright, while the lowest setting is the most comfortable for late night viewing in a darkened room. The lower your brightness setting, the more battery life you can eke out, so that's something to keep in mind.

Gaming Buttons/Controls
Since the PSP Go is so small, its controls are located in several different areas of the device.

The home key of the original PSP has been replaced on the Go by a PlayStation key which serves the same function as before with the addition of a game pause function. Since the Go is meant to be an extremely mobile device, it makes sense that there will be times you need to stop playing at a moment's notice and you won't have time to hunt around for a save point. (More about this later in the review.)

The main gameplay controls are under the slider, including the D-pad, the analog nub, the Start/Select buttons, and the face buttons. The controls are pleasantly tight, yet also a bit "clicky" for good tactile feedback. The analog nub in particular feels great, and I didn't experience any thumb strain, even when using it for long periods of time. The shoulder buttons on the top edge of the device don't have as much "play" as on the original PSP, but they work great and I didn't have any problems.

When I first heard about the new button/control design I was concerned that the PSP Go would be an ergonomic nightmare, but that is defintely not the case. The only real negative is the split Start/Select button layout -- they're each about half the size they should be, which can be a problem if you're trying to pause a game and don't want your character to meet an untimely end while you're fumbling for the right button.

My other major concern also turned out to be completely unfounded; I've reviewed other slider devices in the past and found them to be awkward and unwieldy, but the PSP Go is nicely balanced even when the top is extended. Both "halves" of the device are quite similar in weight, which is wonderful -- you don't have to worry about the device tipping out of your hands.

Other Controls
The top of the PSP Go houses the screen brightness controls, volume up and down keys, and the music effect button, which is used to alter the tone of a song during music playback.

The Memory Stick Micro ("M2") slot and Wi-Fi switch are on the left side of the device, and the power/hold switch is on the right side. The headphone jack and the charge/sync port (which is NOT compatible with earlier PSP accessories) are on the bottom.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth access indicators are on the front left and right sides of the device, respectively, and there are external speakers on each side as well. They can get very loud if you turn the volume all the way up, but for the best listening experience you'll definitely want headphones.

The back of the device has a rubbery "grip strip" on each side, and they do help you keep a firm grasp on the unit, though I don't think it's slippery enough to make that necessary. The are color coordinated with the finish of the device, so they don't detract from the overall aesthetic. One thing to note is that when you slide up the screen the back is silver, with the serial number and the regular regulatory labels and such. It's understandable that those things had to go somewhere, so it's nice that they're as hidden as possible.


I don't see any blinding speed improvements with the PSP Go as compared to earlier PSP models, but I really wasn't expecting anything like that.

Games do load significantly faster now, since everything is stored in flash memory instead of on UMD, and I certainly appreciate the silence -- that "scritch scratch hum" of the UMD spinning up and being read is something I don't mind leaving behind in the brave new digital future.

Like its predecessors, the Go has Wi-Fi to enable web browsing, Remote Play (with a PS3), and game downloads. While no actual specifications are available, it's obvious that download speeds have been significantly improved for this new model. Small games of 75 MB or less download and install very quickly. Larger games can take as much as 20-30 minutes to download, and unfortunately there is no background downloading option like there is on the PS3.

Bluetooth is a welcome new addition to the PSP Go, allowing the use of a headset for hands-free communication. Once you upgrade to firmware version 6.1 you can also tether this device to a cell phone for Internet access anywhere, without having to hunt for a Wi-Fi hotspot.

If you don't have a compatible cell phone or have trouble finding Wi-Fi in your area, you can use the Media Go software (CD included in the box, or you can download it directly from the Sony web site) in conjunction with your PC to shop for games and video on the PSN Store, transfer music and photos from your computer, and backup your game save data.

You can also use a PS3 to download games from the PlayStation Network with the included USB cable, if you're lucky enough to have the PSP Go's big brother home console.

The PSP Go supports AAC, MP3, WAV, WMA, ATRAC3+, as well as AVC and MP4 files, so you probably won't have to do anything to get your content ready to play on the device. Just connect this mobile console to your PC with the USB cable; you do not have to install the Media Go if you don't want to, as the device will automatically enter USB mode and you can see everything in Windows Explorer. Just be careful to put the various kinds of content in the proper folders or it won't be recognized on the device.

You can also purchase or rent video content from the PlayStation Network, and the TiVo-To-Go service is also supported (if you have an M2).

One new feature is the SenseMe for music playback, which automatically categorizes your songs into a variety of playlists according to mood, but it is only available if you transfer your music to your PSP with Media Go, because the playlists are created on your computer.

A sleep timer has also been added, so you can listen to your favorite tunes for a set amount of time and not worry about running down the battery if you don't turn off the Go.

This mobile gaming console comes with Rock Band Unplugged starter version, which comes with five songs, and you can purchase additional songs from the PlayStation Network. A Patapon 2 demo and an interactive ESRB rating application are preloaded on the device.

The selection of additional games is somewhat limited at this point, since not every UMD legacy game is offerened on the Playstation Network at this point. Considering the recent massive update, I suspect that most customer favorites (as well as a lot of the clunkers) will be available in the near future -- though I personally won't be satisfied until Lumines, a launch game for the original system, is available. It's the perfect on-the-go puzzle game, so I was surprised it wasn't included in the PSN launch calendar.

One downside to the lack of UMD support is that import games will likely never come to the American PSN store, so if you're heavily invested in certain genres such as bemani music games (Audition, Pump it Up Exceed, Taiko Drum Master Portable 1 and 2, and the four DJ Max games not released in the U.S. come to mind) you might want to stick with the PSP 3000 for now. UMD games (unlike movies and music videos) are not region-locked, so there's an amazing amount of content out there for folks who want to import Asian and European games.

An additional concern is the cost. The hardware itself isn't too bad at $250, but since there isn't a "clearance bin" on the PSN or any way of acquiring used games, you're looking at a more expensive pastime. Sony has said it intends to keep "pricing parity" for retail UMD games and PSN digital downloads, but as others have shown, PSN downloads are generally more expensive because they don't account for sale or promotional pricing available in retail stores.

Previous PSP owners looking to upgrade to latest device will be glad to know that their previous game saves will (probably) work on the PSP Go, as long as they use a computer to transfer over their save data from the old device. I have found a couple of games where this is not the case, most notably Super Stardust Portable. When I started up that game after transferring over the save data, I got an error message saying that the data was saved on another device, and I was forced to use the Saved Data Utility on the PSP to erase that particular file before the game would start. That seems to be a rather isolated case at the moment, but it is something to consider if you've spent hours on a game unlocking everything and don't feel like starting over.

One particularly nice touch is the new resume game feature; this allows you to stop playing a game at any time and instantly save it for later play. Just press the PlayStation button on the bottom left side of the screen, and you have the option to pause the game or quit completely. You can then switch to music or video playback, or shut down the device entirely. Note that you can only have one game paused at a time, but that's still a handy feature if you want to use the Go to while away those lost minutes here and there while waiting in line, etc.

If you need to stop playing for just few minutes but come right back to where you were, you can simply slide the screen down to the closed position. That has the same effect as sliding the power switch up quickly to put the device in sleep mode, as it was on original PSP. It works better in some ways, because I sometimes turned the device off by mistake, which is pretty frustrating when you just got a new high score but haven't yet had a chance to save your progress...

Battery Life
There have been some concerns about battery life; Sony's estimates are somewhat low at roughly three hours of gameplay with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned off. I've been using the Go very heavily since I picked it up, both downloading and playing games. I haven't run the battery down in the course of a day yet, and have charged it each night, but so far I'm on track to exceed Sony's three hour gameplay estimate. It seems that Sony underpromised and overdelivered, and I"m thrilled.

Sony PSP GoOne surprising note is that there is no way to accurately determine how much battery charge/playing time is left, because Sony completely removed the Battery information screen from the Settings menu. That means that the only guide you have to how much of a charge is left is the battery meter in the top right corner of the home screen, which (if it works like the older PSP models) is somewhat less than reliable. Older PSPs (and even my unbearably ancient Sony Cybershot digital camera) offer a very accurate approximation in minutes of how much time you have left before the battery dies, so I'm really disappointed that feature has been removed from the PSP Go.

The PSP Go retail box includes a USB cable, power cord, and AC adapter brick, in addition to a Rock Band Unplugged starter version voucher. A basic instruction manual is included in booklet form, but for more advanced functions you'll want to access the online manual referenced in the booklet. Unlike the original PSP, headphones and a slip case are not included.

The AC adapter is extremely light, even lighter than the cords that come with it, but the whole setup is ungainly at best, and definitely not the sort of thing I want to put in my gear bag on a regular basis. It's very similar to what comes with the original PSP models, but I had forgotten since I don't use the OEM chargers that come with my devices. I use a single charger with interchangeable tips from Gomadic, and I hope that they or someone else comes out with a more portable solution.

In the meantime, if you don't want to carry around the AC adapter brick and power cord, you can charge the PSP Go with the USB cable and a computer, though it will only charge in USB mode. That means that you can't plug it in to charge while you're still playing a game or listening to music. You also can't carry a spare charged battery for the Go as you could for the original PSP, because while it is possible to remove the battery, that operation requires removing six screws and breaking the warranty seal on the device.

Optional accesories include a video-out cable, a desktop charge/sync cradle, in-ear headphones, and two different carrying case styles. I had the opportunity to try the Soft Carrying case, which is nicely made and does a good job of protecting the Go, but won't win any fashion awards. I do like the fact that the headphone pocket is on the outside, so nothing can scratch the Go when it is enclosed in the case.

Screen protectors are also available, and I highly recommend them. You get two for $9.95, they're some of the best quality protectors I've ever seen -- and I've tested a lot of them over the last ten years. The Sony version is just stiff enough to install easily, but not so stiff that it's hard to work with. The directions are very clear, and I had the film installed in about thirty seconds--no issues with dust or air bubbles either. Now that it's on, I can hardly tell it's there, but the screen is fully protected from scratches and also immune to fingerprints too.


Your feelings about the PSP Go will be greatly influenced by whether or not you already have a Sony PSP and/or a lot of disposable income.

If you want the latest and the greatest, I can recommend the PSP Go unconditionally. No device is 100% perfect, but it's obvious that Sony spent a lot of time perfecting the design, and actually listened to its customers (Sony used surveys to quantify the top feature requests). It's small, light, and to copy from Sony's latest PS3 marketing campaign, it only does everything -- games, video, and music, plus an Internet browser, RSS feeds, Internet radio, and even Skype.

Since it's all digital, it's also clutter free -- when you purchase a game you don't have to deal with a box, instruction manual, UMD disk, etc. The small size and the fact that everything is "on board" make it a great device for those who travel frenquently or are always on the go.

If you're an existing PSP owner with a substantial library of games, the question of whether or not to upgrade is much tougher. The same is also true for the import gamer who likes Asian games, and the cheapskate gamer who likes to rummage in clearance bins or shop for used games at GameStop or eBay, always looking for the best deal. In these specific cases, the best bet would probably be to stick with what you have, because the cost of making the switch would simply be too high. Or you may decide it's time to trade in/sell all of those old UMDs and embrace the digital future. The launch of the PSP Go might be the perfect time for you to do so. It's a great little entertainment device, and worthy of your strong consideration.


* So small and light; finally the PSP is pocketable!
* No UMD clutter -- all of your content is digital
* Larger memory capacity --16 GB built-in and a M2 slot for another 2-16 GB
* Faster game loading times, and no annoying UMD drive noises
* Gorgeous screen -- bright, with sharp graphics and vivid colors
* Great sound quality, especially with headphones
* Game pause function is a real winner for convenience


* High price, especially if you have a heavy investment in UMDs
* Some PSN games more expensive than their UMD counterparts
* No ability to play imported games or purchase cheap used games
* Accessories designed for previous PSP models won't work with the new PSP Go

Editor's Rating: Impressive


AT&T Tilt

AT&T Tilt

AT&T introduced the AT&T Tilt2. I was a fan of the original Tilt, and the follow-up model is even better. It is actually a version of the HTC Touch Pro2, and is also the replacement for the AT&T Fuze.

The new model is significantly bulkier than either of its predecessors, but this makes room for a very large, high-resolution touchscreen and a roomy landscape-oriented QWERTY keyboard.

I got some time with a pre-release version of the Tilt2, and recorded a video preview, and also wrote up my first impressions.

First Impressions

As I said before, The AT&T Tilt2 is a version of the HTC Touch Pro2, and Brighthand has already reviewed two versions of this device, one for T-Mobile and the other for Sprint. If you're completely unfamiliar with this smartphone, you should start there. My comments here are going to focus on specific to AT&T's version.

Still, I'll give you a quick rundown of the high points. This device has a 3.6-inch, WVGA display that can slide aside to reveal its QWERTY keyboard. It runs Windows 6.5 Pro, but has HTC's TouchFLO 3D as its standard user interface. It also sports mobile broadband, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, a 3.2 megapixel camera, GPS receiver, and a microSD memory card slot.

AT&T re-arranged the Tilt2's keyboard in a way that makes sense to me, but still takes a bit of getting used to. All the numbers have been placed together in the shape of a dial pad, but to accomplish this they had to be made alternates for some of the letters (see here). This makes dialing phone numbers easier because they are in a familiar arrangement, plus it gives nearly all commonly-used punctuation marks their own key.

This carrier is infamous for loading its smartphones down with bloatware, and the Tilt2 is no different. However, the latest version of TouchFLO 3D comes to the rescue here. If you haven't used TouchFLO before, it offers a range of tabs, each devoted to a different function. In this case, many of these are devoted to bloatware, but the new version of this user interface lets you choose which tabs you want to use. Tis means you can hide the ones that are a waste of time.

In case you didn't notice in the pictures, this version of the Touch Pro2 doesn't have a 3.5 mm headset jack, although Sprint's does.

Pricing and Availability
Read a ReviewThe AT&T Tilt2 is available now at It sells for $300 with a two-year contract with at least $30 per month for data, and a $50 mail-in rebate.

That puts it below the price of T-Mobile and Sprint's versions of this smartphone ($350 with contract and MIR), but above Verizon's ($200 with contract and MIR).


Samsung Intrepid

Samsung Intrepid

The Samsung Intrepid is one of the first Windows Mobile 6.5 smartphones. It has all of the typical features folks have come to expect, such as Wi-Fi b/g and Bluetooth wireless networking, plus a QWERTY keyboard and a 3.2 megapixel camera.

It is currently available from Sprint for $150 (after $200 rebate) with a new two-year service contract, or for $450 without a contract.


The Samsung Intrepid doesn't have a lot going for it in the style department. It isn't ugly by any means, but it doesn't really stand out in any way from the sea of very similar-looking smartphones.

The device is almost exactly the same width and length of my iPod Touch, though much thicker. It's a little big to be comfortable in my small hands, but not bad. The corners are rounded so it isn't painful to hold. The Intrepid is nice and light and shouldn't weigh down your pockets too much. The materials are mainly black plastic with a more reflective surface on the front panel of the phone plus a couple of chrome buttons.

The front of this smartphone is dominated by the large touchscreen display; underneath you'll find the navigation buttons and the keyboard. The navigation keys are very close to each other and fairly hard to use -- especially the up and down buttons on the five way navigator in the middle. They are very small compared to the large silver center button (which I mistook for some sort of scrolling button at first) and hard to hit.

The overly large Windows key and the OK button are flush mounted and not really distinguishable by feel alone. That's a shame, because you'll be using that Windows key a lot to launch your applications. The soft menu keys on the left and right side suffer the same problem as the navigator keys. In my opinion it would have been better to make the keys just slightly smaller and of varying heights so that you can more easily use the phone one-handed without having to look at your thumbs to make sure you're pressing the intended key. The device does have a touchscreen so it can be argued that the buttons are not as important here, but there are still times when it's faster to use the buttons instead of pulling out a stylus or using your fingertip.

The rest of the controls and ports are on the sides of the device. The left houses the volume up/down rocker and the USB charge/sync port; the top has a standard size headphone jack. The right side has the power/lock button, the camera button, and the stylus silo. The camera, along with a self-portrait mirror, are on the back of the phone.

I should also mention that the back of the Intrepid is not textured at all, so it's very slick. It slid right out of my hand more than once before I learned to keep a very tight grip on it. In particular the battery cover is difficult to remove because it's hard to get the right grip on the phone and slide it off. You probably won't be removing it too often, though the SIM card slot and the microSD slot are under that cover. While neither of those slots is actually under the battery, the battery must be removed in order to have enough clearance to slide in a card.

The 2.5-inch screen is one of the more impressive features of the Samsung Intrepid. It runs at a 320 by 240 resolution but is very sharp and clear. It's a touchscreen as well, and I found it to be quite responsive to my fingertips. That's a very good thing, because it took me quite a while to figure out how to get the stylus out of the phone. (You pull it out of the bottom of the device; it sits horizontally just below the keyboard with the tip on the right side.) Video from YouTube/Sprint TV is somewhat grainy, but it's obvious from testing other applications and games that the relatively poor video performance is more likely due to Sprint network issues in my area than to any failing of the screen itself.

The lower half of the Intrepid is dominated by a physical QWERTY keyboard. It works well enough, but it won't be winning any awards in the near future -- the keys are very close together with no real definition, so you will likely have to look at your thumbs as you're entering text or you run the risk of sending the wrong message. The keys are so small, in fact, that even dialing the phone is somewhat difficult, and it's much easier to just scroll through your contacts if you don't have too many.

I appreciate the fact that the text on the keys is easy to read, thanks to the large, clear font chosen for the printing. And the punctuation marks, though a little more difficult to see since they're in red, are easy enough to pick out when necessary. But I would rather have had slightly smaller keys with a bit more definition between the rows and columns, because even after a week using the Intrepid I really haven't been able to build up any sort of speed while using the keyboard. That's fine for someone like me who is more likely to call than to text, but it could certainly be a deal breaker for folks who intend to use the keyboard a great deal.


Windows Mobile 6.5 has already been covered in detail on this site (read the review), so I will be discussing the highlights of my experience using the new version of this operating system, not the specifics.

One thing I noticed right away is the updated menu system. It's pretty, but it seems to take a lot longer to find and launch my apps now -- especially since the phone comes preloaded with so many extra "bloatware" applications. I didn't see the hourglass during my trial, so the phone was responsive enough to my needs, but it certainly wasn't the streamlined new experience that I was hoping to see.

Wireless/Call Quality
Results for this topic were somewhat mixed. One of my test callers said that the voice quality was fairly lousy and reported that background noise interfered with our conversation when I was walking on a sidewalk next to a very busy street. Other test callers said that I came through too soft on their end when I was placing calls in an extremely quiet environment: my office.

In addition to support for Sprint's CDMA network in the U.S., this Samsung model is able to connect to GSM networks in other regions of the world, allowing you to make calls when traveling internationally.

The Intrepid comes with Microsoft Office Mobile, which includes Word Mobile, Excel Mobile, PowerPoint Mobile, and OneNote. Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, and Notes help to keep all of your personal information organized. You'll also find Adobe Reader LE, Audio Notes, Remote Desktop Mobile, an RSS reader, and a Tip Calculator. SmartReader, a personal favorite from an earlier review, also makes an appearance -- in effect it turns the Intrepid's camera into a mobile scanner capable of grabbing information from business cards and documents. The Microsoft Money widget can help you keep track of your favorite stocks, and MSN Weather will keep you prepared for anything, no matter the forecast.

TellMe is a surprisingly robust voice recognition application that deserves a special mention. I've seen apps like this before that promised the moon but delivered nothing, but TellMe actually works. Just hit a dedicated key on the keyboard and talk -- you can say a particular word like "Starbucks" and the app will direct you to the closest location. Throw out a search term and the web browser will open up, enter the search term, and show the results. Need to call one of your friends? I tried it out with a good buddy of mine named Brad. When I said "call Brad" the app asked if I wanted to call his work number or his mobile number -- fairly slick. Next I said "call Brad work" and that's exactly what happened -- no muss, no fuss. I'm having a lot of fun with TellMe and it really can help you be more productive. Instead of you trying to fight your phone (launch the Contacts app, scroll until you find the right one, pick the number to call, etc.), TellMe does all the work for you -- which is exactly the way it should be.

Like all Windows Mobile devices, the Intrepid uses a mobile version of Windows Media Player to handle audio and video.

Sprint TV, NFL Mobile, and NASCAR Mobile are also included, since they're part of the standard Sprint entertainment package. Sprint TV didn't perform very well, I suspect due to relatively low network strength in my area. When I got a good signal the video looked really good, but it seemed to spend more time buffering than playing. Windows Media Player performed better, of course, since it was handling videos stored on the device. Sound quality with the external speaker is fairly low, and not very loud either -- you'll definitely want to use headphones if you want a decent experience.

Samsung Intrepid for SprintThe web browsing experience was somewhat frustrating for me; that was mainly due to my unfamiliarity with the latest version of Windows Mobile but also my extensive use of Safari on my iPod Touch. Zooming in on a particular part of a web page took several taps plus some extra dexterity on the magnifying glass slider control; the default view is zoomed so far out (even with the text size set to "largest") that almost any page is completely unusable until you zoom in.

The 3.2 megapixel camera does a very good job, and readers familiar with my reviews will know that I demand a lot from my camera -- even if it is just a relatively small part of a smartphone. Picture quality is crisp, colors are true, and I didn't encounter any of those nasty exposure problems that seem to plague mobile phone cameras. The camera on this device certainly won't replace a dedicated digicam, but the photos you can capture with it are good enough for those unexpected moments you want to save for posterity.

Battery Life
Battery life is a bright spot for the Intrepid; even with heavy use I could barely get the battery meter to budge. I don't know if that's due to the ample 1480 mAh battery or some serious hardware/software optimization, but I am definitely impressed with how the Intrepid sips the juice instead of guzzling it.


The Samsung Intrepid fits into the "middle of the road" category of devices. It's not bad, but it's not great -- and though it's one of the first new devices with Windows Mobile 6.5, it really doesn't offer anything that sets it apart from the rest of the mobile pack.

Samsung Intrepid for VerizonWith its "me too" design and less than blazing performance, there isn't a great deal to recommend it beyond the relatively attractive price, the good camera and the promising performance of TellMe. It's worth a closer look if you already have your heart set on a Windows Mobile 6.5 device, but it probably won't end up at the top of your list.


* Large touchscreen display
* Attractive price
* Good battery life
* Good camera
* TellMe works brilliantly


* Uninspired design that can be hard to grip/hold
* Performance isn't spectacular
* Below average keyboard


HTC Imagio

The HTC Imagio is a high-end smartphone from Verizon that is one of the first with Windows Mobile 6.5.

This multimedia-oriented smartphone has a 3.6-inch, WVGA touchscreen, mobile broadband, Wi-Fi, and GPS, and is one of the successors of the HTC Touch HD.

It's available now for $200 after a $100 mail-in rebate with a new two-year service agreement.


HTC Imagio for VerizonIn terms of physical design, the Imagio is probably the closest thing to a pure iPhone clone that we've yet seen running Windows Mobile. Unlike some of the previous attempts, it mimics the rounded back of the iPhone, the visual and physical stylings, right down to the "slide to unlock" feature.

Of course, it has a slightly larger display than the iPhone's, at a much higher screen resolution. The 3.6-inch, WVGA screen is big and beautiful.

It also has substantially more buttons, but that's expected too.

There's not a whole lot else to say about the design. It is, fundamentally, a no-frills tablet-type device. There aren't many fancy add-ons or facets to the design, with one notable exception: a built in stand. Push the little black button on the back, and a silver plastic "arm" pops out that you can unfold and use to keep the device held up when on a desk or other hard surface. Of course you can't have a USB cable or other charger connected while you're doing that, nor can you use the headphone jack, so it's limited in it's usefulness. But still kind of neat.

It's a bit heavier than some other smartphones -- although the Imagio is only slightly larger than my Samsung Jack, the Jack feels like it's about half the Imagio's weight. That's a little bit of an exaggeration, since difference is only 102 versus 150 grams. Still, the balance of the Imagio in the hand is pretty nice, not awkward at all.

I'm very pleased with the build quality; it feels like HTC's classic units, just this side of bomb proof.


Performance? In a word? Good. The software package is great -- hard to beat Opera, TouchFLO, HTC's YouTube app, photographic GPS tagging, 5 MPx camera, FM radio, etcetera.

It sports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Verizon's mobile broadband service EV-DO and even has quad-band GSM for world roaming -- though just because it's quad-band, don't expect to be using it for that in the U.S. It's still SIM locked to Vodafone overseas.

HTC Imagio for VerizonI could go on. In fact, I'd probably run out of space if I tried to list all the features the HTC Imagio has.

There's only two things that I would say about performance that are of note. One is that the device bogged down at a few points, particularly when opening the VCast application -- which absolutely should not happen on a 528 MHz processor. I suspect either Verizon's app is substandard, or there's potential for improved system performance in a future ROM update, probably both.

Second is that while this model comes with a spacious 512 MB of internal flash, the majority of this is eaten up before the user gets there. In fact, out of the box there's only about 158 MB of memory left to the user. I know that the pre-bundled software needs space to live, but that seems a bit excessive.

Windows Mobile 6.5 Pro
The Imagio is my first crack at a Windows Mobile 6.5 device, so I should have a lot to say about the new OS, right? Unfortunately, it's not quite that simple. Like all new HTC units, this smartphone comes with a thick gloss of HTC customized software and menus, thus making it difficult bordering on impossible to see what a "stock" version of WM6.5 would look and feel like. Those of you who are more curious about the underlying OS will have to skip on over to read Ed's review of Windows Mobile 6.5 instead.

But what you do get with the Imagio is more or less what you've gotten with previous HTC devices. The TouchFLO interface is still there, with a few more tweaks since the last time I saw it. The application launching system has changed a little -- surprise! It's more iPhone like, allowing for more favorited applications and smoother scrolling among them. Personally I think the edits they've made are generally for the better, and that they've made a much more user-friendly Windows Mobile device for having done so.

One side note: I can't help but notice that Verizon has started using the "3G" icon in the top bar instead of the old EVDO icon. Presumably this is thanks in large part to the marketing campaigns of Sprint and AT&T, along with the release of the iPhone 3G, driving the idea of "3G" mainstream.

HTC Imagio for VerizonThe list of bundled software beyond the interface is pretty extensive. There's Opera Mobile and YouTube, of course, but there's a lot more little things that are rarely mentioned -- like the two-dimensional spirit level that's part of the G-sensor application, or the little widget that tells you the city and state of a given area code.

Like all Windows phones, the Imagio comes with Microsoft Office Mobile and Microsoft Outlook Mobile.

It also has Windows Media Player for playing music and video stored on a microSD card. In addition, this is Verizon Wireless' first smartphone to support V CAST Mobile TV and V CAST Video on Demand, which offer streaming news, sports, and entertainment.

The device also supports the new Windows Marketplace, though this is a bit less polished than the rest of the device. Partly due to the unnecessary presence of scrollbars on the side of the screen taking up valuable space when a more subtle indicator would do just as well. Also because you need to have a Windows Live user sign in to get anything from the Marketplace, even free software. Yes, I know it's free to register for Windows Live, but to be blunt I shouldn't have to. Provide premium reasons to sign up, such as bonus points for purchased software, or a roster of applications you've previously downloaded, or advance access to new applications. But users should be able to pick up and go with downloading new software without having to jump through hoops, or sign up for Microsoft's data mining. And, if possible, they should be enabled to pay via premium SMS.


HTC Imagio for VerizonThe HTC Imagio is probably the best iPhone imitator I've yet seen -- it produces a more-or-less faithful reproduction of the iPhone's style, while still having enough of it's own selling points that it's not just a copycat.

While it might not satisfy hard-core Mac users, I think that a lot of Verizon users who've been having that iPhone itch will find this more than suitable. Even I have come to really enjoy using it, and you know how I am about wanting to have my physical keyboard.

A few oversights aside, it's a well designed and well built piece of hardware.


* Large, high-resolution screen
* Solid build quality
* Well stocked with software


* Inconsistent speed
* Less memory than it should have


Samsung Moment Review

Samsung Moment Review

The Samsung Moment is the first Android device from Samsung, and it is exclusive to Sprint.

Google Android OSIt has some pretty impressive specifications, such as an 800 MHz processor and a simply stunning 3.2-inch, HVGA, AM-OLED display, along with the usual suspects like a GPS receiver, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi b/g wireless networking.

It launched this week for $180 after $50 instant savings and a $100 mail-in rebate.


I really like the overall look of the Moment. It has something of an edge, an industrial look that is slightly different than most phones, and a little cooler, but not so outlandish that you'll feel strange using it in public. Most of that is due to the cool cutout design at the top of the device; I find it to be strangely appealing. The edges are rounded and everything is silver and black. The Moment is a slider-style device, with the top (screen) portion of the device in silver, with the bottom portion (including the QWERTY keyboard) in black.

This device is on the large side (4.6 x 2.34 x 0.63 inches), but it doesn't feel too big in the hand. It's slightly longer than an iPhone, not as wide, but somewhat thicker. Weight-wise, it's in the middle of the pack -- not a featherweight, but not too heavy either: 5.7 oz. It is still pocketable, but only just barely, and not the sort of thing you'd want to slip into your pocket if you're dressed up and want to avoid any unsightly bulges.

Buttons and controls are rather minimal, with Call and Disconnect buttons on the bottom of the screen. The Home, Menu, and Back buttons are touch-sensitive, and there's an optical joystick as well. The joystick may take some getting used to at first; I found it to be a bit too "wild" and oversensitive, and prefer interacting with the phone via touchscreen instead.

The volume control is on the left side of the device, and a standard headphone jack is on the top--it's hidden by a permanently attached cover when not in use. The sync/charge port (also covered), camera button, and voice recognition button are on the right side. The microSD slot is underneath the back cover of the device, and you do have to remove the battery to access the slot.

The AM-OLED display literally shines -- it looks absolutely gorgeous. It's going to be hard going back to my LG Dare once the review period is over, because after just a few hours of using the Moment I'm completely spoiled. Pictures look true to life, videos are clear, and games just seem to pop off the screen. Even better, I didn't have any problems seeing the screen even when I was outside in the sun this morning.

In other words, this display is what all the other mobile devices out there wish they had -- it's that good.

The slide-out keyboard is really nice -- large, well lit, and easy to use. At first I had trouble getting the hang of it, because the keys don't stick up all that much, but when I just started typing and stopped worrying about it, I found that the keyboard was much better than my first impression of it had led me to believe.

It has four rows of keys, with a dedicated row of numbers at the top. Everything else is in a logical place, from the arrow and shift keys to the double-sized space bar in the middle of the bottom row of keys. There isn't a great deal of travel in the keys, but they are nicely spaced and I didn't have any trouble with accidentally hitting the wrong keys.

The keyboard is lighted for use in low-light situations. The letter and number keys were very easy to see, though the smaller blue symbols for the secondary punctuation marks were a little harder to make out. Thankfully the function key is "sticky" so you just have to press it once and then press the desired punctuation mark; you don't have to hold it down while you hunt for the one you want.


One of my most important requirements for a mobile device is that it just works -- no delays, no crashes, no annoying little quirks. The Moment passed that test with flying colors, in large part due to the beefy 800 MHz processor. Apps launch quickly, and my every command was carried out almost instantaneously, with no waiting.

Sprint coverage dropped below three bars; at that point I was still able to watch YouTube videos, etc. though there was a small delay while waiting for videos to load.

But as far as regular use is concerned, everything from contacts to calendars is lightning fast and a joy to use.

Wireless/Call Quality
Call quality is simply excellent. I made some test calls outside this morning while a commercial yard crew was working nearby; one of my test callers simply couldn't believe that I was standing outside with a guy on a riding lawnmower less than fifty yards away and another guy with a weed whacker just behind me--he would have sworn that I was inside my office! Calls come through loud and clear, and there was no interference and no problems whatsoever with background noise.

Wi-Fi works great with the Moment, which is great because Sprint's coverage at my house is rather poor. Setup was simple, just a matter of entering in my WEP key. After that I was flying along and really enjoying the best email and web browsing experience the Moment has to offer.

While the Moment has a full QWERTY keyboard, you probably aren't going to use it to write the next great novel; the key here isn't so much Office-type applications as keeping you connected while you're on the go. The email app is great, of course -- it works flawlessly with GMail. and the file viewer does allow you to view text and PDF documents as well as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files that are sent to you as attachments. Don't worry if you haven't yet joined the cult of GMail, because the Moment works well with a variety of other email services such as Yahoo, Windows Live, and others.

The web browser is spectacular, offering a robust experience that is clear and easy to use. The default view is easy to read, but if you need to zoom in just tap the screen to bring up the controls and then touch the plus and minus bars as needed. If you want to see the whole page at once, tap the box in the lower right corner of the screen and then drag with your finger to scroll and tap to select a particular area for a closer view.

Other productivity applications include Calendar and Contacts, which work flawlessly with your Google account once you complete the simple five second setup process of typing in your username and password. You'll also find an alarm clock a calculator, the Gallery photo and video viewer, Google Maps (which worked much better for me than Sprint Navigation), and Google Talk.

The Sprint Moment includes the typical suite of Sprint entertainment applications such as NASCAR Mobile, NFL Mobile, and Sprint TV. There are also a few applications that seem to come standard with Android devices such as the Amazon MP3 store and a rather basic Music app that organizes your songs by artist or album, or you can make your own playlists. The YouTube client works exceptionally well, with smooth scrolling through video lists and great picture quality. If you enjoy watching YouTube videos on the go, the Moment is a great choice because even relatively low quality videos look great.

A Bejeweled 2 demo is also included, and while we've all probably played a lot more of Bejeweled than we're willing to admit, it does serve as a great demonstration of the beautiful AM-OLED screen. It also was useful for me as a sort of "trainer" for the optical joystick; after a few rounds of the demo I was better able to use the joystick for navigation. The touchscreen is still easier for me, but it's nice to have the option.

The camera is a slight disappointment at only 3.2 megapixels. It performed fairly well in testing, taking good (but not great) shots. There were a few exposure issues, especially in shots that included sunny and shady areas in the same photo.

Camera setting are somewhat minimal, mainly offering a choice of picture quality and whether or not you want to geo-tag your photos, but not much else. There is a flash, but it isn't strong enough to rely on in extreme low light conditions. Overall the camera is adequate for infrequent use but isn't really capable of competing with a standalone digital camera by any stretch of the imagination.

Battery Life
After an extended period of testing, I've found that battery life is a concern with the Samsung Moment. After leaving the device plugged in overnight and starting with a full charge each morning, the battery is typically down about 25% to 50% by late afternoon. The only active usage (aside from being on standby) generally consisted of short phone calls, texting, and limited amounts of reading e-mail and browsing the web.
Of course there is quite a bit going on in the background too; I get regular alerts about new email messages and once a flash flood warning in my area -- which could be a potential lifesaver in severe weather situations. The Moment lasts all day and I am able to spend quite a bit of time during my commute (don't worry, I use public transit!) checking email and surfing the Web, but I always breathe a sigh of relief when I get back home to the AC adapter.

This device has never actually died on me, but I have gotten a low battery warning more than once. If you're a true road warrior, the Moment might not be the right device for you, unless you're disciplined about charging it every night. Otherwise you might find yourself with no directions and no way to contact your clients if the unthinkable happens on the way to your next business meeting.


The Samsung Moment is the first Android device from Samsung, and it's generally a winner. The display is simply gorgeous, and the call quality is so good your callers may not believe you're using a mobile phone.

If you're already heavily invested in Google for your calender, email, and contacts, you'll have a fabulous experience. If you don't you'll still have a good time but you won't as quickly have that "aha" sense of joy when all of your personal information is magically loaded into your phone.

The only slight drawback to the Moment is that it is relatively large and not *quite* as slick as the HTC Hero, but overall it's a really nice device that deserves a closer look -- unless you're a real photobug.

It's available now from Sprint for $180 with a two year service agreement, after a $100 mail-in rebate.


* Gorgeous AM-OLED display
* Exceptional call quality
* Easy to use, with a great user interface
* Good keyboard


* A little larger than many other phones
* Only a 3.2 megapixel camera


The BlackBerry Bold 9700

The BlackBerry Bold 9700 is a 3G, Wi-Fi enabled smartphone offered in the U.S. by T-Mobile and soon AT&T. It has a beautiful HVGA screen, track pad, full QWERTY keyboard, 3.2 megapixel camera with auto-focus, and expandable microSD memory card slot.

The original Bold 9000 set the bar in terms of delivering a reliable, high performing device that sported the best feature set RIM had to offer. Just a year later, the Bold2 offers an enhanced feature set and an improved design that instantly leaves the original Bold feeling, well, old.


The Bold2 may be the best looking BlackBerry yet. The most notable contrast with the first-generation Bold is its overall size. It's thinner, shorter, and less wide than the Bold. It's also less wide than the BlackBerry Tour, though not by much.

Its distinguishing features include subdued chrome accents around the bezel, a faux-leather backed battery compartment, black matte convenience keys on the sides, and of course, a track pad where users have become accustomed to seeing the iconic but sometimes finicky BlackBerry Ball.

Also changed in this version is the layout of the camera and flash on the back of the device -- they're now side by side rather than above one another. The Bold2 also has charging contacts on the side of the device that are discussed more below. The most practical change in styling is a redesign of the battery compartment which now feels more secure and in solid.

The screen is simply amazing. The iPhone's screen was great, then the Bold took the same resolution and packed it into a smaller, richer screen. The Bold2 has done the same thing, but more so. Graphics are detailed, and smooth and pictures and web pages render sharply.

Of course, the screen itself is smaller than its predecessor, and is on par with a Curve 8900 or Tour so you'll want to think twice if you're primarily concerned with browsing. If this is your primary concern you might want to think twice.

The screen is bright enough, but does seem less bright than the Bold... though that device was almost too bright.

Track pad - Keyboard
To fit the smaller form factor the keyboard had to be scaled down, though not at the cost of usability. The keys maintain the rubbery, responsive feeling from the Bold, albeit smaller. If you are used to a BlackBerry Curve or even a Tour, you'll be pleasantly surprised with this keyboard. If you're coming from a Bold, you'll notice only a slight difference, and if you're coming from a Storm you'll be thankful (for more reasons than just the keyboard) that you made the switch.

The trackpad is a delight to use, and has almost no learning curve. I liked it on the Curve 8520, and I love it on the Bold2. It's responsive, accurate, doesn't stick, is less likely to be damaged. Moreover, it simply looks better than the ball. I did notice that BrickBreaker was a little more difficult with the pad, perhaps its biggest flaw. In the future the pad could be improved if it scrolled when the user rested his/her finger on the edge of the pad.

The 9700 sports two programmable convenience keys -- one on each side -- as well as volume rockers, and a top mute/lock rocker. I did notice that the volume keys were sometimes slow to respond, or required me to hit them more than once before they responded.

Like the Bold, RIM has built in charging contacts into the sides of the Bold2, intending it to be used in a charging cradle. Though useful, it is annoying that due to the different size, the latest model won't charge in the original one's cradle.

Like some of its contemporaries, and unlike the Bold, the Bold2 charges using a micro-USB port, so depending on what you're trading up from, you may have to invest in some new accessories.


The BlackBerry Bold 9700 overall offers solid performance in every area I've looked. The hardware and software combination work well together, and I haven't experienced any major glitches.

T-Mobile users will be happy to know that the Bold2 has better wireless access than their current BlackBerry, thanks to the 3G coverage. Though the coverage is increased, it's still not on par with AT&T or Verizon in my test area.

This issue is somewhat overcome by being able to call over Wi-Fi (T-Mobile only). Wi-Fi calling is not always flawless; if your signal is weak there is noticeable quality degradation. On more than one occasion, my call was dropped when switching from Wi-Fi to cell tower.

Call Quality
Though the coverage isn't always stellar, the call quality is consistently good. Calls are loud, and the sound is well balanced.

When using the speakerphone at the loudest volume, calls were tinny as compared to the Bold. This was a problem I noticed on the Storm2 as well; hopefully it isn't indicative of things to come from RIM!

When making calls using the 3G signal on the Bold, the device can get uncomfortably hot. This problem seems to have been addressed in the new offering.

Like is its predecessor, the 9700 offers visual voicemail, another feature that will likely become standard on all ‘Berries in time.

This BlackBerry sports the newest 5.0 operating system, and there are some notable improvements over the previous generation. Menus are easier to navigate and better looking. RIM borrows from the iPhone OS in areas such as time/date selection, which are now offered as a rolling wheel. My favorite feature of the 5.0 is the ability to more easily customize ringing profile settings. There are some features that were previously unoffered as well, such as the ability to set vibration to short, medium, or long sessions.

Another major improvement over previous versions is the ability to wirelessly sync contacts with Google accounts. The option to auto-sync is given after setting up an eligible email account, and it's a great way to consolidate your address books.

The smaller screen size is noticeable when browsing, and not in a good way. If no mobile version is available, pages that load are more zoomed out than the Bold, and from there you have to zoom in to the section you want. This process is manageable, but can easily be frustrating if you plan on doing a lot of browsing.

Additionally there are some media types and some pages that don't play well with the BlackBerry; again, if browsing is your main concern this probably isn't the device for you.

Messaging - Productivity
This is a BlackBerry, so of course messaging is quick and reliable, and RIM packs in plenty of options including threaded text messaging, email, and instant messaging options including BlackBerry Messenger, Google Talk, AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo.

The 9700 also offers the DataViz Documents To Go Office Suite that allows you to view and edit Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files, and even send as attachments.

Media - Camera
The Bold2 can play basic media: audio files, movie files, etc. There is a standard headphone jack on the side. Due to the smaller form factor your headphones will not plug completely into the slot -- some of the stem will be exposed). It doesn't affect the audio but it does bother me.

This phone ships with the same ugly headphone/mic combination as other BlackBerrys. This is unfortunate because the headphones that came with the original Bold are far superior in comparison.

This BlackBerry comes with 256 MB of internal memory, and it has an microSD slot. It is bundle with a 2 GB card and is expandable up to 32 GB, giving you plenty of room for MP3s and video. The slot is accessible by removing the battery cover (but not the battery). It was located on the side of the Bold 9000, but given that most users don't switch cards very often it won't be a big annoyance.

The camera is vastly improved. It boasts 3.2 megapixels, auto-focus, flash, and video recording. The downside the camera is that you can only auto-focus by using the right convenience key. I've had experiences of these keys failing over time. If that were to happen here the user would be unable to take advantage of this great feature.

Battery Life
The Bold 9700 uses the same huge battery as the Bold, but it seems to last a little longer, I've been getting as much as two days, depending on use.


BlackBerry Bold 9700In just a little more than a year RIM has proved that it can improve on a design that was already great. If you can afford it, there are very few reasons not to get the BlackBerry Bold 9700.

The browsing experience isn't on par with some competitors, but that's not why you buy a BlackBerry. There is a decent number of apps available, but again that's not RIM's core competency. The Bold2 has a great track pad, excellent form factor with a very solid feel, an improved OS, and I've experienced nearly no glitches. I can't wait to pick mine up.

* Smaller form factor
* Trackpad not a trackball
* Better camera
* 3G and Wi-Fi calling (T-Mobile)


* Accessories not backward compatible,
* Poor browsing experience
* Speakerphone quality degrades at high volumes


Sony Ericsson Xperia X10

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10

The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 might just be the most anticipated Android-based phone since the arrival of the Motorola Droid.

The X10 promises to be the most powerful Android smartphone on the market thanks to a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, 8 GB of included storage, an 8.1 megapixel camera, and Sony's proprietary Nexus UX platform, which sits on top of Google's operating system.

I spent some hands-on time with this device at a recent Sony Ericsson event in New York, and this phone is indeed very impressive.

Build & Design

Many of Brighthand's readers have been concerned about the size of the X10, but it honestly isn't a huge handheld, despite the large WVGA touchscreen. This smartphone is roughly the same size as the original iPhone, and easily fits in the palm of your hand.

To illustrate this, I took a photo of the X10 next to a BlackBerry Curve 8330 and an iPod touch 2G with PowerMat case.

* Comparison Image


As nice as the X10 looks, it's really the software that makes this phone special.

The Nexus UX (user experience) platform is the name Sony Ericsson is giving to the software platform that sits on top of the Android operating system on the X10. Nexus adds "signature applications", a newer and richer GUI, and lastly improved service integration so your Twitter account, e-mail accounts, media player and more all work together seamlessly.

Instead of reading a friend's tweet and then closing the twitter application and opening email to send them a message, the Nexus UX platform lets you easily jump from a friend's Twitter or Facebook account and email them in a matter of seconds. Sony Ericsson essentially summarizes Nexus as organizing your ultra-connected world and making it easier to discover more.

Signature Apps
The first "signature app" for the Nexus UX platform is Timescape, which helps you organize photos, email, SMS, Twitter and Facebook.

Mediascape, the second signature app, does the same type of content aggregation that Timescape does, only this time it happens with your media such as photos, videos, and music.

The Xperia X10 also offers face recognition software built into the Nexus UX platform so that if you take a photo of someone and "tag" their face with their name, the device will automatically recognize that person and organize the photos with your contacts. This means that if you press the person's face again the X10 will automatically bring up that person's contact info, Twitter, Facebook, and any other photos of that person.

Questions Remain: Price and Battery Life
These new features are all well and good, but we still had some fundamental questions about the X10. The biggest questions, of course, weren't answered by Sony Ericsson representatives. We all want to know how much the X10 will cost here in the US, but the official statement from Sony Ericsson is that there is no announcement regarding price since it will also involve carriers. On that note, will the X10 even be sold by US carriers? The answer: "We have no announcements yet because arrangements with carriers haven't been finalized."

Sony Ericsson has just announced the price of the X10 in the UK at approximately $879, but it's too early to say whether this pricing reflects the actual "street price" of the X10 from U.S. carriers.

Luckily, the Sony Ericsson team was willing to answer our questions about battery life ... even if they weren't too specific. The Sony Ericsson reps promised the Xperia X10 will offer "all-day battery life" similar to competing premium smartphones.


Bottom line, the Xperia X10 might just make good on its promise to bring "Everyone, Everywhere, Right where you want them." This powerful handheld combines solid hardware and great features with Android and a robust UX platform that aggregates all the content that matters to you.

The Droid has some tough competition on the horizon.


Palm Pixi

Palm Pixi

The Palm Pixi is the second webOS device, and is in many ways meant to be a successor to the Palm Centro. It isn't a high-powered smartphone, but it does more than your typical featurephone.

For just $99 (or as little as $24.99 from when purchased with a new service plan) it is a good performer that can help keep you organized and connected while on the go.


The Pixi is aptly named, because this device is svelte and rather petite. It's tall and narrow, very thin, and amazingly light. When I first took it out of the box I started looking around for the battery, because I just couldn't believe it was already in the phone -- but it was. The Pixi is the sort of device that you can slip into a pocket and forget that it's actually there, which is especially good for folks (like me) who try to avoid carrying a purse or bag.

Palm PixiThe phone is made entirely of plastic, with a minimal design aesthetic. The exterior is all black, with clear hard plastic keys on the keyboard located underneath the screen. The sides and back of the device are finished in matte black, with a soft texture that improves grip and combats fingerprints.

The only buttons aside from the keyboard are the power button on the top edge of the device and the volume controls on the right side. The headphone jack is on the top, and the charging port is on the right side.

I really like the fact that the charging port is covered, providing some extra protection against dust and accidental splashes, but it is a bit frustrating. When I pry it open with my fingernail, the seamless, seemingly spring-loaded port cover just snaps closed again before I can get a grip on it. I'm sure I'll get better with practice, but it was a surprising annoyance.


The 2.63-inch multi-touch display really is nice. It's relatively small, but text and graphics are crisp and clean. Colors are vibrant, and photos look really great.

I was also surprised to find that the screen is quite visible outside, even in direct sunlight. I have had plenty of frustrations with other devices I've tested, and have spent more time than I wished trying to angle displays, turn my back to the sun, find a spot of shade, anything(!) to make the screen visible when I needed to make a call or read a text message. The Pixi's display is clear and readable in all conditions, and is a real standout.

The area between the display and the keyboard is the gesture area, where most of your navigation will take place. Swipe backward to go back to the previous screen; up into the display to flick away (close) applications, etc.

I found the display to be quite responsive, and I didn't have any issues with my gestures and taps being misinterpreted.


The keyboard is very, very small, and the keys are very close together. This is NOT the sort of device I would recommend to a heavy texter, because they would probably go insane. After using the phone for a week I still find myself "typing" with my fingernails instead of my fingers.

I really don't have any accuracy issues, and I have a fairly reasonable rate of speed with few errors. I just don't want to spend a lot of time with this keyboard. It's not a deal-breaker, unless you're looking for a fabulous physical QWERTY keyboard experience. I can send texts, enter web addresses, and write e-mails, and it's fine for casual use, but that's about it due to my lack of comfort with the key spacing and the material out of which the keys were made.


The Palm Pixi is my first experience with Palm's new webOS, and so far I've really enjoyed it. There's a brief tutorial video when you turn on the phone for the first time, and it walks you through the basics of the gesture-based navigation. I thought it would be hard to give up the stylus with a Palm device, but the gestures for scrolling and such are intuitive. I especially like the "delete" and "close application" gestures -- with a flick of my finger I can close an app or delete an email, and I find myself wishing that I could do the same thing on my iPod Touch.

Overall the Pixi is responsive with snappy performance. opening and switching applications without any noticeable lag. Large attachments download quickly, even though Sprint's network service is relatively poor at my office. I was able to crash the device once, when I tapped on an unsupported attachment type in an email. I didn't get an error message or anything, the Pixi just restarted itself and I was back in business about one minute later. That has happened only once, so at this point I would consider that to be an isolated incident.

Wireless/Call Quality

Voice quality is good in my testing so far, though the volume really isn't as loud as I would like, even with the setting turned all the way up. Calls are clear, with no major issues, and there weren't any background noise complaints from my test callers even when I was outside near a busy street.

Bluetooth works fine, but the Pixi does not have Wi-Fi so all of your browsing will be on Sprint's wireless network. How pleasant (or unpleasant) an experience that will be for you depends entirely on Sprint's coverage in your area.

E-mail and Web

E-mail is extremely important, and I really enjoyed the experience on the Pixi, which offers POP, IMAP, and Exchange options.

I set it up with my GMail account in just a few seconds and everything works flawlessly. One of the niftiest features is the ability to set particular GMail labels as "favorites" so that they appear at the top of the screen. That's a fabulous help for someone like me, who depends heavily on labels and filters to stay on top of the massive amount of email I receive, both business and personal.

Messages load quickly, even HTML ones that are full of graphics, and the gesture controls allow me to move quickly through the deluge quickly, swiping to delete as necessary. And when new messages arrive, an icon pops up at the bottom of the screen so you can see the subject line immediately, as well as an icon that shows you how many new messages you have waiting in your inbox.

The included web browser is very good. When you first start the application you are presented with a thumbnail view of six commonly used sites -- Palm, Sprint, Facebook, MySpace, Amazon, and ESPN, which you can change by editing the bookmarks. When you start entering a web address, the address bar expands to offer you options to search Google or Wikipedia. In other words, everything is optimized to make using the mobile web fast and easy.

Fortunately that does not mean that you're going to suffer through a bad experience. I was quite pleased overall with the web browser's performance. Even complicated, ad-heavy sites display well, just as they would on a desktop computer. Of course you are working with a small screen on the Pixi, and some things may be hard to read. Thankfully you have a couple of options here. You can pinch zoom to make make the view larger, or you can just double tap in a particular spot to focus in.

That feature works very well, automatically zooming in on exactly what you want to see and causing it to completely fill the screen. On for example, double-tapping a particular news story zooms it up to perfectly fill the screen every single time, even if you tap just a bit off center. Scrolling is smooth and fast, with no delays, and I'm glad to say that the Pixi web experience is a really good one.


The included Document Viewer is surprisingly robust and very fast -- even large complicated Excel spreadsheets scroll smoothly. You won't find any advanced features here, and no editing options with the free version, but if you just need to view Office files on the go the Pixi does a good job. There will soon be an upgrade for this app that will allow editing, too.

Calendar and contacts are freaky good -- when I first turned on the Pixi I set it up with my Gmail account and everything got pulled in from the cloud automatically, and in the background. All of my calendar appointments are here, including events on calendars I share with other people, all nicely color coded and ready to go. My contacts included phone numbers and email addresses, as appropriate, and it's nice to see that the webOS aggregation feature does seem to work exactly as advertised.

If you haven't already migrated everything to the "cloud" (and don't intend to do so) you will have to pay for a third-party sync solution such as CompanionLink, Missing Sync from Mark/Space, or Echo or PocketMirror from Chapura. Some of these solutions require a direct cable connection, while others work with Bluetooth. Some of them support only calendar and contact syncing, while others are able to handle all of your Outlook data. If you do want to move to the cloud, Palm provides the Data Transfer Assistant free of charge; it works with both Palm Desktop and standalone versions of Outlook.

The memo pad and task list applications are fairly basic, but they get the job done. The task application allows you to create multiple lists, so the potential is there for some very basic database functionality such as keeping lists of books to read or DVDs you already own (so you can avoid duplicates), etc. The memo pad uses the bulletin board approach, which works well. You can select one of four different colors for your notes, and you can see several at once when they are "pinned" to the board. You do have the option to e-mail individual memos, which is a nice touch and something I'm glad to see since I use that feature all the time on my iPod Touch.

The Google Maps application is also included, and works well. It was able to locate me very accurately each time I tried it, and within just a couple of seconds.


The Pixi's music player is pretty slick. It doesn't offer a lot of fancy features, but it's pretty and the user interface is really nice. You can view your music by artist, album, song, genre, or playlist, with a separate section for songs purchased from the Amazon MP3 app included with the phone. If you're in the mood for randomness, you can just hit the big button at the top to shuffle all of the songs on the device. Album art is nicely displayed, or if you opt for song view you can see what's playing along with a visual indicator of where you are in the song as well as a list of what's coming up next.

In order to get music into your Pixi (or transfer photos, etc.) you can use the USB cable to attach it to your computer, select USB mode from the menu that pops up, then use Windows Explorer to choose the files you want to copy to your device. It worked great with old MP3s and all of my iTunes music -- I didn't have to install any drivers or software, and I didn't even have to worry about putting the files in a particular directory. That's a lot easier than having to disconnect the battery to access a memory card or even worse, crawl through a maze of menus looking for the option or the app that will allow you to use your phone as a USB drive. It's also another example of how Palm is focusing on ease of use with the webOS, and something I appreciate.

The video player is a bit basic, but it works.

The YouTube application works great, and is perfect for those spare moments when you need a little distraction. Since the Pixi is offered by Sprint, you'll also find all of the Sprint applications as well, such as NFL Mobile, NASCAR Mobile, and Sprint TV.

No matter whether you're playing music or watching videos however, you will probably want to use headphones. The external speaker is pretty good quality, but it doesn't really pump out the volume. Even in my quiet office, where there was nothing louder than the fan of the PC running across the room, I had to turn the volume all the way up to really hear what was being played.


The Pixi's camera is only two megapixels, but it takes pretty good photos and the LED flash is a useful tool. One great thing is that it's very easy to take pictures while using the phone with just one hand -- tap on the screen or hit the space bar on the keyboard to take the shot, which I like much better than trying to press a tiny little button on the side of the phone. Capturing photos is almost instantaneous, with no annoying downtime between shots.

However, the photo quality ranges from pretty good to pretty awful, depending heavily upon the conditions. One-handed photo capture is great, but that means that photos are much more likely to come out blurry. For better shots it is necessary to hold the device in both hands. There were also some exposure issues, with early morning photos coming out either too dark or "blown out" when there were shady and bright areas in the same shot. That problem can be pronounced when you want to take portrait shots; be sure the keyboard is on the left and the screen is on the right when you take pictures holding the phone sideways.

The Pixi's camera should be considered strictly a backup -- it's nice to have a camera that's always in your pocket, but be sure to take along a real camera if you're actually planning to take photos. The Pixi's is good in a pinch, but I wouldn't rely upon it for any memorable event, even if it's just a group lunch with a bunch of your friends from the office.

Battery Life
The Pixi comes with a USB cable and a tiny little AC adapter plug for charging purposes. I had some problems with the Pixi not charging at first, but I think I just got a bad plug because I switched it out with another charger and everything worked great.

Since the Pixi is always connected and is constantly checking your email and other web services for you, looking for calendar and contact information updates, battery life can be an issue. I never ran out of juice (once I got a good charger), but the battery meter did drop steadily throughout the day. It's a good thing the charger plug is so small; you'll definitely want to take it with you, even on overnight trips -- just in case.


Palm PixiThe Palm Pixi is a fun little device, and very well priced.

After using it for a week I can say that it's a very good value for the price, but it may not be right for everyone. The keyboard in particular is my least favorite aspect of the device. While it is adequate for basic texting and email, it isn't really comfortable enough to use for long emails. Aside from that and the barely adequate camera and the relatively low volume for voice calls and the external speaker, the Pixi is a great little device that deserves a closer look -- especially if all of your life's details are already on Google and you're a lot more interested in calendar, contacts, email, and the mobile web.

It won't make headlines as the smartphone of the year, but it's a lot smarter than your average featurephone and very easy to use. It won't work for heavy duty corporate types who live and breathe Word and Excel, and are always needing to update their presentations, but it is a good choice for your average (relatively tech-savvy) consumer.

After just a couple of minutes the Palm Pixi user will be connected, organized, and ready to go, with the mobile world at their fingertips.


* Very small size, extremely pocketable
* Gorgeous display
* Intuitive, easy to use controls
* Surprisingly robust music player application
* Excellent email functionality
* Very good mobile web experience


* Keyboard is usable, but not ideal for heavy use
* Relatively low volume output
* Battery life is acceptable, but could be better
* Camera is acceptable, but could be much better