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Xplore M68 Review

Xplore M68 Smartphone Review

By: Paddy Tan
March 20, 2006

The Xplore M68 smartphone from GSPDA is a Palm OS smartphone primarily sold in the Asian and European markets. GSPDA had previously announced they were going to bring their M-series smartphones to North America, however nothing ever materialized in the US besides the press release.

The Xplore M68 smartphone was first announced in February 2005. I had seen this model available in several mobilephone retail stores when I was on a business trip in Europe. So I made the trip to Tronic International (the distributors for Xplore phones in Singapore) to see how it would stack up against other smartphone contenders.

What initially impressed me most was that the Palm OS had been customised for a more phone centric interface making it very easy to perform the basic calls functions one handed. The use of a five-way jog dial results in an excellent initial experience. Mind you, some smartphones are neither phone-centric nor PDA-centric, making it very difficult to operate, which frustrates users. The M68 can alternate between the classic Palm launcher and GSPDA's more phone centric interface.

When I first saw the pictures posted on the Net, I immediately felt it looked too plastic and not as aesthetically pleasing as the Treo series. But upon seeing the actual thing and holding it, all thoughts about it being too ‘plastic’ were gone.

In fact, I found that the material used for its body was a good choice. It provides a very good grip and doesn't feel as ‘oily’ as other phones after some use. At a size of 49.5 x 109 x 22.5 mm (1.9 x 4.3 x .88 Inches) and 127g (4.48 oz), it may feel kinda thick and a tad heavy to some users but as an ex-treo 600 user myself, this phone feels right giving it a very sturdy look. Not forgetting its 170 hours standby time, the 3.7V 1350mAh Li-Polymer battery contributes a fair amount of weight and size too.

Xplore M68 Smartphone Xplore M68 Smartphone

The buttons of the Xplore M68 aren't the prettiest buttons found on a smartphone as they are quite plain and simple looking. However, they give good feedback when pressed and perhaps to me, I see it more as a business smartphone than a multimedia entertainment smartphone so it does not really bother me that they look ‘stiff’. The buttons are illuminated by a blue-tint backlight.

Xplore M68 Smartphone Xplore M68 Smartphone

I almost couldn’t find the stylus when I first had the unit, until I located it at the bottom right corner. It is similar to the 'toothpick' retractable styli included with many Sony Clie PDAs. When fully extended, it is about 9.4cm. When retracted, it is only 5.5cm long but I didn't have a problem writing on the screen with it despite having rather large hands.

Xplore M68 Smartphone Xplore M68 Smartphone

Camera
It has 1.3 megapixel digital camera on the back of the unit. The quality of the shots are quite good as it ties in very well with the program that comes with it. You can pretty much leave everything to the ‘Auto’ settings to give you the best quality images. On the same image, you can see that there is a speaker just next to the camera. The sound quality is okay and doesn't suffer the same fate as other smartphones’ speakers that are too loud to be audible.

SPECIFICATIONS
Size & Weight: 49.5 x 109 x 22.5 mm (1.9 x 4.3 x .88 Inches); 127g (4.48 oz)
Processor: ARM 9 OMAP 168 Mhz
Operating System: Palm OS Garnet v5.4
Memory: 32 MB RAM / 64 SDRAM flash memory
Expansion: SD/MMC memory slot
Screen: 176x220 pixel; 2.2 inch, 65k-color; transflective (D-TFD)
Audio: 2.5mm headset jack; rear speaker
Power: Rechargable Li-Ion Poly, 1350 mAh (4 hrs talk/170 hours standby)
Connectivity: Tri-Band GSM radio (900/1800/1900), Class 10 GPRS,
HotSync-Connector, IrDA, Bluetooth (v1.1)

Software
The Xplore M68 runs Palm OS Garnet v5.4. All of the built in apps support the 176x220 screen size, a few third party software programs support this size as well, but most games do not.

I'd like to say GSPDA did a wonderful job integrating the many functions of the smartphone. Pressing the Up or Down buttons immediately gives you all the basic programs. And with the press of the ‘Home’ button (next to the jog dial), you will see this screen:

Xplore M68 Smartphone Xplore M68 Smartphone Xplore M68 Smartphone Xplore M68 Smartphone

There are quite a handful of popular games that come with this smartphone; Bejeweled, Bookworm, GTS Racing, MegaBowling, Zap!2016 and also applications like QuickPoint, QuickSheet, QuickWord, and for mutlimedia there are also jMMS, jBrowser MoviePlay, MP3, PhotoAlbum, Ringtone, ECDiction, VoiceMemo.

Xplore M68 Smartphone Xplore M68 Smartphone

ECDiction is a very handy program for English to Chinese translation when you change your langugage under Preferences from ‘English’ to ‘Chinese’. This smartphone caters very strongly to the Chinese users too as it can be seen later with some of the smart applications and preferences it uses. Furthermore you can go into the main Preferences and you can just change to a Chinese localized OS and English easily.

Xplore M68 Smartphone Xplore M68 Smartphone Xplore M68 Smartphone

Unlike other smartphones, Xplore does not come with any T9 programs to help with the text prediction used for SMS use. It took me a while to get myself familiarised with the use of the different ‘Input Methods’. After a while, I can do it quite fast. You have the option to tap in input via the phone keypad or use the onscreen graffiti handwriting area.

‘Backup’ is one of the many useful programs that you can use for free since it is bundled on the Xplore M68. A simple click and run is all it takes for this program to backup and restore your files.

It also includes Mobile Mail for POP3 and IMAP email. This is PalmSource's version of Mail for Palm OS 5.

Xplore M68 Smartphone Xplore M68 Smartphone gspda M68

The Xplore M68 also includes a Voice Memo application. It is very straightforward, just click and record. The rear speaker provides good quality playback. You can save the recordings to either Internal or to SD/MMC card or if you like, and you can send clips via Bluetooth connection where the file sent will be in AMR format. Which can be played back on my laptop by Quicktime player.

At first look, the Camera program looks complicated but very quickly I am able to master it very well. Its Auto setting is one of the best, you just don’t have to worry much if Automatic setting will give you any lousy pictures or not. Basically, it gets the job done well.

Xplore M68 Smartphone Xplore M68 Smartphone

At the Camera icon, you can select the Video application too. Just press on the jog dial and you can start shooting pictures or video. Simple as that. You can also go under Preferences to select the Shooting mode, shutter sound, Preview, Date, Pixel (from 176x120 to 1280x960) for pictures. The most lovely thing is you can choose where the newly captured images or videos are saved to. Go for Internal if you can as the playback of videos will be better without much jerkiness.

After you are done with the photo shooting, you can view the images under the program Photo Album. It gives you a nice thumbnail or detailed views.

There is also a MP3 program for listening to audio, however it is extremely basic and most will opt for something more feature-full such as Pocket Tunes.

Conclusions
The GSPDA Xplore M68 Smartphone is a good buy with its many features including GPRS Class 10, Bluetooth, Tri-band, a 1.3 Megapixel camera and with a standard SD/MMC card slot for external storage too. On top of that, it comes bundled with several programs. It has a very competitive price of only $699 Singapore Dollars ($430~ USD) which is less than half the price of my previous Treo 600, and it doesn't even have Bluetooth built in.

For myself, I see it more as a business centric device where I can use it to read any document on the go with Quickoffice. One thing for sure, I will not edit any lengthy documents on this screen. Nothing beats editing documents on a laptop. To have a bigger screen is a plus but it also directly affects the battery life and the device's size and weight.

M68 Smartphone in blackThe battery stamina is decent for a smartphone and should cover me some travel distance and use before I need to go for another charge. It does include a USB cable for me to juice it up on the road from my laptop.

There are a few things that I dislike about the Xplore M68. One is the location of the stylus, for someone like me, it's bound to go missing within two months of use as I am used to have it on the top left or right. Or either that, I will just use my finger to write if it does go missing or I just may not bring it out...haha! I can’t paste a BAK2u label on the stylus too.

Another con is, a utility to do switch from portrait to landscape screen orientation doesn't come standard, otherwise it would be perfect to have a wider screen to read e-books and watch movies.

Lastly, if it only it had a button mapping program so that I can map some of the buttons to Address, To Do, Date Book etc for faster access. Using the Palm OS for many years makes one accustomed to having these buttons standard.

Overall, I am very satisfied with this purchase despite some of its software ‘flaws’ but I believe there are some other third party programs that one can use to get around them. One thing for sure is that the hardware is almost top notch, and it's a good investment given its low retail price. Overall, I give the Xplore M68 4 out of 5 stars.

-----
About the author
Paddy Tan runs a Lost & Found service company, BAK2u that makes it easy for Good Samaritans and police posts to return your valued items when misplaced, in Singapore or anywhere in the world. BAK2u services are about getting your misplaced items back to you making the entire process a seamless and hassle free experience. The finder will just need to visit the website www.bak2u.com to report or call a toll free number with the label's Unique ID numbers. The valued items will be promptly picked up and return to the owner.

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Screen resolution is too low

palmdoc88 @ 3/20/2006 4:33:08 PM # Q
That's the biggest negative point for me.
Otherwise an OK smartphone I think.

T3 & T5 user
RE: Screen resolution is too STRANGE
rsc1000 @ 3/20/2006 5:00:02 PM # Q
176 x 220???? I know that that is more of a standard resolution for phones - but not for POS. 160 x 200 is not that strange as there are other Palm OS phones that have added pixels vertically for phone specific icons and indicators. But what is strange is the 176 width? Notice that ALL the screens shots (includingt shots of the launcher)show the forms centered horizontally on the screen with extra white space on either side (the extra 176 pixels / 2 = 8 pixels on left and right). Yet - the marketing screenshots show the launcher covering the full screen width.
Why? Cheapre to get a more standard screen res?


RE: Screen resolution is too low
wincat @ 3/20/2006 6:06:40 PM # Q
No problem, I am using M68. It has a special Graffiti area likes TT5 and TH55. When you enter 160x160 Res apps,the Graffiti area will enable auto,and screen will become 160x160 standard Res.
In fact, M68 can use almost 160x160 apps,but some phone apps for Treo only.

RE: Screen resolution is too low
AdamaDBrown @ 3/20/2006 6:09:49 PM # Q
Probably, yes. Those 176 x 220 screens are mass-manufactured for many standard phones, so they're probably a lot more common--thus cheaper--than a square screen, for which there are very few uses. Probably even cheaper than QVGA.

RE: Screen resolution is too low
AdamaDBrown @ 3/20/2006 6:18:29 PM # Q
Should have clarified that last statement... of course 176 x 220 is cheaper than QVGA, due to the resolution difference, but I meant to say that QVGA was probably between 176 x 220 and a more expensive square screen in price.

RE: Screen resolution is too low
Tamog @ 3/21/2006 2:26:58 AM # Q
Hi,
as far as I know, nobody will really care about screen resolution as long as it is high enough(I am not talking about power users here). Symbian boxen sell well too; the only thing that GSPDA should get working is third party support for the DIA and maybe landscape mode....

If you dont beleive me, have a go at this editorial, the example really is true:

http://tamspalm.tamoggemon.com/2006/03/20/the-power-of-illusions/

Best regards
Tam Hanna

Find out more about the Palm OS in my blog:
http://tamspalm.tamoggemon.com

RE: Screen resolution is too low
asiayeah @ 3/21/2006 6:58:08 AM # Q
Good point regarding 3rd party support. But GSPDA currently provide no open API to let developers to take advantage of his proprietary features, such as the extra pixels, its call log...etc. This is a big disadvantage comparing to Palm Treo.

--
With great power comes great responsiblity.
RE: Screen resolution is too low
lthaler @ 3/21/2006 3:46:42 PM # Q
176*220 is common size among phone manufacturers because it's the de facto standard for S60 series, etc...
vanilla PalmOS was 160*160, and graffiti area was 60 pixels, 160+60=220 so PalmSource has added support for 176*220 screen, with 8 pixels losts on each side
but the builtin camera, and TCPMP for example knows how to mak use of the full screen, even in landscape mode

RE: Screen resolution is too low
cervezas @ 3/21/2006 5:57:40 PM # Q
lthaler wrote:
the builtin camera, and TCPMP for example knows how to make use of the full screen, even in landscape mode

...as can apps written with the SuperWaba SDK, which supports both S60 and Palm OS (and WM, Win CE, UIQ, Sony PSP...). Those SuperWaba guys really deserve some props.

Still, it'd be nice if GroupSense had taken those 16 extra pixels and made a vertical status bar for the phone that ran down one side instead of using up space top and bottom. They could have kept all that stuff onscreen even while the virtual Graffiti area was open.

I'd consider one of these over a Treo if it ran with good coverage on US GSM networks. Pocketable, easier to dial numbers, good voice quality, dynamic Graffiti, it uses its pixels to show data efficiently instead of just to make a pretty "sharp" look. All in all it seems like a great choice for a business phone where a good phone is the highest priority.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

Reply to this comment

Stores?

Kesh @ 3/20/2006 4:33:41 PM # Q
So, where can I buy one of these? As much as I love the design of a Treo, I don't want a contract (especially with how expensive data plans are). And an unlocked 650 his hideously expensive. I just want a nice way to replace my (dirt cheap) pay as you go Cingular phone and my (nice but too bulky) Lifedrive into a single package.

And this looks like a great fit for my needs.

RE: Stores?
Ryan @ 3/20/2006 4:46:01 PM # Q
Doml.com was selling the xplore m98 for a while, not sure if they still are. I also think expansys offered the m68 at one point. The other place to look online would be ebay, though they don't come up too often there.

Most people I know that have an explore phone, picked one up on a biz trip to hong kong or found them in a random european phone store.

RE: Stores?
AdamaDBrown @ 3/20/2006 6:11:35 PM # Q
There are several hits for the M68 on Froogle, the cheapest being around $320. The M98 is also listed for around $240.

You should bear in mind that the XPlore phones are all tri-band GSM: 900/1800/1900. That means that they're not well suited for Cingular, which uses quite a bit of 850 MHz GSM. You would get less coverage, and there would be some areas that you would get no coverage. It is possible to do, but it might not work out well for you.

RE: xplore m68
Ryan @ 3/20/2006 6:30:49 PM # Q
The other bummer is that none of the current GSL phones support higher speed EDGE data either.
BTW
wincat @ 3/20/2006 6:55:11 PM # Q
BTW,M68 has a changable bettery design as Treo650,BUT without any NVFS problem.

RE: Stores?
Kesh @ 3/21/2006 12:31:06 AM # Q
Thanks for the info, Adama. And yes, I had forgotten that my area is primarily CDMA. My SO has a RAZR on Cingular, though, and I thought those were tri-band GSM, so I'm not sure what coverage we get out here.

RE: Stores?
AdamaDBrown @ 3/21/2006 2:04:17 AM # Q
The RAZRs are quad-band, actually. I don't think Cingular carries any tri-band phones at all, and even T-Mobile is phasing them out due to new roaming agreements that let them use 850 MHz coverage.

You might check WirelessAdvisor.com to find out what providers use what frequencies in your area. For instance, near my home, the only GSM provider is exclusively 850 MHz (sometimes called 800), so you'd get no signal. In Lincoln county, Wisconsin, though (the product of a random punching in of zip code 54435) the Cingular system is entirely 1900 MHz, so a tri-band phone would work. As a rule of thumb, the more rural an area, the less likely it is to have 1900 MHz GSM.

RE: Stores?
Simony @ 3/21/2006 6:12:33 AM # Q
AdamaDBrown, you're an absolute font of knowledge.

RE: Stores?
Kesh @ 3/21/2006 2:02:04 PM # Q
Thanks for that site, Adama! Curiously, my area has two listings for Cingular:

1900 MHz GSM / GPRS (TDMA) 3G: EDGE
800 MHz GSM / GPRS TDMA 3G: EDGE

Considering how rural we are, I was kinda surprised to see EDGE listed at all, but we did just get a brand new tower last month (which lets me actually get a signal at work).

RE: Stores?
AdamaDBrown @ 3/21/2006 2:08:13 PM # Q
AdamaDBrown, you're an absolute font of knowledge.

(Shrug) I try.

Kesh,

I'm guessing that you don't have T-Mobile coverage available? T-Mo's native coverage (excluding roaming) is entirely 1900 MHz, so you could use something like the M68 on their network without major loss. Just a thought.

EDGE has gotten really widespread these days, with recent improvements making it practical pretty much anywhere. Almost all of Cingular's network has it, ditto for T-Mobile. Even regional carriers like CellOne have it when they wouldn't have just a year or two ago. Granted, it's not true 3G (WirelessAdvisor classification aside) but a 3x boost to GPRS speed is still a good thing.

Xplore M68 and M98 @ amazon.com...
fcassia06 @ 5/16/2006 2:42:57 PM # Q
Found the Xplore M68 selling for $369 at amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?link_code=ur2&tag=showitem06-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&path=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fgp%2Foffer-listing%2FB000FAJ89O%2F

Perhaps the best deal in history is the Xplore M98 (in an excellent clamshell design), going for $254, GSM unlocked

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?link_code=ur2&tag=showitem06-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&path=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fgp%2Foffer-listing%2FB000FNEIKK%2F

...enjoy!...
FC
PS: seller is the U.S. office of UK mobile phone seller giant eXpansys.


Reply to this comment

Reads a bit like an advertisement

Scott R @ 3/20/2006 8:09:16 PM # Q
For some reason this review reads a bit like an ad to me. I'm probably just being paranoid. Anyways, the reviewer states that the camera is quite good but doesn't give us any sample photos. So how about it? Pics please!

http://Tapland.com
- Tapwave Zodiac News, Reviews, & Discussion -
RE: Reads a bit like an advertisement
roychang @ 3/21/2006 12:28:00 AM # Q
The real ad is in the footnotes about the author. ;)
RE: Reads a bit like an advertisement
Admin @ 3/21/2006 11:03:12 AM # Q
Making a claim that any of the content here is an advertisement is a very serious charge.

Under no circumstances have I or would we ever publish an article here for compensation. It goes against everything I believe in, in publishing.

Scott, I don't know what gave you that impression. I realize this is not as in-depth as some previous reviews on pic, however I do not have access to a m68 and I thought this would provide an interesting read/discussion about a smartphone many of us did not know too much about being that it is mostly only available on the other side of the planet.

I also allow all guest reviewers to include a short about the author paragraph at the end of reviews if they request it. This is a common practice.

RE: Reads a bit like an advertisement
hkklife @ 3/21/2006 2:16:36 PM # Q
Anyone who has spent more than a day looking at PIC (totally unbiased other than being a fan of POS), Brighthand (so deeply in the pocket of Palm that it'd be illegal in some states), 1src (heavily moderated apologists throwing tantrums amidst some good technical info) and PalmAddicts (very good for news coverage but totally devoid of any actual opinions, insider info or number crunching analysis of the PalmCONomy) would realize that Ryan runs & funds his site singlehandedly and entirely out of pocket + whatever the PIC software store generates as well as the usual ad/clickthru revenue. Unlike some, PIC is not his day job (unless something has changed recently that I don't know about).

Ryan doesn't get kickbacks from anyone...and for anyone to suggest that this review (or any other on PIC) was a thinly veiled ad needs to have their head examined. GSPDA has zero presnce stateside and, as Paddy said, has not put forth any effort into the Stateside market other than to issue a single press release. Besides, just ask Adama...the lack of 850mhz support would pretty much condemn the phone to somewhere between niche novelty and useless status, depending on where the user's primary GPS coverage area is.

We should all be commending Ryan, Paddy, and everyone else who is trying to keep fresh content coming into PIC in the face of *ZERO* new products/announcements by Palm. With the rapid consolidation of the POS software & hardware market, this void is only going to grow.

So I really don't care if it's a review of an Asia-only smartphone, a long discontinued OLED Clie review (hint, hint) or just an article summarizing overlooked gems in the Palm software scene. Fresh content makes us coming back to PIC--especially since the discussions of late have been less than rousing.

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX

RE: Reads a bit like an advertisement
Admin @ 3/21/2006 3:08:19 PM # Q
Thank you Kris for the kind words of support. But yes, PIC could be considered my day job and has been for a few years. It is not the only source of work in my life, but is a major portion. I routinely put in 60+ hour work weeks on this site alone. I am very proud of the fact that PIC is a independent resource. In fact, I do not even directly handle the banner advertising here all the time, most ads are served by networks such as google, tribalfusion etc.

Furthermore, as part of some of the recent improvements, you will notice that I have taken steps to reduce the amount of advertising on PIC and have replaced many of the flashy banners, with non-obtrusive more relevant text ads.

-Ryan

RE: Reads a bit like an advertisement
Scott R @ 3/21/2006 7:41:48 PM # Q
Oops. Sorry for the confusion brought on by my brief and poorly worded comments. The phrase "advertisement" was a poor word choice. Furthermore, it never entered my mind, and so I certainly did not wish to imply, that Ryan was doing anything illicit here.

As I said my word choice was poor. What I should have said is that the author of the review came across sounding a bit like a marketing rep for this phone company, which is to say that the negatives were glossed over or spun to sound like positives and some features were claimed as positives without supporting proof (e.g., camera picture quality).

Now let me be proactive here in saying that I was not, and am not, accusing the author of being a shill for this company. I read reviews all the time that I don't particularly agree with and find many reviewers to be overly positive about something I think is just "meh." What can I say...I'm an overly critical person. Plus, there's the factor of personal bias. I'm sure that some people (like this reviewer, apparently) want a Palm OS powered smartphone that looks just like a traditional phone with stylus-centric app activity. As for me, I decided a while back that a stylus had become a hindrance and now prefer hard (or virtual) thumbboards.

So, again...sorry for the poorly worded critique.

http://Tapland.com
- Tapwave Zodiac News, Reviews, & Discussion -

RE: Reads a bit like an advertisement
Simony @ 3/21/2006 8:03:54 PM # Q
> Brighthand (so deeply in the pocket of Palm that it'd be illegal in some states)

I disagree. I think most of the articles on brighthand.com are thinly disguised ads for anything which runs WinCE/PPC/WinMob/etc; they have an unhealthy bias against anything which Palm produces. They are not as unhinged as pocketpcthoughts.com, but not far short of that in terms of overall bias.

RE: Reads a bit like an advertisement
hkklife @ 3/21/2006 9:14:14 PM # Q
It's irrelevant what their actual editorial policy is towards POS. The simple fact that if you click (from Palm.com) the "user forums" link it takes you DIRECTLY to BH's forums without warning. Then BH requires separate registrations for the Palm-sponsored area of their site. Palm already has their own "support forums" which are hosten on-site. I suppose Palm wants to differentiate between their absolutely moribund and heavily policed tech support forums and the (admittedly 1000x better and more active) BH forums. Still, it's always given me an uneasy feeling posting to BH and knowing of their "official" symbiotic relationship with Palm.

Just look at the wrath I incurred by being one of the very first to report on the horrendous LifeDrive launch...and then again to blow the whistle on Palm's intentional crippling of the BT stack on recent devices to try and sell more CDMA Treos.

At any rate, I hope Ryan and PIC are in there for the long haul. I really like the additional efffort Ryan's bene giving the site as well as the guest reviewers. The end is nigh but that's no reason for us POS faithful not to make a final stand here on PIC!

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX

RE: Reads a bit like an advertisement
Simony @ 3/21/2006 10:40:48 PM # Q
I think their editorial policy is very relevant. How can you trust one of their reviews if its written from a biased standpoint?

Maybe it's just me, but I like to see reviews for handhelds before parting with my cold cash. Also, I can't bring myself to trust a review unless it's reasonably obvious that the writer gives his/her opinions (like judges) 'without fear or favor'. What I want to see in a review is a balanced and honest assessment of device, without being subjected to the reviewer's personal prejudices.

I'll give you an example. Say there is a new device from Company X, which doesn't have WiFi. I expect the reviewer to say: (a) 'it doesn't have WiFi'; (b) what this may mean for a user in terms of pluses and minuses; and (c) perhaps a comparison with market leading devices at the same price point. I don't want to see three paragraphs on why Company X must be a bunch of trogolodyte neanderthals for daring to release a device without WiFi, that the device is a worthless piece of garbage which is of no use to anybody because it doesn't have WiFi, etc, etc.

The latter approach is the kind of thing we often see brighthand.com reviews. Some of the reviewers over seem to be of the opinion that every device must have every conceivable feature, regardless of price and engineering considerations (eg, form factor, battery life, etc). So how can I trust one of their reviews of, say, a mid-range unit which was designed not to have every possible feature?

That's why editorial bias is everthing.

RE: Reads a bit like an advertisement
hkklife @ 3/22/2006 2:54:01 AM # Q
Simony;

Perhaps I didn't state my previous as clearly as I could have. What I meant to say was:
" Why even take time to consider that BH might have a fair & unbiased editorial policy when they are in the pockets of Palm already?"

I find it interesting that while BH's initial review of a product may be refreshingly "less than perfect" Ed takes time a few months later to write an editorial piece saying why such and such (LifeDrive, T5, NVFS etc) isn't as bad as "we" have made it out to be"

There are three "published" sites/people I trust to do PDA reviews: AdamaDBrown, Twizza, and Ryan.


Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX

RE: Reads a bit like an advertisement
Simony @ 3/22/2006 4:58:14 AM # Q
Maybe we don't disagree after all.

Reply to this comment

Camera interface looks veeeeeery familiar...

freakout @ 3/21/2006 4:13:13 AM # Q
Think they "borrowed" from Palm, or Palm "borrowed" from them?

This sig is a placeholder till I come up with something good
Reply to this comment

What about the phone.....?

heavyduty @ 3/21/2006 6:49:17 AM # Q
Given that this is a phone, it's odd that no comment was made regarding reception, sound quality, etc....

Did you even try to call with it??

Palm Vx (a classic) -> Palm 505 (*yawn*) -> Dell Axim (slooow...) -> Palm TE (great) -> Qtek 9090 (great idea, lousy platform) -> Nokia 6630 (a toy) -> iMate SP3i (not bad) -> Treo 650 (almost perfect)

RE: What about the phone.....?
lthaler @ 3/21/2006 3:25:13 PM # Q
I use it as my primary phone and pda, reception is good, sound is good and fantastic with the stereo headset


Reply to this comment

Thanks, but...

asiayeah @ 3/21/2006 7:06:34 AM # Q
Thanks for the great review.

While phone models are usually released and become obsolete quickly, it is a bit pathetic to read reviews for old Palm phones as new stuffs. :)

Don't get me wrong, I am still a Palm fans. Let's just wish GSPDA will bring us some newer Palm phones soon. Of course, I hope we could soon see Treo 700p review but not rumors.

--
With great power comes great responsiblity.

RE: Thanks, but...
lthaler @ 3/21/2006 3:33:48 PM # Q
GSPDA has announced in february 2005, just after the M68 release that they were working on a Cobalt device, of course we all know that Cobal exists only as a simulator for windows...

Reply to this comment

I have one...

lthaler @ 3/21/2006 3:09:45 PM # Q
I have one since a few months and it's a true gsm, with a gsm form factor and when you hit the magic button you have a true palm with os5, virtual graffiti, mp3 player, camera etc...

one main thing to know is that it's a palmsource powered device, not a palmone, it means that it doesn't have the treo library and that none software designed for the treo works on it, it has a few bugs and lack some features (handsfree) but it's the most amazing Palm I never had


RE: I have one...
Scott R @ 3/22/2006 8:39:33 AM # Q
If it's not compatible with the Treo D-Pad navigation standards, it would not be compelling to me. Having to tap on that little screen to select things? No thanks.

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RE: I have one...
Ryan @ 3/22/2006 10:23:54 AM # Q
The xplore m series does have some one-handed navigation, but it is not the treo implementation and is not nearly as functional across apps.
RE: I have one...
lthaler @ 3/22/2006 5:34:42 PM # Q
in fact it's functionnal among a lot of application


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