Hands-on Review: Clie SJ22
By: Dan Royea, PalmEvolution.com
March 10, 2003

Sony Clie PEG-SJ22When the SJ33 was announced and rumors of an SJ22 surfaced, many of us naturally assumed that they'd share the new flip-lid form-factor. Surprise! The SJ22 is basically identical to the earlier SJ30 (with its great hires color screen), but is clad in the subtly different SJ20 casing. There is one significant difference between the two models however; while the SJ30 debuted at $300, the list price of the SJ22 is $200.

Because PIC already reviewed the SJ30 in August 2002, we'll refer readers to the SJ30 Review instead of repeating our comments on the design, hardware and general impressions here.

Software: The only other main difference between the "new" SJ22 and the earlier SJ30 is the included software: the SJ22 doesn't have Docs-to-Go, and substitutes Kinoma instead of gMovie for movie viewing.

In addition to the core Palm OS applications, the standard suite of Clie programs are included [PictureGear, PhotoStand, Clie Mail, Clie Paint, World Alarm Clock, various utilities] plus a good selection of trial third-party applications.

Size & Weight: 4.1" x 2.8" x 0.66"; 4.9 oz.
Processor: 33MHz Dragonball VZ; OS 4.1
Memory: 16MB RAM (15MB avail.); 4MB ROM
Expansion: Memory Stick (not MagicGate or MSPro)
Screen: 320x320 pixel; 65K-color; backlit
Audio: piezoelectric speaker
Power: Lithium Ion (5.2V 800mAh)
Connectivity: Sony Interface Connector USB; IrDA

The "S"-series: Its not easy to keep track of the ever-changing Clie lineup, but we try :-)

Last year, the Clie entry-level lineup consisted of three models: the SL10, SJ20 and SJ30 priced at $150, $200 and $300. The "Spring '03" lineup drops the SL10, shifts the other devices down a notch, and introduces the souped-up SJ33 while maintaining the 150/200/300 price spread.

SJ30 / SJ22
green backlight
white backlight
65K color
  • VZ33
  • 8MB RAM
  • removable AAA batteries
  • VZ33
  • 16MB RAM
  • LiIon battery
  • SVZ66
  • 16MB RAM
  • LiIon Poly battery

With the SL10 gone, so is the option of a Clie that uses AAA batteries. What won't be missed is its screen, which suffered from poor contrast and slow refresh. The SJ20 provides a much better greyscale screen at the bottom end.

At the top of the line, the SJ33 66MHz adds audio and a fresh new design (see this PIC article for more).

And sitting in the middle: the SJ30, err sorry... the SJ22, with hardware specs very comparable to the T615C, introduced 14 months ago at $400. In that light, the SJ22 represents a lot of bang for the buck.

[ I'll refrain from a rant about Clie model naming conventions, but why wasn't the SJ22 called the SJ31? And with its new design, why not call the SJ33, the SR30 or something? ]

Sony Clie PEG-SJ22Family Affair With the introduction of the new TG50 expected to replace the T665C, the SJ-series become the only Clies using the Dragonball/OS4. The rest alll use ARM/OS5.

16MB RAM is now standard across all lines, but ironically, the SJ have ~15MB usable, while the TG and NX/NZ have only 11MB (due to 4MB being reserved for extra dynamic heap). To compensate, the OS5 devices are compatible with the faster, higher-capacity Memory Stick PRO media. The SJ-series are not, and are restricted to regular purple and the forthcoming 'Select' MemorySticks.

Another feature that the SJs lack is the "enhanced" Ir which allows control of Home Theatre gear. Also, instead of a cradle, a connector plug and USB and power cables are substituted.

A cradle is available for purchase seperately, as are numerous other accessories like the Audio adapter, GameController, Mini- and Compact Keyboards, Bluetooth MS, Camera MS and the skinny styluses. The cost of these relative to the device may mean that few owners will take this "incremental upgrade" path.

PIC Bottom Line

The SJ22 is a very capable handheld with a fantastic screen. At $200 it sets the benchmark for a PalmOS entry-level color handheld. Of course, we don't expect the other Licensees to stand still...

  • sweet screen
  • nice price
  • weak alarm
  • no cradle

RATING: 7.6 / 10
Design: 3 compact size, decent buttons
Features: 4 well-rounded, healthy RAM
Screen: 4 crisp, bright, evenly-lit
Battery: 3 rechargeable; acceptable life
Value: 5 great PDA for two bills

Clie SJ22 Product Homepage

2003 Dan Royea, PalmInfoCenter

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A good starter PDA (IMHO)

i2oadi2unnei2 @ 3/11/2003 11:50:58 AM #
I bought the SJ33 over a week ago for my fiancee and was contemplating if I should go for the SJ22, but seeing how fast she learned how to use her new toy, she now wants a better and faster PDA! My older sis seems to want a PDA and this SJ22 should be just right for her and the price isn't so bad either...

...|3eep |3eep!!...

RE: A good starter PDA (IMHO)
JKE @ 3/11/2003 12:04:34 PM #
I believe if you order from Sony you get the cradle for free right now but, wouldn't you th the sj30 should drop in price now makeing it a great deal

RE: A good starter PDA (IMHO)
Palm_Otaku @ 3/15/2003 5:15:07 PM #
The free cradle bonus was shown on the Hong Kong page, but I don't see that listed on the SonyStyle North American page.

$200 dollars? wow.

scaught @ 3/11/2003 1:08:45 PM #
thats a cheap cheap price for a brand new palm OS handheld with that screen, processor, expansion, jog dial, etc.

theyre really going for the throat of the palm OS device market.

RE: $200 dollars? wow.
hkklife @ 3/11/2003 2:55:25 PM #
Whoever (if anyone ever does) can deliver first on a Dragonball Palm OS unit with a passable color screen for $150 (intro price, not a clear 'em out clearance price) is going to really get some nice sales going on into the later part of '03, especially if they can get the price down to $120-130ish by Christmas 2003. $100 might be the real "impulse buy" limit, but I think that there are tons of folks out there who'd pay another $50 for color--if they new $100 cell phone has a color screen, then why doesn't their PDA as well?

I predict Palm will do it first, by basically shoehorning the lackluster m130 screen into the Zire casing, but the way Sony are charging along, they might surprise us all.

It'd be great, however, to see Sony somehow manage to come up with a color Clie that took AA batteries and had a reasonable button layout.

If nothing else, Palm stil offers the m125 to hardcore users who might be in the middle of nowhere for so long that they have no reasonable power source than disposable alkalines. Yes, I know there are gimmicky solar chargers and whatnot but those are probably more hassle than they are worth.

(One of the neatest additions I ever had for my old MicroTac cellphone was a huge piggyback AA battery adaptor. It snapped onto the back of the cellphone and gave you 30-40 mins of talk time with 6 AA batteries. Yes, it was wasteful but if you were really in a pinch or your car died on the side of the road, it was a lifesaver).

RE: $200 dollars? wow.
Fly-By-Night @ 3/12/2003 6:09:43 AM #
You can get (very cheap) mobile phone charge 'boosters' that run off 9v batteries -- you just plug them into the normal charging port. I've also seen wind-up ones a la Trevor Bayliss radio; but that sounds like too much hassle to me!


Ceci n'est pas une signature.

RE: $200 dollars? wow.
orb2069 @ 3/15/2003 9:33:23 PM #


... huge piggyback AA battery adaptor. It snapped onto the back of the cellphone and gave you 30-40 mins of talk time with 6 AA batteries.

should explain why you haven't seen this:

a color Clie that took AA batteries

Clie' (Which seems like the natural plural, IMO), stuffed full of propriatary multimedia hardware, are notorious battery hogs. So far, nothing beats a Li-ion pack for size/weight-to-watt/hour ratio. A alkaline-powered color Clie' would be EVEN bigger, and have an EVEN shorter battery life.

A Li-Ion-or-AAA arrangement like the one in the Handera 330 might work for them, but would still make the physical unit signifigantly larger.

...and had a reasonable button layout.

Can't help you on that one. Maybe they make more sense if you're japanese.

SJ whatever: I must carp!

mikecane @ 3/11/2003 2:11:37 PM #
Enough with the 320x320 already!! Where's the 320 x 480 lineup?! (The ones you don't have to twist like a chicken's neck or play with like a Transformers toy!)

RE: SJ whatever: I must carp!
i2oadi2unnei2 @ 3/11/2003 3:28:33 PM #
Wait a minute, I "THOUGHT" my NX "WAS" a transformer toy!!! *GRIN*

...|3eep |3eep!!...

RE: SJ whatever: I must carp!
abosco @ 3/11/2003 4:03:19 PM #
You talking smack on the NX? I'll twist your pencil neck you little...

I have to agree though. We need a TG50v. YOU HEAR THAT SONY? TEE GEE FIFTY VEE!

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RE: SJ whatever: I must carp!
Lucky Bob @ 3/11/2003 7:13:06 PM #
Gosh, us Palm users would die for a 320x320 screen, and yet that doesn't seem to be enough. The next thing you'll hear Sony users say is, "Gosh, my desktop has a 800x600 screen resolution. Why can't my PDA?!? WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU SONY?!?!?"

(Why do some people say you can kill two birds with one stone when it's hard enough killing one bird with two stones?)
RE: SJ whatever: I must carp!
nXt @ 3/11/2003 9:40:01 PM #
"Gosh, us Palm users would die for a 320x320 screen, and yet that doesn't seem to be enough."

Heh, well, the Sony Clie line has had 320x320 high res for over a year (probably 2 years?? i forgot, i bought one when the first came out)... (A great thing for early adopters)...

and well, 320x320 for us is BORING.
Palm users and Sony haters finally got a taste of 320x320, just wait till you get 320x480...
I myself just got myself an NR70 a couple months ago (my 5th Clie).

nXt's Clie Club
Place To Be For Sony Clie Discussion

RE: SJ whatever: I must carp!
scaught @ 3/12/2003 9:34:41 AM #
a slim 320x480 handheld without the N series transforming mini keyboard thing? droooooool.

i loved my handera 330, but software compatibility was more of an issue than i would have liked, though not horrible. software graffiti is the best.

320x480 is the future, hopefully. one hardware resolution to rule them all.

RE: SJ whatever: I must carp!
Jonathan_2k1 @ 3/14/2003 10:03:35 AM #
I don't think so. 320x480 still has the problem of power. Unless you can think up something really cool like a solar filp cover charger (which might be fun to try for my IIIe), then there's no hiding that these screens suck power like no tomorrow. I think 160x160 will die and be replaced with 320x320 for low and mid range 'helds and 320x480 for high end 'helds. Of course, there is always 640x960 for Sony's next high end 'held :-)

I've been working with computers for 1/4 of my life. Beat that.
RE: SJ whatever: I must carp!
mj6798 @ 3/16/2003 7:17:35 PM #
"320x480 still has the problem of power."

That's silly. At worst, it's going to use 50% more power than a 320x320. In practice, it's probably much less than that.

RE: SJ whatever: I must carp!
PixelPusher @ 3/17/2003 3:01:27 PM #
Regarding the signature "I've been working with computers for 1/4 of my life. Beat that."

How about 61% of my life ... I'm 44, started using computers when I was 17. I guess that makes me an old fart.


Hate the up/down button

rluxemburg @ 3/11/2003 2:59:39 PM #
Sony still hasn't gotten rid of the lousy up/down button on this model. The one the used in the old N series was much nicer IMHO.

RE: Hate the up/down button
i2oadi2unnei2 @ 3/11/2003 3:29:37 PM #
This is true, however, I rarely use the up and down button on my NX because I have not gotten used to the 'clam shell' design and have always used it as a 'tablet' style. On the NX, in the tablet form, it would have been nice if Sony added the buttons near the lower portion of the screen that is taken up by a half inch black plastic thingy...

...|3eep |3eep!!...

Bottom line/Rating suggestion

abosco @ 3/11/2003 3:58:10 PM #
Is there, by chance, a way that you can turn off the inactive InfoPalms? It's hard to explain, but what I'm trying to say is that it is hard to read the rating if it has 4/5 InfoPalms because the fifth InfoPalm is still there, but only a little darker. What I'm asking is can you remove that last InfoPalm/half InfoPalm instead of just making it transparent?

Just a suggestion. Thanks.

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sj-22 "bump" on the back ?

orol @ 3/12/2003 6:57:56 AM #

just one question, does the sj-22 have the same small "bump" (where the "batteries" of sl/10 should be) on the back as sj-30 does ?
i mean, is the casing _exactly_ the same with the only exception of that black "frame" around display ?
if this the cas i would prefere sj-30 to sj-22 since i like the silver design more :o)