Feb 23, 2006 Technology

Buying a Phone

So, first off, I just wanted to say that I’m incredibly psyched about the Origami Project, whatever it turns out to be ;-) I sent mail to Scoble earlier today after he hyped it on his blog to tell him how psyched I was.

As the subject promised, though, this is the episode where Aaron tries to buy himself a new phone. And fails miserably. I currently have an Audiovox 5600, aka the HTC Typhoon, aka the Scoblephone. For what it is, it totally rocks. It gives me access to my corporate email, the web, etc. etc. etc.

However, as is the case for all good geeky devices, I have become bored with it. So, it was with great excitement that I recently discovered the release of the HTC Wizard, aka the T-Mobile MDA, aka the Cingular 8125. This guy offers everything you could want in a phone…almost. It has built-in WiFi, EDGE, Bluetooth, and Windows Mobile 5. It even offers a miniature qwerty keyboard. The only thing I dislike is that the CPU appears to be a touch too slow to run Skype, but I’m not convinced that this is really a deal-breaker for me.

What is trickier, though, is figuring out what the real, salient differences are between T-Mobile and Cingular, who can give me a better price, and whether there are any material differences between the 8125 and the MDA. So, with that in mind, let’s run through both devices and see what we can see.

HTC Wizard Specs Modes: GSM 850 / GSM 900 / GSM 1800 / GSM 1900 Weight: 5.64 oz Dimensions 4.25” x 2.28” x 0.93” Form Factor: Slide w/ qwerty keyboard Internal Antenna Battery Life Talk: 5.00 hours Standby: 200 hours Colors: 65,536 (16-bit) Resolution: 240 x 320 pixels OS: Windows Mobile 5.0 CPU: 200 MHz OMAP 850 processor Memory: 128 MB

T-Mobile and the MDA Contract: 1 Year Price: $399 - $50 mail in rebate = $349.99 (or $200 on Amazon after rebates) Preferred Plan for Me: Get More 1000 for $50 / month + Data Plan for $30/month = $80/month.

Cingular and the 8125 Contract: ??? 1 or 2 years, I’d imagine Price: $349 - $50 M.I. rebate = $299 Preferred Plan for Me: 900 minutes w/ rollover for $60 + $40 data plan = $100/month

Hmm, at first blush, it looks like the MDA may be the better deal; I can get a better price on my monthly service (which appears to include free T-Mobile HotSpot usage, which would be great if I ever visited Starbucks…).

I also prefer the visual style of the MDA over the 8125; the only thing that concerns me is the potentially anemic processor. Wait, and see, I suppose.