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And the Winner Is...

I’d promised some time back to keep you posted on my adventures in the land of consumer electronics. After a bit of comparison shopping, both for cell-phone/PDA combo devices and for wireless phone services, I wound up buying the Kyocera 7135 and sticking it out with my friends at Verizon. My service is unimproved, except, of course, for having switched over to a plan that gives me more minutes. The phone, on the other hand, is a work of genius.

PC Magazine recently gave the 7135 their “Editor’s Choice” designation, and while the Mac-bigot in me wants to be suspicious of both their taste and their motives, I have to admit that I’m with them on this one. The phone itself is well-designed, with the standard phone keypad that the Treo is missing, but it’s in the plethora of features that the conjunction of phone and PalmOS bring together that the thing really shines.

The first night I had it, I was sitting in a movie theater with a slew of my students, waiting for the preview screening of Matrix Reloaded to start, and kinda goofing around with some of the functions. I started up the Eudora client on the phone, wondering if I could check my e-mail; forty-five seconds and a few configurations later, my e-mail was merrily downloading to my phone. The cost? Plan minutes. That’s it.

I begin to realize how my geekiness is shining all over that last paragraph, but I’m too enamored of this device to care.

Oh, and BT: it’s got a built-in MP3 player. This, however, is its one true failing: the built-in memory in the thing is too small for any substantive music (16MB), and if you plug in a 64MB memory card, you can almost carry around a whole CD.

The bottom line: I love this thing, but I’m still hoping for the mythical iPod/Palm/cellphone combo device to become a reality. But hopefully not too soon; I don’t want to suffer years of technoenvy until I feel I’ve gotten my money’s worth out of this one.


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