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Q: I’ve been reading about so-called smart phones for a while now. How smart are they and what do they do?
— Allen Gordon, Los Angeles
A: For many entrepreneurs and executives, “smart” phones have been the way to go for quite a while. These devices, although not new to the market, have been getting a much-needed second look because of several features: e-mail, Web browsing, phone, and PDA functionality in one. The smaller size options have also become a factor.
The Palm-based Treo 600 from Handspring, for example, features a QWERTY keyboard as well as a built-in digital camera, calendar, and contact functionality. Samsung’s SPH-i300 features a stylus and lets users access Palm-based applications as well as phone, e-mail, and Web features.
Newer smart phones, like the Kyocera 7135 (a featured gift in the bags of this year’s Oscar nominees) and Samsung’s SCH-i600, offer increased functionality in yet a smaller form. The SCH-i600, however, uses the Microsoft Windows Mobile Smartphone operating system and features a crisp 65,000-color screen. The devices cost in the $300 range, not including service with your local provider. For more information on how these smart phones perform, check out upcoming sections of Techwatch.