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Now that smartphones are jam-packed with features such as MP3 players, QWERTY keypads, video and still cameras, and e-mail, it’s tough to imagine what they could be lacking. And yet, any missing feature can become a distinguishing factor when choosing the smartphone that’s right for you.
Take, for example, the Motorola Q and the Palm Treo 700W. Since its release this summer, the Q has received rave reviews for its sleek design, light weight, and bright screen. For those who love viewing video or playing multimedia games, the Q is the phone for you. The Q is available at a competitive price of $199, compared to the Treo, priced at $399.
Both phones offer Bluetooth wireless capability, high-speed wireless access, e-mail functionality, and the ability to run on the Windows Mobile platform. Both of these phones feature EVDO, or Evolution Data Optimized, a newer wireless technology that provides fast Web access for viewing video clips or playing multiple 3-D media games. If you are traveling in fringe areas of EVDO, however, coverage becomes spotty, similar to when you travel outside of your cellular provider’s network and you’re roaming. These phones “have high-speed wireless support, but if you aren’t in a covered area, you will drop down to a lower-speed wireless network, which means they aren’t performing as they were designed to perform,” says Joel Evans, chief geek at Geek.com, an online source for tech-related news and reviews.
But when viewing e-mails and attachments, there are noticeable differences between the two. While both use Windows Mobile software, each device runs different systems. Q users can view documents, but they are unable to edit, or even copy and paste. By comparison, the Treo’s version of Microsoft Office Mobile Suite allows users to make changes to files.
For people who want to use the Q and Treo for e-mail, it’s important to note that they differ from popular Blackberry wireless devices. The Q and the Treo both handle attachments much better than the Blackberry, which is best for short e-mails. On the other hand, the Blackberry offers direct push technology, which means that every e-mail is sent and received in real time. While push technology is available in Treo, the feature is absent from the Motorola Q, although the company has promised an update in the near future.
- Treo 700W – Price: $399
- Dimensions: 4.4″ X 2.3″ X 0.9″
- What it Packs: Windows Mobile Pocket PC
- Phone Edition; rich media capabilities allows users to play back audio and video content
- What it Lacks: Limited (but expanding) wireless broadband access to EVDO network; screen has poor 240×240 pixel resolution
Motorola Q – Price: $199
- Dimensions: 4.33″ x 2.52″ x 0.45″
- What it Packs: Incredibly thin, sleek design and light weight; miniSD card slot for extendable storage of documents, photos, music, and video
- What it Lacks: Direct-push technology for sending and receiving e-mail in real time; editing, copying, and pasting in Word and Excel documents