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Wireless Networking Hardware Technology

Best Bluetooth Capable Cell Phone? 100

Posted by Cliff
from the better-reception-with-gold-fillings dept.
masonbrown asks: "I find myself confronted with a profound decision that could significantly affect the next couple of years of my life. As an excited owner of a new Aluminum Powerbook 15-inch, I'm shopping for a Bluetooth enabled cell phone. I've checked Apple's Bluetooth Compatible Device List as a reference, and had some great initial impressions of the Sony-Ericsson T-616/T-610 phone (direct link unavailable), until I read the Amazon reviews that said the display fades in sunlight and the buttons are impossible to maneuver with human fingers. Can Slashdot readers give some feedback on what Bluetooth phones you have, how well they work with iSync, and how happy you are with your phone?"
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Best Bluetooth Capable Cell Phone?

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  • by __david__ (45671) * on Friday December 12, 2003 @07:00AM (#7699235) Homepage
    I've got a Sony-Ericsson T-616 and I'm happy with it. Yes, the screen is not very visible in direct sunlight, but it hasn't really bugged me too much at all. I guess I don't use my phone outside too much.

    I've got a Mac and a $30 bluetooth usb nub thing and the bluetooth stuff just works. I use iSync to synchronize my iCal and AddressBook with the phone and don't have any problems. I've been impressed with the how well everything seems to work together. It's pretty easy to get the pictures off with Apple's USB file browser. The camera is gimicky but it is fun to play with. :-)

    As for the buttons, they seem like every other phone to me, no smaller or unusable than my old nokia. I wouldn't consider them unusable at all really...

    The menus aren't quite as fast as my old nokia, but they are zippy enough to not slow me down, or annoy me. My friend has a 68i and its menus are the slowest thing on the planet. It takes a good 5 seconds to get into the address book. The T616 fixes all of that. It also has a sane way of locking the screen that doesn't erase your address book entry if you are in the wrong screen (like the 68i--which causes my friend to scream curses about once a week when he does this).

    I definitely recommend it.

    -David
    • I agree that the T616 is a good phone. I've loved mine since I got it. I also use a Jabra bluetooth headset with it and voice dialing... I don't have to use the phone much at all. I've not had issues that really bug me, the keys work fine, even to play the games, the screen looks fine at most times(I hate sunlight, so I avoid that) and I love the feature set.

    • I got my phone from amazon, which is offering the phone and a bluetooth headset for -100.00 (you make 100$ after rebates) for a year long contract. It supports GSM 900,1800 and 1900 networks which makes it a great plus when travelling over the world. Plus t-mobile (Its also available with ATT) plays nice about unlocking the phone for use in other countries , which is a big plus for me. Camera is fun and addictive and the reception has been decent. An attractive form factor and the nice joystick for naviga
    • Just two days ago I threw my 68i against a wall...3 times until it REALLY shattered.

      That phone, combined with AT&T's GSM service was so aggravating, I came very close many times to throwing it out the window without the replacement.

      It's Garbage.

      Also, more on topic...
      Be sure to check user reviews of the GSM cell service in your area, as my complaint was probably 75% with AT&T's GSM, more so than the phone.

      You can also check out the bluetooth website [bluetooth.com] or, more specifically, the list of bluetooth p [bluetooth.com]

    • Sony-Ericsson has come out with the T-630 which is supposed to address complaints with the screen on the T-610/616. It should be hitting the market anytime.
      • Alternatively there is a new Z600 clamshell version out with the same screen as T630. And that one is already out. Though both are Eu phones, no idea when/if they'll find their way to the US. (Although IIRC Z600 is triple-band, so that might work.)

        Otherwise I'd recommend looking into Nokia's phones. I've just done some extensive research and it's quite clear that SE phones are top with regards to BT support. Closely followed by Nokia. Most other manyfacturers only have basic BT support. (Ie, headset and tr
  • by a.koepke (688359) on Friday December 12, 2003 @07:00AM (#7699237)
    Amazon reviews that said the display fades in sunlight

    This is actually a common problem with most of the new colour display mobile phones. I own the Nokia 6610 [nokia.com] (no bluetooth) and do experience this problem when the phone is used outdoors. I have yet to see a colour screen mobile phone that does not have problems being used in full sun.

    One thing you need to look out for is there are some phones that are shipping with data-only bluetooth. So if you are planning to use a headset be careful of that. I was looking at the Nokia 7650 [nokia.com.au] at one point but decided not to get it for that reason. The specs list [nokia.com.au] contains bluetooth but I found out later it was data-only.
  • Sony Ericsson T681 (Score:5, Informative)

    by jpkunst (612360) on Friday December 12, 2003 @07:09AM (#7699263) Homepage

    I'm happy with my Sony Ericsson T68i [amazon.co.uk]. I use it with iSync on OS X 10.3 without problems. It's a basic phone without useless extras like a built-in camera (though you can buy an add-on camera for it, IIRC). I only use bluetooth for syncing, I don't know if you can also use a bluetooth headphone with it.

    JP

    • I too have a T68i, in fact I'm posting from my iPAQ connected with the T68i. :)

      It is a bit bare bones by today's standards - but OTOH it's a bit cheaper for that very reason. So if you're looking for cheap and reliable - I recommend it.

      OTOH if you're looking for something with a usefull camera, don't even think about it. I have the separate camera - and it is not very usable. It is slow, yields low quality images (640X480, always blurry), and the integration sucks (eg I can't beam images from the in-cam m
      • I too have a T68i, in fact I'm posting from my iPAQ connected with the T68i. :)

        Excuse me, what's your address? I just want to come over and, uh, borrow your setup.

        (When I have an income again, I'm gonna get me something like this and never be offline again! That's a good thing, right?)

        It is a bit bare bones by today's standards - but OTOH it's a bit cheaper for that very reason.

        I think the barebones approach is the right one in any case. Indeed, even the T68i isn't barebones enough for me. I'm perfe

    • Yuck! I own one, and its the poorest phone of the seven I've owned. Most people complain about the menus being slow, but ironically that hasn't annoyed me too much. What does annoy me is the dirt-poor reception the phone gets. My girlfriend has a Motorola phone on the same network I use (AT&T's Next Generation network in the US), and she consistently gets better reception than I do. And, I'm not talking about the number of meaningless bars of signal strength the phone shows, either. I'm talking about h

  • Nokia 6310i (Score:5, Informative)

    by fuzzybunny (112938) on Friday December 12, 2003 @07:11AM (#7699270) Homepage Journal

    I can't recommend this thing highly enough.

    It's got:

    -Tri-band GSM
    -bluetooth, GPRS/WAP (big deal)
    -good sound quality
    -great reception
    -well-organized display and menu functions
    -really well-designed keypad (not soft & mushy)
    -good shape (fits into your hand well, very slim, easily slides into and out of your pocket, and is comfortable to talk on
    -robust power connector
    -no fiddly moving parts to break

    In short, it's a phone. It does phone stuff, and does it well. The thing's built like a Russian tank; I have dropped it on concrete at numerous angles, gotten it wet, smacked it around and generally abused it, and like all my Nokia phones, it keeps on chugging.

    Don't buy this if you want a toy (MMS, photo, cute polyphonic ringtones, fashionable shape, whatever.) But as a tool, it rocks. In fact, this phone is the best piece of industrial design I've had the pleasure of using this year.

    • Oh yeah, I should probably mention that

      -I dunno if the 6310i is available in the US
      -The phone's major problem is inability to save vcards that are SMS'ed to you.
      -Just checked google, and it indicates isync & 6310i don't work, as the Nokia doesn't use SyncML.

      So best ignore my original post (it's still a damn good phone, though.) Sorry.
      • >The phone's major problem is inability to save vcards that are SMS'ed to you. They are saved to the phone memory, not to the SIM card. If you change your address book to use the phone's memory, they should work.
      • Yes. It's available in the US. I bought mine at a AT&T Wireless store about 6 months ago. At the time it was the only phone on the market that had bluetooth and J2ME, I'm not sure if that has changed or not. In the meantime I've found that it works with _all_ my mothballed 6190 accessories and batteries, a very big bonus.
    • I shall be upgrading my phone after Xmas but damnit I want all the things you listed and MMS, photo, cute polyphonic ringtones, fashionable shape etc. After all I need to be able to show it off to my mates in the pub. The phone I mean. Why do gimmicky toys and functionality have to be mutually exclusive? :(

      Yeah I know I want the moon on a stick too. :)

      • OK, fair enough, but consider this:

        What do you think will impress your buds (and chicks) more: something bright yellow with tiger stripes that plays the Stars & Stripes Forever in glorious Surround-o-Rama THX, with a pop-up 3D projection holograph screen to show your streaming nudie clips of Kylie in the shower...

        ...or an aloof display of studied elegance, using a tasteful accessory in a businesslike manner?

        Now that I mention it, the second sounds more likely to get you respect, but the first would
      • I want the moon on a stick too.

        What you giving us this for? Give it to Stewart Lee, he's the one who wants it.
    • I've had one for a year now and I have been pretty satisfied with it, though I managed to break something inside it when I dropped it once and the vibrating alert rattles louder than default ringtone at maximum volume... Still its easy to turn the virbating off and it still works okay though :)

      Don't buy this if you want a toy (MMS, photo, cute polyphonic ringtones, fashionable shape, whatever.)

      I remember seeing on a BBC news article that it is fashionable for kids in the UK not to have the latest phone

    • Re:Nokia 6310i (Score:4, Interesting)

      by earthy (11491) on Friday December 12, 2003 @07:51AM (#7699384)
      I've carefully considered which phone to choose when
      last upgrading. The balance between the 6310i and the
      T610 was as follows:

      Features they've both got:
      - triband GSM
      - bluetooth, gprs, wap
      - good sound quality
      - well organized menus
      - nice shape
      - no fiddly moving parts
      - addressbook
      - calendar

      Features the 6310i is better at than the T610:
      - reception
      - power connector

      Features the T610 is better at than the 6310i
      - *will* sync with iSync, as opposed to the 6310i which will not
      - higher resolution color screen
      - built in toy-camera
      - very much nicer ring
      - smaller without getting unusable

      Now, given that I live in Europe and we generally get good
      reception *anyway*, I didn't really care about the reception
      quality. I *do* care about the iSync compatibility though. As I carry my phone practically everywhere, that means I have my calendar with me at all times. I cannot get over how extremely useful this is. Oh, and dialling from the full
      addressbook in my iBook has it's advantages as well. Nowadays I just keep the numbers of people that I actually
      tend to call in my phone, making dialling from the phonebook quite a bit quicker.

      If Nokia were to come out with a worthy successor to the 6310i that had roughly the same format but with a higher
      resolution screen and SyncML capability... that phone would
      absolutely rock and be my first choice. Unfortunately, the
      T610 currently beats the 6310i on features... and it attracts more attention from women as well. (Actually, almost all other owners of T610's I've seen are women...).
    • Agreed, I've got a 6310i myself and it's great. Definetly rock solid. You also forgot to mention the great battery it has. ;-)

      Unfortunetly though, Nokia kind of fell through [securityfocus.com] on their bluetooth implementation. (i.e. don't go walking around with bluetooth enabled on it. Think wardriving for cell phones, kind of). Another poster also mentioned that it doesn't support iSync. Shame for both of those

      • I use it, works great with my 12" PowerBook. osx 10.3 It has phone, video, etc. I use the bluetooth mainly to transfer photos or to sync address book data. you can even sync todo list and calender. Odd keypad though. Doesn't matter to me, I never use it(phone numbers in my address books)
        • Yeah, I'm thinking of buying a refurb iBook or PowerBook with my Christmas bonus (yes, they do still exist, it surprised me too!). I love my 6310i, but it's not iSync compatible. It looks like the only affordable Nokias that are, have goofy keypad configurations. Why oh why do companies screw up a good thing just to be "different"? I don't think I could handle another brand, I'm on my third (or fourth?) Nokia and they just feel natural - anytime I use someone else's phone I'm lost.
          • I think the 3650 is great (disclaimer: i have one). The keypad really isn't as bad as people make it out to be, and it has the best feature-set of any phone on the market.

            And if you don't like the keypad, the 3660 [nokia.com] will be here soon.

            I recently got to play with a S-E T616, and while it's a very sexy little phone, it's feature-set leaves much to be desired. It's camera's max resolution is 288x253, and it only has a couple mb of memory built-in (non-upgradable). Running J2ME applets is painfully slow.

            The 365
            • Well, that 3660 is a little better, I could probably live with that, especially in the silver color. I assume it'll be iSync-able?

              The killer phone to me, though, would be an updated color-screen iSync-able Bluetooth-standards-compliant version of my 6310i (maybe with Symbian, although that's not a necessity) at a lower price point. I don't want to pay for a camera I'll never use - I have a 5.1MP Olympus and a 35mm SLR for taking pictures. When it comes right down to it, even the color screen is unnecessary
              • I don't use iSync (or a Mac, for that matter), but the 3650 speaks SyncML. Anything else which does should sync with it fine.
  • by bjpirt (251795)
    I've got the t610 and it is a great phone. I use it wiht my 12" PB G4 and the combination is fantastic.
    The amount of integration is amazing and the whole process is _very_ easy.
    I haven't had any problems with the key sizo or the screen brightness (at least no more than other screens)

    Also, you can do some really cool stuff with Salling Clicker [mac.com] which is a great (and inexpensive) piece of software
    • Agreed. I use the T610 with iSync for my Powerbook G4 400, and the thing works great. It doesn't mind the cold Canadian weather and even took some hits from me falling while skiing. Still trucking along. The camera sucks though.
  • I too have a T610... (Score:4, Informative)

    by JazzManDRP (158742) <slashdot@NOSpAm.puzey.net> on Friday December 12, 2003 @07:21AM (#7699299) Homepage
    ... and while the display isn't ideal, it's certainly not a problem. All it takes is holding the 'phone at a suitable angle and the display is perfectly usable; some of the higher-contrast themes also help.

    The buttons I actually find nicer than many units on the market - though it is an irritation that some of the buttons' functions can't be changed from their (never-used) default.

    For those Windows users who have this phone, I find floAt's Mobile Agent [xinium.com] a most useful piece of software (though occasionally buggy). A useful feature at work is the option to automatically lock and mute your machine as you leave the room (with phone). Useful for forgetful souls (like me ;)

    • same here, buttons dont take too long to get used too, the bluetooth howto that comes with mandrake is sufficient to get bluetooth going. the games + ringtones rock, Sony offer some games that use bluetooth via mophun, such as their minigolf game.
    • As do I. I think its an excellent phone with one caveat; It's too quiet when it rings. I don't like musical ring tones so I stick with the phone's old telephone style ring ring tone. Otherwise its a great phone. Make sure whatever you choose you get something compatible with Salling Software's [mac.com] excellent Clicker [mac.com] Application. It's a collection of scripts that allow you to use your bluetooth phone to control various Apps including iTunes and Keynote. Even use the phone as a pointing device, for which the T610
  • by darkpurpleblob (180550) on Friday December 12, 2003 @07:26AM (#7699311)
    Why would a /. reader possibly care if the display fades in sunlight?
  • siemens s55 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hkon (46756) on Friday December 12, 2003 @07:35AM (#7699342) Homepage
    First of all... getting married or moving to a different country significantly affects your life. Getting a phone does not.

    I'm quite happy with my siemens s55. iSync finds it without any problems, and I can sync contacts, address-book and tasks to and from iCal. Haven't been able to get my iBook connected to my ISP via bluetooth, though. Of course, just because I'm not able to do it doesn't mean it's not possible :-) I also think the screen on the s55 is better than the one on the SE610, especially outdoors.
    • I've also got an S55, and it's generally good, but I have very large hands, and so sometimes I wish the buttons were a bit bigger to suit my fingers - but of course to get that the whole phone would need to be bigger, and it's actually pretty much the perfect size. Also works perfectly with my 12" 1GHz G4 Powerbook via Bluetooth, although I've not tried Internet access through it and am unlikely to unless I'm desperate due to the cost of data calls.

      And it's better than my old phone, which had got to the po
    • I have an S56, which I believe is identical to the S55 except for the frequencies.

      It sucks. It is a bad phone in every respect except for two: it is very small, and it has decent audio quality.

      Syncing would result in duplicate (triplicate, etc.) copies of everything. Plus, you can't fit all the information in an iCal or Address Book entry into the phone's calendar or phone book, so it's pretty much worthless. (For example, if you put someone's home and business address in Address Book, only one of them sh
      • >> Syncing would result in duplicate (triplicate, etc.) copies of everything Wouldn't this be a function of your sync software? (Obviously a problem for me though: I've been looking at this phone, and would be using the same software.) >> home and business address in Address Book, only one of them shows up in the phone Ugh: I *hated* every Palm device I ever bought/used/set eyes on because of this. Have they addressed it?
  • Review (Score:5, Informative)

    by darkpurpleblob (180550) on Friday December 12, 2003 @07:42AM (#7699358)
    The O'Reilly Network has a review of the T610 [oreillynet.com].
  • How about the Sony Ericsson P800 (or better still P900)? It is a PDA and camera too, that way you get some more meaningfull reasons for using bluetooth than only syncing phone numbers...
    • ....and a gigantic mega momma phone that when put in your pocket causes your pants to fall down.

      These all in 1 things are not for me until they get significantly smaller/lighter.

      For me Bluetooth just to sync phone numbers was worth it, and I love my T616. I haven't been bothered outside, and I have no problems with the buttons.
      • They can't get significantly smaller because then the display would be too small for the PDA-style work it has to do.
      • Have you used a P900? I didn't like the P800 at all because it was huge and the screen was a bit crap, but I've got a P900 now which replaced my T610 and it's hardly bigger with the flip taken off.

        The functions are amazing, the screen looks great and it saves me having to take my MP3 player with me anymore too :-)
  • Sony Ericsson Z600 (Score:2, Informative)

    by denisb (411264)
    The Clamshell edition of the T610 is actually a lot better imho. It is a bit bulkier than the T610, but makes up for it with a better and bigger keypad, a much prettier exterior. Louder ringtones if needed, better screen (which supposedly is better in sunlight). Overall an excellent phone, and using it with bluetooth is a joy :)

    As for the direct links to these phones, very simple :
    T610 [www.sonyericsson]
    Z600 [www.sonyericsson]
  • The new Nokia 6600 [nokia.com] could be a good choice, too...

    And here's another link: Product page [nokia.com]
  • Sony T610 and Linux (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Conor (2745)
    Can anyone recommend good software to use with Linux and this phone? Something like Gnokii would be great, I used it with my old Nokia 6210 and found it very useful.
    • by G Money (12364) *
      You're best bet is Multisync [sourceforge.net]. It's a fantastic app that can sync phones with Evolution,LDAP directories, Palm, SyncML, Opie/Zaurus devices, and Windows CE/ME devices. I use it between my Zaurus, my company LDAP server, Evolution, and my T68i. I'm getting a Nokia 3650 soon and even though it's not completely supported yet (it uses binary ML), I'm hoping it will soon. Multisync is scheduled to be included with the main gnome distribution somewhere around the 2.6 or 2.8 timeframe but is very usable now. G
  • I've been wondering for some time (without putting out much effort searching) which phones out there play nicely with Bluetooth enabled Palm Pilots. i'd like to be able to use the Palm Pilot to access the web and email (SSH would also be handy, but is a secondary to the others). Anyone do this currently?
    • I currently have a SE t610 and a Tungsten T3. With this setup I can check email, browse the web, and VNC via the bluetooth connection. There is even a program similar to Trillian which will let you AOLIM, ICQ, Yahoo, and MSN messenger. Within 5 minutes of getting the phone I was up and running.
    • I have a 612 & T3 and the combination works flawlessly. Mocha Telnet [mochasoft.dk] includes SSH2 (not just SSH1, which is a problem with most other clients), and is usable even though it doesn't play very well with the T3's display (menus aren't expecting b&w, from what I can tell, but the terminal itself is fine).
      It's really a great combination, as I can choose whether I need just the WAP on the phone or carry the palm for those times when you need a prompt.
    • Interesting. I'm about to get a shiny new Tungsten to work with my T68i, and I'm wondering whether I will be able to get into my email that's on Outlook Web Access (OWA). The interface is very frames rich and apparently it uses something called NTML authentication. Does anyone know whether the Tungsten's browser can handle that? I suppose VNC'g to a machine that does have a full-blown browser will work but involve the transmission of LOTS of data (GPRS here, as most places, is billed on data throughput).

      On
  • T68i, T630 or Z600 (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bud (1705) on Friday December 12, 2003 @09:21AM (#7699766)

    Funny, I've just been looking for a replacement for my T39m... let's see what this discussion can bring up. Here's some highlights of my "research" to date.

    If you're on a budget, look at the T68i and the Nokia N-Gage. I think they are listed at around EUR 250.

    • The T68i has a rock-steady Bluetooth implementation. It's what other phones are compared to. I've heard a lot of positive things about this phone, but on the other hand it's getting older (and cheaper!) all the time. If you feel you can survive with the limited (?) feature set, the T68i provides a lot of bang for the buck.
    • The nGage is interesting mostly because it's the cheapest Symbian-enabled phone on the market and it's got built-in audio capabilities (FM radio, MP3 playback) and official iSync support. You don't have to be a gaming addict to use it. It'll have that coolness factor for a year or so, and then it'll be very uncool for two years more until it breaks... You'll need to buy a SD-card reader because beaming dozens of MP3 files over Bluetooth is a pain.

    If money isn't an issue, the T630, the Z600 or the Nokia 6600 will fit your requirements. These are listed at around EUR 600.

    • The T630 and Z600 are supposed to fix the shortcomings in the T610 (washed-out screen, bad antenna, loudspeaker not loud enough etc etc). They've just been released and are currently expensive, possibly getting a price reduction in early 2004. I would say that these phones are the logical upgrade path for T39m and T68i owners. There's a very positive Z600 review over at Mobileburn [mobileburn.com].
    • The Nokia 6600 is a fairly good phone. We have three at my workplace. If you're fed up with the oh-so-limited 7650, or the round-keyboard 3650, or the GPRS-disabled 9210, this is probably the phone for you. Third-party software is abundant. Getting the 6600 to work with iSync currently requires some h4x0ring, but no doubt it'll be officially supported with OS X 10.3.2

    Current mobile phones are built for a three-year life span. They are not supposed to last much longer than that. Regardless of what you buy today, it's 50-50 that you're going Christmas shopping for a new phone again in 2006.

    It could be a good idea to stick with your current brand, unless you're deeply unsatisfied with the menu layout or the physical quality or something. I've been using Ericssons for a while and have difficulties adapting to Nokia's Symbian UI: the N-Gage is compelling but the UI kind of rules it out.

    --Bud

    • by gl4ss (559668) on Friday December 12, 2003 @09:35AM (#7699885) Homepage Journal
      *The nGage is interesting mostly because it's the cheapest Symbian-enabled phone on the market and it's got built-in audio capabilities (FM radio, MP3 playback) and official iSync support. You don't have to be a gaming addict to use it. It'll have that coolness factor for a year or so, and then it'll be very uncool for two years more until it breaks... You'll need to buy a SD-card reader because beaming dozens of MP3 files over Bluetooth is a pain.*

      actually you wont need. first it uses mmc card, and second it comes with an usb cable(that intrestingly enough you can't use with the pcsuite). otherwise it's just like the other s60 phones(except, way much more memory for the applications to run in, this is something that is not usually said anywhere tho, so you can have opera, wirelessirc, and some game running at the same time without running out). i traded to ngage from 3650 because of the memory and headphones jack(for playing those mp3's), also it's better for playing around with the emulators than what 3650 is(the camera i didn't use all that much, and it's crap. i didn't have any issues with 3650's nifty pad though). bluetooth works the same on both for me(no issues).

      6600 is very nice but expensive and still buggy(and some programs are just dependant on the things that are spesific to 6.1 symbian phones and wont run on 6600).

      if the symbian ui feels awkward there's some programs out there to use as alternative main menu(quicklaunchers of sorts). though, the ui is one the best ui's for small multi use devices out there imho(hardest thing maybe is to get used to multitasking and switching between programs that are running).
    • If the T68i is anything like the T68, rock-steady is the last description that should be used... I suspect the T610 or P800 are a lot better in Bluetooth usability.
      • That's mostly a software issue, and the differences between the t68i and the t68 are a) software and b) cosmetics. Yes, from everything I've read, the t68i is much better in this regard.

      • So what devices did you use it with?

        In this context, "rock-steady" should be appended with "...compared to anything else on the market."

        As a rule, if a device does not pair properly with the T68i, or has problems discovering it, or can't connect reliably or simply loses the connection, it usually exhibits the same problems also with other devices.

        Many times in the past, Ericsson has gone to the extreme to get all features in a device up to par, even if the device is delayed or even killed off before i

        • Just pop onto eBay and they are all over the place at about $60 for one that can be used on any network. The phone was released officially only in Europe but it works like a charm here in the US. I'm using mine on T-Mobile, which is the geekiest Mobile Phone company on the planet. All You Can Eat 802.11b HotSpot usage (Borders, Starbucks) or AYCE GPRS connectivity only costs $20 more a month.

          This is a no-BS phone. No color screen, no polyphonic or .WAV ringtones, no built-in camera, a couple of games (a Po
    • "If you're on a budget, look at the T68i and the Nokia N-Gage. I think they are listed at around EUR 250."

      The Nokia N-Gage? Are you high? Maybe if you want to use a headset with, but otherwise, you'll have the weirdest experience trying to use the unit like a traditional phone up against your ear. But don't take my word for it, check out the N-Gage's "spoof" page here:

      http://www.sidetalking.com

  • > profound decision that could significantly affect the next couple of years of my life

    Dude, if you think selecting a Bluetooth cell phone is profound, just wait until you graduate high school or get laid for the first time.

    Anyway, if you don't want a color phone or want something cheap with lots of features (without bothering with pesky rebates), check out the Sony Ericsson R520m. A couple of years behind the curve, but it's got every major new feature and a nice legible b/w display. Plus they usuall
  • by Zebra_X (13249)
    Voice Clarity: Excellent
    Display: Bright, Clear, Readable
    Camera: You won't be taking any family photos with it.
    Battery Life: Excellent
    Weight: Very Light

    The keys ARE small, but they are spaced apart nicely, so unless you are andre the giant, I think one can get used to it.

    As far as cellphone UI's go - this will be my seventh cellphone and it is the best I've used to date. The graphics, sounds and layout are very good and easy to navigate.

    One of the things I like best is an IMAP/POP compatible e-mail reader
  • The Siemens S56 (I personally think) has the best bang/buck. I got mine when it 1st came out for $99, plus a $50 MIR (mail in rebate); it includes a color screen (back lit), bluetooth, games, IrDA, a file manager, polyphonic ringtones, voice/memo recorder (can even record phone conversations), etc. just a whole bunch of goodies. The only drawback I see is that it doesn't have a built in camera like the SE T616, however, it does have a camera attachment you can buy. Also, many have claimed that the batter
  • That depends on whether you're in 3G coverage or not... if not, why the hell hasn't anybody mentioned the Siemens S55 yet? it's all phone (no camera or crap) with a good bluetooth implementation. It seemed awfully sturdy to me, too. You'll probably have to order one from someplace crazy, though; I haven't seen them for sale at retail in the US. If you like clamshells and/or toys, the Motorola V600 is going to be out RSN, and that's a pretty rockin' phone. They finally updated the V.60 -- it's a metal-s

  • Nokia 3650 (Score:2, Informative)

    I've had the Nokia 3650 for about two months now. It's an amazing device and if you go to a place thats willing to wheel and deal (like I did) you can end up with the phone for $25 after rebate (yes, twenty five.) There is currently a $150 rebate through T-Mobile on the phone and I was able to talk the places down to $175 from the T-Mobile price of $300 (and T-Mobile is a great service provider as well, I've been using them for over two years now and I've yet to have a problem (with the exception of my firs
    • I also have a 3650.

      I echo most of the above comments but would add a few things.

      - Forget MIDI ringtones, you can use a wav file!!! This is really cool!
      - Bluetooth does massacre battery life 4 days down to 2 days!
      - Nokia have a strange method of doing bluetooth. If you try to connect to the serial port from a PC the phone accepts the connection, then drops it, then initiates a new connection back to the PC. Odd - took a bit of searching before I worked out how to connect it.
      - The address book /pim is far m
  • The sunlight problems aren't really a problem. It has to be direct sunlight before there's a problem seeing the screen. Ie, it'll rarely happen unless you're TRYING to see how bad it is. How often are you trying to make a call outdoors in direct sunlight? Besides, you ARE planning on using voice dialing with your Bluetooth headset right?

    "What about receiving calls?" you say? Any phone that doesn't have personalized ringtones isn't worth getting anyway. Even if you WERE in direct sunlight you'd still
    • I just tried the phone out for two weeks, and while it's a nice phone I had some issues with it.

      1. You have to press down on the joystick to bring up the menu and to make selections. However, the joystick is also used to access certain functions. For example if you move the joystick down it will select the call list. If you move it up it will select (at least with AT&T anyway) mMode. This is pretty annoying because often when trying to push the joystick to make a selection, I will instead move it
      • 1. You have to press down on the joystick to bring up the menu and to make selections. However, the joystick is also used to access certain functions. For example if you move the joystick down it will select the call list. If you move it up it will select (at least with AT&T anyway) mMode. This is pretty annoying because often when trying to push the joystick to make a selection, I will instead move it a bit and it won't register a down push and it'll go to the call log or mMode.

        Yes it can be tricky

        • Yes it can be tricky to press down instead of in a direction but I think your description is a little off. Only at the main screen will down choose the contact list, right choose the menu, left choose the calendar and up open the browser. It's not like a slip of the joystick in _other_ menus will suddenly take you away to some other area entirely. The worst that happens is you scroll down one menu item instead of selecting the one that was highlighted and have to go back one level and try again.

          I'm not try
  • I'm locked in to Sprint PCS for various reasons, WLNP notwithstanding. Unfortunately, Sprint has yet to offer a Bluetooth-enabled phone. Promises of the release of the Sony T608 seem like vaporware, although the latest reports indicate that it may actually be released Real Soon Now.

    I think Verizon users are similarly limited in their (lack of) choices.

    Nothing like choice.

  • What about the simplest, cheapest, less feature-filled, and preferably smallest bluetooth phone? I want something about the size of a couple matchboxes stacked that has no speaker or mic, LCD, no buttons (other than power), nothing else other than a couple of LEDs showing network availability. I just want it to be a GRPS/cell network -> bluetooth bridge to be used with my PDA. I want it to sit in my pocket or bag, out of the way and out sof sight. I just want to be able to turn on my PDA and get net ac
  • Nokia 6310i.

    It's a fairly basic phone, but it's triband (works in Europe and US), has bluetooth, runs java games. No camera and no colour screen, but it works, and lasts over a week of real usage on one charge.

    It's a good reliable phone, and it works properly, which is what I'm looking for in a phone :)
  • I bought a Sony T616 after I got my 2004 Toyota Prius because the Prius supports handsfree phone access through Bluetooth.

    I can just get in the car with the phone in my pocket. If a call comes in, it show up on the car's touchscreen and I touch an icon to pick it up. It mutes the stereo and the call audio comes through the stereo speakers. The microphone is in the mirror. Sound quality is great.

    For outbound, I can transfer my phone's contacts into the car's contacts by bluetooth, then one-touch dial

    • I can just get in the car with the phone in my pocket. If a call comes in, it show up on the car's touchscreen and I touch an icon to pick it up. It mutes the stereo and the call audio comes through the stereo speakers. The microphone is in the mirror. Sound quality is great.

      That is the coolest shit I have ever heard in my life. Holy Moses. I just got my T616 today (AT&T is handing them out gratis to new subscribers) and I'm happy as a little girl. Are there any other car stereos that support the B
  • I have an N-Gage and its Bluetooth works well, be it shuffling files, being a modem for your laptop/PDA or multiplayer gaming. I've even exchanged messages with an Ericsson model of some sort. It's also now the cheapest Series 60 phone, with more RAM than the 3650.

    Scared of the N-Gage? The Sendo X appears to be the top-of-the-line Series 60 phone, with the works, but if you want a Nokia device, the ultimate appears to be the 6600 -- you'll pay for it though.

  • My requirements for a phone are (1) FM Radio (2) Speakerphone (3) Bluetooth. So far, I always had to choose 2 out of 3. But that will change once the 6230 hits the stores (sometime in Q1 2004). It's also chock-full of all the semi-useless gadgetry (still/video camera, mp3 player). It's also not a Symbian-based phone. And it will probably cost an arm and a leg, at least initially. And I won't predict how it will sync with iSync. But still, it promises to be a pretty fun phone!
  • the amazon review is lame...the buttons are just fine...well lit...the jog stick has been improved over the T68...so it's easier to use. i have no trouble using this with my bluetooth enabled HP iPaq 5555. in addition, it's super tiny and has a built-in cam...you should definitely get it! btw, make sure u get a cool case...i picked one up from vajacases.com...a case is a definite must b/c it prevents this expensive beauty from being scratched.
  • I've had the T610 for about a week and a half (T-Mobile, North America). It's a neat phone, and GPRS over Bluetooth with my 12" Powerbook is pretty swell (still much slower than a 56K modem though). The criticisms you'll read in the online reviews are pretty spot-on.

    The screen is difficult to see in sunlight. You can actually get around this fairly easily, by picking a higher-contrast theme than the default one. Once I did that, I have no problem using the phone outdoors.

    The reception is this phone's bigg
    • Re:T610 Problems (Score:3, Interesting)

      by kruczkowski (160872)
      What you should look into is getting a European version of a GSM phone. Reason is that the FCC limits the power wattage from the radio on the phone. Europe's limit is much higher.
    • The reception is this phone's biggest flaw. It's flat-out lousy. I've stood directly under an antenna and gotten only three out of five bars.

      Just a little FYI (in pedant mode): mobile antennas are designed to be shielded downwards. So you won't get good reception right below it. If you walk some distance away from it you may get better reception.

      Though I get your point that reception is bad. ;-)
  • When I got my Sony-Ericsson 610 I thought it was great apart from the unneccessary camera (I'm a unix boy - one tool for one job - and have a perfectly good digital camera already) and the annoying menus and phonebook and lack of basic usability compared with my old Nokia 7110 but nice all the same. Then I realised I could hardly read the display in sunlight. Then the display packed in. After I had been through 3 different handsets, all of which developed faults within a week I gave up and went back to Noki
  • I got my T616 about a month and a half ago through the AT&T Wireless website. They offered a two-day free T616 promo and I was quick to capitalize it.

    1. The Bluetooth works great. I don't have Bluetooth on my PC but I tried it out on my parent's eMac when visiting and it worked like a champ transmitting the photos. Just don't try to buy a Bluetooth adapter at Best Buy. They don't carry the Apple recommended D-Link USB adapter, and they'll charge you $50 for the off-brand adapter. Unfortunately, th

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