View Full Version : Non PDA Phone Choice?

02-18-08, 12:58 AM
I still need some kind of organizer function in my phone, but I don't want a smart phone-- mainly for financial reasons (I can't stand PDA plan fees, even some of the smartphones can be quite cheap).

Are there any non-smartphones that I can import schedules and task lists into? Thanks...

02-18-08, 01:40 AM
I've had a Nokia for the last couple of years, (6670). I bought it because it was a cheap, (relatively), Symbian based phone. It's not a smartphone by today's standards, but is fairly programmable. Which means that there are a lot of goodies/applications you can download and run on it. Just google for 'symbian applications'.

It also has a pretty good stock calendar proggie that interfaces to Outlook.

02-18-08, 02:13 PM
I have a PDA myself, and I bought it mainly because I wanted to be better organized but the second reason was I didn't want the phone part of it, I wanted it just for the organizer. So after looking at some sites like Walmart, Target and Bestbuy, I opted for the Palm Z22. Its just a PDA, no phone, its around 100 bucks, the only downside to it, is it doesn't come with a case. But I picked up a case for it for 10 bucks the same day. Its great and easy to use, plus it sync's with your computer so you can enter a bunch of tasks and calendar events on your computer to get put right into your pda. Its great, and like I said a 100 bucks is a drop in the bucket compared to having to pay a phone plan just to use the organizer part of the phone.

02-18-08, 02:52 PM
...PDA phones can be at $100 without PDA plans. But $100 is kind of much to spend already...

02-18-08, 04:02 PM
I was going to get a ODA but thankfully I didn't. I'm just a gadget-hack freak...My poor SLVR L7 has suffered enough with me. I'm thinking of getting a F3...calls, bad messages, perfect to stop procrastinating!

02-18-08, 05:06 PM
I second the Palm z22 vote. I got one after doing some thorough research into the options out there.

The traditional paper planners are too cumbersome to carry around and you can't delete/move things easily; the fancy blackberry type pdas are way too expensive and full of (imo) useless gidgety things.

The z22 is pretty useful and has all the necessary things - calendar, address book, task list. It's also bare bones so you won't end up confused and annoyed if you're not a techie. You also have the option to sync to Outlook, but the desktop software that comes with the device is perfectly fine (actually I like it much better - simpler and more intuitive) so you don't have to go out and buy all new software.

On the minus side, syncing to the desktop is pretty annoying if you have Vista, and I understand there are problems with Outlook 2007 also. The Vista desktop version is not nearly as good as the non-Vista version, which I consider a total rip-off. But I think Macs and versions of Windows from before Vista are fine though. And the Palm website has pretty good support in the form of patches and updates.

Off the Palm website it's a bit over $100 - considered a bargain in PDA land but still kind of expensive. I recommend either (1) getting a refurbished/ open box device off the Palm site, something like $80; (2) getting one off Amazon, $90; or (3) getting one off ebay, which is a bit more work but worth it - I got mine for $85 with shipping and case (it is refurbished but never used). Obviously, if you go that route make sure the seller is reputable and has a return policy.

02-18-08, 06:02 PM
A few more things I wanted to say -- if you do get a pda, make sure it comes with all the necessary accessories. For the z22, these are:

(1) the CD
(2) the power cord
(3) the USB cord for syncing
(4) the stylus

You'll have to register it with Palm in order to get updates - not a big deal but just fyi. And there's no need to pay extra for "accessories packages," but just make sure you can plug it in and whatnot. You'll need to have some kind of a case and screen protectors - it's better if they come with the package but not crucial.

In case you're curious, the other options I considered (I was looking for a NON-phone pda):

(1) paper planners
Impractical considering I need to edit things a lot and I'd like to carry it around with me without needing a bag. Also, I've never gotten around to putting things like contact information in one place. The big ones are not portable enough and the teeny ones just don't have enough room to write things in.

(2) fancy pdas - blackberry et al.
These do have phone capabilities, which makes them way too expensive. Maybe when my phone plan runs out I'll consider the upgrade. Using one just as a planner is risky bc if you end up not.. planning things (hey, it happens) it's a BIG waste of money instead of just a little waste. But they're undeniably cute and I like the qwerty keyboards. If you don't have a contract with a phone carrier, it might be worth it bc you get a big discount (at least from Verizon and I think Sprint) on the device when you sign up for the plan. Otherwise they run way over $200, which is crazy especially if you don't need a phone.

(3) the Palm pdas
Less expensive than other organizers, so a feasible option. They currently have three non-phone models. I chose the z22 bc it's pretty cheap and it doesn't have the useless and confusing (imo) gidgety things like hi-fi and email and music and video. The E2 is also pretty good - it has an internet/ email option and a prettier screen display - but more expensive. The older Palm versions are cheap but I'm guessing will be a real problem trying to sync to a computer or to get support and accessories for. The new non-phone Palms all have the stylus screens and no qwerty keyboard.

(4) the pdas you've never heard of
Sharp makes a pretty good one for a great price, something like $40. They have a few other options too, starting at around $20. I believe Casio has something similar, and a few other brands that I now forget. Although the price is right, I didn't like these because the display is either too small (lots of scrolling) or kind of poor quality. They have no graphics/ colors - not a huge deal but a bit of a turn-off for me.

Useful things to do:

Trying before you buy
You may like/dislike the stylus/keyboard versions, or you may find the screen layout uncongenial. Playing around with it in the store is better than waiting until after you buy one bc it's instant gratification without the hassle of returns and you can consider a few options side by side. Staples has the lesser-known models and the Palms; phone stores (at least Verizon) have the new fancy devices. RadioShack is completely useless as they only have the shells for the devices so you can't turn them on or use them in the store. Annoying.

Reading user reviews
If there's a problem with something, chances are somebody's complaining about it. For example, I've been warned that the z22 tends to die out after about a year. Good to know. Amazon is a great source of info.

And try not to spend hours on end hunting for the "perfect case" all over the internet.. :o