Wednesday, January 02, 2008

When are they going to stop selling crappy cell phones?

I’ve been kicking myself ever since I bought a Samsung SCH-U740. The QWERTY keyboard and the music player appealed to me, and the dual flip was just too cool! It might be one of the smallest phones on the market with a full QWERTY keyboard. At first, the phone appears to be well designed and have all the right features, but soon the critical flaws show up.

Why so many of the Samsung phones do not have a standard 2.5 mm headphone jack I will never know. When I got the phone, I went out and bought a nicer set of headphones than those that came with the music kit. Unfortunately, soon after trying to listen to music and work around the yard, I found that the adapter would slip out of the non-standard jack. After just a few attempts to work and listen to music, I switched to an IPod Shuffle. I’ve never had the wire slip out unless I caught it on something and really yanked it. Another problem for middle aged eyes is the small keys make it hard to see, but I could have lived with that if not for the other problems.

Since it’s impossible to use the phone to listen to music this way then you’d think that stereo Bluetooth would be the answer, right? Nope. The phone doesn’t support it.

Since the phone isn’t working for me and I use a Palm Pilot, I thought I’d try to replace it with a Treo 700P. I spent several days bidding on EBay and finally won a phone at a good price. The 700P has a standard headphone jack and even supports stereo Bluetooth (with third party software).When it came though, it was a 700W (The P stands for Palm OS, the W for Windows OS, get it?) making it incompatible with my current Palm Pilot data files. Wow, I got to box it up and ship it back (after multiple emails to the vender).

Once again I spent several days bidding and won another phone—from the same vendor. This time when it came it was the right one. But it was not in as good a shape as the first and the headphone jack didn’t work in stereo. The right side headphone wouldn’t work. Once again—emails to the vendor and I got to box it up and will ship it back tomorrow. This time I noticed what I failed to notice with the 700W, it uses only midi ring tones and I can’t find a way to add my own. Plus the camera has no flash, which is strange. I’ve never seen a camera phone with no flash before! So I think I’m glad this one was broken. It would have been nice to consolidate my phone with my Palm but, basically Palm took a Palm Pilot and added a poor phone to it. It’s a shame, since it could have been a great product.

I’ve been looking around for a phone that offers a QWERTY keyboard, a great music player with a standard headphone jack, stereo Bluetooth headphone music capability, a decent camera, and of course, the other goodies--ring tones, speakerphone, etc. I couldn’t find anything better than my son’s LG enV! The only thing it doesn’t have, that it should, is the ability to multi-task (play music while doing other things with the phone) but that’s apparently a brand new feature so I’ll have to wait for the successor to the enV. I can’t get another phone through Verizon for another year anyway (and I’m not finding affordable enV’s on EBay). There will probably be better phones by then. Maybe an IPhone style phone without all the mistakes Apple made with theirs. You know, like no stereo Bluetooth capability!

Richard's main page