By Joachim Bamrud, Fri Aug 03 00:00:00 GMT 2001
This device cements our belief in SmartPhones as the ideal way for visiting the wireless Internet.
At first glance, this device looks a lot like the R380 from Ericsson. But once you open the cover, you'll start noticing some key differences.
First, the text on the screen appears horizontal rather than vertical. Second, the operating system comes from Palm.
While it's heavier (7.34 ounces) than typical phones, the weight is still economical in light of the fact that this is really two devices (a phone and a Palm) in one.
The design is simple. It neither offends nor excites, which is OK since this is a phone targeted at the business segment keen on having something that works more than anything.
We like the icon menu that automatically pops up on the screen when opening the flip, providing quick access to the various options. All in all, the menu on the 160 x 160 pixel screen includes 18 icons.
There's also a button on the side, which lets you scroll up or down. This is vital when reading many web sites. Several we visited - including CNN and The New York Times - don't provide a link to their articles until halfway (CNN) or a third down the screen (NYT), unlike their fixed Internet versions, where you can see the articles right away.
The button also helps bring back the image when the screen goes blank, as it does after a few seconds of non-use (important to note, since connection charges continue even if you don't see anything on your screen).
A great plus is that in addition to writing manually on the touch screen using the accompanying "toothpick", you can write with the help of a touch screen keyboard with separate buttons for each letter and each number, which can speed up the writing process considerably.
I found that even dialing becomes easier using the toothpick and the screen than if I were to carefully squeeze my index finger on the external keypad.
This is an option you can't find on typical phones, and is one reason why pagers like the BlackBerry and T900 have become so popular in the United States.
The built-in keypad includes a search button for any documents you've saved as a memo, datebook, address, message, expense item, Web bookmark and more. This is extremely useful when you're in a hurry and looking for some relevant info you saved at some point.
Like Palm, the QCP-6035 lets you synchronize the phone with your PC, which is a great benefit for making your schedule mobile while we all await advanced wireless Intranet solutions.
There's also a button for calling options, one for editing text and one that takes you back home to the main menu.
The sample we tested, provided by Sprint PCS, used the Eudora web clipping service, which lets you visit typical Internet sites and not limit yourself to the WAP versions.
On the downside, we frequently ran into problems with the screen freezing on us as we were reading articles. Such unwarranted interruptions kind of take away the advantage of having larger screens than normal phones.
The SCP-6035 also comes with speed dialing, three-way calling and call waiting. The phone also lets you send or receive faxes on your desktop or laptop PC.
The calling functions provided clear connections when we tested the dual band, tri-mode phone in the Miami area, using Sprint PCS's CDMA and analog network.
The price, $499.99, seems fair in light of the fact that this is a combination Palm and phone.
All in all, this is a great phone that deserves its growing popularity among business users.