Audiovox SMT5600 Smartphone - Next Generation (AT&T)
|List Price: $319.99
Your Price: $149.99
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Summary: I love this phone!
Review: After reading the many positive reviews I bought this phone, and activated it with AT&T (Cingular stores sent them all back -you have to buy elsewhere and activate online). This is a great phone. It effectively integrates several functions. For my use, I now carry the SMT5600 instead of a PDA, phone, and email device.
Coverage is great. AT&T combines AT&T, Cingular AND T-Mobile towers for an unbeatable coverage. I used TDMA previously, and this coverage is better. I downloaded the "Church Bells" ring, which cuts through noisy environments - in fact if I set the ring volume full up, it really startles me when the phone rings! Other reviewers have noted poor earpiece volume, but I have not found that to be a problem. My callers can't tell that I'm on a cell phone.
The PDA function is super. Syncs with outlook perfectly. The only problem is if you sync with multiple PC's, the 1st time you sync with the 2nd PC, all the contacts duplicate on the phone. With each successive PC sync, the contacts double again! I would advise clearing you contact list on 2nd, 3rd, etc. PC's before syncing.
Email over GPRS is great! I use IMAP to my corp. exchange server. It's cool to not be disturbed by the phone, when you are at your desk reading email - the phone knows that the email is read and doesn't notify you of new email, unless you are away. On the other hand, when you are away reading mail on the phone, your mail on the server is shown as read back at the office!
MSN instant messenger works Great, too.
Having Calendar on the phone is neat. When you're in a meeting, the phone automatically switches to "silent" mode.
Battery life is good, but if you use the non-phone functions frequently during the day, keeping the backlight on, expect to charge daily. Now that I'm not playing all day, I don't come close to depleting the battery in one day.
Another reviewer complained about the clunky method of navigating the menus. The reality is that is a complicated mini-PC, and takes several hours to learn usable funtions and features. If you take the time to learn, navigation can be easy. CE helps by displaying your last used icons at the top of screen.
Of course there is the Bluetooth, MP3 player, ability to install limited CE applications, lousy camera, mini-SD memory slot, games, etc. The only downside for me is the lack of keyboard - but that would increase the size. I'm learning T3, and I like the small form factor.
This phone is also sold as an I-Mate SP3 Smartphone.
Summary: Cool and well built.
Review: First a complaint with Amazon: This great phone is advertized at as little as $-25, but it is impossible to order the phone with that combination of service plan.
To get the $50 MIR from AT&T you have to order unlimited mMode, but Amazon oly lists other plans. I basically wanted the 39.95 450 Nation wide and unlimited mMode for 24.95.
I ended up ordering the "Silver 500" plan and no data plan, since i did not want to risk being stuck with some wierd limited and expensive data plan.
AT&T (Cingular) helped me port my old Sprint number and get me the plans I wanted. I assume Amazon will still honor the rebate.
After two days of use the phone is pretty cool, but reception is not as good in tough areas (like my house). I had tested a couple of different friends' GSM phones at my house, and the SMT5600 is not as solid as the others I tried. In fact, I think it might be worse than the sprint phone I was tryig to replace.
Internet radio over GPRS is kind of cool, as is ActiveSynch to the PC.
Summary: excellent phone for the money
Review: Having previously been a Cingular subscriber in California (now in New York), I was extremely apprehensive about purchasing another phone from them and being disappointed with the reception. With the SMT5600, I have been extremely pleasantly surprised. The phone is feature-rich, incredible battery life (4 days between charges with normal usage), easy to navigate, and has fantastic community support -- the phone was extremely popular in Europe, and a number of web sites are out there to support tweaking of your preferences.
Also, with the addition of a MiniSD card for storage, you can download music from a couple of Microsoft Janus-enabled online music stores including FYE Download Zone and Napster. It's awesome to be able to download music and listen through the (included) stereo headphones in full quality.
I've never been this satisfied about a phone. I'm a very, very happy customer for this one.
Summary: very good phone; watch out for data billing though!
Review: I used this phone for about 3 weeks. Audiovox hardware quality is quite good. Tactle feel is very good, although the buttons seemed to be too small. MS Smartphone 2003 OS worked very well also. I mostly tried out internet access using the IE browser. The data rate feels like a 9600 baud modem. The windowing software lets you view a page in reduced mode and text as single-column. This helps, but it's certainly no substitute for a real PC/browser experience.
Beware that if you choose an inadequate data plan, the charges add up frighteningly fast. For example, my detailed billing showed over 16 megabytes of data usage in a 4 day period. AT&T charged me $490 at their default rate of $0.03/kb. That is well over 10x my normal monthly bill! Beware with AT&T - their billing department did nothing to ease that unexpected financial burden. In fact, they used my verbal admissions against me, stating that since the billing rate was legitimate, and I knowingly accessed internet data during that time, that they had no "provision" to provide me with a discount, reduction or financial easement.
I wound up returning the phone within the 30 days of purchase due partly to complications regarding rebate compliance, and partly to the disappointing internet experience. The billing issue came to my attention long after the phone was returned.
As for AT&T service, it was adequate. I did have a couple unexplained incomplete and dropped calls. Most of all it was a good experience.
Summary: Best. Phone.EVER.
Review: I was starting to get really apprehensive about this phone before it arrived shortly before christmas. It does everything I thought it did before I bought it, but after I ordered it I had started to talk myself into thinking it did a bunch of stuff that you can do on pocketPC's but not on windows mobile, smartphone edition. As it turns out though, there are only three things I'd do to improve the phone:
1.) faster USB transfer--it feels like USB 1.1, and may well be for all i know
2.) I wish there were a way to sync to standards-based ical files so i could use it with mozilla calendar instead of outlook
3.) wifi support, along with the bluetooth currently supported, so it could use the internet without having to go to a GPRS signal when its not connected to the computer.
that's it. that's my only three bitches about it so far.
first i'll note the form factor, since that's not readily apparent from the photos on amazon. This phone is only ever-so-slightly larger than my sony-ericsson t610 (which is the second smallest phone i've ever owned, second only to the samsung s105 from a few years ago). it fits nicely in your hand, although sometimes the mike seems to not be close enough to my mouth since my girlfriend can hear me better on speakerphone--or maybe i'm just pressing it to my cheek. tough to tell. but that says something for the speakerphone as well--its quite nice, good volume and mike. nobody has complained about it so far.
It plays mp3's and windows media, as someone else noted. The default player is windows media player 10 mobile, which is ok for those files, but about 2/3 of my collection is in vorbis (.ogg) format, so i downloaded pocketmusic smartphone from www.pocketmind.com which handles them quite well. I also downloaded PowerCalendar from handango, which greatly improves upon the default calendar application with all kinds of extra fields and the ability to create snippets of text you just insert with a couple of buttons, for appointments and such that you make frequently, eg "Phone call with "...
the included version of explorer is pretty decent--it has an option to limit display to one column to cut down on the sidescrolling, which is oh-so-nice. I'd still rather be running a micro-gecko browser, but it'll work quite well for now.
you can play ringtones in mp3 or wma format as well, which allows me to use songs like Danzig's "Mother" for my ringtone--awesome for turning heads in a quiet restaurant or business meeting.
It will take mini-SD cards (nota bene: these are NOT the same as SD/MMC cards--they're smaller, although they usually come with an adapter to use in SD readers that i think might also work in cameras--haven't tried.) for memory expansion, but right now all i can find are 128MB cards, although rumor has it 512 MB cards exist. I want one.
The camera is the best i've seen on a phone--still not great, but the pictures are a damn sight better than what you'd usually find on a phone. its got a lot of options on the camera i won't go into here, but its cool and works well.
the other included applications like mail work about like you'd expect, with support for pop and imap and SSL connections. (the ssl was a happy surprise). something worth noting that nobody else has mentioned is that the phone has a j2me environment (the one from tao i think) so in addition to .Net Compact Framwork apps designed for smartphones, it will also run existing j2me apps, which is friggin awesome. There are currently a lot more of those available than the .net CF variety.
I think its worth noting that this phone has managed to wow a confirmed geek (me) who has somewhat unreasonable expectations and desires for convergence and interop between his appliances. This phone won't exactly replace a laptop, but you can easily leave your pda and mp3 player at home, freeing you of the burden of a batman-style utility belt when you're out and about.
Summary: An absolutely excellent phone. Too bad service is Cingular
Review: In almost 15 years of cell phone ownership, this is the absolutely best phone I've owned. Excellent audio quality, perfect (tiny) form factor, high build quality, and flawless Outlook syncronization (usb or Bluetooth). I have an mpx220, RAZR, TREO 600, and Blackberry 7290 as well, but this is easily the best phone of the bunch. The Blackberry has better email, and the Treo seems to have a better application base, but neither factor is enough to make me give this up. If you're considering the RAZR, also consider that this phone is smaller, cheaper, and has substantially more functionality.
One note: my phone was locked to AT&T and Cingular told me I'd have to purchase a new (non-smt5600) phone after the AT&T acquisition was completed. Absolutely not true. This phone still works and if necessary can be unlocked quickly, cheaply, and easily using this site http://simlock.c500-unlock.com. It can then be used with ANY SIM card. This is nice when traveling to Europe where inexpensive pre-paid SIM cards are readily available from vending machines.
Cingular, on the other hand, is the pits. See my 7290 and RAZR reviews for a summary of my experiences with them.
UPDATE: I'm taking this down from 5-stars to 4. This phone will not allow you to use voice dialing from the bluetooth headset if the keyboard lock is on. This a a huge wart on an otherwise great phone, it borders on making the voice dialing feature useless; Even worse is that although it should be a snap to fix nothing's been done about it. Shame on Audiovox,
Summary: Great Features - Poor Reception
Review: My experience with this phone can be summed up by the heading itself. This is one of the coolest phones that I have laid my hands on, I believe it has every feature that you can imagine and a very convenient form factor. Top that with a brilliant screen.
However, the reception of the phone is very poor. I would love to blame A&T for that but my fiend has an T610 from Sony and he was able to get 3 bars inside the house while this SMT5600 got zero bars at the exact same place. Moreover, there seemed to be some hissing sound that was always in the background during the conversation. I guess all the features in the world can not make up for the poor sound quality. I have a Samsung e715 right now and this does not even come close to that in terms of reception and voice handling.
I really liked the phone, too bad I will have to send it back.
Summary: Cool phone to have!
Review: This is a cool phone with very cool features. This has all of the general phone features available + unique features:
* Phone comes with sync cable, leather case, stereo headset, and travel charger. The bottom line is you don't have to go out for any accessory.
* phone is rugged and small.
* It comes with all standard features bluetooth, infrared, speaker phone, stereo sound, camera, camcorders, contacts, calender, user profiles, call history etc. + all standard windows applications Internet explorer, file explorer, windows media player and several other applications.
* Scrolling contacts is a breeze. I can browse all my 200 contacts in less than 5 seconds. Thanks to 200MHz processor.
* It comes will plenty of user available non-volatile memory around 25MB. That is far higher than its counterparts.
* As you type a number it will automatically bring all the matching numbers. This is very useful in dialing a number if you have lots of phone numbers.
* Windows media player 10 is good and the speed is very reasonable. You really feel that you are watching a video. I don't see any delay in starting any application. All applications load and run very quickly.
* You can upgrade the memory with a miniSD card and keep videos or audios (incl mp3) to watch or listen.
* Phone standby time and talk time are excellant. This is far matching or exceeding other phones in this category.
* There are hundreds of 3rd party applications available to play around with the phone. One website I found is http://www.smartphones.net.
* With camcorder you can shoot endless video (I mean till you are out of memory).
* Camera is reasonable with 640x480 (VGA)
* Sync with microsoft outlook for contacts, calender and tasks is a breeze. Just plugin the phone and it will do all for you. Another cool feature with sync cable is you can charge the phone while syncing. I use sync cable to sync and charge at office and travel charger at home.
* Leather case style is not user friendly. You cannot answer/make calls while it is in the case. You have to first pull the phone out of the case. This is very annoying if you want to answer a call.
* The 5-way button is little hard if you want to use the middle one. You really have to press exactly in the middle other wise it will go either up or down because of its rotation style.
* The LED could be sometimes annoying especially in the night if you keep near the bed. This should be controllable from "Settings".
Possible future enhancements:
* Display can be touch sensitive with on/off for easy navigation. This could be a cool feature for PDA users and totally replaces PDA.
* Right now this phone comes with 850/1800/1900MHz. It would be better if it has 900MHz and can be used any where in the world. That makes the phone more competitive with much higher priced Mpx220.
* Another fancy upgrade could be a mega pixel camera. It simplifies the life without a digital camera. May be I am asking too much with such a small phone.
In summary it is like a miniature computer in your hand with phone as an extra feature you don't find on a regular computer.
Review: This phone does everything! It's a phone, an mp3 player, a video player, synchronizes with Outlook or OS X apps, it has a camera, plays games, has Internet access, can set any media to be a ringtone.... The list goes on and on. I've had it for 2 weeks and still am having fun playing with my new toy.
Summary: Great Phone
Review: With everyone putting more in your pockets why not less....forget about your PDA and your IPOD, just get this phone it does it all I use it as a PDA, with T9 typing in stuff is easy. Check the web, I use it to check my hotmail accout. Also I use as my mp3 player it sounds great even without headphones I don't understand how a little speaker is the phone can but so load and sound pretty good and using the headphones sounds as good has my friends IPOD it does not fit the same amount of music as a IPOD but do yu really have 20,000 songs that you on you at all times. My phone can carry about 160 songs and if there good songs thats more then enought. But the coolest thing it will play movies you can fit 3-4 hours on it and it looks great I can even read the credits of the movie the picture is that sharp. Ever person I have shown the phone to is blown away but it, and love that it plays movies. Only two problem: First the windows 2003 system it runs on takes a little learning curve but when you get to know it its powerful little system that can do a hell of alot. Second to get all your info music and movies you have to use USB witch is great use the data transfer is a little slow and 2 hour (256 MBS) movie might take 10-12 mins.....but all and all its a great phone!!!!!
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