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Thread: Recommended a smartphone with Outlook/Exchange

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    • brasco2006's system
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    Recommended a smartphone with Outlook/Exchange

    Hi All,

    Have to get a smartphone with outlook/exchange email functionaility for my boss at work. Can anyone make any recommendations for smartphones and UK price plans? Thanks in advance.

    RM.

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    Administrator Moby-Dick's Avatar
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    O2 XDA Orbit ( or its t-mobile equivilent )
    my Virtualisation Blog http://jfvi.co.uk Virtualisation Podcast http://vsoup.net

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    Will work for beer... nichomach's Avatar
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    Well, the obvious route is one of the Windows Mobile devices, BUT bear in mind that there is ALSO an Exchange client for the Nokia E-series phones available to download - I'm getting a Vario 2 and an E61i through here for comparison, but you can get the E-series client at http://businesssoftware.nokia.com/ma..._downloads.php . It appears to be up to version 1.6.

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    Administrator Moby-Dick's Avatar
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    I'd be interesting to hear how reliable that is nico - does it support 'push' mail ( which isn't really push mail but I wont get into the semantics of that )
    my Virtualisation Blog http://jfvi.co.uk Virtualisation Podcast http://vsoup.net

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    Will work for beer... nichomach's Avatar
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    • nichomach's system
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    Yes, it does the whole "permanently open https connection thingy whatsit" to support push email, apparently, otherwise I wouldn't be touching it. It's a Symbian S60-based handset, so the UI should be pretty n00b-friendly (and I'm going to be rolling handsets out to construction industry people, so that IS a factor - some of 'em take "non-technical" to previously unimagined heights... ). Anyway, I'll post some findings when I've got some, but the same software should work with any E-series, including the big brick...

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    Will work for beer... nichomach's Avatar
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    • nichomach's system
      • Motherboard:
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    OK, update as promised. Firstly, the E61i is a very nice looking device, a bit like an upwardly mobile Palm Treo. The OS is Symbian, and version 1.6 of Nokia's Mail for Exchange installed perfectly happily via PC Sync. After a brief hiccup (user ****wittage on my part) I got the connection working happily, and pushed email to myself and sent stuff out.

    Things it does:
    Push email. Remote device wipe.

    Things it doeth not:
    Subfolders. None thereof.
    Global Address List lookups - a biggie. It ONLY uses the Contacts folder, not the GAL. Chocolate fireguard anyone?
    Security policies. It handled a device wipe OK, but password policies (i.e. device password length) did not appear to take effect upon the device; they did on the Vario II parked next to it.

    Regretfully, therefore, I'm sending the E61i back with a B-. As I say, it's a nice device, but it simply doesn't have the required functionality.

    Am considering a Treo 750 as an alternative.

    edit: Oh, and you have to whip the back off to access the memory card slot.
    Last edited by nichomach; 19-06-2007 at 05:05 PM.

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    Administrator Moby-Dick's Avatar
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    looks like its best sticking with WM devices for exchange mail then ?
    my Virtualisation Blog http://jfvi.co.uk Virtualisation Podcast http://vsoup.net

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    Will work for beer... nichomach's Avatar
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    Yep; the Vario II's working without a hitch - and I'm going to grab a Treo 750 for comparison; for those that are interested in the latter, there's an offer on with basically a free TomTom 6 setup (cradle, charger, receiver, software); see http://www.dabs.com/ProductView.aspx?Quicklinx=4FGW for details.

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    Will work for beer... nichomach's Avatar
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    • nichomach's system
      • Motherboard:
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      • CPU:
      • AMD Phenom II X6 1055T 95W
      • Memory:
      • 16GB DR3
      • Storage:
      • 1x250GB Maxtor SATAII, 1x 400GB Hitachi SATAII
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    Further update: Have received the Treo 750, and first impressions are reasonably good; the screen is only 240x240, but this isn't as much of a handicap as I'd feared at first. Indeed, text is reasonable, and any higher resolution would make things trickier to read. A larger screen in combination with the fixed keyboard would make the device overly large to be a comfortable phone replacement. The keyboard is small, but the keys well separated, and they require a positive keypress to activate. I certainly have had little difficulty composing short emails and replying to others.

    The camera's basic, the max resolution being 1280x1024, but it does the job. The memory card slot is conveniently placed on the right hand side, albeit that the cover attachment appears a little flimsy.

    So far I have not synched the device with my PC, only directly with our exchange server, and that has performed well, notifications frequently arriving at the Palm before Outlook 2003's got its head together. The synch cable itself is a proprietary Palm connector > USB item (boo! hiss!), but given that this is effectively the same chassis as the Treo 680 PalmOS device, this isn't unexpected. That said, the cable's only relevant if you want to synch files and media to the device.

    Specs:
    * Transflective colour touchscreen, supports 16-bit colour (over 65K colours), Resolution: 240x240
    * Support for miniSD expansion card; up to 2 GB card supported
    * GSMTM/GPRS/EDGE/UMTS/HSDPA radio
    GSM bands: 850/900/1800/1900
    UMTS bands: 850/1900/2100
    * Windows Mobile® 5.2
    * Processor: Samsung®-300 MHz
    * Height: 113 mm
    * Width: 59 mm
    * Thickness: 21 mm
    * Wireless: Bluetooth Version: 1.2, Profiles: Stereo headset, headset, handsfree, DUN, serial and OBEX
    * 128 MB memory/60 MB persistent user storage, non-volatile flash
    * Removable 1200 mAh, lithium-ion
    Talk time: Up to 4.5 hours
    Standby time: Up to 240 hours

    Supplied accessories:
    Software CD
    Manuals
    Mains adapter
    USB synch cable
    Headphones
    International connectors for power adapter (nice touch)

    A glaring omission is any form of protective case - the Vario 2 that we received shipped with a leather belt case. Having said that, buy before July 27th and you can send off for the free TomTom kit, so I'm inclined to forgive them the absence of a case. I've just sent off the forms, so we'll see... Also, you only get one stylus.

    Oh...making the customer cut out the correctly sized screen protector from a generic sheet of sticky-backed plastic is just mean. OK, the respective sizes are printed on the back, but apparently the spirit of Blue Peter is alive and well at Palm HQ. And the first person to crack one about using double-sided sticky tape for speed gets a slap, OK?

    Performance
    I was concerned that only being equipped with a 300MHz processor that applications would launch slowly, but Pocket IE, Pocket Outlook and the rest of the Pocket Office apps appear to launch swiftly enough. One thing that it DOESN'T have, but which EVERY PocketPC should, is some form of task switching/closing application. The Vario has its "Running programs" app, and even my Axim X30 has the Task Switcher. "Oi! Palm! No! I respect your ability to produce a wide range of user-friendly portable computing devices, but if you were to come round here launching all the apps in the Pocket Office Suite with no way to close them outside of the crappy memory applet in Settings, I'd..." Well, you get the idea.

    "The phone, dummy, tell us about the phone!"
    Voice quality appears good; reception's as good as any other phone. And...errrrrrr...well, that's about that, really. Haven't really tried out the battery life yet. Now one thing I do like about it is the slider switch on the top that sets it to silent. Someone actually thought about that one.

    Build quality
    Overall, the device is well built. It's not overly large, but has some weight to it. It's quite a nice looking device, IMO, and feels comfortable to hold. With the exception of the memory card slot cover, as noted, it seems solid.

    Pricing
    ex VAT and SIM-free, we got it for £329. Personally, I think that's very reasonable; given that the unbranded version of the Vario2, the HTC TyTN sells elsewhere for over £400 ex VAT, I think it's highly competitive. If you get in quick enough to take advantage of the free GPS offer, then it becomes even more so.

    Overall, I like it. I'm looking at issuing it to construction guys, and I'd be happier with this than the Vario2. YMMV, but I think that some of the reviews I've seen have been overly critical of it.

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