My New O2 XDA IIs
As a nice start to the new year, I have got myself a shiny new O2 XDA IIs PDA device. Its a real change from my previous device, a Sony-Ericsson P800 which was (and still is) a pretty cool and functional device. It has since been superseded by the Sony-Ericsson P910i which was my other choice in upgrades, apart from the O2. I originally purchased a P800 device because of its excellent form factor combined with functionality. Lots of connectivity all in a convenient phone sized device. However, I found that I used the PDA functionality a lot, and had a number of eBooks which I would read, and found the small size somewhat hard to deal with. The O2's larger screen (and much clearer IMO, even than the P910i) is much easier to read, especially for the eBooks and my most favourite viewer/eBook reader Repligo.
The O2 is a brilliant device, WiFi is excellent and "just worked" with my home Wireless network. Windows Mobile 2003 second edition is very powerful and full featured, organiser and contacts perform almost like to desktop versions so its very familiar. It also comes with .Net compact framework, something I was sorely missing on the P800/P910i (which uses Symbian UIQ).
I will say that the UIQ (P800/P910i) devices do seem to have slightly better idea on useability in small but I think important areas. For example, there is no battery icon that is displayed on the main screen showing your battery levels. Sure, you can go to the battery option and check out the levels, or download software to install and display this icon (as I have done) but I consider this a pretty valuable (albeit small) feature. I like to be able to group my applications as well and it doesn't appear too obvious to me at this point how to do this, whereas on the P800, this operation took seconds. Also (and this may be just me), I have yet to be able to workout how to add a task/reminder that reminds me at a specific time on a particular day. I can set appointments, but I dont necessarily want it taking up time in my calendar, I just want the task to popup and remind me at a particular time that I need to do something. I can do this in Outlook tasks quite easily, and it will sync to the device fine, and execute appropriately. However, to do this within the device itself id still a mystery to me. It will allow me to set the date but no time....? I know I am missing something obvious. Hopefully somebody will point out what a doofus I am being.
I also scored a Bluetooth headset for hands free operation, and by default, instant membership into the "Super Geek/Dork" club. It also works well and was a breeze to set up.
All in all, I love this device. It has bucket loads of power and flexibility and... oh yes I almost forgot, the slide out keyboard is pretty awesome. Handwriting recognition (particularly the Transcriber) is absolutely fantastic IMHO.
Would love to hear any tips from others who have similar devices.
P.S. I found it different that you need to make sure the device does not go without power for extended periods of time. Unlike the P800/P900 which does't care as everything is written to memory stick, the XDA can lose its contents if left unpowered for too long (ie. all its installed applications apart from those supplied in ROM). Not a real big deal, but a shift in operation from the way I am used to.