Well, after many months of having two silver paperweights on my desk, and many calls and emails to Everlink to get them serviced, I finally received an email from someone at Everlink to get them replaced. So, I box up both phones, ship them off and a few days later, two shiny new Red E SC1100 Smartphones running Smartphone 2003. One I turned on to make sure it worked and put back in the box. The other, I used for a week or so before decided that the battery life just plain sucked (and I couldn't get the Internet connection working as I had on the previous SP's I had), so I want a new phone. Well, I decided on the Nokia 6820 because of its cool flip-out keyboard and bluetooth. It also has a camera, but that's just fluff for the most part.
Why you ask, did I get a non-SmartPhone and why am I blogging about it? Well, first of all, to express my disappointment in the whole Everlink experience. If you are going to pay $500US for a developer kit, the bloody thing needs to work as a cell phone. That's the primary function. A battery that lasts 15 minutes before it is dead is just not acceptable. Yes, I know this is a pre-production phone and for “development purposes only”, but if I'm developing an app that uses GPRS and need to test it in the field, it needs to work for more than 15 minutes without having to plug it in. I was *so* disappointed, I didn't even bother putting any .NET CF apps on the thing after waiting 8 months to get a copy on a real phone. Secondly, I'm really impressed with the form factor and business-applicable use of the 6820. I'm halfway thinking of seeing if I can get part of the CF to run on the 6820 somehow (maybe a ROTOR port or something??) Lastly, if MS really expects to sell SP as a corporate enhancement, you have to be able to show something that a> works and b> has a wow factor. The dev phones had some of the wow factor, but no where near the 6820 (which most exec's want because of the “promised” BlackBerry support - another issue for another blog), so in my book, that's a double loser.
So moral of the story is - the support wasn't there when Everlink's own ROM upgrades broke both of the phones I paid for (although they were replaced for just the price of me shipping them back), the battery life was horrible and the wow factor just wasn't there for a phone that couldn't function as a phone. I'm a staunch MS supporter and if I have ditched the product, imagine what the brand loyalty for the common folk are.