I'm not a huge mobile phone user. My PAYG account costs me a couple of pounds each month, so there is no point getting a contract that would cost a lot more, but it means I never get a cheap new phone. My current Samsung was second hand and is on its last legs. The aerial is broken and the battery does not last long. I'd like a nice smartphone that would give me some internet functionality, but can't justify the cost of £200+. Yesterday I read about the BenQ E72 on The Register. For around £100 it seems to offer most of the features I would want:
- Windows Mobile - not my ideal OS, but I'm used to it from my Acer PDA
- Audio playing - assuming I can install something that plays OGG Vorbis. It uses a USB connector for headphones and people seem to be finding it hard to get an adaptor to use any other than the basic ones supplied
- Mass storage - it uses Micro SD that is pretty cheap these days. The limit is 2GB, but I've seen mention of a patch to allow up to 8GB
- Camera - 2MP and probably not brilliant, but got to be better than the crap one on the Samsung that I can't even extract the pictures from
- Bluetooth - could be useful
- Wi-fi - this really caught my attention as I'd not seen any phones in this price range with it. That would give me decent internet access in various locations away from home, something I don't have at all now. So I could check email and play with things like RSS and identi.ca
It lacks some things like a big screen and 3G, but I'll accept some compromised for a good price. The reviews suggest it's not great for power users, but they can probably justify the cost of an iPhone or Nokia n99999. I just want to gain some functionality I don't have at all and can live with it being behind the bleeding edge.
The main issue I can see is with the headphones. I use my PDA for music, but want to be able to get by with carrying just one device. For the rare times I need GPS I can take the Acer. I also ought to look at syncing data to my PC. I think that the newer Windows Mobile the BenQ has is supported on Linux. So is there any reason not to get one?