Is This the End of the Road (for me) on Windows Mobile?

I think I’ve laid out my qualifications and experience with Windows Mobile extensively on my blog. I could use some better reader statistics, so if you don’t believe me, go back through my archives.

I’ve been meaning to post for a while about my new phone. My wife has had trouble with AT&T since we jumped from the old AT&T Wireless to Cingular in 2005 to be bought back to AT&T a few months later. She’s been through 5 phones and still kept having problems. Since we reached a point of both being eligible for an upgrade, and I was near the breaking point with my iPaq 6945 and the total instability of Windows Mobile 5 and HP’s and HTC’s implementation of WM5, I gave my wife an idea. I told her that her problems *could* have been caused by always going with the cheapest phone possible. My Pocket PC phone had enough problems, but those weren’t AT&T network; they had to do with being a Windows Mobile product that was implemented by HTC for HP branding. I find the faults to lie with all three companies. In any case, I told her we could spend the money to get halfway decent phones, and if her problems persist, we can return the phones, sit out our contract, and jump to Verizon or T-mobile. I never really saw the point to Sprint.

While I did drool over the iPhone 3G, my wife picked out the Samsung BlackJack II, which impressed me also so we went with it. I found out a Windows Mobile 6.1 upgrade was available for both phones, so I upgraded them the first day. All along, I was impressed with the BlackJack II. After all of the Windows Mobile devices I’ve had over the years, this was the most stable, powerful, and easy to use I’ve ever had. Sure, it had an issue or two, like for some reason I can’t sync it with my work laptop, but I was able to overlook that.

Then yesterday hit. Suddenly, I couldn’t send email through my gmail account. I couldn’t tell at the time if the problem resided with Windows Mobile, AT&T, Google, or some combination of the three and their associated applications and services. Since the cat woke me up early this morning, I decided to search on Google before I left for work, and found out that Windows Mobile 6 (including 6.1) has a KNOWN but dealing with SMTP. For those not educated, smtp stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. Exactly, it’s very simple and should be the staple service of any device calling itself a “smart-phone.” Not being able to send email through an smtp service is not very smart.

I tried a few hacks that I found around, but none worked. I deleted and recreated my account several times. I was able to send two or three emails at the most before my email sends started to error out. I installed Windows Live Mobile in and effort to use my MSN email account for sending, but that developed a problem.

At this point, I’m giving serious consideration to taking the BlackJack II back to AT&T and getting an iPhone. Sure, the iPhone doesn’t natively handle Outlook tasks, which is going to suck because I use them heavily. I’ll have to buy yet another licence for Pocket Informant (had to buy a cross-grade license when I switched from WM Pro to Standard). On the other hand, even though an iPhone won’t do as much, at least I won’t have to spend endless hours hacking on it to get it to perform a basic function like sending email.

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2 Responses

  1. That's pretty interesting information considering my fiance and I are already set on upgrading our horrible (my horrible) Motorola L2's. Quick side note: The L2 has proven to me that Motorola is a joke company. I will never purchase another Motorola phone again. I won't list the reasons why, but sufficed to say after testing the BJII hands on in the AT&T store, it's covered and surpassed all the issues I have with the L2.
    I haven't called AT&T yet, but I'm assuming that it's only the Blackberry's that REQUIRE the data plan? I don't plan on using our BJII's as internet devices. The BJII that I tested has superior noise cancellation and sound quality. That was my main issue with the L2. The sound was loud on first ring, then dropped to a dull volume, even on high. Stupid. The iPhone, disappointingly had static, breaks, and NO noise cancellation implemented. And forget trying to text or type on the iPhone's touch keypad. Bummer for them, but good for me. I can now stop salivating over the iPhone and look forward to my BJII!
    At first, I tried to stay away from WM6 simply because it's MS, and let's be honest, they aren't exactly consistent in quality. But what are my options? Palm? No thanks. Blackberry? Until I held the Bold in my hand, no thanks. (I'd do just about any reasonable thing for a Bold.) iPhone? A big NO thanks! Or some generic OS? Eh. I've already dealt with those and they're OK, but I'm looking for more. Enter WM6.1. The good and bad thing about WM is that it's Windows for a phone. Let's cut to the chase here, IT'S HACKABLE!!! Yes, it's hackable, tweakable, customizable, and upgradable! Not only that, but if something breaks, I can probably fix it.
    So I'm looking forward to WM6.1 and the BJII so I can rub it in the faces of all the iPhone users.

  2. SOTEC, thanks for commenting. The BJII is a very good phone. I took mine back for the Samsung Epix, otherwise considered the BlackJack III. I've had touchscreen Windows Mobile devices for years and I missed a lot of the functionality.
    The BJII comes out of the box with WM6, but Samsung has a WM6.1 update available for it. I love the threaded text messaging. It's such a simple concept, but apparently hasn't caught on widely yet. WM 6.1 has an smtp bug, but you said you don't need the internet access so that shouldn't affect you. That can be worked around with a 3rd party mail client like Flexmail.
    Windows is certainly not without it's problems, but one of the strengths of Windows has always been 3rd party development. Microsoft has gone to great lengths to attract programmers to code for the Windows platform, and as you said, it's very hackable. I recommend http://www.myblackjack2.com for information on hacks, tweaks, and all around customization on the BJ2. Good luck with your BlackJacks. My wife loves her's, and I like my Epix, except for a few minor glitches that I plan to call Samsung about tomorrow.

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