your man in Amsterdam

Monday, October 31, 2005

pocket sized smartphone with a touchscreen and stylus?

This isn't a technology blog but there's one thing that's been annoying me for ages in the world of gadgets and i thought i'd register my gripe somewhere...

For ages I've been waiting for a device that will combine a PDA with a mobile phone in a way that makes sense. My requirements are simple:
- it has to synch with my laptop
- fit in my pocket
- and have a touch screen (with a pen / stylus)

How hard is that?

Over in China you can already buy one of these:

click to read more
It's the right size and it has a touchscreen. It also has a camera and a decent amount of storage too - which is a bonus.

Over here in Europe it's a different story. Why is it that we seeing phones with 2.0 megapixel camers but no touchscreen?

click to read more

Think how many quick tasks you can get done without going near your computer's keyboard. In my view the same goes for a phone; if I want to move an appintment in my Nokia's calendar, it takes 13 key presses. Compare this with 5 strokes of the pen on my PDA - no contest. Anyone who's ever owned a Palm OS device knows what I'm talking about.

The closest thing we've got over here is this:

click to read more
But just look at it! It's so damn ugly and big and horrible and what the hell do I want with the keyboard? I'm not going to be writing war and peace while I'm on the bus!

It's strange to me that phones of the kind that I want (many of them based on Linux or Palm OS) never make it over here. Samsung has released a number of clamshell phones with touchscreens but none of them made it to market in Europe as far as i know. The i530 came close and was promoted at the Athens Olympics last year.

click to read more

They have had a few similar phones in the US for a while now:

click to read more

China seems to be where it's at though. Most of these Linux based phones are small and have touchscreens:

... but if I go into my local phone shop, I can't buy any of them. Why not? are we European consumers too uneducated to appreciate the value of a compact device with a full set of features?