The device does not appear to work consistently as a phone

That title is one of the main reasons I seriously considered a Treo 650 (and ultimately got one). If you wish to purchase a Pocket PC Phone in the US, you have four choices (that I am aware of).

  • HP H6315 (T-Mobile)
  • Audiovox 4100 (AT&T)
  • Audiovox 6601/XV6600 (Sprint/Verizon) & Siemens SX66 (Cingular)
  • Samsung i700 (Verizon)

Not a lot to chose from. All these devices are quite large with the exception of the 4100 which is pretty small. But all are bigger (some more) then the Treo 650. The HP has been around since July 2004 and T-Mobile is the only carrier that sells it. Other carriers were supposed to pick it up but none did (T-Mobile had a 3 month exclusive on selling it). I guess the reason lies in the fact that, well, it does not appear to work consistently as a phone.

I owned the Audiovox 4100 for a few brief weeks. At first it was love at first sight. Then a few weeks later I realized it sucked. Not only did it not reliably work as a phone, but it did not reliably work as a PDA!!! Sometimes it would not turn on after I locked it, most of the time I had trouble answering calls, and generally speaking it was flaky. I loved the idea of a Pocket PC phone, but ultimately it's size, problems, and quirks had me return it. Additionally, dealing with Audiovox was not fun. They do not make this phone and know very little about it, so getting support was problematic. I ended up trading the 4100 in for an Audiovox 5600 Smartphone which was much more reliable and small. Of course I lost the PDA functionality and doing email on that device was problematic. It was a great read only device though. But I was never satisfied due to the form factor I really wanted (keyboard), and the minor phone problems with the 5600 (I also had problems answering calls, but no lockups).

I thought my 4100 problems were just limited to that device but it appears that even HP is having such problems with their H6315 that T-Mobile stopped selling it more than 6 months after it was released. That is a vote of no confidence IMHO. I mean if HP can't get it right who can? Their products are usually top notch!

"The H6315 was released last July as HP's answer to the popularity of palmOne's Treo smart phone. HP added phone capabilities to one of its iPaq PDAs (personal digital assistants) with a GSM/GPRS (Global System for Mobile Communications/General Packet Radio Service) modem, and also installed an 802.11b wireless chip and Bluetooth connectivity. Early reviews were kind, in part because of the device's ability to shift seamlessly between GPRS and 802.11b networks.

However, since its release users have been underwhelmed by the device's phone capabilities, according to numerous posts on handheld-enthusiast Web sites and user-review sites. The device does not appear to work consistently as a phone, as many users reported having to frequently reset their units after software lockups."

[PC Magazine]

This is not good. Especially because HP will also be releasing the iPaq Mobile Messenger sometime this year. If I were a telco I'd be hard pressed to sign up to sell one of their devices. I do not like to frequently reset anything. Especially not knowing that my device is locked up till after some one has tried to reach me.

Now, with the palmOne Treo 600/650 you will find it's sold by:

  • Cingular (650)
  • AT&T (650)
  • Sprint (650)
  • Verizon
  • T-Mobile

Not only that but you can buy directly from palmOne, call them for support, if the thing breaks they will send you a unit in advance or returning yours (not something Audiovox would do for me when I complained about my 4100), send them email. Not to mention the fact that you can buy accessories and software for the 600/650 almost anywhere phones and PDAs are sold. But best of all, the 650 does appear to work consistently as a phone.