Guide: Best Gadgets

My friend Vince asked me to write a guide with the best gadget choices right now. I am packing together cellphones, smartphones and PDAs mostly because there are no major PDA-only devices coming out anymore. I also pack together mp3/video/gaming devices, under a generic “entertainment” category. So, here we are:

Best cellphone/pda:
1. Any HTC Hermes-based phone
While a hefty device, it has features, features, features… Only GPS is missing. Shame about the audio output jack though not being standard while their previous model was.
2. Treo 700p
Choose between 30,000 apps, get a 320×320 screen and a good overall phone size. It is not the best in terms of features, but the Treo is cute, robust and much loved. If it only supported WiFi…
3. Nokia E61
A bit buggy VoIP as of now, but overall the best all-around device Nokia ever released. If it only had a standard mini-USB jack, standard audio-jack and A2DP support…

HTC Hermes
HTC Hermes is sold under many names

Most of the other good smartphone options are all coming from Nokia: N73, E70, N80, N93 etc. Sorry, no Sony Ericsson P990 in my list. Apparently it’s slow, runs out of memory all too easily, it runs clunky software and it asks for your arm and leg before you own it.
Regarding feature phones (not smartphones), the best choices are Nokia’s 6280, Sony Ericsson’s W810i & K800i and Samsung’s D840. I wouldn’t go near any Motorola RaZR-based phone.

Best entertainment device:
1. Sony PSP
It can do video and gaming better than most. Its only problem is that it only goes up to 4 GBs of storage for home-video or music. Best choice for gamers and commercial video.
2. iPod Video
Great music, mediocre video experience (small screen), no serious gaming but lots of storage, momentum and a gazillion of accessories. Best choice for music lovers.
3. Archos 604
Best video format support of all, good music, basic-to-no gaming. If you are looking for a true PMP with an amazing video experience, this is your best bet. Only A2DP is missing…

The iPod Nano 4 GB, Sandisk’s E260 4 GB mp3 players and the Creative ZEN Vision:M are also great options.

Post a comment »

vince wrote on August 18th, 2006 at 1:00 AM PST:

Thanks for the post Eugenia! There’s actually a rant on the theoretical PSP2 over on Gizmodo today. I bought my PSP the day it came out and have barely used it. But in my case I think it’s less to do with the games than the fact that I’m practically married to my laptop.

I’ll look forward to seeing this list again after that slew of Nokia’s hit the stands. I’m itching to get rid of my Samsung..

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on August 18th, 2006 at 3:41 AM PST:

A brand new review of the Archos 604 was published here.

stormrider wrote on August 18th, 2006 at 3:43 AM PST:

hi there!

what’s your opinion about that ipod-killer “zune”? I believe it will be a failure. ipods are slim, portable, fancy-looking gadgets and zune looks more like a media-optimized PDA.

Gianluca wrote on August 18th, 2006 at 9:03 AM PST:

Have you used for a ‘normal’ lapse of time a PSP? I own one : the size and the costruction of the thing is really annoying. Every time i use my PSP for more than 30 min i get my hands ‘tatooed’ with the borders/shoulder buttons of the console, if i keep using it i can hurts.
Is not practical to carry around because of his size and his fragility, i think that a portable console should fare better in these situation… Think only at the minimal duration of the battery…
The games is not only a matter of preferences : is an universally known problem. There are only few that are good and a lots of them are conversion 1:1 from ps1 games, is rather depressing. For portable gaming the DS beat with no problem the PSP because of the larger availability of games and the quality of them.
For commercial video… Well i think you have read the headlines of all the major companies pulling support for UMD… Commercial video actually is becoming pretty inexistent on PSP and with no future.

Tam Hanna wrote on August 18th, 2006 at 10:30 AM PST:

I dislike the PSP because of its truly insane loading times…that drove me mad in my test. Get the full scop here:

Best regards
Tam Hanna

P.s. The damn thing loaded longer than my SX1 could film…argh!

bkakes wrote on August 18th, 2006 at 12:10 PM PST:

1. Sony PSP
It can do video and gaming better than most. Its only problem is that it only goes up to 4 GBs of storage for home-video or music. Best choice for gamers and commercial video.

Boo! While I love the theoretical capabilities of the PSP, I’ve barely ever used mine. The games mostly aren’t inspired and haven’t been designed for the I-have-a-couple-of-free-minutes-to-play portable experience (when I’m at home, I’ll play on my 360 on a real TV). Moreover, it’s too big to carry around casually as a media player. For what it’s worth, I played my DS more in the first week I owned it than I have played the PSP for the more-than-a-year I’ve owned it.

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on August 18th, 2006 at 12:16 PM PST:

Sorry, I don’t agree about your remark about the size of the PSP. The PSP is lighter but on the same size overall with other PMPs. Yes, the ipod video is smaller, but nobody likes watching video in its 2.5″ QVGA screen. Besides, its large screen makes it easy reading web sites via its WiFi capability.

Regarding not liking its games, I guess that’s a matter of preference.

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on August 19th, 2006 at 4:54 AM PST:

>what’s your opinion about that ipod-killer “zune”?

Actually, Zune is based on Microsoft’s WinCE-based multimedia OS and not on the PocketPC OS. The kernel and libs are the same, but not the user interface. Their user interface is pretty ok.

I think that Zune looks ok overall, but Microsoft has missed the train. Even if their offering was better than iPod’s, it won’t dethrone the iPod. Just like OSX can’t dethrone Windows. It’s there, people know it, people will continue to buy it.

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