I spent some time last week with the Cingular 8125 Windows mobile device. One of our handset developers has been raving about Windows mobile so I figured I should take it for a spin. I spent the better part of a week with the device and came to a couple of conclusions.
The 8125 is a computer that also has phone capability. It is not a phone that has smartphone capability. To me that is an important distinction as the device I carry around with me is preferably a phone in my case. What do I mean by that? Well the most important thing I do with my phone is call people. I also happen to use it to check email, occasionally surf the web, and sometimes use it as a modem. When I use my Symbian based phone, all the smartphone stuff is subordinate to the phone stuff. I have to dig to get to the power user features. I actually like this because my primary use case is phone.
The Windows mobile device is just like your desktop. The start button and everything is always resident in it's passive state. At first I thought that was really cool. The responsiveness was fairly good and the qwerty keyboard is roomy. I imported my 1500+ contacts into Outlook and set up my email. I was very excited. That was until I had to make a phone call. Aarrghh. No numeric pad. Also navigating in and out of the base OS was fairly clunky. At the end of the week. I reset the device to the factory settings and returned it to the development pile.
To summarize and to be fair, I followed up with Josh and asked him how he could be excited about Windows mobile. He stated that there are two distinct flavors of Windows mobile and that the 2125 smartphone has the operating system flavor that is more phonelike. I may pick one up in the coming weeks to revisit, but until then, I am very happy with my Symbian device and if I has to replace my device today it wouldn't be with the Windows smartphone I used.