Thursday, October 19, 2006

Mylo Review

While I was in San Francisco last week I strolled by the Sony Style store and saw that they had the Mylo on sale. I had read a hypey write up of the Mylo on one of the mailing lists I am on and decided to grab one. So here is my abbreviated review:

Form Factor/Industrial Design - Big points. The Mylo is slightly smaller than the Sidekick 3. Rather than the tricky but cool swivel action of the Sidekick, it has a slider action similar to the Cingular/Windows Mobile 8125 with slicker action more similar to the Helio/Pantek Hero. Both the Hero and the Mylo have kind of a switchblade locking action.

The keyboard on the Mylo isn't as good as the Sidekick 3 and both of them are inferior to the Sidekick 2 although they are all better than a normal phone. The tactile response of the Sidekick 2 with the rubber buttons was just amazing.

The screen size on the Mylo is decent, certainly nothing compared to the PSP but comparable to the video Ipod and some other smallish devices. One of the coolest features of the Mylo is the ambient color action that switches from a soothing blue when Wifi is enabled to a subtle orange when adhoc networking is invoked.

Features - The Mylo supports audio, video, web browsing and a variety of other things. After a couple of hours playing with it I came to the conclusion that it is mostly one thing the most and that is a Wifi communication device. It comes preloaded with Skype, Google Talk, and Yahoo messenger. Sitting in a Starbucks connected to wifi I can scroll through my list and call my buddies with better than cellular sound quality. I was really impressed with this while trying it out.

Summary - When I originally bought the device I choked on the $350 price tag. Cough, Cough. $100 more than a PSP? Are you crazy? Well maybe not. What I didn't know at the time was that you get a years free access at any Tmobile Hotspot. That about covers the cost of the device. Also you currently get unlimited Skype Out calling (which also applies to all computer users currently). I had an aha moment when I realized that you can bundle enough services to offset the initial sticker shock although I have to believe that if you could get a wifi device down to about $150 you could get some serious adoption. I am sure that will come. Clearly the necessary connection to the wifi coverage is both a drawback and a bonus. At most times at work or home I now have this really cool looking Skype phone that people can call me on. On the road it is a bit of a pain. For pulling down some web content quickly, the data rates kick butt on anything over my all my current carrier backed devices. For now.

When I was talking to Michael Robertson a couple of weeks ago he made a pretty strong argument for hybrid devices and I think generally I would concur, but it seems that there is a small window of opportunity for a number of players to collaborate to try to get a wifi network and device combination to get a jump on where Wimax plans to be. At the very least it is an interesting customer acqusition strategy for players like Skype, TMobile and Sony.

If you are a gadget freak like me I think it's worth checking out.


David Harper said...

"The tactile response of the Sidekick 2 with the rubber buttons was just amazing."

...yes. the best ever.

Wired Dude Dave said...

didn't realize it had a speak and mic too so it could act like a skype phone. 1 year free t-mobile hotspot isn't bad either.