SmartPhones: the good, the bad, and the ugly

(Wow… I’ve been quite the blogger-boy tonight, haven’t I?)

OK, it’s been a couple days since I picked up my Motorola SmartPhone, I figured I’d post a couple thoughts I’ve had…

The Good
<li>The user interface is excellent– very easy to figure out how to do things.
</li><li>“T9” input is actually a lot better than I thought it would be (this is the first time I’ve used it.)
</li><li>I have an app called “PhotoContacts” that displays contacts as a browsable grid of images. Very cool. As a bonus, it also displays the caller’s picture full-screen in place of traditional caller-id.
</li><li>The screen. This is a really beautiful screen. Seriously.
</li><li>The form factor. It’s just the right size and weight for my tastes.
</li><li>I really like the idea of a phone with an integrated PDA (as opposed to a PDA with an integrated phone. It’s a subtle distinction, but an important one.)

The Bad
</li><li>I want a keyboard. Seriously. I want a foldable detachable keyboard, just like the one I used with my iPaq.
</li><li>The shortcuts on the top of the home screen don’t seem to be configurable, they are just the last few apps you’ve run. I’m sure there’s a third party app that will fix this, but come on, guys… it should be a part of the OS.
</li><li>SmartPhone2002. Although the differences between SP2002 and SP2003 are minimal, it would be nice if we’d get some sort of assurance that there will be an update available. I know the thing is flash-upgradable, but the official story is that it will be up to the providers (read: ATT, TMobile, etc.) to provide the upgrade if one is created. This is Motorola-eze for “don’t hold your breath.”

The Ugly
</li><li>The jog dial is infuriating. It works great for adjusting volume, but you’re supposed to be able to push it in to initiate a voice recording… but you have to push it just so. I’ve tried literally dozens of times, with about a 5% success rate. Maybe I’ll improve with practice, but it shouldn’t be this hard. Too bad– I use a voice recorder constantly to help supplement my horrible memory, and was really hoping to eliminate another device.
</li><li>No notes app? Really? I just can’t beleive this. There are third party alternatives, but nothing in the box. Crazy.</li>