Saturday, January 06, 2007
Audiovox PPC 6600 Review
I like this phone. It is a pocket PC, which allows it to all kinds of crazy things. I use a freeware VNC called .NET VNC viewer to view my ubuntu machine. I also use logmein.com to see my PC desktop. Both are free, and both work pretty sort of ok. I've found it's actually much faster to do some kind of remote desktop thing and open a complicated webpage remotely and view it over a cellphone connection than to try to open it directly with the phones browser. When I so open web pages directly, I use the opera browser.
There are also lots of instant messenger apps that you can get, but they cost way too much money and don't work that well. I've tried im+, agile messenger, and some others. They usually cause lockups and cause me to miss calls. This could be more the phone than the software, but I don't' have any way to tell.
The last part of the puzzle with this phone is the sprint service. It's CDMA service, which is pretty widespread. I've had some trouble in the mountains, but you can roam and use Verizon. Of course when you roam data service doesn't work. The good thing about sprint is the internet service is unlimited, and you can easily talk a sprint representative into giving you the vision service for $10 a month. The bad thing is this phone can't do data and get calls at the same time very well. It's also not as fast as the new services I suppose.
This phone can also use Bluetooth to work with a Bluetooth GPS and you can load tomtom on it. That is cool, but it does weird things to the phone, like load up whenever it feels like it. It takes a LONG time to load up too.
One real headache is to try this phone as a dial up networking device. You're pretty much limited to using Bluetooth, especially if you use a Mac or Linux as the phone isn't recognized on those devices. If you use a PC you have to disable activesync, but I haven't bothered to try it since my PC is connected to a much faster internet route and isn't portable. On the Mac using OS X you can setup a Bluetooth wireless DUN connection, but I couldn't find any way to make it reliable, and have had to recreate the connection each time I wanted to use it. I also had to make the phone less secure so I could easily pair it, but I'm not too worried about Bluetooth attacks due to its limited range. I haven't been able to get ubuntu to work with it, but I have read of some success from others. I might also be experiencing issues due to my cheap USB Bluetooth dongle, in addition to any quirks the phone has. So to sum it up, DUN on this phone is way more difficult than a normal phone but it is possible. It seems even slower than my old TMobile phone that worked fine with a USB cable, but that's what you get I guess.
This phone is capable of so many many things, but this may also be a weakness. The camera is crap, although can shoot crappy video. The keyboard is tiny and is on the wrong side, although the sliding is cool. For some reason my phone won't "turn off" when pressing the off button anymore, the case is separating, and it got some snow in it in the recent Denver blizzard. It still does work though. Oh, it also has a habit of losing all its data so you have to restore it from a SD card or a computer. Backing up to an SD card takes hours for some reason too. But it was cheap, and it works often.