I've never really tried very hard to articulate my mobile needs. But it seems that I don't have to. They're identical to Tim Bray's Mobile Needs.

  • good phone
  • bluetooth
  • unlimited and reasonably fast data

I suspect there are lot of people out there like us. So what's the solution? Russell, any ideas? Help us out here.

I haven't yet found much of a need for Mobile Search yet. But I can maybe see using local stuff to find maps, recommendations, etc. Maybe. It sounds cool but just haven't found myself wishing I had it.

Update: I get the feeling some are not reading what Tim wrote. I don't care about a device that lets me IM and whatnot. I already have my Powerbook. I just want reliable Internet access without data caps. And I want it via bluetooth--just like Tim.

Posted by jzawodn at October 27, 2004 10:59 AM

Reader Comments
# lj said:

I have been looking at the iPaq h6315 with service available from T-Mobile. It has Bluetooth, 802.11b, and a snap on keyboard (thumb board). You can get unlimited data, t-mobile hotspots and 1000 minutes a month costs $79.99 or $99.99 for 1500 minutes. Link: http://www.t-mobile.com/products/popup/overview_popup.asp?phoneid=228503

on October 27, 2004 11:35 AM
# Jeff Boulter said:

The Treo 650 has all of the above. I'm upgrading to one as soon as it's released from Sprint in November.

Here are some good articles looking at it in depth:


Note that Sprint has also issued a press release that they will NOT disable bluetooth networking on their Treo 650.

on October 27, 2004 11:56 AM
# James said:

I've always found that the most important thing I look for in my mobile needs is the reception, you don't always get the same reception on all the phones. So when I walk in somewhere I ask for what phone has the best reception in the specific category I'm looking at. Haven't got to the point of having my PDA in with my phone, so I can't really help you out there.

on October 27, 2004 12:03 PM
# Josh Bancroft said:

I recently swapped my MPX220 Smartphone for the new Blackberry 7100t (codenamed "Charm"), and I'm loving it. Small form factor, gorgeous 320x340 screen, world-class Blackberry email, unlimited HTML and WAP browsing, IM, Bluetooth, etc. The keyboard has some people worried (a combination of QWERTY and predictive), but let me tell you, it's the most natural and fast mobile device input method, and I think I've used them all.

Check out www.tinyscreenfuls.com for a series of posts I'm doing about the factors that led me to choose the Blackberry 7100t as my new device ("Phone Decision 2004"). I plan to culminate in a thorough review of the unit.

Let me know if you have any questions about the unit - I'm loving it so far, and I'm the pickiest mobile gadget geek I know! :-)

Josh Bancroft
Editor - www.tinyscreenfuls.com

on October 27, 2004 12:17 PM
# Matt Fusfield said:

I am pretty happy with the Sprint PCS Sony-Ericsson T608. It has Bluetooth, and Sprint provides pretty much unlimited data, although unofficially.

As for being a good phone - well, it gets OK reception. Battery life isn't that great and the other phone features are a bit slow.

With BT, I can access the Internet from my PDA (Palm T3) or my laptop (Powerbook) at a little-faster-than-dialup speeds.

on October 27, 2004 12:34 PM
# Ben said:

SE S700i. Bluetooth, GPRS, 1mp Cameraphone. Or a t616 (cheaper), nokia 6600 (uglier) or wait two months for the nokia 6630 (1mp camera, GPRS+EDGE, Series 60 OS for flickr/etc integration)

on October 27, 2004 12:42 PM
# jim winstead said:

the problem i have with fulfilling my mobile needs is more on the service side than the phone side. i just want a not-outrageously priced pay-as-you-go service that works in as many places as possible (including worldwide).

(but i'm strange. i only use my mobile phone when traveling.)

on October 27, 2004 01:29 PM
# Harrison said:

I have been using my Sony Ericsson T610 with GPRS for a while now. It hooks up real easy over bluetooth to my powerbook. T-mobile has a 20 bucks/month unlimited data transfer with it (though if you go outside of the US there are extra fees, normally around 1.5 cents per KB transferred)

While GPRS isn't neccesarily the fastest thing in the world, with good reception you can download at about 8 KB/s. The only drawback is latency. You get about a 3 sec. ping time on it, which makes things like SSH real painful.

I've used the GPRS in most parts of the country, England, Mexico, etc... without issues, whenever I have coverage, I have been able to use GPRS.

on October 27, 2004 03:33 PM
# Rand Wacker said:

I have to agree with Harrison above, I'm really happy with T-Mobile's all-you-can-eat GPRS service as served through Bluetooth by my Sony-Ericsson T610. Its nice that T-Mobile think of themselves as a data provider more than a company that just sells phones (I also have their all-you-can-eat WiFi). I hook this up to my Palm and Powerbook:


And really like the multiple levels of access. The phone is small enough to always take with me. If I need a little more access I take the Palm too. When I've got my laptop I can do everything...even IM with friends while riding down to LA on I-5!

on October 27, 2004 04:35 PM
# Mark Eichin said:

I've been moderately happy with the Siemens S55 for this - it's small (enough to fit nicely on a sideways belt pouch, ie. in-line with the belt), 3-band, bluetooth. It's got the usual embarassing java midp implementation. It's over a year old now; I've had to firmware upgrade it a couple of times to fix bluetooth bugs, though it seems pretty stable now, works with the PowerBook (and t-mobile's unlimited GPRS) and couple of different bluetooth headsets. One flaw - the AT commands to select GPRS channel are longer than the stupid fixed-length field in the PocketPC 2003 dialer, so the iPaq can't get GPRS up without manual intervention.

The size was more important than many other features - I'd never have upgraded from the Nokia 8890 if it had supported bluetooth - a small phone isn't annoying to carry and is less likely to get dropped (I'm no less clumsy - but the more delicate looking 8890 survived much better than the Ericsson I888 before it, because I dropped it less and it didn't hit as hard when I did...)

on October 27, 2004 09:57 PM
# Josh Bancroft said:

Actually, there's no effective difference between T-Mobile's $19.99 Unlimited GPRS plan and their $4.99 Unlimited T-Zones plan. I had the T-Zones plan for a year on my Smartphone, and got full GPRS web, email, IM, and VPN access. They know about this, and several coworkers and friends have the same plan and access.

So you can get all-you-can-eat GPRS for $4.99 a month. You can't beat that with a stick. That's why I always recommend T-Mobile to anyone looking for a wireless data device (Smartphone, Pocket PC Phone Edition, or to use as a modem).

And Jeremy, if you just want a simple phone with Bluetooth and GPRS (and a camera), get an SE T610 from last year. But there are new, powerful, exciting devices out there (Smartphones, Treos, Blackberry 7100t) that offer many of the things you need, and a whole lot more. Don't dismiss them out of hand! :-)

Editor - www.tinyscreenfuls.com

on October 27, 2004 09:59 PM
# Jeremy Cole said:

I would just echo the same recommendation from above: I have the Sony Ericsson T610 and T-Mobile with unlimited GPRS. My only complaints have been with the T610 itself: the CPU is underpowered, and it doesn't have much memory. That means you can't expect to use the phone to make calls much while using the GPRS... it just can't do it. If you plan to use that feature a lot, a more powerful phone is in order. Oh, one other complaint: The T610 does not have a "Mute" button, so you can't e.g. just listen in on a conference call with the phone on mute so they don't hear you eating pringes, driving, getting hit by a car, etc.

I've been very happy with the service/coverage overall and have no complaints there. I've used it basically all around the world and the rates are quite competitive IMHO. Basically, roaming in any first-world country will cost $0.99 per minute, and other countries vary up to $4.99. International calling from the USA is not bad at all, with many countries in the $0.29 range.

I've also used the GPRS through my Palm via IR with no problems (anything that can see it as a modem and supports PPP can dial up by sending "ATDT *99***3#" and initiating a PPP session) ;)

on October 28, 2004 12:51 AM
# Anjan said:

Jeremy, so we visit this issue again, eh? I thought you were settled on Verizon's *excellent* package (note the sarcasm). I think what you are looking for is AT&T Wireless' mMode service. Using the GSM network, it acts as a quick navigation system for finding stuff. Even when I dial 411, the operator is able to assist me with directions.

And yes, I use my SonyEricsson T610 for bluetooth internet access with my Powerbook.

on October 28, 2004 08:28 AM
# gabriel ricard said:

I just picked up a Nokia 6820 from ATT Wireless with their unlimited data plan also. (Ends up being around $70/mo for 450 minutes and unlimited data - I only use about 150 minutes per month on average)

Downsides: small screen, no iSync, laptop data usage not included in "unlimited data" plan (Unlimited referes only to usage on your device. Connection to another device or computer via cable, Bluetooth, or infared will be charged $.001 per KB.)

Upsides: Free SSH Client (xk72.com), full keyboard, camera + video, ATT Wireless EDGE network (2x as fast as GPRS at least), better coverage in Massachusetts than T-Mobile

I've got 30 days to play with it and decide whether or not I actually want to keep the phone and service. If I don't like it, I'll probably go to T-Mobile and get the Blackberry 7100t.

on October 28, 2004 09:07 AM
# jon oropeza said:

I agree wholeheartedly with Tim - a compaq laptop that I scored a year ago on ebay is another appendage, as vital as an arm or leg, handling all of my mobile data and connectivity needs nicely. PDAs are unwieldy - there's the nature of their software, and there's that little screen, but mostly there's the entry mechanism - my brain thins along the tapwise rythym of QWERTY, not in the looping oops-idy of a stylus-based system.

I've been dreaming of one of those cell phone PCMCIA cards, but the approaching-ubiquity of wifi in california cities is dampening that... already I have connection at work, in my apartment complex, at my favorite coffee shops, and at in my favorite park.

on October 28, 2004 05:48 PM
# Francescha said:

Hi there. I was just wondering how i could download bluetooth on to my new phone which i purchased recently. It's the nokia 7360. I would be greatful if anyone would kindly tell me how i could get bluetooth on this amazing phone!? Thanks.

on April 16, 2007 03:46 PM
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone. My current, past, or previous employers are not responsible for what I write here, the comments left by others, or the photos I may share. If you have questions, please contact me. Also, I am not a journalist or reporter. Don't "pitch" me.


Privacy: I do not share or publish the email addresses or IP addresses of anyone posting a comment here without consent. However, I do reserve the right to remove comments that are spammy, off-topic, or otherwise unsuitable based on my comment policy. In a few cases, I may leave spammy comments but remove any URLs they contain.