I shed a wisdom tooth a few months ago (they say it is a sign of maturing!) and the fairy left a Cingular 8125 under the pillow. Oh, I have had Palm Pilots before and even a Blackberry briefly, but this little gadget has already changed lifestyle.
I long ago resolved that one ornament is all a man should have on his face - Mustache or earring, or glasses. I have had the last longer than the wisdom tooth. Now the Bluetooth earpiece breaks that rule. And the small screen virtually guarantees I will continue to need glasses. I love the head piece while walking through long airports and while driving. It regularly earns my wife's concern - all those waves so close to your (empty) brain, and my daughter's screams - concentrate on the road!
The 8125 itself is a Swiss Army knife. Best use - paper weight. As a modem when I cannot pick up free WI-FI. And after my disappointing experience with Microsoft Streets, I found Odyssey Mobile from Infogation, and that has allowed my PDA to also become my Garmin. The "voice" as my mother-in-law framed it (she kept reaching for the radio volume button to listen it to better) has helped me find my way in many new cities. And earned its scorn because as a good man I often ignore its directions. (In fairness to MS Maps, I use it on my laptop with the GPS tethered to the window and it has made many a flight and cruise more interesting. And exported maps to the 8125 help with local restaurants, hotels etc).
I use the 8125 as a MP3 player, and sometimes as a camera. I have a 2GB storage card screaming for content. I now have more wires and phone adapters to charge my head set, GPS, 8125. You should see me on a flight bobbing away to the music, squinting at the GPS navigated map, laptop looking like a octopus with USB cables from every side charging all these new gadgets.
I had a moment of envy as I saw what Apple is planning with iPhone - in fact I put my 8125 under my hotel pillow last night to see if the fairy would exchange it, but no such luck. Back to my senses this morning, I think it is a truism that you have to suffer through Microsoft software before you can appreciate Apple's. The 8125 runs Windows Mobile and by the time the iPhone comes out in the summer I may be ready for it. My daughter, already an iPod addict, will likely get one before me though.
But 8125, iPhone - whatever, the gating factor will continue to be the network. Couple of weeks ago, I was marveling as satellites from way high flawlessly communicated with my GPS chip, and that in turn by Bluetooth flawlessly communicated with the 8125 while I was also on my Bluetooth head set talking to customer service at Cingular Wireless. I was dropped by Cingular 5 times! Email and web access crawls - while Verizon and Sprint continue to beat up Cingular about that, all the phone companies need to step it up. Last time I checked, that is the major functionality we still expect in the devices.