OK, so I have been on the internet for a better part of a month ... Networking with PinStackers forum
Best Smartphone for Cyclist
OK, so I have been on the internet for a better part of a month and am now confused at to what may be good marketing vs what can actually hit the nail for my needs. Thus I turn to the power of the people.
My intention is to have a "device" that I can take with me while going on vacations via bicycle (mainly US and Europe). Thus the key here is to see if one device can do it all as opposed to lugging a phone, camera, gps, pda, etc. Most of my riding will be on road, but I will be doing a few Mountain Bike runs as well. Thus whatever is the solution, it has to be able to be up to the task.
Here is what I think are my "major wants" in a "device" along with other pertinent information and then you all can take over:
-GPS recording for later download/review on a PC: I do not need a phone that tells me how to get from point A to B. That is what the tour guide companies/trails are for and when not on a tour, that is the joy of riding with an open road ahead. In fact, the phone will be in the back of my jersey/backpack when riding and only comes out if stopped. Yes, there are stand-alone gps units out there for cyclists, but why have more and more devices? I already am cramed on my handlebars with my power meter/bike computer. Plus a good GPS that can log and then download to a PC is not "that cheap" when you take into consideration that I still have to buy a digital camera, cellphone and pda - it all adds up.
Camera: I have a decent 35mm digital SLR but be sure that I cant comfortably lug that around when riding. Yes, I know the drawback of not having various lenses and flash, but again, there are already too many incredible places I have riden to and no camera = fading memories. Thus, the better resoltion and mega-pixel the better. While on this point, I learned that on certain gps solutions you can "mark" the point to later correlate to a photo taken. That would be real cool.
PDA: translation for me is I need a Qwerty keyboard to type in a few notes, memories, etc at the end of days ride. I am tired of fumbing for scraps of paper that always seem to get lost, or unreadable by the time I get home. Ideally, the phone would have a real keyboard that is robust and hidden from damage - afterall, consider that while in the back of my jersey, there could be other things back there as well (food/spare tube), but no question I will be getting the best phone protector possible.
Cell Phone: Hey, that would be cool in case there is an emergency that I could call some.
Syncs with Outlook: Yes, I have read many a blog regarding windows mobile, but the cold reality is that I live in Outlook during my day job and having a device communicate with ease is a huge plus. As for what I would sync - 90% is calendar and notes. Even email is not a priority - afterall, I am not a stock-broker that needs up to the second quotes and I am perfectly ok in checking email "later" when in front of my pc.
Wont be used for gaming: I have a PS3 and love watching movies on it and playing games. Thus, doing that on a smartphone is not important at all here for me at least.
Not needed for Facebook/Twitter/Youtube: Yes I have a Facebook account and check out a YouTube now and then, but these are just not important consideration to have in a phone for me.
I tried in vain to see if a non-smartphone would work but with all the phone companies forcing data plans these days, I think that is a dead end. Thus, to drill the point home: Imagine in the extreme sense that I have no desire to do any surfing of the web with this phone (save for a gps app download). Instead, if true PDAs were viable, I would forgo a data plan and just go that way - but then there is the issue of where do I put my camera, the phone, the gps...you get the idea. And yes, I saw some Pda's from the past that had cameras but it seems to me that this is a dead market and thus I think it would be smarter to stick with the smartphone group since all the apps are coming out for those devices.
Finally, and this could close a few doors, but I pretty much need to stick with AT&T due to the rest of the family members (insert good bundling argument here).
As for what in my opinion looks to fit the bill:
- Iphone: no I am not a hater of it. But I am also not a zealot fan for it either.
- LG Expo: pretty impressive, from what I read, but what else?
- HTC Tilt2: maybe, but saw some pretty hard remarks against it relatd to construction and as for the HTC Pure - it has a stylus which could get lost while in my jersey coming in and out.
Any and all help is most appreciative.
What are you using now? Maybe a newer BlackBerry model would work.