What smartphone would you recommend?

[quote=“jashsu”][quote=“catfish13”]
The iPhone phone and service plan is a little bit over-the-top expensive IMO. Hard to believe that Zhonghua Telecom has the gall to sell it with that kind of premium and service plan requirements. Well, I guess one can argue the same about Taiwan Mobile and BlackBerry plans.[/quote]
I went to a Senao to get a new 中華電信 postpaid 3G sim for my HTC Dream (G1 from my T-Mo service in the States). While I was there, I asked them whether it was possible to get a subsidized price on the HTC Magic (I’m sure you’ve all seen the ads on National Geographic Channel). Apparently they won’t even subsidize the Magic at this point; you have to pay the full NT$20,000 price. But atleast they don’t require you to get a dataplan. I dunno how that makes sense in a smartphone context.

In February I burned up NT$3000 on recharge vouchers for my prepaid 中華 3G sim. NT$3000 that only bought about 30 megabytes of data :loco:[/quote]

I find it terrifying that they don’t require some sort of data plan on a WinMo phone. My first (and last) WinMo phone was a Samsung Blackjack with AT&T a few years back and that thing had a mind of its own and decided to connect somewhere at the PPU rate of $0.01/kb…

I was expecting an iPhone 3G to cost the same or less than how much AT&T charges: $199USD for an 8GB, $30USD/month of data reqs for 2 years, but was surprised to find it priced much higher than expected. This simply doesn’t make sense in a country where mobile rates are so much lower than that of the US, and at even more cutthroat competition.

It wasn’t a subsidized price was it? I imagine if you got a subsidized pricing, it would be much more in line with US subsidized pricing. ($199 for 8GB).

My Treo 650 is dead and I was so reliant on the Qwerty keyboard I have had a tough time with our old Nokia.

Does anyone have a second hand Treo in good condition to sell? I do no read Chinese so it must be English.

joesax gave me a tip about Yahoo but I’m also interested in any online sources (PC Home? monday.com.tw) that will allow me to sstttreeeetttccchhhh my NTs for a brand new one.

joesax also suggested that I look at a Windows OS instead of Palm but I don’t think I have the time to research the options or learn anything new…

Thank you!! :pray:

[quote=“braxtonhicks”]My Treo 650 is dead and I was so reliant on the Qwerty keyboard I have had a tough time with our old Nokia.

Does anyone have a second hand Treo in good condition to sell? I do no read Chinese so it must be English.

joesax gave me a tip about Yahoo but I’m also interested in any online sources (PC Home? monday.com.tw) that will allow me to sstttreeeetttccchhhh my NTs for a brand new one.

joesax also suggested that I look at a Windows OS instead of Palm but I don’t think I have the time to research the options or learn anything new…

Thank you!! :pray:[/quote]I didn’t specifically recommend Windows, actually, though there are certainly some great recent Windows phones. I just said the old Palm OS was going the way of the dinosaur. With no Unicode it’s not super-easy to get your old Palm data onto another device, either, though if you don’t have data in Chinese it’s a lot easier.

What do you need your smartphone to do? I’m sure people here will be happy to give you some suggestions.

PalmOS is pretty archaic and of course the lack of unicode can be a problem. I’d wholly recommend an Android-based phone like T-Mobile G1 (you’d need to find an unlocked one of course) if you use a lot of Google services like Gmail or Google Talk. The iPhone 3G is also another option, if you can find a 2100MHz one to work with Taiwan’s 3G networks. Finally, of course there’s the Windows Mobile option. Winmo is not quite so userfriendly so if you want something that “just works” it might not be the best choice. However its Exchange support and back catalog of third party apps is impressive. Some more recommendable models include HTC Touch Diamond.

Nokia makes several QWERTY phones that run Symbian 60 and they’re relatively user-friendly and have support for Exchange.

Sorry about that, joesax, you did say that about Palm.

Thanks to the three of you for your replies.

What I want most is the little qwerty keyboard. Although I do not access the internet on my phone (I’m online enough as it is) I do sends lots of text messages (cheaper and more efficient than calls) and often journal, make notes, make shopping lists, update expenses, access lesson plans, etc… Sure Palm might be ‘archaic’ now but I’ve probably used it for around ten years and I kinda like things to be familiar.

What I missed most going from my old Palm to my Treo was Graffiti.

I’d also like to learn to read and write Chinese (eventually) so one that would allow that would be a plus.

It would also be great if I could use it both here and abroad.

Is there a smartphone that meets all these needs? I think I might also stop by FNAC and see what’s available but I’d also appreciate recommendations here. Thanks in advance!

[quote=“braxtonhicks”]
What I want most is the little qwerty keyboard. Although I do not access the internet on my phone (I’m online enough as it is) I do sends lots of text messages (cheaper and more efficient than calls) and often journal, make notes, make shopping lists, update expenses, access lesson plans, etc… Sure Palm might be ‘archaic’ now but I’ve probably used it for around ten years and I kinda like things to be familiar.[/quote]
If you have a lot of legacy PalmOS 4/5 apps you still would like to use, then a logical choice would be the new Palm Pre. However the hitch there is right now you can only get one thru Sprint (I believe they’re also sold $900 w/o contract), and there is no GSM model available (meaning you would not be able to make calls in Taiwan). I too have actually used Palm devices for quite a while (My first was a PalmPilot Professional). However, I think nowadays there are much better smartphone products than the Treo that are just generally easier and more pleasing to use.

Graffiti is nice for inputting short bursts of text like a to-do list, but it is pretty slow and tiring if you are going to be composing an email or anything of that sort. I think a thumbpad or virtual onscreen keyboard with good predictive text is a lot more convenient than Graffiti. Just my $0.02 there.

Not sure what capability you want your phone to have in this regard, but with most smartphone operating systems there are ways to get chinese IME (input method editors) installed. As for programs like stroke flashcards or dictionaries, i’m sure you can find them around for PalmOS, iPhone, and WinMo.

Basically what you want is a phone that minimally has “Quad-band GSM” and is unlocked. Being unlocked is important, as otherwise you will have to use the international roaming plan of whatever domestic carrier it is locked to. That could mean the difference between $2/min and $0.02/min phone calls. If you want a 3G phone, 2100MHz is the frequency used in most parts of the world (including Taiwan) except the United States. In the US, you need 850MHz/1900MHz for ATT-Cingular and 1700 for T-Mobile. Since these frequencies are used less frequently outside the US, you’ll most likely need to buy a phone branded by the US carrier in order to access it.

I think it’s been mentioned before in this thread, but remember that in Taiwan, most smartphones sold are Chinese-only. They often go as far as to prevent you from installing English interface text. Of course there are ways to get around this for the technically saavy, but you should definitely inquirer with the shopkeeper as to whether he can install English for you before you commit to a purchase.

jashsu, thanks for all that information, it was very helpful. I’ll also try to read through the entire topic.

Are your lesson plans made in MS Office suites? If so then I believe BlackBerry’s OS or Nokia Symbian 60 phones have converters readily available. You really don’t have too many choices when it comes to SmartPhone OS’es. If you have relatives in the States who’d be coming to Taiwan I suggest getting a Treo 750p from Newegg.com - it has all of the GSM bands as well as UMTS 2100MHz for 3G carriers like Vibo.

If you’re not much of an internet user I actually suggest getting a BlackBerry. If you arent going to sign up for a data plan then BB is your best bet since it needs to route all its traffic to RIM’s server and if you don’t have the proper plan there will be no internet so no surprise charges when the bill arrives. QWERTY BlackBerries have very good keypads for texting IMO, and they have most basic PDA functions built in, including sync with Microsoft Outlook.

Just so you can plan, the iPhone 3G S will be here as early as next week, the HTC Magic Android phone too. Within 2 months we’ll see a cheaper Andoid phone made by Samsung, and Google has talked about 20 more Android phones coming out before the year ends.

The 3G S won’t be in Taiwan until August 9th.
Need to have a play with the Nokia N97, as I’m curious to see as how good the keyboard and the handset is.

Need a new Android brick. Any recommendations under NT$10,000? Samsung A50 any good?

Xiaomi should have a good selection for less than 10k.

1 Like

I think these three are the best options around 10,000 for now.

1 Like

I would recommend the A series from Samsung. Good solid build, almost like flagship, but not cheap looking.

I would stay away from Xiaomi and Huawei for security reasons, but that’s just me.

2 Likes

Yeah I think I give the Samsung A51 (?) a try. My Asus Zenfone died on me, so no Asus this time, Xiaomi, nah… I go Korean for a change. :slight_smile:

There is another thread here with recent recommendations.

I like the A series Samsung and it’s my go-to if I ever need an additional phone or if I lost a phone while traveling and needed an immediate back-up. Xiaomi gets really good reviews even though the are cheap. I never liked my 2 cheapo Oppo.

1 Like

Best cheap phone IMO. Unless you are a hardcore gamer, it’s stupid to spend much on a phone. It has become a fashion statement.

Here’s the other thread, but not everything suggested is under 10,000NT

@hannes if you’re signing a contract, I highly suggest the Pixel 3A (if you’re with Taiwan Mobile). I think with 999NT, 2 year contract, the phone comes to around 8000NT.

3 Likes