Well, now that tax day is behind me, I decided that a little gift to celebrate my tax refund was in order. Now, I've already documented my interest in cool phones, so you might ask yourself, "How many phones does Adam need?" Well, let's face it--"need" is a relative term.
I generally shy away from clamshell phones; more often than not (and I started with a Motorola StarTac years ago), when the phone rings, I'll fumble with it long enough to get the phone partially open before it slams shut, thus hanging up on the caller. The PEBL (or "pebble") gets around this with two tricks: magnets and springs. The way it works is to use your thumb to slide the upper section down to release the magnetic lock, so that the spring can flip the clamshell open--not unlike (I'm not embarrassed to admit) with the original Star Trek communicators.
I bought the unit unlocked on eBay, so I was able to pop in my AT&T/Cingular card and get it going. Overall, I've been pretty pleased with the unit so far; the display is quite nice, if hampered by a somewhat clunky interface. Having a browser is useful, but I've discovered a number of pages turn up with "The page cannot be displayed"; fortunately, a site called Small Sites helps handle the basic navigation. The ringer is refreshingly loud, and the included software allows me to take any MP3 tune and turn it into a ringtone; the same software will also let you transfer a video for viewing on your phone (like a walkaround tour of my Mini). The nicest part, of course, is the exterior, which you can't really pick up with a photograph; the soft-touch paint is delightful to hold, and it's both grippable and fingerprint-proof. Another interesting feature is the voicedial capability; like a couple of other phones I've had, the voicedial will actually use voice recognition to pull names out of your address book, which is pretty handy. The only odd part is the fact that the prompting voice is a British female, and the voice which pronounces the names is barely understandable. Nevertheless, it's a very useful feature. Overall, I'm a reasonably pleased customer.
Meanwhile, the evil geniuses at Slashnot offered their own take on Motorola's peculiar branding strategy, with such spinoffs as...
- HAXR - includes BT, WiFi, 1xRTT, EvDO, CDMA, GSM, USB, and 14 other acronyms
- GAZR-Small enough to be clipped to grommet hole in ear
- PLYR-Second phone book and photo storage that can only be accessed by secret code
- GEZR-extra large LCD display, sudden fall sensor automatically dials 911
- BOMR-has convenient alligator clips from speaker for easy remote signaling
- TAZR-DTMF tone for # causes phone to deliver 50,000 volt shock to owner
- FUKR-extra loud speakerphone only with annoying ring tones built in.