Windows Mobile Smartphone thoughts

I still love my phone, but there are a couple of things I’d like to see…

We’re activating the feature which requires our users to put in a password to unlock the phone.  In addition, we’ll be activating automatic wipe of the phone if the pin is botched five times.  This should be interesting, as I haven’t yet tested just what “rest to factory defaults” means.  (I don’t know if I have to call the provider to reactivate it or not.)  I do know that it will clear all email, tasks, contacts, files, IM’s, pictures, etc… off the phone.

The issues I have with this are that, when the phone is locked, the screen is so dim that you can barely read it.  If you are in sunlight, the contrast is so poor that you really have to get close to the screen to see it.  If anyone knows a way to change this, I’m game to hear it, as I’m trying to type my password into a virtually invisible field to access the phone.  (Not to answer a call mind, but more on that later.)  My concern is that, because I can’t see what screen I’m typing in, I *could* end up wiping my phone be accident.

Another thing that I’m not huge on is that I constantly have to shut down applications to get memory back.  If I open the web browser, it stays open.  If I open email, it stays open.  If I play a game, you got it… it stays open.  So I constantly need to go to the task manager to shut down my apps.  This might be good for your IM client, but I wish there was a way to set a timeout on features so that they automatically closed at some point.

I also find that my phone just stops responding in a variety of ways on occasion.  Disconnecting from a bluetooth headset randomly triggered issues for me where the phone locked up so solidly that I had to remove the battery to restart it.  (That particular one hasn’t happened since I removed the Plantronics Voyager 510, and am only using my TomTom Go 920, so there may be something there.)  The other night, despite having closed all running applications, I still didn’t have enough memory to take a picture.  A reboot cured that.  Our sales rep recommended that do a “soft reset” at least once per week on these devices.  He then showed us how to do that… take the battery out.  (Didn’t seem so soft to me, but whatever.)  Personally, I don’t think this should be necessary more than once every few months, but I end up popping the battery out at least once a week.

Having my contacts all in my phone is awesome, especially since it is synched up with our Exchange server.  I do wish, though, that the corporate contact list was just merged into my own contacts list.  (This is probably more of an Outlook issue, actually.)  The effect, though, is that I have to tell the phone I want to search the company directory, then type in the name, then select it.  This after I have already gone to my own contacts list.  I’d WAY prefer to just type part of the name and have it pop up the person, a la regular contacts without all the extra keystrokes.

The “holster” that comes with the phone either isn’t padded enough, or the buttons on the phone depress too easily.  It is constantly activating the “unlock” screen in the holster when I bump the phone.  (I’ve pulled it off my belt and can see the keys lit up.)  Not a phone design issue, per se, but the manufacturer does outfit it with a standard case, so I’m tarring it with the same brush.

I have “Any Key Answer” set to Off, and yet, whenever it rings, the call often picks up and is answered in the action of pulling it from the holster.  Except for the confusion of trying to figure out if it was answered this time or not, this can be good.  I do get calls I’d like to ignore, though, and invariably those get answered too.  I was under the impression that “Any key answer”=No would mean you’d have to press the “Talk” button, but apparently this is not the case.

And, of course, I’ve already covered the lack of the “create Excel file” option.

Despite these minor annoyances, I still love the phone though.  I can totally see how people can get addicted to them quickly though… it’s way too easy to sneak in and check your email when you should be doing something else… ;)