new iPod vs. PDA vs. PDA/Blackberry Phone...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by proverbs, Oct 13, 2005.

  1. proverbs macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2005
    well, i need to organize my life, so i was planning to get either a PDA or PDA/blackberry cel phone. but apple had to go and release the new iPod! :eek: now i feel like i MUST get it.

    well, i know there's the panaroma organizer program for the regular non-color iPod (not sure if it's any good), so do you guys think a new organizer program will be developed for this new iPod in the near future? and does anyone think its possible that the iPod could have internet capabilities (check your email on your iPod!) in the future? maybe a small keypad attachment, like the ones you see on the PDA phones, to write emails. man that would be sweet. :D

    so get a PDA and organize my life, or get a really cool iPod (hopefully with an organizer program).
  2. plinkoman macrumors 65816


    Jul 2, 2003
    New York
    the whole get a pda to organize your life thing never works, you'll get it and it is the coolest thing on earth for the first two weeks, then it sits on your bookshelf for a year and then you finnaly realize how much of a waste of money it was.

    i know, i tried it

    my iPod on the other hand, i have used everyday since i got it almost 2 and a half years ago :eek:
  3. proverbs thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2005
    i understand what your saying, but i REALLY think a pda/organizer will help me. i'm currently a student and mostly on-the-go, but i do have to make appointments and schedule certain things when i get calls randomly during the day for my work. up to this point, i've been using the good ol' pen and pad, but sometimes i lose the paper or forget about it. this is where i think the organizer can really make a difference.

    but on the other hand, the iPod is so darn cool!
  4. ozone macrumors 6502


    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario, Canada
    Ha ha ha... welcome to my world. I've owned a Palm Vx, Toshiba e800, Palm T3, HP iPaq 4150... and now, a BlackBerry 7250. The sad part is, I've still have almost all of them. Some were compatible with various computers I went through, others were not.

    First: Check to make sure whatever you want can sync with a Mac. Scope out MissingSync and a few others.
    Second: Ask yourself if you want just an organizer or if you want to do other things (take notes, etc.).
    Third: Realize that if you have a good laptop all the time or always have pen and paper handy, you will almost NEVER use a PDA to take notes. Why? They're just too small. You can type faster or write on paper more comfortably.
    Fourth: If you do decide to get something, go SMALL as you can hold comfortably. The larger the device, the dumber it looks on your belt or the less likely you're going to take it with you.

    So, if you were to ask me what I REALLY need, I'd have to say that my old Palm Vx from 5 years ago still would be enough. It has my calender, addresses, etc. and I could take the OCCASIONAL note if I really wanted to.

    But if you were to ask me what I've found the most USEFUL, I'd have to say the BlackBerry. It can't hold large files (no memory expansion) and it can't play music (damn!), but it does email like no other thing around. And it does have the usual calender, addresses, notes, etc. So, it's sort of like my old Palm, but with the added benefit of email, web, and phone. It's got some little games, but I hate video games, so I don't care much for that.

    For me, these are my priorities for portable gadgets:
    1. Communications (cell phone for emergencies, but more importantly, EMAIL on the go - more important if you travel).
    2. PIM (address, calender, tasks).
    3. Entertainment (for me, music and audio books)

    If you're a Geek and gadget nut, by all means go for the latest PDA. Realize you cannot fulfill (1) above unless you get a smartphone (Treo, etc.).

    If you're practical, go for a cellphone or BlackBerry. It'll fulfill (1), (2), and maybe (3), depending on what you get. Or, just get an iPod: it'll fulfill (2) and (3), but not (1). Just realize that you can't change things on the go with an iPod, but this is only going to likely happen less than 20% of the time.

    If you want it all and are willing to give up a few things, get an iPod AND a cellphone: you'll sacrifice some portability as you now need two devices. (A Nano, on the other hand, would be nice and small.) Or, get an all-in-one smartphone (e.g., Treo, a few Windows SmartPhones), but realize they can be quirky, or are missing some features, or are just plain expensive.

    Check out for a great forum on PDA type devices.
  5. jeffcorbets macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2005
    Ozone provided a nice overview of the analysis you should do before making any major purchases.

    I have a Treo 650 from Sprint that replaced my old Sanyo cell phone and a HP iPaq h5555 (you know, the big one with the fingerprint reader, 128MB memory, and wireless). The Treo 650 is certainly smaller than carrying both around and I use the organizer features daily, as opposed to when I was carrying my iPaq (which was almost never).

    With the Treo, I can connect and download my e-mail from anywhere - and I can reply easily, typing on the thumbboard is awkward at first, but everyone develops little tricks to make it work. I don't think anyone would take a full hour of notes during a lecture using it though.

    I don't know how they are for playing music, as I do have a 4G iPod for that. The Treo 650 has no way to play Fairplay DRM'd songs, which gives the iPod a step up over it.

    If you really do feel your life needs the type of organization that the smartphone provides, the Treo is a great bet. There are caveats however. I would go look at the discussion boards at to see some of the ups and downs of the units.

    ~Jeff Corbets
  6. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Yeah, I was gonna suggest a Treo 650 with Palm OS, or one of the smartphones. Heck, Palm even offers the Treo 650 with a Windows OS (if you want it), so even they are making Smartphones now. But I think the Palm OS syncs much better with Macs than Smartphones do.

    Forget the iPod for organization. It doesn't work well, although it's good for emergencies in case I forget my mobile phone in my car or something and need to know my schedule.

    If you can't afford a Treo 650 (like me and most techies :p ), just get a better mobile. You can probably get a Sony-Ericsson K700i for cheap now that the K750i is out. I always update iCal, and then I sync my mobile via bluetooth. When I have something to do, someone to meet, or somewhere to go, my mobile rings and gives me a written reminder. A Treo would be better, but I'm more than happy with my Sony Ericsson.

    PS: The only reason I didn't get a Smartphone is because the Nokia models I wanted aren't listed on Missing Sync's website as something they support.

    @Plinkoman: Um....I had an old school Handspring Visor, and I used that thing for an entire year. For everything. It was my entire life in my 3rd year of Uni. Funny thing, though, because after my 4 month summer vacation, I went to start my 4th year and tried using the Visor again, but I just didn't get into that "groove."
  7. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    I've got a Kyocera 7135 -- Cell phone and Palm combo. OK screen size (certanly better than most cells, if a bit smaller than a 'real' Palm. I found the Treo keyboard way too small to be practical, and I have mostly mastered Graffiti except for the bleeding "Y"s

    It has a memory card slot and can theoretically play MP3's but I never use that. Same with the eMail and Web over cell functions.

    Big thing for me is -- because it's my phone I HAVE to carry it. If it were a PDA alone, I would leave it behind. If it were a music player/PDA I would leave it behind. Really important to me to have to carry only one device.
  8. proverbs thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2005
    thanks for the replies.

    i am now leaning towards a Treo 650 or the Blackberry 7250. it would be really cool to have the new iPod, but the pda/blackberry phone would actually help me with some daily tasks.

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