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    Kyocera SmartPhone QCP-6035
    Author: Drew Lanclos
    Date Posted: April 11th, 2002
    SLRating: SLRating: 8/10
    Bottom Line: Functional, stylish, and very intelligently designed. On the other hand, it's pricey, doesn't play with GSM, and a bit hard to find.

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    Pages: 1 2 3 4 5
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    Internet Functionality

    When using the phone on a supported network, the Kyocera also offers data-transmission capabilities. The phone includes software from Eudora that allows you to do Palm-based internet browsing as well as wireless e-mail functionality. I've tested them both to surprisingly good results. The Eudora software is reasonably functional, as is the desktop conduit software Eudora offers for syncing with Outlook, Netscape Messenger, and any number of other e-mail programs out there.

    The Eudora wireless web browser is a different animal entirely. Naturally, browsing the graphics-heavy World Wide Web is difficult on a mostly-text-based 4-shade screen. The Eudora browser cuts out all the graphics and clutter, and reduces buttons to text-links with similar functions. I used the phone once to read some Slashdot stories and check my e-mail on a web-only service running IMP. Despite IMP's reliance on Javascript, I was actually able to get in and check my mail through the service. Loading times were acceptable enough as well, hearkening back to dialup modem days.

    But let's face it - If you're checking e-mail or browsing the Internet from your cellphone, you're probably not interested in the idea of playing Flash games or viewing images on the small grayscale screen. Since your cellphone company is also your ISP and generally knows what hardware you're running your connection over, they clip out the graphics and other useless clutter remotely, saving the amount of data transfer time you'll have to pay for on your phone. Nice.

    Lastly, using either a cradle or a serial cable, the phone will operate as a wireless serial modem for a laptop or handheld computer. While not useful to me personally, it does permit a phone owner to get his fix of...ahem...graphic images, while still out in the middle of nowhere. Essentially, it's a useful way to overcome the browsing limitations of the small screen.

    Disadvantages

    This phone is definitely loaded with a lot of nice features. But there's definitely one huge drawback that will put most people off - The price. Even when subsidized by Verizon or Sprint, the phone still costs $199 retail ($299 without the subsidy). This is quite a price drop from its original pricing of $499 with contract, $599 retail, but still tough to compare against phones that are $30, $20, or even free. This is one of the same disadvantages that has prevented the widespread adoption of similar devices to the Kyocera QCP-6035, and will likely continue to do so in the future. Samsung recently introduced a Palm-based phone with a color screen and no flip-cover - It costs even more. Handspring is making a similar move with its Treo line of organizers - Time will tell how well consumers will adopt these new models.

    Another key disadvantage to the Kyocera is its use of a proprietary cradle interface. This prevents use of many aftermarket accessories, which use the Universal Palm Connector (Which isn't so universal anymore, thanks to Palm). Naturally, Kyocera offers similar devices (Spare/portable cradles, a portable keyboard) on its website at reasonable prices, but to me it seems to be an unnecessary design decision, and another flaw that hinders its adoption.

    Like many other cellphones, the QCP-6035 is only intended for use in the USA. It's a shame that this phone doesn't support GSM transmission modes, because I'm sure a phone with this level of functionality would be more than welcome in Europe and Asia, where the cellphone market is arguably larger.

    Finally, there's the issue of the screen. This is actually a problem that all cellPDA manufacturers face, and with the exception of the Treo, Kyocera has done the best job of fixing this problem. The traditional phone design puts the screen of the phone immediately underneath the receiver, so that most of the controls and information is immediately present. The problem comes in when you're using the phone - Your cheek and fingers are highly likely to rub against the screen, coating it in icky grease. Most phones up to this point haven't covered up the screen, but the flip on the Kyocera covers up about two thirds of it. The top third still gets some skin contact, but not nearly as much. Still, it would have been nice of Kyocera to include some screen covers with the phone, since they're practically a requirement here. Or, better yet, a retractible transparent screen cover inside the flip - You could pull it out when you don't need to flip the phone open, guarding the rest of the screen.

    Pros & Cons/Conclusion Go the the next page
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    Article Navigation

    1. Introduction/Features
    2. Hardware
    3. Software
    4. Internet Functionality/Disadvantages
    5. Pros & Cons/Conclusion

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