Review: Samsung i730 Pocket PC and PDA phone

It's difficult to find a device that not only meets a user's business and personal usage requirements, but also successfully integrates of a PC, PDA and cellular phone. However, columnist John Shepler highlights one device that's on the cutting edge of digital device integration.

The integration of cell phone, personal computer and PDA is now taking place in the Samsung i730. It's a multipurpose wireless device that includes broadband Internet, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth communication protocols all built-in. But browsing the Web and sending messages is just the start. It's also set up to let you listen to music on its MP3 player or even watch streaming TV and video clips when that content service becomes available.

How do they fit all of this into a phone that you can comfortably hold in the palm of your hand? It starts with the packaging. Rather than have the keyboard as part of the front panel like a Blackberry device or PalmOne Treo, the Samsung i730 is a slider design. The QWERTY keyboard tucks behind the screen and navigation buttons. That also serves to protect it when not in use.

The TFT touch screen is 240 x 320 pixels and supports over 65,000 colors. This is where you access your PDA functions based on the Microsoft Pocket Windows operating system. You get Pocket Outlook that syncs with your PC, Pocket Word and Pocket Excel. That's pretty much an office in your hand. You have POP3, IMAP, SMTP and Blackberry E-mail support as wells as MMS and SMS text messaging. Pocket Internet Explorer is used for Web Browsing.

One important reason that this phone is so versatile is the multiple communication protocols built-in. In addition to CDMA 850 and 1900 MHz cellular, the i730 has high speed data from the same cellular network. It is the broadband speed EV-DO (EVolution Data Only) system available in many major markets. If you move out of range of the EV-DO transmissions, the service switches from EV-DO's 700 Kbps down to the almost universally available 1xRTT system capable of 70 Kbps. That's still about double what you get from dial-up.

Still feel the need for more speed? Hang around a Wi-Fi hotspot, even if it's just at home or work. The Samsung i730 has 802.11b Wi-Fi built-in, which is rare for even a technically advanced cell phone. On top of that, you have Bluetooth communications available so you can use a wireless Bluetooth headset instead of holding the i730 like a cell phone.

A future use for the fairly large main color display is watching streaming video content. The Samsung i730 has the capability of downloading video clips, although as of now it has not been enabled by Verizon wireless to access VCAST that runs on the EV-DO cellular data network. Verizon's VCAST gives you news and sports broadcast downloads and even concerts. Learn more about VCAST and cell phone models that support VCAST downloads in "Verizon Wireless VCAST is Video For Cell Phones."

Battery power for the i730 is provided by a LiION battery giving up to 132 minutes of talk time and 324 hours of standby time. There is also a special Sprite Battery Backup that saves your data if you run out of the main battery power. You might actually need that backup if you lose track of time while you are working in that Wi-Fi hotspot.

The Samsung i730 Pocket PC is on the leading edge of the next generation of cellphone and digital device integration.


T1 Rex's Business Telecom Explainer offers easy to understand information about complex telecommunications and networking technology. T1 Rex explains how T1 lines work, VoIP telephone, PBX, virtual private networks, digital audio transport, Wi-Fi & WiMax, fiber optic carriers and other business telecom services.

John Shepler has been a published writer for over 30 years. With a background in electronics engineering technology, he has worked in a variety of industries including radio broadcast, aerospace and manufacturing. Involved in telecommunications since 1998, he combines his interests in writing and technology with T1Rex.com and T1 Rex's Business Telecom Explainer.
Copyright 2003 - 2005 by John E. Shepler
Contact me at John (at) T1Rex.com

You can order a Samsung i730 with Verizon Wireless cellular service and get a discount on this phone and many other models from Cell Phone Plans Finder.

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