UPDATED: Impressions after the first month can be found here.
For the last 12-14 months, I have carried a Blackberry Pearl 8100 on my hip. And, as far as smartphones go, it served as a good, basic started phone. There were some issues though, including:
- No push email, due to limited corporate licenses for the Blackberry Enterprise server and an addition $30/month cost for Enterprise Support through T-Mobile. I did get my work email, but it was through a hack, and my work calendar and contacts had to be supported through Google Sync on the desktop and on the phone
- Poor camera. It was a 1.3MP camera. The quality of the camera varied over time, especially through various OS upgrades I put the phone through.
- Slow media support. Showing me the picture folder took up to 10 minutes, and got worse as more media was added
I was in the market for a new phone. The qualifications were:
- Better Camera
- 3G Support
- Active Sync Support
- Full physical keyboard
- WiFi (optional)
As a T-Mobile customer, the Active Sync and physical keyboard ruled out the new myTouch. The battery life on the G1 ruled that machine out.
Then I learned about the Dash 3G on Monday. It was exactly what I wanted.
Based on the HTC Snap, this phone is a serious upgrade to the old EDGE/GPRS Dash, which had always interested me. But, I was not willing to settle for EDGE/GPRS speeds. And though the T-Mobile 3G network may not be as built out as the AT&T 3G network, it is likely to improve over time.
Now, I have had the Dash 3G since Wednesday night. Comments so far?
- Moving contacts. This was sort of difficult, but it took only a few minutes once I had it sorted. Keeping my BlackBerry contacts synced with Google made this easy, as I exported my Google contacts, and imported them to Outlook
- GMail support. It’s done through IMAP, which is great, but it created a whole bunch of new labels in GMail that weren’t there before.
- Speed. Very fast, even when looking through folders of images.
- Camera. While 2MP is pretty low-end these days, it’s perfect for what I’m looking for.
- Ease of Use. Moving from one OS to another is always a challenge. But, Windows Mobile 6.1 benefits from being like Windows. And as much as you might disagree with that, it is a model that most of the world is used to.
- Battery life. Not bad, but I am always power-conscious. I only turn the WiFi on at home, and I haven’t fire up the Bluetooth yet. Using mainly the 3G network, battery life appears to be quite good. I plan to put it through a drain test over the next 36-48 hours to see how long the battery truly lasts.
Overall, through nearly 2 days, I am very happy with the new phone. If you are looking for a work-ready phone on the T-Mobile network, I highly recommend moving to the Dash 3G.