Kyocera Smartphone 6035
By Joel Shore
years, I've been carrying around a cell phone and a Palm Pilot.
Couldn't someone squeeze both functions into one device? Well, Kyocera
has done what no amount of duct tape could manage to do. Lo and
behold, the Kyocera QCP 6035 Smartphone.
My expectation was that this union would produce a mediocre phone and
so-so Pilot. Boy, was I wrong. The Kyocera Smartphone is just about
everything I could hope for. Perfect it isn't, but it pushes the
personal-communications market to a place it has never been.
The “Palm powered”
personal organizer is a full-blown implementation of the Palm III
platform—and them some. The screen is narrower than my Pilot's, not a
big problem, but a bit of an inconvenience. The Palm OS software has
been specially modified to integrate telephone functions. (Don't,
don't, don't attempt to install a standard Palm OS. You'll be really
sorry. Almost any Palm-compatible application should be ok, however.)
The phone portion was great. Sonic quality was excellent. Voice
dialing, speed dialing, and an HTML Web browser from Eudora are all
present. The phone keypad uses true illumination (none of that
glow-in-the-dark stuff) and worked
well. Alas, not all of the keys on the telephone keypad are lighted. I
had trouble dialing into voice mail in the dark.
The Smartphone can be used with its keypad flipped open or closed.
When it's open, you can select a phone number from the Palm screen.
Unlike a normal cell phone that limits you to perhaps 99 programmed
numbers, you are limited only by the 8 megabytes of built-in memory.
You can store tens of thousands of numbers—if you have that many
friends. Open the flip, tap a phone number in the Palm address book,
and the number is dialed.
The address book has been modified. Tap a name on the left side of the
screen, and the complete record for that contact opens up, just like
you'd expect. But tap the phone number on the right side of the screen
and the Kyocera Smartphone dials away.
Furthermore, if you tap on the little arrow next to a phone number, a
drop-down list appears, allowing you to choose the number for that
contact you'd like to use (office, home, cell, fax, etc.). This is
well thought out and works beautifully. It will probably prevent you
from substituting any of the replacement address-book applications,
I did have one minor problem with the keypad's soft rubberized keys.
About three months after I got my phone, the on/off key started to
delaminate; the top clear layer started to peel off. No problem; the
good folks at my local Verizon Wireless store replaced the entire flip
unit in about two minutes, no questions asked.
Like any worthy Palm device, the Kyocera Smartphone has an infrared
port. I beamed all of my address/phone listing and appointments from
my Palm III without any problem.
The included genuine Palm software let me sync my phone with the Palm
desktop on my PC. But Kyocera has done even better. Included is Pocket
Mirror from Chapura, an application that bypasses the Palm desktop and
syncs directly with Outlook as well as some other information
managers. Installation was a breeze, and I have never had a problem
Weighing in at nearly half a pound, the Smartphone is bigger than any
typical modern cell phone and a bit more than an inch longer than my
now-retired Pilot. I didn't find that to be a problem. I was used to
keeping my previous phone in my pocket, so that was not a change. But
I nearly always kept my Pilot in my shoulder bag, never with me when I
needed it. Problem solved.
The biggest complaint I had came not from me, but from several women
who placed phone calls. Because the earpiece and microphone are
positioned on the face of the unit, instead of on the back, the shiny
display screen falls in contact with one's ear. Skin oils and makeup
nearly always found their way onto the screen, requiring a gentle but
regular cleaning with lens cleaner. Earrings have the potential for
inflicting more permanent damage.
So what's not to like? Well, my son figured something this big must be
able to play MP3 files. It can't. And it doesn't have a color screen
while some of its competitors do.
The Kyocera Smartphone 6035 is a landmark product, one we will likely look
upon decades from now as a legend. I can't wait to see what comes next.<