So I’ve been using my Samsung i607 (BlackJack) for several days now and I’m pretty impressed! You see, I’m primarily a Symbian & Mac person so I’ll admit being a little worried about purchasing a Windows Mobile device, especially since the ones I’d tested in the past generally appeared to sacrifice basic phone functionality (poor RF, audio and UI performance) without being particularly compelling “multimedia computers” (as an aside I think Nokia’s terminology is dead on).
Samsung hardware is generally pretty decent, and the i607 is quite nice. But surprisingly, Microsoft’s software is also pretty decent, and is quite stable, too! However, there’s one nagging problem with Windows Mobile… It’s called ActiveSync. Call me crazy, but in this day and age, how can you make a smartphone without support for Bluetooth DUN & OBEX? I know Microsoft likes promoting ActiveSync, but why Bluetooth PAN? Why not also support the existing industry standards?
So I ended up purchasing Missing Sync. It’s not particularly intuitive, but after some trial and error, I managed to sync over USB and Bluetooth. I also succeeded in getting DUN (over USB) setup on my Mac, and Bluetooth PAN setup on my OQO (Windows XP). Then I got the phone SIM unlocked and application unlocked. With a bit of help, I also got SlingPlayer working and the annoying startup/shutdown audio disabled. The only fix left is finding a way to stop Java applications from constantly prompting for permission to access the network.
Give this device a better camera, WiFi, and Symbian and I’d have my ideal smartphone – like blending the E61, N73 and adding tri-band HSDPA. Nokia, are you listening? In the meantime, if you’re looking for a decent Windows Mobile device, the BlackJack is it… But in the end, my N80 is not ready to be retired yet.