My ideal smartphone concept-swappable phone radios!

Discussion in 'General Smartphone/Handheld/Wearable Discussion' started by NamelessPlayer, Aug 21, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. NamelessPlayer

    NamelessPlayer Mobile Deity

    Messages:
    1,831
    Likes Received:
    46
    Trophy Points:
    223
    Basically, take the HP iPAQ hx4700, add some modern internals (new CPU, at least 256 MB of RAM, and at least 4 GB of internal NVRAM), make the entire face of the device a huge WVGA screen, add a slide-out thumbboard, and keep everything else as-is, maybe except for the CompactFlash slot.

    Instead, that slot would be dedicated toward the whole phone portion of the device, as it contains the phone radio. Want to switch between different network technologies (GSM vs. CDMA)? Just swap the phone radio, not the entire device.

    Oh, and here's the best part: the device functions just fine WITHOUT a phone radio installed, so you don't have to pay for it if you don't want to. It would be a perfectly capable PDA/PMP/MID without it.

    People don't have much issue with buying a PCMCIA/ExpressCard phone radio for 3G/4G data usage on a laptop/netbook/Tablet PC. Why can't that concept be brought to the smartphone-ahem, pocket computer?
     
  2. Tom LaPrise

    Tom LaPrise Absent-Minded Professor

    Messages:
    2,640
    Likes Received:
    335
    Trophy Points:
    258
    The VisorPhone Springboard module was almost that, only I don't think it was available in CDMA.
     
  3. NamelessPlayer

    NamelessPlayer Mobile Deity

    Messages:
    1,831
    Likes Received:
    46
    Trophy Points:
    223
    Ah, the Springboard phone module. Didn't think anyone else remembered that one, though I never used one myself (never had a Handspring Visor of any sort).

    What I was thinking of was more along the lines of the hx4700 or any other CompactFlash-equipped PDA with a GSM or CDMA radio card.

    However, the problem with those was SOFTWARE INTEGRATION. They couldn't use the device's own speaker and microphone-you needed to plug in a headset into the card itself. Also, the OS (usually Windows Mobile) didn't adjust itself to take the added phone radio into account.

    I'd imagine that the VisorPhone module had much better integration with the Palm OS, though-too bad it's constrained to older devices.
     
  4. MacOsPalmer

    MacOsPalmer Mobile Enthusiast

    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    As the owner of an HX4700, i'm going to chime in here and say that the only difficulty i think you would have would be finding a CDMA CF card that worked well in WM6. Yes, i realize it wouldn't use the devices onboard audio, but, i think that is more a limitation of the CF slot hardware. As for the storage issue, the HX4700 also has an SD card slot, so, you could toss a 4 gig SD card in there for your storage needs. And yes, the two slots can be used simultaneously without issue, i just tried it myself.
     
  5. NamelessPlayer

    NamelessPlayer Mobile Deity

    Messages:
    1,831
    Likes Received:
    46
    Trophy Points:
    223
    But that's the problem-CFIO phone radio cards do NOT integrate well with the hardware and software as it stands. I'd really like to see an hx4700-ish Windows Mobile device that switches between Classic and Professional functionality seamlessly.

    As for the SD card slot, that reminds me of another reason I've considered upgrading from the hx4700-the SD slot just will not support SDHC at all, even with WM6.1. The only way to use SDHC cards would be to get an SDIO-to-CompactFlash adapter, and in that case, why not just get a CompactFlash card?
     
  6. Varjak

    Varjak Mobile Deity

    Messages:
    6,503
    Likes Received:
    39
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've thought similarly for a long time. I often wondered why Nokia didn't do something like this with the hugely expensive Vertu phone. That way, you can keep the fancy 'case' and upgrade the technology, memory, etc. inside. But the problem is that other stuff that would be in the 'hardware module' changes too: screen resolutions, sizes, keyboard innovations, etc. In the long run, it just seems easier to get a new phone.
     
  7. NamelessPlayer

    NamelessPlayer Mobile Deity

    Messages:
    1,831
    Likes Received:
    46
    Trophy Points:
    223
    Speaking of Vertu phones, I'd expect them to be even more robust than the N97, only they aren't. They're basically just glorified dumb phones with inflated price tags-a sort of "I Am Rich" in the phone realm.
     
  8. questionfear

    questionfear Google'd.

    Messages:
    5,095
    Likes Received:
    1,350
    Trophy Points:
    288
    The big selling point with Vertu is the build quality. I got to play with them when I was on vacation in Vegas a while ago...I saw the store and dragged the GF in, who was amused and frightened (we'd only been dating a few months then).

    The salesperson for Vertu was awesome though. I told her I wasn't buying anything, but I was aware of the brand and curious about why they commanded the high price tag. She let me handle a few phones, we talked about the materials (metal, leather, etc). It's the same reason why someone drops several thousand dollars on a watch that does less than a 50.00 fossil or timex...the quality and feel. I would absolutely buy a Vertu if I wanted the BMW of dumbphones. The weight, the solid feeling, they really do feel like a very expensive phone...

    Oh, and apparently they come with a fancy pants concierge service for a year too...not really a reason to buy the phone, more to show the type of person they want buying the phone.

    But being as we're all geeks here, we expect a phone at that price to be a smartphone, not a very high end feature-phone.
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page