Motorola A388: if you're looking for PDA and phone functionality, the A388, might be for you.
When it comes to the UI, you have an easy-to-use combination of buttons and an icon-based, onscreen UI to navigate between modes and applications. The A388 also gives you a touch-screen keyboard you can use with or without the included stylus.
You also have the option of using the QuickPrint handwriting recognition program. QuickPrint is reminiscent of Palm Grafitti, but somewhat easier to use. When in doubt, it offers you a list of "Did you mean?" options to choose from. I've heard some complaints about QuickPrint's speed, but I didn't experience any of these problems.
This device gives you basic PDA applications: calendar, to-do list, address book, and a notepad application, among others. These applications won't be enough to keep your average power user happy. However you can add third-party J2ME applications.
The Motorola A388 covers all three bands of the GSM network, so it's good choice for travelers using plans that allow international roaming.
The Motorola A388 ships with Starfish TrueSync and a serial data cable to let you sync with Microsoft Outlook and Starfish's PIM, called TrueSync Desktop. Because the device I evaluated didn't ship with a data cable, I wasn't able to test the data sync capabilities.
Motorola chose not to ship with a USB cable, instead choosing a serial cable, which is getting hard to find on new notebooks. However, you can buy a converter for USB.
The device can operate in phone mode, or PDA mode, but not both. That means no paging through notes while making a call. The device doesn't offer a speakerphone, so this wouldn't be an option anyway.
All in all, the Motorola A388 is a solid piece of equipment, and a good choice for international travelers, or those of you who just ant basic PDA functionality and reduce the number of devices you carry around.
The Motorola A388 is a serviceable option for business users who only want to carry one device.
(+) Touch screen is easy to use
(+) Handwriting recognition is more intuitive than Palm Graffiti
(+) Easy-to-use UI
(+) Tri-band GSM for international travel
(-) You can't run in PDA and phone modes simultaneously.
Motorola Inc. http://www.motorola.com./
Motorola A388 US$300
DIMENSIONS: 3.86" height, 2.28" width, 0.9" depth
SCREEN SIZE: 1.9" height, l.4" width
BACKLIT SCREEN: Yes
BATTERY LIFE: 4.5 hours Talk; 145 hours Stand-by; 29 hours PDA
BATTERY TYPE: Lithium-Ion
OS: Proprietary Motorola OS; J2ME for third-party Java applications
PROCESSOR: Dragonball VZ
EXPANSION SLOTS: No
PORTS: Serial, stereo headphone jack
INPUT DEVICE: Touch-screen QWERTY keyboard, handwriting recognition
VOICE RECORDER: Yes
INTERNET: E-mail, Web
TEXT MESSAGES: Yes
APPLICATIONS: Address book, calendar, to-do, notepad
SYNC: Serial port, StarFish TrueSync
DATA SPEED: GPRS 56Kbps
RADIO SYSTEM: GSM 900MHz, 1800MHz, and 1900MHz
CALL TIMER: Yes
CALL WAITING: Yes
CALLER ID: Yes
LAST NUMBER RECALL: Yes
MISSED CALL LISTING: Yes
MULTIPLE PHONE BOOKS: No
RING OPTIONS: Ring, vibrate, silent
TEXT MESSAGES: Yes (SMS)
VOICE DIALING: No
Robert Ayer is director of network operations for RedWire Broadband, an wired and wireless broadband provider in Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego counties, Robert uses his experience as a MAN architect, UNIX systems administrator, and Cisco internetworking engineer to ensure the reliability of RedWire's integrated wireless and landline network, http://www.redwire.net, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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|Publication:||Mobile Business Advisor|
|Date:||Nov 1, 2002|
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