The phone that broke my heart

23 Mar 2004|Lee Shupp

I just finished a 30-day trial of the Motorola MPX-200 Smartphone, currently offered by ATT Wireless. Full disclosure: I work with the Windows Mobile group, love what they are doing, and crave easy integration between my mobile phone and my Microsoft applications, most especially Outlook and the Windows Media Player. I loved the phone, but had to give it up. It was like dating a hot babe that keeps standing you up, so you have to walk away even though you’d rather not.

I loved the phone from the first time that I saw one. I favor flip phones, thought the size was great (slightly thick for a clam, but worth the added functionality), and really liked the industrial design (black with blue). The battery took forever to charge (30+ hours) but setup was really fast and easy once I had juice. I simply set the phone in its cradle, attached the USB cord to my laptop, and used ActiveSync to sync the phone with my Outlook. While sync took a while (I have lots of Outlook data), all the info made it from my PC to my phone.

The Motorola OS took a while to learn; it could definitely be better. One funny thing that kept happening was that I kept accidentally dialing when I didn’t intend to. David Aaker, whom I’ve never met but who is the first person in my Outlook database, must think I was phone stalking him for about a week, because I would accidentally dial his number, realize what was happening, then hang up before he could answer. I probably repeated this process 10-15 times over a few days. Apologies David!

Once I got used to the OS, the phone was great. You can dial numbers corresponding to letters in your Outlook database, and names come right up. I do wish it would allow notes and task list, but that’s a minor point. The phone was easy to use while driving, and looked great at night, with bright blue graphics that look really cool.

The reception on the phone was really clear and crisp, but I had lots of dropped calls. The customer service folks at the ATT Wireless store (who were very helpful generally) told me that it was the reception in the phone itself rather than the network, but when I asked to try the phone with the best reception (smart or not; it was not) the same thing happened, so I suspect the network, not the phone.

Much as I loved the phone, the dropped calls were a deal killer. First and foremost I have to have a reliable phone and network, and be able to actually talk to people. Hence I returned the phone and decided to stick with Sprint, even though I’m not wild about their current phone selection. (Hello Sprint? Talk to Motorola please!) But I miss that phone- in a world of phones with little or no personality, I really liked the MPX-200. *sob*

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