i500 Update

Since I told you I purchased a Samsung i500 cell phone I’ve had a couple weeks to try it out. Here’s what I’ve discovered:

  • It’s a tri-band phone, meaning it works on Sprint’s network, but also the other carriers when Sprint is not available – at least Verizon for sure, but possibly others as well, in addition to supporting analog calls. This means that I can make calls on the Metro – even though I have Sprint service (Only Verizon has service in the tunnels). My sprint plan includes all roaming, so it’s for no extra charge.
  • Installing a number of Palm applications – including a graphics application and Omniremote – causes the entire OS to crash and requires a hard reset. Since Palm Desktop automatically installs all existing software I had to go behind the scenes to delete the problem application files from the backup folder. I think these programs write to memory reserved for the phone functionality, but I am not sure.
  • My phone froze once when I was browsing the web with the included Blazer software, requiring a soft reset.
  • One Sprint charger that came with my phone worked but got so hot I burned myself and produced a smell of burning plastic. The other Sprint charger I had for the phone refused to charge the phone at all. Both were “smart” chargers that had an LED that turned red when charging. When I went to both a Sprint store and Radio Shack both said they didn’t carry the charger for th i500. A Samsung brand charger that I purchased on eBay seems to have done the trick the 1 day I have used it.
  • The Chapura software included with the phone worked great synchronizing my work Outlook contacts, schedule, and to-do list with the phone.
  • I installed Eudora’s free suite of applications for Palm successfully and have no problem connecting to my work email directly with their Palm POP3 client to send and receive email, however apparently Gmail isn’t running a standard POP3 server so I can’t use Eudroa mail, but I can interact directly with the web interface with Blazer.
  • The integrated phone application works very well and is seamlessly integrated with Palm’s address book. One of the features I like is that it clearly displays the caller ID for any calls received on call waiting with an arrow next to which call you’re on.

Although the phone is two years old and lacking some of the functionality of a Blackberry, I like that it looks and works something like a regular flip phone with all the additional functionality.

Author: Rob Goodspeed