Shopping for a new mobile device feels like a bad dating scene. Most are looking for ‘sleek, sexy and smart’ but generally don’t want to pay a steep price for perfection. If there was such a thing. For the general consumer, T-Mobile has done an excellent job of meeting the needs of the masses and rolling out consumer-grade smartphones that enable general audiences to text, IM and email on the go. Tech Crunch has posted a great article today on the T-Mobile Dash, which is a new smartphone-enabled device priced between $199 – $350 (depending on service plan) due on the streets October 25th.
(from the TechCrunch review) The Dash, manufactured by HTC for T-Mobile, is a Windows Mobile 5.0 smartphone that is about as thin as the Motorola Q and includes quite a few user friendly features… at first blush, the Dash doesn’t look like much. It has a bright color screen, full QWERTY keyboard, and a slim, rubberized body that fits right into a back pocket — not something we’d suggest, by the way, because the screen is large and could potentially crack. Note the size comparison to the SK3, which is much thicker than the Dash. Windows Mobile 5.0 is acceptable and familiar. It has full email features including custom POP3/IMAP mailbox set-up and AIM, Yahoo Messenger, and ICQ IM built-in. Not bad so far for a $199 phone with 2-year contract.
From an Reuters article on the release of the new device:
“We believe there is a real untapped need for consumers wishing to keep in touch with their personal e-mail while they are away from their computer,” Selman said. But one analyst said that while the price is low enough to attract cost-conscious consumers, it may not appeal to style aficionados who have other choices for keyboard phones. “I don’t think it’s fancy enough,” said Current Analysis analyst Avi Greengart — who believes that Motorola Inc.’s Q, or the Pearl from Research In Motion Ltd., which T-Mobile also sells — could be bigger hits among style-conscious users.
Meeting the needs of the cost-conservative U.S. market by offering a cost effectve wi-fi enabled Windows Mobile device is a smart move by T-Mobile. Although not the most sleek, sexy or stylish solution available – the ability to IM, email and type from this device is going to help jump-start the missing link between business users and general consumer smart phone adoption.