I installed a few applications on the new C500 and have to say there are a couple ergonomic issues that make my E200 a bit nicer. The keys are quite close together on the C500 and since it is so small I have to really bend my thumb to press in keys on the right side. I do not like the center joystick/rocker bar yet and keep moving up when I am trying to press the center of the joystick in to serve as the selection/OK button. This controller does not work that well for right and left or pressing in, which actually goes along with the Smartphone OS big weakness.
Microsoft really should look at making the phone more usable with the directional pad instead of relying on the user to press buttons on the keypad or scroll too much. This was a big discussion at Mobius when we were talking with the Microsoft members at the end and I think if Microsoft really wants to make headway into the huge number of mobile phone users they need to improve the interface and not try to match Windows. I can picture a Home Screen that has some basic info for today’s events along 1/3 of the bottom. The rest of the display is a single icon where the user can quickly move right and left to see the other icons. These icons can be labeled something like My Life, My Media, My Web, My Games, etc. After going to My Life, then you press in on the directional pad and a smaller set of 4 icons appears labeled Calendar, Contacts, To-Do, Notes or something like that. Like Rich Brome showed me, it would be great to move around with just the directional pad and not have to use other hardware buttons or keypad keys to really get around.
Besides the navigational pad and tight keys, the display on the C500 is awesome and larger than I have seen on other MS Smartphones. The camera looks like it takes much better photos than the MPx220 and I love the fact that it uses mini-USB to sync and charge. Why can’t we all go with this standard? I next need to try out Bluetooth and then other applications once my miniSD card arrives.
My buddy, Peter, was asking if I only had to choose a single device what would it be, the C500 or the Treo 650? I think I told him the 650 a couple days ago and after using the C500 a bit more I would have to say the 650 still looks compelling since it has much better text input methodology. The low memory capacity of the 650 though is a big problem.
If you want to go bigger, then the MDA III (Blue Angel) is really quite a device with all wireless functions (WiFi, Bluetooth, GSM/GPRS) and ample memory with great text input functionality.