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VisorPhone
Sunday January 14, 2001 - 5:11 PM EST - By James Hromadka

Usability

Top of VisorPhoneI used the VisorPhone over the course of two weeks for this review. At first it feels weird holding your Visor to your ear, but you get used to it after a while. I did get some smudges on the screen until I started holding the mic farther away. The mic in the Visor has a really good range.

The biggest negative is the weight of the Visor+VisorPhone in this day and age of tiny phones. My Prism+VisorPhone weighed in at 10.0 oz, well more than many cell phones.

The speaker of the VisorPhone is excellent in loud or quiet situations. I was even able to use it as a speakerphone when checking my voice mail. The free "$25 Value" headset that came with the VisorPhone was of about $10 quality. I could hear myself when talking to someone on the phone and the sound quality was worse than when not using the headset. Besides, it was nice to finally use the built-in microphone of the Visor. I suggest you invest in a better headset if you plan on hands-free operation or want to use your Visor while speaking on the phone.

VisorPhone in VPRGSM isn't available everywhere, but it's currently much better than CDPD wireless technology offered by the Minstrel S modem. There was only one building that I had too weak a signal to use the VisorPhone, but everywhere else I was able to use the VisorPhone without any problems.

As for carrying your VisorPhone, I used the slipcase that came with the Prism to carry the VPR+VP around. When I was in my car, I used one of those foam cupholders that connects to your car's AC vents to hold them. It worked out very well since I was using the headset.

Ringer PrefsThe vibrator on the VisorPhone is very good and is something that every cell phone should have. Battery life on the VisorPhone is adequate and will never be a problem for Visor Prism users that leave their handheld in the cradle.

The only improvements really needed in the VisorPhone are in the Call History application. As I said earlier, a total minutes feature is needed, as is a tally of Modem minutes used. Customized rings would also be nice. I would also like to see Handspring let the VisorPhone's vibrator act as an alarm for DateBook.

Conclusion

The Handspring VisorPhone is a very good all-in-one Springboard module that gives you a cellular phone, messaging, and a wireless modem in one package. If you can handle the high price, this could be the only Springboard module you need.



Criteria 

Rating

Features 4
Usability 5
Setup 5
Cost/Benefit 3
Overall
(not an average)
Pros
- Easy to use
- Integrates well with other applications
- Good speaker
Cons
- Modem calls not in Call History
- Must use +1 or call is dialed long distance
- Weight of Visor+VisorPhone

Story Sections
VisorPhone
Making a Call
The Phone Application
SMS
Using the Modem
>Usability


User Opinions

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Product Details
Name: VisorPhone
Company: Handspring
Size: 2.4" x 2" x 0.6"
Weight: 2.9 oz.
Memory: 96 K on Visor when inserted
Hard Cover Compatible: No
SAR: 0.48 W/kg (head), 0.22 W/kg (body)
Price: $299.00 (w/ service contract), $499.00 (w/ no contract)





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