After using an Audiovox Thera PocketPC phone for what seems like forever, I’ve ordered matching new phones for Erika and I. The Thera was pretty cool, but it had two strikes against it: it’s friggin’ big, and Verizon no longer lets you use data minutes out of your voice pool. They’re making you pay for a separate data plan now, so I can’t just surf the web with their high-speed data network whenever I want. That was the whole point of getting that particular phone: running internet apps like web browsing, email, and instant messaging from anywhere. So now my Thera is up on Ebay, along with a ton of Thera accessories.
The morale of the Thera seemed to be that I don’t need a phone that plays MP3s, surfs the web, or anything else. I just wanted a phone that supported analog mode for roaming (which the Thera did, thank goodness), had voice-activated dialing (the Thera didn’t), and had a speakerphone (the Thera did). I also wanted to get the same phones for both Erika and me so that we could share a spare battery and cradle.
I ended up picking the new Audiovox CDM-9900 because it was cheap ($50) and had the features I wanted except the cradle, but hopefully that’s coming soon. It’s a 640×480 camera, but of course you know the picture quality is probably going to suck. It does have a flash, though, and it has the ability to capture 15-second videos and send them to others. Thus, another reason for the matching phones with Erika: when she’s working, I can annoy her with short video clips of my latest expeditions.
The local Verizon store had been out of these phones, and had said everybody was sold out of them as soon as they came in. I can see why, at $50 a pop. The online store also said they were out of stock, but I pushed my luck and called them up personally. Presto, two Audiovox 9900’s on the way to my house. I’ll post a review once they come in, along with sample photos. (I haven’t been able to find a review on the net yet.)