March 23, 2006
 

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Posted: 04.07.05

Tales from a Messaging Madman

Though only really just beginning to catch on in the United States, I have always been a big fan of text messaging. When you only need to convey a few brief words, nothing suffices more than sending a quick text message to a colleague, friend or loved one. Far less intrusive than making a phone call, text messages serve a noble purpose in making mobile communications more efficient, 160 characters at a time.
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By Eric Zeman




According to my cell phone bills, I send anywhere from 50 to 100 text messages a month. I suppose that’s why my thumb bothers me so much. All that “triple tapping” really gets tiring after a while. So it was with glee that I recently gave the Nokia 6820 Messaging Device a whirl.

At first glance, it looks like any other candy bar phone from Nokia, slim and compact with a smallish screen. The 6820 features standard voice operations and call management functions, a five-way joystick for navigation and includes a digital camera and 3.5 MB of internal memory for storing contacts, pictures, messages, etc. Made for GSM networks, talk time lasts up to seven hours and standby for up to 10 days.

First impressions, though, are misleading, as the 6820 has a fantastic trick up its mobile sleeve. If you lift the keypad, you can flip it open to reveal a qwerty keyboard. Split in half by the screen, the keyboard provides both thumbs with ample room for typing text messages, e-mails, etc..

I found composing messages was so easy that I sent twice as many as I normally would have during the time I used the 6820. My colleagues and friends were shocked at how quickly I was able to respond to their queries, especially given the length of my responses. I’ve used other mobile devices with full qwerty keypads, and the difference it makes is huge. Using both thumbs for messaging provides noticeable relief.

One advantage the 6820 has over other full-keyboard-equipped messaging devices is size. With the keyboard folded away, it’s still very pocketable. It runs Nokia’s Series 40 OS, which may not be as robust as some of the true smartphone offerings on the market in terms of running applications, but the 6820 does a good job of providing an able phone and messaging platform.

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