TOYBOX: The i830 fails to answer expectations

I can't begin to tell you how many pitches I get to try out new cell phones. They all seem pretty much the same.

I can't begin to tell you how many pitches I get to try out new cell phones. They all seem pretty much the same.

That's why my interest was piqued when Nextel wrote me about a phone with GPS capabilities. Alas, the Motorola i830 phone Nextel sent me did not quench my curiosity. I could not get the GPS feature to work, instead getting the message that satellites couldn't be found over my suburban Chicago home. My daughter took some comfort knowing there doesn't seem to be a satellite hovering over our house pinpointing our location, but I was disappointed. I tried the phone from other spots, but could never get my location. The instructions brought up the possibility of updating something called my satellite almanac, but I couldn't find that on any of the phone's menus. Even if it worked, the phone only supplies coordinates, not maps of where you are - and you need to attach it to a PC or lap-top for that. It works well enough as a phone and has some cool features, but I wanted it to do more. Any suggestions for gadgets we should try? Send them to toybox@prweek.com
  • John N. Frank writes Toy Box. He is the Chicago-based Midwest bureau chief for PRWeek. Price $299.99 with two-year service agreement Available at Nextel retail channels Specs 3.6 ounces, offers GPS and NextMail service, which sends a voice mail message via e-mail

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