T-Mobile had a radio advert for an unlimited data plan, and when we were in the shopping centre I saw they had just opened up a store there. So why not stroll in and take a look at the offerings?
I took a good look at the MDA Vario (which is a rebranded HTC Wizard), which seems like a neat little machine. It has a full keyboard that slides out from under the screen, which is certainly handier than the SMS-like interface you have to use on an i-Mode phone if you have to enter large amounts of text.
It's a bulkier machine, though. It's more of a PDA that can also be used to make phonecalls with, rather than a phone that can also be used to access websites with. On the other hand, it runs a full-features browser, which means you can access a greater number of sites with that device...
I hadn't made up my mind yet, so I decided to check out the Gathering of Tweakers, a webforum for Dutch and Belgium hardware enthusiasts. Sure enough, there is a topic on the Wizard, going on its 11th incarnation. Apparently there's a lot to tell about this little machine...
So I skimmed through some of the tips and trucs. Registry hacks abound, special software to tweak the machine... And that cured me of my curiosity about this phone. I am not going to deal with tweaks and hacks to make that particular tool work as I want it too.
Sure, iMode is pretty restricted and basic, but it is a well-defined platform. You know what you can and can't do. iMode phones are phones, not PDAs equipped with a mic and speaker. I don't need a PDA -- I have three Palm PDAs lying about the house, and I don't use any of them anymore.
One of my colleagues had a HTC Magician, and at a certain time he got fed up with not being able to call. So now he uses a 'normal' Nokia phone. I'm not going to repeat that mistake: I'm not buying into a device that will not 'just work'.