I got a ROKR E1 yesterday
Ok, lets see where to start.
1. It is small [no its not a RAZOR], but its not one of the NOKIA or Sony monsters. Think a ipod mini a bit longer and about as think as an White iPod. Its surprisingly light, feels as light as a mini-ipod.
2. Lots of buttons and a jog stick to navigate + buttons. Interface is standard phone and really needs Apple's touch to simplify, but that is standard for most cell phones.
3. Bright clear color screen.
4. Annoying sound alerts [I will need to dump those]. Again standard from vendors.
5. iTunes interface simple and intuitive loading straight forward with iTunes 5. I did have a problem of iTunes not seeing in on my PB17 so changed USB ports and up it popped.
6. USB 1.1 is slow! So first time 100 songs go get a coffee.
7. Headsets built in speaker sound real good yes the phone itself is not too shabby sound esp given its small size. Some serious engineeering here.
8. Cingular service is a bit flaky getting voice mail up etc., but eventually everything is working AOL, Browser, SMS messaging, and standard stuff.
9. I tried some software to set up ringtones Xingtone that claims to support MacOS 10.4 and ROKR, but it just keeps crashing so will wait before I plunge into ringtone world
10. trying to find wireless modem and address book synching software -- will try Apples tonight, but I want to manage what gets synch'd and need to figure out how to make that work.
11 There is an expectation that the 512MB card should mount on my desktop as a removable memory like a shuffle but so far nothing and I am warned by Apple do not muck with disk utilities ROKR uses its own format.
I had used Cingular with Motorola Startac and its service was dissappointing in Boston Area, and moved over to Verizon with cell phone V70 and then TREO600. Cell phone service OK, but Verizon does not support Mac so I eventually said time to switch from TREO [PDA/email/Calendar ....] just did everything sort of, but a cell phone does the important stuff voice best and thought I'd go back and chose cingular [bought ATT so hopefully got better connectivity - so far not as good as Verizon] with ROKR.
As a cell phone ROKR works well, a whole lot better than TREO or Blackberry or other handhelds. Still experimenting.
The navigation on cell phones is complicated with lots of menu drill downs and ups. The iTunes part works smoothly and simply and a 100 songs is a lot. I have a 60 GB [6000 songs] ipod and 1 GB Shuffle and this is nice size for some travel situations.
Improvements I'd like to see:
Well Apple attack the user interface would be great for cell phone industry in general.
A sexy RAZOR format shape would be cool, but this not too bad.
Option to add more music as memory becomes available. I'm sure there will be a 1 GB version and it would be nice to up to ante to 200-300 songs
A simple interface to the Mac, where basically you have access to ROKR files, preferences, etc. and can directly load and configure from a specialized application.
Access to wireless modem service so I can use this phone when I don't have access to Wi Fi.
USB 2 or better yet firewire [i find firewire a whole lot better than USB 2]
Wireless Bluetooth earbuds would be nice.
What I really am not interested in - is buying my music over the air. I need to have a coherent way to manage the songs I buy on line [read itunes] as well as rip from CDs. iTunes is a nice app for that and a lot more - getting the music over the air is just going to create a more complicated synching and management nightmare. Especially since I have 4 computers I work with [work, home G5, laoptop, and my Wife's ibook [and her 4 GB Mini that she will not let me touch!].
Ok I guess that summarized it. Its still a novelty, but its a solid cell phone and iTunes is a real treat on it. Some modest tweaking on features [see above], improved interface [non-iTunes], and eventually a smaller form factor would be great. Although I do like the ability to actually play music on stereo speakers that come with it.