Ouch! WSJ's Walt Mossberg gives thumbs down to ROKR, W800, and VX8100 music phones

by Todd Ogasawara

Walt Mossberg (Walt Street Journal) tried out the Motorola ROKR (iTunes phone), the Sony Ericsson W800 Walkman phone, and the LG VX8100.
His bottom line?
If you're desperate to have some songs on your cellphone, be our guest. But a smarter plan would be to wait for a better combo device. These aren't the phones that will replace your iPod.

I used to be a fan of function convergence.
But, over the last couple of years, I turned the other way in favor of best-of-breed individual devices.
My reasons?

  • It is easier to get the best-of-breed for specific features (digital camera, PIM, photo viewing, music/podcast listening, etc.) when buying individual devices.
  • I don't have a single point of failure for my digital media and PIM functions.
  • If I tie everything to a phone device, I am left to wait for US FCC approval (which takes forever) and may not be able to get the phone I want if my carrier does not carry the device (and I'm not willing to pay extra $$$ for an unlocked device).

What do you think of MP3 playing phones? Hot or not?


2005-09-16 10:51:44
Convergence has not worked yet, very well
I have a camera on my cell phone. I never use it. Why? It's low resolution, there's no zoom, and it has no flash!

I've heard that DoCoMo phones from Japan have 5 megapixel cameras on them, but that only fixes one of the problems. Still no optical zoom lens, and still no flash. Why? Because both of those functions take lots of battery life.

One thing that has converged, at least for me, is finally being able to use a mobile phone as a planner. My Sony Ericsson has bluetooth, and I can synchronize my Apple address book and iCal with it. So I've mostly abandoned my PDA, because while it does do other useful things, it's just not that useful to carry around all the time.