By Alex Vuchnich, CPA, CFE - For those looking for a solid extremely feature rich PDA Phone and those who can get over the next gen iPhone hype, check out the AT&T Tilt. The Tilt is a windows mobile 6.0 phone and is ideally suited to mobile professionals who may need to access corporate networks. The phone's trademark feature is its slideout qwerty keyboard and tilting screen that give the device a laptop-'esque' feel. This is all in a package that is a similar size to the iPhone with the exception that the device is not as thin as the iPhone and has a great deal of heft to it. The feature list is numerous but some of the features are: HSPDA broadband, GPS, Wi-Fi b/g, Bluetooth, 3.0 MP Camera, Email, Instant Messaging, Web Browsing, Office Mobile, Active Sync, Windows Media Player and the phone can even act as a tethered broadband modem or dial-up networking modem over bluetooth. The phone makes use of both a touchscreen and the qwerty keyboard. One drawback of the phone is that it lacks a dedicated dialing keypad. Numbers have to be dialed on the touchscreen or you have to slide out the full qwerty keyboard. A dual slider mechanism would have been greatly appreciated here but over time I have gotten pretty good at dialing via the touchscreen. For text messaging and email on the road, I have yet to come across a better device. The keyboard is spacious and easy to use.
I currently use my tilt to easily access multiple email accounts and sync my calendar and contacts from Outlook. By adding on a .pdf viewer I can view .pdf files along with the standard office documents through Office Mobile. The phone also can take advantage of Windows Vista Sideshow (a separate install is required) which allows for various sidebar gadgets on your laptop to display and update on the phone even when the laptop is closed or shutdown. I have even been able to control a power point presentation using the sideshow function and the phone as the presentation remote. Web browsing is done through Windows Mobile Internet Explorer. The browsing experience is pretty basic but the phone is Java enabled and there is a lot of compatibility with many of the sites that I regularly use.
For my media fix, I can also sync my music, podcasts, videos and recorded TV from windows media player. The conversion process takes awhile so I set this up to sync in the evenings and then the next morning everything has transfered over to the phone. The phone supports up to 32 GB of micro SD memory. I currently use a 4 GB card and have no problem syncing over 20+ hours of music playlists along with 10-15 hours of video and recorded TV (the syncing process automatically handles compressing the video).