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Sharp W-ZERO3


So I was out today buying myself a Christmas present (more on that later). While I was out I stumbled on the Sharp W-ZERO3. It’s a Windows CE pda, with VGA screen (640×480), digital camera, cell phone, wireless ethernet and mini keyboard all for only $350. Considering the cheapest 640×480 CE PDA I know of is the Dell at $599 and the dell does not include cell phone or camera or keyboard that’s a pretty amazing price.

It’s slightly thicker than most PDAs I guess, mostly because of the keyboard.

The really strange part is Sharp has a line of PDAs called Zaurus. They all run a custom OS based on Linux instead of Windows CE. Looking at Sharp’s webpage there is no mention of the W-ZERO3 on the Zaurus pages. I’m guessing that means this is probably not made by the same division.

It might finally be time to upgrade. I’ve been wanting a new PDA for years to try to actually use it as a PDA. My current PDA is like 6 years old, has no power, can’t run most software, so I only use it for my Japanese<->English dictionary.

I guess it’s actually been out a couple of months but I didn’t see one until today.

  • Leo

    I remember seeing it on Gizmodo or Engadget. I think they said it was coming out for some company called Willcom? Never heard of them. Hope you picked up a great Christmas present for your self. Merry Christmas.

  • Hiro

    This PDA-like came out this month. On the launch date, some people actually lined up in front of shops before they opened. It was sold out in minutes. No one really expected this. Willcom is one of the few PHS carriers, formerly known as DDI. In early 2005, foreign VC’s invested DDI and renamed it. Willcom introduced voice flatrate, which means Willcom users can talk to each other as much as they want for approx 3000 yen per month. If this PDA-like had international roaming like Vodafone 3G handsets, I may have bought it…

  • Txh
    English OS?

    I’d buy one of these if the OS could be switched to English and the phone would still worked. I wonder if thats possible? Anyone been game enough to buy one and try yet?

  • MrSingh

    Hiro, do you know what Willcom’s coverage is like?

  • http://brian.wanamaker.com/mybicycle/blogger.html bwana
    price

    Wow, 39800 yen isn’t too horrible for a device like this. I wonder what the drawbacks are, other than a lack of international coverage.

  • Hiro
    Coverage

    It should be ok if you’re in the cities. The big difference is that PHS places a whole bunch of small antenna bases all over, as opposed to PDC (Docomo, Vodafone KK, KDDI), which places big antennas with a bit of distance from each other. This means, when there’s a big quake and antennas go bad, PHS small antennas have better chances of survival, better connectivity. Also, the strength of electric wave is far less than PDC, so a lot of hospitals/doctors/nurses prefer PHS.

  • MrSingh

    Thanks. I’m mostly worried about coverage out on the ski resorts. :) Docomo actually has decent coverage at the ski resorts.

  • Trent

    Really, it’s still running CE?  Upgrade that thing to Mobile if you can!

  • EdInJapan
    Fun box, but I would wait unless you like to “solve” technical problems

    First, the W-zero3 runs WM5.0, so no need to “upgrade”.

    I managed to get one the first day they went on sale. Most people still can’t get them because they can’t make them fast enough for the demand. Remember, this is the first Smartphone in Japan.

    I am having a great time with mine, but a non-techy would probably scream. Besides all the “tweaking” you have to do with a Windows mobile machine anyway, the extra connectivity (Wi-Fi and PHS cellular) actually makes things a fair bit more complicated. I am guessing that if the respective Sharp/Willcom groups who came up with this live through the current growning pains, there will be a really sexy machine come out in the Fall of 2006–just my guess though.

  • Dax
    Does it work without a sim?

    I am looking to buy a Japanese Windows Mobile machine to use with Epwing dictionary files (I already have software for it), this is basically the best machine for the price.

    A friend of mine once bought a used Nokia N-Gage and to his surprise the machine didn’t work without a sim.

    As I don’t care about the phone part one bit, I’m wondering if I can use this device without a sim or if it’s required (Ngage style)

    Can anybody help me?

  • EdInJapan

    This machine doesn’t use the same kind of SIM card you typically find in GSM phones. The “phone part” is a card all its own–including the RF transmitter. You do NOT need this to have the device work as a PDA.