By Rob Beschizza at 6:02 am Tue, Mar 17, 2009
Peek email-only handsets are $30 each until April 3, but there's a catch: you have to buy 5. They cost $20 a month to run, too, though there's no contract and you can quit whenever.
Product Page [Peek for Business]
So what was the verdict on these? I remember them getting tons of good press (Time’s best gadgets list, etc? Amirite?), but I never could quite work out why anyone who was already paying for a phone plan wouldn’t just upgrade to a smartphone and a data plan (that likely costs another $20 or $30, somewhat in line with the cost of this unit’s service), and have the whole shebang in one device.
I can definitely see them having grandma appeal (if the writing and keys aren’t too fiddly and small), but it definitely seemed like a device for folks that were reticent to go for a smartphone, and I think that Rob B. may be the final member of that market.
One exciting prospect on this 5-pack is the hackability of them (which I haven’t heard much about). At $30, just getting a device with a decent screen and full qwerty + gsm seems like a kind of nifty deal- that is, if there’s any way to get under the hood and tinker.
The really pressing question, though, is, would a Beowulf cluster of Peeks run Crysis.
Will they run Linux? 🙂
Sweet, new Peek model on the way!
aww maannnn I really really want one of these. as a broke ass college student who already has a cell phone but needs to keep up with lots of email on the go, this thing sounds awesome. I could probably afford it very soon, and no contract is definitely a plus.
Okay. Little review here. After reading this post, I decided that the only logical step was to go out and buy one of these things. I’m a small business owner and I’ve been reluctant to go the whole blackberry step because it’s ridiculously expensive compared to my existing and inexpensive phone. I’m also traveling to Portland tomorrow and I was worried about being out of touch for 5 days.
Doing the math, the $20 per month for Peek and $45ish (taxes included) for my phone, still makes having two devices less expensive. I don’t talk much obviously. I like texts and email. The Peek only cost me $55 (taxes included) at Target.
The biggest reason I didn’t want to ditch my phone is that there’s something nice about not having to cram a keyboard into my ear. I( like my 4 year old phone. My wife has a blackberry and I loath using the phone feature. on it. I also don’t particularly like the keyboard’s clusters of numbers hidden with the alt button. But I do like the Peek keyboard. The buttons are well spaced and are rubbery. Which makes them very tactile and easy find. There’s also little shifting and alt button pushing required for most email duty.
Setup was cake. You can actually do it all on the unit. I’m having some issues with receiving emails in a timely manner. Probably something to do with my IMAP settings, but sending them was a cinch.
I can see the appeal in this little device steadily creeping into my life. It’s very compact and yet usable. Looking back it made me sad to think that all 9 devices on the Target shelf were covered in dust and hidden below the cell phones.
This little thing makes a lot of sense. I’ve only had it for about 30 minutes now, and the simplicity of it is its strength.
I am in a situation where a Peek would make sense, and here’s why: there are five of us here in the office on the same cell phone plan – a “team share” plan that allows us all to draw from a common pool of minutes. It saves us $100/month to have this plan. If I move my phone to a data plan, it has the unintended effect of moving all the phones to a data plan. That’s $50/month more. As a small business, $600/year is enough to get my attention. It’s not going to bankrupt me, but it’s basically money out of my pocket.
While I’m not sure saving $30/month is worth carrying a second device, it might be worth putting that device in my travel bag for when I’m on the road.
Chances are I won’t buy one, but I can definitely see the market and will keep it in mind in case the need does come up. Right now I’m just not away from WiFi enough to bother.
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