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Loves & Dislikes

There are a lot of things to love about the Zire 72, but here are the things that I love the most about it:
  • The Screen - The screen on the Zire 72 is great.  It's got great color and it's bright and crisp.
  • The Processor - The processor on the Zire 72 is quick & snappy.  The built-in apps come up very fast.  It plays mp3 files with great sound, and it even has enough power to play videos using MMPlayer.
  • The Camera - Since I carry my Zire 72 with me everywhere that I go, that means that I always have a camera with me.  The quality of the pictures (see below) is better than its predecessor, the Zire 71, increasing the quality to 1.2 megapixels.
  • The Size - Considering the power that it packs, the Zire 72 has a small form factor.  In fact it's small enough to carry in my front pants pocket in its RhinoSkin case.
  • The Voice Recorder - Even though I don't use it very often, it's nice to know that it's there to record a quick thought when I need it.
  • BLUETOOTH! - I originally thought the fact the Zire 72 had Bluetooth was useless to me, since my computer doesn't have built-in Bluetooth, and I am with Verizon Wireless who doesn't offer a Bluetooth phone.  Then on a recent trip to MicroCenter, I ran across a $39 USB Bluetooth adapter for my laptop.  After installing the software and plugging in the adapter, nothing happened when I tried to connect and I was a little lost.  Googling for help, I found this page on the GeekZone website, which walked me through the set up.  Now that I have all the settings right, I LOVE Bluetooth!  I can HotSync without digging out the USB cable which is nice, but the feature I love the most is the ability to share the internet connection of my laptop.  I can download my e-mail directly into VersaMail to read when I'm away from my computer.  When I delete it from the handheld, I connect to my laptop through Bluetooth and delete the mail from the server as well.  Convenient!  I can sit across the room from my laptop, and surf the web wirelessly using WebPro.  Sure, it's not ideal surfing on a small screen, but it's really nice to be able to when I choose to!

Of course nothing is perfect, so these are the things that I dislike about my Zire 72:

  • The Battery - The biggest criticism I and many others have had about this model is the weak battery.  I moved to the Zire 72 from a Tungsten T, and the T|T seemed to have a much stronger battery than does the Zire 72.   I could go all day with heavy use before having to recharge the Tungsten, but I find that I have to drop my Zire 72 on charge at lunch if I plan to put it through heavy use in the afternoon.  Luckily I carry a spare charger in my briefcase and it only takes about 10-15 minutes to top it off.
  • The Camera Quality - although I do love having a camera with me at all times and the quality of the Zire 72 camera is much better than the quality of the Zire 71 camera (see above), it's still not great.  I actually had a Zire 71 for a few days, but decided that the picture quality from the camera was so bad that the pictures were unusable, and I exchanged it for the Tungsten T.  The Zire 72 camera is better, but you still won't get the quality of photo that you do from an actual digital camera.  You won't want to try to capture important events with it, but it's good enough when you need to snap a quick picture.
  • The Blue Paint - I think palmOne made a great decision to offer the Zire 72 in the "Special Edition" silver.  The Blue rubberized paint was great in theory, but the Zire 72 was the first commercial product to use this new type paint that felt "rubbery."  The paint did not adhere to the Zire 72 as well as it should, and it was notorious for flaking off.  Also, I am a professional, and the bright blue color of the Zire 72 was not the most professional looking thing to whip out in the Board Room!  I had seen reports on the web of people stripping the blue paint off.  I promised myself that I would try to take care of my Zire 72, but as soon as any paint flaked off, I was going to strip it.  Sure enough, less than a month after I purchased it, a big spot on the bottom of the back flaked off.  I spent a Sunday afternoon with my fingernail gently scraping the blue paint off.  I found that the paint just peeled right off in long strips in some spots (primarily on the back), but on the front the paint had to be scraped with some force to get it off.  In those spots there was also some residue left from the paint, but a tissue and some rubbing alcohol got that off.  When I was finished, I had a solid silver Zire 72 that looked much nicer and more professional.  Granted, the silver of my "naked" Zire 72 is not as bright and shiny as the silver appears to be on the "Special Edition" (I've never seen a "SE" in person, only pictures on the web), but it still looks much better than the blue with paint flaked off.  I think the fact that palmOne has issued the Zire 72 in the "Special Edition" silver is an admission that the kinks aren't worked out of this new paint yet.