My Dopod smart phone, which I love, is ready for the junk heap, and I’m looking for a substitute. The feature I use by far the most, after SMS and the phone itself, is the acclaimed Pleco dictionary, which along with standard E-to-C/C-to-E dictionary functions lets me quickly draw and recognize any Chinese characters I see. Once you have it you never want to be without it.
Like everybody else, I also want Apple’s iPhone. I always carry the Dopod and my iPod, and if I got an iPhone I’d have less to lug around. Just to complicate things, my company will soon be getting me a Blackberry (without a phone), so that means I’ll have three appliances to carry – unless I get an iPhone, which I can use as both phone and iPod.
But what about my Pleco dictionary? If I don’t have a smartphone or a PDA, I lose my dictionary. Impossible dilemma, I suppose. I’m thinking my best choice is to get the slick new HTC Touch phone (also made by Dopod), which will give me an iPhone-like experience along with the smart functions I need. Yes, I’ll have to lug around three devices, but I can’t think of a better solution.
The problem is, I can’t find the HTC Touch in China with an English-language interface so right now I’m in a holding pattern, hoping that any moment now I’ll be able to track one down. I saw this phone in Taipei and it is truly sensational, not to mention sleek, lightweight and beautiful. Does anyone know where I can get it in Beijing? Any other suggestions? I have to make a decision this week.
Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.