capsule review

VisorPhone

At a Glance
  • Handspring VisorPhone

    Macworld Rating

To those of you whose belts clank with enough gadgets to make Batman jealous, the Handspring VisorPhone will feel like a blessing. This clever snap-in module for the Handspring Visor adds a half inch to the PDA's height and depth but turns it into a terrific cell phone. And the module uses the Visor's touch screen, which is enormous compared with the puny screens on most cell phones.

Every feature is designed to save you steps. For example, when a call comes in, the VisorPhone module rings or vibrates, the Visor turns on, and the screen displays the phone number of the incoming call. If the Visor recognizes the number, you see the caller's name, too.

Because the VisorPhone is a GSM phone (the European standard), it has a long list of smartly designed features: three-way calling, call waiting, voice mail, call forwarding, and more. But GSM is just catching on in North America, so coverage is spotty. Worse, you don't have a choice of carriers; only one company services each part of the United States.

At a Glance
  • Macworld Rating

    Pros

    • Extremely compact
    • Clever software design on jumbo screen
    • Earpiece provided

    Cons

    • The Visor's protective screen cover can't be attached when phone is in place
    • Limited GSM coverage
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