As someone who considers compact size an important quality in a cell phone, I've steered clear of the SmartPhone offerings. I like the idea of an all-in-one device to act as a potential replacement for my Pocket PC, cell phone, and portable music player, but the reality has been that most of the previous SmartPhone offerings were larger than I wanted to live with. With the release of the SMT5600 from Audiovox, SmartPhone starts to look very compelling. I'm an Outlook user, so syncing my contacts to my phone makes sense. The miniSD expansion slot is poorly positioned behind the battery, but at least a 512MB card is big enough to store plenty of music for an afternoon jog or a trip to the gym.
The Mobile version of Windows Media Player 10 is the best looking player to hit the small screen in ages, providing better visual queues and the ability to download subscription content from either MSN Music Store or Napster right on the device. The onboard camera does both 640x480 stills and video with audio; from my limited testing, I'm more impressed with the video capabilities so far. Internet browsing is built-in too, with plenty of pre-populated links to SmartPhone optimized content. Battery life is better than many of the phones I've owned and the charging port is the same USB connection found on most portable audio players, which means no more proprietary cables. I can't see myself ever wanting to use the built-in MSN Messenger client, but I suppose it's a viable option for communication in a pinch. The phone is incredibly light, yet seemingly durable, which should make it an excellent alternative to carrying several devices. If you don't want AT&T Wireless Service, a non-Audiovox branded version is available to accept SIMs from other phone providers.