How do you find a new cell phone that can sync well with Exchange?

I love my Qtek 8500 (HTC StrTrk). Even though it has now been over two years since I first got it I haven’t been able to find anything like it to replace it. And it needs to be replaced. Not only because I like new gadgets but also because the front panel came off and I had to glue it back on myself, the extra memory card has stopped working, the signal fails all the time, it hangs and last week a sat on it so the external display is now broken.

So what’s so great about it? I would say three things

  • Exchange synchronization, i.e. Email, Calendar, Contacts and Tasks
  • The small clam shell/flip flop form factor. Before this phone I had never had one but now I would never want to go back
  • Windows Contacts navigation – I love the way results show up as you type. This must be a Microsoft patent as no one else uses this great navigation/look up functionality

Why is it so hard to find a replacement? Well, first of all I want it to be a Windows Mobile which directly limits the choice. Then add that I want it to be clam shell and this limits the choice to almost nothing.

There has been rumors of a 8500 successor, a 3G version – the HTC S420 Erato. But the rumor has been going for over a year and the expected release date has been postponed time after time after time… And there is yet to be an official announcement from HTC.

So, I have decided to give in on it having to be a Windows phone as long as it has good Exchange Synchronization.

But why is it so hard to find out what phones are Windows Mobile or support Active Sync?

  • On Microsoft’s Windows Mobile Homepage you can search for devices but it is far from complete (at least for Sweden)
  • Samsung have Windows Mobile phones, but I cannot find a way to find out which from their home page (Swedish market)
  • I know Nokia has phones with Active Sync but how can I find out which?
  • It is the same with Sony Ericsson, they have Active Sync support for some phones, but how can I find them? They have also announced their first Windows Mobile phone, the Xperia X1 which should be available later this year.

I emailed Sony Ericsson and got a reply where they in fact confirm that this information cannot be found for all models on their home page. But they also gave me a list of current phones with Active Sync:

That last one – the z770 – looks like something I might actually want.

The only question that remains – is Active Sync on other brands as good as it is on Windows Mobile?