Quick Comments on the Sony SJ22

While my T665C was off at RunPDA for its 32MB RAM upgrade, I borrowed a Sony SJ22 from work to tide me over. I used it for about a week and thought that I'd jot down some thoughts.

The SJ22 sits in the lower range of Sony's offerings. It has a 33MHz DragonballVZ CPU, 16MB RAM, and a very nice 320x320, 16-bit color reflective screen. It doesn't have the 66 MHz SuperVZ CPU, polyphonic sound, enhanced IR, MP3 player, or metal case that the T665C has. The SJ22 comes with a sync/recharge cable, but no cradle. I was pleased to see, though, that it fits in the T665C cradle and that's the way I used it.

As you'd expect with a CPU at 1/2 the speed, the SJ22 is slower than the T665C. I tried to compensate by using FastCPU 3.0, and that worked very nicely. Here's some benchmarks for comparison using Speedy 2.6 and VFSMark:

  SJ22 @ 33MHz SJ22 @ 46MHz T665C
Speedy 177 240 272
VFSMark 39 40 98

You can see that FastCPU brought the SJ22 to an acceptible speed overall, but didn't help the Memory Stick access. It was enough, though, to make the device comfortable to use.

The SJ22 screen is almost identical to the T665C display, including size. I think that perhaps the SJ screen provides a hair richer color, but it's hard to tell because the T665C has a screen protector and I didn't put one on the SJ for just a week. Both displays are excellent. The SJ also has less noticeable "rays" than the T665C where the LEDs light the display across the bottom which provides a more uniform display. These differences are very slight, though.

I REALLY missed the polyphonic sound of my T665C. I have a small hearing loss and could not hear the alarms or alerts from the SJ22 virtually at all. The T665C, on the other hand, will wake me from a dead sleep. I won't own a PDA anymore without this polyphonic speaker quality. I also missed the enhanced IR for remote control and the MP3 player, but nothing drastic for just a week.

The two devices, although both small, have different form factors. The SJ22 is significantly shorter and a bit thicker, whereas the T665C is very thin and noticeably taller. After a week of constant use, I found that I like the T665C form factor much better for me. The SJ was just short enough to turn in my pants pocket, which was annoying, and the battery bump at the bottom felt a bit awkward in my hand. I could certainly live with the difference, though, if I had to do so. The plastic SJ case proved very solid and was not a detractor, though I still prefer metal.

The SJ22 would not Hotsync with the T665C setup on the desktop. I ended up uninstalling the T665C desktop and installing the SJ22 one, and it worked perfectly after that. My T665C desktop was originally 4.01, which I upgraded using Palm's 4.1 upgrade. The SJ22 came with 4.1 on the CD. I used my own migration advice here to transfer setups across the devices. This worked flawlessly once I located and deleted all the T665C system patches, though I spent several hours in frustration until I found one I had missed. All the third-party conduits worked fine. Other than the speed, the changeover was pretty transparent. When I received the T665C back, it would not sync with the SJ22 desktop. I reversed the procedure and reinstalled my previous setup, but it seems strange that would be required.

The SJ-series battery life received a fair amount of press as being superior to the T-series. Personally, I never run out of battery in either during the day. I did not benchmark the SJ22, so don't have any hard numbers to offer. My impression from daily use is that the SJ22 battery does last longer, but I'd expect that from a 33 MHz device. I don't think that the trade-off in speed is worth the difference, though. The real test would be an SJ33 with its 66 MHz CPU.

Overall, my experience with the SJ22 was positive. It proved a solid device that never failed me. However, the T665C spoiled me badly. I still think that it's the ideal device for me, and sorely wish Sony would provide a T-series in OS 5/6 with virtual graffiti and an upgraded battery. If the SJ22 fits your price range, it won't disappoint you. However, for about $50 more on the street, you can get an SJ33 with a 66 MHz CPU.