Getting started - Hardware?


I’m keen to start wriing some MIDP apps. The simple stuff I’ve done so far works great in the SWT Emulator and I’m ready to try deploying to some real hardware. But my phone company is Verizon Wireless and I’ve no option to change. (For those of you who don’t know, Verizon only does Brew, not Java) No other phone company provides coverage in this area.

Can anyone recommend a handheld device? I’m willing to buy another phone withou service if j2me will work without a SIM card. I’ve also thought of getting a Pocket PC or PDA, but have never used one before and am not sure if that’s more than I need.

Some of the more modern Nokia handsets work without sim cards, though the best handsets for development are SonyEricssons by far.
I would check the specs. of the particular handset. (don’t trust the sales people, when it comes to J2ME they know very little about what they are selling)
If you don’t intend to do any development using network connectivity, any old sim card will do, including deactivated - just make sure the handset isn’t locked to a particular carrier.

As to a particular handset, it depends how much you are willing to spend, what you intend to develop, and for what purpose you are developing.

Do you want a high speed, feature rich midp implementation that supports many of the jsr extension apis, so you can play around making cool but limited portability apps?
Or, do you want a conformant midp implementation of typical performance, that will allow you to develop more portable apps/games?

If you intend to turn this into a financial venture, it would be wise to invest in a handset that forfills the latter role - as there is next to no money in developing apps. that make use of exotic apis.
Either way, I would recommend a SonyEricsson of some kind - They are extremely easy to deploy onto (idiot-proof bluetooth upload), are one of the least buggy implementations, good performance (though early handsets had poor jsr184 support), support a wide variety of api extensions, and offer on-device debugging that is extremely easy to setup & powerful.
Many publishers also deem the mid-end SonyEricsson devices to be good reference devices.

I entirely agree with Abuse, but I’ll add this caveat - always keep the worst handset in mind! A common mistake is to develop for the best device and struggle later on with the worst. If it runs OK on a series 40 Nokia (ie the 7210, 6100, whatever) as well as the SonyEricssons then all is well!

I agree with Abuse. A SonyEricsson is a good start and will not hassle you to much.
Also you can use MIDP2.0, CLDC1.1 and the JSR’s like FileConnection.

If you want the Location API (GPS, current demand is high) then you will have to get a Nokia.
One of the few good things about Nokia.

I’d also suggest you start out with test-apps, simple aps that show some info or another.
f.i. system properties (there are some good examples out there), screen resolution, memory (a common pitfall on mobiles), what key has been pressed and that kind of stuff.

It also depends on what you are aiming for. Mobile Development is a world of it’s own and quite complex. Far to complex for someone to solo it alone.
It might just look simple because it uses a slimmed down java, but it goes deeper. Very deep.
If you just want to get your feet wet and/or are only aiming for a few devices, you can easily get by with a simple development environment.

If not, turn back now foolish wanderer before it is to late… mwhahaahahaha!!! (j/k)

Thanks for the great replies. I think I’m going to be going with an AT&T GO phone. It seems like the most cost-effective way to get a device for testing with.