Consider this a mini-review and professional "thumbs up" for Google's GMail Mobile. I've recently begun the process of moving all of my Email over from a custom domain to a couple of Gmail accounts, and as such have started accessing Google's mail system from the handsets I've been reviewing over the past few weeks. I gotta say that Google's getting it right.
First, I used an iPhone to pull down my GMail messages via POP3. No problems at all, and GMail's spam filter works infinitely better than the lame one my ISP offered with that custom domain I mentioned. Then I put the iPhone away. After setting up a Nokia N82 to access GMail from the phone's built-in Messaging application, I noticed some sync issues when using my Mac's Mail program to download my email. So I started accessing the GMail website directly from the N82's Web browser. Awesome.
The site detected I was on a phone and directed me to the mobile version, which is leaner and faster loading (great for EDGE networks) but no less user-friendly than the full-on GMail site. And my sync issues disappeared. So I created a GMail shortcut in the N82's Active Standby menu and dispensed with the integrated messaging app altogether. The only negative here is that without downloading Emails I can't refer to messages offline.
Next I swapped my SIM into a Sony Ericsson K850i and surfed over to Gmail.com. This time the site recognized the phone I was using and offered up a faster GMail experience if I was willing to download and install a Java app. I took the bait and a minute or so later (via EDGE, mind you), I was checking and replying to email by way of a nice little GMail app optimized for the K850's display size. Messages were threaded by conversation just like on the GMail.com site, and the app made use of easy to read menus and keypad shortcuts to offer up all the Email options I needed without cluttering the handset's screen.
Nice work, Google. While I'm not one to advocate "giving in" to corporate solutions when a little legwork can yield an equally effective - but more private - DIY solution, I have to say I'm a GMail believer. At least for the time being. Good spam filtering, unlimited storage, speedy servers, and now a bevy of mobile-optimized ways to access my mail ... GMail's definitely worth a look.