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All posts tagged "GPS"

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I'm Looking for a GPS Gadget...

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Thoughts Media Off Topic" @ 12:41 PM

I'm looking for a particular type of GPS gadget, and I'd like some input from Pocket PC Thoughts readers. I saw one of our banner ads here for Radio Shack advertising a gadget from Bushnell called the BackTrack (see? advertising can be helpful!). I did a bit of reading on it, and it seems to be the exact type of thing I'm looking for. When I was on vacation in Japan in early 2008, there was more than one occasion when I had trouble finding my way back to our back-alley rental condo at night. The funny thing is that I brought a TomTom GPS with me, assuming (yeah, exactly) that even without maps it would still do basic point A to point B guidance - and it did not. Talk about technology failing me! So I've on the hunt for a cheap, simple GPS device that will allow me to mark a geographical point then be able to find my way back there again. This Bushnell Backtrack looks like it will do the trick, and it's not too expensive at $79.95 CAD from an online store. Any other devices I should be considering?

Tags: hardware, GPS

Friday, January 16, 2009

Advantage Resurrection: The O2 Flint

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "Pocket PC Hardware" @ 04:00 AM

"The Xda Flint is mobile technology at its best with a 5" VGA angled touch screen incorporating finger-friendly recognition and a detachable keyboard for intensive text-input. As the Xda Flint is Microsoft Windows compatible and includes Internet Explorer®, learners will be able to create documents and complete assignments while on the move, be that on the bus, out on a field trip, in the classroom, or at home, subject to coverage."

The HTC Advantage (nee Athena) has been in the market for quite a while, and if you've looked at the leaked 2009 HTC roadmap you'll know there's already a successor on the drawing board. Yet O2 has only just come on board with their own variant called the Flint, which looks suspiciously like a standard 7510 to me. All the listed specs are the same, and O2 in their wisdom are marketing this to the education market as "perfect for students and teachers who need to stay in the loop while on the move or away from their learning environment and proves that Learning on the Go is truly possible." I know prices of the Advantage have fallen faster than that of other premium smartphones, but not so much that it makes sense for students to get one. That is of course unless there's a whole load of subsidy money backing this. Read on for the full press release. Read more...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Hands On With The Motorola SURF A3100

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "Pocket PC Hardware" @ 09:00 PM

"Like the Curve 8900, it turns out that Motorola's SURF is a device that kinda needs to be seen in the flesh to be fully appreciated. In light of TouchFLO and its endless competitors, the skin Moto's developed for this thing -- while tasteful and seemingly finger-friendly -- really isn't anything to get terribly excited about, but it does an adequate job of making the superficial surface of Windows Mobile reasonably finger-friendly."

Not a bad effort, especially for those who remember the MPX220. If I'm not mistaken (I'm not that familiar with Motorola's offerings over the years), this is the first WinMo touchscreen phone from Motorola since the aforementioned ill-fated MPX. This isn't exactly a flagship device, but should fit nicely for those who don't need a hardware keyboard. Running WM6.1 Pro, the SURF has a Qualcomm 528MHz processor, 128MB RAM (nice to see this becoming standard), quadband GSM, triband HSPA, 3.1MP camera, and a trackball control. It's not clear whether GPS is available except in the AGPS category. Pricing and availability has yet to be announced.

Tags: Motorola, GPS, HSPA, SURF, A3100

HTC Iolite on Preorder at Expansys

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "Pocket PC Hardware" @ 03:00 AM

"The Iolite -- not "Lolite" as we'd previously thought -- appears to rip the Touch Diamond's basic form factor from this tiny lil' image that's been leaked on Expansys, but steps down to a WQVGA display from VGA. On the upside, Europeans still get their 7.2Mbps HSDPA fix, TouchFLO 3D and AGPS make it through unscathed, and the 3.2-megapixel cam carries over."

Hmm, seems like a budget version of the Diamond with a lower-res screen. On the other hand, it should nicely fill niche between the more basic Touch Viva and the Diamond - that is, if the price is right. Apart from the WQVGA screen, the Iolite features some pretty hefty specs with 528MHz Qualcomm processor, 288MB RAM, quadband GSM (good), dualband HSPA (not-so-good), GPS, 3.2MP camera, and is pretty svelte at 103gms and about 4"x2"x0.6" if I've got my conversions right. No word on pricing or availablity just yet, but that should be just around the corner. Check the link for the (very small) image.

Tags: HTC, GPS, Qualcomm, HSPA, Iolite

Monday, November 17, 2008

GPS-maker NDrive Prepares HSDPA and GPS S400 Phone

Posted by Paul Martin in "Pocket PC Hardware" @ 05:00 AM

"Tired of the same 'ole, same 'ole when it comes to Windows Mobile 6.1-based handsets? Yeah, well you probably won't dig the NDrive S400 too much. Sure, it has its own personal charm, but by and large it's fairly predictable. Not that we're kvetching about a 624MHz Marvell PXA310 CPU, 128MB of RAM, quad-band GSM connectivity, HSDPA support, a VGA (640 x 480) display and aGPS, but there's no denying this thing could use a dash of personality. At any rate, we're also informed that it'll arrive with Bluetooth 2.0, WiFi, a microSDHC slot, video out, a 1,500mAh battery, accelerometer and an FM radio module, and being just 16.9-millimeters thick with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard isn't too shabby, either. As these things always seem to go, pricing and availability is anyone's guess."

This little guy popped up on the Portuguese website, Primarily known for it's GPS devices, last year Portuguese-based NDrive released it's first GPS phone, the S300, in Europe, Africa, and South America. The S300 offered WiFi, 2g connectivity, and GPS, but only had 64MB of RAM and was made by their device partner, TechFaith Wireless.

Perhaps learning a lesson, the S400 has a beefier 128 RAM and a new manufacturing partner in SIM Technology. As you'll note in the specs below, it also contains 2 processors, both the Marvell PXA310 624Mhz + Qualcomm 6280. In this interesting split, the Marvell seems to be for applications and the Qualcomm for utilizing the HSDPA and GSM. (The MWg UBiQUiO 503G also uses dual processors, including the Qualcomm 6280). Interesting, the Qualcomm MSM6280 Chipset can also support video encoding and decoding, still cameras up to 4 MP, and 2D/3D video support, so the S400 might be distributing some graphics tasks to the Qualcomm for faster performance, especially for something like video telephony. It will be interesting to see the benchmarks once this ships.

Ndrive S400 Specification:

* OS: Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
* CPU: Marvell PXA310 624Mhz + Qualcomm 6280
* Memory: 256 MB ROM / 128 MB Ram
* Network: Quad-band GSM/UMTS/HSDPA 7.2MBps
* Display: 2.8-inches with VGA (640 x 480) resolution
* Camera: 3.0 megapixel with auto focus
* Bluetooth 2.0
* Wi-Fi
* MicroSDHC card slot
* 1500mAh Battery
* Video Out
* Accelerometer
* FM Radio with RDS

In looking over SIM's website, the picture and specs look a lot like the U1, so it will be interesting to know if NDrive requested anything special for their version. At this point, costs, release dates, and carriers are all unknown, as well as whether North America will ever see one.

Tags: HSDPA, GPS, NDrive, S300, S400

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pocket PC Thoughts Birthday Giveaway: HP iPAQ 310 Travel Companion

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Pocket PC Events" @ 04:30 PM

Continuing our 8th anniversary celebration, I have a slightly different kind of device to give away: it's an HP iPaq (courtesy of HP), and it runs Windows CE, but it's not a Windows Mobile device. Instead, this iPAQ 310 is called a "travel companion", and it's a cool combination of GPS, media player, and travel tool. It has a gorgeous 4.3 inch, 800 x 400 resolution touch screen, and 2 GB on storage memory (along with an SD card slot for expansion). The MSRP on this is $449 USD.

Want to win it? Here's how: since I already asked you a GPS-related question, tell me what your favourite place in the world is to visit. Was it someplace you went on vacation? Or a favourite spot you like to visit nearby? One message per person please. I'll randomly select one post at 3 PM mountain time on Tuesday the 28th.

If you don't see your post right away, please wait 24 hours before re-posting. Odds are that it's your first post since we moved to vBulletin and it's simply held in moderation.

Tags: GPS, iPAQ 310

Friday, October 17, 2008

Pocket PC Thoughts Birthday Giveaway: CoPilot Live 7 Mobile Navigation

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Pocket PC Events" @ 06:30 AM

Continuing our 8th anniversary celebration, I have some software to give away - CoPilot Live 7 Mobile Navigation, courtesy of ALK Technologies. This package includes a 2 GB microSD card, an SD card adaptor, a CD, and the product key card. This software hasn't been installed or activated in any way - I'm just not much of a GPS kind of guy - and it sells for $99 USD.

Want to win it? Here's how: post a message to this discussion thread telling me about one time when you've gotten lost and GPS software on your Windows Mobile devic could have helped you find your way. Or, if you're one of those people who have never been lost, tell me about a time you've been...geographically inconvenienced. ;-) One message per person, and I'll randomly select one post at 3 PM mountain time on Friday the 24th.

UPDATE: A reminder that if you don't see your post right away, please wait 24 hours before re-posting. Odds are that it's your first post since we moved to vBulletin and it's simply held in moderation.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Brighthand Reviews The Touch Diamond

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "Pocket PC Hardware" @ 03:00 AM

"The HTC Touch Diamond is the most consumer-friendly Windows Mobile smartphone yet. It's both powerful and easy to use. People looking to step up from a regular phone to a much more feature-rich one should seriously consider this device. HTC has clearly put many hours of thought into how to make a smartphone more intuitive, and this device shows it. I predict big things for this product, with sales in the millions."

We have yet another review of the Touch Diamond, this time by Ed Hardy from Brighthand, and much like the others he likes it quite a bit. There aren't many negatives to point out, apart from the stylus and a so-so camera - but those are hardly new gripes with Windows Mobile phones over the last couple of years. TouchFLO 3D appears to be as good as advertised, and the rest of the device shows how much effort HTC has put into building on Windows Mobile for something that would appeal to consumers. Read the review for more.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

HTC Touch Diamond Reviewed

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "Pocket PC Hardware" @ 08:00 PM

"We love the small size and gorgeous design, though this is a phone Adrian Monk would loathe given its propensity to collect stubborn fingerprints. TouchFLO 3D is definitely fun and interesting, though it doesn't always translate into a more efficient and expedient UI. We wish you didn't have to read the manual to learn the in's and out's of finger navigation (isn't the point of touch phones that they should operate nearly transparently), though first time WinMo users will likely find the visual presentation easier to figure out than standard WinMo. However, in terms of price and features the Diamond is a high-end power user's phone, and those generally attract veteran users who may grow frustrated with the visuals when wanting to accomplish tasks quickly."

I have to admit, I wasn't that excited when the pre-production models first started appearing on the Web. That hard square shape and the faceted backplate didn't seem very appealing compared to the Xperia or even the 1st gen iPhone. Ok, I still think the diamond backing is gimmicky, but it appears that HTC have put a lot of thought and effort into making the Touch Diamond a very appealing device for the power user. I'm particularly impressed at the improvements made to the camera - a decent onboard camera is something I've missed since making the transition to a WinMo phone. Maybe they've benefited by being the manufacturers of the Xperia? Sony Ericsson certainly have the chops for that. Read on the rest of the review for more - just bear in mind, Mobile Tech Review has the European version of the Touch Diamond which doesn't have the more important cellular bands for the US, so you'll probably want to hold off any purchase decision until HTC releases a US version.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

i-mate Ultimate 9502 Reviewed

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "Pocket PC Hardware" @ 06:00 PM

"The 9502 is faster, (a bit) thinner, and more enjoyable to use than the TyTN II. The 9502 is the no compromise, "ultimate" mobile companion that money can buy as of the date of this review. It's expensive, and it's going to leave a bulk in your pocket, but if you want the most capable Windows Mobile device yet, this is it." has put the Ultimate 9502 through its paces and found it pretty good. This is about as premium a device as you could find, even if i-mate haven't done much to spruce up the UI as Sony-Ericsson are doing, and if some of the design decisions leave you scratching your head (telescoping stylus? card slot under back cover? Ugh!). Still, if you're more concerned about capabilities rather than just a pretty face, the 9502 might be just up your alley. Of course, the price is also way up there, though given the weakness in the US dollar right now, it actually looks pretty cheap to me. The Ultimate line has seen its share of controversies and disappointments over their development period - now that they're starting to appear on the street, we'll see if they'll meet the expectations i-mate have raised way back then.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Asus P560 Coming Soon

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "Pocket PC Hardware" @ 11:30 AM

"HSDPA, WiFi, 3.2 megapixel autofocus cam, Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR, GPS, microSDHC slot, 256MB of ROM, 128MB of RAM, and Microsoft's freshest build of Windows Mobile Professional -- 6.1, that is -- all have managed to find their way into the P560's unassuming shell. Not bad, though the €500 (about $772) price tag could scare a few folks away when it launches next month."

The first thing that struck me was - boy, is this thing loaded. The second thought that struck me was, pace EngadgetMobile that price is actually pretty reasonable. You'd only call it expensive if you're comparing against subsidised, SIM-locked phones - the P560 would actually come in quite a bit cheaper than the TyTN II (at least in my locale). It looks like Asus is following other manufacturers in overlaying the Today screen with their own UI, though if this a sample, it looks rather pedestrian. The hardware design doesn't stand out either, at least to me, yet the hardware specs scream premium device. Anybody else have thoughts on this?

Tags: HSDPA, GPS, Asus, P560, WM6.1

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Mio Digiwalker A702 First Impressions

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "Pocket PC Hardware" @ 12:00 PM

"I would rate the A702 as an excellent device with enough features to satisfy the vast majority of users, and it is priced competitively. The design is a “love it or hate it” choice and I am on the loving it side. It has a genuine robustness that builds confidence and is a do it all without fuss option, that serves it’s purpose well. It may not be the flashiest smartphone on the market, but it is certainly one of the better ones."

If you're not familiar with the name, Mio builds a line of Windows Mobile devices that focus primarily on GPS capabilities. Their smartphones are generally well received, even if they're not the biggest name out there. The A702 is a solid mid-level performer, lacking 3G capabilities but with otherwise solid hardware specs.

Tags: GPS, Mio, Digiwalker, A702

Friday, May 2, 2008

GSmart MW700 Unboxing

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "Pocket PC Hardware" @ 10:00 AM

"The MW700 is a fairly typical Windows Mobile 6 Professional device, perhaps a little lighter and thinner than other devices available at the moment but does have the added benefit of built in SiRF Star III GPS, fast CPU and 256MB Rom although, frustratingly, only 64MB of RAM which does mean the unit struggles from time to time."

The 64MB RAM and EDGE pegs this as a low to mid-range device, though the other specs aren't too shabby for that level - 520MHz processor, 256MB ROM, 2.0MP camera, WiFi, BT2.0, and MicroSD slot. First shown off at the Mobile World Congress in February, the MW700 is a sister model to the MS800, which will feature HSDPA, and is supposedly pretty thin for a GPS phone. If you're looking for an entry level, GPS-enabled phone, this ain't too bad. Check out the link for more details.

Tags: , GPS, Gigabyte, GSmart, MW700

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Diamond In The Rough: Details Emerging

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "Pocket PC Hardware" @ 08:00 PM

"The new handsets will be called the HTC Touch Diamond, HTC Touch Pro, and the HTC Touch Dual Pro. The Touch Diamond is the Diamond, the Touch Pro is the Raphael, and the Touch Dual Pro is apparently a refresh of the existing HTC Touch Dual."

Things are clearing up a bit about HTC's new Raphael and Diamond devices. They'll have WM6.1 (natch), 520MHz Qualcomm processors, 7.2MBit HSPA, FM Radio, 128MB RAM, 256MB ROM, 3.1MP cameras, WiFi, BT2.0+EDR, eGPS, and 2.8" VGA screens. In addition the Raphael will have TV out and the Diamond 4GB flash storage. Just remember, as far as we know both will be CDMA only - so far.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Getac PS535E Combines Stylish and Rugged in Upcoming Unit

Posted by Paul Martin in "Pocket PC Hardware" @ 05:30 PM

"Getac PS535E is a rugged Windows Mobile Pocket PC with built-in GPS and bluetooth. It also just made it through FCC which means you can expect to see it in the hands of military personnel pretty soon. PS535 is fully rugged, with MIL-STD 810F and IP54 compliance and vibration & drop-shock resistant. It runs on Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 Premium, has a transflective 3.5″ TFT LCD which is visible under direct sunlight, embedded high sensitivity GPS receiver, and even embedded 802.11 b/g and Bluetooth. Other features include the powerful 2400mAh Li-Ion battery, SD card reader, integrated mic and speaker and a mini USB port. As far as standard software you got the Word Mobile, Excel Mobile, PowerPoint Mobile, Internet Explorer Mobile, Outlook, and Windows Media Player 10."

Finally a rugged unit that doesn't look like a Halo accessory. Unfortunately, the Getac PS535E appears destined for those who drive Hummers without the leather seats instead of us weekend warrior types. One interesting suggestion in the comments section of the linked Navigadget post is to use this as a backup GPS on a boat. For that matter, I could see lots of outdoor uses for a good quality GPS with some extras. If this were available to consumers at a reasonable cost, what would you do with one?

Tags: rugged, GPS, Getac, PS535E

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