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All posts tagged "smartphone"

Monday, November 24, 2008

MWg Zinc II Now Only $299 from Expansys

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Pocket PC Events" @ 08:47 AM

I was looking for something on Expansys this morning in our affiliate store, and I noticed that the MWg Zinc II has undergone another price drop - it's now only $299 USD. If you watched my unboxing or review videos, you'll know that I found this device to be a solid, capable Pocket PC - nothing terribly revolutionary, and not a real power user device with only 64 MB of RAM, but capable enough for most people. I felt that the initial price of $749 USD was just too expensive though because it put the Zinc II in close competition with the HTC Touch devices. But at $299 USD? This device is in a class all it's own - I can't think of any device that performs better on a price/performance ratio. And unlike every new device that HTC is cranking out lately, the Zinc II actually has 3G that will work in Europe, Asia, and North America because it covers the 850/1900/2100 Mhz bands. This is definitely a device worth considering at this price.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

MobilitySite Reviews the AT&T FUZE

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Pocket PC Articles" @ 12:41 PM

"One thing that stood out 1st and foremost when taking the HTC FUZE out of the box was it's size. You can look at pictures, you can check out size charts and the actual dimensions, but you can not describe the way a device feels in your hand in words. The FUZE just amazed me, it's not much smaller than the Tilt on paper, but when you hold it in your hands, it feels much smaller. It's not any lighter feeling and the bulk from the thickness is the same, but the feel of the FUZE in hand is quite awesome."

AT&T's latest and greatest Windows Mobile smartphone is reviewed in detail by Chris Leckness over at MobilitySite. Lot of pictures, lots of screen shots - worth the read if you're considering this as your next device...

What Makes a Smartphone a Smartphone?

Posted by Pete Paxton in "Smartphone Talk" @ 07:00 AM

We have a large variety of devices out there now. With Windows Mobile, Blackberry, Palm, Nokia, the Iphone, and Google's G1, many would call these smartphones. But as I look around the web I've read that some say devices like the G1 or iphone are not smartphones. Some say they are multimedia phones. When I compare my Dash and my Iphone, there are definitely some differences but there are also many similarities. They both play music, videos, handle all my appointments, contacts, ebooks, bible, internet, email, camera, and so on. So what do you all think? Are all the devices mentioned smartphones? Are some smartphones and some not? Does it matter if the device has a touch screen or not? And of course the real question: What makes a smartphone a smartphone? 

Tags: smartphone

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Microsoft Launches New-Look Windows Mobile Developer Portal

Posted by Darius Wey in "Pocket PC Sites & Resources" @ 05:02 AM

Microsoft has just launched a new developer portal for Windows Mobile to help advertise upcoming events, showcase applications, and introduce you to a number of team members and MVPs. And, of course, there's no shortage of guides showing you how to turn that idea in your head into a working Windows Mobile application.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Microsoft Bringing Office 14 to the Web!

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone News" @ 03:30 PM

"After teasing the market multiple times, Microsoft Corp. plans to finally confirm today that it's bringing its most money-making desktop software franchise online and to smart phones. Microsoft will release lightweight versions of four components of its Microsoft Office suite for the Web and Windows Mobile smart phones, said Chris Capossela, senior vice president of Microsoft's business division, in an interview on Monday."

I was incredibly excited by this news until I stopped and started wondering - Is Microsoft going to build this to be compatible with all smartphones or are they going to go the usual Microsoft route and only make it compatible to Microsoft's horribly deficient mobile web browser? Either way, as a Windows Mobile user, this means we should have access to basic Microsoft Office elements online. Unfortunately it could mean that once again the rest of the Internet population would have to go without. Hopefully the latter is not the case. We'll keep you updated as we hear more news on this subject!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fight Night 2008: Diamonds vs. Androids

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 04:30 AM

Remember a few weeks ago when I reported that my Samsung Blackjack had an unfortunate run-in with a clumsy waiter and a glass of water? If so you will probably remember that I was taking suggestions for new phones to purchase. Being the undecided gadget enthusiast that I am, even after I decided to pick up the HTC Touch Diamond from Sprint, a company which I loathe, I decided to pick up a T-Mobile G1 as well. I figure if I am going to be stuck with one of these devices for the foreseeable future, I better put them to the test and see which one comes out on top and in the process expand my mobile gadget horizon.

After playing with the T-Mobile G1 since I first picked it up bright and early at 8:00am and playing with the HTC Touch Diamond all day yesterday and today I can easily say hands down the T-Mobile G1 is so much more usable than the HTC Touch Diamond. There are some things I really like about the Touch Diamond and the TouchFLO 3D interface truly is beautiful. Unfortunately I have found the TouchFLO 3D interface to not be very practical and the device itself to be fairly unusable for my needs. After using a Windows Mobile Standard device for years on end and being accustomed to the streamlined layout which allowed me to get to whatever I needed with one hand quickly - jumping over to the cluttered and highly frustrating old school Windows 95 tap based interface of Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional just filled me with pure rage. Why in the world does everything that triggers a reaction in the operating system have to be so darn small and hard to press?! Can someone PLEASE explain that to me!? Even with a stylus I spent a large majority of time thinking to myself "Really? Someone thought this was a good design idea…Really?" Read more...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Samsung Targeting Younger Audience with New Windows Mobile Phone

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone News" @ 01:30 PM

"From our sources confidential and exclusive, we learned that Samsung would launch a new Windows Mobile smartphones, which we were able to hear very few but important details even if, unfortunately, we have had no image of the device... According to our information, the new Samsung smartphones was designed to target an extremely young and will be launched in Italy, although at the time there was communicated, even at orientation, the timing of final marketing."

Good news for our readers in Italy. It looks as if Samsung is working on a new Windows Mobile device target towards a younger crowd. There is no news at the moment if this device will be a Windows Mobile Standard or Professional handset, but it is nice to see that some manufactures are still catering to the younger and hipper consumer crowd. We will keep you posted as we hear more information regarding this new device.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

MobileTechReview Examines the Palm Treo Pro

Posted by Paul Martin in "Pocket PC Articles" @ 04:00 PM

"When we reviewed the Palm Treo 750 more than 1.5 years ago, it was a good phone with great ergonomics and Palm's usability touches that lacked competitive features like WiFi and a GPS. 1.5 years is a very long time in terms of consumer electronics and cell phones, and now we finally have a Windows Mobile Treo with all the trimmings, but minus the original Treo's wonderful palm-friendly (no pun intended) design, great keyboard and software tweaks. Funny how we can't have it both ways. That's not to say that the HTC-built Palm Treo Pro is a bad product by any means, but for those of you who are in love with Palm's special sauce-- it ain't here. There's no VCR-like screen controls for voicemail, no photo speed dial on the home screen and the custom applications like Comm Manager and the streaming media player are HTC's, not Palm's."

Once again, MobileTechReview offers an indepth look at a mobile device. This time, the Palm Treo Pro is examined, especially in the light of previous Palm devices they've reviewed. Since the new hardware bears a close resemblance to the design of the bargain Centro, the MTR take on ergonomics is especially interesting to those who anticipate using the keyboard heavily.

Friday, October 3, 2008

European Pricing and Release Dates for New HTC Touch Devices

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Pocket PC Hardware" @ 03:18 PM

"Lately Windows Mobile Italy has scored a few scoops, thanks to its own exclusive and confidential sources, providing the Italian website with some very valuable unpublished details concerning the latest breed of Windows Mobile smartphones just announced by HTC and respectively named HTC Touch HD, HTC Touch Viva and HTC Touch 3G. After having been the first to reveal the HTC Opal's real name [Automatic Translation], during the current week the Italian web portal has scored some more scoops by revealing the (not yet officially announced) pricing and availability schedule for Italy as well as a few more exclusive details concerning the available colors of all three devices."

The article goes on to say that the HTC Touch HD, everyone's favourite object of lust lately, will be released in Europe in Q4, and will sell for 849 Euro (in Italy at least). The HTC Touch Viva will go on sale later this month (October) and will sell for 279 Euro. Lastly the HTC Touch 3G will run you 499 Euro and will also be released sometime in October. Those prices don't give us much insight into the North American market, because HTC sure isn't going to sell many HTC Touch HDs if they're selling for $1200 USD.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Android and Windows Mobile Complement Each Other Claims HTC

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 10:30 AM

"T-Mobile G1 manufacturer HTC plans to develop more handsets based on Android. It maintain this will not affect its Windows Mobile business - the Google platform and Microsoft's are 'complementary', it claimed. According to a report by DigiTimes, John Wang, Chief Marketing Officer at HTC, said that both systems have their merits, and so handsets based on either platform will appeal to different users."

I'm sure we can all agree that the only way this newest HTC Android enabled device is 'complementary' to Windows Mobile is due to how ugly it is and the wonders it will do for pushing users to the new Touch family of devices! All kidding aside, I have to agree with HTC on this one. Google Android and Windows Mobile are not even in the same league. Both platforms target completely different groups of consumers and where the Windows Mobile camp has been screaming at the top of their lungs for years hoping Microsoft will release a more consumer friendly version of their flagship mobile operating system, nothing has come of it at all. Even being as ugly as the T-Mobile G1 is, it will still sell a lot of handsets. This device is target to the general consumer and doesn't focus on the business aspect and because of that I can't take three steps outside of my front door without hearing someone talking about the T-Mobile G1 or having them ask me about it.

HTC will now be able to create new super sleek consumer friendly devices and at the same time, continue to cater to the enterprise and enthusiast crowd. This is the best of both worlds for HTC. Hopefully this will be a good swift kick in the posterior to make Microsoft hustle to bring us something really cool in Windows Mobile 7.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

We Are Gathered Here Today...

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 10:30 PM

Have you ever been sitting down to a nice breakfast at a restaurant only to have your waiter accidentally knock a cup of water over right on top of your Smartphone? This happened to me yesterday while I was eating breakfast right before a meeting with a client. To make matters worse, I was expecting an email, and right as the cup was beginning to fall my screen lit up and the unmistakable sound of me receiving a new message rang through the air... as if my situation wasn't stressful enough, I was now left with that nagging questions of "Who was that message from?" and "What did that message say?"

I learned two very important things yesterday. The first above all else is that I have an addiction. I am indeed addicted to my phone and the service that it provides at being my gateway to the Internet and vast amounts of information and when this flow of information is just snatched away by means other than my own, I learned that I can be incredibly tense, anxious, and cranky. Not being able to check my email knowing that I was probably missing something important was just nerve wrecking. Trying to remember all of my important contact information I use on a daily basis was frustrating as well. Not being able to check the Internet on a whim for whatever reason didn't seem to help my situation either, especially when a majority of my day involved waiting for other people.

The worst part is that even though I knew my phone was now in Smartphone heaven, I still caught myself reaching for it more than a few times whenever I thought about emailing or messaging someone or even trying to figure out what time it was. At one point throughout the day I was talking to one of my clients about my phone ordeal and while telling them the story of my phone being destroyed, I caught myself reaching into my jacket pocket because his phone went off notifying him of a new message.

Now I know more often than not we bust Microsoft's chops because we feel Windows Mobile could be a lot better than it is, and it could be, but not having my handset around I realized something else. Besides my undying love for the handset I will forever now refer to as the Crackjack - I know, original and catchy - I realized that it is incredibly easy to point out the flaws in the things that Microsoft does more often than not and I rarely give praise to Microsoft for the features that do work and happen to work so wonderfully that we never even realize how much of an impact they have on your daily routine until they're gone. In light of this I would like to take a second to point out some of my favorite Windows Mobile features that do not exist on this horribly inefficient pre-paid phone I am forced to use until I get a new handset. Read more...

Pre-Order the HTC Touch HD from Expansys

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Pocket PC Hardware" @ 02:26 PM

The super-wow-factor HTC Touch HD, with it's 3.8 inch 800 x 480 resolution screen, is the kind of device some of us have been waiting for. I just got a heads up from our affiliate partner Expansys that they're now accepting pre-orders for this device. There's no price yet, but your pre-order isn't binding in any way - you're just getting in line to get one of the first units that they receive. Come on, you know you want it... ;-)

HTC Releasing Touch Diamond in White

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Pocket PC Hardware" @ 11:42 AM

Yesterday HTC quietly released a new HTC Touch Diamond into the mix: it seems it's identical in every way to the current Diamonds on the market now, it's just got a new look. I like the white quite a bit, largely because it would help hide the ridiculously smudge-prone surface that HTC wrapped the diamond in. Want to see an even bigger version? Here's the full resolution image.

Monday, September 15, 2008

HTC Touch 3G and HTC Touch Viva Made Official

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Pocket PC Hardware" @ 09:33 AM

Today is a big day for HTC: they've officially announced three new products. These two don't quite measure up to the raw coolness of the HTC Touch HD, but it's great to see HTC continuing to broaden their product line and drive for new price points in the market. According to HTC, both of these devices will be available in early October.

Above we have the HTC Touch 3G. Dimension-wise, it's 102 x 53.6 x 14.5 mm and weighs in at 96 grams. Quad-band GSM/EDGE, and Euro/Asia 3G frequencies with full HSDPA 7.2 Mbps. It's got a 2.8 inch QVGA screen, a 3.2 megapixel camera, 256 MB ROM and 192 MB RAM. A microSD card provides expansion, and the package is rounded out with 802.11 b/g WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0, a Qualcomm CPU at 528 Mhz, GPS/AGPS, and an 1100 mAh battery. Nothing terribly exciting there, but I expect this to be offered for quite a bit less than the HTC Touch Diamond, so it will get broader market penetration. Oh, and it will come in four colours, as described by HTC: sophisticated black, noble gold, sparkle blue and modern brown.

Pictured above is the HTC Touch Viva. It looks a lot like the original HTC Touch, doesn't it? Size-wise, it's going to be 104.5 x 59 x 15.75 mm and weigh in at 96 grams. Unlike the HTC Touch 3G above, this is a quad-band GSM/EDGE phone only, there's no 3G. It has a 2.8 inch QVGA screen, a 2 megapixel camera, 256 MB ROM, 128 MB RAM, a microSD card slot for memory expansion, 802.11 b/g WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0, GPS/AGPS, a 201 mhz TI OMAP processor, and an 1100 mAh battery. The HTC Touch Viva will come in one colour: "storm grey". Is the Viva under-powered? Pretty much - but I'd also expect it to sell unlocked for $299 USD or less, and with carrier rebate this might end up free. This is HTC's "value play" in the touch-phone market, and while most people here might not be interested in it, getting the price point down is an important part of breaking into new markets.

The full press release for both new products is after the break. Read more...

HTC Touch HD: Now Here's Some Sexy Hardware!

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Pocket PC Hardware" @ 09:08 AM

At the moment I'm typing this up, HTC has pulled the product page from their site, so I suspect this wasn't meant to be launched quite yet, but I suspect it will be back soon. Pretty much all the rumours we heard about the Touch HD have proved to be true: a huge 3.8 inch screen with amazing 480 x 800 resolution. That's a stunning 246 ppi, which means incredibly crisp text, images, and user interface. What I'm curious about is how did HTC manage to drive that many pixels on the screen and still have it be snappy and responsive? My fear is that it won't be - let's hope I'm wrong. There's no indication of any 3D hardware acceleration, and the Qualcomm MSM7201a CPU at 528 MHz, while fast, isn't anything we haven't seen before - unless of course HTC managed to tap into the 3D acceleration that I've been told that Qualcomm chips offer.

At any rate, the rest of the specs look great: 5 megapixel camera, a 3.5mm headphone jack (YES!), 512 MB ROM, 288 MB RAM, quad-band GSM/GRPS, and 3G in Europe/Asia (us North Americans will have to wait for our version). On yeah, 802.11 b/g WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0, GPS, a 1350 mAh battery, and a microSD card slot for expansion. The Touch HD is an impressive 12mm thick - and for those keeping score, that's 0.3mm thinner than the iPhone 3G. HTC has really created something interesting here - and I bet with the larger size, the on-screen keyboard will be much easier to use. This is the first touch-screen device that has really tempted me to switch from a QWERTY device. I can't wait to get my hands on one! The full press release and a couple of images after the break. Read more...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Windows Mobile Development Webcast on September 3rd

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone News" @ 10:30 PM

"Tomorrow (September 3rd) there is a webcast available for those of you considering starting to develop applications for Windows Mobile. The webcast is an introductory session on developing managed applications for Windows Mobile devices. It will cover the tools that are available as well as giving guidance on how to best approach developing applications."

I just ran across this interesting little tidbit on Jason Langridge's blog. If you are looking to get into software development for the Windows Mobile platform, this would be an ideal starting ground. To sign up for the MSDN Webcast and for more information point your browsers over here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Smartphone & Pocket PC Magazine Hangs Up Its Boots

Posted by Darius Wey in "Pocket PC News" @ 10:40 AM

"I have sad news. After 11 years, we will be publishing a final 2008 issue of Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine and then suspend publication! We are working hard to make it the best Windows Mobile issue ever, a keeper, a reference guide... It is with great regret I make this announcement. We are a very small, self-funded magazine publishing company. We did not make this decision lightly, especially after 11 years of issues. It has become harder and harder to grow our circulation over the past three years since Windows Mobile changed from being PDAs to being phones. Pocket PC manufacturers like HP used to work with us to offer their customers a free issue of our magazine in their packaging. The phone companies have not shown similar interest in working with us. The other business challenge has been the lack of advertising sponsorship from Microsoft, phone companies, and OEMs, despite our coverage of their products. In order for us to sell subscriptions at current low consumer magazine-type prices, we must have a stronger and growing circulation, and we much attract the large advertisers who benefit the most from our existence. Of course, the irony is that almost 20 million Windows Mobile units were sold this past Microsoft fiscal year. We think there is a great opportunity to continue the magazine in this high growth smartphone market for a more sophisticated publishing company or a funded entrepreneur."

After eleven amazing years, the folks at Smartphone & Pocket PC Magazine are suspending publication due to a lack of interest and sponsorship from a number of parties. For many years, I've had the pleasure of working with Hal Goldstein and his committed team in the Best Software Awards, and have appreciated their enormous level of dedication and enthusiasm shown toward the Windows Mobile platform and community. It's sad news, and on behalf of the team at Thoughts Media, I wish Hal and his team the very best in their endeavours. Of course, the door is still open; if you'd love to see Smartphone & Pocket PC Magazine continue on and have sponsorship ideas, you might want to contact Hal.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Skyfire Available to All for a Limited Time

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Software" @ 05:00 PM

"For a limited time only Skyfire, the only flash-enabled web browser for the Windows Mobile platform, is opening up to all comers. The browser, which now supports Silverlight, will now be accessible to all comers who use the special code 'Michael8', meaning Skyfire users can now watch all the streaming video from the Olympics. Skyfire says they did this to commemorate Michael Phelps’s monumental accomplishment of winning 8 Gold metals in a single Olympic games."

If you have been waiting to test out the new Skyfire web browser but have not been able to get into the Beta testing, now is your chance. From now until August 30th 2008 Skyfire will be available to all users who use the special code "Michael8". To sign-up to use the only Flash enabled web browser available for Windows Mobile visit Skyfire's website here.

AOL Releases AIM for Windows Mobile

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Software" @ 01:30 PM

"We reported back in June that AIM for Windows Mobile was now in beta. Well, the folks at AOL have sent word that it’s now officially out of beta and available as a free download at The latest version of AIM for Windows Mobile supports both smartphones and touch-screen devices running Windows Mobile 5 and 6 and features status messages, buddy icons, and the option of sending text messages via SMS."

It has always amazed me that it has taken this long for AOL to release AIM for Windows Mobile. Sure there have been a few Instant Messaging applications over the year that could handle the AIM protocol, but it just seemed odd that AOL never released their own. You can download this free piece of software today from AOL's website here.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Is the iPhone Now More Unstable than Windows Mobile?

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 08:00 PM

"...Dare I say, Windows Mobile is not Unstable, it’s the applications we flood the devices with. Bashing Microsoft for other developer’s applications is something that has just become the 'cool thing to do', I guess. Windows Mobile is not perfect, but it’s not the beast many want us to believe. Apple has 3rd party applications now. Nice right? Well, iPhone owners are complaining of lockups and having to reset. It could never be Apple’s fault though, it’s got to be the applications. Bad developers, bad apps, it could never be Apple’s fault. So here we are, Apple iPhone locks up… Bad App. Windows Mobile Phone locks up, Bad Microsoft. Hmmm… Ok. Let’s talk about the iPhone shall we?"

I had a little internal battle with myself before releasing this. On one hand I am incredibly sick and tired of the constant barrage of articles comparing the iPhone to Windows Mobile. At the end of the day their differences and user experiences are so unique that it is pretty much useless to try and draw comparisons. These devices were designed from the ground up for completely different customer bases mean Windows Mobile will always be superior to the iPhone when it comes to the business side of things and the iPhone will always outshine Windows Mobile when it comes to user interface.

Chris from Mobility Site does bring up an interesting point though. With the release of the new iPhone and application store there appears to be larger than average complaints from users about device lockups, hard resets, bricking from other the air application updates, and even the camera distorting images - it looks as if Apple's little device that could is starting to experience some big boy growing pains like all the other mobile smartphone operating systems. So what do you guys think, are these all just isolated incidents or are any of you iPhone users experiencing any of these issues?

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