Monday, January 19, 2009

HTC G1 Mobile Phone (Google Android)

This first generation Google Android phone is an interesting mish-mash of brilliant software and so-so hardware. The touch screen is fantastic and the UI is almost perfect. Whilst it can’t compete with the N95-8GB on multimedia capabilities, for our business it kicks its ass.
The G1 is not available in Ireland and may never be. So far it has been released in the USA and the UK. Calls to CPW in Enniskillen drew a blank as they had no idea what I was talking about. So I bit the bullet and paid full whack for an unlocked phone on eBay. The vendor in San Francisco shipped it the day before Thanksgiving and it arrived on the Monday. I was very impressed (and relieved). I immediately replaced the 1GB microSD card with a 4GB one.
First impressions of the hardware are not great. The screen looks good, the buttons cheap, the kink at the bottom weird, the full qwerty keyboard better than expected, the scroll-ball surprisingly usable , the lack of a standard audio jack bizarre, the wobble between the upper and lower halves of the phone terribly annoying and the camera crap.
The phone can’t be used until it is activated with Google. This took me a while as the Irish mobile network APNs are obviously not known to the phone and it won’t activate over wifi. A bit of Googling got me the settings I needed (see last post). Then a big sigh of relief as I realised it fully supports Google Apps for Your Domain so I could register with my address.
Then you see the UI and the software and the touch screen in action. You forget about the crappy build quality and the squeaking back cover because that UI totally rocks. Many compare it to the iPhone but I actually think it looks better. The single iPhone feature which I prefer is the “Back” as a button on the screen rather than a real button. The main thing about the Android UI if you are coming (like me) from a Symbian Series 60 phone, is speed. It screams along. The browser is amazingly fast, GMail is scorching, GCal is great, GMaps is instant. Compare this to the “wait wait wait” of an N95-8GB and you wonder how you put up with it for so long.
You may have noticed a theme above. Yes you have to live in the Google world for Android to make sense for you. In my case it’s a no-brainer. Apart from Zoho CRM, Netvibes and some technical online tools like Unfuddle, I spend most of my day on a variety of Google Apps. Between GMail, Google Reader, GTalk and Google Docs, that accounts for many many hours.
The phone doesn’t come with a huge number of other applications. All the basic things you expect are there. The Google Marketplace is their equivalent to the iPhone App Store. There are a few big differences. The first is that Google doesn’t try to compete with its own developers by blocking “competing” apps. As long as the app doesn’t kill the phone, it’ll probably be approved on the Marketplace. The downside of this is plenty of silly pointless apps so you need to use user ratings/reviews to guide you.
The second difference with Android is that you are not limited to the Marketplace. Sergey Brin doesn’t decide for you what apps you are allowed to run on your phone. You can install whatever you like. This is even more open than Nokia who have dropped the ball completely in 2008 with the app-signing fiasco.


New Android theme for BlackBerry devices

Do you have a BlackBerry and wish you were able to jump ship for an Android-powered handset? Well now you can get an Android them for your BlackBerry handset so that you can at least look like your into Google’s open source platform.
Going by the name DroidBerry, the theme will closely replicate the look of the Android interface that T-Mobile G1 users have become very familiar with. Of course there is no real Android functionality as this is merely a interface theme. Now here is the funny part, that big clock on the background is not functional.
At any rate this theme looks so good, you can tell that this is not quite the real deal, but there are plenty of themes out there for various phones that can’t even stand up against this one. Check the below link to download the theme right now. If you do stop back by and let us know what you think about it. Source: [Via

Friday, January 16, 2009

8 megapixel Samsung S8300 touch slider makes an appearance

As it seems Samsung have a really nice cameraphone in store for all of us, due in the beginning of 2009. The S8300 has obviously slipped under someone's door, as it's not officially announced yet.
Only 12.8mm thick, the Samsung S8300 has an absolutely massive widescreen OLED display, probably the largest one we've seen to date, and the fact that it's a touchscreen, makes it that much sweeter.
The S8300 specs sheet is further pumped up by an 8 megapixel camera with auto focus, a GPS receiver, HSDPA and DivX video support. Judging from the interface shots, the handset doesn't seem to be a smartphone, but instead is running on the Samsung's proprietary TouchWiz feature phone interface, well known from the Samsung Pixon for example.
Among its other niceties are FM radio with RDS, Bluetooth 2.1, and a microSD card slot. It's a long list.
Unfortunately, as it's evident from the photos the 8 megapixel camera is not equipped with a xenon flash. There's only LED instead that's best used as video light. There's no mention of Wi-Fi functionality either.
As you may guess, there is no official info about the device yet, however word is out that it should be available by March 2009.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Phone May Sound Familiar, but It’s Not What You Think

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck, it’s probably a duck. But if it has a touch screen, an intuitive user interface and an extensive application library, it might not be an iPhone. It could be the Nokia N97.
The N97 has a 3.5-inch screen and a qwerty keyboard. It runs Symbian S60, a popular mobile operating system, and it allows you to browse the Internet, send e-mail and view maps using Wi-Fi or cellular networks.
Most important, the device will hold up to 32 gigabytes of media and applications, meaning it could replace a media player and a laptop. It also has a five-megapixel camera, stereo Bluetooth and a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack.
Although you can make and receive calls on it, the N97’s storage capacity and programs make it considerably more powerful than a standard cellphone. The GPS, for example, lets you hold the camera up to a scene in front of you and identify buildings in real time.
Sadly, the $600 phone will not be available until early 2009 and may be sold only online and in Nokia stores. Power, it seems, comes at a price. Source:
(thanks John Biggs)

Sony Ericsson C510 "Kate" gets pictured

It has been a month since we have heard anything new about the Sony Ericsson C510 “Kate”, the low-end Cybershot Sony has on tap for 2009. It was only a matter of time though - some fresh new pictures of the C510 have emerged and SE-fan enthusiasm for this phone has been renewed. It looks sweet and, hopefully, this low-end phone will carry a low-end price tag to make it even sweeter. For those in need of a refresher, the C510 will have the following features:
- Cybershot UI 2.0
- 2.2″ QVGA display
- 3.2Mp camera with AF and QVGA video
- Smile Shutter
- Active lens cover
- Dedicated camera key
- Photo and video light
- Blue Illuminated imaging shortcuts
- Face detection, BestPic™, Photo fix
- 160 Mb built-in memory + M2 card slot
- Auto rotation when viewing
- Direct blog short cut key
- Illumination by different theme/mode
- Print service Snapfish
- Download and upload to YouTube
The C510 is expected to arrive sometime in February 2009. Are all you faithful Sony Ericsson fans out there excited? Hit the jump for a closer look at "Kate".
source: (thanks kellyhodgkins)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Nokia E63 joins the successful Nokia E71 to form a compelling QWERTY messaging device range

Espoo, Finland - Nokia today announced the latest addition to its Eseries range, the Nokia E63, designed for people who need to manage their business and personal lives equally well. Building on the success of the Nokia E71, the company's flagship messaging device, the Nokia E63 brings the QWERTY keyboard form factor to a broader audience at a great price. The Nokia E63 is expected to begin shipping in the coming weeks for an estimated retail price of EUR 199, before taxes and subsidies.
"Our research shows that people want a device that deals with both their personal and professional lives, but helps them to separate the two. When someone sits down at lunch, they want to update their social network or browse their personal email account and they don't want work getting in the way of that. It's another great case of technology adapting to the people that use it," says Soren Petersen, Senior Vice President, Nokia. "The Nokia E63 is a new proposition for Eseries - a messaging device where people will be just as involved in their social network as they are in their business network."

Whilst appealing to a new group of consumers with a design that feels great in the hand and has two new colors, the Nokia E63 is still very much a member of the Eseries family. Petersen continues, "People use Eseries to access their corporate mail, review their calendar and work in their business network, so the Nokia E63 still includes Wi-Fi connectivity, easy access to Mail for Exchange and dedicated key access to contacts, calendar and email."

The Nokia E63 also has the ability to switch modes with a single key press, switching from a view of corporate mail, appointments and intranet data, to a personal mode with a picture of friends, personal email and shortcuts to favorite hobby blogs or websites. Petersen adds, "The amazing response we have seen to the Nokia E71, which has very quickly become the best selling model in its category, let us know that we are heading in the right direction. People want a rich experience when using messaging, social networks and the Internet. With the Nokia E63 you can enjoy the web, update your status and work meaningfully with multiple email accounts."

The Nokia E63 also includes Files on Ovi, a service where people can get remote access to their PC files even when their computer is offline. Anyone buying the handset will have access to 1GB of online file storage for free.

The Nokia E63 will be available in ruby red or ultramarine blue with a range of multimedia features. Record and view images and videos with the digital camera and bright landscape display, listen to music downloaded from the Nokia Music Store, or a number of other sources, via the standard 3,5 mm audio jack or customize the device through the thousands of applications available for download. Source :

Friday, November 28, 2008

Sony Announces 12.25 Megapixel CMOS Image Sensor “Exmor” for Mobile Phones

Sony announced the commercialization of “IMX060PQ”, a new type 1/2.5 CMOS image sensor “Exmor” for use in camera enabled mobile phones which has a 12.25 effective megapixel resolution. Furthermore, Sony will also commercialize “IU060F”, a type 1/3.2 lens module with 12.25 effective megapixel resolution, and “IU046F”, a type 1/3.2 lens module with 8.11 effective megapixels. Equipped with lens and auto focus functions, the two modules claimed to be industry’s smallest and thinnest in their class. Does this also mean we are on the track to what Ericsson had predicted?

Above: Lens modules (from left to right) “IU060F”*2 “IU046F”Below: CMOS Image sensors “Exmor” (from left to right)”IMX060PQ” “IMX046PQ” “IMX045PQ”