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5 years ago

Toshiba G810: Hands-on

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Toshiba G810: Hands-on

Don't laugh at the specs on the Toshiba Portege G810:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Pro.
  • Quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900).
  • 3MP auto focus camera.
  • 256MB ROM/128MB RAM, plus micro SD.
  • WiFi b/g, Bluetooth, and AGPS
  • A 520MHz Qualcomm processor.
  • 500MaH battery.

You may laugh, guffaw even, at the 'buttons' at the bottom of the device, however. They are all touch, no tactility at all, and given the inevitable tiny delays that you see with Windows Mobile they don't inspire much confidence at all. Stil, it's not a bad try for Toshiba, they get bonus points for including SPB Mobile Shell on deck as well as an FM Radio for those who are afraid of internet radio.

We gotta ask, though: given how freaking sweet the Toshiba G900 is, who was in charge of the G810?

More images after the break!

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5 years ago

Hands-on with the Techfaith Vista 850

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One last hands-on for the day (We'll bring you a couple more tomorrow): the Techfaith Vista 850. Spec-wise, it's not especially impressive and hasn't changed a whit since we first saw it in March. Well, this version is a nice black as opposed to the earlier white. Also unchanged, the “Vista” moniker, which we're going on record as calling “a bad idea.”

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Stnadard
  • Quad-band EDGE
  • 200 MHz OMAP processor
  • 64MB RAM, 2 Gigs of ROM
  • 3.3 hours of talk time.

The only real new bit here is Techfaith is joining every other Windows Mobile maker in adding their own customizations on top of Windows Mobile. The transitions above are nice, but in terms of functionality the above doesn't hold a candle to the standard WinMo Sliding Panels in 6.1.

We'd say we're still intrigued by the 2 gigs of onboard memory, but we'd be liars -- the Diamond has stolen that thunder quite handily. What's left is a respectable low-end WinMo smartphone for Techfaith, one we don't really expect to get much play beyond this here post you're reading right now.


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5 years ago

Hands-on with the Velocity 83

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Hands-on with the Velocity 83

We're hoping to see more of Velocity -- ever since we first saw them back in March at the other CTIA, we've been hoping they manage to get their stuff out to market. We'll find out more soon, but for now take a look at their latest offering, the Velocity 83. It's a Windows Mobile 6.1 Pro device (the “Standard Slab,” as Malatesta calls them) with a few twists.

Twist the first: their interface, demo'ed above, called Odyssey -- it's basically a quick list of shortcuts you can scroll through plus some weather. Velocity is quick to point out that it's updatable over the air, so we may see some other features added.

Second twist: two microSD card slots. Nice.

Third twist: it does pack an accellerometer, which you see me valiantly trying to get working in the above video. It does happen, eventually, but apparently there's a knack to it.

Otherwise specs are as you' expec(t) on a low-to-midrange:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Pro
  • GPS, WiFi
  • Quad-Band Edge (but no 3G)
  • 2mp Camera
  • 400MHz Processor
  • 240x320 screen
  • 64mb Rom / 128 RAM

Unfortunately, it looks like it's dropped the trackball we saw on previous Velocity models. Price, availability, etc are unknown. What is known by now is the drill -- find a few more shots after the break!

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5 years ago

Hands-on with the Touch Pro (GSM)

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Hands-on with the Touch Pro (GSM)

Here's a few shots (after the break) of the Touch Pro on GSM. There's not much we don't yet know about the device, of course, including exactly when we'll see it with official support for US 3G bands (that's still the story on the Samsung Omnia too, by the way). You know the TouchFLO 3D, you may know that it turns into something quite a bit more basic when you open the slider (see the photo below). What you may not know is that I hereby apologize for ever calling the thing brick-like.

Sure, it's still relatively thick, but the fact that they've made it much less wide really changes the feel of the thing in your hand. This is easily the best-feeling slider I've ever held and the most phone-like when it's closed. We still haven't had a chance to really put the Touch Pro through any paces on either GSM or CDMA, but having finally handled one here at CTIA we're looking forward to doing just that a little more than we were before.

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5 years ago

AT&T gives your GPS a boost

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AT&T gives your GPS a boost

AT&T has flipped the switch on its Autonomous GPS service, which should help your aGPS enabled phone connect to the satellites much more quickly. (Surprisingly, AT&T hasn't had this enabled until now.)

"But Phil," you ask, "I already have GPS on my phone. What's aGPS going to do for me?"

To answer that question, we return to everyone's favorite WM Expert, Malatesta, who in January brought us a great tutorial on the kissin' cousins of the Global Positioning System.

Read GPS vs. aGPS: A Quick Tutorial.

Then step outside, fire up your favorite mapping app, and let us know in the comments if you can see a difference.

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5 years ago

Hands-On with the Sprint Diamond

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Hands-On with the Sprint Diamond

It's announced, it's coming in a matter of days, but until then, the best you can get is our hands-on gallery and impressions.

Those impressions now: Yeah, it's not as shockingly small as the GSM Touch Diamond, but it's still plenty wee. We prefer the finger-print-friendly paint on Sprint's Touch Diamond and are also digging the red color (seriously!). TouchFLO 3D seems ever-so-slightly snappier than we've seen it in the past, but without a full-on review don't take that as gospel.

One other note -- although I like the fancy zoom-in / zoom-out touchy-feely features of the d-pad (towards the end of the video), the standard up/down/left/right feel of it is a little sub-optimal -- a bit hard to distinguish from the surrounding area.

After the break -- some more images as well and a quick comparison to the current generation Touch.

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5 years ago

HP 910C Hands-on, with Bonus Treo Pro Comparison

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Not much more to say about what we have for you here, the first of our galleries of what Microsoft is showing off at CTIA this year. We've already reviewed both the Treo Pro and the HP 910C, two Windows Mobile 6.1 Pro devices that are pretty much in the exact same category: Front-Facing QWERTY, Touchscreen, 3G on GSM, and only available unlocked.

We're giving the slight edge to the Treo Pro here, but only based on size and the slightly larger screen resolution (320x320 vs 320x240). If you're looking to power through a lot of email, though, the 910 ain't no slouch and has a bigger keyboard.

Meet us after the break for more images!

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5 years ago

CTIA Keynote Day 1: Livebogging

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CTIA Keynote Day 1: Livebogging

We're live at CTIA 2008 in San Francisco and the Keynote is set to begin in about 10 minutes. On tap is Marco Boerries of Yahoo's "Connected Life Division," plus CEOs of T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, plus the Chairman of Clearwire.

What to expect? We're hoping for new software from Yahoo (Yahoo Go 4.0 would be nice), maybe a mention of the Kickstart from T-Mobile, and perhaps a surprise or two from Verizon and Sprint -- i.e. it's be nice if Hesse talked up Windows Mobile this year instead of the silly Instinct.

Anyhow, it will be relatively low-key, but hit us up after the break for what news we can gather!

New updates at the top, Yo.

The Liveblog

10:30: Alright, show floor time. We'll catch you guys soon -- more as we find the gadgetry out in the booth sea.

10:28: No more "one more thing" expected, folks.. or not -- They've created an SDK within the iPhone SDK with Blueprint.

10:26: It also includes a new yahoo-developed, cross-platform mobile browser -- sort of. Companies can basically make 'apps' of their websites that are essentially mini-browsers.

10:25: Yahoo Go is built on blueprint. You can develop Yahoo Go widgets with Blueprint.

...Now you an make standalone apps for Windows Mobile, Java, and Symbian. Develop for all three platforms with one language. That's actually pretty cool. Available as a developer preview today.

10:20: Blueprint as a new mobile platform. "The best way to create mobile internet services." It's not another mobile OS, not a platform for games, not proprietary, not limited to Yahoo.

It offers a very quick mobile services development platform based on XML. Basically it's a large set of XML setup you can program a mobile app in and it will display very nicely on different platforms -- iPhone, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Symbian, etc. They are opening it up for anybody and anybody can distribute however they'd like. Yahoo would prefer you use Yahoo's ads on your apps, but not requiring it.

10:15: Demoing oneConnect. Socially connected addressbook is pretty sweet. Come on, Microsoft, you need to get this sort of stuff done on WinMo.

10:12: OneConnect for the iPhone. A socially connected address book. Nice to see somebody at CTIA admit the iPhone exists, eh?

It works with Yahoo Messenger and can fall back to SMS-based Messenger, all integrated. pretty cool.

Post status to facebook, twitter, etc. "Pulse" like Friend Feed -- includes a bunch of social network feeds into a neat iPhone screen. Should be available in the App Store any minute now.

Sigh -- bring this to Windows Mobile, okay, because I think Yahoo Go is still a big disappointment.

10:11: It's too bad that Microsoft didn't take these guys over -- Ballmer gives a lot better speech than this. Yahoo's OneSearch powers AT&Ts MEdiaNet search now. They're going to launch a Today Screen Search Bar for Windows Mobile soon (it's on Nokia now).

Talking up Yahoo Go very briefly.

10:10: OneConnect and Yahoo Blueprint is on the agenda. Both appear to be ways for 3rd parties to use their Yahoo Go! platform. The stuff is cross-platform, so they hope folks will target it instead of targeting individual platforms.

10:08: Marco Boerries of Yahoo takes the stage. Whoa, he's low key.

10:06: The chat is over. Next up: Video introducing Yahoo Mobile.

10:06: Dobson: BlackBerry isn't open, but it has the best email experience in the mobile world (I beg to differ)... Making the point that closed can be good.

10:05: Do you want to put any device and any software on any network? Scattered applause (I whooped). "We need to be careful not to all run to the same side of the ship." Um... Talking about how people go to Verizon for support for their phone but don't go to their cable provider for support for their desktop computer.

10:04: Verizon/McAdams: We get another bite at the Apple with the release of LTE. (Wokka Wokka Wokka!)

10:01: Consumers rights to have unfettered, Open access to the web on mobile devices -- why not on T-Mobile (aka: I hate you T-Zones)? Dobson -- standard answer about how the experience sucks on a two inch screen. They'd rather make the mobile internet fit what consumers want. (Pah! Don't try to figure that out, T-Mo, it changes too quickly.)

9:58: McAdams wants to put cell radios in Thermostats, medical devices, airplane engines, etc. Plenty of opportunity to expand the industry -- hm, these embedded devices might actually be a great way to actually utilize Verizon's Open Initiative.

9:55: Why not use any phone on any network, eh? Dobson: well Europe has it. In the US we have CDMA vs. GSM. People who put a random, unlocked phone on a T-Mobile network don't have an optimal experience. Hm.. oh, he's referring to data and MMS setup, ok sure. (Well, the solution is to FIX THAT and MAKE IT EASIER, not to lock it down... it looks like Dobson might agree...)

9:54: Dan Hesse "there's such a thing as too much choice." 1 in 5 cell phones given as gifts last Christmas were returned.

9:52: What's up with the Open Initiative on Verizon? McAdam says we're seeing results of it now. (Tell that to VX6800 owners!). Showing off a random featurephone and a wireless router that you can plug a Verizon card into and it makes it into a WiFi network (meant for insurance agencies for emergency hotspots). That last is pretty cool.

9:50: Walled Garden or Wild West. Does the "wild west" hurt customers? Dobson says you need to have "stewardship and control." Dobson hating on municipal WiFi because of the security and variability of the network. "Walled Garden sits in the past" and that helps innovation explode. Talking about that balance. Ok, fine.

9:47: McAdam of Verizon (will this be rich?). Hm, "What the carrier thinks of open is irrelevant." Ok... "Opening up the doors and protecting the network [..] is the only thing we have to do." He's talking up their new open initiative. Put the risk on developers to place bets on new ideas.

9:45: Dobson of T-Mobile's turn. Most important piece is unleashing innovation. (Come on, Dobson, stick it to everybody else over Android and openness. Come on). http://developer.tmobile.com for getting everything you need to develop apps for T-Mobile. Ah, here he mentions Google. But only in passing. Chicken.

Faster time-to-market, speeds and feeds, somehow that helps with openness. Ah, open source can speed up time to market. KK, we'll buy that.

GSM: Advantages and disadvantages of being open via SIM-swapping. Up to 30% of devices in NYC are on non-T-Mobile locked devices (!). Dobson says he wants to ensure 4G LTE has that same SIM-swapping ease.

9:42: Hesse starts is up as you'd expect: "Open is not regulation." Open applies in three cases: to the customer, to the developer, to the device. In the 3 and 4G world, there's less need for 'walled gardens' because data is faster. Hesse talks up full HTML browsing across all of Sprint's devices. Of course, he mentions the "Simply Everything" plan. Today Sprint launches "One Click" (hi Amazon, now is when you file the lawsuit). They're 'tiles' for shortcuts to "voicemail, email, text, google search, a website, etc." Gawsh, we hope he's talking about featurephones there, because we've managed that fine.

For developers, "Open means making it easy to put apps on the network." Yes please.

For devices (please stick it to Verizon...). Mentions that GSM has it easier to switch because of SIM cards (holla!), but at least Sprint allows for MVNOs (what?). He does mention that with WiMAX you can more easily 'bring your own device.'

9:40: Larget introduces the CEOs: T-Mobile's Robert Dobson, Sprint's Dan Hesse, and Verizon's Lowell McAdam. It looks like they're all going to share the stage and have a nice little coffee chat about Openness.

9:35: Video telling us how much wireless companies have done for us. Now Largent is talking about how wireless is rocking and rolling despite the fact that the economy as a whole hasn't been doing so hot.

Here comes the stats:

  • Data Revenue: 14.8 billion in the first 6 months of 2008. It's more than 20% of overall carrier revenues.
  • America has just pulled ahead of Western Europe in Mobile 3G adoption - that's a big shift. 28% percent of US consumers have a 3G device.
  • Text messaging is huge. 75 billion text messages every month. 160% increase over last June. 2.5 billion texts a day.
  • More fun stats at http://ctia.org

9:30: Steve Largent, President and CEO of CTIA is up. Get ready for wireless stats. He's talking up how incredible the last year has been -- we fully agree, just think about how much awesome we've had. Ah, here comes the campaign to "influence legislators."

9:27: About to start. One thing I forgot to mention that we're expecting: plenty of political talk about how regulation of the Wireless Industry is evil and bad. He we go!

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5 years ago

HTC Touch HD -- Edge to Edge Screen-age!

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HTC Touch HD -- Edge to Edge Screen-age!

We bet you thought the leaked BlackBerry Thunder video with the tiny preview of the HTC Touch Pro would be today's biggest HTC news. Or maybe you figured it would be tha actual news of the Diamond and the Touch Pro making their way to Sprint. So did we, actually, until we saw this as Modaco: The HTC Touch HD.

Specs:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
  • Qualcomm 7201A processor @ 528MHz
  • 512MB ROM / 256MB RAM (+32MB on processor)
  • 480 x 800 (fixed), WVGA, wall-to-wall screen action

Yes, it's so good that even over at our sister-site, CrackBerry.com, they're talking it up and posting images. Our initial impressions: we're swooning over the thinness and the screen, but a little leery of the lack of a 5-way dpad. More info as we get it in!

Thanks, Paul!

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5 years ago

HTC Diamond and Touch Pro Get Official on Sprint

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No surprises here, folks, just good news confirming what we all knew: Sprint will, in fact, be the first US carrier to officially carry the new hotness from HTC. Coming up first is the HTC Diamond in “September” for $249.99 after $100 mail-in rebate and a 2 year contract (we still expect it next week). That same contract and rebate also applies to the Touch Pro, which will clock in at $299.99 afterwards and be available October 19th.

So yeah, exactly what we were expecting, but good to see there wont be an surprises. Although we all know exactly what the specs and looks of the Diamond will be (thanks, Telus!), the Pro's CDMA flavor has been a little cagier. No more:

  • 4.01“ x 2” x .71“
  • 2.8 inch display with 640 x 480 resolution
  • 512 MB ROM, 288 MB RAM (ships with a 1gb microSD card too)
  • 1340mAh battery good for 3.75 hours of talk time
  • 3.2 Megapixel camera with flash
  • Included software is all the usual suspects: TouchFLO 3D, Office, Sprint Navigation, Opera 9.5, etc. One new bit: a business card scanner.

WMExperts is at CTIA today, assuming either Sprint or HTC has these mamma-jammas on the floor, we'll bring you the hands-on.

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5 years ago

Everyone but U.S. (read: us) gets Xperia Sept. 30

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Sony Ericsson has announced that Sept. 30 is when the Xperia X1 finally will see the light of day [via].

Just not in the United States.

According to a news release, the following countries will get their hot little hands on one of the year's most anticipated phones:

  • APAC: Indonesia, Singapore, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam
  • Western Europe: Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland, Netherlands, Austria, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Portugal
  • Central Europe: Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic
  • Middle East: UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait
  • Africa: South Africa
  • Latin America: Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia

Also in the works is a webcast demo on Sept. 15, and more launch events as part of London fashion week starting on Monday.

Check out the full release here.

Edit: True, the UK, Germany and Sweden get the X1 on Sept. 30. Everyone else has to wait a little longer. Curse these early morning press releases! Thanks Lovsten for straightening us out!

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5 years ago

Pre-order the HTC Touch Diamond from Best Buy

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Speaking of pre-orders, you can now drop $699.99 on Best Buy for your very own unlocked HTC Touch Diamond. [via]

And it looks like you shouldn't have to wait too long for delivery. A quick click on the "Estimate arrival time" link gives an estimated date of Sept. 29 - Oct. 4.

More good news: U.S. 3G bands are confirmed, with 850/900/1800/1900 MHz supported. Sorry, T-Mobile customers. That 1700 MHz band is turning out to be a real pain, isn't it?

This should be an interesting exercise. The GSM Touch ($499) and Touch Dual ($549) also are available unlocked at Best Buy, but there's definitely a psychological difference between $550 and $700. Does "unlocked" status mean that much (or anything?) to most U.S. smartphone consumers?

And with that other keyboardless GSM phone on AT&T, and Sprint reportedly launching the Diamond next week at $300 or less, just what kind of demand will Best Buy ultimately see? And will AT&T bother picking it up? (Our guess is no. Probably not enough room in that stable for two keyboardless phones of that caliber.)

Anyhoo, if the GSM Diamond's your thing, head on over to Best Buy's Web site and throw down your cash.

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5 years ago

Opera Mobile 9.5 Getting Optimized for Nvidia's Tegra Platform

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We already knew that nvidia was making a play for Windows Mobile with their “Tegra” line, matching up against the likes of Intel's Atom and Qualcomm's Snapdragon. Seemed like a long shot that they'd get major pick-up then and it still seems that way now, only a little less so. The eagle eyes over at wmpoweruser picked up on an nvidia press release that notes two interesting things.

First, Opera 9.5 is getting optimized for the Tegra platform -- which is a out-of-box set of CPU, GPU, and (yes, Virginia) hardware acceleration. Second, companies that opt for the Tegra platform to power their gadget will get that optimized version of Opera 9.5 for free.

The only real downside to this story is it looks like nvidia has let the date for when we'll actually see devices based on Tegra slip from Q4 of this year to sometime next year.

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5 years ago

Review: Plantronics Discovery 925

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5 years ago

Power up your texting with PowerSMS

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Power up your texting with PowerSMS

Looking for a way to make sending text messages a little easier? Give PowerSMS a shot.

The free app is still in beta but is very well put together. With it you can:

  • Note to Self: Quickly send yourself a text message without having to lookup your own name first. Makes sense.
  • Group message: Just like it sounds. Set up groups and send them messages.
  • Auto reply: Again, just like it sounds. Set it and forget it.
  • Schedule SMS: Write a text and schedule it for later delivery.
  • Cool stats: See how many messages you've received in a given time frame, average per day, most active day, most active hour and who you text most. You're probably aware of these stats, but it's a quick way for a soon-to-be-ex loved one to check up on you.
  • Backup and restore: Hang on to those texts, or export as a .csv or .xml file.

Pretty handy stuff. The only thing I'd like to see added is the ability to send pictures, but that'd make it PowerMMS, now wouldn't it?

Check out more at the Trinket Software Web site, or download the CAB file directly here.

And for more SMS options, take a look at our reviews of SMS Chat and Vito Threaded SMS.

[via MSDN]

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