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5 years ago

Review: Palm Leather Holster for Treo 750

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5 years ago

Review: Efficasoft GPS Utilities (Smartphone Edition)

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5 years ago

HTC Touch Diamond vs. Xperia X1, Hands-on

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Let us list the things we didn't expect to see while attending the Wireless Enterprise Symposium 2008 (aka WES 2008. aka The Center of the BlackBerry Universe) along with Kevin Michaluk of CrackBerry.com.

  • Dieter defending the BlackBerry Browser against the attacks of BlackBerry fanatics during the special edition of the CrackBerry.com Podcast. (Yes, it sucks, but even a sucky browser does better with more pixels).
  • An HTC Touch Diamond
  • ...sitting next to an Xperia X1

Wait! What? That's right, it wasn't just BlackBerry Bold at WES. On the show floor was a booth for BlackBerry Connect and, lo and behold, sitting there was an HTC Touch Diamond and an X1. Sadly: the Touch Diamond was very very much pre-production; powering it on yielded nothing more than a message telling us that it was a demo unit and non-functional. The Xperia was pretty much exactly how I remembered it in my First Look Xperia X1 Review. The Touch Diamond was all new to me.

But the two next to each other? How would they stack up? Why on earth did I allow that reflection of me taking a photo onto this site? Read on!

The HTC Touch Diamond

The Touch Diamond is notable in that it's a very nice size. HTC called it “not too big and not too small.” That is indeed the case. It felt good in the hand (insofar as I could feel it with the massive anti-theft device attached to it). The edges were a little sharper than I'd like, but it's still decent enough. Note that the back of the device is, in fact, fully flat and it just appears to have extra edges. The corners are “cut” like a Diamond, however (get it? Diamond>) and it looks very nice.

As for feel and build quality -- both seemed good enough, but again this was a pre-production, not-really-functional model, so don't judge based on this.

The HTC Touch Diamond also has two other diamond-esque features. It's insanely reflective and insanely prone to picking up smudges and fingerprints. You saw it in the image above, now take a look at the images below to see what I mean. Since I wasn't expecting to run across anything, I didn't have my typical SLR, so apologies for the quality. No apologies, however, for the bright reflections and smudges. It would take demi-god-like powers to photograph this device in any sort of real-world setting without them.

A decent screen protector would allow you to make the trade-off between that glossy finish and a more matted (and protected) look. When we get our Touch Diamond (and yes, after holding even just a non-functional unit, we want one), we'll be applying a screen protector right quick.

Touch Diamond vs. the Xperia X1

The HTC Touch Diamond is a bit shorter and much thinner, as you'd expect given that it lacks a physical keyboard. Built quality seemed better on the Xperia X1, but I rack that up to the Diamond being a pre-production unit. Not a whole lot else to say here, since I didn't get to actually use anything on the Diamond.

We'll let the pictures do the talking:

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5 years ago

i-mate's 8502 lives; clears FCC (gasp!) Doesn't feel so "ultimate" anymore :-(

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Sure, no sign that any carrier here in the States will even touch an i-mate device, leaving that company to abandon their US team of engineers, QA and technical writing departments.

But there is still some life in that Ultimate line as the 8502 recently got clearance from the FCC gate-keepers. To refresh your failing memory, the 8502 (pictured above) has:

  • HSPA (HSDPA & HSUPA)
  • TV out
  • GPS
  • QWERTY kb
  • 2.6" qvga (320x240)
  • Qualcomm MSM 7200 400 MHz processor
  • 256 MB ROM, 128 MB RAM
  • Wifi
  • 2mp camera
  • 1530mah battery (nice)

Huh.

For some reason the Ultimate line doesn't feel so ultimate in mid 2008 as it did back in early 2007 (!)

Anyways, it's looks decent enough though it would have been more amazing in 2007.

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5 years ago

Microsoft wants 40% of the Smartphone market by 2012. Sure, okay.

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In the biz of "smarthphones", 2007 and 2008 has really shored up competition. Word is MS has set a goal to have 40% of that market by 2012, which is...uhhh... very ambitious since at last count they have about 13%.

Sure, why not? Shoot, lets just set any number, it's not like companies actually have to live up to such goals. As long as MS moves up from 13% to anything higher, it'll be seen as a success.

Of course I've always had problems with such statements, namely what defines "smartphone" is often left out. Does MS even bother to consider the iPhone to be a smartphone (we know that debate has raged in the forums for quite some time)? What about how RIM's market share is exploding, Android is warming up at bat and last I checked Symbian is actually fairing quite well (except in the States)? Then you have those pseudo-smartphones e.g. Sprint Instinct, which only blurs the distinction.

RIM Stock (1 yr)

Then there's that whole fractionation of the market into consumer (low end and high end) and business devices. MS has certainly taking aim at enterprise but only occasionally dipped their toe into the consumer market, something which WM7 will supposedly change. At least MS has HTC in their pocket to help things along--their market performance shouldn't be discounted either.

So which phones and which market segment are we talking about exactly?

Lets check back in 2012 and see if any of this came to be, but personally I'm not betting on anything--hey, who knows, "Nova" could be absolutely amazing ; -)

Thoughts?

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5 years ago

Are you using your cell phone illegally?

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Are you one who still drives with holding your cell phone to your ear? Do you still pick up your phone to dial a number while driving? If so, depending on where you are, then you may be a hardened criminal or may soon become one! Mandatory hands free cell phone use laws have already been established in several states (Washington, D.C., New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut) with several states following suite. Now California and Washington state are going to join the growing ranks and have a mandatory hands free cell phone law taking effect on July 1...mark it on your calendar. Oregon is soon to follow this trend. There are several states that will probably have similar laws coming in the next year or so as well. Anyone willing to enter a pool on when this might become a federal law?

A study released on Monday claims that over 300 lives will be saved in California alone after this law takes effect. But studies of this kind have ranged all the way across the board from no effect at all, to only increasing lives saved during bad driving conditions, to saving thousands of lives yearly.

This MSNBC article also made an interesting point with the opposition against this law from the cell phone providers. That even though every wireless provider "published brochures for their customers that said don

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5 years ago

Sprint: even more bad news

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Sprint: even more bad news

So as Dieter is n/a today (hanging with some RIM geeks), it pains me to have to take the reigns and write more bad Sprint news articles--but who can ignore such a calamity?

Evidently, to help stem the loss of all that revenue and subscribers, Sprint is doing what every corporation does in that situation: fire..err..layoff people, usually the bottom tier of course (don't get me started on labor issues).

More precisely, they are planning to

  • cut 4,000 jobs
  • close stores
  • lower wireless phone plans

Everything must go! We will not be undersold!

That lowering of price-plans sounds nifty. Then again, if you're sly enough to be on SERO or are another carrier, you probably already noticed Sprint's "other plans" and have decided for other reasons not to sign up (phone lineup, coverage, customer service)--lets be clear, Sprint already has some of the most competitive plans on the block, so it seems odd that lowering them even more will help.

Yikes. Please pull through Sprint as personally I can't take the "other" guys.

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5 years ago

HTC Diamond News Roundup: vs iPhone, docking station, cool LED notifications

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Oh when will the HTC Diamond hype stop? Luckily it's a slow news day so this will fill the gap nicely. As Dieter last week called the Diamond properly an "iPhone killer", it's only fair that some snaps of it next to said phone should appear.

This is all well and good, but what happens on that fateful day in June when that new 3g iPhone drops? Oh well, this will keep the fanboys on both sides happy a bit. Head over to Engadget Chinese for some more shots.

In more tangible news, a nice shot of the Diamond's charger base/dock (extra, not included) has popped up. Sure it's nothing great--USB sync plus headphones, but you have to admit it makes one slick package and would look awesome next to your lava lamp. Expected price is a pretty high $49--guess they really are competing with Apple.

Actually, if you want really cool...check out the quick vid of the Diamond's fantabulous LED notification system. Now that is something some of us have been wanting for a long time. Nice HTC, nice.

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5 years ago

Opera Mini 4.1 Escapes Beta

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Opera Mini 4.1 Escapes Beta

While it's not the crown jewel of Opera's Browser offerings -- said title belongs to the as-yet unreleased Opera Mobile 9.5 -- Opera Mini 4.1 is still plenty good. We liked it when it was released in Beta and we like it now that it's a full release, with great features:

  • Opera is now up to 50% faster
  • Find text within a Web page
  • Auto-completion of URLs
  • Download and upload files
  • Save pages for offline viewing

Opera Mini, sadly, is Java-based, meaning that on Windows Mobile you're going to need a Java Virtual Machine. I can't speak for all WM devices, but on my Moto Q9h it installed very cleanly and it created a shortcut on my Start Menu so I didn't have to go digging through my JVM. Opera Mini is probably the only app that makes me wish that Windows Mobile had Java more deeply integrated, otherwise you can keep it off, thanks.

Grab Opera Mini at http://www.operamini.com.

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5 years ago

HTC Diamond Keyboard: available for all

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HTC Diamond Keyboard: available for all

Well if you've been following the whole HTC Touch Diamond release info, you may have noticed the "new" soft keyboard that will be shipping with the device. The keyboard, by most hands-on reviews, has been praised as quite the improvement on the previous Touch keyboard (although perhaps a tad "busy" looking).

Of course one very popular alternative is the TouchPal keyboard (see v3 info), however that one will cost you a modest $13.

But if you're interested in that new HTC Touch Diamond one, seems as if some crafty XDA'ers (namely P1Tater) have scored a copy of that software and .cab'd it up for an easy install.

Couple of notes:

  • install is a bit slow, but normal
  • default language is Italian (change to English in settings)

Other than that, feedback has been quite positive. Give it a spin and let us know!

More Info:

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5 years ago

Sprint's Quarterly Results: As Bad as We Figured

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After rumors of spinning off Nextel, rumors of getting bought out by Deutsche Telekom, and making some sort of weird combination of declaring uncle and making a Hail Mary pass by creating a new, separate WiMAX company... after all that we weren't exactly expecting Sprint to report anything very good about the past three months. We don't want to say it was worse than we expected, because it wasn't. Of course, we were expecting that the entire company would explode like a Death Star with a proton torpedo in its reactor vent shaft, so it would have been pretty tough for them stoop that low.

Their press release has the lowlights:

  • Loss of $253 million on $8 billion in revenue. Revenue was down 9% over last year and last year they made $253 million in profits. So that's bad.
  • Loss of 1.09 million subscribers, the vast majority of whom where standard, “post-paid” subscribers.
  • Their Average Revenue Per User (aka ARPU, who is the angry, vengeful god of wireless carriers) was down 6% over last year as well.

“As expected, our Wireless business delivered weak financial results. While the business will continue to face challenges in the short term, we are making progress in methodically attacking the sources of our performance issues. In the first quarter, we implemented a new, more focused brand campaign, we executed on our plans to take costs out of the business, and we made progress on the larger organizational and strategic decisions that we believe will lead to improved profitability in the long term,” said Dan Hesse, Sprint Nextel CEO

That Treo 800w better get released on July 22nd as expected, both Sprint and Palm are gonna need it.

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5 years ago

Review: Motorola HT820 Bluetooth Stereo Headphones

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Review: Motorola HT820 Bluetooth Stereo Headphones

I can’t stand wires and think the world of wireless technology. Any opportunity to eliminate wires is a good opportunity in my mind. Some of the most frustrating wires of all are those on stereo headphones. They get tangled, twisted, knotted, and unless you get a 30’ extension they restrict your movement. Then you’ve got the 30’ extension to contend with.

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5 years ago

Review: Case Mate Privacy Screen

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5 years ago

Off Topic: BlackBerry Bold and the iPhone over at our Sister Sites

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After all the HTC and Treo 800w craziness last week, it might be difficult to believe that there are, you know, other platforms out there. Inferior platforms, of course, but out there nonetheless. So while we here at WMExperts were busy scooping Treo 800w news left and right, our sister site CrackBerry.com had what, we have to admit, was a full week of the top smartphone scoopage anywhere on the internet. They had a pre-release unit of what turned out to be the BlackBerry Bold, aka the BlackBerry 9000.

The 9000, as we ruefully admitted last week, is hawt. A 480x320 screen, a very fast (for a BlackBerry, at least) processor, GPS, WiFi, 3G, the works. It even has a Gig of on-board storage.

This week is also going to be a big one for CrackBerry.com as they cover WES2008, a big ol' BlackBerry convention with a special focus on the Corporate crowd. Yours-truly will actually be helping out at the convention, so posting might come in short bursts and odd times here on WMExperts, just FYI.

Meanwhile, one of our other sister sites had a big announcement of its own: The iPhone Blog Merges with Phone Different.

The merger means a new design and new features for those crazy iPhone folks. It also means a little less of their trash-talk in our own forums, but that's ok because we can still take it to them directly: head on over to The iPhone Blog and tell 'em you'd rather have an HTC Diamond.

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5 years ago

HTC TyTN II to get "improved graphics driver". Branded devices (AT&T, etc.) and others need not apply?

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MSMobiles is reporting from a reliable source that the HTC TyTN II (aka the "Tilt") is scheduled to get a new ROM update that will include "...improved graphics drivers and will offer improved performance".

What is more exciting is that this update is planned for this month and possibly even next week. (For those needing a refresher on the topic, click here for past coverage).

Yowzers. Though, fyi we're taking this with a huge grain of salt, so don't get those torches and mob ready just yet.

The potential bad news? This is only for unbranded HTC TyTN II devices, meaning the AT&T Tilt won't be included, for whatever reason (we're betting it has to do with this: money and who pays).

While unfortunate and inconvenient, at least it may be possible for the prominent hacker community to rip the driver for those unlucky owners of branded devices. Stay tuned.

However, what may be even worse, if true, is this quote from MSMobiles:

HTC is not not (!) preparing in near future updates for any other phones that might have these graphic issues.

Probably not what anyone wants to hear. Hopefully details will follow as pressure mounts on HTC if any of this pans out to be accurate,

We'll await for an official HTC response though for our final judgement.

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