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5 years ago

AT&T planning LTE for 2011

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AT&T planning LTE for 2011

During all the excitement of the 2009 Mobile World Congress, AT&T has quietly acknowledged that it should have a fully ready Long Term Evolution (LTE) network in 2011. AT&T has pledged in the past to introduce the 4G Network in 2010 but, according to Senior Architecture VP Kris Rinne, will see the first phase limited to trials in 2010, with commercial services available the following year. This will put AT&T's 4G Network about a year behind Verizon's 4G network, which is for trials later this year with commercial services planned for 2010.

AT&T doesn't seem too worried about Verizon's time line, maintaining that it can rely on HSPA+ and have the advanced 3G networks reach 20Mbps sometime later this year through software upgrades. The LTE network theoretically is at least five times as fast in downloads, about 100Mbps and has a lower latency that should make multi-layer games, VoIP, and two way calling more practical than on 3G networks.

Speaking of time lines, it's probably safe to say that Apple's future plans for the iPhone could well be a factor here. On the other hand, it's entirely possible that AT&T has no idea what Apple's plans are.

[Read: Electonista.com]

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5 years ago

Update: SPB Mobile Shell 3

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Update: SPB Mobile Shell 3

A few weeks ago we mentioned the pending release of SPB Mobile Shell 3. And while the application hasn't gone live yet, it does have it's own Web site, and a video presentation has surfaced on You Tube. Still no hard a release date (Aprilish maybe?) but the updated version is being billed as having such features as multi-home pages (hello, Xperia X1 panels?), widgets, kinetic scrolling, 3D screen switcher, hardware acceleration support, Facebook integration and support for Windows Mobile 6.5.

Barcelona Bureau Chief Dieter Bohn was able to get his hands on the application at Mobile World Congress. Check in after the break for his impressions and a few more pictures.

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5 years ago

A little more on Windows Marketplace for Mobile

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Obviously Windows Mobile 6.5 dominated the bulk of Microsoft's announcements at the start of Mobile World Congress, but we've also seen My Phone and, to a much lesser extent, Marketplace.

But the Windows Mobile Team blog chimed in today, pimping some of the bennies for developers:

  • An easily discovered on-device application that is installed on every Windows Mobile 6.5 device, and includes prominent placement on the Start menu.
  • Global marketplace distribution (30 countries) with flexible payment options for end users through both credit card and mobile operator payment methods.
  • Single source developer-focused web site for sign-up, publishing, and management of applications in the marketplace.
  • Transparent set of policies that clearly articulate the types of applications allowed in the store.
  • Streamlined, yet flexible workflow for getting applications published to the marketplace.
  • Leverage existing Microsoft developer tools, such as Visual Studio, for faster time to market.

Otherwise? Not a whole lot yet. Try to make do with Windows Mobile and My Phone for now, m'kay?

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5 years ago

Acer encore: The DX900

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Acer encore: The DX900

And, finally, from the Acer booth we have the DX900, which we know as a rebranded, dual-sim E-TEN Glofiish. The specs:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
  • Dual-sim
  • 128MB RAM/256MB ROM
  • 480x640 VGA touchscreen
  • Samsung S36410 processor
  • 3MP camera
  • GPS, Bluetooth

The DX900 Dieter saw didn't have the custom user interface on it, instead opting for a custom version of SPB Mobile Shell.

After the jump, the pics.

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5 years ago

Acer x960 Muddies the Waters

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Acer x960 Muddies the Waters

 

What do you get when you take an Acer DX900 and strip out a few bits? The Acer X960. Gone are the DX900's dual SIMS and G-Sensor, here to stay are quad-band EDGE, tri-band HSDPA, 256 ROM/128 RAM, and the 480x640 screen. The processor goes from a Samsung S3C 6400 to the 6410, and what that means is outside our present knowledge.

While not the powerhouse (at least on paper) that the Acer F900 and M900 are, the X960 may just manage to beat them on battery life (we don't yet know the battery size on any of them) by dint of it's slightly smaller resolution screen. The question we're asking is whether the X960 is really differentiated enough from the F900 (likely by price) to find a market.

Welcome to the party, Acer, now let us know when your stuff will ship and for how much (yeah, and where too).

More pics after the break.

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5 years ago

Acer F900 and M900 bring the pixels

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Acer F900 and M900 bring the pixels

 

We already saw the Acer DX900 Glofiish rebrand, but what we were really hoping for from these guys was something new. They're somewhat delivering with the F900 and the M900. The F900 (that's it on the left there) is your non-keyboarded device and the M600 is a standard horizontal slider. Specs look pretty darn beefy, though:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
  • Tri-Band 3G, Quad-band Edge
  • GPS, WiFi
  • G-Sensor, FM Radio, Light Sensor
  • Samsung S3C 6410 Processor
  • 256 ROM / 128 RAM
  • 480 x 800 WVGA Touchscreen

In addition to all that, the F900 gives you a 3MP camera. The M900 steps it up with a 5MP camera and a fingerprint reader. We were hoping that Acer would make a splash at MWC09 and except for RAM and ROM being a little low, these 900 series devices initially look like cannonballs to us. Will they hold up to a hands-on? Find out after the break.

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5 years ago

A closer Look: Microsoft Recite

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Microsoft broke ground early by unveiling Recite, a searchable voice notes application for Windows Mobile. The application is being labeled a "technology preview," which is basically a demo of what the application can do. While it lacks a lot of features that we expect the final version to have (e.g. delete messages, sort messages, play messages, etc.) the "technology preview" will let you record a note and search through the recordings. Follow the break for a few screen shots and more information on this new application from Microsoft.

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5 years ago

Hands-On: Samsung Valencia and its Mysterious Onboard Storage

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The Samsung Valencia joins its brother, the Samsung BlackJack II, in being a simple, straightforward front-facing QWERTY messaging machine.  Well, simple except for mysterious internal storage specs. The look is updated a bit, the processor may be a bit snappier, and the keyboard looks to be a might bit easier to type on. The hardware itself is nothing to write home about, it does the job but isn't an snazzy as the BlackJack II or as svelte as the Q9h. It's straightfoward stuff that we wouldn't be ashamed to put in our pocket.  We're also moderately impressed with the custom home screen, but not so impressed that we'd choose it over the default sliding panels.

The fact that it's Tri-Band Edge, however, makes us suspect it's probably meant for pockets outside the US.

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard
  • 3G, Tri-Band Edge
  • 393 MHz ST Micro 8810 Processor
  • 128MB Rom, 128MB RAM, 20GB Storage, or maybe 2GB, or maybe none.
  • 7 hours talk time
  • 320x230 QVGA screen

More photos after the break, plus did you notice the reference to a mystery?  Did you notice that reference to internal storage in the spec list?  Yeah, odd.  (update: Odd enough that we're already updating the post)

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5 years ago

Hands-On: HTC Touch Diamond 2

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Hands-On: HTC Touch Diamond 2

 

We raided the HTC Booth to get a look at the Touch Diamond 2 and sure enough they had it there, riddled with anti-theft gear.  Nevertheless you can get a good feel for the hardware from the pictures.  The screen really is incredible, touch responsiveness was so good you could be forgiven for mistaking it for capacitive (almost).  We're liking the buttons on the bottom and much prefer the zoom bar to the zoom wheel on the previous Touch Diamond.  We suppose we'll get used to this "no dpad" thing in time.

As for the software, it's all here (well, all of it except some of the Touch Pro 2's enhancements). You can see some shots of the new contact-message-collation screen and we even managed to find Windows Mobile underneath all that TouchFlo 3D (it was difficult).  One notable thing: the Diamond 2 takes a page from WinMo 6.5 and does away with the Start Menu and Program Listing completely.  The Start Menu takes you directly to your TF3D list of customizable shortcuts (which, really, is more convenient than those hexagons), from which you can hit "All Programs" to get a text list of your programs.

Bottom line: the Touch Diamond 2 that we handled is impressive.  So impressive that we expect HTC shouldn't have a problem hitting their "Early Q2" launch target.  Also, truth be told, after the TG01 and a few other devices we've handled here, it was a relief to handle an ambitious WinMo Smartphone that didn't require somebody standing by reminding us "It's still in beta, or maybe alpha, you know, it's not ready yet."  The Diamond 2 looks ready.

Yeah yeah, blah blah.  Pics after the break!

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5 years ago

My Phone beta starting to go live

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My Phone beta starting to go live

After all the to-do Monday morning from Microsoft, it looks like the My Phone beta — read our full post on the announcement here — is starting to go live. But it looks like it might be a rolling start. I was able to get the install file for my phone, while Malatesta — infinitely smarter and better looking — could not, at least at the time of this writing.

It took just a couple of minutes to sync my 499 text messages. I'm hooked up to an Exchange server, so that's about all I could sync. Anything running through Exchange is deemed already backed up and won't sync with My Phone.

Give it a shot at myphone.microsoft.com and let us know in the comments if you're in.

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5 years ago

Windows Mobile 6.5 finally hits in September? And WM 7 not dropping until spring 2010?

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ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley brought us some inside info on Microsoft's cloud services expected to launch this year, and now she's talking up future versions of Windows Mobile.

This comes hot on the heels of Motorola's CEO stating that Windows Mobile 7 won't launch until 2010, and Foley's sources are saying the same thing. We also get some expectations on Windows Mobile 6.5. From her blog:

While Windows Mobile officials won’t talk about ship-date targets (hmmm… sounds like Windows client), some folks familiar with Microsoft’s plans are talking. Here’s the latest I’m hearing from my sources:

  • Windows Mobile 6.5 RTM (release to manufacturing): April 2009
  • First Windows Mobile 6.5 devices from cell phone makers: September 2009
  • Windows Mobile 7.0 release to testers: November 2009
  • First Windows Mobile 7.0 devices from cell phone makers: April 2010

So, we've still a number of months to wait before us mere mortals get our hands on Windows Mobile 6.5, but we're still expecting to get a good look it at Mobile World Congress. And we've got at least another year before Windows Mobile 7 reaches any phones.

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5 years ago

Microsoft waving the Windows Mobile flag

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For all our gripes about Microsoft's problems when it comes to branding, this one's kind of a no-brainer. It was announced this morning at Mobile World Congress that if a Windows Phone (See? We can stick with it) is going to run Windows Mobile 6.5, it's going to have to have that familiar little Windows "flag" on it to serve as a start menu button. [via] And the flag button will take you to the honeycomb hideout start menu.

Above, you see said flag on the new HTC Touch Diamond 2 and Touch Pro 2. And assuming Microsoft holds manufacturers to the "no flag, no 6.5" edict, this should be a pretty clear indication of what phones will get upgrades to 6.5 — HTC's Peter Chou said the Diamond 2 and Touch Pro 2 will get free upgrades — and which ones won't. (Phil looks down at his trusty Moto Q9h and sheds a tear.)

Update: OK, OK. We didn't mean that quite as literally as it read. At this point we have no idea what will be updated from 6.1 to 6.5, save for the Touch Diamond 2 and Touch Pro 2. The Palm Treo 750 has a little flag start button on it, but it's a pretty safe bet we won't see it updated to 6.5. It's more of a future branding thing, folks, not a litmus test.

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5 years ago

Hands-On with the Toshiba TG01 (plus bonus photos)

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With all the 480x800 devices getting announced at MWC09, increasingly it looks like the TG01's differentiation is going to come from the weird UI and the fact that it's sporting that hot new Snapdragon processor.  Well, from those two things and from pretty looks.  Looks which we share with you now, after the break.

Meanwhile, in case you missed it, here's what the TG01 has got

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
  • 3G, Quad-Band Edge
  • GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth
  • G-Sensor, microSD
  • 3MP Camera
  • 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon Processor
  • 512MB ROM / 256 RAM
  • 1100 mAh Battery, 4 hours talk time
  • 480x800 WVGA Touchscreen

Photos and impressions after the break

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5 years ago

Hands-on with the BlackBerry Application Suite

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We don't call Dieter Bohn the Hardest-Working Man in Smartphone Showbusiness for nuthin'. Our favorite editor-in-chief has made his way over to BlackBerry end of Mobile World Congress just in time to check out an ... HTC Touch Fuze?

If you're confused, it's only because you missed our recent post on the BlackBerry Application Suite, which brings the BlackBerry operating system to non-BB phones. In this case, the Touch Pro (or Fuze, on AT&T) which, as we all know, normally runs Windows Mobile.

Head on over to our friends at CrackBerry.com and check it out.

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5 years ago

Sony Ericsson announces new Xperia panels

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From Sony Ericsson at Mobile World Congress comes word of four new panels for the Xperia X1.

  • A new CNN panel keeps you constantly updated with the latest news, sport, or weather and a host of CNN content including access to CNN’s popular citizen journalism tool, ‘i-Report’. Browse information by category, personalise your experience or plug in your location and get instant updates for wherever you are in the world.
  • A unique Skype panel brings quick access to Skype on the X1, telling you at a glance which of your friends are online. Browse easily through your contacts and call or instant message them in just a couple of clicks, or customise your handset using the evening, daylight or event based effects.
  • For those who just want to have fun, a new Mytopia panel lets you play bingo and poker games with people around the world. With millions of users there is always someone online to play against or you can play by yourself. You can even collect virtual coins and improve your rank by winning live matches.
  • For those always on the move, the specially developed ‘On the Road’ panel includes large touch icons and a simple layout. Offering direct access to your music playlists and tracks, navigation tools and easy to use call-handling, this panel will makes your driving convenient and entertaining wherever the road takes you.

The new panels will be available in March. Pretty standard stuff, though the "On the Road" panel sounds cool. Larger buttons for when you need to see things very, very briefly. Not that you'd ever play with your phone in the car.

Full presser [via the Unofficial Sony Ericsson Blog]

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