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5 years ago

Xperia X1a: Sony Ericsson's White Whale?

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Xperia X1a: Sony Ericsson's White Whale?

This year has flown by rather quickly and it seems like just yesterday Sony Ericsson announced their new Windows Mobile device, the Xperia X1. Way back in February of this year, we reported that Sony had joined the Windows Mobile family by introducing the Xperia during the Mobile World Congress. Since then we've diligently kept on eye on the rumor mill for a release of this device and continue to wait.

During that time we've had countless sightings of the Xperia, a few in-depth looks at the device and even heard that Sony was planning a developer competition for the Xperia's Sliding Panel interface (did that ever happen?). Released dates came and went with no luck in seeing the Xperia hit the shelves. September became November; November became December; and know we all look towards January (almost one year from the announcement) for the long anticipated release. Best Buy teased us by putting the Xperia on their website for pre-order, only to change the ad to "Coming Soon" a few weeks later. You begin to have the feeling that the Xperia X1a (the US version) is Sony's white whale and you're Captain Ahab sailing the seven seas.

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5 years ago

Smartphone Round Robin Extended!

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Smartphone Round Robin Extended!

No doubt you've heard from our sister sites, but if you haven't: we're continuing the tradition from last year's Smartphone Round Robin of not being able to get the whole sucker done in the allotted time. So we're extending the Round Robin and the Contest to Win a Fuze and Redfly.

So the new deadline for entering is January 10th. How do you enter? Simple -- every day you make a comment on a Round Robin post (including this one), you're entered for a chance to win. Comments on WMExperts enter you for that Fuze. Naturally, there are plenty of posts already for you to check out, find the full list here.

Yeah, we're the late ones for our G1 full review, but it'll be here on New Year's day, fret not.

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5 years ago

Another WinMo phone flirting with Android

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5 years ago

Samsung to Develop Own LTE and WiMAX Chips

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Samsung to Develop Own LTE and WiMAX Chips

Samsung apparently isn't fond of dealing with Qualcomm's patent hassles anymore, or perhaps they've been spooked by how difficult it is to write video drivers for Qualcomm's chipsets, or perhaps they just don't like Qualcomm's LTE roadmap, or maybe it's just the stated reason from EETimes [via mobile burn]: they're unhappy with how much the royalties cost.

Whatever the reason, it looks like Samsung is going it alone for the chips that power their phone, opting to develop them in-house instead of using Qualcomm or Broadcom chips. It also appears that LG may follow suit.

While we're generally happy to see more competition, we do have a bit of a concern about compatibility and standards here. Sure, Samsung will likely drive down costs and speed up development of their handsets with this move. We just hope that Samsung, Qualcomm, Broadcom, Infineon, and the other players in this 4G chips space can agree on some common standards that will make life easier for other shops that can't make their own chips and also easier for carriers to approve handsets more quickly. The last thing we want is redux of the all-out patent war we have been witnessing with the 3G chipsets.

What say you? Smart move by Samsung?

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5 years ago

Listen up: Windows Mobile is not Windows

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Listen up: Windows Mobile is not Windows

Well, it appears that a copy of Windows 7 has leaked out onto the internet, well in advance of its expected beta next month. In a story at internet news, a couple relevant things came up. First, that Windows 7 is expected to get a big showcase at next month's CES show during CEO Steve Ballmer's keynote speech (WMExperts will be there live, of course).

Second, the article quotes technology consultant Roger Kay, of Endpoint Technologies consultancy, as thinking that the next Windows Mobile version may be a smaller footprint version of Windows 7. Quoting from the article, "Kay thinks Microsoft may actually be looking to take a page from Apple's book and make it's OS small enough to work in a mobile device."

Oh Holy Internet, protect us from consultants and analysis such as this. The idea that Microsoft would abandon the significant amount of work they've put into Windows CE (the core of Windows Mobile) would be difficult to swallow even if Windows CE were a terrible platform. In fact, it's pretty darn good. Perhaps Kay was confused by the the "Windows" part of "Windows Mobile" and for your general consumer, we are honestly sympathetic. Frankly, Microsoft's decision to call it "Windows Mobile" seems custom-designed to foment this kind of confusion (and we agree it's not ideal). For for somebody who might be mistaken as an authority to make such a mixup, well, it's painful to watch.

The target ship date for Windows 7 is expected to be the first quarter of 2010, so one hopes that Windows Mobile will see some significant changes in the interim. Yet the idea that Windows Mobile 7 will be a miniature version of Windows 7 is just wrongheaded. (Right?)

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5 years ago

Xperia X1 to Come to T-Mobile? Where is it, Anyway?

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The Xperia X1a (aka the version with the North American bands) has been wicked difficult to get. Rumor has it that it was being held back for some reason after an initial shipment. Maybe it's the just-mentioned cracks, maybe it's the ROM, maybe it's that any association with Best Buy is a curse. With regard to that last point, Best Buy is cancelling the preorders they took earlier this year (ours included) because they “cannot get stock.”

So yeah, a lot of bad news. Here's some potentially good news, though. We already knew that Canadian carrier Rogers is picking up the Xperia X1 next year, but check out what pocketnow noticed: the bands listed for the X1 are “HSPA 850/1700/1900/2100.” That, friends, is the kind of 3G that T-Mobile users can get jiggy with -- and if any carrier is so retro as to 'get jiggy' with anything, it's T-Mobile.

Anyway, tell us: are you still holding out for the X1a or have you relented and gone for a Touch Pro/Fuze?

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5 years ago

Sony Xperia: All Cracked Up?

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Sony Xperia: All Cracked Up?

Look like cracks are appearing on some Sony Xperia X1 phones. The cracks are appearing on the silver models near the stylus well and in the battery compartment. The cracks seem to be limited to those made in Europe and a production week. A lengthy discussion is on going over at XDA Developers on this issue. In reading the XDA discussion, there doesn't seem to be any consistency in the cracking and the problem may be limited to the production week (08W44-08W46 as indicated on the Xperia's Information Sticker). Sony's response, according to the XDA discussion, ranges from replacing the Xperia to having it inspected at a service center. The response reported seems to be dictated by the user's local laws pertaining to goods and services.

The Xperia isn't alone in having cracks mysteriously appear. The Palm Treo Pro had a similar problem a while ago. Could the cracking of the Xperia be behind the month long delay with the U.S. release of this phone? Could a quality control issue be one of the reasons why Sony and HTC has parted ways? The slider on the Xperia does shift up at a slight angle, could that shift be causing too much stress on the chasis of the phone? Regardless of the "why" these cracks have made a lot of Xperia users unhappy.

[via wmpoweruser]

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5 years ago

PSA: Last Chance to Try for a Sprint Cancellation

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5 years ago

Smartphone Round Robin Round Table 2

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Smartphone Round Robin Round Table 2

It happened live last Tuesday, but you can listen in to the (slightly foreshortened) version in our podcast feed: the 2nd (and last) Smartphone Round Robin Rount Table. Join Casey, Kevin, Rene, and Dieter as we discuss the final two devices in our Smartphone Round Robin: the T-Mobile G1 and the the HTC Fuze. Plus, we answer your questions live -- well, it was live then, so forgive the slightly worse-than-usual sound quality.

Naturally, this is an official Round Robin post, every day you make an entry here qualifies you for a chance to win a Fuze and more. Full details here

Music: Our Slanted Voices by DoKashiteru

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5 years ago

Qik Adds Yet More WM Phones for Live Video Streaming

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Qik, an awfully good live video streaming service, has added over 20 Windows Mobile phones to their compatibility list. The latest Treos from Palm, the Epix and Omnia from Samsung, and a slew of HTC devices from the Touch Pro to the Vodafone PDA 9600 have all been added.

Add this to their last round of updates and there's a better than average chance that Qik will support your Windows Mobile Smartphone at this point.

[via MobileAppsToday

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5 years ago

Grab Some Free Icons for SBSH Calendars

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Grab Some Free Icons for SBSH Calendars

SBSH Mobile Developers have released three icon packages that are available as free downloads. The new icon packages are the medical, personal and sports packages that are compatible with Calendar Touch for Windows Mobile Professional devices and Calendar for Windows Mobile Standard devices. The icons can be used with appointments and agendas within these two calendar applications.

Here are the links for each icon package.

SBSH Medical: Windows Pro or Windows Mobile Standard

SBSH Personal: Windows Mobile Pro or Windows Mobile Standard

SBSH Sports: Windows Mobile Pro or Windows Mobile Standard

The three icon packages include eighty-four icons ranging from basketballs to a band-aid to power drill. All destined to add a little more flair to your SBSH calendar.

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5 years ago

Rogers to Carry a Bootload of WinMo Devices

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Canadian GSM carrier Rogers has decided that they like Windows Mobile, apparently, as next year they'll be snapping up pretty much everything that's on the roadmap. What's in store for the first half of 2009? Xperia X1, Check. HTC Diamond and Touch Pro: Check. Heck, they're even snapping up also-rans like the Motorola Q11 (Think Q9 minus 3G plus WiFi), Touch Viva, and Touch 3G.

These and more juicy details at the HoFo thread where the leaked slides of their roadmap appear.

Get some reasonable data rates on the network and, well, we might just consider brushing up on our Canadian accents.

Thanks, Bla1ze!

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5 years ago

Quick Tip: You May Not Want aGPS On

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Quick Tip: You May Not Want aGPS On

We've gone to great lengths to explain the differences between GPS and aGPS and also generally celebrated the arrival of full-on aGPS on many a carrier. One thing, though, if you have one of these fancy, aGPS phones, you may not necessarily want to have the thing on, because it could potentially make your GPS acquisition times worse.

The advice comes to us by way of MyTodayScreen and here's the nut of it: if you're using an unlocked device or an otherwise non-carrier-supported device, it's a good bet that turning on aGPS is going to lengthen your acquisition time as the assisted part of it tries (and fails) to get location information from the local tower. They ran into the issue using a TouchHD, where turning off aGPS sped up acquisition time significantly. I've had the same issue on the HTC s740 on AT&T: turning off aGPS made a big difference for me, too.

Yeah, sorry, it's not a simple situation (this stuff never is). Even if you are using a fully-supported device on its proper carrier and aGPS is up and running in your area, it's still one more potential point of failure. Just because things are getting better on the GPS front doesn't mean that Microsoft, manufacturers, and carriers don't have a long way to go to making location hardware simple.

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5 years ago

Review: SkyBook Facebook application

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5 years ago

Sony to drop HTC as ODM, OMGBBQ

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Sony to drop HTC as ODM, OMGBBQ

Digitimes reports [via the Unwired View] that Sony has selected Taiwanese Original Device Manufacturer Mobinnova to produce future WinMo devices for them, dropping HTC. Mobinnova was new to our ears, but it turns out it's just a subsidiary of Foxconn, so the grand tradition of only having a half-dozen or so big WinMo manufacturers continues.

It's not uncommon for a company to bounce around their ODMs between devices (Exhibit A: Palm), but we're seriously wondering if this was really a good idea for S-E. Sure, Mobinnova might have given them a better price -- and given the price and lack of availability of the Xperia X1, it's tough to blame Sony Ericsson for looking elsewhere. On the other hand, Sony Ericsson is still pretty new at this WinMo thing, you'd think that having HTC's experience for at least another device or two would be helpful.

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