blackjack II

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Review: Samsung OEM Leather Top Pouch

Sometimes it seems like the search for the perfect case for my phone never ends. In some ways that is true, partially because of the variety involved in life. In some situations I want one type of case, and in other situations a different form factor may serve me better.

Typically cases fall into one of two categories; either designed for one specific device, or designed to fit a wide range of sizes and shapes. Samsung’s OEM Leather Top Pouch is somewhere in the middle. This case is designed for Samsungs stable of front facing Qwerty keyboard phones. These include some of the more popular Windows Mobile devices around in the Blackjack, Blackjack II and the Epix. Priced at a relatively competitive $17.95, it’s worth a look for anyone who has one of these quality devices permanently affixed to their person.

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WMExperts Podcast, Episode 4

In this week's podcast, Dieter takes another look a the BlackJack II - part of his ongoing love it / hate it / love it saga with the device -- this time with with the added bonus of a bum unit that needs replacing.

Read on for some brief show notes and links about the BlackJack II!

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Refurbished BlackJack II Now Just 50 Bucks

In our BlackJack II vs. Motorola Q9h Smackdown we forgot one essential factor: price. The BJII is significantly cheaper than the Q9h -- and now it's even cheaper still, you can get a refurb unit from AT&T for just 50 clams after the requisite 2 year contract.

Heck, you might even get the unit we ourselves had to send back because of a bum charging connector.

At 50 bucks, it might be a little hard to justify keeping that original BlackJack. Then again, the Windows Mobile 6.1 Cooked ROM we told you about has just been updated to Beta 2.

BlackJack II at AT&T (Thanks to Chris for the tip!)

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LED Alerts: Neat App for BlackJack II

So did you know that the BlackJack II has a LED that's capable of displaying 7 different colors? Me: I did not. But QoreFunctions did, and they've made a neat little app that lets you map all them pretty colors to different alerts on your phone, from email to SMS to missed calls. LedAlerts.

Features:

  • Activate external LED based on specific event
  • Control 7 different LED colors on BlackJack II
  • Ability to assign different LED to each event
  • Manages Simultaneous Active LEDs
  • User Selectable Active LED Duration

Fully utilizing the LED just makes sense - saves you time and battery life because you don't have to power up the screen to see exactly why your phone wants attention. Oh, and it also works with the HTC S730, Verizon SMT5800, and T-Mobile Dash/S620 -- just without all the pretty colors.

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BlackJack II: Use Any MP3 as a Ringtone

Alright, we have Registry Edits on the brain ever since our How To article went up. Here's a combo How To with a side of optional registry edit:

In our forums, coppertop asks about how to set up an MP3 as a ringtone on a BlackJack II. Here's a hint: the way you do it is annoying and not intuitive at all. Save your mp3 wherever you like. Now here's the wonky part. The BlackJack II has two file browsers - the default one from Windows Mobile and another one called “My Stuff.” Use “My Stuff” and navigate to your mp3. When it's highlighted, one of your menu options is to set it as a ringtone. It will prompt you to move the file to your /My Documents/My Sounds folder -- but it really means “copy,” FYI. Done!

Now for the registry edit. By default, the BlackJack II doesn't allow for MP3 ringtones over 300kb. That's awfully small - so the fix is, you guessed it, changing that setting in the registry. Per CycleNC:

Go into HKEY_Current User → ControlPanel → Sounds
Delete the key of FileSizeLimit

Done. Now, you've applied the GPS Hack too, right? Your BlackJack II is on its way to custom heaven.

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Motorola Q9 to get WiFi

What what?! The Boy Genius has a gallery up of a Motorola Q9 - a GSM version nearly identical to the Motorola Q9h / Q9Global, only this puppy has WiFi built-in. No word on whether or not it retains GPS, but it won't retain the “Global” as the bands on board are 850/1900 MHz- that'd be US only. A perusal of the screen shots does show that the device keeps all the extra apps that AT&T included, ex. Opera as the default browser. We're stuck in Edge-land here, so swapping out our Q9h for a Q9 with WiFi sounds like an awfully nice proposition.

We're also giving the Motorola Q9h another spin here at WMExperts in an effort to actually justify our claim that we prefer the BlackJack II. So far we're actually beginning to waffle on that claim - just a tiny bit - once you get over the wide load aspect of the Q9h it's actually a sweet device.

No word whatsoever on pricing and availability yet.

Read: Motorola Q9 with Wi-Fi? Psh, yeah! | The Boy Genius Report

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BlackJack II Surfaces, GPS Confirmed

When we had our hands-on with the BlackJack II a month ago, the AT&T reps at CTIA weren't exactly helpful on the subject of just what flavor of GPS was onboard - was it real or was it the tower-triangulation-fake-out kind. Well it's starting to look like it's really real for sure, at least according to the “coming soon” info now popping up on AT&T's website.

In one spot we see “GPS support,” but poking around more reveals “integrated GPS” and PDADB tells us it's SIRF III. Boom. Still no word on whether they've really managed to lock it down to just TeleNav (as was hinted to us at the CTIA conference), but let's hope not.

Otherwise the specs remain what we expected: slightly better than the original but not mind-blowingly better. You should be able to go get yours on Friday.

Oh, and AT&T - just one more thing. This doesn't count as the promised upgrade of the original Blackjack to Windows Mobile 6. We're all still waiting for that one. Remember us - your customers? You know, the ones who were disappointed when we thought it was delayed until Q3? (ah, if only we would have had it in Q3). Yeah, we're still here. Mmmhmm, yep, that's right, we didn't forget. You going to release that anytime soon?

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