XDA China has posted a picture and details of the the HTC Prime, a new phone sporting a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. The keyboard on the Prime looks to be a departure from the bulky tilting ones that we are used to seeing on other HTC phones. Instead, it appears to be a thinner, straight slider with oval buttons, rather than rectangular. Other features of the phone include:
3.7-inch WVGA touch screen with 480 x 800 resolution
5MP camera with auto focus and LED flash
Wi-fi and Bluetooth
No carrier information has been specified. There is no release date included in the write-up, but there is speculation that the Prime may be unveiled at CTIA.
When people say LG and Windows Phone 7, one remembers the comments made about the platform by the device vendor, which explained how they had high expectations but were utterly dissapointed from a consumer perspective. Advancing months into the future and here we stand with Wired Italy awarding the LG Optimus 7 as best smartphone for value. Not bad, eh?
Stated on the article is an interesting claim that the device is a best-selling model. Are you an owner of the Optimus, and if so how are you finding the experience?
After what seems like countless delays, UK customers will finally be able to order them starting tomorrow, March 1. Pricing will be £382.50 for just the device, not including VAT and shipping. Between the long, dragged out release and the history of performance issues, demand will hopefully still be strong. 4.1-inch screen and vertical slide-out QWERTY keyboard make it crowd favorite.
The reports of Dell Venue Pro owners experiencing crashes and freezes on their devices have been plentiful, usually when downloading files over a WiFi connection. The good news is that a user named zeevDVP over at the Dell Community seems to have isolated the source to faulty MicroSD cards being shipped out with the phones, which could explain why it does not happen to everyone. The bad news is that if you decide to resolve the issue by replacing the card it will void your warranty. If your Venue Pro is continuously freezing, you might be ready to chuck it against a wall, which would also void the warranty, so this fix just could be the right fit for you. In any case, reports are that it works.
Here is the process zeeDVP outlines, using a class 2 32GB Sandisk card (Sandisk part number SDSDQM-032G-B35):
1. Fully sync your phone with Zune, replacing the card requires hard-resetting the device (essentially formatting it).
2. Go to "Settings->about->reset your phone", click "Yes" for both questions, then just as the screen goes dark (as the phone is going for a restart) remove the battery.
3. Replace the micro SD card. The card slot is located next to the SIM card slot and covered by a black warranty sticker, you'll need a tool like a very small flat head screwdriver or a safety pin to remove the card as it's not spring loaded (again, since it wasn't designed to be user serviceable). You can see the location of the card slot here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weOg1dzPmU0 (if you don't want to watch the whole thing skip to 3:00 to see how to remove the card)\
4. Reinsert the battery and power up the device. You'll be presented with the welcome screen guiding you through the initial device setup and you're done.
Word has it that the LG Quantum (aka Optimus 7Q) will not be heading across the pond to Europe. According to Pocket-Lint, James Choi, marketing strategy and planning team director for LG Electronics Global, told them, “Unfortunately, the Quantum will not make it to Europe. It’s an exclusive handset for AT&T in America." He did not elaborate much, simply attributing the move an "internal issue."
The HTC Surround is right around the corner from hitting the shelves at AT&T and we were able to spend some time with the new Windows Phone over the past few days. The HTC Surround lives up to HTC's reputation for quality phones. It's not without shortcomings but overall, the Surround is a nice addition to the Windows Phone family.
The tell of the tape has the HTC Surround measuring 4.71" x 2.42" x .51" and weighs 5.82 ounces. The Surround was thinner than expected but after using the HTC Tilt2 for the past year, most phones would come across thinner than expected. The 3.8" WVGA screen may not be as large as the HD7's 4.3" big screen but it has plenty of real estate.
Follow the break to read more of our review on the HTC Surround...
AT&T has increased their Early Upgrade pricing that may impact how quickly Windows Phone 7 devices move off the shelves.
Effective October 3, 2010, upgrade pricing for Smartphones will increase from the two-year commitment price plus $75 to the two-year price plus $200. The example used on an internal document obtained by BGR has the Blackberry Torch would carry a $399 early upgrade price ($199 two year price pluse $200). According to AT&T this still represents a savings of $100 off the non-commitment price of $499.
The justification for this change; "As smartphones become increasingly more sophisticated, the cost of these devices has also increased.". Smartphones are becoming more sophisticated and capable, but a 166% increase?
The new policy doesn't apply to iPhones or basic/quick messaging phones. No word as of yet if the new Windows Phone 7 devices will be exempt or not.
The LG Fathom has surfaced from the depths at at time when some believe the Windows Mobile Windows Phones (we really have to work on these names) have all but dried up. The Fathom offers a Snapdragon processor along with Windows Mobile 6.5.3. It's being offered through Verizon Wireless for $379 without a contract or as low as $149 with a two year commitment.
The first impression from the Fathom is positive. The build quality feels solid and the phone rests comfortably in the hand. Beyond that, the Fathom is a little bit of a mixed bag lacking flavor in many areas.
For more on the LG Fathom, you know the drill, just ease on past the break.
In looking at the Microsoft KIN, we've taken a look at the design of the KIN and the KIN's software. In this last part of the review, we pull everything together and look at the KIN's performance.
As was mentioned at the start, while the KIN is a Windows Phone I don't think it was ever intended to take the place of a Windows Phone running Windows Mobile or Windows Phone 7. However, after using the KIN for some time now, it is a good alternative for someone wanting more than your standard feature phone but less than a Windows Phone running Windows Mobile.
After the break, we'll run down the KIN's software, camera, phone, and overall performance.
While the KIN is being marketed as a Windows Phone, it doesn't run Windows Mobile or Windows Phone 7. The primary mission, if you will, of the KIN is to keep you in touch with your friends and social networks. While the KIN's OS is a dramatic departure from the traditional appearance of a Windows Phone, it does a decent job of keeping you in touch with your social networks.
The KIN may also give us a feel for the social networking abilities the upcoming Windows Phone 7 may have.
In Part One of this review we looked at the design of the KIN phones. While there are design differences between the KIN One and Two, with respects to the software, I can only think of one (the KIN Two has screen rotation).
Hit the break for more on the software, some screen shots and to find out what's missing.
The Microsoft KIN has been on the market for a few weeks now and we've shared a brief video tour of both KIN models and now we'll take a closer look at the latest Windows Phone from Microsoft.
Reviewing a single Windows Phone has its challenges and looking at two phones at the same time is really challenging. To help maintain sanity and break things down a little better, we'll separate things into three parts: design, software and performance.
The initial impression of the KIN (both One and Two) is that the phones were more like a feature phone with a little more "feature" thrown in. I don't believe either were designed to replace your Windows Phone running Windows Mobile but instead, to offer an alternative to those who don't need as much.
We start with looking at the KIN's design. While the KIN Two has more of a traditional design, the KIN One compactness stands out. Ease on past the break to read more on the design and what impression it left.
I can remember a time that CB Radios and FuzzBusters were the craze to keep track of where the "Smokies" and "Bears" were hiding. Today, in this high-tech era full of social networking applications a new solution has been released to help motorist find out where speed traps are.
Trapster is a Windows Mobile application that relies on a social network to identify speed traps and then maps them for mobile and desktop access. Trapster's membership covers international locations as well as the U.S.
While we don't endorse speeding, if you want to know more about Trapster, ease on past the break.
We've taken a look at the Samsung Omnia II from Verizon and felt it was less than stellar. In the full review we only briefly touched on the 5-megapixel camera. We've had the chance to tinker with the camera, and it may very well be the Omnia II's strongest feature.
Follow the break for more on the software driving the camera and the image quality it captures.
Quietly, amidst the multiple HTC Touch Pro 2 releases, Samsung refreshed its Omnia line with a slew of new Windows Mobile devices. The Samsung Omnia II is a black-slab, touchscreen device hone that sports a 5-megapixel camera and a hefty 8 gigabytes of storage memory. Verizon picked it up late last year.
Our initial impression has been positive. Our main concern was the customization that Samsung has installed on the Omnia II. Not only does the Omnia II have Samsung's TouchWiz user interface, Samsung also also tweaked the interior Windows Mobile screens and menus.
Follow the break to see if this customization makes or breaks the Omnia II.
LG turned heads with the announcement of its latest Windows phone, the eXpo. The slide-out keyboard phone is the first Windows phone designed with an optional pico projector.
Our first impression of the eXpo are good. The phone feels well-built, comfortable in the hand and has some interesting features, such as an optical scanner that pulls double duty as a directional pad and fingerprint scanner.
We shared our initial impressions on the Expo and now we share our thoughts after taking the phone out for a test drive. Ease on past the break to see how long our initial impressions of the Expo lasted after a few days of use.
We took a look at the HP Glisten and while the Windows phone isn't as flashy as some of the others recently released, we found it to be a quality device. The Glisten is "old school" in design and while it may lack "sexiness" it fits well with those looking for a no-nonsense phone.
We skipped commenting on the Glisten's camera so we could take our time to give it proper attention. While not everyone looks to the camera as a selling point, many do. Not everyone carries a standalone digital camera and relies on their phone's camera to capture those memorable moments in life.
Follow the break to see what memorable impressions the HP Glisten's camera made on us.
One of the more anticipated Windows phones of the past year has been the HTC HD2. Unlike it's predecessor, the Touch HD, which never made it to the U.S. market, the HD2 is scheduled for release on an as-yet-unannounced U.S. carrier in early 2010, and T-Mobile appears to be the leading candidate.
We've done a hands-on video of the HD2, now here comes the full review of the non-U.S. version. While it's possible the U.S. version of the HD2 won't be much different than the overseas model, we can't rule out that carriers or HTC won't tweak it a little. Keep in mind the version we're reviewing here won't work on U.S. 3G bands.
HP has produced several Windows Mobile products over the years. From the iPAQ and Jornada PDA's to the iPAQ Windows Mobile phones they have created a bit of history with the Microsoft operating system. HP hopes to continue its strong history with Windows Mobile with the Glisten
Announced a few weeks ago, the Glisten is a front-facing QWERTY keyboard, touch screen Windows phone is available through AT&T as well as directly from HP. We had an opportunity to take a pre-production model of the Glisten out for a test drive and found it to a nice phone.