Wednesday, 30 January 2008

GPS Enabled BlackBerry Pearl 8110

The new GPS-Enabled BlackBerry Pearl 8110 Smartphone from RIM has this month been launched by Vodafone UK and Vodafone Spain. The BlackBerry Pearl 8110 is one of the smallest and lightest Smartphones on the market and the first BlackBerry Pearl model to feature built-in GPS.

The Vodafone Sat Nav application is included with the 8110 for UK customers. Sat Nav provides customers with voice instructions, 3D moving maps, live traffic updates and free local text search capabilities. Vodafone Spain customers are provided with the Vodafone GPS Navigator, a rich navigation and mapping system based on the Telmap Navigator.

As well as the addition of built-in GPS, the BlackBerry Pearl 8110 builds on the features of the 8100 model with both software and hardware enhancements.

The camera has been upgraded from 1.3 megapixels to 2 mega pixels and includes a 5x digital zoom, enhanced flash and video capture in two resolutions: 240x180 and 176x144. An expansion slot that supports micro-SD/SDHC is provided and will accept the 8GB memory cards that are currently available.

BlackBerry SureType keyboard technology is included and now features word completion, built in spell checker and an upgraded visual interface.

The BlackBerry Pearl 8110 can be ordered online from: Vodafone UK - BlackBerry Pearl 8110.

Recent BlackBerry Posts:
BlackBerry Pearl 8130 - SmartPhone with GPS

Friday, 25 January 2008

E-TEN Glofiish X650

E-TEN Information Systems have this month announced the Glofiish X650, a connectivity focused SmartPhone that features a high resolution VGA display.

The most notable feature of the Glofiish X650 is the high 640x480 resolution of the VGA display, four times higher than what you would find on a typical SmartPhone. The high resolution means that the user will be able to fit larger proportions of documents, maps, web pages etc, on the screen at one time with the obvious advantage of less scrolling. Additional advantages of the 640x480 resolution include sharper text and more detailed images and videos.

The Glofiish X650 runs the Windows Mobile 6 Professional operating system, providing Microsoft Office Mobile, Windows Live and other utilities. E-TEN's exclusive software suite is also preloaded onto the X650 and includes applications such as Mobile Shell, Namecard Manager and Backup Utility.

The Glofiish X650 is marketed as an "all-in-one connectivity solution" and features Wi-fi, Bluetooth, GPS and worldwide GSM.

One last feature that's worth mentioning is the inclusion of an FM Tuner and FM Transmitter. The FM Transmitter will let you listen to music you have stored on your phone through an FM radio that is nearby. This feature may not be available in all regions.

- GSM/EDGE Quad Band: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
- GPRS/EGPRS Class B, Multi-slot Class 10
- Processor: Samsung SC3 2442 500 MHz
- Memory: 256 MB Flash ROM, 64 MB SDRAM
- Display: 2.8inch, 640x480, 65536 Colours TFT-LCD
- Camera: Built-in, Auto-Focus, 2.0 Mega Pixels
- Connectivity: WiFi IEEE 802.11b/g, Bluetooth v2.0, GPS: Built in
- Expansion: Micro-SD Card Slot
- Operating System: Windows Mobile 6 Professional
- Battery: 1530 mAH
- Dimensions: 107 x 58x 14.7 mm
- In-box accessories: Stylus, USB sync cable, AC adaptor, headset, leather case, standard battery, phone strap
- Optional accessories: Car mount kit, battery pack

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Top 5 tips for buying a mobile phone

With so many makes and models of mobile phones available today, the task of purchasing a new phone can be quite daunting. Where do you start? I decided to put together a top 5 list of tips for purchasing a new mobile phone.

1. Set yourself a price range
Even if you have no idea of what type of phone you are after, the most important thing to do before anything else is to decide how much you are willing to spend. I have heard of many people who have walked into a mobile phone store without any idea of what type of phone they are after, only to end up walking out having spent twice as much as they needed to, for a phone full of features that they will never use.

2. Choose a suitable network provider
Choosing a suitable network provider for your region is a very important step. There is no point putting all of your hard earned savings into a new phone if the network you sign up with has poor coverage. This is why I recommend that you choose a network before a phone. It pays to do some research and find out the local knowledge about coverage in your area.

Another important decision to make when choosing a network provider is if you would like to use GSM or CDMA technology. CDMA technology is usually referred to as 3G. A previous article I wrote called GSM or CDMA? explains these two technologies, but to put it very simply, a GSM phone will support SIM cards and a CDMA (3G) phone will support high bandwidth and faster connections.

If possible, try to choose at least two network providers that will suit your needs. This will give you more flexibility when it comes to choosing your phone.

3. Decide on your payment plan
Most network providers will offer you a choice of pre-pay or contract options for paying for your phones usage. This comes down to a personal preference and your decision will probably be based on how much you use your phone. If you intend to be using your phone regularly or for business purposes, a contract option will probably work out cheaper. If you will only be using your phone occasionally, the flexibility of a pre-pay option will probably suit you best.

4. Write down the features that you need
Before you even start looking to see what feature are available in the latest mobile phones, I would recommend writing down a list of all the features that you need your phone to have. This way you are not tricked into believing that you need all of the "latest and greatest" features.

And be tough, ask yourself if your new phone 'really' needs to have a camera or an MP3 player, etc. Also remember that the more features a phone has, the bigger and bulkier it will be and the faster it will run down its batteries. Features do come at a cost.

You should also decide if your phone needs any accessories when writing down your feature list. The three most popular mobile accessories are cases, headsets and memory. If you are likely to be using your phone when driving, a hands-free car kit may come in handy. Or if you have decided that you need a phone with a camera or MP3 player, you may want to consider purchasing a memory card if your phone supports them.

5. Choose your phone carefully
Now that you have decided on a network provider, payment option and the features that you need, it's time to choose your phone. I would recommend doing an online search before walking into a mobile phone store.

Start out by choosing at least three phones that support all of the features that you need and that you like the look of. I would then recommend reading as many reviews as possible about these phones. There are many websites available where users can submit reviews about their phones and provide useful feedback.

The final decision you need to make is you are going to purchase your phone. The best deals are usually available online but I would always recommend going into a mobile phone store first to check out the phone that you like. Ergonomics are also important, so make sure that the phone fits well in your hand and is about the right size for you.

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Motorola ROKR E8

The recently released Motorola ROKR E8 should grab anyone's attention who likes to use their mobile phone as a music player.

The ROKR E8 is designed for music. It features ModeShift technology that allow a smooth transition from phone to MP3 player to imaging device at the touch of a button. Another main feature of the user interface is the FastScroll navigation wheel which allows for for scrolling through songs, contacts and the image library with the slide of a thumb.

Now is probably a good time to mention that the ROKR E8 is the first phone from Motorola to feature a haptic touch pad, providing a vibrating tactile feedback when the user touches the virtual buttons. Many people would argue that the ROKR E8 earns a few points over the iPhone in this respect. I have already heard of people who are selling their iPhones due to the lack of tactile feel that they are used to from the keypad on their previous phones.

The Motorola ROKR E8 is also compatible with Windows Media Player 11 on the PC, which allows users to easlily transfer music onto the device, simple drag-and-drop organizing of songs, artists, albums, playlists and access to more than 200 online music stores.

- Display: 2.0" QVGA, 240x320, 262k TFT, haptic tactile touch
- Camera: 2.0 megapixel with 8x zoom, multi-shot, video capture and playback
- Audio: 3.5mm stereo headset jack, stereo Bluetooth wireless technology (A2DP)
- Media formats: MIDI, MP3, AAC, AAC+, Enhanced AAC+, WMA, WAV, AMR-NB, Real Audio (RA) v10
- Memory: 2GB internal, up to 4GB external
- Band: Quad Band; GPRS/EDGE class 12
- Dimensions: 115x53x10.6mm

Recent Motorola Posts:
Motorola Z10 - A mobile film studio
Motorola RAZR2 V8 - Enhanced Multimedia features

Friday, 11 January 2008

Nokia 7900 Prism

The Nokia 7900 Prism is a striking looking 3G phone that features diamond cut geometric patterns, laser etched surfaces and polished matt finishing.

This style focused phone includes a lighting effects feature that lets the user customise their phone to 49 different colours.

The Nokia 7900 is one of the first phones by Nokia to feature an OLED (Organic LED) display. OLED displays do not need a backlight to function which means that they draw far less power than traditional backlit TFT displays. Another advantage of OLED techology over TFT is a much greater contrast ratio and rage of colours.

The camera on the 7900 Prism is 2 megapixels with 8x digital zoom and flash. DVD quality video (H.263) recording and playback is also supported.

- Camera: 2 megapixels, 8x digital zoom, flash
- Video recording and playback: QCIF, 3GPP, H.263, MPEG-4 codecs
- Display: OLED (organic LED), 16 million colours, 240x320 pixels
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 2.0, Micro USB for charging and data transfer
- Memory: 1GB internal

Recent Nokia Posts:
Nokia N81 Music Smartphone
Nokia 3110 Evolve - Nokia goes green
Nokia 6555 - Slick 3G flip phone

Monday, 7 January 2008

Motorola Z10 - A mobile film studio

Motorola has today announced the MOTO Z10 - a pocket-sized mobile phone film studio.

The MOTO Z10 is an update of the Z8, the worlds first kick-slider phone.

Users will be able to capture high quality video at 30 frames per second, edit footage and add a soundtrack, commentary and visual effects all from their handset.

- 3.2 megapixel camera, burst mode delivers 3 shots per second
- 30 frames per second video capture
- 2.2" QVGA display for 30 frames per second video playback
- Up to 32GB microSD card
- Instant media download and streaming at HSDPA 3.6Mbps
- MP3, AMR, AAC AAC+, WMA, 3GPP, H.263, H.264, Mpeg4
- Bluetooth and USB connectivity

The MOTO Z10 is a sleek and stylish phone with many features. It will be available in the first quarter of 2008.

3G vs 4G

There has been more talk about 4G (fourth generation) mobile broadband recently and Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN's) has announced that the first 4G field trials have been completed in Berlin.

As 4G seems to have taken a step closer to reality, I decided to do some research and find out what advantages 4G may offer over 3G. The specifications for 4G are not standardized yet but the following 3G vs 4G table gives an idea of what 4G is likely to provide.

Frequency band1.8 - 2.5GHz2 - 8GHz
Data rateUp to 2Mbps100Mbps moving - 1Gbps stationary
FECTurbo-codesConcatenated codes

The existing 3G W-CDMA standard will be replaced in 4G by VSF-OFCDM and VSF-CDMA. VSF-OFCDM allows extremely high downlink connections, both indoors and outdoors. VSF-CDMA provides high-efficiency, high-speed packet transmissions for the uplink.

The 4G adoption of concatenated FEC (Forward Error Correction) will allow much larger data packets to be transmitted and at the same time reduce the bit error rate. This will increase the overall data through-put.

One of the main advantages that 4G technology will have over 3G is higher data rates. This will benefit the end user by allowing faster access to multimedia and video while on the move.

We may still have to wait a while for 4G though, as it looks like 4G networks won't be launched until 2008 and won't become widely available until 2010.

Sony Ericsson W760 - Global walkman

Sony Ericsson have today announced the first truly global Walkman phone - the W760.

The W760 will support tri-band HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) enabling downloads at broadband speed downloads from wherever in the world it is used.

I have been considering purchasing a mobile phone with GPS for some time and may just wait until the W760 is released. I currently own the w810i walkman phone which I am generally happy with. The addition of GPS would be a nice upgrade.

- GPS and Wayfinder Navigator plus Google maps
- Twin speakers with Stereo Widening
- An optional Active Speaker for outdoor use
- SensMe - analyzes your tracks your tracks and lets you search by mood (upbeat, sombre etc)
- Score big - gaming features including motion control and widescreen gameplay
- 3.2 megapixel camera
- Connectivity - Bluetooth, modem, USB

The W760 will be available from the second quarter of 2008.