Saturday, March 31, 2007

Blackberry 8800

Earlier this month, we took a look at one of the newest phones in Blackberry's line up - the Pearl. This was one for the consumers - a Blackberry that came in a sleek, candy bar form factor, had a two-letters-per-key SureType keyboard and featured easy setup for web-based email, such as Google Mail.
The compadre to the 8100 Pearl is the new 8800. It has the same design stylings as the Pearl - the glossy piano black, the metal accents - but resembles the Blackberries of old far closer. It's the latest device for businesses, and its got a few tricks up its sleeve. But can it dethrone the 8700 as king of the pocket email devices?

Let's compare the new 8800 to the previous generation 8700. What's different? Well, the form factor has altered. The screen is still the same resolution - 320 x 240, the same as most Windows Smartphones - but the physical dimensions are a little smaller, making for a slightly crisper image. The smaller screen is one of the things that goes into making the 8800 significantly thinner than the previous gen, with a notable difference in thickness between the two (the 8800 is 14mm thick, the 8700 is 19.5mm). However, partly to ensure that all the electronics gubbins get squeezed in, the 8800 is slightly longer (114mm v 110mm), making it look more extruded compared to the chunky-monkey 8700.
Blackberry business devices have traditionally lacked cameras, since photo taking in a corporate environment is often a big no-no, for privacy and legal reasons. The 8800 is no different here, which is one of the major functional differences between it and the 8100, which was one of the first 'berries to have a camera. However, there is some big-time added functionality - GPS. Yes, you can now mount your phone on your dashboard and get driving directions from it, thanks to the included Blackberry Maps application.
Like the 8100 Pearl, the 8800 is also being pushed as a consumer and small business device, so the phone includes functionality for checking web-based email - either directly via IMAP/POP, or through a web-based forwarder to push mail to your provided address. Traditional Blackberry users will find emails easier to answer on the 8800 than on the Pearl, thanks to the fact that this version reverts back to the full-size keyboard that has defined the device across its lifetime.
Finally, the 8800 borrows the eponymous 'Pearl' from the 8100, replacing the old-school scroll wheel on the side of the device with a roller wheel in the middle.


Friday, March 30, 2007

Google Gear On LG

New mobile phones from LG will have Google software including Google Maps, Gmail and Blogger, all pre-installed when shipped to Europe, the US and Asia from later this year. The deal is the latest volley in a race to get control of the mobile eyeballs as major portals move to make the most of the impending wireless broadband boom.

Google has a similar deal in place with Samsung and has some software on the BlackBerry. No doubt more agreements are in the works. Apart from offering a seamless transition from the desktop, the mobile device market is seen as a fertile advertising and major players, such as Yahoo are moving quickly to try to grab mobile real estate."Building on our efforts to set new standards for wireless handsets, we are excited to partner with Google to offer extra value to consumers with enhanced mobile Internet experiences," said Paul Bae, Vice President of the Product Planning Team at LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company.


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Four Entry Level Handsets Introduced By Motorola

Mobile phone manufacturer Motorola had a lot of devices to showcase at this year's CTIA. Having pleased the US users with its latest CDMA handsets, Motorola has also added four new handsets to its extended mass market portfolio, the W218, W360, W380 and W395.
All of the before mentioned mobile phones can be easily described as entry-level, easy-to-use mobile phones for the non-pretentious user that is looking for a rather more affordable handset. So comparing to some of Motorola's higher-end devices sporting high mpx count cameras and large internal memory, these four offer features most users can't do without and nothing more.
The W218 is a slim and affordable classic candybar shaped phone that comes with a 1.6 65k color screen, FM Radio and VGA camera for your basic point and shoot moment capturing needs. Considering that it will mainly be used for contacts and text messages, the 1MB internal memory (a nightmare for any mobile phone lover) should prove to be enough.
Coming in a sleek and rather stylish clamshell form factor, the W380 comes with a more complete set of features than the latter, offering users a choice between SMS, MMS and IM, a VGA camera and an FM Radio. According to the manufacturer it can also be used as a storage device allowing the transfer photos and tracks through USB. The W360 also offers a VGA camera, MP3 ringtones, FM Radio and a 5MB internal memory.
The most 'high-tech' of the four, the W395 comes with some rather nice features for an affordable price. It packs a 1.3 megapixel camera, Bluetooth for connectivity and a MicroSD card slot supporting up to 2GB cards. All of the four handsets should become available during the second half of the year.