Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Messiah phone cometh

Andrew Lim previews Apple's 'revolutionary' iPhone handset

This week Apple's highly anticipated iPhone will hit US shops, arriving in Europe at the end of the year. Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO, announced the 'revolutionary' handset back in January at the Macworld Conference & Expo. Ever since its unveiling the iPhone has generated an unprecedented level of media coverage for a mobile phone, impressively picking up nicknames such as the Messiah phone, the Jesus phone and even the God phone.

To the uninitiated it may all seem a little over the top but Apple claims to have ‘reinvented the phone' and given its pedigree and Steve Jobs' eye for detail, the iPhone could indeed be the phone that everyone's been waiting for. It combines Internet, music, telephony and video access with a large 3.5-inch colour touchscreen, in an attractive package that looks like it will fit in well with the rest of Apple's trendy product portfolio.

Unlike any mobile phone touchscreen you may have used before, the iPhone's touchscreen is far more finger-friendly, letting you tap it, brush it sideways and simultaneously touch it with two fingers, expanding or contracting images using a pinching motion. Turn the screen on its side and it automatically changes the screens layout from portrait to landscape, which is particularly useful when you want to view content in widescreen.

While the majority of mobile phones claim to have music players, Web browsers and other similarly useful apps, the iPhone appears to deliver on this promise. The on-board iPod app, for example, which you can listen to using a standard pair of headphones, has all the features associated with a standalone iPod but integrates iTunes' Cover Flow feature, and lets you search through tracks by flicking your finger up and down an album or track list on the screen.

Mobile phone users have traditionally used WAP sites. These are typically ugly and useless stripped-down versions of real websites. Even those with a more advanced phone are still forced to stare at a small portion of a full sized page, scrolling around a site as if peering at it through a tiny peep-hole. Apple have gone some way to changing this. The Safari browser displays the whole page at a reduced size and lets you zoom in on the bits you want to see properly by tapping the screen. Safari on the iPhone also supports Web 2.0 apps, although none have been officially announced yet.

Other noteworthy applications include Google Maps that lets you find directions and obtain location based information. If the iPhone has a 'killer app', it may be YouTube. Given how popular the video hosting site is and how good the videos look on the iPhone's large screen, Apple may find that 'Tube-addicts' lap this product up. If you want to send a friend a link to a funny video, then you can do it via the iPhone's email client. The email client supports POP3 and IMAP accounts, including Google Mail and Yahoo.

Let us not forget that this is also a mobile phone and compared to other phones it offers some pretty impressive services. The user interface is geared towards making calling and messaging straightforward. There's the option to set up a favourite contacts list, giving you quick access to your nearest and dearest. Conference calling is a cinch and you can go through your voicemails in a list format, selecting the specific one you want to listen to rather than have to listen to them all.

Add to all the above, 8GB (or 4GB depending on what model you buy) worth of on-board memory that can store up to 2000 songs, Wi-Fi connectivity, a snazzy docking station and a pair of headphones that lets you listen to music and make or receive calls, and what you have is a very impressive device indeed. But every silver lining has a cloud and many sceptics have pointed out a few flaws with the messiah phone that could possibly see it tumble from the heavens.

For starters, touchscreens can be fiddly to use and don't provide the reassuring tactile feedback you get from mechanical keys. There have also been murmurs about the 3.5-inch widescreen display getting scratched and phone geeks are angry about the piddly 2-megapixel camera, the relatively large design, the lack of 3G connectivity and FM radio and the hefty price tag that stands at £250 for the 4GB model and £300 for the 8GB model, not including network charges.

Battery life has also been vigorously questioned, particularly since the iPhone aims to be everything to everyone. If you listen to a couple of hours worth of music during your daily commute, make phone calls throughout the day and watch YouTube videos in the evening while you sip a pint with your mates, then how long is the battery life really going to last?

In an attempt to appease any pre-launch doubts, Apple recently released a tour-guide-style video on its site that shows how easy the touchscreen is to use, and announced that the display will be protected by optical-quality glass, which should lessen the chances of it getting defiled. They have also put up a battery life chart that shows the iPhone's battery life supersede that of several major competitors and expressed confidence that their pricing plan is fair, comparing any raised eyebrows with the reaction to early iPod price plans.

As for the other issues, there are rumours that a 3G model will be available by the time the iPhone reaches the UK but unfortunately, no word on an FM radio or improvements on the camera. Regarding the iPhone's size, speculation is rife that Apple has already designed a nano version of the iPhone, which will be made available possibly some time next year.

Whether or not any of these potential problems get in the way of Apple taking over the mobile phone market, as they did the MP3 player market, has yet to be seen. If there are any major problems with the iPhone, people and in particular journalists will be quick to raise the alarm. But if the iPhone fails it won't break Apple, it will just tarnish its clean and fresh image. Judging by how excited people have got over a product they have never seen in the flesh, the Messiah phone should find itself rich in disciples.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Motorola Introduces The Vista Of Music In Mobile Handsets

Motorola, Inc. the renowned frontrunner in wireless and broadband communications and also the mobile sponsor at the Music Matters 2007 forum in Hong Kong today announced here of a key upgradation to its portal. It has been found giving an open call to an assortment of leaders of the music business to join with Motorola and mobile network operators around Asia for the creation of a music renaissance.

Motorola is renowned throughout the world for its innovative techniques and leadership in wireless and broadband communications. Being inspired by the vision of Seamless Mobility, the name of Motorola has become synonymous to get and stay connected simply and seamlessly to the people, information, and entertainment. The company excels in this by designing and delivering "must have" products, "must do" experiences, and powerful networks -- along with a full complement of support services.

The announcement of its new ROKR brand of music-optimized handsets and accessories and highlighted by the powerful ROKR Z6 was followed by the announcement of its upgradation and expansion of its online entertainment portal. It has come to the knowledge that the MOTOMusic site in Mainland China is at present offering over 100,000 music tracks for the sake of purchase and download while making safe the portal's position as the one of the most important online commercial music services in the entire country.

Speaking on the occasion to the Press gathering Michael Tatelman, the Corporate Vice President and President of Motorola Asia Pacific Mobile Devices said, "In the face of the changes that digitization has wrought on the music industry, we must work together to create new ways to experience the music we all love, ways that are relevant to the way Asians live today." "Making that happen is going to take more than outstanding mobile devices – it demands that manufacturers, operators, artists, labels, and service providers share a vision that recognizes that the future of music is mobile, and that we must make mobile music even better than the music experiences we grew up with, " he added.

From the official sources it is revealed, that Motorola's accomplishment in the delivery of an impeccably integrated music experience is indebted at best to the work the company has undertaken for the building of a comprehensive mobile music ecosystem.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Big Brother Mobile Phone: Samsung u600

After seeing this phone a few times on big brother 8 I am left wondering “What Features does the Samsung U600 have?“, well as this has been the main phone on all big brother 8 advertisements I thought we best give it a mention.

On the 25th of May Phones Review reported that the Samsung U600 Ultra Edition II is the number one top seller in the UK which knocked the Nokia N95 of the top spot.

Now with the heavy promotion of the Samsung U600 mobile phone on Big Brother 8 this phone is just going to get more popular.

Samsung U600 Features Include:

* Up to 3 hours 30 minutes talk time
* Up to 250 hours standby time
* Yahoo search, Business card recognition, Organizer, Document viewer (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF) plus Voice memo and Built-in hands free
* FM radio, Java MIDP 2.0, T9
* MP3/AAC/eACC/WMA player
* 2.2 Inch TFT, 256K colors - 240 x 320 pixels Display
* GPRS, EDGE, Bluetooth with A2DP and USB
* 3.2 MegaPixel Camera with 2048×1536 pixels
* 81 Grams - 103.5 x 49.3 x 10.9 mm
* microSD (TransFlash) Card Slot


Saturday, June 2, 2007

Nokia Launches Three New Phones

Beyond the fashionable surface attributes of the Nokia 8600 Luna, the new handset offers several useful features, including a micro-USB port that enables charging, audio, and data connectivity through one connection. In addition, the Nokia 8600 Luna offers quad-band GSM, EDGE, GPRS, and HSCSD, as well as a 2-megapixel camera.

Mobile phone Nokia maker added a moon goddess, a slider, and a classic to its lineup on Thursday. One model, the 8600 Luna, is a high-priced, stainless-steel-and-glass "fashion phone," and the other two, the 6500 classic and the 6500 slide, are intended for the midrange of the market.

Using language more often employed to sell a hot new sports car, Nokia describes the 8600 Luna as having a "mysterious allure." Beneath a semi-opaque smoked glass case, "a gentle keypad illumination pulsates" like a "heartbeat" as this "organic, virtually alive form" waits for a call.

Nokia Senior Vice President Heikki Norta said that the company had an "obsession" for every detail in this device. "We took painstaking effort to ensure that the experience delivered by every surface -- from the smoothness of glass against the face to the warmth of the stainless steel in the palm to the superior tactile feedback of the keypad -- would surpass any and all expectation."

Nokia's Fashion Statement

Beyond the surface attributes that Nokia compares favorably to its namesake, the Roman goddess of moonlight, the Luna offers several useful features, including a micro-USB port that enables charging, audio, and data connectivity through one connection. There is support for quad-band GSM, EDGE, GPRS, and HSCSD, as well as video-recording capabilities, a music player, and a 2-megapixel camera.

The cell phone is "the most personal of personal technologies," said Avi Greengart, an analyst with industry research firm Current Analysis. "You carry it with you all the time, so manufacturers can differentiate it primarily on the basis of fashion." He compared the mobile world to the car industry, where, once users could assume all cars had the ability to provide basic transportation, differences emerged and purchase decisions were often driven on the basis of style.

"Nokia has done extraordinarily well with the fashion phone," he noted, "especially in Asia." Greengart said that the U.S. market, in contrast, is dominated by the carriers, and the carriers don't generally offer fashion phones.

Greengart noted that the Luna is the successor to Nokia's 8800 series, which has sold "well over a million units." In contrast, he said that Motorola started with the fashionable Razr and "turned it into a volume play" by lowering the price. But now, he suggested, Motorola is left "with no fashion phone" because the Razr price is so low and the model is so widely accessible.

Classic and Slider Phones

The other two new Nokia phones, the 6500 classic and 6500 slide, are being touted by Nokia as having been created "with maximum usability in mind." They feature large keys, "ergonomically correct dimensions and surfaces," and WCDMA technology.

The 6500 classic offers a seamless case of anodized aluminum, dual-band 3G for fast connectivity, quad-band GSM for roaming worldwide, a 2-megapixel camera with dual LED flash, a music player, a micro-USB connector, and 1 GB of memory.

In the 6500 slide, a 3.2-megapixel camera is equipped with Carl Zeiss optics, dual LED flash, and 8x digital zoom. A TV-out jack enables images or video to be seen on any TV set with RCA inputs.

The 8600 Luna is expected to go on sale in the second quarter for 700 euros (or about $940), with the 6500 slide and classic following in the third quarter. The classic will be about 320 euros ($430) and the slider about 370 euros ($500).