Monday, July 23, 2007

Nokia 6275i mobile phone

Nokia 6275i mobile phone : Nokia and Leap Wireless International, a leading provider of innovative and value-driven wireless communications services, announced the availability of the Nokia 6275i handset, a slim candy-bar phone for Cricket customers. "We are very pleased to offer this sleek, classically designed Nokia handset to our Cricket customers," said Al Moschner, Leap's executive vice president, sales and marketing operations. "The Nokia 6275i offers state-of-the art technology that will help our customers take full advantage of Cricket's unlimited value. The handset also has a rich feature set, and is the perfect complement to Cricket's affordable wireless service that doesn't require credit checks or long-term commitments."

Nokia 6275i mobile phone
Ideal for efficient, hassle free communications, the Nokia 6275i phone has a user-friendly Nokia menu structure, animated wallpapers and screensavers and picture-enabled caller ID. The Nokia 6275i phone also features a high-resolution, 2.0 megapixel camera with digital zoom and flash, integrated FM radio and MP3 stereo, 21MB of on-board memory for user data, and flexible connectivity via USB, infrared or Bluetooth. "The Nokia 6275i phone is a powerful communications device wrapped in a compelling package for consumers," said Dirk Williamson, Vice President Sales, Nokia Mobile Phones, North America. "We are excited about the opportunity to make this new handset available to Cricket's dynamic subscriber base."

Nokia 6275i mobile phone - Price & Availability
The Nokia 6275i phone is also compatible with Cricket's nationwide roaming service, and is Java capable for downloadable wallpapers, screensavers, games and ringtones directly over the air to add to those already included on the phone. The Nokia 6275i measures 4.29 x 1.68 x 0.677 inches and weighs 3.7 ounces-with digital talk time up to 4 hours and standby time up to 10 days. The Nokia 6275i phone is available at select Cricket retail stores and Cricket dealers immediately for $199.99.

About Nokia
Nokia is the world leader in mobility, driving the transformation and growth of the converging Internet and communications industries. Nokia makes a wide range of mobile phone devices and provides people with experiences in music, navigation, video, television, imaging, games and business mobility through these devices. Nokia also provides equipment, solutions and services for communications networks.


Friday, July 20, 2007

HTC Touch multimedia smartphone

With a touch screen and gesture controls, the HTC Touch has some obvious similarities to other recent phones. Is it a Windows Mobile phone worth getting your hands on?

For many recent phone releases, comparisons to the Apple iPhone seem irresistible, even when misplaced. The HTC Touch, however, was launched in the build-up to the iPhone release, and features a touch sensitive interface, complete with gestures, laid on top of Windows Mobile 6. Besides iPhone comparisons, the Touch is a strange beast in the Windows Mobile world, as versions of the OS exist for phones with no touch screen, or touch screens with no phone, but not for a phone with a touch screen but no keyboard. Of course, everything works, thanks to the stylus and pop-up onscreen keyboard. Still, it was hard to tell when problems with the touch were due to design problems from HTC, or just the general weakness of Windows Mobile 6 in dealing with a keyboard-free phone experience.

Design – Good

It is a cute phone. Openly codenamed the "Elf," before its recent touch overhaul, the phone is smaller than either the Apple iPhone, or the LG KE850 Prada phone. The 2.8-inch QVGA display looks very sharp, though fonts can appear a bit jagged. The phone has a five-way button centered below the screen, and to tiny green and red "send" and "end" buttons. The red also acts as a Windows "OK" button. The screen has a very resistant glass cover that stretches well past the lit pixels. In fact, the gesture to activate TouchFlo, HTC's touch-sensitive Today screen, relies on dragging your finger from below the LCD, which took us quite a few tries to figure out.

Which brings us to the touch screen. Though it looks great, it seriously lacks in sensitivity, especially compared to the iPhone. Whether this is due to the screen's hardware, the phone's processor, or Windows Mobile 6 is beyond us. We just found the screen to lack sensitivity in every area, from activating TouchFlo to navigating windows to working with programs. Occasionally, there was a delay in responding to our presses, and often we had to press firmly to get a response. TouchFlo, which is supposed to jump to life at an upwards swipe, and switch between screens with sideways gestures, almost never worked properly. We usually had to swipe sideways seven or eight times to get the screen to rotate and change. Downward swiping to close TouchFlo never once worked.

And then, beneath every slick icon and menu on TouchFlo's surface, you find Windows Mobile 6, which is a functional OS, but a graphical letdown. The onscreen keyboard is the standard pop-up from Windows Mobile, which requires you to break out the stylus, a very un-touch-like procedure. Navigating the phone without a stylus, except for the few functions available on TouchFlo, was impossible. Thankfully, HTC has ported their activity monitor drop down menu to the Touch. We first saw this feature on the T-Mobile Wing, and immediately found it indispensable on Windows Mobile. Basically, it lets you close active programs from the Today screen, which is nice because WM6 lets open software pile up, and the Touch lacks the RAM to deal with a heavy workload.

Calling – Very good

Calls on the HTC Touch sounded very good on AT&T's network in central New Jersey. The Touch loses nothing from Windows Mobile 6's calling features, and speaker-independent voice dialing, Bluetooth, conference calling and a speakerphone are all included. There was no dedicated button for voice dialing, but HTC's Today screen allows you to assign programs top-level icons, which solved the problem. Unfortunately, one of the best Windows Mobile 6 features, live search, is hobbled by the Touch's keyboard-less design. Live search allows you to begin typing in many programs and returns search results as you type. From the Today screen, this usually means you can start typing a name and get the number quickly. The Touch doesn't offer a keyboard on the Today screen, so the feature is lost. On the TouchFlo screens, the contact list is easily the coolest looking feature. Basically a "Hollywood Squares" grid of your favorite faces, the contacts screen offers a great, fun alternative to speed dial, and is a feature that takes advantage of the touch sensitive screen in a cool way.

Messaging – Mediocre

There are simply better choices for phones if you want to type. Typing on the Touch, however, is miserable. The phone does an excellent job displaying messages, and thanks to Windows Mobile 6, you get threaded SMS conversations and HTML e-mails, both of which were long-awaited. Still, if you have to reply to an e-mail in more than a few words, you're going to want to wait until you're back in front of the desktop, as tapping out letters on the Touch's tiny, boxy keyboard gets tiresome quickly. Windows Live brings MSN messenger support, but other IM protocols are lacking. Probably for the best, as we can't stress enough that the Touch should be a read-only affair.

Productivity – Mediocre

The HTC Touch isn't lacking any of Windows Mobile 6's excellent productivity tools, they simply aren't as usable on the device without a keyboard. You get the full Office Mobile suite, but we can't see using the device for creating, or even seriously editing, a document, though reading worked very well. For scheduling, you get the standard Outlook calendars, which pack robust features, but again, you probably won't find yourself creating too many appointments on the Touch, thanks to its lack of keys.

Multimedia – Very good

To improve on Windows Media Player, HTC has added the Audio Manager app, which basically acts as a music player with large buttons, to facilitate using it on the touch screen. Otherwise, the phone has all the synchronization options you'd expect on a standard WM6 device, and can play all the usual file formats. The touch screen isn't really sensitive enough for good shuttle controls, and of course the Windows Mobile software lacks the visual flourish of numerous competitors. Still, it gets the job done.

The same can be said of the Web browsing experience. Though Internet Explorer is just as capable as we've seen on any WM6 phone, scrolling through pages on the touch screen was not smooth. Occasionally, we'd get a grab-and-throw sort of action like we saw on the iPhone. Some times, though, only the scroll bars worked properly, and these were small enough that our fingers had trouble tapping them accurately. Also, we wish HTC would have tied zooming into the touch features, as Apple did.

Getting one

The Touch is available unlocked, and will work with local EDGE networks. Even better, the phone uses Wi-Fi, so internet access won't be hard to find. We found our review unit through Dynamism, at Mobile Phone Shop. At the moment, Dynamism can get one for you for $530, with a lead time of less than a week. We've had no technical problems with our review unit, but Dynamism stresses their lifetime customer service if you have any problems with your device.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A touch of convenience

For anyone eyeing Apple's iPhone in this part of the world, HTC's Touch is the only game in town so far. We get a feel for it and wonder if it'll leave us hungry for more.

Under its new HTC banner, the former Dopod company has just released the Touch, a Pocket PC phone that tries to be a little different from the rest.

What makes the Touch different is that HTC has redesigned the usual Pocket PC interface to be a little more finger-navigation friendly.

This means that comparisons to the also just-released Apple iPhone, which shares a similar finger-centric design, are inevitable.

It might actually be a coincidence actually, since product development cycles are such that it would be next to impossible to design and ship a product like the Touch from the date of the iPhone announcement.

However, as we'll see in the review, finger navigation is where the similarity ends, since the implementation of the interface in the Touch is completely different from the iPhone's.

Also, both products have a completely different operating system from each other.

Touch me

Setting aside the interface enhancements for the moment, I have to say that the Touch is a very pretty device – it's very small (smaller than any Pocket PC that I can think of) and so thin that it is slimmer than most candybar-style cellphones.

Then there's the finish. The Touch comes with the silky, matte-black finish found on Motorola's RAZR phones, which means you can not only get a good, non-slip grip on it, but it is also a hard-wearing finish that can withstand scratches.

The other thing you'll probably notice is that unlike most Pocket PCs, the Touch's screen is flush with the rest of the body.

This makes it easier for fingertip navigation since your finger is never stopped by a raised bezel on the side of the screen when swiping, but this also means that the screen is pretty much unprotected if the phone ever falls to the ground.

Look closer and you'll be forgiven for thinking that the Touch doesn't have a memory card slot – actually it does but you first have to slide off the battery cover at the back, then open a silver door on the side of the device to access the MicroSD card slot.

It is a bit of a hassle, but thankfully you don't have to turn off the Touch to gain access to the memory card slot.


Monday, July 16, 2007

The Nokia N95 and ultra convergence

Ultra convergence, as exemplified in the Nokia N95, is a topic I've commented on in the past, and not always in a positive way. Read on for some thoughts on the recent v12 firmware upgrade and a link to a very relevant essay...

The story so far: the Nokia N95 gets released, with v10 firmware and, while everyone applauds the sheer wonderfulness of the hardware, there are problems. The battery life is very disappointing, there are a number of serious camera bugs, GPS lock took an eternity, the limited RAM impinges on almost everything you try and do, from zooming into an image to using Web, I could go on.

The result was that I used the N95 for a short while and then got frustrated, switching to a less complicated smartphone, the E70 (which itself has had a bit of a chequered firmware history, but that's another story!)

Ah. A month later, v11 firmware appears on Nokia Software Updater and I upgraded in and instant and tried using it day-to-day. Not bad, RAM use seemed better, crashes were less frequent, but the GPS was still very slow and some camera bugs remained. The N95 got shelved once again, while I played with the E90 (something of a Nseries to Eseries theme seems to be developing here....)

Another month goes by and v12 appears. With Assisted GPS, with the N95 using a data connection to bring down the time taken to find the satellites, to great success. And even RAM usage seems a lot better, with terrific image zooming and Web use with almost no memory limits. And the camera 'sharpness' bug was finally fixed, hoorah.

Unfortunately, new bugs have crept in. There's now a hugely annoying missing-keypress bug, in which one in every couple of dozen keypresses gets err... 'missed' by the OS. And doing 'Search by category' inside Nokia Maps causes the phone to restart. Just as bad, I was using the camera last night to take some video at my daughter's school open day and, ten minutes after finishing shooting, the N95 was still very warm, symptomatic of some software process inside the device that's still running flat out, with the battery seemingly having gone from full to one bar inside half an hour, I've seen this sort of behaviour before on my old N93. Removing and reinserting the battery seemed to do the trick, with the phone obviously now returning to normal temperature and even showing three bars of battery left now that the rogue processor load wasn't present.

So, reluctantly, for the third time I've had to set the N95 aside, yet again for an Eseries device(!), this time the E61i.

Which is the one I picked in this week's hardware consensus article, if only because it's a one piece design that's virtually bulletproof and none of its features are so cutting edge (read N95-alike) that they're still immature.

You'll remember that I bemoaned the complexity of modern smartphones (and yes, even the new iPhone reportedly crashes quite a bit) in 'The way of the modern world', six months ago, in which I tried to rationalise the way that modern devices are now so complex that they can't be expected to work perfectly 100% of the time. Although at the time I was referring to the N93 as my main example, the same essay holds true today for the Nokia N95.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Top Ten Motorola Mobile Phone Accessories

Music and multimedia phones like the Motorola Q, Samsung Blackjack, BlackBerry Pearl and LG Chocolate require more power and memory than traditional cell phones, which is driving our memory card, charger and extended battery business.

The emergence of certain wireless innovations like A2DP Bluetooth is also driving interest in newer accessory technology, like stereo headsets and high-performance batteries specifically designed to support the significant processing power found in the new smartphones.

list of Top Ten Cell Phone Accessories this summer:

1. Motorola H350 Bluetooth Headset (all colors)

2. Car and Travel Chargers (particularly for RAZR, BlackBerry Pearl, LG Chocolate and Samsung Blackjack)

3. Cases and Holsters (particularly for RAZR, BlackBerry Pearl, LG Chocolate and Samsung Blackjack)

4. Jabra BT125 Bluetooth Headset

5. Kingston 1GB Micro SD Memory Cards

6. Anycom Aris-21 Bluetooth Headset

7. Motorola H500 (Project Red)

8. Motorola Mobile Phone Tools 4.0 Software

9. Seidio High-Performance Extended Capacity Batteries (for Treo, BlackBerry and other smartphone devices)

10. Wi-Ex zBoost Wireless Signal Boosters

The appearance of Motorola's Mobile Phone Tools 4.0 on the top ten list indicates a change in the way cell phone users view their phones. In offering a powerful synchronization solution, Mobile Phone Tools is perfect for people who store entire address books, calendars and other personal information on their cell phones, and consistently send data from PC to cell phone, or vice versa. Also, many phones now come with A2DP Bluetooth, which means they stream stereo sound to Bluetooth Stereo headphones. Customers that take advantage of these phones and headphones can listen to their music without a cord.