New mobile phones

New mobile phones announcements

Archive for May, 2008

HTC Advantage X7510 review

The HTC Advantage is a tweener: it’s not a UMPC like the HTC Shift and Fujitsu U810 because it doesn’t run a full version of Windows. It’s not a smartphone because it’s too large to hold to the head, and in fact you can only use it for phone conversations with the included wired headset, built-in speakerphone or a Bluetooth headset. And it’s not the first handheld computer with the Advantage name: HTC launched the Advantage X7500 last spring and the US version X7501 in mid-summer 2007. So now you know what it’s not…

The HTC Advantage X7510 is nonetheless many things. It’s a powerful handheld computer running Windows Mobile Pro with a 5″ VGA touch screen, detachable keyboard, unlocked quad band GSM phone with triband HSDPA, WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0, a 3MP autofocus camera, a 624MHZ processor and 16 gigs of storage. It’s the update with a new keyboard design, double the storage, Windows Mobile 6.1 and the amazing Opera 9.5 web browser that’s not yet available for any other device besides HTC’s own Touch Diamond. It’s a GPS. The Advantage is a laptop replacement for those who don’t need Windows XP or Vista specific programs: it has mobile versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Internet Explorer, Outlook and more. And with WAN, LAN and PAN (that’s cellular, WiFi and Bluetooth in English) connections, the Advantage is perfect for those who need to stay connected wherever they go. Though large for a phone or even PDA, it’s tiny by even UMPC standards and weighs just over 13 ounces (a few 10th of an ounce heavier than the first generation Advantage).

Because relatively little has changed with the X7510, we won’t do a detailed review. Please read our original Advantage review for all the gory details. Sadly, because of the Qualcomm lawsuit and injunction, the Advantage X7510 will not be sold in the US. This has nothing to do directly with HTC, but rather Qualcomm filed suit to have certain chips and mobile CPUs blocked for sale in the US and the X7510 got caught in that mess. Though its CPU and chipset are no different from the US X7501 that shipped last summer, the X7501 was cleared for US sale because it already received the green light before the embargo began. A shame really, but you’ll have to buy the X7510 from online importers, of which there are many.

For those of you who aren’t uber-geeks, HTC is based in Taiwan and they manufacture most of the Windows Mobile PDA phones and smartphones sold in the US. The Advantage’s codename is Athena, and the X7510 is the ATHE400 variant. Overseas in Europe and Asia, the original Advantage X7500 was and is sold unlocked by electronics retailers and by carriers as well. No US carrier has offered the Advantage and likely none will thanks to the Qualcomm injunction.


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Wall Street Journal confirms touchscreen BlackBerry

Evidence for Research in Motion’s BlackBerry Thunder mounted today with claims by the Wall Street Journal. The newspaper claims to corroborate sources at BGR and says that RIM is developing a touchscreen phone with equal support for Verizon’s CDMA phone network as well as Vodafone’s GSM network in Europe. Both carriers will offer the device exclusively, the paper adds.

The report avoids confirming more specific technical details from the earlier leak, which would allegedly include 3G and 4G cellular Internet access for both network types, the complete absence of a hardware QWERTY keyboard, and a lifetime duration for the phone’s exclusivity with the two carriers.

Nonetheless, the paper reiterates claims that the Thunder will launch during the summer of this year, setting up a direct conflict between the device and some of its highest-profile rivals. These include a near-certain 3G-capable iPhone as well as the HTC Touch Diamond, all of which are expected to appear primarily on carriers competing with both Verizon and some Vodafone divisions.

Until now, most have expected the BlackBerry Bold to be the iPhone’s primary competitor and will also launch during the summer, though it lacks a touchscreen. RIM has publicly said that most of its users prefer a tangible keyboard but has also expressed a willingness to explore different designs.

RIM officially declines comment on the report, referring to a corporate policy that avoids discussing rumors.


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Samsung BlackJack II, smartphone

For anyone who needs a low-cost smartphone that still offers advanced features, take a look at the Samsung BlackJack II smartphone. The BlackJack II may lack fancy features found in more expensive smartphones, such as a touchscreen, but its still more than functional. Since the BlackJack II uses Windows Mobile, it’s especially handy for synchronizing data with a Windows PC (but less desirable for Mac users).

Physically, the phone is slightly wider than other phones due to its use of a full QWERTY keyboard, which makes typing text far easier than other phones that require multiple taps on a single key to display a specific letter. Part of this keypad includes numeric keys, which automatically activate when dialing a phone number. If you need to type numbers while typing text, you’ll have to press a function key to make the phone type a number instead of a letter. Audio quality through the phone is fine although there’s an occasional hint of static in the background, but nothing that would interfere with a call.

Despite the larger width of this phone, it’s still small and comfortable to handle, using a rubberized casing that makes the unit easy to hold. All buttons appear on the front of the unit, except for a single volume control button that appears on the left side. Such an arrangement makes it easy to adjust the volume whether you’re right or left-handed.

Physically, the phone is 4.40 inches long, 2.30 inches wide, and 0.40 inches thick. The entire unit weighs 3.52 ounces, can run off its batteries for up to 7 hours, and displays up to 65k color on a 320 x 240 resolution 2.4 inch screen. For transferring data, the phone offers Bluetooth wireless connectivity, but no WiFi capability.

The phone’s 2.0 megapixel camera is adequate, but captures slightly fuzzy images. Such images might be fine for capturing images on the fly, such as taking a picture of a car’s license plate, but you won’t want to rely on the camera for capturing one of a kind images such as a wedding unless you have no other option available. The camera can also capture video as well, but like its still images, captured video clips are adequate but not distinct.

For navigating through various menus, you can use a jog wheel centered in the middle that’s easily accessible with the thumb of either hand. Additional buttons send or end a phone call, allow you to go back to a previous screen, or select an option from a menu displayed on the screen.

Perhaps the phone’s weakest point is its reliance on Windows Mobile. Never know for its speed and responsiveness, Windows Mobile mimics the Windows interface complete with a Start button in the lower left corner of the screen and programs buried within multiple folders. If you’re already comfortable using Windows Mobile or Windows in general, Windows Mobile will feel familiar. Otherwise the Windows Mobile interface seems more like an attempt to squeeze the Windows interface into a mobile phone rather than create a useful interface optimized for a smaller screen from the start.

Betraying its Windows roots, Windows Mobile curiously includes the Task Manager, a program which allows you to see which applications are running and how much memory each one may be using. While this may be important for technical users, it may be more puzzling than useful for most ordinary users.

The phone supports AT&T’s faster 3G network (UMTS/HSDPA and GPRS/EDGE), so browsing speed is fast. An RSS Reader lets you keep up on the latest news while instant messaging is available through AIM, Windows Live Messenger, or Yahoo! Messenger. To connect by email, the phone also supports MSN Hotmail, AOL Mail, and Yahoo! Mail. Thanks to the full QWERTY keypad, typing email or instant messages isn’t as tedious as using phones with ordinary numeric keypads.

To keep you entertained, the unit lets you listen to XM Radio and watch music videos. The audio quality is acceptable with an occasional echo-like effect, but the video quality can get chunky or choppy at times. The unit supports H.263, MPEG, and Windows Media video files, which lets you watch video clips of the latest news, sports, or weather.

One handy feature for frequent travelers is the built-in GPS radio with the TeleNav GPS Navigator program to display maps and directions to help you find the nearest gas station, hotel, or restaurant. Rather than force you to stare at the directions or map on your phone, you can choose to hear spoken directions so you can keep your eyes on the road while driving.

If you’re a Windows PC user, you may appreciate the ability to view and edit Office files such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents, through the Office Mobile programs. Even more useful is the copy and paste feature, which is normally absent on smartphone applications. While these Office Mobile programs won’t let you create new documents, they do let you make minor changes to documents that you can later copy back to your computer.

Besides transferring Office files, you may need to synchronize important appointments, names, and addresses between your PC running Outlook and your phone using the ActiveSync program. If you have data stored in PDF files instead of Office files, the phone can view them through a PDF Reader program too.

This phone may not imitate the iPhone, but if you want a smartphone with a full QWERTY keypad and tight integration with a Windows PC to open and edit common Office files, the BlackJack II may be the perfect accessory for you. The BlackJack II costs $349.99 or $199.99 with a two-year contract with AT&T.


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Motorola W230 bundles great mobile phone basics and fantastic music experience

The W230 is geared to meet the rising needs of people with limited budgets who expect a great experience from their phones.

The W230 is a user friendly phone packed with features such as a mighty music player, long-lasting battery life and Motorola’s proprietary CrystalTalk™ audio-enhancing technology gives you a dependable experience.

Value and a great music experience come together in true harmony on the W230.

Slim design makes the W230 extremely pocket-portable and the no-nonsense keypad and large color display are simple to use.

Besides a nimble and easy-to-use productivity device, the W230 is also a true MP3 player.

It proves its value even further with music features that keep consumers connected and entertained, including a dedicated music key.

The W230 supports FM radio that can be played in stereo through headphones or on the W230’s office-quality speakerphone.

Store as much as 500 of your favourite songs on optional removable microSD cards with up to 2GB of memory.

Patrick Mulligan, Vice president , Mobile Devices, Motorola Middle East & Africa said:

“We at Motorola focus on diverse customer needs and offer feature rich devices to suit varying price ranges across the region, which means there is a phone for everyone. Having the W230 means you do not have to carry or invest in a separate MP3 player. To summarize, the W230 is a basic phone packed with alluring features sure to exceed user expectations across the Middle East’.

The W230 goes beyond basic phone features with multiple ways to stay in touch and up to approximately nine hours of talk time.

It can pack up to 500 text messages and phone contacts, and features an enhanced user interface, making it easy to create a text with one click.

The W230 provides regional language support by offering languages like English, Arabic, Farsi, Urdu, French and Mandarin.

Motorola’s CrystalTalk technology enhances each phone call by helping reduce background noises, so calls will be loud and clear.

The Motorola W230 is a phone that talks your language, plays your music and saves on your pocket.

The phone struts in two pleasing color faceplates, licorice outlined in lustrous silver and dark titanium gray bordered in mandarin that consumers can interchange at whim.


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Samsung SGH-F400 Music Phone Available in France in May

Samsung has announced that the SGH-F400, a dual-sliding music phone, is set to be launched this month in France, with other countries following soon. This handset features a 3 megapixel camera with auto-focus and LED flash in addition to a microSD card slot. A 1GB microSD card is included in the package.

The F400 sports a standard 3.5mm audio jack, along with dual stereo speakers for ultimate music enjoyment. ICEpower technology from Bang & Olufsen offers natural sound enhancement for the true audiophile, and there is a music hot key located on the side of the handset, for quick access.

ShazamID is pre-installed, allowing users to record a small snippet of music and quickly receive track information such as artist and album name, and an FM radio allows the Samsung F400 to keep you close to music at all times.

The Samsung SGH-F400 will be available in your choice of black or white with a glossy finish.


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New rumors of BlackBerry Thunder

Since we were the first ones to break the news about a touchscreen BlackBerry device, it’s only fitting that we follow up and give y’all the real lowdown on it! This is going to excite a lot of people, but anger many. Are you ready? The BlackBerry Thunder, as it is codenamed now, (all you “reporting” on it as the Storm are incorrect) will launch in Q3 of this year. It is a full touchscreen BlackBerry — no slide out keyboard — with only 4 physical keys. Those are the send / end phone keys, the BlackBerry menu key, and the back key. Here is the most interesting part, though: it will launch as a worldwide lifetime exclusive on Verizon and Vodafone! We’ve heard the unit will be a hybrid device with CDMA EV-DO Rev. C (for clarification, Rev C., known as UMB is practically dead. If the device will indeed launch with a 4G solution, our bet is on LTE), and GSM HSPA for traveling internationally. Verizon and Vodafone will have the same unit. Currently, the model number is the BlackBerry 9500, though it’s very early and that’s likely to change. This is HUGE for the Verizon lovers. For once they’ll get an exclusive device, but Verizon will have a sales quota for the device and if they don’t meet those numbers, we’ve heard the exclusivity will then dissolve and it’s over. This will be extremely interesting to see play out.


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New Blackberry Bold (Blackberry 9000)

RIM introduces officially the new BlackBerry Bold smartphone.

The Blackberry Bold is the first BlackBerry smartphone to support tri-band HSDPA high-speed networks around the world and comes with integrated GPS and Wi-Fi, as well as a rich set of multimedia capabilities.
Under “bold” RIM understands besides a rich feature set a lustrous black exterior, satin chrome finished frame and stylish leather-like backplate.

Features of the Blackberry Bold include newly designed full-QWERTY keyboard, display with 480x320px resolution, tri-band HSDPA,Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g), 624 MHz mobile processor, 128 MB Flash memory plus 1 GB on-board storage memory, microSD/SDHC memory card slot, 2MP camera with built-in flash and 5x digital zoom, and integrated GPS.

The BlackBerry Bold smartphone (Blackberry 9000) is scheduled to be available from wireless carriers around the world beginning this summer.

The Blackberry Bold is giving die hard Blackberry fans something reasonable to hold on when all others carry 3G iPhones in their pocket.


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New Touch Dual from HTC

Last year, HTC, the world’s leading provider of Microsoft Windows Mobile smart devices, launched Touch Dual.

This new and more powerful member of the Touch family offers the best of both worlds—3.5G wireless connectivity with highly-sensitive, full-function touch screen and a sleek and innovative sliding keypad design.

The Touch Dual is the second device to feature HTC’s TouchFLO, the same gesture-recognition technology as that in the HTC Touch, but now the new functionality including the ability to view photo slideshows using on-screen controls and to zoom and rotate images with only a hand.

TouchFLO also allows enhanced finger touch scrolling and browsing of web pages, documents, messages and contact lists.

Touch Dual is about two inches by four inches so, when sideways, it can fit in an adult’s palm. It’s just over a half inch thick, a little meatier than the average smartphone. Plus, the Touch Dual is easy to grip.

The top portion is taken up by a tall 2.8 inch glass-like screen, two buttons and a flat control. The two vertical buttons, the equivalent of traditional stop and go buttons, glow red and green when they are available.

The flat control, which serves as an all-purpose menu joystick, is a square metal button surrounded by a touch-sensitive border.

For the traditional phone lovers, it may take a while longer to adjust to the buttons. But once you get the hang of it, there’s no stopping your fingers from browsing the menus, downloading music or photos, transferring data or simply playing games.

The bottom portion of the phone, once you slide it up, is just the keyboard, a flat-surfaced collection of buttons made of a light, crystal-like material.

The keyboard isn’t as wide as, say, the full-sized Sidekick, but isn’t as tiny as the average phone.

HTC also kept the ports and quick controls simple. On the left side are the volume buttons and the mini-USB/power port. On the right is a well-disguised camera quick key and an equally well-hidden stylus holder (the instrument can be removed by pulling the small notch on the stylus itself).

The Touch Dual comes in a durable, high-end black rectangular box that seems more fitting for a Gucci purchase (the lid doesn’t even need to be removed – it uses magnets to close).

The included accessories are equally impressive: the phone, wall plug, mini-USB cord, iPhone-quality earphones.

The main menu screen has colorful icons representing ring preferences, applications, phone brightness, orientation (vertical or horizontal), security features and so on.

Press the flat control to move along the menu… or use the stylus to double tap.

In fact, the main challenge with the phone may be thinking you are missing something when, in fact, HTC is just trying really hard to satisfy your every whim.

Like a stylus? Use it. Like joysticks? You can use that, too.

HTC even added a skin-sensitive touchscreen to the mix. Use your thumb to rub up from the bottom of the screen and a touch-controlled “menu cube” will appear.

Rub left or right to access different menu options, such as email, SMS, Internet Explorer and phone book. This method seemed fast, intuitive, fun, and, perhaps, somewhat excessive.

Text messaging and emailing seemed smooth on the device, primarily because of the smartly-designed keyboard.

But the user will be surprised if he decides to use the touch screen for sms. Touch Dual actually has several options for text inputing—the normal QWERTY buttons, the average cellphone buttons, more taps and the numbers will appear, or the letters will be capitalized.

The Windows Media Player is the HTC Dual Touch multimedia hub. Once the phone is plugged in, Windows will ask if you want to create a folder for the phone.

You can then drag and drop music, playlists and videos onto the HTC icon. The average song, however, took a few seconds to transfer. And receiving data via the built-in Bluetooth is even longer.

For all the bells and whistles, playing multimedia on the Dual Touch is simple: play/pause, rewind and fast forward options, along with an onscreen volume control and music details listing.

The sound is also good, especially if you use the earphone. The built-in speakers are not that loud as compared to other music phones.

The 2.0 Megapixel camera lacks a flash, a surprisingly omission for a phone of this caliber, but otherwise the HTC Dual Touch does the job.

Press the camera button on the side – or go through the menus – and the screen turns into a viewfinder. You can attach the photo, save it in memory and so on.

One odd function is what may be described as a rapid-fire option: the camera will take five photos in rapid succession, allowing you to save the best ones.

The HTC Dual Touch is a good looking, adaptable phone that is unlike anything on the market. Practical users will be annoyed with the overbearing options and abundant functions, but hardcore phone lovers will be happy to discover all its little tricks.


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New affordable Touchscreen phone with GPS from HTC

HTC Corp., the world’s leading provider of Microsoft Windows Mobile smart devices, announced the launch of the HTC P3470. Combining a lightweight design, large screen, Copilot navigation software and strong battery life, the P3470 sets a new standard in affordable smartphone, GPS-based devices.

At just 108mm tall, the HTC P3470 offers unbeatable value as one of the most compact devices in HTC’s portfolio, featuring a broad range of functionality that today’s consumers desire.

The HTC P3470 enables an easy to use and simple interface for accessing web pages, documents, messages, contact lists and more.

The HTC P3470 features Copilot software, the best sat-nav solution for phones.

The intuitive interface, clear instructions and easy call handling make it the ideal software navigation solution for the P3470.

The touch interface and large 2.8 inch screen ensure the AGPS-enabled sat-nav is easy to use.

“Phones with satellite navigation capabilities are witnessing increasing demand in the Middle East, even as mobile penetration rates continue to rise steadily,” said Kevin Chen, General Manager, HTC Middle East and Africa and CIS. “The HTC P3470 integrates GPS-location into an innovative and high-powered phone that brings location-based experiences to customers looking for power and affordability. We are very pleased to announce this addition to the product portfolio, continuing our commitment to provide an option for every user”.

Key features
– Size: 108 x 58.3 x 15.7 mm
– Weight: 122 g
– Connectivity: GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
– Operating system: Windows Mobile 6® Professional
– Display: 2.8-inch QVGA flat touch screen
– Camera: 2 megapixel with macro focus
– Internal memory: 256 MB flash, 128 MB RAM
– Removable memory: microSDTM slot
– Bluetooth: 2.0 with EDR
– Interface: HTC ExtUSBTM (mini-USB and audio jack in one; USB 2.0 Full-Speed)
– Battery: 1100 mAh
– Talk time: GSM: up to 350 minutes (estimated)
– Standby time: GSM: up to 240 hours (estimated)
– Chipset: TI OMAP 850, 200MHz


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Samsung starts Guru200 sales

Samsung Telecommunication India has announced the launch of its latest mobile handset, Samsung Guru200. According to a release, the new mobile offers FM recording as the new feature in its entry-level mobile phone segment. The call time limit feature allows users to personally set a talk time limit a month, in order to put a cap on talk time. It is priced at Rs. 2,999 (about 70USD), according to a release.


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