Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Verizon's HTC Imagio Is Just the Blunted Tip of the Windows Mobile 6.5 Iceberg

Cast your gaze upon the HTC Imagio: a same-y WinMo touch phone, not unlike the Touch Diamond2, with an aging Qualcomm processor, familiar specs and a manufacturer-designed interface. This, folks, is the new, old face of Windows Mobile.

PhoneArena happened upon these shots of the Imagio XV6975, which will allegedly be one of Verizon's first 6.5, or "Windows Phone" handsets come October 6th. And aside from a couple fresh features—the VCast TV streaming, for example, or the dual CDMA/GSM compatibility—this is effectively the same Windows Mobile phone we've been seeing from HTC for a couple years now: it's got a 528Mhz processor, 3.6-inch WVGA screen, microSD expansion, Wi-Fi and TouchFLO 3D.

That's the thing about 6.5—even though Microsoft's staging a massive launch event around October 6th, something they don't usually do for WinMo upgrades, the vast majority of the 30+ handsets Microsoftsays it'll have running the OS by the end of the year will look an awful lot like gear you can buy now. Which is fine, I guess! I was just kinda hoping for another Leo, y'know?

All credits and information was found by gizmodo.

Monday, September 28, 2009

LG's BL20 Chocolate gets official with €269 price tag

LG's BL20 Chocolate -- the younger sibling of the insane BL40 Chocolate Touch -- has recently been making a real splash around these parts. Ever since we got our hands on it, we've been wondering when we'd hear some official pricing and launch information, and the wait seems to be coming to an end. It looks like the slider is going to run in the neighborhood of about €269, according to LG's own website, which has also thrown up a few never-before-seen shots of the handset. That's about all the news for now, but hit the read link to check out a few more snaps of this beauty, and be sure to have a gander at our own hands-on gallery below.

All credits and information was found by engadget.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

AT&T Wants FCC to Probe Google Voice

In a letter sent to the Federal Communications Commission, AT&T has asked the agency to look into Google's Voice product. AT&T alleges that Google Voice blocks customers from calling certain numbers, thereby violating FCC regulations. AT&T likens the call-blocking to the call for net neutrality, and says that if phone companies need to all play by the same rules, then so do internet companies such as Google. Google Voice is a call-forwarding system that lets users give out one central phone number and have it ring other phone lines when called. It allows users to maintain some degree of privacy, as well as consolidate services. Google does block Voice customers from calling adult chat lines and some conference call systems due to the high fees levied by those services. Neither Google nor the FCC have commented on AT&T's letter.

All credits and information was found by phonescoop.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Smartphones: Is image really everything?

If you want to conquer the smartphone market there’s a clear recipe to follow. Be smart, add a lot of hip and cool and stir in productivity. Bake in some marketing buzz and you can hold pricing and become a signature smartphone.

That’s the big takeaway froma e report from Internet LLC. The report, highlighted by Engadget and others, has been used as a data point in the revival of Palm. For instance, Palm rose off of its deathbed with the Pre and now is second in mindshare to the iPhone.

But if you’ve noticed Palm's latest quater and lumpy outlook you’ll find mindshare isn’t exactly everything. Price points, margins and sheer volume matter. Palm is a player courtesy of the Pre, but it remains to see if it can keep the hits coming. Nevertheless, it’s worth addressing the mindshare issue since it clearly saved Palm, which has been able to raise capital.

If you buy into Interpret’s findings it’s clear that smartphones are increasingly becoming fashion phones. The big question—left unaddressed by the report—is how long a mindshare edge can last. The question is huge when you consider that Palm may be a 2009 story, but there are no guarantees for 2010. Meanwhile, Motorola may be poised to be the mindshare gainer in 2010.

The definition of smart revolves around doing multiple things—audio, GPS, camera etc. If smart is combined with hip and productive, vendors can maintain price points.

All credits and information was found by zdnet.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sony PSP Go: Hands-on first impressions and photos

I was invited to check out the Sony PSP Go last night at the Sony Style store in Manhattan, and starting today, you can too. After entering the store, the manager unlocked the PSP Go from a safe and handed the lightweight console to me. The few employees left in the store passed by me and stole glances in awe — not even employees have been able to view the coveted Go. I felt pretty special, and although I didn’t have a ton of time to play with the new device, I do have some first impressions.

As I mentioned earlier, the most glaring difference is the size and weight of the Go. It is extremely light, and feels no heavier than the average cell phone. The last version, the PSP 3000, weighed about 6.7 ounces, including the battery pack. I held both the Go and the 3000, and I was definitely able to tell that the Go was less heavy. The Go has a slide-up screen, which reveals the controls below.

The Go has a smaller screen, moving from a 4.3-inch screen to a 3.8-inch screen. The display seemed brighter and crisper than the PSP 3000’s. The screen’s specs are: 16:9 widescreen TFT LCD, 480 x 272 pixel, 16.7 million colors.

Besides the size aspect, the other big deal about the Go, and the reason it can be so lightweight, is that it doesn’t have a UMD drive. Instead, the Go has 16GB of internal flash memory, which can be increased to 32GB with the use of a Memory Stick Micro (M2) flash card. The PSP Go has built-in wi-fi, and games are downloaded from the PlayStation Store, making it the first download-only PSP.

It’s nice that there’s no physical games you have to keep track of and lug around with you while you’re on the road. But, will all those UMD games bought for previous versions of the PSP be obsolete? Will there be a way to play those games even though there’s no place to insert them into the PSP Go?

There were no games pre-loaded on the Go I tested, so I didn’t actually get to play any games, which was disappointing. But, I did get a feel for what kind of graphics it has, and how fast the Web browser works.

More photos and opinion after the jump!

One thing I found to be annoying, and which I had hoped would be changed with the Go is that it has the same typing setup, which is basically: scroll through the keyboard and select each letter you want. This can take a while, and just entering “google.com” into the browser search took me longer than I would have liked. I suppose there’s no other solution besides making it a touch screen, or having a physical keyboard.

As evidenced in the pictures, fingerprints can be a problem, but that’s the case with a lot of shiny, black gadgets. The only other thing I found to be on the negative side of my quick stint with the PSP Go is that the Left/Right buttons are a little awkwardly placed. Since the Go is so small, your hands may feel a bit scrunched while playing. I’m sure it’s just something you get used to after a day or two, but it might bother people with larger hands.

Altogether, the PSP Go is a nice piece of gaming machinery. It is light, portable, and has an amazingly crisp display. If it also had cell phone service, this would be the ultimate package. The device does have Skype functionality, so maybe it’s close to being perfect.

The not-so-perfect thing is the price. The PSP Go starts at $249, but for those of you looking for a compact gadget to play games, listen to music, and watch movies on while on the go, maybe the $249 isn’t too bad. The PSP Go will be available in stores October 1, but as of today, you can nowcheck it out, and pre-order the PSP Go in Sony Style stores.

All credits and information was found by zdnet.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Apple, Palm hear privately from USB-IF on iTunes spat, involvement unlikely

The very public fight between Palm and Apple to allow the Pre to sync directly to iTunes (without just... you know, doing it the same way as everyone else) is showing no signs of slowing down, with Palm continuing to pursue every angle it can to rile up Cupertino -- most recently taking the battle up to the USB Implementers' Forum in an effort to stop Apple from restricting iTunes usage by the hardware's Vendor ID. Hard to say what ended up going down behind closed doors, but on an official level, the USB-IF is issuing a terse statement that it "communicated its position on the matter to both companies" and won't be speaking further on the issue "at this time." We'll see if anything ends up changing on the software side from the conversation, but separately, the Forum has mentioned to us that it considers this a member-to-member concern -- so in all likelihood, they're taking a hands-off approach.

All credits and information was found by engadget.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sony Ericsson XPERIA X2 lovingly unboxed on video

We'll confess - Sony Ericsson's XPERIA X2 is going to have quite the time attracting attention now that the Android-equipped X3 is all but confirmed, but those who aren't yet ready to ditch Windows Mobile may be interested in seeing the first video unboxing of the Q4-bound smartphone. Unfortunately, the actual box that it's emerging from is one of those ultra-plain units given to employees and the like when carrier testing is in full swing, but hey -- a box is a box. Have a peek in the read link below, but be sure to bring a cup of patience. You'll see.

All credits and information was found by engadget.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Nintendo confirms $199 Wii for September 27?

It might sound confusing at first, but it all makes sense, we promise. The folks at Nintendojo were apparently on a retailer conference call where Nintendo "confirmed" the new $199 Wii price, which will supposedly go into effect on Sunday September 27. Only problem is that we have to take Nintendojo's word for it -- not that we have any reason not to, but for now we'll have to just call this an "unconfirmed confirmation" until Nintendo can summon the courage to fess up to the $50 price cut to a couple of corroborating sources. It's not like those multiple flyer price leakes are knocking anybody off the trail, but we usually to hear these things from the horse's mouth -- or at least from a retailer's shelf -- before we go into all-out celebration mode.

All credits and information was found by engadget.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Samsung S7550 Blue Earth reviewed, Monkey Wrench Gang unavailable for comment

We're not sure if the recent trend for greener gadgets comes from a wish to save the planet, assuage consumer's guilt, cash in on a trend, or some combination of the three, but we'll tell you one thing: it's not going anywhere. Of course, with a product named "Blue Earth" you know that you're not just getting a handset, but some vageuly eco-friendly ID, including: an outer shell (mostly) fashioned from recycled water bottles, a solar panel, and a pedometer (you know, to encourage walking / discourage driving). Of course, these are all things we can abide, but the question remains: how does this handset hold up, you know, as a handset? Well, GSM Arena recently put one through its paces and was kind enough to let us in on its findings. As feature phones go, says the author, this one stacks up quite nicely with something like Nokia's 5530 XpressMusic -- and even does it one better by throwing in a GPS. On the other hand, this isn't the thinnest phone in the world, the lack of HSDPA will be a deal breaker for some folks, and the 3 megapixel fixed focus camera leaves something to be desired. And how about the solar panel? According to Samsung, one hour of solar charging is good for 2 hours of standby and a little over 15 minutes of call time in 2G (or 10 minutes of talk time in UMTS). Also, it seems that they make the phone bulkier and harder to handle -- although we imagine it can't be as bad as whatever users of after-maker solar panel attachments are experiencing. Other features include a 3-inch capacitive touchscreen (quite responsive, apparently) and WiFi. But that ain't all -- you really need to wade into this review yourself if you want all the juicy details. Luckily, it's but one click away: hit the read link to see for yourself.

All credits and information was found by engadget.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

250GB PlayStation 3 slim Uncharted 2 bundle leaked?

Well, what do we have here? No sooner do we get a 250GB Xbox 360 on the horizon does this image land in our tip box, showing a PlayStation 3 slim bundle for Uncharted 2 that just so happens to have that 250GB hard drive we spotted in the FCC last month. We've been able to independently confirm that it's legit, but beyond that we've got no clue when it'll be announced or any price / release date information. We wouldn't be surprised to see this hit stores in mid-October alongside Uncharted 2, but that's just a guess on our part. With any luck, SCE exec Kaz Hirai will be shedding some light at his Tokyo Game Show keynote next week -- c'mon Sony, don't keep us in the dark too long.

Update: Joystiq points us to this rumor from last week that Uncharted 2, Assassin's Creed II, and Gran Turismo 5 bundles are possibly slated for the UK in October for £299 ($494), just £50 more than the current 120GB model.

Update 2: We just got off the line with SCEA, who has denied the photo and told us quite plainly that there's no bundles being planned for America, but that the rep can't speak for other regions (e.g. Europe, Japan) -- not surprising, of course, you can't believe everything you read on the internet, right?

All credits and information was found by engadget.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Switched On: How Motorola's Cliq could start to drag

For many celebrities, 2009 continues to be a year of endings, but at least two handset pioneers have pinned their hopes on rebirths this year. Following Palm's return to its roots with a homegrown operating system earlier this year, Motorola has committed to a new smartphone direction with Android and its Blur social contact architecture.
Motorola's first announced Android device, the Cliq, is less distinctive than Palm's Pre or Pixi, but advances the horizontal keyboard slider form factor that provided a successful launchpad for the T-Mobile G1. With high-volume competitors Samsung and LG also planning to release Android devices and HTC marrying Android to its Sense user interface, though, Motorola has incentive to differentiate with software.

All smartphones must decide where they want to integrate and where they want to provide a platform for innovation. RIM, for example, has integrated what is still the best e-mail management application into the BlackBerry (although its lack of HTML email and IMAP support are real drawbacks these days) and Apple has integrated both its own Safari browser as well as services such as Google Maps. But now companies such as Palm and Motorola are integrating social networks, and that could have some downsides.Social networks would seem to be a natural point for integration into handsets. As a utility they address a longstanding contact management problem of keeping up to date with changes in contact information -- new phone numbers, new employers, even things that most address books wouldn't consider recording such as relationship status. Second, they are a communications conduit. Facebook, MySpace and Twitter are all messaging systems that provide for group or even individual messaging.

The Blur philosophy is that people should be able to focus on the people with whom they are connected rather than the medium with which they are being connected. But that is not always so simple in the world of social networks. For example, Twitter's message length restrictions aren't anything new to the wireless market, which has used similarly restricted SMS for years. But with Twitter, one can send a direct message only to someone who is following you. Twitter's direct messaging is not, then, like e-mail or SMS, and it creates a barrier to fluid communications because it is a hybrid between a micropublishing medium and a communications conduit. Best-of-breed Twitter applications reflect this; Blur may not.

And then there's the question of how willing the likes of Facebook will be to being assimilated as another communications channel that turns it into a Facebook without a face. The megasite used to call itself a "social utility" but is now striving to be the host for applications that are stripped away when one use it as a mere substitute for e-mail and short status updates. Social networks are one of the most dynamic areas of development and investment. And while it would likely take some time for one to reach the scale and vibrancy of Facebook, it wasn't that long ago that Facebook itself stood in the shadow of MySpace.

As discussed in a previous Switched On, handset companies can use widgets to circumvent the app store arms race that Apple is trying to goad them into. Motorola has bubbled functionality up to the top with Blur, but indiscriminately shoving all communications activity creates chaos, not connection. Motorola may be challenged to create the kind of Internet osmosis in its smartphone operating system that Palm is seeking with its Synergy architecture, but a strength of Android is that customers probably won't have to look far to find alternatives if they feel Blur has yet to come into focus.

All credits and information was found by engadget.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Wii price drop this month?

With Microsoft and Sony both slashing prices on their respective consoles, it's no surprise that Nintendo appears to be following suit. Last month we explained why we think the Wii needs a price drop and it sounds like we weren't the only ones.

Just today, a tipster sent Kotaku a blurry photo of a Toys R Us circular clearly indicating a $50 price drop for the Nintendo console, bringing it down to $200. Since the circular is dated for the last week in September, the new price could go into effect on September 27.

A $200 price tag would once again solidify the Wii as one of the two cheapest consoles available on the market today. As of now, theXbox 360 Arcade remains as the least expensive home video game console on sale.

This all technically remains a rumor, but we've got a sneaking suspicion that this one is probably right on the money.

All credits and information was found by cnet.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Slick Looking Nokia Erdos OLED Concept Could Become Real Next Month

The Nokia Erdos concept, suspiciously not profiled at the recent Nokia World Expo, may be sexy enough—and more importantly have just enough tangible features—that a proper reveal next month is entirely within the realm of possibility.

Again, there's nothing concrete here beyond a fuzzy footage and a laundry list of completely believable specs listed in the video:

So, just a hunch so far, and nothing from Nokia on this just yet. For now, I suppose, enjoy that sultry piano solo on this fine Sunday morning.

All credits and information was found by gizmodo.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

$100 off T-Mobile myTouch 3G, courtesy Oprah Winfrey

Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, but The Oprah Winfrey Show struck up a deal with T-Mobile to knock $100 off the price of a T-Mobile myTouch 3G smartphone.

$99 myTouch 3G? Sounds good to me.

While you are at it, grab some great deals on myTouch 3G accessories. Toys for your myTouch ranging from batteries all the way to cases.

All credits and information was found by zdnet.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

iPod touch 3rd gen hands-on and video

It's confusing now that we have an iPod touch 3G, right? We just got done handling the new model, and really, there's not much to say. It's a little snappier, but we didn't do any heavy game playing, and otherwise it's exactly the same. We thought it seemed thinner, but the cold hard specs stopped that idea in its tracks. Want to see more? Check out the gallery and video below!

All credits and information was found by engadget.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Report: Second Palm webOS smartphone to debut this week

Palm will unveil its second WebOS-based smartphone this week, internally named "Pixie" but rumored to be named “Eos,” as part of Fashion Week in New York, reports TechCrunch.

The new phone is expected to sell for far less than the Pre: $99.

Previously reported but unconfirmed specs include:

  • Dimensions: 10.6×55×111mm
  • Weight: 100 grams
  • 2.63″, 320×400 capacitive touch screen
  • 4GB of internal memory
  • $349 before rebates; $99 expected
  • 2MP camera, fixed focus, with flash
  • Bluetooth 2.1 w/ A2DP and EDR, USB 2.0 via micro USB
  • 1150mAh battery, removable
  • SMS, MMS, built-in IM client
  • A-GPS
  • WAV, MP3, AAC, AAC+ ringtones, MPEG4, H.264, H.263 video playback

The “Eos” has been rumored to have been delayed for some time.

That the launch of the phone coincides with Fashion Week indicates which customers Palm plans to target: consumers. It also shows that Palm’s going to sell the device as chic and desirable (but attainable, at $99).

(TechCrunch wonders why Palm timed it the same week as Apple’s iPod event, but to me, they’re unrelated announcements.)

It’s unclear which carrier the smartphone will arrive on, as Palm devices have appeared in Verizon, Sprint and AT&T’s inventories.

Would you buy a cheaper webOS-based Palm smartphone?

All credits and information was found by zdnet.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Nokia Announces Its First LTE Modem

Today Nokia announced that it has successfully trialed its first Long Term Evolution modem for mobile devices. The Internet Modem RD-3 supports GSM/EDGE and WCDMA/HSPA networks, as well as multiple LTE frequency bands. Nokia says the RD-3 will work with many different network operators and device makers around the world as they begin to roll out LTE-based networks and devices. The RD-3 will be available as commercial LTE networks launch in 2010.

Make sure to get the latest Nokia cell phone accessories.
All credits and information was found by phonescoop.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

T-Mobile Sidekick Gets Facebook and Twitter Apps

The Sidekick Download Catalog has a couple of new additions today for owners of the Sidekick 2008, Sidekick LX (including Tony Hawk Edition) and Sidekick Slide. Interestingly, the Facebook app is free while the Twitter app is $2 per month. This comes as a catch-up to the Sidekick 2009, which comes pre-packaged with free Facebook and Twitter apps. Why the Twitter app needs a monthly fee is a mystery to me, but maybe it's really spectacular.

All credits and information was found by gizmodo.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

LG Chocolate Touch for Verizon revealed?

Don't adjust your monitors, ladies and gentlemen: this is allegedly the upcoming Chocolate Touch for Verizon, and despite our most heartfelt hopes to the contrary, it couldn't possibly look less like the BL40. We guess the crazy stylized back is pretty cool, but frankly, this design doesn't inspire any more emotion from us than a Versa -- and that's a big problem for a phone that's supposed to help properly rep LG's chic Black Label line in the US. Call us bonkers, but we're gonna go ahead and hold out hope that this is actually something other than the Chocolate Touch -- LG's always got a ton of hardware in the pipeline for Verizon, after all -- and foolishly believe that they'll still launch a totally authentic, unfettered version of the real deal this fall. Hey, it could happen, right?

Check out LG cell phone accessories the the Chocolate Touch.

All credits and information was found by engadget.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

HTC and Sony Ericsson announce WM 6.5 devices coming next month

Last week I talked about the summer Windows Mobile lovefest, but it is not quite over yet as both HTC and Sony Ericsson announced Windows Mobile 6.5 devices launching as early as 6 October. The Sony Ericsson XPERIA X2 has a form factor very similar to the X1 with some improvements in specifications while the HTC Touch2 takes a bit of a step back from the latest HTC devices we already see on the market. The Touch2 should be the first WM 6.5 device available though with launches in Europe and Asia.

All credits and information was found by zdnet.


LG Portable Stereo Speakers MSP-100