Archive for November, 2009

A Look At The INQ Chat 3G

Monday, November 30th, 2009

INQ ChatMobile phone manufacturer INQ has just wowed us by launching a new device with a full QWERTY keyboard; something we’re willing to admit we were not expecting.

The exciting new INQ Chat 3G is the brother of the INQ Mini 3G which was launched at the same time, however the Chat makes use of a larger 2.4 inch screen, a better camera, more widgets with improved functionality and of course a fabulous full QWERTY keyboard that we can’t stop admiring.

Currently, thirty percent of INQ1 users are regularly writing email messages on a standard phone keypad, which played a huge part in the company’s decision to finally implement a workable keyboard along with a number of other features.

This is all very exciting although the name is a little bit of a snooze, but we have high hopes that by the time it lands on shelves it will have been given a new handle with a little more jazz to suit its new (for INQ, at least,) design.

The most obvious feature is of course the keyboard, but there is also integration with Facebook and Twitter, something several previous mobile phones released by the manufacturer had sadly lacked.

You might notice that the INQ Chat 3G looks quite a lot like the BlackBerry Curve; in which case you might be happy to know that it doesn’t have a price tag to match. The device will cost somewhere around £110, if rumours are to be believed, (and they usually are,) although if that changes prior to release we will be sure to let you know.

If the price tag does sit at around £110 then this is sure to be a winning device, given the lack of full QWERTY keyboards available on mobile phones in this price bracket. Fingers crossed!

Google Prepares To Launch Own Branded Smartphone

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Google Phone ConceptThe powerhouse that is Google is ready to blow into the mobile phone market with a Google brand handset alongside a service which will provide free phone calls.

The mobile phone is likely to be made by manufacturer HTC, if rumours are to be believed, and is set to be one of the most powerful smartphones in the world.

The handset has got a very impressive touch screen display along with a processor that is almost twice as fast as the one used in the popular iPhone 3GS. Paired with the company’s upcoming phone service, Google Voice, we couldn’t be more intrigued.

This new service providing free phone calls will however put many noses out of joint as it has the potential to lock out all other competitors from the revenue produced by phone calls – that said, it sure looks great for consumers!

Currently it is unclear whether or not the Google Voice service will be available over 3G along with Wi Fi however, so it is possible that only users with Wi Fi compatible handsets will be able to take part, leaving 3G users dependant on other networks.

There is some suggestion that Google might plan to sell the mobile phones straight to their customers to use with their current SIM cards – something that will only serve to further antagonise the competition. If this does happen the cost of the device could be as much as £500, but we think that it would be well worth it given what we already know about the handset.

Whether or not the cost is pushed lower thanks to the amount of free advertising Google has unlimited access to remains to be seen, but however much the Google smartphone costs it is set to be wildly popular; even before we’ve seen a single picture!

Sony Ericsson Needs Better Quality Control

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Sony Ericsson SatioSony, the big company as a whole, is major electronics giant in the world, and one might think that the merger with Ericsson to create a mobile phone company would be a great idea.

Right now, it seems like it would have been better if Sony just went solo and strapped mobile phone capabilities to their PSP series -it would be catchier to refer to the Walkman series just like what Apple did, but the company already tried that formula. True, Sony Ericsson does have a line of Walkman phones, but none of the devices actually felt anything close to the quality and polish that Sony has for their general line of products.

Anyway, just a while back, the Sony Ericsson Satio got pulled out of the shelves of Phones4U and from the Carphone Warehouse. That’s bad, considering that the company is already taking financial setbacks –they even shut down several major locations and just moved North American operations all the way to Atlanta. It also does not help that several other SE mobile devices, the K850i, W910i and the C902 were also pulled out due to software issues as well.

Now even the yet to be released Sony Ericsson Aino , is also getting suspended from being sold due to even more software issues.

The exact specifics of the problem have not been discussed in detail, but an official from Sony Ericsson states that the problem primarily lies with the touch screen interface. One retailer official was commented that there is a problem with using Bluetooth.

No specific details if and when the Aino will be released. Sony officials were quoted as saying that the issue will be resolved quickly and that the public should expect the Sony Ericsson Aino to be on sale in a matter days and not weeks.

Twisted Morals: Felony Looks Good on a Resume

Monday, November 30th, 2009

rick-astley21 year old Ashley Towns just landed a job at Mogeneration as an iPhone app developer.

His qualification: Developer of rick-rolling iPhone hack, Ikee.

It is not funny when you think of all the nice –and sometimes naïve individuals that have been victimized by the worm. Ikee is an iPhone worm that changes the wallpaper of an iPhone into a picture of Rick Astley.

While the worm itself can be considered as a testament to the programming skills of Towns, the same (or even better) can be said of many individuals who make their own independent iPhone applications albeit with no malicious purposes.

The hiring of Towns into a private company can be considered as a bad move by Mogeneration as they have ignored plenty of other equally competent individuals who have the same, or even better skills, but are much more inclined to program productive or at least, non-harmful software.

Graham Cluley, the Senior Technology Consultant in Sophos agrees.

“There are plenty of young coders out there who would not have acted so stupidly, are just as worthy of an opportunity inside a software development company, and are actually quite likely to be better coders than Towns who made a series of blunders with his code.”

So is Mogeneration telling hackers to start cranking out their best and most malicious malware, Trojans, viruses and worms just to get a job?

Unlike a government agency which may employ the expertise of a known felon in order to prevent further crimes (such as the case of a well known Bank Check expert who used to forge checks), Mogeneration is not hiring Towns to create anti-worm software and it is not their legal responsibility to do so. But their support of this kind of action is certainly giving a bad name to many people in the dev community.

O2 and Tesco: Starting the iPhone price War?

Monday, November 30th, 2009

O2 LogoPeople have already made their comments about the unsatisfying prices and deals offered by Orange Mobile UK for the Apple iPhone. When the mobile carrier announced that they would be releasing the device, it marked the end of the two-year exclusive hold of O2 on the iPhone. Many had hoped that the presence of competition would make for better choices.

The results, though not overly surprising, were something else. Orange ended up giving a deal that many felt was ‘stiffing their customers’. Anyway, the current rumor is that O2 is using their 50:50 tie-up with Tesco to affect the current price war with Orange. Information regarding the link between Tesco and Orange can be found at the official Tesco site for the iPhone.

Things are still too early to predict for now. With Vodafone having announced that they too would be having the iPhone in January of next year and 3 will be having the device sometime in 2010 (but no date has been confirmed as of yet), this game could go well for anyone. Collectively, we can pray that it all goes well for consumers too.

Right now, there is hardly any difference between O2 and Orange’s offer for the coveted mp3 player turned mobile phone. Most of the plans only differ by matters of a few free minutes or for a more understandable count, anywhere between 24 to 35 Pounds, in a span of two years.

Tesco does have a pretty good default plan at 30 Pounds a month, but no one knows what the final numbers will be when the iPhone finally comes in the equation.

Right now, the Apple iPhone holds one of the most coveted positions in the mobile phone industry. It is an icon for mobile gadgets and is also a status symbol for some. Right now, this stylish little phone is undoubtedly king of the mobile phone hill.

China Mobile to Release LG GW880

Friday, November 27th, 2009

LG GW880The LG GW880 OPhone will be released by China Mobile. This device follows the Dell Mini 3 as part of China Mobile new phone line up. What is unique about the GW880 is that it will support the new TD-SCDMMA 3G standard in China (the Mini 3 has no 3G capabilities).

Anyway, the GW880 uses the OPhone operating system -China’s own version of the Google Android. The Os will offer its own web browser, support for feeds through widgets, a media player and email. China Mobile has its own application store that can be accessed directly though the phone’s OS. The OPhone is used on most of the high end devices being released in China.

The GW880’s hardware is a little above average. It sports a big 3.5 inch WVGA touch screen with 800 x 480 pixels of resolution, more than ample quality for browsing online or viewing videos. The phone will also have a 5 mega pixel camera, no word yet on whether it has autofocus or LED flash. This phone will also support GPS input and Bluetooth devices. Unique to China is the support for TV broadcast input.

As much as it would be nice to see this device released locally kin the UK, chances of this are slim as this OPhone has custom made features for China Mobile. A variation is nice, but we already have the GW620 Android.

China Mobile is attracting the attention of many major phone manufacturers. Not only is it the largest telecommunications company in the world. It also has one of the largest client bases –and China itself boasts one of the largest markets in terms of sheer population alone (not counting the percentage of said population who can afford a smart phone). They have yet to announce when the GW880 will be released.

Much Love for Maemo Causes N900 Delay

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Nokia N900The N900 will not be around until the 4th of December (gasp).  Seriously, Nokia, why did you not make enough of this device? It appears that anyone clever enough to have pre-ordered the device earlier will be getting the phone today, or tomorrow, or some time before the December release date; which shows that Nokia produced enough N900 units for pre-order demands but not enough for a retail launch.

People seem to really want to get their hands on the Maemo –no surprise there, as this will be the debut of Nokia’s new OS, they also amped up the hardware for the device. For a retail price of 499 Pounds, this phone is an excellent deal just for the hardware alone.

The new N-Series phone (or rather, it’s OS) has been the subject of a controversy for quite some time now. Nokia has been a Symbian device manufacturer for awhile and the announcement that their N-Series line will fully adapt the Maemo by 2012 shows that they have made a commitment to the OS.

Rumors that Nokia would be dropping Symbian completely were spreading so badly that Nokia representative had to officially put a foot down. Their press release stated that they will continuously be supporting Symbian and will be using Symbian OS for their mobile devices. The Maemo will be used for devices that are more like “computers” –though Techradar discerns that the device is simply a smart phone (and a very good one at that). Either way, the demand for this Arm Cortex powered Maemo phone will not die down just because of a small delay –sales will hardly be affected by this; though it also does not do much for Nokia’s reputation either.

With Nokia’s X6 already having its fair share of delays (it better launch this Friday), the company needs to show a little more sense of timeliness with releases.

Access Linux Platform Phone: the First ELSE

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Emblaze ElseThe iPhone is sharing the limelight with Android mobile phones, and that is no surprise, these two have totally pushed the standards of mobile phone technology to new heights. 2010 is proving to be quite promising in terms of seeing more new things, the Nokia N900’s Maemo will be making its rounds and Samsung’s Bada will not be far behind. Sony Ericsson will be sticking to its guns with the Symbian based Kurara and its super Android phone, the X10. With all these devices coming, is there really room for one more?

The folks at Access and Emblaze mobile think there is room for one more.

See the First ELSE. This high-tech looking device might seem like your everyday slim touch screen smart phone, but a close look at the specs shows that the device is nothing short of a current generation super phone.

High-end is the name of the game for manufacturer Emblaze when they decided to set the specs for this little wonder. Starting with the TI OMAP 3430 processor to the 1450 mAh battery, everything has been made to the best specifications (arguments of using a Snapdragon aside that is).

This amazing phone packs a huge 32GB of internal flash memory and a 3.5 inch capacitive FWVGA touch screen display that has a resolution of 854 x 480 pixels. That’s a sweet deal for any mobile phone. The rest are smart phone standard details such as Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS and a micro USB slot (no confirmation for a micro SD card slot –it would be sad to not have that).

As for the new ELSE INTUITION, details are pretty scare on this LiMo compliant platform. So far, it boasts very in depth UI customization options, plenty of operator applications and its own app store.

While it not certain that this device will be successful, the initial specs are indeed promising. If the INTUITION is as good as the press release says, then it does not matter if there is room for or not, the First ELSE will make its own place in the mobile industry.

Nokia is Bringing Out the X6

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Nokia X6The release date for Nokia’s new media mobile phone is on the 27th, and that is just a day away. This little device promises to deliver excellent music playback capabilities and a new music service from Nokia.

The “all you can eat” music download service form Nokia will definitely get a lot of music lovers interested in this device. Compared to the XpressMusic, the X6 offers more in terms of both hardware and features. Of course, the XpressMusic is an old device (though it did get a couple or reincarnations that specialized in other purposes). Anyway, back to the feature, Nokia will give this phone unlimited free downloads from the Nokia Music Store.

With music phones, storage is always a key concern. After all, there is much bragging right to having all the albums you own available in a single phone. The X6 will not let music lovers down, it has a whopping 32GB of internal memory for all files; videos, music, games, everything. That’s a large storage capacity and of course, you can also back up your files on a computer.

The 5 mega pixel camera boasts an impressive video capturing quality of 30 FPS. The X6 features some nifty applications which will allow you to edit videos and add music. Of course, the big feature (well, most noticeable at least), is the 3.2 inch touch screen. It’s not as big as the screens on other high end phones, but the focus here is one music playback. The screen is said to be scratch resistant.

Also new in this device (not present in the XpressMusic), is the addition of social networking widgets on the home screen. The phone also has an instant access feature on the contacts list –a useful shortcut if you need to get in touch fast.

Nokia Brings out Two More Devices for the Holidays

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Nokia 6700 SlideAre we looking at new budget phones from Nokia? Yes! The big surprise from the major phone manufacturer is that these two phones are pretty impressive in their own right.

The Nokia 6700 Slide is (obviously) a slide phone that looks amazing and packs some pretty interesting features (interesting, not high-end). On the other hand, the Nokia 7230 is a low end yet fully functional 3G device that brings practicality in more ways than one.

It’s a slide phone, it’s stylish and it even has a 5 mega pixel camera. The 6700 makes a good choice for a quick pick this season if you need a new device to dabble with. Quite the impressive 3G phone too, it delivers plenty of usability thanks to the “social networking features of the device”. No further details have been disclosed about this, but expect to link up your Facebook or MySpace account to your phone for quick 3G access on status updates and more. As said, 3G is the keyword with this device, this means excellent connection speeds on a sleek little phone.

For more lightweight budgets, the answer lies with the 7230. Now, this is a stripped down 3G device, but it still has a 3 mega pixel camera, a 2.4 inch display and social network quick sharing apps for Flickr and Facebook.

Both devices are available in various colours -all of which are pretty striking and bright; as you would expect from the Finnish manufacturer.

The marketing idea for these devices is good, targeting a younger market with the external design, the networking capabilities and simplified content-sharing options. It does seem a little weak in terms of massaging capabilities using T9 instead of a keyboard. Still, the focus is on connectivity and access of online content, with these 3G enabled devices, Nokia certainly has that consideration fully covered.