Archive for March, 2007

T-Mobile launches MOTORIZR Z3

Motorola RIZR Z3

Motorola and T-Mobile have announced the launch of the MOTORIZR Z3. The RIZR Z3 is a Quadband GSM slider with 2 megapixel camera, microSD memory card slot, music player and T-Mobile’s MyFaves software. The MOTORIZR Z3 comes in pearl blue with soft-touch finish and is available now for only $99.99 with two year contract.

“In keeping with Motorola’s tradition of innovative design and cutting-edge technology, the new MOTORIZR Z3 is Motorola’s first GSM slider form factor – allowing consumers another choice for mobile phones,” said Jim Wicks, vice president, Consumer Design Experience, Motorola, Inc. “Combined with a myriad of features, the beautifully crafted MOTORIZR Z3 also delivers a dynamic imaging and personalization experience.”

T-Mobile Product Page

4 comments March 22nd, 2007

Will Palm sell this week?

Palm LogoCould we see Palm sell again? According to many analysts and Retuers it’s only a matter of time before we see Palm sell out. While no official announcements have been made it’s been said that both Nokia and Motorola along with other several private investment firms are interested in Palm. Guess we will just have to sit and wait for some info.

Source: Retuers

1 comment March 22nd, 2007

Sprint to “tweak” music/video features

Sprint is getting ready to change their music and video features for their Vision and Power Vision subscribers starting next month. Customers have received a insert in their bills telling them that Sprint will be dropping Sirius radio to be replaced by 10 genre-based channels. Sprint also said they will be upgrading their basic mobile TV service by adding content from CNN, The Weather Channel, E!, NFL Network and Fox Sports.

Source: RCR

Add comment March 17th, 2007

AT&T opens first mega-shop

AT&T Houston Store

 AT&T has rebranded a former Cingular Wireless store into the company’s first huge store which offers clients 5,000 square-feet of their products and “Eye-catching tattoos. High-tech speakers. Pulsating beats. Four dozen screens. The latest, coolest, hottest wireless phones.”

The new AT&T Experience Store, larger than the typical Cingular store, not only received an extreme makeover – both inside and out – but is the first to demonstrate the benefits of housing AT&T’s product suite under one roof. It is also the first to feature a fully integrated media experience made possible through convergence by encouraging interaction with the company’s extensive portfolio of wireless, broadband, video and wireline voice products and services via several experience and personalization stations located throughout the store.

“The AT&T Experience Store in Houston is what the new AT&T is all about,” said Stan Sigman, Wireless president & CEO, AT&T Inc. “All of the communications and entertainment products consumers want are in one place, and under one roof.”

Source: AT&T

Add comment March 17th, 2007

Nokia 5300

 

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Here’s my Nokia 5300 review. The 5300 is what Nokia calls a music phone. Which means the phone is just like their other phones but music player specific buttons have been added.

Make sure you check out the 5300 gallery for some pictures.

Physical Impressions:

The 5300 feels very light and has a empty/hollow feeling. Despite this, it’s a fairly solid phone. The battery cover is virtually impossible to remove which helps eliminate the creaking you usually get when you squeeze a Nokia phone.

The sliding action is spring loaded so it’s pretty slick. You might not notice that at first since the 5300 feels so empty.

Keys stick out and are easy to find without looking. They depress with a nice click.

There are side mounted media keys which can usually be used to control the music player (more on this later). There are skip forwards/backwards, play/pause buttons on the left side and volume up/down plus a camera button on the right.

You get a 2.0″ display that has a resolution of 240×320. It can display up to 262k colours and looks and works fine in most lighting conditions.

Hands-free usage:

You get a speakerphone, 2.5mm headset connector (that’s right, there’s no pop port connector on this phone) and support for Bluetooth headsets.

Miscellaneous:

You get around 7.5MB of built-in memory plus there’s a MicroSD slot locked behind the battery door cover. It’s not beneath the battery so you can swap memory cards without having to remove the battery.

Menus:

There are 2 different kinds of standby displays. There’s the regular one that just has some icons to tell you what programs will get launched if you press up/down/left/right. The other is called active standy which displays more info; with it you can launch more programs from the standy display plus you can view info from your datebook.

I normally prefer the regular standy but for some reason the icons on the regular standby display are really small so it looks funny.

The menu icons and text are quite large and look great. Most of the menus are standard Nokia fare but I noticed they changed the tone menu. You can now change the volume for items in that menu by pressing left or right.

Phone Related Features:

When you’re at the standby screen I noticed that you can type in a number, choose options and then have that number as the time on a countdown timer. So if you type in 100, the countdown timer would have 1 minute on it. This is great if you exercise a lot and need to keep track. It really fits in with the 5300′s sporty appearance. It’s also good for cooking.

The phonebook looks slightly different when you’re adding contacts but the idea is still the same. First you enter an name and number and then save it, then you choose whether you want to add more details. There are a few new extra fields like formal name and nickname.

Connected Features:

There’s a mini USB cable on top of the 5300. When you connect the 5300 to your computer, it will ask you which mode you want to use. There’s a mass storage mode which means you can access the file system without needed special drivers or software provided you’re not using an ancient computer. There are also modes for phonebook syncing and printing.

You can sync the 5300 with your PC using Nokia PC Suite (it’s a free download).

I clocked the 5300 at around 0.9MB/s when in mass storage mode which is pretty good for a phone. It could be that the memory card was holding the 5300 back so it might even be faster than that.

The USB connector does NOT recharge the 5300 so don’t connect it to your computer thinking it will do so.

There’s also Bluetooth and infrared port (does anyone still use IR?).

Like most Nokia S40 devices there’s no built-in email client (boo).

The browser is pretty standard fare. It can handle HTML pages but it lacks the memory to make this feature useful plus there aren’t any special viewing modes. If you want to view regular webpages you can download Opera Mini.

Multimedia Features:

There’s a built-in 1.3 megapixel camera. Image quality is okay for a camera of this resolution. There’s no built-in flash so the camera won’t be useful when it’s dark. You’ll get really really grainy pictures in those sort of situations.

Please note the follow section is based on my experiences with the Nokia 5300 from Roger’s wireless. If you’re thinking of getting a 5300 from elsewhere, your experiences will probably be much better.

As you can probably tell by the side mounted music player buttons, the 5300′s raison d’etre is to be a music player. With this in mind, the 5300 from Rogers totally sucks. In general, carriers aren’t stupid but they do make a lot of stupid decisions and the 5300 is a good example of this. To illustrate, Rogers has a music store that they want to use with the 5300. So in their infinite wisdom they decided to disable the built-in music player so that they can replace it with their own java based music player that can playback DRM’d music from their store. The java based music player is java based so there’s no background play (that sucks), but even worse you can’t use the side mounted buttons with it (that sucks even worse).

The music store lets you stream music as you’re downloading it which is nice but the 5300 only supports EDGE so to allow music streaming you have to download low quality versions of songs (I’m talking 800k for a 4 minute song vs 4 or 5MB). The music player CAN playback mp3′s on your memory card (That’s about the only good thing about it).

Like I mentioned before, the songs are DRM’d so you can’t stick them on your iPod for example.

Seriously, I HATE the Rogers music player. It’s the lamest thing ever! It’s like ordering a hot dog and just getting the bun. If you are unlucky enough to have gotten your 5300 from Rogers I suggest you find someone who can debrand it for you ASAP. It’s as if Rogers added the music player but never bothered to test it. Either that or someone actually thinks the music player doesn’t suck. Talk about not thinking your farts stink.

The 5300 doesn’t support A2DP so you have to use wired headphones if you want to listen to music.

Organizer Features:

You get an alarm clock, calendar, to-do list, notes, calculator, countown timer, stop watch and voice recorder.

The calendar and to-do list sync with your computer. I don’t see support for the 5300 on Apple’s iSync website (just like any other newer model phone). I’m sure it will show up eventually.

About the only thing you don’t get is a unit converter.

Impressions:

RF performance is about average.

Incoming sound quality is not bad. There is a bit of hiss but you won’t notice it unless you’re in a quiet room. Outgoing sound quality is a bit harsh sounding plus there is hiss.

Maximum earpiece volume could be a bit higher.

It was kind of hard to find the 5300′s sweet spot (the spot where the earpiece is loudest).

Conclusion:

The Nokia 5300 isn’t bad. The feature set is okay and the phone is really easy to use. It looks cool and has a nice slide open/close action.

However, the Nokia 5300 from Rogers is just awful. Why anyone would disable the built-in music player for some lousy java applet is beyond comprehension. It’s just an example of why some carriers have no business customizing phones. As an encore, Rogers should customize a phone so that it can’t make phone calls.

Ratings (out of 5)
Build Quality 3.5
Battery Life 4
Phone Related Features 3.5
Ease of Use 3.5
RF Performance 3.5
Degree of Customizability 3
Overall (not an average) 3.5
*Please note these ratings are temporal and are really only valid for the date they were assigned. A phone which receives a rating of 5 a year ago will probably get a lower rating today.

Pros:

  • Nice sliding action
  • Side mounted buttons
  • Menu looks nice
  • No Pop port

Cons:

  • No A2DP
  • Rogers branded 5300′s have a lousy music player
  • Rogers branded 5300′s have no background music play

Discuss this review at HowardForums.com
See the gallery here
Written by Howard Chui 03.13.2007
This article may not be reproduced without the the author’s permission.

49 comments March 14th, 2007

Canada welcomes Wireless Number Portability

That’s right Canada it’s finally time. As of tomorrow mobile phone clients in Canada can finally move their number to other service providers. This is a big step for Canada and the mobile phone markets. It looks like Canada could get really competitive in the next few days by offering their clients the most value and perks. Wireless Number Portability will also clients to take your number from carrier to carrier (ie. Rogers to Telus) or landline to wireless (vice-versa).

“Wireless Number Portability (WNP) is a wireless consumer’s ability to change service providers within the same general metropolitan area or local calling area and keep their existing phone number. WNP also allows consumers to move a phone number from a wireline phone to a wireless phone (and vice versa). Canada will be the second country in the world (after the US) to offer complete wireless-to-wireless, wireless-to-wireline and wireline-to-wireless portability.”

Formore information about Canada’s wireless number portability please visit wirelessnumberportability.ca

Add comment March 13th, 2007

Apple’s 5th Avenue iPhone Ad

Apple NYC Billboard for iPhone

 Apple has put up a huge ad for the iPhone on their 5th Avenue store in New York City. The advertisement shows the iPhone with the words “Introducing iPhone. Apple reinvents the phone.”. According to comments posted on Mac Rumors it appears the ad actually was removed shortly after getting put up.

Via ScottRobinson.ca / Mac Rumors

47 comments March 13th, 2007

First live shots of Cranberry Pearl

Red BlackBerry 8100 Pearl

The first live shots of BlackBerry’s new Red Pearl have popped out online over at PinStack. The Red Pearl (aka CranBerry) will be announced very shortly for AT&T. No official word from either RIM or AT&T as of yet however it should drop within this upcoming week.

Source: PinStack

Add comment March 10th, 2007

Fido connects you with Nokia E62

Fido Nokia E62Fido has just announced the launch of their first BlackBerry connect device. The Nokia E62 is a Symbian powered smartphone that features a QWERTY keyboard, miniSD memory card slot, Quadband GSM and of course Blackberry Connect, allowing push email services on the device. The Nokia E62 will be available soon for only $200 (with three year contract) with a BlackBerry connect data plan (which start at only $40).

“ With almost two out of three customers using Text Messaging, Fido has been a trendsetter in messaging features,” said Patrick Hadsipantelis, Vice-President of Marketing for Fido. “Now, we can offer our customers a mobile e-mail solution that’s always by their side, wherever they go. The powerful BlackBerry(R) Internet Service, together with the Nokia E62, offers customers a compelling wireless solution.”

Fido’s handset details

Add comment March 3rd, 2007

Helio introduces Samsung Heat

Helio Heat by Samsung

 Helio has just launched their latest handset “Heat” which offers a chocolate-like feeling with it’s touch sensative keys and slider design. The Heat by Samsung also comes packed with a QVGA display, stereo Bluetooth,  GPS and a 1.3 megapixel camera.

“Smooth as glass with a minimalist face and slender silhouette, Heat is a fresh mix of smart design and advanced technology. Produced by Samsung exclusively for Helio members in the U.S., Heat comes in two colors: high-gloss Onyx and shimmering Gold. Heat features a highly responsive exterior electrostatic touchpad with customizable sensitivity (super, high, medium, low) for navigation through a simple finger tap. Thin and pleasing to the touch with smooth sliding action, Heat has a 1.99 inch high-resolution QVGA display with landscape mode, stereo Bluetooth® support, 136MB available internal memory, MP3, MPEG-4 and VOD support, Helio Music compatibility for music on the go, and built-in GPS capabilities for access to Helio services including GPS-enabled Google Maps™ for mobile and Buddy Beacon™.”

You can pick up Helio Heat today in either Black or Gold for only $150 at retail locations or Helio.com.

Source: Helio

4 comments March 1st, 2007

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