Archive for April, 2007

AT&T launches Nokia N75

AT&T’s Nokia N75

Cingular/AT&T has finally launched the long awaited Nokia N75 3G handset. The Nokia N75 is powered by Symbian Series 60 and features Quadband GSM, Dualband UMTS, 2 megapixel camera, stereo Bluetooth and a microSD memory card slot.

The Nokia N75 is a enhanced music player, camera and video player all-in-one. Shoot photos on the 2 MP camera, watch vivid videos and listen to your favorite tunes. Experience rich multimedia over the ultra fast UMTS network, and access Cingular Video and Cingular Music with an enhanced music player that supports WMDRM.

AT&T Handset Page

4 comments April 30th, 2007

RIM introduces BlackBerry 8830 World Edition

BlackBerry 8830 Cyclone

RIM has officially announced the BlackBerry 8830 World Edition. The BlackBerry 8830 is RIM’s first device to incorporate both CDMA and GSM for global roaming. The Blackberry 8830 still brings the thin design of the 8800 (.55 inches) along with the multimedia features such as microSD memory card slot, four-way trackball navigation, GPS, Bluetooth 2.0, media player and a large QVGA display.

Both Verizon and Sprint have announced they will be launching it in the United States, along with Bell Mobility in Canada. You can watch for the 8830 to launch on Verizon mid-May. Both Sprint and Bell have announced summer time launches (around July).

RIM

Sprint’s BlackBerry 8830

5 comments April 26th, 2007

T-Mobile launches Blackberry 8800

TMobile 8800

T-Mobile has launched the ultra slim multimedia Blackberry 8800. The Blackberry 8800 comes installed with T-Mobile’s myFaves service and feature packed with a large colour display, microSD memory card slot, Quadband GSM with EDGE, GPS, full QWERTY keyboard and trackball navigation.

“T-Mobile is committed to delivering an exceptional customer experience with our innovative products and services,” said Jeff Hopper, Vice President of Marketing, T-Mobile USA.   “The BlackBerry 8800 complements the highly successful BlackBerry Pearl with a powerful range of tools and capabilities that lets our customers stay connected, in business and personal environments, with those that matter most.”

T-Mobile’s product page

1 comment April 25th, 2007

T-Mobile’s upcoming RIZR Z3 Rose

T-Mobile Red RIZR

T-Mobile’s getting ready to launch the Motorola RIZR Z3 in Rose Red. The RIZR Z3 Rose has showed up on T-Mobile’s site with a coming soon below it. It keeps all the same features including Quadband GSM, 2 megapixel camera, microSD memory card slot and stereo Bluetooth.T-Mobile Product Page

12 comments April 18th, 2007

Nokia’s new 8800 Sirocco Gold

Nokia 8800 Sirocco Gold

Nokia has got some new bling with the new 8800 Sirocco Gold Edition. With the exact same design as the other 8800 Sirocco handsets except this one will run you about $1300USD and will be 18k Gold plated.

“The Nokia 8800 Sirocco Gold is set to continue Nokia’s strong legacy in exclusive and highly desirable style accessories,” explains Heikki Norta, Senior Vice President, Mobile Phones, Nokia. “The Nokia 8800 Sirocco Gold remains true to the “form follows function” mantra of Nokia designers and engineers – a tradition built upon decades of experience in mobility.”

Combining its heritage of highly desired communication devices with organic designs inspired by surfaces found in nature, the Nokia 8800 Sirocco Gold pays artful attention to the smallest details and selection of materials. A stunning achievement of craftsmanship, fine white gold accents enhance the 18-carat gold plating while the sapphire-coated, scratch-resistant glass display helps to ensure that the beauty of the Nokia 8800 Sirocco Gold endures.

Nokia

2 comments April 18th, 2007

Nokia announces thin and classy 3G handset

Nokia 6120

Nokia has announced the all new 6120, a 3G packed smartphone. At only 15mm thin the Nokia 6120 offers Symbian series 60 OS, Quadband GSM, Dualband HSDPA (850/2100MHz), 2 megapixel camera and a VGA calling camera.

“Mobile phones have taken on a much larger role in our busy lives,” said Peter Ropke, Senior Vice President, Mobile Phones, Nokia. “We recognize that having the capability to utilize the mobile phone in many ways gives consumers a better balance between work and play. With the HSDPA technology, S60 on Symbian OS and the wide range of features of the Nokia 6120 classic, consumers will be able to make their daily lives more manageable.”

Nokia

Add comment April 18th, 2007

Telus launches HTC P4000 Smartphone

HTC P4000 from Telus

Telus Mobility has launched Canada’s first EV-DO Rev. A capable smartphone. The HTC P4000 is the new replacement for the UTStarcom 6700. It comes packed with a spring loaded hidden QWERTY keyboard, 2 megapixel camera with flash, microSD memory card slot and a large 2.8″ high resolution touchscreen, Wi-Fi and stereo Bluetooth and not to forget it’s powered by Windows Mobile 5.

Telus HTC P4000 Product Page / Check out our gallery of HTC from CTIA 2007

Add comment April 18th, 2007

Slingbox Tuner

Here’s my SlingMedia Slingbox Tuner review. It’s TV on your mobile device!

Most new products are meant to replace your old ones. So it’s not often a company comes up with something that you never knew you needed. A year or so ago, SlingMedia came out with the SlingBox (SB) and made me realize I needed to make space for it in my home theater.

If you’re not aware of what the SB is, it lets you watch your TV remotely using your internet connection. The original SB could connect to any device that had audio (2 RCA jacks) and or video (S-Video or RCA) connectors. It could control the device using the included IR blasters (they can send remote control signals). It would take the AV signal, buffer it a little, encode it and stream it over the net to your device. Of course you need a fast enough internet connection (dial up users can stop reading here). Originally there was only a viewer for Windows users but Sling added support for Windows Mobile (Pocket PC and Smartphone), Palm OS, Mac OSX plus there’s a client coming soon for Symbian devices.

It’s great for watching TV when you’re not at home. If you’re thinking of a reason to quit work consider watching your SB when your boss is around. Watch it on your Pocket PC/Smartphone when your wife takes you shopping, at weddings, etc. As long as you have a fast enough internet connection and a compatible device you’re good to go.

The SB is also pretty useful around the house since it allows you to watch TV in places you couldn’t before plus your home network probably has a lot more bandwidth to play with. After all more bandwidth = higher quality.

Today I’m checking out the SB Tuner. It’s strictly for cable users so if you have Satellite consider the SB AV or if you have HD or multiple devices – check out the Slingbox Pro. Make sure you check out my pictures here.

Unlike the original SB, there isn’t much to the SB Tuner. You connect to your cable so you can watch it remotely.

Included in the packaging are a high quality Regal brand 2 way splitter (many cable companies use Regal splitters), network cable, power adapter and a RG59 coax cable. The power adapter is a wall wart so make sure you have room for it.

You can connect a 2 way splitter to your cable and have one go to the SB Tuner while the other goes to your TV/cable box. The SB Tuner also has cable passthrough so you can connect your cable to the SB Tuner and then connect another from your Tuner to your TV/cable box.

Setup is ridiculously easy. Assuming you’re using a home DSL/Cable router – just make sure you have DHCP turned on (it usually is by default), plug the SB Tuner into your router and then connect the power. If you don’t have an ethernet jack there’s an available SlingLink ethernet over power (not power or ethernet) adapter so you can have your router in one room and the SB in another.

Next pop in the setup CD (or download the Player from www.slingmedia.com) and run the install. The SlingPlayer software can automatically find your SB. If you want to watch your TV outside of your home network, the SB supports uPNP. If you want to configure your router yourself, there are step by step instructions on how to setup port forwarding.

Next the software will ask you how the Tuner is connected to your cable and then it will scan to see what channels you can receive. Remember the Tuner is for analog channels only so if you subscribe to digital or HDTV cable services you won’t be able to see those digital/HDTV channels.

The player software is pretty well thought out. You can change channels by pressing + or -. You can dock the player to the left or right side of the screen plus there’s a full screen mode. There are channel shortcuts you can create along the bottom. Their interface is also skinnable.

You can adjust the video quality and manually specify how much bandwidth the player consumes.

The SB now encodes video at 640×480 (as opposed to 640×240 with the original) plus the bit rate can go as high as 8mbps (previously it was 2mbps). Image quality is amazing; if you’re at home and have a fast enough network you don’t lose anything quality wise over using your TV – Incredible! See a screen shot comparison here.

Notice the extra resolution in the guy’s mustache and the edges of his suit. Take a step back and notice that the picture from the original Slingbox is slightly foggy. The colour on the Tuner seems a little more intense also (both players have the colour settings at default).

Of course, the image quality is dependant on how good your analog cable looks. If you live in an old house with RG59 cabling everywhere and are splitting your cable with 10 other TVs, chances are your quality isn’t going to be good. If that’s the case consider getting a digital box and hook up a SB AV to it instead. Digital cable has error correction which should result in better image quality.

When connected to your local network channel, changes take about a second so it can be pretty tedious if you’re channel surfing.

When you’re viewing your SB from outside your network on a computer, the quality really depends on how fast your ISP at home is. If you can keep the bit rate over 300kb/s, the quality will be watchable though some scenes with lots of fast movement will be blocky. 600kb/s and you’re doing pretty good.

So you’re probably wondering what happens when you’re connection quality drops. If your bit rate drops, the SB will dynamically throttle the bit rate so that the video quality gets worse – that way you can still hear what’s going on. If the connection is really bad then the video may skip. I’ve noticed the SB will sometimes speed up playback slightly so that it can catch up. You never get buffering messages (because it skips instead).

If you only have a limited amount of data transfer, you can tell the SB the maximum bit rate.

For the mobile device portion of my review, I tested the Tuner with my HTC TyTN. Does the new 640×480 resolution translate to better quality on mobile devices? Not really. When I was testing the SlingPlayer, the resolution was usually 220×176 which doesnt require that much bandwidth. As long as you got around 300kbs, the video looked okay enough though you’ll have trouble reading small text. You can manually choose bit rates of up to 600kb’s so my guess is the maximum support bitrate is that.

Like I said, quality is pretty good but the controls can be quite sluggish. It can take a few seconds if you’re switching between full screen and regular mode.

Remember that SlingPlayer Mobile is not included with the Tuner so after a 30 day trial period you’ll have to fork out 35 bucks Canadian (30 USD) for it. When you buy it, you’ll get a key that will activate your copy. So if you change devices often this might drive you crazy.

If you’re someone who uses their SB a lot at home and has a fast network with a strong, good cable signal, the Sling Tuner is a great upgrade. However, if you’re someone who uses the SB mostly with their Pocket PC/Smartphone, you won’t notice much of a difference.

If you don’t own a SB already, the Tuner is the least expensive SB you can buy. That said you’re probably better off getting a digital cable box or satellite and using it with a SB AV since analog TV days are numbered.

Pros:

  • Great picture quality
  • Very easy to setup and use

Cons:

  • For analog cable only
  • Player for mobile devices costs extra

See the gallery here
Written by Howard Chui 04.16.2007
This article may not be reproduced without the the author’s permission.

1 comment April 16th, 2007

T-Mobile launches Sidekick iD by Danger

T-Mobile Sidekick iD 

T-Mobile and Sidekick designer, Danger Inc. have announced a new low end model of the highly popular Sidekick handset. Sidekick iD features the classic Sidekick swivel display design, full QWERTY keyboard however lacks Bluetooth and camera like the Sidekick 3.

“The T-Mobile Sidekick iD is designed for virtually anytime, anywhere communication through voice calling and a robust variety of options for messaging-based communication. The signature swivel screen is designed to be a large, color window into one’s own personal life. The screen moves to reveal the full QWERTY keyboard providing the luxury of staying connected through the always-on access to e-mail, instant messaging (AIM®, Yahoo!® and Windows Live Messenger), and text messaging.”

You can pick up the Sidekick iD at your local T-Mobile store for only $99 with contract starting April 25th.

Source: T-Mobile

6 comments April 13th, 2007

Press shots of BlackBerry 8830 for Verizon

BlackBerry 8830 Cyclone

HowardForums member, TheStone41 has posted press shots of the long awaited BlackBerry 8830 also known as “Cyclone”. The BlackBerry 8830 is said to be a CDMA world device offering GSM for roaming overseas with EDGE. The 8830 should appear on Verizon Wireless hopefully within the next few months. Other than that no other information has become available as of yet. We expect RIM to make a announcement real soon…

Discuss and check out the other shots at HowardForums

2 comments April 5th, 2007

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