Thoughts on S60

reflections on the most popular mobile operating system worldwide

Archive for the ‘OmniaHD’ Category

Transitioning from Symbian to Android, and Goodbye…for now.

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My apologies for those who have kept up with my site while I haven’t over the past year. A lot has changed for me since I last updated this site. I moved to Chicago following a job offer to work at US Cellular as a retail wireless consultant in late 2009, I sold my I8910 and bought a Nexus One from Google, and I’ve been keeping myself really busy with work and my new life in the city. Because of this, my interest in writing anything about Symbian declined to absolute zero. That said, I find it only fair to detail what the experience has been like transitioning from a hardcore Symbian fan to an avid Android user and to give this site a proper farewell. So without further ado, here is why I left Symbian, and why I will most likely never buy another Symbian device again.

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Written by Jonathan

October 17, 2010 at 8:00 am

Just so we’re clear…

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YES, it works on AT&T 3G in the US. Read this.

Written by Jonathan

August 31, 2009 at 2:45 pm

Getting the most out of your i8910HD: Manufacturer Codes

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*#0228#

As I mentioned in my review of the Samsung i8910HD, there are several manufacturer codes that can be used to tweak performance of all sorts of different features. While the phone is very capable out of the box, it’s a real advantage to be able to access these hidden settings to tune your device exactly to your liking. In this brief, I’ll go some of the major tweaks, how to perform the tweaks yourself, and how to not damage your phone in the process.

This list is my compilation of information found on the Samsung i8910 Omnia forums and all credit goes to Briggs and the members. If you’d like to read about more device codes to experiment with,  please feel free to give them a visit and say thanks if you do.

Before you attempt any of the codes found in this guide, I want to warn that it is not clear what implications this may have on your warranty. While this guide is safe to make minor improvements to the i8910HD, I take no liability for any damage you do to your phone if you experiment outside the parameters of this guide, nor if your warranty becomes void from performing any of these changes. You are making alterations to your device at your own risk. It is also recommended you write down the previous values for any settings you change in the event you want to change them back to default.

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Samsung i8910HD Review: THE device of 2009?

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The road to getting myself settled with a Samsung i8910HD has certainly been a long one. After going through 2 defective 8gb i8910HD’s and getting a 16gb that works properly, about a dozen headaches trying to get the firmware software installed and running properly on my PC, and going through almost all of the different available firmwares for the phone, I’ve finally gotten myself comfortable enough to write a proper review. Hopefully I’ll be able to highlight some features of the i8910HD that haven’t been featured in any of the other reviews that have already been published and shed some light on how the i8910HD performs for those who can’t handle one themselves so easily.

I purchased two defective 8gb i8910HD’s from CellsWholesale (pending a full refund) and I purchased the 16gb i8910HD used in this review from Mobile City Online for $725 total ($699+25 overnight shipping, now backordered).

Thanks to all who attended the live Q+A on Qik! If you missed it (and have a couple hours to kill), you can watch the full video here.

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There is NO 1GHz i8910HD, Updated

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Update: If some research and a dab of common sense weren’t enough, Samsung India has taken down the 1GHz line from the product description and replaced it with the proper specifications listed below.

Recently, a lot of mobile blogs and forums have worked themselves into a tizzy over Samsung India posting the specs of the 16gb i8910HD with an added line that reads “1GHz CPU Powering Innovative 3D UI” and jumping to the conclusion that Samsung put in a newer, faster processor for this release. For those that bothered to look into the actual CPU hardware used in the Samsung i8910HD, you might have noticed this line:

OMAP3430 – 600 MHz ARM Cortex A8 + PowerVR SGX 530 GPU + 430MHz C64x+ DSP + ISP (Image Signal Processor)

Paying attention to the bolded numbers, neither of them come close to 1GHz. It’s only when you add the clockspeeds of the main CPU and the DSP that you get 1030MHz, or 1GHz. That’s all well and good, but NO other mobile CPU is clocked in the same manner. If they were, then that means the N97 is running at 694MHz, the N95 is clocked at 552MHz, and the Palm Pre is clocked over 1GHz.

It also means that EVERY i8910HD on the market has a 1GHz CPU as well.

TechRadar’s post regarding the same topic digs a bit deeper and reminds of Samsung’s previous history with errors on their own website. I’m reminded of Nokia copying and pasting information from the Euro device specifications onto the NAM device pages without bothering to change even the frequencies.

Still don’t believe me? Consider the contrary. Pretending Samsung DID change the processor  it would be a production miracle if Samsung was able to…

A-1. place an order for X,000 (or more) new Qualcomm chipsets (including all of the licensing and purchasing details from TI), OR
A-2. rush their own 1GHz Hummingbird CPU into production a few weeks after it was announced,
B. re-write the drivers necessary for the hardware and operating system to work properly with the new chipset,
C. re-manufacture the next batch of i8910HD’s with this new chipset, and
D. do it all within the 2-3 months the original has been available.

There is NO 1GHz i8910HD. Or, if you like, ALL i8910HD’s are 1GHz. You decide. Either way,

it’s the same device.

Written by Jonathan

August 16, 2009 at 4:19 pm

AT&T 3G and YOU!

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There seems to be a lot of confusion recently regarding a “NAM i8910” which includes the UMTS 850 and 1900 frequencies used by AT&T and the frequencies supported by the current i8910. Please read ahead and allow me to clear up this confusion.

1. There is no “NAM i8910” and there probably never will be.

The current Samsung i8910 supports quadband GSM (voice and EDGE data) and triband 900/1900/2100 UMTS (for 3G voice and HSDPA data). Samsung has not made any mention of plans to release a second i8910 with the 850 UMTS frequency for use on AT&T’s 3G network.

2. This may not matter, depending on where you are.

AT&T currently uses both UMTS 850 and 1900 frequencies to make up its 3G network in the US. Fortunately, the 1900 UMTS frequency is used primarily in their current infrastructure for most of their 3G coverage. That means depending on where you are, you may be able to access AT&T’s 3G network with only the UMTS 1900 frequency in the i8910 just as you would a phone that supports both frequencies. Aside from AT&T’s 3G data, the i8910 will work on ANY GSM network for voice and EDGE data due to the quadband GSM frequencies.

(Note: All further improvements to AT&T’s network is being done by adding UMTS 850 towers. If you don’t currently have 3G coverage in your area, and AT&T drops a notice on your door that they’re expanding their coverage, your brand new i8910 probably won’t be able to access the 3G data from the towers they just added.)

3. How do I find out what frequency is being used in my area?

Aside from the dozens of platforms and applications that can be used to find out which UMTS tower your phone is connected to, the easiest way is to give AT&T a call. If you can get connected to a technician who knows what he/she’s doing, they should be able to identify which frequency your phone is using in your area.

As a disclaimer, I do not take any responsibility if you buy an i8910 and it does not access AT&T’s 3G network, so please do not email me with complaints if this happens. The point to this post is that given the state of AT&T’s 3G network, there is a very good chance that the UMTS 1900 frequency will work just as well with the i8910 in its current state without a NAM version necessary. I can tell you from my own personal experience that both the Atlanta and Chicago metropolitan areas are heavily covered by UMTS 1900. Anywhere else will be up to you to find out.

Please drop a comment or an email if you have any further questions. Inspiration for the title of this post.

Written by Jonathan

May 25, 2009 at 1:31 am

Quantity VS Quality: Looking at mobile device storage

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Aside from the megapixel race in mobile cameras, it seems we’ve seen a constant increase in demand for higher storage capacities as well. Although not the first mobile device to implement it, it seemed to start with the fixed 4 and 8gb iPhones in 2007, combatted by the N95 8gb, with the iPhone 3G in 8gb and 16gb variants fighting it out with the N96 the following year with 16gb+microSD slot (despite the N96 failing in several areas). It seems that this year is going to be no different with rumors flying that the next-gen iPhone is going to come in 16 and 32gb flavors to compete against the 32gb+microSD slotted N97. While I agree that more is almost certainly always going to be better in this regard, I believe there are conditions to be met to ensure that people are getting the most out of such an immense amount of storage.

Keep reading to understand what I’m talking about.

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Written by Jonathan

May 22, 2009 at 10:16 pm