Thoughts on S60

reflections on the most popular mobile operating system worldwide

Posts Tagged ‘iPhone

Samsung i8910HD Review: THE device of 2009?

with 23 comments

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Why isn’t Nokia marketing video recording?

with 10 comments

The day after I landed from the N97 24/7 Tour, I had a commitment to a friend to join him at Mayhem Fest, an outdoor concert with several stages of some very heavy bands (only a couple of which I was remotely interested in). Still rocking the N97 (and a spare battery), I took a few pictures and videos of some things I wanted to remember. One thing I quickly noticed was everybody holding up their Blackberry, iPhone, or even a basic flip phone to capture pictures and video the same way I was.

Trivium and the crowd, taken with the N97.

This really got me rethinking the quality of the entire Nseries line (post-N95) and it dawned on me that this would be an excellent opportunity for Nokia to make an impact in the US market. There are very few devices that can record video (with excellent audio as well) and take pictures as nicely as the Nseries devices do, and I can’t imagine those people trying to use those alternative devices are happy reviewing the media they captured when they get home. Those devices certainly don’t capture anything you’d want to effectively share with friends or upload to a sharing website.

I would guess that over 99% of the people there had a phone of some kind and Lakewood Amphitheatre’s capacity is just under 20,000. Something as simple as a commercial showcasing the high-end video recording capabilities would go a long way. I imagine a narrator talking over a guy recording a video of his favorite band at a concert, cut to him getting home to watch the video and being disappointed at how pixelated and choppy it came out. A quick pitch of x device or the Nseries while he records that band again, an after shot of him looking much happier at his desktop, reviewing and uploading a much better quality video, and you’ve got a winning commercial.

Taking it one step further, why not setup small experience centers AT the venues so people could watch that commercial and play with the devices first hand, right next to one of the stages, and see exactly how nice the video comes out? The center could have a flat-screen with an Nseries connected to it via a TV-out cable playing clips people have recorded or a slideshow of pictures captured of the various bands. After everyone gets blown away by all that, a rep could give a demo of Share Online and show them that they don’t even need to get back to their computer to share their content on their favorite sharing site. There are tons of opportunities and it would connect to people who like all different styles of music.

Hit the break for some a quick sample of video I took at the concert, just to give you an example.

Read the rest of this entry »

AT&T 3G and YOU!

with 7 comments

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

leave a comment »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan

May 22, 2009 at 10:16 pm

The Trouble With Resistive

with one comment

I came across this picture the other day and was amazed at how well it visually captured everything I hate about resistive touch screens (the phone is the HTC Touch Diamond 2).

Notice the “waves” of the top layer of plastic that’s going to make contact with the user’s stylus and fingers. Having used several touch screens with this type of screen recently, the one thing I’ve noticed is that this top thin layer is anything but durable. Those “waves” will shift as you use the screen over time and even with normal usage or a screen protector applied, tiny skids and lines will start to appear over the surface. And you can absolutely forget about putting this phone in your pocket with keys. I’m not one to do such a thing (usually my phone has its own dedicated pocket), but I know there are people who do.

Comparing that experience to the durability of a capacitive screen with tempered glass is part of the reason I’m so geared up on using the i8910. I never found too much difficulty in normal usage or in clarity as I’ve heard other people complain about on phones like the 5800XM. My biggest gripe was how the screen felt like it was simply going to fall apart if I kept the phone any longer and seeing how quickly it developed a noticeable amount of wear after very little abuse. What I don’t understand is why this type of screen is still being used when thicker plastic layers have been used over resistive screens on other devices and have held up much better.

Check out these videos to see how much tempered glass makes a difference.

Written by Jonathan

May 15, 2009 at 3:16 pm

If you really want to gauge the US cell phone market…

leave a comment »

Take a look at the Cell Phones & Plans sections on Yahoo! Answers.


When you take a look at the wide variety of questions that a ton of different people ask about their mobiles and their plans every few seconds, it really kida puts things into perspective. That’s not to make fun of anyone in the US. I’m just trying to show that there are a lot more people in the US who have absolutely NO idea what’s out there or even how to use the free phone they just picked up from AT&T. Hell, a lot of them don’t even know how to find the information they’re looking for (other than to ask it on Yahoo! Answers). It makes me wonder how many people out there without computers are struggling as much or harder.

How are companies going to reach these people? And not just the big name hardware manufacturers, what about all of the software developers both big and small who have a killer application for their phone that’s either free or well worth the money? It makes me feel like Apple has made some very huge accomplishments in reaching out to those people, and they haven’t even begun to scratch the surface.

I don’t care what you think of the iPhone; these companies need to take a page out of Apple’s books.

Written by Jonathan

May 8, 2009 at 6:18 pm

Nokia N97; Multimedia Computer…from 2007.

with 4 comments

Since my last post about how much more interested I am in the Samsung i8910 instead of the N97, I have given both devices a lot of thought to try to come to a fair decision. Since my day typically consists of significantly more messaging than anything else, a hardware keyboard started to look pretty appealing to me. Then the rest of its lesser features when compared to the i8910 started making me thing that maybe they would be “enough” for my normal usage. That was until this was published on Forum Nokia regarding the hardware in the N97:

If it wasn’t bad enough that Nokia is using the same 5mp camera sensor that they’ve been using since the original N95, they also used the same processor used on most Nokia devices since the N95 from 2007! If you think I’m making it up, please take a look at the processor specs of the original N95. Not only is it the same processor, but the N95 also supported a dual CPU and a dedicated 3D hardware acceleration (making it excellent for gaming).

Meanwhile, everybody else has stepped up to processors that can at least support up to 600mhz (if not more) for their future devices, if they’re not using them already. Among them happens to be the Samsung OmniaHD which not only features the Cortex A8 process (capable of up to 800mhz), but also uses the PowerVR SGX GPU for graphics acceleration. You might reconize the Cortex A8, as it’s the same one that Palm is using in their hotly anticipated Pre due out from Sprint within the next couple months. If you’d like to see the nitty gritty on the difference between these two processors, do a search for “Pre” and “N97” on this Wikipedia page.

I know some of you may be thinking that a faster processor means significantly less battery life, which turns out to be very ironic. The Cortex A8 also features dynamic power management, meaning it can adjust its power consumption based on the CPU load in real time to significantly save battery life. The entire ARM11 architechture doesn’t support anything like this.

This has pretty much put the final nail in the coffin for me. I meant it when I said I’d like to keep my next device for at least a year if I can, and I just don’t think using old tech with a higher clock speed is going to be able to cut it for a long-term device, especially when the competition has so many other features under the hood as well.

What do you think? Will you still buy an N97 knowing it’s using an older processor than most of the new devices due out this year?

Written by Jonathan

May 1, 2009 at 10:46 pm