One of the most anticipated new devices in the Windows Mobile market, the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 now appears to be available in Sweden. Daily Mobile has unboxing photos of a production model and I plan to follow their site for more thoughts on the device. I saw a couple of early models of the XPERIA X1, but you could see some early software issues in them so I can't wait to actually see the device in production mode. I am also hoping we see a 1700 MHz model for T-Mobile USA.
Smartphones and Cell Phones
Matthew Miller provides you with news, commentary and in-depth reviews of the latest in mobile phones sporting iOS, Android, and Windows.
Matthew Miller started using mobile devices in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since. He is a co-host, with ZDNet's Kevin Tofel, of the MobileTechRoundup podcast and an author of three Wiley Companion series books. Matthew started using mobile devices with a US Robotics Pilot 1000 and has owned more than 200 different devices running Palm, Linux, Symbian, Newton, BlackBerry, iOS, Android, webOS, Windows Mobile, and Windows Phone operating systems. His current collection includes a Nokia Lumia 830, Apple iPhone 6 Plus, BlackBerry Passport, Sony Xperia Z3, Microsoft Surface Pro 3, and many more, along with tons of accessories and classic devices like the Apple Newton MessagePad 2100 and Sony CLIE UX50. Matthew can be found on various discussion forums under the user name of "palmsolo".
I am working on getting Mobile software Monday reviews up and running here again on my ZDNet blog, but there are so many devices coming in that it is tough to find the time to write about all the great software titles. The Nokia E71 (see my full review) is where my AT&T SIM card can be found sharing time with my Palm Treo Pro and I truly enjoy using this mobile device. I was looking for an easy way to switch between applications rather than having to go back to the standby screen or into the main menu area and a few people recommended I check out Handy TaskMan from Paragon Software Group. While looking for this utility, I discovered the Handy Tools Pack for S60 3rd Edition devices that includes 11 titles in one package for US$129.95 (savings of 49% if you bought them all separately).
The BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220 (aka Kickstart) was announced a short while ago and today I received the press release announcing that T-Mobile customers can now pick up the T-Mobile BlackBerry Pearl Flip in black color for US$149.99 after US$150 instant discount and US$50 mail-in rebate (full price is US$349.99).
As we get closer and closer to the launch of the T-Mobile G1 Google Android device the rumors are heating up. The latest report comes from The Motley Fool (it hasn't been confirmed by anyone else yet) states that T-Mobile has sold out of the first (we all knew that) and second batch of preorders. This equates to 1.5 million G1 devices being called for in preorder sales. That would be quite a feat considering there are still about 10 days before we get our devices in hand.
Fellow Mobile Tech Roundup podcast co-host Kevin Tofel went to the Sprint/XOHM WiMAX launch event in Baltimore this week and wrote up his thoughts. The event was focused mainly on the devices that support the WiMAX network that was launched the week before and as a mobile guy I was most interested in the Nokia N810. The N810 is the only mobile device I have heard of that supports WiMAX, until today when I read about the rumored HTC T8290.
The original Motorola Q was really the Windows Mobile device that started the trend of BlackBerry QWERTY competitors a couple of years ago, but had serious battery life issues. Since then Motorola has continued to improve the device so that today's Motorola Q9 devices are actually quite powerful, functional, and reliable. The one wireless feature they currently lack is WiFi, but they do have 3G radios. Unwired View revealed that the Motorola Q11 is now up on the Motorola site even though no official press release has been issued. This device does have WiFi, but loses the 3G radio so I am not sure it is really a step up from the Q9 devices. Then again, I understand this device is supposed to be priced competitively.
It was no secret that the BlackBerry Storm was coming to Verizon, but now it is official as both Verizon Wireless and Vodafone announced the device with RIM tonight. The BlackBerry Storm is the first touch screen BlackBerry device and one of the first I have ever heard of that has a display with real feedback.
While most of the phones I use now are higher end smartphones, there are also some very compelling feature phones out there that you may want to consider. A few weeks ago, AT&T and Samsung announced the ruggedized Rugby (a837) military-grade handset. My buddy Michael just posted a very entertaining video of the Rugby put under some extreme conditions over at Mobile Burn.
I've been using a Slingbox since they were first launched a few years ago and have used all of the mobile clients to watch my TV content on the road. I still have my Slingbox Classic and use it on my S60 and Windows Mobile devices from time to time. Once I saw that Monsoon Multimedia had a place shifting device that supported a Nokia Internet Tablet I knew I had to give it a try. I was sent a HAVA Platinum HD to try out and have to say I was very pleased with its performance and functionality. I especially like that there are FREE mobile clients for the Nokia Internet Tablet devices, Windows Mobile devices, and S60 devices (currently in beta). I posted product photos and mobile client screenshots in my new image gallery. Read below to find out what other functionality is a part of the HAVA that I haven't seen in my Slingbox.
The Nokia N96 was announced back at Mobile World Congress and I was able to get some hands-on time back then. I was just sent a Nokia N96-1 (European version) to evaluate as part of the Nseries Blogger Relations program and posted several photos in my image gallery and am posting my initial thoughts on the device below. I also shot a video walk around of the device and showed a couple of other functions I tried out so far. Please let me know if you have any questions you want answered in a follow on post after I have had a couple of weeks to use the device.
Back in April I wrote about the availability of fring on the iPhone, but at that time you needed a jailbroken iPhone to use it and the iPhone 3G wasn't yet available. You may recall that fring is a VoIP application that lets you use Skype, MSN, Google Talk, ICQ, Twitter, Yahoo!, and AIM clients to chat and instant message. Well, the good news is that fring is available now for free in the Apple App Store and can be loaded on your iPhone without any jailbreaking required.
I was lucky enough to attend the T-Mobile G1 product announcement in New York a couple of weeks ago and actually pre-ordered my own G1 that day on the train back to the airport for my flight home and it turns out it was a good thing I did. I read reports earlier this week that T-Mobile may have sold out of the G1 and just received confirmation and more details from my T-Mobile representative. T-Mobile did indeed sell out of the original stock even after nearly tripling the number of phones available for initial delivery.
Along with the Nokia 5800 touch screen device announcement, Nokia also announced the launch of the Comes With Music service that was originally announced in December 2007. This service allows you to download, listen to, and keep as many songs as you want (even listening 24/7) over a full year period for free (cost included with device purchase). I imagine this will encourage people to listen to more and even different types of music over the year as well.
I have to admit that I never tried the mid-range Nokia XpressMusic devices before and always considered them as "feature phones for the masses", but with this latest announcement I think I'll have to start checking them out. The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic is Nokia's first touch screen S60 mobile device (as pointed out by a fellow enthusiast they had a touch screen device a while ago) that runs the new S60 5th Edition. The 5800 XpressMusic integrates touch with haptics and more. The touch screen is both finger and stylus friendly so you have different text entry and navigation options.
LG makes some very nice high end mobile phones and is pushing the limits with their new full touchscreen 8 megapixel LG-KC910 (aka Renoir) device that goes on sale in early October in Europe. This is the successor to the LG Viewty and at first glance appears to be quite a device. As we have been talking about lately on Mobile Tech Roundup the lines are now pretty much gone between feature phones and smartphones and devices like this just confirm that.
The best of ZDNet, delivered
- 1 Best 10 smartphones at the close of 2014
- 2 Six Clicks: Useful things you can do with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 S Pen
- 3 Apple Pay vs. Google Wallet: hands-on experiences at McDonald's
- 4 Best unlocked smartphones (February 2014)
- 5 Add storage and battery capacity to your iPhone 5/5s with the new Mophie Space Pack