Today, RIM announced and confirmed all the rumors regarding the BlackBerry Tour device that will be coming to North American CDMA carriers this summer. CrackBerry.com has a full hands-on review that gives you all the details on this latest messaging device from RIM. Verizon Wireless has their BlackBerry Tour site up and running.
Smartphones and Cell Phones
It seems everyone in business has a smartphone today to keep connected to the office and enjoy their time away from the office. Matthew Miller provides you with news, commentary and in-depth reviews of the latest in mobile phones sporting iOS, Android, Wi
Matthew Miller started using a Pilot 1000 in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since.
I ended my Clash of the Touch Titans series at the end of April and may be looking at forward facing QWERTY phones soon. However, there is another form factor that is popular with Windows Mobile that Nokia just added and that is the slider QWERTY device. HTC is rolling out the Touch Pro2 while the Nokia N97 is being launched worldwide as well. I currently have both of these devices in hand and wanted to offer up some thoughts on how they compare since they have so many similarities. Check out the image gallery for some comparisons and the videos of each device that go along with my thoughts below.
The Nokia E71 (see my review) is one of my all time favorite Nokia devices and is a work powerhouse. There are a few issues that I compromise on and with the announcement of the Nokia E72 it looks like Nokia has fixed each of these issues. The major improvements in the E72 over the E71 are a 5 megapixel camera, use of a standard 3.5mm headset jack vs. a 2.5mm headset jack, excellent Nokia Messaging application (like the one found on the E75), digital compass, and other improvements. It should be available in the 3rd quarter of 2009 for an estimated retail price of $488.
One limitation on the iPhone that has always kept another device in my gear bag ready to go is the lack of ability to create or edit Microsoft Office Word documents. Just over a month ago, Quickoffice launched their Office-compatible product and I bought it right away. It is a solid product, but has a couple of annoying issues (lack of iPhone predictive keyboard support, awkward connection method, etc.) that had me hoping for something more. DataViz did just that for Word documents and launched the outstanding Documents To Go product for the iPhone. They set the bar with this product as it gives you just about everything you need for mobile Word document creation, editing, and viewing. They also took it a bit further and have a product (Documents To Go with Exchange Attachments) that lets you download, edit, view, and resend Word documents from within the application. An Excel spreadsheet product is under development and will be provided for FREE to all customers who buy the Documents To Go product. I was also blown away by the low introductory price of $4.99 and $9.99 (for product with Exchange attachments support), given that I have paid $50 in the past for the Documents To Go product on Palm and BlackBerry devices. I also just recently paid $20 for the Google Android Documents To Go product and it is easy to see that the iPhone pricing model definitely impacts prices that developers can set for products. Check out over 80 product screenshots in my image gallery to see if the product meets your needs.
I am working on an article for this blog to go live on Monday that compares the two latest/upcoming devices from the grandfathers of the mobile world; the Nokia N97 and HTC Touch Pro2. In the meantime, you can check out some of my first thoughts after a day with the Nokia N97. I have to say that so far I am finding the Nokia E71x to be a more useful device for me and am not really loving the home screen widgets or QWERTY keyboard of the N97. The N97 arrived at a good time though as I enter my second week with the Palm Pre with the iPhone 3G S launch just around the corner. I can tell you right now that in all likelihood at least one of these devices will be returned because of either the device functionality or carrier coverage.
Palm is where I started with mobile devices back in 1997 and they have had their ups and downs over the years with me serving as a fan and as a hater during different phases of the company. I read Jonathan Feldman's article on being an ex-Palm user and have to also wonder how much of the excitement around the Palm Pre is due to our desire to see a company like Palm succeed and stay competitive in today's mobile space. As I wrote up earlier, the Palm Pre is a good start with many great aspects, but it is a year or so behind the Apple iPhone and several months behind the Android platform. We all seem to remember the good things in our past and try to put the bad things behind us, but we shouldn't be too quick to forget all those rocky times we had with our old Palm devices either.
It turns out James, Kevin, and I all purchased Palm Pre devices and spent most all of MobileTechRoundup show #174 talking about our purchase experiences, Sprint experiences, and thoughts on the Palm Pre device itself. We did end the show with a few quick thoughts on the iPhone 3G S announcement as well. Let's see if any of us end up in line for the iPhone like we did for the Pre :)
My very first Bluetooth GPS receiver came from Pharos and that baby performed like no other I have seen since then. I could throw the little "hockey puck" GPS receiver in the back seat and it would still get a solid strong signal served up to my laptops and PDAs. Pharos has been making a line of Pocket PC and now Windows Mobile devices with a GPS focus for a few years and I have tried a couple of them without being that impressed. I was just sent their latest device, the Pharos Traveler 137, to check out for a bit and was very interested in it because it is the first Windows Mobile-based device that supports T-Mobile's unique 1700 MHz 3.5G data network. After spending a few days with the device, I think it is one of the best Pharos models made and may be compelling for T-Mobile customers looking for a WM device.
I was all excited to discover Evernote for the Palm Pre last night and immediately downloaded it and installed it on my Pre. After spending a bit of time with it though, it needs some work to make it more functional for me. You can create text notes and have them synced to your account, but most of the other functionality is still under development and not that refined.
Tomorrow morning will mark the end of my first week with the Palm Pre after waiting in line in Hawaii for a few hours to ensure I could pick one up. Like the T-Mobile G1 that I bought on launch day last Fall, the Palm Pre runs a new Linux-based OS and both mobile operating systems have been surprisingly quite functional and stable. There are several things I love about the Pre and a few I do not like so let's take a look at the device and Sprint service after my first week of usage where I will also offer up some thoughts on how and/or what could be improved with updates or future devices. You can check out my image gallery and video below for some visuals of the Palm Pre as well.