I find my look back at 2007 post to be a good resource/index for my reviews and enjoyed checking out the poll results from you all. Thus, I am posting the same type of article for 2008. This Smartphones and Cell Phones blog just kicked off in September so many of the reviews listed below were posted on my Mobile Gadgeteer blog. More software reviews were added this year and I decided to list some of my favorite applications that I reviewed here too in this 2008 wrap-up. Some "award" titles were again assigned and then I am ending with a list of devices I look forward to checking out in 2009.
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.
After seeing my buddy Rafe's OLED display on the new Samsung I7710 S60 device I pulled the trigger on a new Nokia N85 when the North American versions became available last week. I found a decent deal at Newegg and trust them so I placed my order and to my delight it arrived on Tuesday, the 23rd. One of the first things I loaded up was the Nokia Email client, but unfortunately I kept getting an "Unable to connect with information provided." error and tried to connect for the last few days without any success.
As we approach CES and Macworld Expo in January, the rumors of what we may see announced start to fly around. A couple weeks ago, Jason posted about the rumor of the iPhone nano. Today, Gear Live posted some more indications that the iPhone nano may be an actual device thanks to a case maker. XSKN revealed the iPhone 3G last year and it looks like they may have jumped the gun on the iPhone nano as well. You can actually order one of these cases (there are several color variations) for US$24.95.
With news being slow as we wrap up 2008 and head into 2009 with some possible big news coming from CES I thought you may be interested in hearing about the top posts of 2008. Looking at both pageviews and comments, it was interesting to see that the T-Mobile G1 was in 5 of the top 10 posts. BlackBerry news was popular in the top posts too with only one iPhone post making it in the top 10. I was pleased to see that my Nokia E71 review was number 3 in pageviews since I think this is a fantastic device priced reasonably low for an unlocked phone.
It is tough not to compare the Apple iPhone with the BlackBerry Storm, but one distinguishing functionality that is available and made even better today is voice-guided GPS navigation on the Storm. TeleNav just announced that TeleNav GPS Navigator is now available for the BlackBerry Storm. With the large 3.25 inch 480x360 pixel resolution display the Storm could easily serve as an in-car navigation device.
A couple of functions I enjoy on my Apple iPhone is interacting with my friends on social networks and via instant messaging. I have been using several different applications for these interactions and with the inability of the iPhone to multi-task using 3rd party applications this is not a great experience. Over the past week, I have been using the new Pinger Phone application that brings in my Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace social network friends and Yahoo!, AIM, Windows Live, and Google Talk IM contacts for a full and complete solution in a single package. There is also a server back end so that text messages can be used to notify you of new IM replies when Pinger Phone is not running.
I like using Pandora on my Apple iPhone and read this week that there is now support for a couple selected Windows Mobile devices. Unfortunately, I don't have either of these two selected devices (HTC Touch and Motorola Q9C on Sprint and Verizon) so need to look elsewhere for online music. There is a beta of last.fm mobile for Windows Mobile devices that seems to work fine. A new client that is optimized for Windows Mobile to give you a great experience is SeeqPod Playable Search that is available for an introductory price of US$9.95 (regular US$14.95). However, if you are reading this blog entry on Sunday, 21 December 2008, then you can go there now and get the application for FREE.
This year we created the ZDNet Holiday Guide and while putting together the best feature phone guide I was particularly intrigued by the Motorola MOTOZINE ZN5 and Samsung Behold from T-Mobile. My contacts at T-Mobile promptly sent them both to me for a couple of weeks and I have had trouble putting one of them back in the box. The lines between features phones and smartphones are definitely getting blurred with phones like these becoming available at some great prices. Read about my thoughts and experiences with both of these devices below and check out my image gallery that has product photos for each device.
When I purchased my T-Mobile G1 a couple of months ago an $18 upgrade fee was applied. This same fee was applied when I bought an HTC Fuze from AT&T just last month too. I've never seen a way to get out of paying this fee and this fee made absolutely no sense to me and is just a way for the carrier to stick you with more unnecessary fees. I was pleased to receive an email this morning that T-Mobile is eliminating this $18 upgrade fee across-the-board and across all channels (retail, online, etc.).
I wrote about the Nokia Email client a few months ago and then last month at Nokia World they announced an updated version was coming. I just read on the Nokia Beta Labs blog that this updated Nokia Messaging version is now available to try out in beta form. There are a ton of improvements in this latest update, many directly addressing the concerns I had with things such as subfolders/labels in Gmail, syncing sent mail to your sent folder online, and faster performance.