I took a look at a Samsung Windows Mobile phone at Mobile World Congress earlier this year that was labeled the SGH-i780 and since then there has been a lot of speculation that the device would eventually come to the US. Yesterday, Samsung and AT&T announced the availability of a variant of this device, now dubbed the Samsung Epix. While most all of the specifications of these high end Windows Mobile devices are the same now, the Epix is unique due to its small touch sensitive pad (also seen on the Samsung OMNIA) instead of a more standard directional pad.
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.
While I am enjoying the Google Android experience, I have to say I do miss the one-handedness and long battery life of my BlackBerry Curve. The Gmail application on the G1 is one of its main strengths, but Google just released Gmail for mobile 2.0 that adds a couple of those same great Android features (basic offline support and multiple drafts). Gmail for mobile 2.0 is available J2ME and BlackBerry devices, but I imagine Windows Mobile will be following shortly.
The day before I received my black G1 (DO NOT BUY the brown one because you won't be able to see the keyboard in most lighting conditions) Google took the Android Market offline for maintenance to make sure things were up and running for the full retail launch. Applications then slowly started trickling back onto the Android Market and now there are 47 applications and 15 games currently available to download and install for free. All the ones I wrote about using on my evaluation device are back up after the Video Player finally appeared overnight. You can also load up applications found online and I think we will soon see these on the Android Market too. I also discovered a few new applications that have now become part of my daily usage and have some favorites already.
The BlackBerry Bold is available now in select countries, but there have been a few delays getting it out in the U.S. It looks like that is no longer the case as AT&T just announced that the Bold will be available on Tuesday, 4 November, for as low as US$299.99 (with qualifying plan and contract).
I recently posted some of my experiences with 11 applications I installed from the Android Market on my evaluation T-Mobile G1 and was pleased with most all of those selected applications. I just received my own purchased black G1 today, do not buy the brown one or you won't be able to see the keyboard in most lighting conditions, and understand that the Android Market was reset for launch. Applications are appearing over time, but I was quite disappointed to find that key applications I enjoyed using were not there yet. These include the video player, PacMan, Android Says, and QuickList.
Apple made the on device application store popular with the iPhone App Store and we have the Android Market available today with the T-Mobile G1. Nokia has had a Download section on their devices, but it is unrefined and offers different device-specific downloads with a very poor user interface. The BlackBerry Developer Conference is going on this week and the latest press release states that RIM will be launching the application storefront in March 2009 for on-device and on the web locations for managing your 3rd party applications. You can sign up to learn more about the BlackBerry Application StoreFront today.
I was checking out jkOnTheRun this morning and read their post on new HP Windows Mobile phones that lead to the details on the wmpoweruser.com site. Sam wrote last month that HP was jumping deeper into the smartphone market after a couple years trying to sell their iPAQ line that largely focused on the enterprise buyer. These two new devices, the iPAQ Voice Messenger and Data Messenger, actually look quite modern and may appeal to consumers as well.
While I like the fact that T-Mobile let us existing customers pre-order the T-Mobile G1 the day it was announced last month, the benefit of pre-ordering seems to have lost that huge advantage I was thinking we were gaining. If you were in the first batch of pre-orders then you should be getting your device today or Wednesday, with some reports that people started receiving them yesterday. The latest news from T-Mobile is that you will be able to pick up a G1, supplies are limited, at the San Francisco store at 3rd and Market starting at 6pm Pacific Time tonight, Tuesday, 21 October. Then on the 22nd of October T-Mobile will supposedly have stock of the G1 at retail stores within the 3G coverage zones. If you were thinking about ordering online today you may just want to head down to the store to pick up the device in person instead of waiting until some time in early November.
Nokia continues to improve their Nokia Email service and has taken it from Beta 2 to Beta 3 status with support for up to 6 email accounts and support for more devices. Nokia also continues to add functionality to their devices and Mac computers with the latest release in their Beta Labs of the Nokia Map Loader for Mac software.
I already upgraded my Sunset BlackBerry Curve to firmware 4.5 using an official RIM update for another country, but TmoNews just posted that the official T-Mobile USA 4.5 update is now available for the BlackBerry Curve 8320. This is the Curve with UMA support so if you don't have one of these then I don't recommend risking the update. You can visit the T-Mobile BlackBerry update page to get the software and update your device.