I was quite happy to upgrade my Nokia N95-3 with the firmware update that made my device a much better performer. A couple of days before I was able to upgrade my N95-3, I was sent a Nokia N82 to evaluate through the Nseries Blogger Relations program. After opening up the package and seeing that it was not a U.S. model with support for our 3G networks, I was actually about ready to send it back so someone else could evaluate it. I then chatted with Jonathan Greene and he told me to take another look at it and pay attention to the auto-rotation, flush screen, and tweaks to the OS in comparison to the N95. I took his advice and decided to pop in my T-Mobile SIM and give it an honest try. It is now almost three weeks later and my T-Mobile SIM has barely left the N82. Check out my image gallery and thoughts to see why this device is a compelling S60 multimedia computer.
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Last year Microsoft ran a promotion with a Halo special edition Zune device and now we have the Gears of War 2 special edition Zune. This is the latest generation 120GB Zune and is priced US$30 over a standard black Zune 120 at US$279.99. For this extra premium you get a Zune that has the Crimsenn Omen etched on the back and lots of content on the device itself.
I had a nice chat with Ross Lamont from Nokia this morning regarding the Nokia Legends campaign (my interview should be in the next MobileTechRoundup podcast) and he mentioned that their Mobile Millenium project talked about on the Nokia Telegraph "virtual paper" was moving forward with a larger scale testing program. Nokia issued a press release announcing the launch of the pilot program that will collect and study traffic data received from GPS-enable mobile phones, particularly the N95, E71, and N96. Nokia Research Center is working with UC Berkeley and NAVTEQ on this project.
I posted the news about the new Zune 3.0 software the other day, but if you want to learn all the details of the new Zune hardware, accessories, and Zune 3.0 update coming to you next week then check out Jason Dunn's detailed 6-page writeup on his recent visit to Zune HQ in Redmond.
According to several reports in online forums Zune 30 devices (these are the original Zune models) started freezing up all at the same time last night. I have a black Zune 30, but it is in the drawer and I wouldn't know if it froze up or not. It is still very early in Redmond so there is no official word from Microsoft on the cause and what the remedy is for this issue.
I upgraded one of my Zunes to the latest 3.0 software and was very pleased to read the latest news that manual sync capability is now a part of the Zune desktop software. In the past I had issues connecting my Zune to my home and work PC and losing content. You can now manually control your content and if you connect your Zune to a PC with limited hard disk space this could actually be quite beneficial. You may now delete large movie files from your PC after getting it onto the Zune and then delete it from the PC drive while it remains on the Zune.
Nokia must have peeked in my desk drawer recently as they recently issued a press release stating that only 3% of the people recycle their mobile phones and have lots lying around at home they no longer use. They kicked off a recycle program to help reduce the number of phones ending up in landfills and I hope you participate. The Nokia Chat application is also available from beta labs to try out with your device. I also have some further thoughts on using the Nokia E71, which I find to be a fantastic device.
Mobile World Congress is kicking off on 15 February and with the start date getting closer and closer the rumors of announcements is starting to kick into high gear. Rachel wrote last week that it looks like Windows Mobile 7 may be shown off and announced at MWC. Microsoft still hasn't issued any public announcement that there is such a thing as Windows Mobile/Phone 7, but Steve Ballmer, other Microsoft officials, and partner representatives have all said it will be coming at the end of 2010 so there is no doubt it is real and being worked on. There have been lots of rumors floating around about what the OS contains and this latest post over on PPCGeeks has a long list of possible features and I have to say that some are a bit disturbing to me.
As I stated in my Nokia N900 review the Nokia N900 has the best web browser of any mobile phone. This statement was made about the default web browser and now we have a final version of an alternative web browser that works amazingly well. Firefox for Mobile version 1.0 is now available for the Nokia N900 and if you have a N900 I highly recommend you download and install it now. It is a free web browser with the very compelling Weave Sync support to keep your Firefox experience synced across multiple computers.
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.