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All posts tagged "cell phone"

Thursday, May 14, 2009

AT&T Releases the Samsung Jack

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Samsung-based Smartphones" @ 10:07 AM

The new Windows Mobile Standard 6.1 smartphone from Samsung is here...and it looks a heck of a lot like the Motorola Q, doesn't it? That's not a bad thing, mind you, but it's still somewhat surprising to see. Dubbed the Samsung Jack, this phone has the same name as the Blackjack II in Canada. That's right, Samsung decided to give it the name of a previously released product. Maybe they thought no one would notice. I predict they'll do something crazy like call it the Jack II in Canada, further confusing anyone that does a search for this phone. But hey, enough harping about the name - what's it got under the hood?

It's not radically different from the Blackjack II: the Jack has more RAM, 256 MB to be precise, and an unknown amount of storage ROM (I suspect 256 MB as well). Why all the RAM? Because it's going to support Windows Mobile 6.5 when it comes out later this year - Samsung's exact wording from the press release is "The Samsung Jack will also be upgradable to Windows Mobile 6.5." Note that Samsung stopped short of committing to offer a free 6.5 upgrade as HTC has done - so it's anyone's guess as to whether or not Samsung will release an upgrade. We know how often the OEMs change their mind when it comes to upgrades.

Other hardware features include a 3.2 megapixel camera (no mention of a flash), 802.11b/g WiFi, aGPS, 3G GSM, and a microSDHC card slot for expansion. Nothing very exciting hardware-wise, and other than WiFi (which is great!) no fixes to the hardware limitations from the Blackjack II. There's still no 3.5mm headphone jack. It still uses the proprietary Samsung power/sync connector. There's no mention of the screen size or screen resolution, but it looks like it's the same as the Blackjack II.

So if you're a Blackjack II owner, unless you really want WiFi, there's nothing much new here - once Windows Mobile 6.5 is released, presuming Samsung offers an upgrade, this phone might get more interesting. I'm a fan of my Blackjack II - it's a great workhorse - but it sure doesn't have the "wow" factor that the newer touch-screen phones from HTC have. After the break there's a YouTube video from an AT&T employee that shows you what the phone looks like. I've also screen-capped an image that shows that the Jack is shorter, and perhaps a bit thicker than the Blackjack II. Read more...

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  • Source: MobilitySite

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

And the Winner of the Pantech Matrix Pro is...

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Smartphone Events" @ 02:58 PM

Our Pantech Matrix Pro giveaway contest is completed, and the randomly selected winner is arm. Here's what he wrote in response to my question of how the Matrix Pro is better than his current mobile phone:

"I am with At&T and have old Cingular 8125. My contract has expired but I do not want to sign up for new 2yr contract: cutting my expenses ever since i was laid off. My phone is barely breathing and my girlfriend threatened to dump me since she can barely hear me. The phone is really old and I NEED replacement. I need a phone that can have decent call quality, have syncing with my Outlook calendar and contacts, has a keyboard and can play music. That is all I need from a phone, nothing very fancy. This phone is just perfect."

He also wins a $100 AT&T gift card. Thanks to everyone that entered, and thanks to AT&T and Pantech for sponsoring this contest. There are still a bunch of sites giving away this same package, so be sure to enter their contests while you can!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

We're Giving Away a Pantech Matrix Pro Windows Mobile Smartphone!

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Smartphone Events" @ 04:38 PM

Remember that Pantech Matrix Pro mega-giveaway that Rocco announced a bit over a week ago? We're it's now our turn: Smartphone Thoughts is giving away a brand new Pantech Matrix Pro, and a $100 AT&T Wireless gift card, to one lucky winner. Because this device is carrier-locked to AT&T, the $100 gift card is for AT&T, this contest will be limited residents of the USA.

Our contests starts today and runs until May the 2nd, midnight (GMT -7). All you have to do to enter is post a response to this post, telling me which mobile phone you're using now, and how the Pantech Matrix Pro would improve your daily smartphone experience. Does it have a feature that your current mobile phone lacks? If so, what is it? That's it! I'll selecft a winner the morning of May 4th, with entries counting as long as they were posted before midnight on the 2nd.

UPDATE: Please only post once. Multiple posts will disqualify you. If it's your first post in our forums, it will be held for moderation, so it may take up to 48 hours for you to see it.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

$25,000 Grand Prize to be Won from Pantech

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Smartphone Events" @ 05:00 AM

"The Matrix Pro by Pantech has a new home online:, the first place to go for all you need to know about this exciting new smartphone. See the Matrix Pro's unique dual-keyboard design in action; get the lowdown on all of the Matrix Pro's great features; read blog entries highlighting the latest Matrix Pro news and reviews; get information about the upcoming Tweetstakes featuring a grand prize of $25,000; and follow handy links to purchase your very own Matrix Pro online. Visit to experience the site for yourself."

Raise your hand if you like winning free stuff. Exactly! Everybody loves free stuff. Head on over to the official Pantech Matrix Pro Web site and have a look-see at their Tweetstakes page. All the info is there - once they start (they haven't yet - no date is announced) they'll be giving away a Matrix Pro smartphone every day, and at the end of it all, they'll do the $25,000 grand prize giveaway. Sweet!

Monday, April 6, 2009

T-Mobile Roadmap Leaked

Posted by Ed Hansberry in "Pocket PC News" @ 05:00 AM

TmoNews has uncovered some release dates for a number of Windows Mobile phones on the US T-Mobile network. It looks like the HTC Snap will be available around July 1 and the Wing II, better known as the HTC Touch Pro 2, will be available around July 22. HTC has said that the Touch Pro 2 will have an upgrade made available to WinMo 6.5 later this year. I hope T-Mobile passes that upgrade along.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The HTC Snap: The Phone I've Been Waiting For

Posted by Jason Dunn in "HTC-based Microsoft Smartphones" @ 07:30 AM

I used the T-Mobile Dash (HTC S621) for what seemed like an eternity, and other than a few minor quibbles (namely that silly "JOGGR strip") it was pretty much the perfect phone for my needs. Touch-based phones were fun and flashy, but on the Dash I got real work done. It was fast, stable, felt perfect in my hand, was rugged, and had a fantastic keyboard. Sadly, HTC all but abandoned the form-factor when they became obsessed with beating Apple in the touch game - they never gave the Dash a significant update. When I decided I needed 3G speeds, the Dash got retired in favour of a Samsung Blackjack II. It's not a bad phone, but it's no Dash. At pretty much every Mobius event, I'd bring up the fact that I think HTC was missing a great opportunity by not continuing with this form-factor; that they had become too touch-obsessed and there was room for them to innovate and compete with Samsung and Motorola on this form factor. Many other Mobius attendees shared my opinion. An HTC representative shared with the Mobius group recently that this product was a direct result of our feedback. How cool is that?

OK, enough chit chat, let's get down to the nitty-gritty: the Snap weighs 4.23 ounces with the battery, and is 4.59 inches tall, 2.42 inches wide, and 0.47 inches thick (11.9mm). For comparison purposes, the S621 is 12.8mm thick, so they managed to shave a single mm off the thickness - but when you consider that the battery got a boost from 960 mAh up to 1500 mAh, that's quite impressive. The Snap claims 8.5 hours of talk time on GSM and 5 hours on WCDMA, while standby times are 15.8 days on GSM and 20 days on WCDMA. Interesting how the standby times are a reversed - WCDMA is easier on standby time but harder on talk time. Go figure. Read more...

Sprite Mobile Over The Air Backup

Posted by Ed Hansberry in "Pocket PC Software" @ 02:00 AM

"Virtual Mobile is an online service allowing you to backup and control your whole mobile life. It allows you to securely remote control your mobile device and its data from any computer with an Internet connection. Virtual Mobile is a combination of all our award winning software. Secure your mobile device online with our new integrated Backup, Device Management and Security solution."

This is from the team that does Sprite Backup, but now it is online. Features include:

  • Backup and manage your contacts, calendar, sms, photos, calendar and call history securely online.
  • Control up to four phones from one VM account.
  • Restore or Migrate your data across your phones.
  • Remote Mobile Device Security like Remote Lock and Wipe
  • Management of phone content / functions online

The beta is free, though I am sure there will ultimately be a cost. It supports Windows Mobile 5 and 6.x. If you are interested in trying it out, head over and sign up.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Dell Smartphone Rejected By Carriers As Too Dull

Posted by Ed Hansberry in "Pocket PC News" @ 07:00 PM

"After signaling its intent to follow Apple's wildly successful iPhone into the smartphone business, Dell's first attempts to produce a phone have been rejected by the carries for being too dull and lacking enough differentiation to stand out in a competitive environment, according to a report."

Ouch. Apparently the design could run either Windows Mobile or Google's Android platform. It failed to get any interest though. The research report suggests carriers either want the basic phone that is inexpensive or a Wow! device to compete with high end phones like the iPhone or G1. I suspect Dell did something that would have been loved by IT managers, but not consumers. Maybe they should let their AlienWare division have a crack at it.

Tags: dell, cell phone, dull

Friday, March 13, 2009

Unboxing the Pantech Matrix Pro Windows Mobile Smartphone

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Microsoft Smartphones" @ 03:28 PM

This is my unboxing and first impressions of the Pantech Matrix Pro, a Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard smartphone offered by AT&T for $179 USD on a two-year contract. This phone has the distinctive feature of having two keyboards (12 key and QWERTY), both hidden away via a slider. It weighs 4.3 ounces, has a 2.4 inch display at 240 x 320, comes with 256 MB of ROM, and 128 MB of RAM. It also features a microSDHC card slot for expandability up to 32 GB. It's a GSM/GPRS/EDGE/UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA phone, functioning on the 850/900/1800/1900 MHz bands for GSM/GPRS/EDGE and 850/1900/2100 MHz for 3G data. The battery is 1320 mAh, giving 3 hours of talk time and 10.4 days of stand-by time. More details about the Pantech Matrix Pro can be found on the AT&T Web site. Have any questions about this phone? Post 'em! I'll be following up with a video review once I've had a chance to use it for a bit longer.

Jason Dunn owns and operates Thoughts Media Inc., a company dedicated to creating the best in online communities. He enjoys photography, mobile devices, blogging, digital media content creation/editing, and pretty much all technology. He lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with his lovely wife, and his sometimes obedient dog. He sure dislikes it when phones use proprietary power/connection plugs.

Do you enjoy using new hardware, software and accessories, then sharing your experience with others? Then join us on the Thoughts Media Review Team! We're looking for individuals who find it fun to test new gear and give their honest opinions about the experience. It's a volunteer role with some great perks. Interested? Then click here for more information.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Steal of a Deal - Tekkeon TekCharge MP1800

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 08:00 PM

"Tired of running out of juice when you're on the run? The Tekkeon TekCharge MP1800 is a rechargeable portable battery pack that supplies power to phones, MP3 players, Bluetooth headsets, and other mobile devices. The charger comes with seven adapter tips for use with most kinds of mobile phones, but you can also use the USB cable that came with your iPod, Zune, or other device. In other words, it's almost universally compatible, provided that your gizmo can be charged via USB."

I think I'm going to order one of these as is should cover my iPod, Zune, and phone. The normal price is $44.95, but right now Amazon has them for $28.99 $39.27 (they hiked the price!). [Affiliate] Unfortunately there is a couple of week backlog on their supply, so it will be a bit before I can share my thoughts. Anyone out there already have one of these?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Smartphones As Complex As Netbooks?

Posted by Ed Hansberry in "Pocket PC Articles" @ 11:00 AM

"It never occurred to me to examine the integrated circuit footprint inside a smartphone and a netbook, but that’s what EE Times does. Their example above shows rising complexity in smartphones as costs of traditional computing decrease. In a sense, we've seen this trend for the past few years, but I'd equate it to more capable smartphones approaching acceptable and usable levels of computing."

Kevin Tofel at jkOnTheRun has an interesting analysis of an EE Times article that compares a netbook to a smartphone in terms of component content and cost. The two platforms are closer than you might have realized

Tags: cell phone

Monday, February 23, 2009

Top Secret Phone Stolen At Mobile World Congress

Posted by Ed Hansberry in "Pocket PC News" @ 08:00 PM,00.html

"A MOBILE phone loaded with top-secret software given to Telstra boss Sol Trujillo has apparently been stolen by a pickpocket. The new-generation software was on a phone given to Mr Trujillo in Barcelona, Spain this week at the World Mobile Congress - a haven for pickpockets."

What I've found most interesting about this saga is, according to some other sites, MS was able to send a command to not only wipe the data (something available since Windows Mobile 5), but it also wiped the ROM, removing the top secret operating system on the device.

Tags: cell phone

Monday, February 16, 2009

Getting Google Map's Location Service Working On Shadow and Dash

Posted by Ed Hansberry in "Smartphone Software" @ 02:00 PM

If you have a T-Mobile Shadow or Dash and use the Google Maps app, you've probably noticed that the "My Location" service doesn't work. That is the feature that gives a rough estimate of your location based on tower locations and signal strength - it usually works to within 1,200 yards, though often may be much closer.

This is especially cool with the new Google Latitude service that will connect you with friends based on locations. Well, it does work on your device, you just have to modify a registry key. The instructions can be found at Surreal Networks. They also have a tiny .CAB file that will do the trick for you, which is what I did since I don't have a registry editor installed on my wife's Shadow. You need to reboot the phone after installation. Once done, My Location in Google Maps will work just fine.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

PalmOS 5 Died In 2005 - Life Support Removed In 2009

Posted by Ed Hansberry in "Pocket PC Competition" @ 05:00 AM

"There will be no more PalmOS devices released by Palm (excepting the Centro getting released on other carriers). They're focused on webOS and Windows Mobile."


As predicted back in 2005, Palm continued to tweak OS 5.x until it was untweakable and they did launch a Windows Mobile line of devices, something they will continue to do for some time. I missed the projection on a new OS. I figured it would be out by 2007 or 2008. It will be 2009 at the earliest. Palm has finally pulled the life support off of the platform, allowing it to peacefully drift of and rest in peace.

The PreCentral article linked to has additional tidbits from the Palm CEO on the forthcoming Pre device, litigation with Apple and a few other items.

Tags: cell phone

Monday, February 9, 2009

Google Sync For Your Windows Mobile Phone

Posted by Ed Hansberry in "Pocket PC News" @ 12:00 PM

"One of the hardest parts about switching phones is getting your address book and calendar to your new device. We're making that process a little easier by releasing a beta version of Google Sync for the iPhone and Windows Mobile phones as well as a contacts-only version for phones that support SyncML."

Google has just added what appears to be Exchange Sync functionality to your Windows Mobile phone. The iPhone, Blackberry and Sybmian is also supported. It supports contacts and appointments, but not email and tasks. If I had to bet, I'd say push email is just around the corner. I've not tried this out yet as I already have an Exchange account, but for those of you that don't, this could be what you've been waiting for. As is usual for Google, this is free, at least for now. There is a brief video at the Google blog explaining the service.

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  • Source: Twitter

Tags: cell phone

Goodbye Windows Mobile, Hello Windows Phone?

Posted by Ed Hansberry in "Pocket PC News" @ 11:00 AM

"Microsoft, which is planning to unveil its Windows Mobile 6.5 platform at the Mobile World Congress soon, has decided that, going forward, Windows Mobile-based handsets will be promoted simply as Windows phones without specifying an OS version number, according to market sources in Taiwan."

This certainly isn't the first time Microsoft has renamed their mobile device platform. Here is a list of names it has gone by over the years, and since I am doing this from memory, I may have missed a few. Feel free to add those I skip into the discussion thread. I am only including those based on Windows CE. I know MS had other efforts before that, but let's ignore those.

  • Handheld PC - first device based on Windows CE
  • Palm-sized PC - the first PDA style device. Actually called Palm PC until the real Palm sued that name out of existence.
  • Pocket PC - first successful device running Windows CE.
  • SmartPhone - non-touchscreen device
  • Windows Mobile added to the name.
  • Pocket PC and SmartPhone dropped. Now known as Windows Mobile Professional and Windows Mobile Standard. Windows Mobile Classic was the name for non-phone devices
  • Windows Phone (rumored)

If this rumor is true, something we may find out next week at Windows Mobile Congress, we'll see how long it lasts. I have never seen Microsoft rename a product so many times, much less in just twelve years.

Tags: cell phone

Friday, February 6, 2009

Standard & Slide: The HTC S740 Review

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "HTC-based Microsoft Smartphones" @ 07:00 AM

Product Category: Windows Mobile Standard
Manufacturer: HTC
Where to Buy: eXpansys USA [Affiliate]
Price: $474.99 USD
System Requirements: Compatible system or service for syncing
Specifications: Windows Mobile 6.1, QWERTY keyboard, 528MHz processor, 2.4in QVGA display, 256MB ROM/RAM, Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE, 900/2100 MHz HSDPA, 801.11 b/g, Bluetooth 2.0, 3.2MP camera
  • Small form factor
  • Great keyboard with a lot of keys, functions, and shortcuts
  • Quick and responsive
  • Small screen makes it horrid for web browsing
  • Navigation keys are poorly designed
  • The device is really thick

Summary: Off the bat I want to thank eXpansys for loaning us the HTC S740 that I have been using for the past few weeks to put together this review. I will start off by saying the time I have spent with this device has been really enjoyable and it was really nice to carry around a Windows Mobile device again for a bit. In the interest of full disclosure though I would like to state that I unfortunately could not use the HTC S740 continuously throughout the time I had the device as my only handset since due to the nature of a project I was working on for work. I had to switch back to my Google Android device for several hour stretches every few days. Now that we have that out of the way, onto the review! Read more...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Google Tasks Now Available Via Phone Browser

Posted by Ed Hansberry in "Pocket PC Software" @ 09:00 AM

"A couple months ago, Tasks launched in Gmail Labs. Tasks lets you easily create and manage to-do lists right in Gmail. Now, you can access and manage your task lists from your phone, too. Just go to in your mobile browser and log in."

For many Windows Mobile users this won't be of much use. As of right now, there is no way to sync your tasks to your phone, or Outlook for that matter - at lest not without jumping through hoops. I've seen articles that will let you sync Google tasks with Toodledo and then sync them with Outlook, but that seems like too much work. You'd have to have tasks set up to remind you to sync all of the services.

However, for some Windows Mobile users and other phone users that are more interested in having tasks in a central location on the internet rather than locked down to your PC's copy of Outlook, this may be the ticket. The only real issue is you need a web connection for this to work on your phone. It won't sync to your Windows Mobile tasks database, so there will be no task maintenance, or even review, in places with low or no signal, like in a plane or subway.

Tags: cell phone

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Best Selling Windows Mobile Phones Of All Time

Posted by Ed Hansberry in "Pocket PC Articles" @ 01:30 PM

Mike Temporale of Mobile Jaw got some interesting stats on eleven Windows Mobile devices that sold over 1,000,000 units during its life. I know that may not sound like a huge amount when you compare it to the iPhone that has sold well over 10 million units in the relatively short 18 month life, you have to remember, the iPhone has two models, the original released in mid-2007 and the 3G model released in mid-2008. Windows Mobile devices however, are legion. There are far more than I could ever hope to keep up with.

Not surprising, seven were made by HTC (when you include the HTC built Audiovox SMT), while Samsung made three and Motorola made one, the ever-popular Q. What was surprising to me is there were no Palm Treo's on this list. Head over to the article to read the models that made the list. Mike draws some interesting conclusions on touch vs non-touch and keyboard vs keyboardless devices.

Did someone mention my name?

Tags: cell phone

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Dell smartphone? Pinch Me!

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "Pocket PC Hardware" @ 09:00 PM

"Dell Inc., aiming to rev up sales as its mainstay personal-computer business struggles in the recession, is preparing a move into cellphones as early as next month, said people familiar with the matter. The Round Rock, Texas, company has had a group of engineers working on the phones for more than a year from an office in the Chicago area, these people said. They produced prototypes built on Google Inc.'s Android operating system and Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Mobile software, these people said."

The rumours have been swirling for a couple of weeks now, but not with any authority behind them. Now that the Wall Street Journal has weighed in, everyone's picking up the story - I'll leave it to you to decide just how authoritative WSJ is (subscription required to read the full article). In addition, AlleyInsider (via has a source that states a launch date of September 9 (09/09/09 - geddit?), and the device(s) will be called the mePhone. Around the web, we've got reactions from Gizmodo and CNet, which basically pick up on the WSJ story while in an earlier article has additional analysis. Can we hope for an announcement at MWC (Feb 16-19)? Not long now!

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  • Source: The Wall Street Journal

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