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All posts tagged "hardware"

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Microsoft Branded WM Phone?

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "Pocket PC Talk" @ 01:00 AM

"ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley says her best understanding of "Pink" is now that it's a Microsoft-branded phone running a custom UI on top of Windows Mobile 7, developed by what's left of the Danger team and targeted at the Sidekick market. Yep, Microsoft-branded -- as in, the exact thing Microsoft has been denying for ages now."

The current Windows Mobile ecosystem is similar to the way Microsoft has treated the PC world - an MS based operating system riding on hardware made by others. First Xbox, then Zune, demonstrated Microsoft's willingness to break away from that hugely successful paradigm, because it didn't translate well to other markets. Are we going to see the same thing in the Windows Mobile world? Apple showed one way to build a market based on a closed eco-system - but then Microsoft didn't exactly have a blazing success emulating this model with the Zune. Windows Mobile has in its own understated way been a success because it met the needs of the enterprise market. Now that smartphones for consumers are all the rage, this (along with WM7) looks like the MS response. Good idea? Bad idea? Thoughts wanted!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

NVidia's Tegra Coming From a Top 5

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Pocket PC Hardware" @ 12:30 PM

"If you want to get HD in your handheld, NVIDIA's Tegra processor is the hot way to do it at the moment, and we've got reasonably concrete sounding rumors from disparate sources that a handset containing one of the chips is currently under development by a "top five" smartphone builder (we're guessing it's not Apple)"

What really is a "top 5" manufacturer? Is this sorted alphabetically? If so then I really need to get my "AAAdvantage Manufacturing" subsidary up and running... All kidding aside, NVidia's Tegra may be an interesting addition with Windows Mobile rumors swimming around it.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Windows Mobile Design Concepts

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "Pocket PC Talk" @ 06:00 PM

"Chinese Microsoft enthusiast blog today posted a bunch of links to some interesting portfolios by a handful of Chinese designers who works at the Microsoft Advanced Technology Center (ATC) Studios in Beijing. What many people don't know is that the ATC has been largely responsible for the user experience design of Windows Mobile. This however is no longer the case as WM 6.5 was their last project, but up and until now, they've been busy conceptualizing the future of Windows Mobile. Most of those concepts have never surface in public before, until now."

Cool stuff. Shame most of them won't ever hit store shelves (phones or UI), but maybe somebody else might pick up on these design ideas (pace IP rights), and incorporate them into future Windows mobile devices.

Tags: hardware, software,

Friday, June 19, 2009

Mobility Minded Looks at the HTC Snap

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Smartphone Articles & Resources" @ 01:32 PM

"The specification list of the HTC Snap was already impressive with a super fast Qualcomm MSM 7225 processor, running at 528 MHz. With sufficient memory, and all possible types of connectivity onboard the HTC snap suits various purposes. Foremost the easy and fast device navigation with the Jog Ball and an excellent full QWERTY keyboard (with offset keys) make it simply fun to work with this device on the go. The hardware keyboard design and the offset keys reduce the risk of a typing error, fore [sick] my compliments HTC."

Remo Knops over at Mobility Minded has put together a detailed article about the HTC Snap - it's worth a read if you're considering this device. Knops shares some of my same concerns - the fact that the miniUSB port is on the upper-right side, and the lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack. He didn't seem to find it problematic that the "A" key is in a strange place, so he must have been able to adjust to it better than I could.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

HTC Snap Hardware & Software Deep Dive

Posted by Jason Dunn in "HTC-based Microsoft Smartphones" @ 10:50 AM

Since I have to ship the HTC Snap [Affiliate] back to Expansys today, I thought I'd do one final video (here's my unboxing and first impressions video). In this video, I talk about the hardware and software on the Snap, focusing on the functioning of the trackball and some of the software that HTC ships on the device. This is the first device I've seen that has had Internet Explorer 6 Mobile on it, which is interesting to use on a phone with a trackball - it definitely speeds things up in terms of navigating. Unfortunately, even with a 528 Mhz CPU and 192 MB of RAM - which is more than the last-generation iPhone had - browsing desktop-formatted Web pages feels slow. Oh Microsoft, why can't you understand the importance of fast mobile browsing? Read more...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

HTC Snap Unboxing and First Impressions

Posted by Jason Dunn in "HTC-based Microsoft Smartphones" @ 01:30 PM

The HTC Snap [Affiliate] is a Windows Mobile Standard 6.1 smartphone, and the new torch-bearer for the messaging phone that HTC had all but abandoned after making the T-Mobile Dash/Excaliber. The Snap has a 528 Mhz Qualcomm processor, 128 192 MB of RAM, 256 MB of ROM, a 2.4 inch 320 x 240 screen, a microSDHC memory card slot, a trackball, 4-row QWERTY keyboard, GPS, Bluetooth 2.0, 802.11b/g WiFi, a 1500mAh battery, a 2.0 megapixel camera, and is a quad-band 2G (850/900/1800/1900 MHz), and dual-band 3G (900/2100 MHz) GSM phone. It's 116.5 X 61.5 X 12.0 mm ( 4.59 X 2.42 X 0.47 inches) in size and weighs 120 grams (4.23 ounces). Read more...

Friday, June 12, 2009

The iZel: A Digital Device Holder

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 08:30 AM

The iZel is a small, portable digital device holder (stand) that allows you to easily watch video content in comfort while on a plane, train etc. All you need is a surface to put the iZel on. In the video I test it out with a variety of devices: Zunes, smartphones, an iPod Touch, etc. When I travel, I like to load up my Zune with a movie or two, but I end up holding it in my hand to watch it - not very ideal. The iZel offers a solution to that problem, although depending on the screen size of your device, and how good your eyesight is, watching a video at tray-table height might be difficult. The iZel is made of very durable materials, so it should last a very long time, making it worth the price tag in my opinion (though not everyone agrees). I'll likely be travelling by plane in September, so I'll get a chance to use it in a real-world situation. In the meantime, I'm going to use it as a holder for my cellphone-du-jour, the Samsung Jack. The iZel can be purchased for $24.95 from [Affiliate]

Thursday, June 11, 2009

WM Experts Gets Hands-On Time with the Sprint HTC Snap

Posted by Jason Dunn in "HTC-based Microsoft Smartphones" @ 05:52 PM

"Forget the Palm Pre, never mind the iPhone 3GS, we've managed to get our mitts on the soon-to-be-released Sprint HTC Snap! (insert snicker) Sprint looks to be the first out the gate with this entry-level messenger device and it's made some changes from the GSM version that debuted only a few months ago. Running Windows Mobile 6.1, the Sprint Snap (it actually keeps the HTC name) is replacing the venerable but problem-prone Motorola Q9c. Wanna know all the deets, see some pics and get our first-impressions? Read on for our exclusive mini-review!"

I just got my hands on the HTC Snap today, and I'm already jealous of someone else: Malatesta (is he like Prince or something with one name?) over at WM Experts got his mitts on the Sprint version of the HTC Snap...and unlike the version that I'm going to be using for a few days, it has 3G speeds. That's one thing that's frustrating about the way HTC works: with GSM phones, they always release the Europe/Asian phones first, so several months go by when the reviewers in North American gimp along at EDGE speeds while reviewing these phones. I don't know if that will ever change...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

AT&T Samsung Propel Pro Unboxing & First Impressions

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Samsung-based Smartphones" @ 09:41 AM

The Samsung Propel Pro is a Windows Mobile Standard 6.1 smartphone with a slide-out keyboard, offered by AT&T. It's a GSM phone with 3G speeds (UMTS/HSDPA 850/1900/2100 MHz) and Quad-band 2G (850/900/1800/1900 MHz). It has a 528 mhz CPU, 256 MB of ROM, and 128 MB RAM. The 2.55 inch screen has 320 x 320 resolution, and the Propel Pro also brings 802.11b/g WiFi to the table along with GPS, and Bluetooth 2.0. The price of the Propel Pro ranges from $149.99 USD on a two-year contract (after a $50 rebate) to $349 without a contract. Check out the video, and if you have questions, post them here and I'll do my best to answer them.

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.

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.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Intel Medfield: System-on-a-Chip for Smartphone

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 05:00 AM

"Some folks from Fortune magazine recently toured the Intel campus and, while checking out Intel’s new Moorestown (a 2-chip system designed for low-power UMPCs) the hosts accidentally let it slip that they were working on an even lower-powered version called Medfield. Medfield is designed to bring notebook power to smartphones (how friggin’ awesome would that be?) by 2011."

Intel's Moorestown chips, from what I have been reading at least, seem like some pretty interesting pieces of technology. Compared to Intel's Atom processor, the Mooretown is said to consume 10 times less energy when in standby mode. Seeing something like that moved to the smartphone arena just brings a smile to my face... Unfortunately 2011 seems like such a long way off.

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  • Source: BambiBlue (Twitter)

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 12, 2009

Phoenix Freeze Bluetooth Authentication

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 03:00 AM

"Often the best ideas are the simplest. A laptop which locks itself as you walk away with your Blackberry® or iPhone™ and unlocks as you return. Cool, easy, secure! Just think of the benefits: One: More security - Freeze is designed to lock an XP or Vista based laptop when you walk away from it and unlock it when you return. All you need to activate the service is a Bluetooth® enabled mobile phone. Once you step out of the "zone of safety" your laptop is locked and your data is safe."

On the surface this looks pretty cool, I've seen versions of this idea using proprietary hardware, but letting it use a Bluetooth device you already have is a unique way to deal with it. Probably more than adequate for the home user, but without some further research, I'm not sure Bluetooth security is robust enough to make this the only form of authentication used on a corporate network. However, as part of a well-designed multi-factor authentication system, it certainly has potential. has a video showing how this works.

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Akihabara News Video Interview With Eric Lin Of HTC

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "Pocket PC Hardware" @ 03:00 PM

"HTC, a Taiwan based company, is by far one of the largest PDA and Smartphone manufacturers in the world. So when last year one of my friends, Eric Lin, became HTC Global PR and Online Community Manager for HTC, I had everything at hand to give you an exclusive 40 minute plus video interview with Eric about HTC's latest products, the Touch Diamond 2, Touch Pro 2, and the Snap and the Android based Smartphone the HTC Magic."

Akihabara News had a sit-down with Eric Lin and talks about HTC's branding, markets and latest products. Nothing earth-shattering, but these make good viewing and has some decent info on the devices talked about:

  • Part I (embedded above) - 6:54 mins long - covers who Eric is and the HTC brand;
  • Part II (17:48 mins) talks about the Touch Diamond 2 and Touch Pro 2 and the improvements made to both (and in passing possible plans for sucessors to the HTC Advantage and HTC Shift); while
  • Part III (22:34 mins) shows off an early engineering sample of the HTC Magic (HTC's upcoming Android phone) and also covers the HTC Snap, along with a general discussion on upgrading possibilities to WM6.5 (bad news for Snap fans - no confirmation yet).

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sumo Lounge's Omni: More Than Just a Beanbag

Posted by Darius Wey in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 03:30 AM

Sumo Lounge's Omni isn't just any old beanbag; rather, it's an A-grade beanbag, pillow, and chair. At 4.5 feet x 5.5 feet (1.37 meters x 1.68 meters) and 18 pounds (8.16 kilograms), it's certainly large and solid enough to accommodate two people comfortably, and, incidentally, make you and the courier break a sweat as you both try to fit this behemoth through the front door. But surely there's more to the Omni than its super-sized nature. What makes it stand out?


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Has Google Already Lost The Smartphone Wars?

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 02:49 PM,281...,2345789,00.asp

I recently ran across an interesting article written by Sascha Segan from asking an interesting question, "Has Android Already Failed?" Personally, like Steve Mueller from Mobility Site, I feel it is way too early to write the Android platform off. Let's face it, when Google and HTC teamed up to release the T-Mobile G1 (HTC Dream) the handset wasn't really built around the needs of the average consumer. Sure the HTC Dream is a great little handset on its own, but you would have to be blind to not see that this device was built for the sole purpose of having development hardware on the market for individuals interested in the platform as a whole. It is, after all, a dream device for the open source junkie in your life. You can build almost anything you want for it or install any of the various homebrew Android operating systems out there in the digital realm that are ready and waiting to be flashed to the handset.

What annoys me about these articles however is just the assumption that Android is a failure because it has sold so few handsets over the course of its first six months on the market. I personally consider selling 1 million handsets a success and I seem to remember all the Windows Mobile fanboys out there, myself included, shouting from the rooftops when the HTC Touch Diamond sold its first million handsets. Read more...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Kill Your Landlines

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 06:00 AM

"The XLink family of products makes it possible to send and receive cell phones calls using regular telephones. No more searching for your cell phones, just use regular phones at home or in the office. The XLink can simultaneously connect to three different cell phones, one for each family member! As many regular telephones as desired can be plugged into the back of the XLink. Whenever any of the connected cell phones ring, all the telephones ring also! XLink can be used with or without landline phone service. Now you can decide whether or not to keep your landline. Either way - all your telephones can keep functioning!"

I can't wait for the day that I can finally get rid of my land line, but alas that is not in the foreseeable future. But once that does happen, devices like this are a great way of maintaining the convenience and utility of the phones already in your home. At $120 for the multi-line model, this device would pay for itself in a little more than 4 months of eliminated local phone service.

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!

Friday, April 3, 2009

SoloPalmari Reviews the HTC Snap

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone News" @ 01:30 AM

"A 'snap' in American footbal means the direction of attack in action. But we doubt that this is the meaning that has pushed the marketing guru for HTC to give the name Snap born at HTC, but from the first approach with the terminal shows the hypothesis is realistic. The device, based on Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard, actually seems to want to deliver as an effective director of the daily activities through the management and production of new contacts and messaging, especially email." has brought us a review of the new HTC Snap handset. The original review was in Italian but luckily it survived a bit of translating - thanks to Google - to give us this mouth savoring look at what we can expect when we can all get our hands on this new phone. I don't know about you guys but I am starting to really love this device! This handset will come equipped with Windows Mobile 6.1 but seeing as how it is going to have a Qualcomm MSM 7225 by 528 MHz there is a good chance that we might see Windows Mobile 6.5 released for the device in the future since it meets the hardware requirements set forth by Microsoft.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

WMExperts Receives HTC Snap Hands-On Time

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone News" @ 09:26 PM

"In the hand, the Snap feels almost illicitly good. In an age where everybody else (including, er, HTC) is going with glossy and shiny, the Snap is unabashedly covered in the best "soft touch finish" I've ever laid hands on. The thing is grippable and the best way I can explain the feel is that it's a very good mix of organic curves and hard lines. I also adore the color, which has just enough brown notes to be interesting without falling into Zune territory."

The new HTC handset looks downright incredible. At first I did not think the rendering of the device, with the giant overlapping round buttons, would translate well into the real world. From the looks of the video WMExperts managed to snag of this handset I see this fear was a little premature as the big thumb friendly design is not only pleasing to the eyes but looks really fun to use. I've been out shopping for a new phone as of late and now I am almost 100% positive that I will hold out to buy this bad boy when it is finally available.

BGR Visits HTC at CTIA

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "Pocket PC Hardware" @ 06:00 PM

"There's a reason companies around the world often go to HTC when they need to outsource handsets - they're without a doubt among the best when it comes to build, form and design. This year at CTIA, the HTC Snap announced this morning was the only new addition the company showed off, but that doesn't mean we can't take another look at two of the most exciting upcoming handsets currently on deck too, right? Hit the jump and get your gawk on."

Want to have a look at some of the new models HTC have come up with? Boy Genius Report dropped in at the HTC booth at CTIA and took some nice snaps (pun intended) of three upcoming models, including the Snap, Touch Pro2 and Touch Diamond2. Hit the link for the gallery.

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