Category: Cellular Corner


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The iPhone 4 was just released at Apple’s WWDC keynote address, and it’s not disappointing at all. To point out a few of the new key-features, it includes

  • Facetime – video calling that can switch between the new front camera to the back camera at any time
  • Upgraded 5-megapixel HD video recording camera with LED flash
  • Retina Display – the highest quality display ever shipped on any phone, with 4 times the amount of pixels than the previous generation iPhone
  • Multitasking
  • HD video recording + editing – records HD video and you can edit videos with the new iPhone iMovie
  • Folders for Apps
  • Steel Bezel with stainless-steel buttons
  • Comes in black or white – both the front and the back of the phone come in the two colors
  • World’s thinnest smartphone at 0.37 inches thick

The iPhone 4 will be released on June 24th and can be pre-ordered starting June 15th

A more detailed update will be posted.

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Announced exactly a month ago, Blackberry’s new Bold is finally released to the public, available exclusively with Sprint. Promised last summer was a Wi-Fi enabled Tour, and although the 9650 has dropped the Tour name, not much has changed from the previous version like World Roaming capabilities and a compact QWERTY keyboard. The things that have changed however, are more significant to the average consumer like (obviously) Wi-Fi and double the onboard memory, making the new Bold 9650 equivalent to the highest-end Blackberry, the 9700.

Design

Hardware-wise, the Bold is almost the exact same as the Tour, something none of us mind at all as it still has a great QWERTY keyboard and an overall comfortable and stylish build. That said, there is one major change and that is the addition (or replacement) of an optical trackpad. The smartphone joins RIM’s latest devices in replacing the trackball with an easy-to-use and very responsive optical trackpad. Personally, we prefer the trackpad over the trackball as it’s more comfortable to use and ┬áthe long-term advantage of the trackpad is you won’t have some of the problems associated with the trackball like debris/dirt build-up rendering the ball unusable. Overall, the design of the Tour is nothing special or revolutionary, but there’s nothing not to like about it either.

Features

Much like the design, the Bold 9650 retains much of its features from the year old Tour, with a couple of exceptions. First, the Bold now has Wi-Fi so you don’t always have to rely on 3G for wireless data, plus it includes a few Wi-Fi tools like diagnostics and WEP encryption. The other difference is that the Bold now comes with double the onboard memory with 512 MB which gives you more room for apps. Although the 9650 was released alongside Blackberry OS 6.0, the phone won’t be shipped with the new software until Q3 of 2010, meaning we still have to deal with, debatably, the worst and most old-fashioned internet browser on any smartphone today. On the bright side, the features that were taken from the Tour include Dual-Band worldwide connection meaning you can use voice and data features all over the globe.

In general, the new Bold is basically a modernized version of the Tour, but with trackpad navigation, implemented Wi-Fi and double the onboard memory, the Bold 9650 has nothing to hate about and results in a great mid-entry level, messaging smartphone.

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Today, RIM kicked off their annual WES by introducing two new Blackberrys, the Bold 9650 and the Pearl 3G.

The Bold 9650 is a device that’s been promised since last summer and though now under the Bold name, it is essentially a Blackberry Tour with an optical trackpad and Wi-Fi. Everything else is the same including Dual-Band networks for world roaming, a 3.2 megapixel camera, a 2.44 inch HVGA screen and 512MB of built in flash memory. Though not too exciting of a release, it wasn’t disappointing either, considering it was anticipated for awhile.

The Pearl 3G is a bit more exciting, considering it’s a more fresh update to the widely popular Pearl. Its design has been face-lited and looks much more modern, but still resembles previous-generation models with its very pocketable size, measuring in at only 4.25 inches tall and 1.96 inches wide. Also like previous models, the Pearl 3G comes with the SureType keyboard, but there will actually be two configurations, the 9100 will have a 20-key SureType and the 9105 will only have a 14-key SureType. Again, this device is now shipped with the optical trackpad instead of the trackball for navigation, and operates on the new 5.0 Blackberry OS, GPS and 3G (obviously). This device definitely sees a successful future when widely released.

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Although I’m a bit late on this topic, unless you’ve been living under a tech rock for the past two weeks, you would know that the next generation iPhone 4G was found lost in a bar in Redwood City, which somehow got into the hands of Gizmodo. They took a million pictures of it and posted a video of it on their website, and not soon after, the entire globe was talking about it. Apple’s multiple requests for the return of the device didn’t stop Gizmodo, and who doesn’t feel bad for Gray Powell, the Apple software engineer who left the device at the bar, which was disguised to look like an iPhone 3GS. A stranger found it and soon realized it wasn’t a regular iPhone, so he called Apple multiple times trying to return the device, but they didn’t believe him. Gizmodo somehow found out and payed enough money for this person to hand the device over, which would be exploited all over the web. There’s a video of it here.

Apple Unveils iPhone OS 4.0

Last Thursday, Apple announced the summer-due OS upgrade for the iPhone, iPod Touch and later on, the iPad. For the third year in a row, Apple used Spring to give developers a preview of what’s to be expected for the summer. Here’s a quick summary of what Steve Jobs and other executives released in Cupertino:

Multitasking

Finally, Apple has released an OFFICIAL way to multitask on the iPhone. Since the very first year the iPhone was released, third-party developers (jailbreak devs) have been coming up with ways to multitask on the iPhone like Backgrounder, but Apple has never released their own way as default on the iPhone and this has given haters a very reasonable attack on the the device. Now, that complaint has been addressed and puts the iPhone right next to devices like the Palm Pre and Nexus One, feature-wise. This long-awaited feature, comes with a catch though, iPhone 3G users don’t have access to this multitasking feature, due to hardware restraints.

Folders

The iPhone’s App store contains hundreds of thousands of different applications that make your smartphone life easier and more efficient. Although this app store is more or less the main reason of the iPhone’s success, the growing amount of options came with flaws. Folders, a little feature included with the new 4.0 software, addresses multiple issues in one. It’s basically like folders on your desktop, helping you sort your apps into chosen categories, an easier way to go through your apps instead of just scrolling into countless pages.

Game Center

Announced to be released a little later in the year, perhaps a bit after the 4.0 release, is something Apple calls “Game Center”. It’s basically a gaming type of social network, where you can invite friends to games, view leaderboards, have the ability to matchmaking for certain games; this brings a new concept of gaming to the iPhone, possibly turning it into much more of a portable gaming device.

Other Changes:

  • Spell Check
  • 5X Digital Zoom for Camera
  • Tap-to-Focus Video Camera
  • Gifting Apps
  • Home Screen Wallpaper
  • Bluetooth Keyboards
  • Rotate Photos
  • Web Search Suggestions
  • Create Playlists in iPod
  • Persistent Wi-Fi

The upcoming 4.0 release is definitely a bump for Apple’s smartphone hit, giving it a boost to (hopefully) put it back into the lead in the smartphone race. The update addresses many faulty issues and adds the features that would of given the iPhone a reasonable doubt to be the best.

Motorola, having just released a hugely successful Android smartphone, just decided they’re not quite done. Released on the 25th of March, the Motorola Devour is another home run for the million dollar corporation, acting like a little brother to the much-loved Droid. Being a budgeted down version of the Droid, it is a bit featured-down as well, having a 3-megapixel camera instead of a 5-megapixel, and running the 1.6 version of Android instead of the 2.0. Also, the keyboard is a little bit different and the material being an industrial silver instead of the classy black on the Droid. Although the Devour is different from the Droid, it’s definitely not stripped down of features as not everybody uses the uncountable components on the Droid, thus having a cheaper variation to Motorola’s smartphone lineup.

The Motorola Devour was built as a durable and reliable smartphone for those who have a rounded down range of needed features, but as a general note, we’d want something more than Android 1.6, considering so many other smartphones are already operating on better software, plus, a bigger screen would be greatly appreciated.

Released at the CTIA 2010 in Las Vegas, the HTC Evo 4G is our favourite phone released from the conference in Nevada, let alone our favourite phone released in 2010 so far. It is the first 4G smartphone released in America, plus it has some outstanding components when compared to any other Android phone on the market. It features an 8-megapixel camera on the rear plus a 1.3 megapixel on the front, a large, crisp 4.3 inch touch screen display, and a 1GHZ processor which is also used as a video chipset. More amazingly, this Snapdragon chipset can be used to record 720p HD video with the built-in 8-megapixel camera, plus, video can be played back on a full size TV utilizing the mini HDMI jack, using the 720p format. Also, software wise, the Evo runs the new 2.1 Android OS featuring the Sense UI. Physically, the aspects of the phone resemble many of the other HTC phones with similar buttons and layout, but the extremely large screen and the amazing multimedia features this phone is capable of, makes it stand out from the crowd of any Android phone released so far.

iPhone 3Gs – The iPhone 3Gs is Apple’s re-entry into the cellular market, a year after their large release of the iPhone 3G. The ‘S’ in 3Gs stand for speed, which comes in a couple ways; firstly, the processor is twice as fast as the previous one found in the 3G model, and provides smoother browsing and a faster general loading time. The third generation of the iPhone also expects better networking speeds, with carriers changing over to a HSDPA connection, capable of up to 7.2 mbps. In all aspects, the iPhone 3GS is a strong renewal of a great phone with noticeable improvements in speed.

Motorola Droid – The Droid is Motorola’s entry into the Android smartphone market, and it was their best release of any gadget since the Razr in 2004. This multimedia smartphone definitely puts Motorola to a head start in the fast developing smartphone race, with a great keyboard, an easy-to-use, very sensitive large touch screen and a beautiful design, both internally and externally. With a bigger screen than the iPhone’s, a better pixel-per-inch number and an astonishing 16:9 HD aspect ratio, videos look amazing and browsing is crystal clear. Overall, the Motorola Droid is a fully featured, multimedia, gorgeous smartphone, which can do more than you need, in both style and ease.

Blackberry Bold 9700 – The Blackberry Bold 9700 or simply Bold 2 is RIM’s remake of the very successful (at the time) Blackberry Bold. It basically addresses all of the issues that have developed over the past year including the problematic trackball, the bulky size and the not too impressive camera. The 9700 is being sold with Blackberry’s new 5.0 operating system which has improved many aspects, and also the trackpad is quick to being favoured over the previous trackball. This smartphone is finally a perfect mix of multimedia with formal enterprise business, making it the best revision of a phone so far.

When the Nexus One was released near the beginning of the year, tons of developers and critics lined up to test out Google’s first mobile phone, running their own operating system. The phone turned out to be a nice mashup of features we’ve already seen on previous Android devices, but nothing too revolutionary. The phone features a large, gorgeous display with a very pocketable design that fits comfortably in your hand. With it’s prominent display and trackball, its design looks similar to the HTC Hero and Droid Eris. Although the Nexus One was said to be a “superphone”, it did come with numerous problems; apps had to be stored in its internal memory and the touch screen wasn’t the best we’ve experienced, just to list a few.

The Nexus One has an incredibly fast processor alongside a vastly developing operating system, all in a stunning design, but it still can’t (not yet at least) stack up to its strong competition like the Motorola Droid and iPhone 3Gs.

What is 4G?

4G is a new generation of wireless technology for cellular devices, and it is basically capable of doing everything 3G can, twice as fast. The tree of developing technologies for cell phones is just an upgrade of speed, as 2G was faster than the first generation, and 3G is faster than 2G and so forth. As 4G becomes more and more popular and demanding on today’s smartphones, a proper understanding could definitely help in deciding if you really need it for your next phone. There are different types of 4G, as there were different types of 3G (UMTS, HSDPA and EV-DO). The two main divisions of 4G are WiMax and LTE, but you don’t need to go into the deep technological details of the two.

LTE, which stands for long term evolution, is when the cellular devices transmit everything, even voice, as data. This is a completely new way of receiving and sending data, which is why it’s an “evolution”. Many of the large U.S carriers, including AT&T and Verizon Wireless have announced they will be using LTE for their future 4G technologies, and testing has shown LTE is capable of speeds up to 50mbps.

WiMax, which stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, isn’t considered an “evolution” because it’s way of transmitting data, is very similar to today’s Wi-Fi. WiMax is capable of speeds up to 10mbps, much slower when compared to LTE, which is probably why Sprint is the only carrier in the U.S so far that is supporting WiMax.

Currently though, WiMax has much more of an availability than LTE as it’s still being tested, but by 2011, carriers like AT&T and Verizon Wireless will be introducing 4G phones and 4G coverage all over the map.