At CommunicAsia Tuesday, Garmin-Asus showed off its Nuvifone G60 and M20 devices. The former was first developed independently by Garmin and later rebadged with the new brand name after the two companies decided to collaborate on a line of navigation-focused smartphones.
The Linux-based G60 has been delayed for a while, but Tuesday Garmin-Asus announced that both devices will be commercially available in the second half of 2009. The company's regional director for Southeast Asia sales, Hektor Tung, said this will happen as early as August for some markets.
When asked about the potential of Garmin-Asus' current Linux platform for … Read more
Sprint's summer of hot phone releases continues. In addition to the Palm Pre and just-announced RIM BlackBerry Tour 9630, the carrier has confirmed that it will offer the HTC Snap on June 21 for $149.99 with a two-year contract. (This news surfaced last week, but I'm just catching up after being out for a couple of days.)
The Snap, which debuted at CTIA 2009, is a messaging-centric smartphone with a full QWERTY keyboard and a feature called Inner Circle that lets you prioritize messages based on your preferences. It also offers Microsoft Direct Push Technology for real-time … Read more
On Monday, Research in Motion unveiled its newest device, the RIM BlackBerry Tour 9630, a 3G-enabled world phone that will be available from Sprint and Verizon Wireless later this summer. In addition, the smartphone will be sold in Canada through Bell Mobility and Telus.
The news isn't a complete surprise. Also known as the BlackBerry Niagara, the BlackBerry Tour 9630 has long been rumored for the CDMA carriers and finally brings an update to Sprint and Verizon's BlackBerry 8830 World Edition models.
As a dual-mode world phone, the BlackBerry Tour runs on the carrier's respective EV-DO Rev. … Read more
At an event in Manhattan Monday, Samsung unveiled its new Jet smartphone, which features a fast 800MHz processor and Samsung's proprietary OS that includes its Dolphin Web browser. Alas, the Jet won't be flying into the U.S. anytime soon, though its designation as a UTMS phone leaves AT&T as its most probable destination if it does hit these shores. All that said, it is available for the rest of the world later this year.
Unlike the Omnia 2, which was also announced at the event, Samsung did have the Jet on hand for reporters to play with. Several remarked that the touch screen seemed quite responsive despite being resisitive. But there was some disappointment that the phone didn't seem even zippier with that 800MHz processor (until now, smartphone processors have tended to top out at 600MHz). However, Samsung reps said the software wasn't final and was still being tweaked. (It was also impossible to test the Dolphin browser because there was no network connection).
All in all, the look and feel of the Jet was appealing. It's smaller than the iPhone and is more on par with the size of the Palm Pre. However, we're just not sure how appealing a proprietary OS is at this point when you have an open OS like Android sitting out there.
Here are the Jet's specs: … Read more
After the Apple iPhone 3G S and Palm Pre, the most gossiped about smartphone is one that may or may not exist.
Dell, which has hinted about getting into the category for more than a year, is supposedly working on a device right now, and the image to the right is said to be a picture of the device.
Engadget posted the photo Monday, and it's from a Chinese Web site called PDAFans.com. Though it's blurry, there's nothing distinguishing about the design of the handset itself besides a Dell logo, and that it appears a bit … Read more
Verizon may not have the iPhone 3G S, but the sequel to Samsung's popular iPhone pretender, the Omnia, will be coming to Verizon later this year, Samsung announced at an event on Monday in Manhattan. As for the exact timing of the Omnia 2's launch, that's still up in the air, as Samsung reps said that Verizon had a tight leash on what info could--and couldn't--release at this time.
But here's what we know, and it looks pretty good:65K WVGA AMOLED Display (3.7-inch, 480 x 800--largest AMOLED display yet in a phone) Advanced … Read more
Nokia on Monday unveiled the E72, the successor to its popular E71 business handset.
The updated version of Nokia's QWERTY-keyboarded candybar phone includes an optical navigation key. According to Nokia vice president Ilari Nurmi, the new input method allows for "more intuitive scrolling through menus, e-mails and fast panning of images."
Another enhancement visible on the front of the Series 60 phone is the ability to turn the handset into a flashlight with a single press of the space bar key.
The E72's camera is a 5-megapixel affair, while the E71 only had a 3.2-megapixel camera. The device also appears to have a new speaker at the back of the phone.
Nokia says the E72 uses active noise cancellation to make calls clearer. The handset also has a 3.5mm headphone jack -- unlike its predecessor -- so standard headphones can be used without an adapter.
In terms of its dimensions, the E72 is almost identical to the E71 -- it is the same height and thickness, but is 1mm wider and a gram heavier.… Read more
ARM, the company that designs chips for the world's smartphones, said handset makers will deliver the first models using more than one processor core next year, as high-end mobile phones begin to mimic the hardware attributes of PCs.
And that means top smartphone suppliers such as Apple and Palm, which both use ARM-based processors, will likely deliver models packing at least two cores inside the main processor--referred to as an application (or applications) processor.
This is a natural progression for high-end smartphones like the iPhone and Palm Pre as the software those phones run gets increasingly sophisticated.
"You'll definitely see handsets shipping with a dual-core A9 in 2010," James Bruce, wireless segment manager for ARM, said in a phone interview earlier this week, referring to the next-generation Cortex-A9 processor from ARM.
The Palm Pre uses a processor based on the current-generation Cortex A8. The iPhone also uses an Apple-branded chip that is based on an ARM design.
"The A8 is just a single core while the A9 will be dual-core, all the way up to quad-core to give smartphones an even bigger performance boost," Bruce said.
He said the move to dual-core phones should happen relatively quickly. "It's very aggressive. It's only going to be in a year's time that you're going to get these phones," he said.
And what about power consumption, a critical concern for smartphones looking to deliver all-day battery life? "What we've done on the A9 is actually make it more power efficient than the A8. The dual-core A9 will be coming out on 45-nanometer rather than the (current) 65-nanometer process," Bruce said. Generally, the smaller the geometries, the faster and more power-efficient the processor is.
Bruce continued. "With the dual-core running at maximum load there's probably going to be an increase of about 10 to 20 percent in power consumption but in general day to day use you're actually going to see better battery life." … Read more
For a first-generation device, the Palm Pre is quite impressive. Palm has developed a strong operating system in WebOS, beating the competition in certain areas and laying a solid foundation for future devices. However, as with any product, there's always room for improvement.
Earlier this week, I listed five of my favorite things about the Palm Pre and as promised at the end of that post, here are five things that I dislike about the smartphone or would like to see in future updates/devices. Fortunately, some of these issues, as well as others not mentioned here (voice dialing, video recording, Bluetooth tethering), can be resolved through over-the-air updates, but here's my Top 5 wish list based on the smartphone as it is now. … Read more