Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sony Ericsson Xperia Pureness: Worth the $1,000 Price Tag?

Ok so what type of features would warrant you to drop $1,000 on a cell phone? Well if you purchased the Sony Ericsson Xperia Pureness then you must be all about being able to make a call, and basically just that. The Pureness doesn't have the hottest new gizmos and features that you would expect a new age phone to have like a camera, high resolution display, or even a premium feel and no 3G either. The UI on the Pureness is probably the simplest incarnation possible of Sony Ericsson's platform. The phone does have an FM radio though with attached headset and a basic music player and browser.

Right about now you may be wondering what, if anything, does the Pureness have that is cool or interesting? How about a transparent liquid crystal LCD screen? That's right, the Pureness is the world's first mobile phone to feature a screen like this. Sony's goal behind this phone is to strip it of all "unnecessary functions" and takes it back to the essential needs of talk, text and time. Oh, the phone also comes with 24 hour concierge service. Apparently the service will provide its members support for any and all lifestyle requests in cities all across the globe. Sony Ericsson also boasts that their service is the first truly localized global concierge service in the world.

"We are very proud to be launching such a beautifully designed phone with premium retail partners Sony VIP Shopping Service and Saks Fifth Avenue and we're looking forward to delivering many more exciting new phone concepts from our Xperia brand." according to head of PR for Sony Ericsson North America Stacy Doster. President of Saks Direct Denise Incandela goes on to say "We love to offer our customers beautiful, high-quality products and Sony Ericsson's Xperia Pureness phone embodies the sophisticated type of technology our fashion customer appreciates. We're excited to be the exclusive retailer launching the phone in the US." Aha! So the truth is out, this is a fancy rich person's phone!

Whether or not this is a "rich person's phone" or not is neither here nor there. If you have around $1,000 to drop on a cell phone and you actually prefer a more simplistic design then the Xperia Pureness is definitely the phone for you. I just don't see it being one of 2010's hot sellers. You can buy the Pureness now from or the Sony VIP Shopping Service.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

LG eXpo

LG eXpoThe new LG eXpo for AT&T is the newest handheld mobile device from LG and it is definitely one of the company's best. First of all the phone itself looks pretty good with a resemblance to to the Tilt2 and Touch Pro2. The phone has a semi-thick shell which feels solid as well as a metal battery cover which is definitely an improvement from the plastic-heavy and cheap Incite.

The eXpo has a full QWERTY keyboard that is better than most phone's keyboards but still not the very best out there. The boards keys are clicky and wide and the spacebar seems to have the perfect position. The numeric keypad is in the traditional square formation yet it is completely flat and reports of a "crushing plastic" sound being heard when certain keys are pressed is a little sketchy. But only review units have been tested so who knows about the final product.

One of the coolest features is the fingerprint scanner which doubles as an optical trackpad. While good, the trackpad isn't as good as the trackball or trackpad seen on the latest BlackBerry. On the top of the device is a power/lock button as well as a micro-USB slot hidden under a plastic flap. One innovative thing about the port is that is also doubles as the phones headphone jack although it does lack the 3.5mm standard connector.

The 3.2-inch screen looks really good but is slightly small. To operate some features you are probably going to need a stylus or a fingernail. The on-screen keyboard, however, is easily used and looks just as good if not better than HTC's. eXpo's on-screen keyboard also XT9 integrated and is just as good as the actual phone's keyboard.

The core of this device is home to the 1GHz Snapdragon Processor. While you would expect it to be amazing in the device, it doesn't blow you away. This isn't to say that the Snapdragon Processor is bad, it just isn't on the same page as the Windows Mobile 6.5 OS used by the eXpo. It seems that the device does not take advantage of the Snapdragon's capabilities. Web browsing on the device is good, but not good enough to make it stand out above the rest.

Compared to LG's latest device, the Incite, the eXpo is hands down a better device all around. The eXpo has practically every feature and more that a 2009-spec phone in the business market could want or need. Overall this is an excellent phone for the businessman out there that needs a solid mobile device.

Looking for help with travel and technology? Then call a Tech Travel Agent at 800-736-8772. Or see this link for a Laptop Rental on your next trip.

Monday, December 14, 2009

First Look at the Google Phone

Well it seems Google isn't going to be satisfied until it has something in every aspect of your life. Its most recent attempt to slowly take you over comes in the form of the Google Phone, otherwise known as the Nexus One. Information on the Nexus One is scarce and scattered already but we do have a few details on it as of now.

The Google phone will have an updated OS which features some new 3D elements added to the application tray. In addition to that there are also a ton of new homescreens. However, with the lock screen/mute seems to be exactly the same as that on the Android 2.0.1. A new grid icon has been added to the bottom of the screen. The grid icon, when pressed, pops up a webOS card-style preview of every single homescreen which brings up some very interesting possibilities.

The Google Phone has been confirmed as the Nexus One on the system info page and there even seems to be a new software update for the device. The Nexus One is running on T-Mobile, that much is clear. It will also use WiFi so there are some more answers to the slew of questions about this device. The Nexus One is loaded, to nobody's great surprise, with Google Navigation as well as the totally new Google Goggles.

The Nexus One was spotted trying to sneak through the FCC earlier today under the name "NEXUSONE" and model number PB99100 built by HTC. Thanks to this little bit of filing, we have some more details on the device. Thanks to the filing we can confirm that the Nexus One will have microSD expansion, 802.11b/g WiFi and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR. But that isn't even the best part. Looking at the radios the Nexus One will have quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE with UMTS/HSUPA. A little too technical for you? This just means that the Nexus One is a 3G device capable of not only 2Mbps up but also 7.2Mbps down.

Looking deeper at some more FCC posts about the Nexus One, we can see that from the bands listed (I, IV and VIII) that the Nexus One is definitely a T-Mobile device in the US with applicability on some European networks. AT&T looks more doubtful with each report especially considering the test lab incorrectly listed 815-880MHz frequencies as part of band VIII. According to the FCC reports, WCDMA Band IV was the only one tested in the Part 22H/24E/27 Report. This makes it possible that the device is going to be HSPA 900/1700/2100 plus quadband EDGE.

This new Nexus One could very well disrupt the niche we have created for devices like this if released under certain circumstances. If it is released unlocked like its rumored to be at a reasonable price as it is hoped and with the jaw dropping user experience as it was tweeted then it may very well do just that. Look for more on the Google Phone, or Nexus One, as it arrives.

Looking for help with travel and technology? Then call a Tech Travel Agent at 800-736-8772. Or see this link for a Laptop Rental on your next trip.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

AT&T's New Pantech Impact

pantech impactAs of now, AT&T’s phone with the very best features could quite possibly be the Pantech Impact. It has an impressive array of specs including: a horizontal flip that features haptic-feedback-enhanced, invisible number keys, a hidden QWERTY keyboard, and an extra LCD display inside. This could be the phone that you have been looking for.

The Impact has a very strong, sturdy feel about it. It measures 4.2 x 2.0 x 0.7 inches and weighs 4.5 ounces. It is available in two different colors: metallic blue with a black faceplate and internal keyboard or a faded pink with a black faceplate and white keyboard. Overall, the Impact is very nicely put together with its high-quality plastic. The hidden LED keypad is a cool feature. It will appear when you hit the hold button on the side of the phone. It may be a little difficult to get used to, but you can easily catch on and the effect is awesome.

Once you open up the Impact, there is a bright 2.6-inch screen with 240 x 400 pixel resolution. On both sides of the screen, there are stereo speakers that produce fantastic sound quality. The QWERTY keyboard has large, flat, square keys that make texting a breeze. The voice quality of the phone is quite clear, but the low volume of the earpiece can make talking to people in windy conditions a little difficult. The speakerphone is moderately loud but sounds slightly tinny. With Bluetooth, everything is crystal clear and with the perfect amount of volume. Another quick fact to note is the fact that the Impact is a quad-band EDGE and dual-band HSDPA phone. This means that it can work overseas, although the 3G speed is restricted strictly to the U.S. and Canada.

Web browsers look incredibly sharp on the Impact and load quite quickly. Navigation is made easy by the five-way control pad. The browsing experience is very impressive for a midrange feature phone. You can connect to Yahoo, AOL, AIM, Gmail, and Windows Live through AT&T’s Mobile Email offer, but it will cost you an extra $5. Also featured on the Impact is the TeleNav-powered AT&T GPS Navigator that includes the ability to utilize voice-enabled, turn-by-turn directions. There are 80MB of internal storage on the Impact, but in case you need even more room, there is a bottom-mounted microSD card slot that will work with up to a 32GB card.

Other features on the Impact include a 2-megapixel auto-focus camera. Although it lacks an LED flash, it does have video recording capabilities. The photos that the phone took were sharp, but they lacked bright colors. The videos were a bit grainy, but otherwise quite smooth at 320 x 240 pixel resolution and 13 frames per second.

The Pantech Impact is a welcome arrival to AT&T’s line up of phones. With the multitude of features including: the invisible number keys, extra LCD display, quick and easy Web browsing, and plenty of internal storage, you can’t beat the $99 price tag of this feature phone.

Looking for help with travel and technology? Then call a Tech Travel Agent at 800-736-8772. Or see this link for a Laptop Rental on your next trip.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

ZiiLABS Zii Trinity Smartphone Announced

Zii TrinityZiiLABS promised and ZiiLABS delivered with the announcement of their first smartphone development platform entitled the Zii Trinity. The Zii Trinity is based off of Zii:ABS StemCell ZMS-05 processor with added quadband GMS and triband WCDMA/HSDPA. ZiiLABS is a subsidiary of Creative and has brought a lot of punch to this new smartphone.

The Trinity comes packed with a ton of features that are sure to make it top on the list of smartphones. The Zii Trinity comes with 1080p full HD which is also supported together with accelerated OpenGL ES 3D graphics. The Trinity runs a 3.1-inch 800x480 OLED capacitive touchscreen with 3.5G support.

Along with all of this the Trinity also manages to add in WiFi b/g, a GOS system, Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR and even a 5 megapixel camera with autofocus. Aside from the 5 megapixel camera there is also a VGA camera on the front of the device for video calls and a microSD card slot.

The Trinity includes a micro USB 2.0, mini HDMI and composite video output. A 1,130mAh battery pack is included with the Trinity and the device will run Creative's own Plaszma OS or even Google's Android platform. Users will be able to fully customize a Zii-optimized Android install or the Plaszma interface.

The one unfortunate factor in the Zii Trinity is that it will not be available to the general public through a mobile phone store. It will be available through a Zii Development Kit 3G Phone Edition. This kit includes schematics, Gerbers, mechanical drawings, Board Support Package, middleware and OS. There is no word on pricing as of yet but I will update you as information arises.

For now, this new smartphone looks to be pretty impressive and is packed with some amazing features. Definitely be on the lookout for this device in the near future.
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