Archive | June, 2008

Hands on with the Nokia E71

17 Jun

On the sidelines of CommunicAsia 2008 here in Singapore, Nokia finally announced the next two devices in its E-series of business phones – the E66 and the E71. We played around with the two phones and were quite impressed with the fact that the Finnish giant is finally sparing some thought to design in its business phone portfolio. Firt up, we take a look at the E71.

The first thing you will notice about the E71 was its thickness or should we say thiness? At just 10 mm, it is a remarkable improvement from the E61 from last year. It is a bit narrower as well, which makes it easier for one-handed operations. A friend of mine, who uses the E61i, always complains that her device doesn’t fit in her tiny palm. Probably the E71 is made for girls like her. Why do I say girls? Take a look at the picture below and you will know.

If you see carefully, the back now has a reflective stainless steel finish. You can see my reflection on it as I click a picture. Nokia is now tring to change the profile of its E-series portfolio from boring to stunning. It will now be more about doing your business in style than just efficiency.

The User Interface has also witnessed some changes. The Product Managers tell me it is still S60 3rd edition with Features Pack 1 with some enhancements. The home screen has also been changed and now you can change the home screen from ‘business’ to ‘pleasure’ at the click of a button. For instance, you have a shortcut to your work e-mail and appointments on the home screen in one mode and have your personal e-mail and shortcut to music player on the other. This means that you can have two different home screens!

I had suspected the due to the narrower body, the tiny QWERTY keypad would be difficult to use. Nokia seems to be one step ahead at this stage, with an intelligent predictive text input mechanism that not only auto-corrects and auto-completes text but also neglects the second key stroke when you press the same key twice. Even the calendar has seen some improvements. Now you can see previews of your appointments on the right half of the screen.

Overall, the E71 seems to be a fitting successor to the E61i. It is expected to be released during the later half of July or early August in India.

Hands On with the Nokia E66

17 Jun

The Nokia E66 takes on form where Nokia had left the E65. The E65 now seems to be more like a trial for Nokia in manufacturing a slider business phone. The E66 has gone a lot slimmer and oozes oomph with its metallic finish and impressive looks.

The E66 shares virtually everything with the E71 but for the QWERTY keypad. What’s extra in the E66 is the accelerometer that changes the screen orientation. Another interesting use of the accelerometer in the E66 is the way you can silence calls. Simply put the phone with the screen facing down and the ringer goes silent without dicsonnecting a call.

Moto ZN200 gets official, FCC style

14 Jun

Remember the Motorola ZN200, we told you about in April? Well, the FCC has outed the metallic slider and confirmed our hunch that it won’t be anything more than a mid-end phone. The official specs conform dual-band GSM connectivity (850/1900 Mhz), which means it would be distributed in the US alone. However, we cannot rule out an Asia version. Other specs include a 2 MP snapper and a 2.5 mm audio jack. Nothing spectacular.


Sony Ericsson CommunicAsia products leaked

14 Jun

So what do we have here? First, the Sony Ericsson C905 8 MP camera phone was leaked and now there’s a whole bunch of phones and Bluetooth headsets that have been unleashed three days before the brand’s press conference in Singapore. 

HBH PV716, PV 720 and PV 740 Bluetooth headsets

All the three headsets will have up to 11 hours of talktime, a whopping 800 hours of standby time, auto-pairing, digital noise reduction and Bluetooth 2.0 with Enhanced Data Rates. Read more about them here.

S302 Snapshot phone
Sony Ericsson will also unveil its new series of phones – the Snapshot series – that will feature mid-end phones with camera and will be placed below the Cyber-shot series. The S302 will be the first offering and will come with a 2 MP camera and features like PhotoFix and flash. Read more about the S302 here.

F305 Gaming Phone
This is no PSP but ain’t a bad gaming phone considering the PSP-style gaming keys on the top of the display or the gaming short-cut key on the lower-left part of the face. We’re told that it will feature motion-enabled games as well! Read more about the F305 here.

Exclusive: BlackBerry Bold launch delayed till November?

14 Jun

Bad news, guys. According to our sources at AT&T, the launch of the BlackBerry Bold on the American carrier has been deferred from June to November. At the moment, people close to the development are citing “power management issues” in the device as the reason for the delay. We just hope that the folks at RIM are able to resolve it before it’s too late.

MWg sets shop in India

13 Jun

MWg, the Windows Mobile handset vendor formally known as O2 Asia, has finally set shop in India. To mark its entry into India, the brand has launched two handsets – the Atom V and Zinc II. Both the devices hanve an inbuilt GPS. The Atom V is priced at Rs 27,888 while the Zinc II is priced at Rs 34,888.

Tata Indicom to provide location based services

13 Jun

Tata Indicom will be amongst the first carriers to provide A-GPS services in India. A-GPS or Assisted GPS provides the approximate location of users by triangulating the locations of nearby cell sites in addition to a GPS chip that plots the location using dedicated satellites. This provides better results and works even when the device isn’t in the direct line of sight of the satellites (for instance, indoors or on a cloudy day).

The carrier will implement this feature on some upcoming handsets that will enable subscribers to engage in location based social networking and friend finder like services. For the enterprise segment, it will enable fleet and asset management services.

Tata Indicom will employ Qualcomm’s QPoint solution along with GPSone chipset to enable these location based services.