Archive | July, 2009

Nokia launches 6700 Classic, 6303 Classic in India

24 Jul

Nokia India today launched the 6700 Classic and the 6303 Classic for Rs 14,000 and Rs 8,000, repectively.

Nokia 6700 Classic features:

WCDMA bands: I+II +VIII (900/1900/2100)
GSM 850/900/1800/1900
User Interface:S40
Dimensions:109.8 x 45 x 11 mm (L x W x T)Weight:116 g
Display:2.2 inch QVGA (320 x 240 pixels) with up to 16.7 million colors
Battery: Nokia Battery BL-6Q, 960 mAh
Memory:Up to 170 MB internal memory, support for up to 8GB MicroSD memory card
Main Camera:
Image capture:5 megapixels
Video capture:MPEG-4 VGA at up to 15 fps Flash:LED flash
Operating Times:
Talk time:Up to 4.0 hours
Standby time:Up to 300 hrs
Music playback:Up to 20 hours

Nokia 6303 Classic features

EGSM 900/1800/1900 MHz
User Interface:S40
Dimensions:108.8 x 46.2 x 11.7 mm (L x W x T)Weight:96 g
Display:2.2 inch QVGA (320 x 240 pixels) with up to 16.7 million colors
Battery: Nokia Battery BL-5CT, 1050 mAh Memory:Up to 17 MB internal memory, support for up to 4GB microSD memory card
Main Camera:
Image capture:3.2 megapixels
Video capture:MPEG-4 VGA at up to 15 fps
Flash:Dual LED flash
Operating Times:
Talk time:Up to 7.0 hours
Standby time: Up to 450 hrs
Music playback: Up to 15 hours

RIM patents the Rotoberry

24 Jul

A patent application recently made public shows BlackBerry maker Research In Motions plans for a BlackBerry handheld with a rotating display.

There are several variants of the concept device all featuring a display that can rotate to reveal a QWERTY keypad.

It might sound good but out experience with phones with swivelling displays has not been amazing and based on that we certainly don’t think it’d be a good idea to implement on a business phone.

If RIM really wants a new form-factor, it should look no further than the HTC Touch Pro2 for inspiration.


Living with the LG GM730

24 Jul

Thanks to the APAC teams of Microsoft and LG, I have been using LG’s latest Windows Mobile phone for about three weeks now. The GM730 is LG’s first smartphone that has its trademark S-Class 3D UI on it, which masks Windows Mobile’s traditional interface. At the moment, I’m using it on Windows Mobile 6.1 but I have been informed that it will eventually run on Microsoft’s new version of Windows Mobile called version 6.5.

While I’ll be reviewing the device in detail in the upcoming print version of CellPassion, I’d share some key take-aways from my review.

UI: The S-Class 3D UI does a great job of masking Windows Mobile UI and making it look more lively than the boring, business-like Windows theme. The guys have done a great job with e-mail set up that requires just three steps to configure popular ISP e-mail accounts.

Design: From the front, the GM730, in my opinion, is by far one of the best looking phones from LG’s stables. And yeah, I think it looks prettier than the Arena with its curved edges and metallic trimmings. However, the back is a different story all together. It is a cheap, thin piece of plastic that one would not even like to have on a budget multi-media phone, leave aside a pretty high-end smartphone.

Call quality: LG has had a chequered past when it comes to in-call audio quality and many of its devices have been infamous for frequent call drops (the Secret, for instance). In my opinion, the GM730 has one of the best in-call audio quality not only in LG’s portfolio but even among smartphones from other brands. I didn’t encounter any significant call drops either.

Battery performance: This is one area where the GM730 is a bit disappointing. With Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned off and just about an hour of calling and an hour of web browsing, the battery has not lasted me for more than a day, which means that if I turn on Wi-Fi for browsing, it would give me a battery performance somewhat similar to the iPhone 3G (I have not tested the iPhone 3GS yet). I believe if LG can overleap this hurdle, the GM730 has the potential to be a good mid-end Windows Mobile smartphone.

Google launches Latitude web app on iPhone cuz Apple said so…

24 Jul

Earlier in the day, Google announced the much-awaited Latitude feature for the iPhone. Latitude allows users to share their location real-time with their contacts and it was widely expected that iPhone’s OS 3.0 would bring this feature to its default Maps app that runs via Google Maps, but that wasn’t meant to be. There were also speculations that Google would release a Latitude app on the App Store but now they have announced a web app that runs on the iPhone’s Safari browser.

The new iPhone OS allows the browser to access a user’s location (with the user’s consent, of course) and that’s what Latitude latches on. We tried the app here in India and it seems to work perfectly. However, not having the functionality to run in the background, we had to fire up Safari every 10 minutes or so to update our location.

We have nothing against a web app but what bothers us the most is Google did not realease a native app because Apple asked it not to do so.

An excerpt from the post announcing the web app from the Official Google Mobile Blog:

“We worked closely with Apple to bring Latitude to the iPhone in a way Apple thought would be best for iPhone users. After we developed a Latitude application for the iPhone, Apple requested we release Latitude as a web application in order to avoid confusion with Maps on the iPhone, which uses Google to serve maps tiles.”

What beats us is why a company like Google cannot stand up to Apple and say, “hey, we want a native app” or “why not integrate Latitude on the Maps app itself?,” We believe that the latter would have been more user-friendly as it would not have ‘confused’ users.

Steve Jobs, inventor of the iPhone packaging box!

21 Jul

The iPhone ain’t just an iconic device, it has also changed cellphone packaging to quite an extent. At a time when cellphone packaging was so complex that putting back the contents of a cellphone was a difficult task (ask us, who have to repack and send dozens of phones every month), Apple invented the simplistic shoe-box packaging.

We have been unearthing patent applications for almost two years now and it is the first time that we have come across a patent for a package.

Having been reviewing phones for nearly five years now, I can vouch that the iPhone is the easiest device to repack into its box along with all its contents. And yeah, it is probably the only cellphone packaging that I have retained of the more than half a dozen phones I personally own.

Hence, it makes sense for Apple to patent the shoe-box pack for the iPhone. And surprise, surprise, among the inventors features the name of our favourite CEO – Steve Jobs!

There ain’t much to read in the patent application apart from a few more pictures of the innards of your iPhone’s box. It reminds me of the unboxing of my first iPhone bought off the grey market (it wasn’t launched in India then).

Hit the link for some more pictures.

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Sony Ericsson patent hints at twisting cam phone

21 Jul

We love patents, especially those that reveal everything about a concept device that might or might not make it to store shelves anytime soon.

Nevertheless, here we have a Sony Ericsson patent for a twisting cam phone. Yup, it does remind us of an old Nokia music phone (the 5700 XM was it?) but this one twists to showcase its photography skills than anything else.

According to the patent, such an arrangement might come handy to incorporate cameras with wider lenses, higher megapixels or even higher zoom (manual zoom?).

Hmm, not bad for a Sony Ericsson but will we ever see it coming?


Moto goes name-shopping for Android phones?

21 Jul

Continuing with our raid of trademark applications filed with the USPTO, we have come across four names trademarked by Motorola between May 15 and June 2, 2009! The names, Devour (serial number 77738267), Innate (serial number 77738287), Fiend (77738298) and Vanquish (77750243) sound kinda apt for a company trying to return to its days of glory. So will these be the names of the four upcoming Moto Android phones? Quite possible, we reckon.

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