Tag Archives: VerizonWireless

Microsoft Kins available from May 13 in the US, priced at $49.99 and $99.99

5 May

Microsoft today announced that the KIN One and KIN Two will be available on Verizon Wireless in the US from May 13. Consumers can book their phone online from May 6.

Ever since Microsoft showed the two devices, we were quite vocal that the price of the devices will be critical to their success. We had suggested a price of $79 and $99 for the two phones and Microsoft seems to have done a little better. However, one needs to keep in mind that the actual price is $149 and $199 with a $100 mail-in rebate. Basically, you will be paying that price with a two-year contract and get a debit card worth $100 mailed to you.

However, the Kins are still unlikely to be a run-away hit even with this pricing considering that users will have to shell out a minimum of $70 a month as their voice and data subscriptions. In other words, a user will shell out another $1,680 through the lifecycle of the device. Jeez, Microsoft was really close to having a winner on their hands. Close but not there, yet.

Microsoft is set to launch its own social networking phones in the US on Monday

9 Apr

Finally, Microsoft’s acquisition of Danger – the makers of Sidekick phones sold on T-Mobile in the US – is bearing some fruits. The blogosphere is abuzz with news that Microsoft will release its first set of phones (read hardware) with American CDMA carrier Verizon Wireless as early as April 12.

Rumours (and at times detailed leaks like this picture from Gizmodo) have been doing the rounds for a long time that Microsoft is working on ‘Project Pink’ – two social networking phones being developed by the Danger team. These phones are unlikely to run on Windows Phone 7 and won’t be smartphones in the traditional sense. Instead, they will focus on accessing online social networks and will target youngsters, just like Sidekick phones.

The performance of these devices in the market will be critical for Microsoft as it continues to lose market share to iPhone, BlackBerry and Android phones, while smartphones running on Microsoft’s new OS are not expected to hit before the holiday season towards the end of the year. It will be also interesting to see how Microsoft convinces its hardware partners that these devices won’t compete with their Windows Mobile smartphones. 

Google officially launches Nexus One

5 Jan

The worst kept secret in tech space today got a stamp of ‘officialness’ when Google announced the Nexus One, the latest Android phone. This is the first Android phone that Google will retail on its own via its web store. The device, mnufactured by HTC, is currently available in the US, the UK, Hong Kong and Singapore unlocked at $530. In the US, the Nexus One is also available with T-Mobile for $180 with a two-year contract. Google will bring more phones to other carriers with Vodafone and Verizon Wireless lined up for spring this year.

The Nexus One runs on a new version of Android OS called version 2.1 that supports 3D interfaces and comes with a revamped user interface. But there are lot more cooler features on the Nexus One apart from cosmetic changes.

The most crucial addition, we think, is that of universal voice command support across all applications. Basically, where ever there is an option to type text, you can now speak. Like Google Voice Search, all the processing takes place on the server side, which means you will have to be connected to the network at all time.

Google has also partnered with the folks at Cool Iris for the new image gallery application. If you have used Cool Iris on the iPhone, you’d know what to expect – basically cool rendering of your images in a 3-D wall. Other tweaks include five homescreens instead of the default three.

On the hardware front, the Nexus One rocks a 3.7 inch 480×800 pixel touchscreen display, a 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, a 5.0 MP camera with led flash, 512 MB RAM/ROM and a 1400 mAh battery. It supports quad-band EDGE and 900/1700/2100 MHz HSDPA.

The Nexus One is just the first of many phones that Google will retail on its own. Motorola might be next with a ‘world phone’, which we would like to assume, it would launch with Verizon Wireless.

Motorola Droid! The Best Android Smart Phone

3 Nov

I have been using the Motorola Droid for almost a week. Here are my impressions:


Slick and Smooth are the two words that come to mind to describe the device. The sharp angles enable a comfortable grip in the hands and the slider keyboard is easy to use. To assist with web navigation – Motorola has incorporated a touch pad – which works effectively. The resolution from the 5 Megapixel still and video camera was impressive. Some customers may be able to ditch their camcorder and camera in favor of the integrated camera in the Droid.


We have used virtually every Android device on the market and can anoint the Droid as the best Android smart phone.


Display

The Droid has an amazing 3.7” capacitive display. Being addicted to the iPhone I did try to “pinch” the screen – no response. As some of you may know Apple has a patent on “pinch.” As a consolation – the screen did enlarge and reduce by pressing soft keys.


Navigation

The turn-by-turn navigation provided by Google maps was accurate in my multiple tests. Although be advised that a couple of 15 mile trips will drain the battery. I believe turn-by-turn navigation will become an important differentiator for smart phones that use Android.


Integration with Google

Setup of my gmail was relatively simple and it was pleasant to have a little extra real estate to view my e-mails.


Keyboard

I found the slider keyboard not only aesthetically very pleasing but also comfortable to use. The appearance was much better than the keyboard found on the Palm Pre and the G-1 by HTC. I made a limited number of typos and was able to type fairly accurately at a decent speed. I sense the keyboard on the Droid will be appreciated by folks who have been accustomed to using a Blackberry keyboard.


Device Speed

The processing power on the Droid was impressive given how quickly I was able to move from one application to another. I will not be shy in saying that the Droid is the fastest smart phone that I have tested.


Network Speed

I did a network speed comparison test of the following devices:


Apple iPhone 3 GS – AT&T

Blackberry Bold – AT&T

Blackberry Tour – Verizon

Droid – Verizon

Palm Pre – Sprint

HTC Hero – Sprint


I enlisted the support of five friends and all four us visited four different sites simultaneously. The Droid was the  fastest in loading websites. Also, the integrated Facebook application was quick to load and update.


The only negative I can alert you to is the battery life. This is not unique to the Droid but is a challenge with most smart phone batteries. After two hours of web browsing/e-mail, one hour on the phone and two fifteen minute navigation sessions, the battery was 85% drained.


We sincerely hope devices like the Droid and the Cliq that Motorola has developed enable a resurgence in the mobile device division of Motorola. I will not be surprised to see some Blackberry customers migrate to the Droid.


The Droid goes on sale on November 6th at Verizon for $199 after a $100 rebate. I will go out on a limb and proclaim that the Droid will be the highest grossing Android phone.


Beware humans, the DROID's gonna rule us all…

28 Oct

Today we were reminded why one shouldn’t write off a company that pioneered cellular telephony as we know it today. After many years, Motorola’s charm worked its magic again as it dethroned HTC as Google’s preferred partner for Android devices.

Motorola today unveiled its worst-kept secret and probably the best Android phone out there in the market – the DROID. It is the first device running Android 2.0 and will be available on Verizon’s CDMA (EvDO) network in the US starting November 6 for $199 over a two-year contract.

While we haven’t yet managed to lay our mitts on the device, initial reviews have been raving and it is already been termed as Verizon’s best smartphone that can compete with THAT phone on AT&T’s network.

With a thickness of just 13.7 mm, the DROID is being claimed as the world’s thinnest phone with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. To put it into perspective, the iPhone 3GS is 12.3 mm thick. So for about 1.4 mm extra, you get a full physical QWERTY keyboard. Then there is the massive 3.7 inch WVGA display, which is not only bigger than the iPhone’s but is also based on capacitive touch technology that makes it finger-friendly.

Since it is runs Android 2.0, you’d get Exchange support right out of the box, an improved browser that supports HTML5 and lots of other goodies that we highlighted yesterday. However, the biggest improvement in the OS was announced today – turn-by-turn voice based navigation on Google Maps. That’s right folks, no matter where you are, you will get GPS-based navigation for free (data costs apply according to your plan, of course).

Going back to the hardware specs, the DROID has a 5.0 MP camera with auto-focus, dual-LED flash and image stabilisation. Add to it digital zoom and macro mode added by Android OS 2.0. It also shoots video at 720×840 pixels albeit at 24 fps and the DROID easily becomes the best camera phone on Android.

To sweeten the deal, we are already hearing about a GSM version of DROID, which should make its way to India soon. How soon, we dunno, but we are keeping our fingers crossed.

Second Verizon Android phone to be an HTC after all…

6 Oct

Can things get any more stupid? After remaining mum throughout the press briefing on the identity of the two Android phones coming to Verizon this year, Google’s Eric Schmidt and Verizon’s Lowell McAdam posed for a photo-op holding the two unidentified phones. Whoops! Schmidt seems to have forgotten the ‘secret’ part of the announcement and flashed what seems to be a customised version of the Hero or something similar. McAdam does a better job of hiding the phone but it still looks like a slider to us, which could very well be the Motorola Sholes.

Now, if they had to pose with the devices, why didn’t they make a bigger deal out of the press conference, invite Motorola and HTC over, and in effect, steal Microsoft’s thunder?

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via Engadget

Verizon Wireless and Google partnership – key takeaways

6 Oct

Verizon Wireless and Google’s announcement webcast has just ended. Apart from the press release that was issued a couple of hours prior to the webcast that announced Verizon’s plans for launching Android-based devices and services, there were a few key takeaways.

1. The partnership is much bigger than just Verizon launching Android phones. Verizon and Google will be joining their technical and marketing resources for the ‘family of devices’. They will even have some of their own services and applications apart from those found in the Android Market.

2. They are talking about Android devices (PDAs, smartphones, feature phones and netbooks) and services not just for 3G but even 4G, which happens to be LTE in Verizon’s case.

3. Verizon Wireless will launch two Android phones this year, with more to follow next year.

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