Kamis, 30 Juni 2011

July 2011 smarthpone buyers guide

We just finished our last buyers guide, but prices have changed so it is time for an update.

Php25,000 and higher. Buying a top of the line smartphone is now cheaper than ever, If you want the best smartphone that money can buy right now it is the Samsung Galaxy S II.

The Galaxy S II has a 4.3 inch 480 x 800 Super AMOLED screen, is powered by a Dual-core 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A9 proccessor with a Mali-400MP GPU on an Exynos chipset 1GB of RAM, has 16GB of internal storage and a 8MP autofocus camera with a LED flash. It comes installed with Google's Android 2.3 operating system running under the new TouchWiz v4.0 user interface. Available from CMK Cellphones for as low as Php27,800, there is little reason to consider any of the other top end phones.

You do have HTC's Sensation at Php27,500 which has a higher resolution qHD (540 x 960) S-LCD, but the Galaxy S II overall has a better display, runs much faster, has more RAM, and more internal memory.  The only reason I can think of buying the Sensation instead of the Galaxy S II is if you simply cannot live without HTC's Sense user interface. You also have the LG Optimus 2x at a lower price of Php25,400 but the Galaxy S II specifications more than justify the higher price. 

The other option at this price range is  is the iPhone 4, but that will actually cost you more than the Samsung Galaxy S II, and is about to be replaced by a newer and better iPhone. If you want an iPhone, best advice I can give is wait for the newer one or buy the iPhone 4 after it price goes down (when the new one is released).

Php15,000 to Php24,999. At the mid-level, we recommend another Android,  the LG Optimus Black. Priced at Php17,990 it is really tough to beat. It 700-nit 4-inch IPS display screen is the best you will find at this price point and its 1 GHz  TI OMAP 3630 processor , PowerVR SGX530 GPU and 512MB of RAM will satisfy all users but the dedicated mobile phone gamer. It will run most games on the Android Market, not all.

The Optimus Black is a thin 9.2 m, but is 122 mm tall and 64 mm wide. This looking for a smaller package may want to check out HTC's Desire S at 115 x 59.8 x 11.6 mm . This comes with a smaller 3.7-inc screen but actually has 50% more RAM and a faster processor and GPU than the Optimus Black, The Desire S will cost you must more than the Optimus Black at Php21,500. 

Nokia has several offerings at this price point, the Nokia N8, E7 and X7, but Nokia is going to be moving to Windows Phone 7 by the end of the year. No point investing this much money in an operating system which is all but phased out.  But if you are looking for the best camera phone available, the Nokia N8 is still the best.

There are a couple of BlackBerry devices at this price point too, but RIM is also moving to a new OS, QNX.

Php10,000 to Php14,999. At a lower price point we recommend another Android, the Samsung Galaxy Ace. With a 3.5-inch 320 x 480 resolution screen, an 800MHz processor and a better than expected camera, it is a competent Android phone. Priced at Php13,000 it offers good specifications for the asking price.  It's only real competitor is the HTC Wildfire S with a smaller 3.2-inch screen and slower processor.

Another interesting option at this price is the BlackBerry Curve 9300 3G at Php12,400. If you want to avail of BlackBerry services this is the phone to get. The next cheaper BlackBerry loses the 3G connectivity, and the higher end models really will not give you a significantly better experience. 
Below Php10,000. Even at entry level prices, we still are recommending an Android. The LG Optimus One is the best phone at this price range. At Php9,800 with a 3.2-inch screen and a 320 x 480 screen resolution is the cheapest phone that will allow you to enjoy Android that way that it was designed to be used. Anything cheaper has a smaller, lower resolution screen.

Another interesting option at this price point is the Nokia E5. At Php8,800 it offers free lifetime turn by turn navigation.

July 4, 2011 update. Since we wrote this article the lowest price we have found on this phone with an official warranty went up to Php28,500. A few hundred more won't change out minds though. This is the killer Android phone to buy.

Budget laptop: eMachines eMD443-E352g50Mikk

We are fond of AMD Fusion powered laptops, more specifically those powered by the AMD E-350 processor because they combines low cost with decent processor and graphics performance. If you are looking for a laptop to do word processing, preparing spreadsheets and presentations, browse the web and viewing HD movies and videos, a AMD Fusion E-350 laptop is more than sufficient for those tasks. It can even do some 3D gaming. eMachines 14-inch eMD443-E352g50Mikk is priced at just Php17,500, without a operating system. Adding the cost of a Windows 7 Home Basic license will bring you up to just about Php22K.

For that price the laptop is configured with a 500GB hard drive, 2GB of RAM and an optical drive. It has all the usual connectivity options, but no USB 3.0 or Bluetooth. The 6-cell 4400 mAH battery should be good for 4 hours of battery life.  The eMachines eMD443-E352g50Mikk is the cheapest E-350 laptop in the market at the present time. 

If you are looking for something smaller, you may want to take a look at the 11.6-inch HP Pavilion DM1-3016AU which cost Php20,900 with Windows 7 Home Basic installed. 

If you want a 14-inch unit with a longer battery life or a DVD writer, take a look at the Asus K43U-012. It has the same specifications as the Acer eMD443-E352g50Mikk, but with a larger 5200 mAh battery and a DVDRW optical drive. The Asus K43U-012 cost more at Php21,995 without an operating system.

Samsung Galaxy SL I9003 XXKP9 Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread ODIN Stock ROM Firmware Update is here!

After the latest update of 2.3.4 Gingerbread I9003XXKP7 beta version which reportedly has a "sleep mode" bug problem  issues, here comes another  Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread update Stock ROM for Samsung Galaxy SL I9003. We hope this one carry the fixes from the previous leaked beta version (we don't know yet).  This is built for Europe version of Galaxy S SL I9003 only.
Region: Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, UK,
Available languages: de, en, es, fr, it, nl, pt, tr,
Note: this information might not be fully correct

Packaged details:
PIT: latona_20110114.pit
Bootloader: APBOOT_I9003XXKP9_CL309731_REV08_eng_mid_ship
PDA: CODE_I9003XXKP9_CL309731_REV08_eng_mid_ship.tar.md5 
MODEM: MODEM_I9003XXKP9_REV_00_CL1027275.tar.md5
CSC: GT-I9003-CSC-MULTI-OXAKP9.tar.md5

The new update can now be available for download at samfirmware.com , they manage to expose the said leaked firmware update. It 's labeled  I9003XXKP9 with a build date of June 21 2011.

Please Note: this is only a leaked Stock ROM release. So, if you are not sure and not familiar with firmwares for your Samsung Galaxy S SL I9003, just wait for it via KIES update.  If you wanted to give a risk and try it out, you can grab a copy on the link below:
if there is a password try: samfirmware.com

We will give it a try on our Galaxy S SL I9003 and then update this post for any improvements, bug fixes, functionality or any problem issues.

HTC Sensation RUU/Shipped ROMs Packaged Leaked Links

Heres'a list of  Radios, RUU and Shipped ROM's for HTC Pyramid also known HTC Sensation Android Smartphone.

 Note: there is  no harm in trying to update your HTC Sensation ROM. If your CIDs do not match with the latest update, it will just not let you install the update, and no changes will be made to your HTC Sensation.

Latest leaked: June 2011
RUU_Pyramid_HTC_Europe_1.35.401.1_Radio_10.43a.900 7.00U_10.51.9007.27_M3_release_198179_signed
http://www.filefactory.com/file/cc03797/n/RUU_Pyramid_HTC_Europe_1.35.401.1_Radio_10.43a.900 7.00U_10.51.9007.27_M3_release_198179_signed.exehttps://rapidshare.com/files/4167858...179_signed.exe

RUU_Pyramid_HTC_ARA_1.34.415.1_Radio_10.43a.9007.0 0U_10.51.9007.27_M3_release_197242_signed.exe
credits to kia1349  @ XDA-DEV

Shipped ROMs

HTC Sensation Europe
RUU_Pyramid_HTC_Europe_1.24.401.1_Radio_10.39.9007 .00P_10.11.9007.09_M2_release_190934_signed

RUU_Pyramid_HTC_Europe_1.27.401.3_Radio_10.42.9007 .00P_10.11.9007.15_M_release_192183_signed

RUU_Pyramid_HTC_Europe_1.28.401.1_Radio_10.42.9007 .00P_10.11.9007.15_M_release_192608_signed

RUU_Pyramid_HTC_Europe_1.35.401.1_Radio_10.43a.900 7.00U_10.51.9007.27_M3_release_198179_signed

RUU_Pyramid_Vodafone_FR_1.23.163.1_Radio_10.38.900 7.00P_10.11.9007.06_M3_release_190415_signed

RUU_Pyramid_Vodafone_UK_1.24.161.1_Radio_10.39.900 7.00P_10.11.9007.09_M2_release_190798_signed

SKT (Korea)

RUU_Pyramid_SKT_KR_1.24.911.1_Radio_10.39.9007.00P _10.11.9007.09_M2_release_190960_signed
http://www.filefactory.com/file/cb35a67/n/RUU_Pyramid_SKT_KR_1.24.911.1_Radio_10.39.9007.00P _10.11.9007.09_M2_release_190960_signed.exe

RUU_Pyramid_TMOUS_1.27.531.2_Radio_10.42.9007.00P_ 10.11.9007.15_M_release_192098_signed

RUU_Pyramid_TMOUS_1.29.531.2_Radio_10.42.9007.00P_ 10.11.9007.15_M_release_193714_signed

ORANGE (Spain)
RUU_Pyramid_Orange_ES_1.35.75.1_Radio_10.43a.9007. 00U_10.51.9007.27_M3_release_198552_signed

RUU_Pyramid_Orange_UK_1.35.61.1_Radio_10.43a.9007. 00U_10.51.9007.27_M3_release_198549_signed

filed by Football @XDA-DEV

Rabu, 29 Juni 2011

How to Fix Bricked (Unbrick) Samsung Galaxy TAB

Many users have been looking for answers if they messed up and bricked their Samsung Galaxy TAB. Today I will give you some hints on how to fix this problem.

Disclaimer: This is my own terms and personal brief explanation, just correct me and add suggestion if I missed up something wrong.

Okay let's tackle what your device problem is.

Is your Galaxy Tab already bricked?

Freeze or Hang on logo.
The phone can boot after pressing the power button but it stuck or freeze on LOGO or home screen and after that it doesn't work any further.

Crashing/Shutdown on logo or often restarted.
Some users they call this problem as boot looping, the device will just automatically shuts off again and again.
At this state the phone can still reaches into Download Mode, Charge Mode and Service mode. They called this problem as SOFT-Bricked. The phone is not already totally bricked on this state.

What about if the Phone doesn't turns On or Power UP is it already bricked?

Some other factors if the device will not power Up is due to battery failure,firmware failure and hardware failure cause by water damaged or accidentally dropped.

Bricked phones will not powering up if the firmware is totally corrupted or damaged. We do not use the term bricked if the phone is still powering up or boot up. We used the term Dead Boot Jammed.

But one thing to remember that the device will not turns ON if the battery is totally drained and the device won't show a battery icon when the battery charger is plug-in.

Hardware failure issue can only determine after checking or diagnosing the firmware.

So how to fix the problems?
If the phone still reaches up to Download Mode (Volume Down+Power Button) and Recovery Mode(Volume Up+Power Buttons), You can still fix the phone by flashing the right firmware again. Firmwares comes on different versions according to your Country or Region and Service or Carrier providers. If you flash a wrong firmware you will messed up again.

This steps below are hints on how to diagnose any so-called bricked problem by users:

Hang, Frozen, Crashing, Auto Shutdown, Often restated:
If your Tab experience hang, frozen or often restarted without doing anything on it or flashing any firmware, You may first try to wipe the data cache of your device and restore it to its original factory default settings:

They called it a Hard reset:
Turn off the phone then Press the Volume Up and Power Button, your device will then boot into recovery mode. Select the wipe data or factory reset option.
This sometimes help and fix the problem but not certainly very often. If the problem still continues then you may need to re-install (flashing) the firmware again.

Flashing the Firmware: This process will install a fresh firmware on the device by Using an Original STOCK ROM and ODIN flasher tool.

- Find and download the Right Firmware of your Galaxy TAB make sure that you have selected the correct firmware for your Region or Carrier.
You may find intructions over xda-developer by K0sh:

Galaxy tab Won't Power Up, Doesn't charge or show battery icon.

- Try to use another working battery first or let the charger plug-in for about 8 hours (standard) or less, as long as the battery have the right voltage to power up the phone.

- If the battery seems working or already tried a new one, this time
In this case you may consider that your TAB is already bricked (Dead Boot) or totally messed up. Flashing the firmware by using ODIN will not work this time, because you can't access the phone into Download mode or service mode.

So, is the phone will still can be fix?

Yes! if your device still at its warranty period, we advice that you may send it back to your Samsung sevice centers for repairs. There's is nothing on the web that may help you fix it by your own. There are also many 3rd party mobile phone technicians nearby that can help you recover your TAB just unless if you have already void the warranty of your device.

We will show how does it is going to be fix here, just to inform anyone else for curiosity matter.

If the you TAB is totally messed up, the only way to recover it is by using special tools and the process is a little bit complicated and time consuming.

So what tools needed?
When the phone's firmware is totally damaged, since you cannot use ODIN to install the firmware on it, you will need a tool that can force the device to make you access and install the firmware unto it again. This tools are like the production tool where your Tab are like at the state of factory production.

Okay, instead of using the standard method by flashing through ODIN on phones USB, We  used a tool by a way of JTAG flashing. The JTAG flashing needs a JTAG device and a software downloader tool to connect the phone and regain access and install the firmware on the phone again.

And doing this is a bit complicated because it will need to dis-assemble the galaxy TAB and solder some part of it to make a connection from the JTAG device tool to the phone.

The picture below will show which part of  the galaxy TAB PCB board where to regain a connection.
It is the JTAG pinouts, where service centers get access to restore the phones firmware.

samsung galaxy Tab Jtag unbrick connection pinout

This video is from Mobile Tech our colleagues based in USA will show you how does it been done to fix and unbrick the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

That's it for now, we will try to add more solution about this problem.You may add more additional info's and suggestion or even question on our comment form below.

Around the web: Odds and ends

Apple moves. It looks like the rivalry and legal battles between Samsung and Apple, has cost Samsung a customer. Samsung manufacturers the A4 and A5 chips found in Apple's iPhone's, iPods and iPads. In 2012, Apple will be having them manufactured by someone else. Read the rest of the article at GSMArena.

Windows Phone 7 arrives. No mobile phone OS can be considered to a contedender without Angry Birds :) 

Angry Birds is finally available for Windows Phone 7. At US$2.99, it is more expensive than the US$0.99 iOS (non-HD) version, but given how Rovio keeps on rolling out new levels, US$2.99 is well worth it. There is a free version which will allow you to try the first few levels.

...and Android hits 500,000 per day. Andy Rubin, Senior Vice President of Google at Mobile tweeted that there are now 500,000 Android devices being activated per day.

Robo Defense

Robo Defense is a Tower Defense game for Google Android Devices by Lupis Labs Software. Basically, you buy and upgrade defensive towers which you place on a map to impede and destroy invading hordes. As you destroy more enemies you gain more money to buy defenses. In Robo Defense, it is robots versus robots. The trick behind the game is to create a pathway for your enemies to follow which places them in under the heaviest concentration of fire from your defensive positions. Succeeding waves of enemies and higher levels make it more and more challenging as you go along.

The concept behind a tower defense game is simple, it is like a real time strategy game where you are purely on the defensive. Robo Defense was so good, and so addicting, I had to uninstall it from my mobile phone... well I am keeping it on my Wife's tablet, that way I can play it without having it with me the whole day. This in the interest of getting work done.

You can try the free version which can be found at this link: Robo Defense Free.
There is a paid version with more maps, levels and upgrades, which is well worth the asking price at this link: Robo Defense

The free version will keep you entertained till the wee hours in the morning. The paid version, is something you best purchase before a weekend or when you are about to start a long vacation.

Selasa, 28 Juni 2011

Samsung Galaxy S I9000XXJVQ 2.3.4 Gingebread (Leaked) Out Now!

Another 2.3.4 Gingerbread European version update firmware leaked with a build date of June 10 2011.

Firmware: I9000XXJVQ


The available Languages are as follows:
Deutsh (3 different)
English (6 different)
Espanõl (2 different)
Francais (2 different)
Nederlands (2 different)
Some others i can't write...

Swype Languages :
UK and US English
Chinese(I think)
Portugues Europeu

Build info:
# begin build properties
# autogenerated by buildinfo.sh
ro.build.date=Fri Jun 10 22:00:38 KST 2011
# ro.build.product is obsolete; use ro.product.device
# Do not try to parse ro.build.description or .fingerprint
ro.build.description=GT-I9000-user 2.3.4 GINGERBREAD XXJVQ release-keys
# Samsung Specific Properties
# end build properties

If you want to give it a try, here's the link:
if there is a password try: samfirmware.com
credits to xade4  for the infos.

Samsung Galaxy Ace Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread S5830BVJKP2 (VIVO Brazil) is online

An Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread version for Samsung Galaxy Ace for South America is out now!

This is a branded  FW from Vivo (Brazil Carrier). Some Devs suggested  that this ROM may also work on other carriers but just need to leave the CSC field blank.. and then you get an unbranded version by flashing it using ODIN.. The available languages of this Stock ROM FW are Brazilian, English, Spanish, Portuguese and Korean.

 Other than that you will be having difficulty on rooting your Samsung Galaxy Ace, but others find the methods of combining the  European version 2.3.4 gingerbread  S5830XXKP in order to ROOT the phone
after flashing. The good thing about this method will also fix the GPS problem  from american countries who upgraded and used the 2.3.4 XXKPH european firmware. see yoyigo07 thread here.

Anyway, if you want to try it out..  just grab a copy of the below links:
Samsung Galaxy Ace Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread S5830BVJKP2 (VIVO Brazil) 

credits goes to: ltertok @Samdroid.net

Senin, 27 Juni 2011

Charting Android smartphone hardware development

HTC Dream

2008. The flagship Android phone in 2008 had the following specifications:

  • 3.2-inch 320 x 480 screen
  • 528MHz processor
  • 192MB of RAM

The first commercially available Android phone was the HTC Dream released in October 2008. It had a 3.2-inch 320 x 480 resolution screen and was powered by a 528 MHz ARM 11 processor with a Adreno 130 GPU on Qualcomm MSM7201A chipset. The Dream had 192MB of RAM.

2009. The 2008 specifications remained standard for Android phones 2009:

  • 3.2-inch 320 x 480 screen
  • 528MHz processor
  • 128MB-256MB of RAM

The first Android handset to become widely available in the Philippine was the HTC Magic, released by Smart Communications. The Dream was released in May of 2009 and became available in the Philippines early in 2010. The Magic had the same specifications as the Dream, minus the slide out keyboard and with more RAM at 288MB.  

By end of 2009 the typical Android Phone like HTC's Hero and Samsungs i7500 Galaxy and i5700 Galaxy Spica had a 3.2-inch 320 x 480 screen, a 528 MHz ARM 11 processor, Adreno 130 GPU, Qualcomm MSM7200A chipset and 128MB to 288MB of RAM. 

By the end of 2009 higher resolution screens were released with Motorola Milestone ands it 3.7 inch 480 x 854 pixel resolution screen. It was powered by a 550MHz ARM Cortex A8, PowerVR SGX530 graphics and 256MB of RAM.

2010. 2010 saw the release of the first "reference" design Android and a significant jump in the specifications for a flagship Android phone. Typical specifications for a flagship Android phone in 2010 were:

  • 3.7 to 4.3-inch 480 x 800 or 480 x 854 screen
  • 1GHz processor
  • 512MB to 768MB of RAM

January 2010 saw the release of the Google Nexus One with its 3.7-inch 480 x 800 screen, 1 GHz Scorpion processor, Adreno 200 GPU, Qualcomm QSD8250 Snapdragon chipset and 512MB of RAM. Other manufacturers released phones with similar specifications in the first six months of 2010 with the HTC Desire, Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 and the Samsung Galaxy S. Notably, the manufacturers offered larger screens has started with the Xperia X10 and the Galaxy S with 4-inch screens. The Dell Streak and HTC Desire HD came out bringing the larger screen  5-inch and 4.3-inch screens to Android phones. The Desire HD also had a unprecedented amount of RAM for an Android at 768MB.

Before the end of 2010 Google brought out its Google Nexus S, but instead of being another leap in Android phone hardware it was essentially a Goolge banding of an existing phone, the Samsung Galaxy S. The Nexus S did make a front camera standard equipment for Android 2.3 phones.
2011. 2011 brought dual cores to technology, with the specifications for a flagship Android being:

  •  4 to 4.3-inch 480 x 800 or 540 x 960 screen
  • 1GHz of faster dual processor
  • 512MB to 1GB of RAM

Examples of this are the LG Optimus 2x, the HTC Sensation and the Samsung Galaxy S II.

Minggu, 26 Juni 2011

Around the web: Dead on arrival

Nokia's N9, dead on arrival. Looks like the MeeGo powered Nokia N9 will go the way of the Maemo Nokia N900. Interesting, with excellent potential, but relegated to being a interesting piece of tech history. GSMArena reports that, Nokia's "CEO Stephen Elop confirmed that even if the N9 proves to be a massive success, there is no returning to MeeGo for Nokia. Nokia instead will be betting everything on Windows Phone 7 platform and Elop is confident that it will be well received." Read the rest of the article here

This is bad news indeed.

The most expensive tablet in the planet. Techie.com.ph christens the HTC Flyer as the "the most expensive tablet in the plane". We have to agree with them. 

Bring on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9.

Sabtu, 25 Juni 2011

The Google Android Roadmap for 2011

Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) is the current version of the Google Android operating system designed for mobile phones. It is optimized to operate with a 3.2-inch to 4-inch screen with a screen resolution of 320 x 480 or 480 x 800.

We expect on more update this year: Android 2.4. Android 2.4 will allow single core handsets on 2.4 to use apps developed for dual core Honeycomb 3.0. Other than this we do not expect to see very many differences between 2.3 and 2.4, which is why they both have the same Gingerbread codename. There could be a Android 2.5 and later releases. This is what we expect to be designed for use single core handsets for the next two to three years.

Android 3.1 (Honeycomb) is the current version of the Google Android operating system designed for tablets. It is optimized to operate with a 10.1-inch screen with a 1280 x 800 screen resolution. Android 3.2 (Honeycomb) is a modified version of Android 3.1 optimized to work on 7-inch screens with a 1280 x 800 screen resolution. We do not expect to see very many differences between 3.1 and 3.2, which is why they both have the same Honeycomb codename.

Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) will replace Android 3.x in tablets, and Android 2.3/2.4 on dual core phones, by the end of the year. This will bring full dual core support to Android Mobile phones and will be designed to work optimally on 4-inch to 10-inch screens. We expect that it will be designed to work primarily with qHD (540 x 960) to HD screens (1280 x 720 to 1920 x 1080).

We expect that Android 4.0, will drop the need for the home, menu and back buttons, with all controls save power and volume being on the touchscreen.

Photo Enhance Pro

Photo Enhance Pro, by Effectice Apps, is a simple Android photo enhancing app that you to enhance an image by adjusting brightness, contrast, saturation and white-balance. Enhancement uses HDR tone-mapping techniques to add detail to your images, by default, but yoy can dial down this feature or turn it off.It can also convert a picture into a black and white shot. The app includes a cropping function with constrained presets usually commonly used in printing as well as allows unconstrained cropping.

This app is available in a free version and a paid version. The free version is pretty is pretty much unspectacular as plenty of free apps will give you more features than Photo Enhance Pro. Like all Android photo enhancing apps enhance photos will be reduced in size after enhancement or cropping. In this case, it will will reduce the enhance photo to 800 x 600 or less (depending on how the photo is cropped). Cropped images and saving them in high resolution saves them picture without reducing its size. One missing feature that would be nice would be the ability to resize a picture.

The paid version of this app includes one pretty unique feature right now. It will allow you to enhance a picture maintaining the fill resolution. That alone might be worth the US$4.99 asking price to some. Right now it is available on the market for US$0.99, and at that price I grabbed a license right away.

Sample enhancement:



Jumat, 24 Juni 2011

Acer Aspire TimelineX 3830T-2412G64nbb versus Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch 2.3GHz

A thin-and-light laptop offers a nice balance between utility and portability. The standard on which other thin-and-lights are based is Apples sleek MacBook Pro. The entry level 13-inch model is only 0.95 inches inches thin and weighs in at 4.5 pounds.

The MacBook Pro line-up was refreshed in March of 2011. This compact package houses has a new Sandy Bridge Core i5-2410M processor, Intel HD 3000 graphics 4GB of RAM, a 320GB hard drive and a 63.5 watt hour battery for a retail price of Php61,990.

Acer contender at this category has been its 3800 Series Timeline laptop. The newest model is the TimelineX 3820T. The model offered in the Philippines is the Acer Aspire TimelineX 3830T-2412G64nb.  In many ways its is a better option. The price is set at Php37,900, which is 24K lower than the MacBook Pro.
The TimelineX is 0.87 inches thin at the thinnest point and 1.15-inches at the thickest point, and weighs in a 4.1 pounds. The TimelineX is a bit thicker but is almost 10% lighter.

Both laptops comes with the Sandy Bridge Core i5-2410M. The TimelineX only comes with half the RAM at 2GB. The Windows Home Basic operating system installed in the TimelineX will support 4GB of RAM. The TimelineX has the same Intel HD 3000 graphics, but comes with 128MB of dedicated memory. The MacBook Pro's Intel HD 3000 card uses shared memory.

Fortunately Acer put in a single 2GB DIMM, so upgrading it to 4GB will not be expensive as you wont be wasting the installed memory. The TimelineX also has a larger 640GB hard drive as against the 320GB model on the entry level MacBook Pro. The TimelineX also comes with a larger 66.0 watt hour battery as against the 63.5 watt hour battery on the MacBook Pro.

In terms of high speed data transfer the MacBook Pro relies on the new Thunderbolt technology, while the TimelineX utilizes the new high speed USB 3.0 port. Which of these technologies become mainstream is still up in the air, but we are betting on USB 3.0.
The MacBook Pro does have an internal optical drive while the TimelineX does not. This could be a deal breaker for some as far as the TimelineX is concerned. Personally. I prefer the lighter weight versus the internal drive.

On the last issue of build quality. Apple's are well built, and the Aluminum frames are beautiful. They are not as indestructible as they seem. They are easily scratches and dented if dropped. The Acer Aspire TimelineX 3830T-2412G64nbb is a very well built laptop, a notch higher than what we are used to seeing from Acer at this price range.

Which do we recommend? If you want the MacBook Pro, you probably do not care too much about value for money considerations. OSX does boot, shutdown and run faster than Windows. MacBook Pro's are very nicely built. In the end, I do not think you would be disappointed. If you are concerned about value for money though, the TimelineX is the clear winner.

Archos 7c - Budget Android tablet

The Archos 7c  is a new low cost tablet released by the French consumer electronic company Archos.  I started with this, because based on the specification you might think they are old stocks from 2010, but it is not. It was released in other countries in April 2011, and has now landed in the Philippines.

The Archos 7c runs on Android 2.1 (Eclair) and is powered by a 800MHz Cortex A8 processor. The display is a capacitive touch screen with a 800 x 480 resolution. It has 8GB of internal storage which is expandable via a MicroSD card slot. Connectivity is provided via 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi for web browsing and downloading Android apps and USB connectivity to connect the tablet to a PC. The manufacturer promises 7 hours of battery life of video playback.

It has no cameras, no Bluetooth, no 3G, no HDMI... you get the point. This is a very basic tablet with minimal features, but it is cheap. How cheap? Php8,800. At that price we can be very forgiving about the specifications. It has a capacitative, and not a resistive screen, which is what you find on most budget tablets.

Nokia + Windows Phone 7 seemed like a good idea...

Last December we posted that Nokia badly needed a new operating system,  witing that "(t)he reality is that, unless they can get something out soon, Nokia is most likely better off jumping on the Android bandwagon or even maybe even better, supporting the Windows Phone 7 platform, before it is relegated to selling feature phones." Apparently, they did have a very good bun in the over after all.

Nokia with Windows, or Android or Nokia made sense back than. Now we are wondering why. GSMArena has had it first look at the Nokia N9, running the MeeGo Operating System v1.2 (Harmattan).

The N9 has a power a volume rocker button, but has for any hardware buttons to manipulate the operating system. There is no need to press the power key to revive the phone from sleep mode, a simple double-tap of the screen will revive the phone. There is also no back button. A swype of the from edge to edge will bring you back to app launcher or task manager.

We are getting ahead of ourselves. The OS centralizes  everything in three homescreens. The first screen keeps track of all notifications: calls, SMS, email social network updates and other system notifications. The second screen is your app drawer or app launcher where you will see all installed apps. The last screen is the multitasking cards pane which will show you  running apps on grips. The lockscreen had four customizable shortcuts, in line with new trends to make the lockscreen more functional.

With this operating system in the works did Nokia really Windows Phone 7. We felt they did, but were expecting that by the now Nokia WP7 phones would be on the market.
The MeeGo ecosystem will be richer than the WP7 ecosytem by end of year. MeeGo based phones will be able to run Android apps.

With a MeeGo 1.2 based phone coming out first, does Nokia really need WP7?

Kamis, 23 Juni 2011

June 2011 Smarthpone buyers guide - Part III

Flagship phones (25-30K). Getting the top of the line phone offered by the manufacturers has gotten significantly less expensive this year. Last year, the top end phone were being offered at Php35,000-Php40,000. Now, you are looking at a price range of just Php25,000-Php30,000.

If you are looking at an iPhone, we suggest you wait a little bit longer. Right now the iPhone 4 will cost you about Php30K. In two to three months you should be seeing a new iPhone. You are better off waiting for the next iPhone or buying the iPhone when Apple brings its price down. For now, we recommend these three:

LG Optimus 2x. The LG Optimus 2x has a suggested retail price of Php27,900 but a little smart shopping should get you one with a official LG Warranty at Php25,400. 

The biggest selling point of the Optimus 2x is the 1GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor, ULP GeForce GPU, Nvidia Tegra 2 chipset. This is currently the "industry standard" dual core processor found in most of the new phones and tablets, so new games will probably be optimized for this chipset. That hardware should be fast enough to run most every application that will come out in the next year at least. 

The display is good enough. The Optimus 2x has a 4.0-inch IPS LCD touchscreen with a 480 x 800 resolution. The letters IPS might have you thinking iPhone 4 grade screen. It is not. The Optimus 2x screen is an excellent display, much better than your typical LCD screen but not at the same level as the iPhone 4's retina display or Samsung Super AMOLED screen. But if you buy the Optimus 2x you will be satisfied with the screen quality. It is not the best display on a mobile phone but is good enough.

With 8GB expandable to 40GB via MicroSD card, a 8MP auto focus camera, HDMI out and all the features you expect to find in a high smartphone, this is a buy at the 26K asking price.

There are three main drawbacks with LG Optimus 2x. The installed operating system is not the latest Android 2.3, but the older 2.2 and it has been reported by several users to be less than stable, but LG will be addressing both this issue. The second major drawback with this option is the video recording. One thing which dual core phones bring is 1080p video recording, but right now the Optimus 2x only captures 1080p at 24fps, which actually makes it better to record video at 720p which it does at the expected 30fps. A firmware upgrade may or may not fix this. Last, it has 512MB of RAM, which while sufficient by todays standards is the one specification which will make eventually feel or slow old soonest.

My verdict. Not perfect, but a good high end bang for the buck option.

HTC Sensation. If you go up the food chain a bit you find HTC's Sensation. With a suggested retail price of Php31,900, but available for as low as Php28,000 with a official HTC warranty it costs ten percent more than the LG Optimus 2x. 

Is it worth the higher price tag? The first thing you will notice with the Sensation when compared to the Optimus 2x is the display. The Sensation comes with a 4.3-inch qHD display. qHD means quarter HD or a 540 x 960 display resolution, which means it will display 720p and 1080p content optimally. The Sensation also has excellent audio output, which makes this an excellent multimedia platform.

This phone comes with Android 2.3 with the Sense v3.0 user interface. HTC's sense interface has been my  opinion the best manufacturer customize interface made. It made Window Mobile look and work decently and it is my personal favorite interface for Android. This is a subjective thing, so you may or may not like Sense. If you plan to do extensive user customization of your interface, than HTC's Sense offers no major advatange to you. If you want something complete out of the box in terms of widgets, and like a "standardized" look, this one is for you.

What else. The Sensation comes with 768MB of RAM, 50% more than on the Optimus 2x. The Sensation also does 1080p video recording at 30fps.

In several aspects the HTC is not as good as the Optimus 2x. While the Sensarions 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, Adreno 220 GPU, Qualcomm MSM 8260 Snapdragon may sound impressive, it is based on the older A8 architecture and is overall slower the 1GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor, ULP GeForce GPU, Nvidia Tegra 2 chipset.

It also comes with less internal storage than the Optimus 2x, with only 1GB of internal storage, even less than the HTC Desire HD which is supplants. It does come with a 8GB MicroSD card out of the box. 
My verdict. The Sensation adds enough to justify the higher price as against the Optimus 2x. The cheaper Optimus 2x makes for a better gaming platform while the Sensation is the better multimedia platform. If I was replacing my phone, this is the one I would buy.

Samsung Galaxy S II. Why buy this Php29,900 phone? It's Super AMOLED display is is arguably the best display you will find on a mobile phone and it is the fastest mobile phone in the planet. 

The Super AMOLED on the Galaxy S II as compared to its predecessor moves up a step in size, now at 4.3-inches. Resolution is still at 480 x 800, but that is sufficient even for the larger screen. Among the three phones we are comparing now, this one has the best display. 

The next big thing is inside. Inside is a dual-core 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor, Mali-400MP GPU, Orion chipset. It is the fastest, by a fair margin, among the three phones compared here.

With 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage (there is also a 32GB model available) it is best in class. It also has the largest battery, with 10% more capacity than the three phones compared here. This combined with the energy efficient Super AMOLED screen gives it the best battery life among the three.  The still camera and 1080p video recording.

It does all this in a frame which is only 8.5mm thin, that is 2.4 mm thinner than it nearest competitor. The case is all plastic, but I think most buyers would put some kind of case protection these days, so that issue may be irrelevant. I have my phone in an OtterBox, it does not really matter that it has a nice aluminum frame inside. 

Is the 1.9K higher price than the Sensation or the 4.5K higher price than the LG Optimus 2x worth it? In a word, yes. Even with the highest price, the specificatons easily justify the higher price.

Verdict.My personal favorite is the Sensation. I love Sense. But if asked what it the best phone money can buy right now, the answer is easy, the Samsung Galaxy SII.

June 2011 Smarthpone buyers guide - Part II

If you are looking for a smartphone priced at less than Php15,000 or thinking about getting a BlackBerry go to Part I of this guide here.

15-20K range.  A budget of Php15,000 to Php20,000 is the optimal budget for a smartphone buyer today. There are cheaper phones, at the cost of giving up useful features that you are likely to miss on a day to day basis. There are more expensive phones, but the typical user will probably never miss or even use the additional features on this higher end units.

What do you expect to get from a 15-20K smartphone today? You get a large (3.7-4 inch) high resolution (480 x 800) screen, a 1GHz processor and enough RAM to run pretty much any application smoothly, a decent camera, and HD video recording (720p).

The LG Optimus Black P970 has the specifications of 2010 high end phone in a 2011 chassis. Like many of the newer phones, this 4-inch Android powered smartphone has a thin sleek case, in this case 9.2 mm's thin. A feature unique to this phone is the ultra bright 700-nit display, the brightest ever to be placed on a phone. While this phone comes out of the box with Android 2.2, it was built to run Android 2.3 and correspondingly has a secondary front camera. At a Php19,900 suggested retail price, and fpr as low as Php18,400 this is probably the best value for money smartphone in the market today.

If for some reason the Optimus Black does not appeal to you, you can get what many considered to be the best Android phone in 2010, the HTC Desire. For the price of about Php18,000 you get a nicely built mobile phone with a smaller 3.7-inch screen and without a front camera. The Android powered Desire comes with HTC Sense User Interface, which I think it is the best manufacturer customized UI The HTC Desire will also receive a an update to Android 2.3.3, but that is probably the end of the line for the Desire.

Another option at about 17K is the Samsung Galaxy SL. It has similar specifications as the Optimus Black, but is a bit thicker and does not have front camera and no flash for the primary camera. The biggest drawback with this option is that it appears that this smartphone may not be getting an update to Android 2.3.

20-25K range. As strange as it may sound, adding another 5K to your budget may not actually get you a better phone. What you have in this category right now are several holdovers from 2010 and the HTC Desire S.

The HTC Desire S is an upgraded HTC Desire. It comes with 50% more RAM, double the internal memory, a more efficient processor, a front camera and Android 2.3. Priced at Php21,700.

Than you have the 2010 flagship Androids. You can still find a Samsung Galaxy S with its AMOLED screen and the HTC Desire HD with its mamoth 4.3 inch screen for a bit over 23K,

You may also want to look at the Windows Phone 7 version of the HTC Desire: the HTC Mozart. The HTC Mozart can be found now for as low as Php20,500.

In the end, if you have 25K today, you are still probably best off just getting the LG Optimus Black P970 and pocket the change.

Rabu, 22 Juni 2011

Get traffic updates on your Android, iOS or Nokia Symbian devices

Tired of getting stuck in traffic unaware that you were driving into a major snarl. Try Street Smart. Street Smart is a free app from Numlock Solutions which gives you traffic updates. Street Smart is available for Android, iOS and Nokia Symbian devices.

How does the app work. Traffic updates are reported by users and the MMDA. Reporting a update is easy, it can take as little as three clicks. Or you can add a further description if you want.

User reports show up in a Map View and a List View. Map View is great. It shows updates shows user updates from the last hour, on Google Maps. This part of the app is easy to use and gives quick at a glance information.

The Map View has no MMDA reports. Right now most of the reports are from the MMDA. To get MMDA reports, or user reports older than one hour, you have to go to the List View. List View can get confusing since there is no easy way to figure out which one is relevant to you without reading the entire list. You cannot segregate updates from a particular city.

Worse, on List View some user reports are vague since some user reports do not display locational info and have to click a link to see where the report is from. MMDA reports, are confusing to read in general unfortunately. Now if the MMDA people sarted using Street Smart, that would really make this app a super app.

So what do we what do we. Map View great. List View so so. With more user reports there would be no need to use the List View at all, so there may really be no need to improve the app. More users could fix "weakness" in the current interface. I would not mind dropping List View altogether. 

But when you get more users submitting more reports, it might be necessary to have a way to filter reports to limit it to a particular city or a given radius from your particular location. Right now user reports are still few in number. Lets see how this pans out.

Anyway, enough of our comments. Want to see how it works, or near get real time traffic info on your PC? Check out Street Smarts traffic reports here.

Globe Telecom's Super Surf Data Plan

Globe Telecom data plan used to be a Php1,200 peso add-on to any of its plans and a was offered as a free add-on to Plan 3799. The bad part about this was that the data add-on was not considered as part of the plan insofar as available phones were concerned. Meaning if you got Plan 999 plus a data add-on, you get a phone for Plan 999 while paying at least Php2,199 a month. Now if you get Data Plan 1,799 you get a Plan 1,799 phone.

Cost of unlimited data at Globe Telecom has gone down from Php1,200 a month to Php999. The new plans are as follows:
  • Plan 999 - Unlimited data, plus a freebie and you pay per minute of call and text outside the freebie.
  • Plan 1799 - Unlimited data, plus three freebies and Php800 consumable.
  • Plan 2499 - Unlimited data, plus five freebies and Php1,500 consumable.  

For details on the "freebies" go to Globe Telecom's website.

This effectively makes Globe Telecom's Super Surf data plan cheaper than Smart Unlimited Data Plans. Smart Unlimited Data Plans also have a 1.5GB cap per month and tethering is not allowed.  No mention of the cap on Globe Telecom's Super Surf data plan. If it is capped, it would be 1GB per day.

Selasa, 21 Juni 2011

HTC Sensation priced

HTC's flagship, the HTC Sensation is priced at Php31,900, but with the Samsung's killer Android priced, the Galaxy S II priced at Php29,900 and Nvidia Tegra 2 powered LG Optimus 2x available as low as Php25,900 the Php31,900 suggested retail price is not very competitive.
Top Electronics has stocks of the HTC Sensation at Php28,000. Will this be low enough for you to forgo buying the Samsung Galaxy S II?

June 2011 Smarthpone buyers guide - Part I

A bit late in the month, but we wanted to wait to complete the dual core cast. We normally start with the most expensive, this time we will go the reverse order and think that will be a more helpful guide.

10K or less. These days Php10,000 gets you a lot. You can a brand new BlackBerry with a two year warranty, a Nokia Symbian smartphone with free turn by turn navigation. What else. Well there are Samsung Bada phones.There are also a whole gaggle of Google Android available.

There are no good reasons to get a Bada phone.  If you plan to avail of BlackBerry services, stop reading this guide and get the BlackBerry which fits your budget. Each step price increase of higher end models brings useful features worth paying for. If you are looking for the best free navigation option for the Philippines, Nokia with their OVI maps provides that. Other than that, we recommend that you get the LG Optimus One P500.

LG Optimus One: Best option below 10K

Why? If you are in the market for a modern touchscreen phone you want one with a touchscreen friend OS.  This means you should be looking at an Apple iOS, Windows Phone 7 or Google Android device. At 10K or less, the only available options at this price, are Androids. 

Since touchscreen is the order of the day, get the highest resolution device available and in general the larger the screen the better. At below 10K, most Android run 240 x 320 screens resolutions, which looked pixelized even on small screens. There are two options that run the higher 320 x 480 (same as an iPhone 3GS) resolution. You have Sony Ericsson X8 and the LG Optimus One P500.

The Sony Ericsson Xperia X8 is now an obsolescent product forever to be stuck at Android 2.1, so I suggest you pass on this one. LG Optimus One P500, is running Android 2.2, with a promised upgrade to Android 2.3 on the way. The Optimus One also has a larger screen (3.2-inches), more RAM and a larger battery than the Xperia X8. So the Optimus One beats the Xperia X8 in both software and hardware.

What about all the other sub-10K Androids. We do have the LG Optimus Me, the Samsung Galaxy 5, Mini and Fit, and a few months ago, we would were recommending phones with these specifications. A few months is a long time in the mobile phone industry, and we really wont be recommending anything with a screen resolution lower than 320 x 480 anymore. 

The LG Optimus can be had for as low as Php9,800 with an official warranty. Sure, you can save 1-2K on a lower end unit with a lower resolution screen. The cost will be app compatibility. A 320 x 480 resolution will give you better app compatibility, and over time more and more newer apps wont run or run efficiently on 240 x 320 screens. Android phones with 240 x 320 screen resolutions are on the way out. Now is not the time to buy one of this anymore. 

10-15K range. Adding Php5,000 opens up a whole bunch of new interesting choices. 

HTC Wildfire S: Premium look and feel, but a bit short on specs

The HTC Wildfire S is available for as low as Php13,000 with an official HTC warranty. The question is, is it worth 3K more than the LG Optimus One. Both phones have 3.2-inch, 480 x 320 screens, 600MHz processors with Adreno 200 graphics, and 512MB of RAM. The HTC does have a more premium looking case, a Gorilla Glass protected display and a LED flash for the camera. So the HTC is a step up in hardware. 

From a software standpoint the Wildfire S comes out of the box with Android 2.3, has the HTC Sense interface (which in our opinion is the best manufacturer customize Android interface) and has flash support in the browser (but not full browser flash support). Really, the only good reason to get this phone at this price range is if you want the Sense UI. If not, the LG Optimus One P500 offers better value for money and Samsung has something that is a better value for money option at this price bracket.

Samsung Galaxy Ace: The best choice under 15K

The Samsung Galaxy Ace, priced at Php13,500 with an official Samsung warranty is a notch up in price over the LG Optimus One P500 and offers hardware well worth the price difference. Instead of a 3.2-inch screen, you get a larger 3.5-inch screen protected by Gorilla Glass. The processor in the Galaxy Ace is a 800MHz unit, faster than the 600MHz processor in the Optimus One. The Galaxy Ace also comes with the best still camera at this price range.

In the end, you buy this for the 3.5-inch screen. That is the same size as the screen on an iPhone, and for many may be the best compromise between a large screen and a small form factor. It does not sound like a big difference, but when you compare a 3.5-inch screen with a 3.2-inch screen phone side by side, the difference is larger than it sounds since the size is measured diagonally.

Part two of this guide can be found at this link.

Samsung Galaxy S II retail price and pre-order promo

The suggested retail price of the Samsung Galaxy S II in the Philippine will be Php29,900. But Samsung will be offering for pre-order of 300 units of Galaxy S II at a promo price of P26,990 with a free car charger, car dock and hard case. Pre-order period is from June 24 to 30, 2011. We just got this info from another site, so it is better that we direct you to them. For more details on how to pre-order the Samsung Galaxy S II, head over to Technograph.

Samsung Galaxy SL I9003 XXKP7 (Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread ODIN Stock ROM) Firmware Update Online!

Yes folks! the Samsung Galaxy SL I9003 Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread I9003XXKP7 is out now and available for download at samfirmware.com.
This update firmware version is labeled  with a build date of  June 12 2011.
We do not know  yet if these said ROM is stable or just a Beta test.

This is for European Version of Samsung Galaxy SL i9003 Android Mobile Phone. 
Region: Austria, Benelux, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Spain, UK
Available languages: de, en, es, fr, hu, it, nl, pt(cs, da, el, fi, no, pl, sl, sv, tr), 

If you want to try it out and choose to take the risk, you can grab a copy of this latest stock ROM for Samsung Galaxy SL I9003 on the link below. 
Link: http://goo.gl/IlGmn
password: samfirmware.com 

We've tried flashing the ROM but it seems like there is functionality issues so far, one of these is the   sleep mode problem, music player, ringtone, call history message or missed call. We've revert back again to 2.2 froyo and wait for another stable Gingerbread update. 

Update:  Another 2.3.4 Gingerbread update leaked is available, labeled with I9003 XXKP9.

Samsung Galaxy S I9000B VJJV3 Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread Stock ROM Firmware Download

Here's the latest Samsung Galaxy S I900B Amdroid 2.3.3 Gingerbread update firmware. Biggest thanks to  samfirmware.com for sharing this new Stock ROM version.

The firmware build version is VJVV3 and packed in Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread with a build date of June 03 2011. This firmware can be flash to SAmsung galaxy S 19003 by a way of using ODIN multidownloader

Link: http://goo.gl/lsXEw
pass: samfirmware.com
Credits: Jeshter2000

So, how much have you spent on apps?

In the period of over a month that paid Google Android apps have been offered in the Philippines I sent over a HK$10.00 donation to Katecca, forked over US$5.98 to Laminar Research and UK£1.23 to TouchType. Roughly about Php403. 

I am trying out PicSay and Photo Enhance now, after having used Abode Photoshop Express for some time, and might buy that app (although I am looking for something that can crop and maintain a 720p size). Will probably unlock 2-3 more planes on X-Plane 9 and send another US$2.97 to Laminar Research. 

Software has never been so inexpensive. The low prices make it really tempting to buy more. How much have you spent on apps?

Nokia's Meego powered N9

In November 2009, Nokia release its Maemo powered N900. The Nokia N900 has a cult following in the tech community but the phone never caught on with the mass market. Maemo was based on the Debian Linux distribution. Meego was first announced at Mobile World Congress in February 2010 by Intel and Nokia in a joint press conference. Intel's Moblin and Nokia's Maemo were merged  into one new common project call MeeGo. According to Intel, MeeGo was developed because Microsoft did not offer comprehensive Windows 7 support for the Atom processor.
We have seen a few MeeGo powered netbooks, and if you want to try MeeGo for netbooks, it is a free download

Now, you have it on a Mobile phone. The Nokia N9.
Nokia Press Release:

SINGAPORE – At the Nokia Connection event in Singapore today, Nokia introduced the Nokia N9, the first-ever pure touch smartphone that is all about making things simpler. Nokia N9 focuses on the most important things that people do: use apps, get notifications and switch between different activities. Navigating the UI is done with a simple gesture, a swipe of a finger. Let’s have a closer look at what the Nokia N9 is bringing to the game.


The team behind the MeeGo-based Nokia N9 brought together elements of industrial design, software development and user interface advancements, as well as a developer platform to create a better way to use a phone. All that’s needed to use the Nokia N9 is a simple gesture, a swipe of the finger. It is an intuitive way to use all the different features and functions. Whenever you are in an application, you just swipe from the edge of the screen to go back home.


The Nokia N9 has a beautiful one-piece, unibody design where the hardware and software fit together seamlessly. The large, 3.9 inch curved glass AMOLED display lets the applications shine and take full benefit of the user interface. Thanks to the innovative laminated display technology, it looks like applications are literally floating on top of the screen. The body of the Nokia N9 is made from the best in polycarbonate material engineering today, enabling superior antenna performance over most other competitors’ smartphones. This means better reception, better voice quality and fewer dropped calls. The Nokia N9 comes in three colours: black, cyan and magenta and with large storage capacities of 16GB and 64GB on the two variants to be made available.


The Nokia N9 is the world’s first pure touch screen phone without any front-facing buttons at all. You unlock the phone by just double-tapping the screen.


The user interface in Nokia N9 is designed around the things people typically use the most. This is why there are three recognizable home views arranged in a carousel: 1) Applications for launching and organizing your apps. 2) Events for social networking feeds and notifications for calls, texts, calendar events, etc. 3) Open applications for switching between all live apps you have used recently. You can pinch and zoom the screen to see either four or nine open app icons. In fact, the Nokia N9 delivers the best multitasking experience on any phone!


The 8MP auto focus camera with Carl Zeiss optics, dual LED flash and super wide 28mm lens works faster from start to capture than any other manufacturer’s smartphone camera in the market. HD video and true 16:9 resolution photos are supported. You can share your photos via MMS, email, NFC and many online services including Flickr and Facebook.


The fast web browser is built on the latest Webkit 2 technology. Even while loading a web page, the screen remains responsive. You can have several browser windows open in the open applications view and switching between them is, again, fast and easy. Favourite websites are shown as visual thumbnails, supported by a full browsing history. Wide HTML5 support offers access to rich web applications and fast video playback.


The Nokia N9 has the latest Nokia Maps with free, voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation for walking and driving. There is also a dedicated Drive app for in-car navigation, which lets you start navigating to your destination instantly after entering your destination. Public transport routing in 85 cities means you can find the quickest route on foot or by tram, metro or train. You can also discover nearby places with cafés, shops, hotels and more, all marked along the way.


Dolby Headphone and Dolby Digital Plus support on the Nokia N9 turns regular stereo audio into personal surround sound on any headphones – first on any mobile phone.


Pairing between NFC-enabled accessories is easier than ever before – you do Bluetooth pairing only once and after that you can connect to them just by touching. You can also share content like photos or business cards via NFC.

The things that make the Nokia N9 unique – the industrial design, developments in software and user interface, and the ease of developer experience with Qt – will live on in a variety of ways in Nokia. You can go and experience the Nokia N9 for yourself at swipe.nokia.com. The site is full of interactive videos that show how the product works in real life – it is the second best thing to actually having the product in your hand! The Nokia N9 will be in stores later this year, with availability and local pricing to be announced closer to the sales start date.
I do not want to comment on the N9's software. I have not seen it yet. The hardware is promising.

A 3.9-inch 480 x 854 AMOLED screen, 16/64 GB of internal storage, 1 GB of RAM, a 8 MP Carl Zeiss optics autofocus camera with a dual LED flash, HDMI out...  What we are surprised about is that it runs on a 1GHz Cortex A8 CPU, PowerVR SGX530 GPU, TI OMAP 3630 chipset. We were kind of expecting an Atom inside.

With Nokia firmly behind Windows Phone 7, and its Meego phone not running an Intel processor I do not know where this new branch in Nokia smartphone development is headed. We will watch with interest.

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