November 2008 Archives
If you’re looking for a little something more powerful than the budget-friendly phones we previewed last week, the recently launched Nokia 6260 slide might just be the phone for you. It’s set to debut in early 2009 and while it may not be an Nseries phone, it comes with a bunch of features that are commonly associated with multimedia line of Nokia. The Nokia 6260 slide comes with a 5-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss lens and LED flash, WiFi, 3G/HSDPA connectivity up to 10.2 Mbps, and Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP. It also comes with GPS with A-GPS making the 6260 slide the first S40-based phone to come with such a feature. Likewise, it has TV-out functionality, stereo speakers and comes with 200MB internal memory and supports microSD card technology for additional storage. Despite its lowly S40 software, the Nokia 6260 is nonetheless a truly full-featured slider that can definitely match up with its heftier Nseries siblings. It’s expected to cost €299 or close to P19K (converted using the current exchange rate) before taxes and subsidies. It seems a bit expensive for an S40 device, but considering the features it comes with, it might just be worth considering. UPDATE: Sad news guys as this one won't be relased by Nokia Philippines. Hopefully, something that's equally delightful (and full-featured) will replace it as part of the 2009 line-up of Nokia phones in the country.
It’s that time of the season again when we’re stressing on what to give our family and friends this Christmas. While there’s a bunch of gadgets you can choose to give your geeky friends, why not give them something as timeless as a photo frame with a techie twist? The Genius DPF-T805 is just the thing that would delight the true geek at heart. It’s an 8-inch digital photo frame that features a touch keypad with auto photo rotation and multi-picture slide show that allows up to 4 pictures to be displayed at the same time. Aside from displaying JPEG images, it also supports MP3 and AVI file playback. Likewise, it also supports CF, SD/SDHC, MMC, MS, MS-Pro and xD memory cards as well as direct connection to a USB flash drive. The Genius DPF-T805 Digital Photo Frame is retailing for P8990 and is exclusively distributed by MSI-ECS. For more information, you may contact James Ong at 688-3740, email email@example.com, or visit www.msi-ecs.com.ph.
With most mobile phones featuring internet browsing capabilities, choosing which phone offers the best mobile internet experience is a pretty daunting task. It’s a good thing though that Gizmodo has come out with a very juicy comparison to help us out. It may be a very limited comparison leaving out the likes of the HTC Touch Pro and XPERIA X1 out of the picture, but it is, nevertheless very informative. As you can see with their scores, the iPhone is still the best among the rest despite lacking Flash support. Garnering a B+ score is the HTC G1 with the Android OS while both the BlackBerry Bold and Nokia E71 got a B-. The table below shows how all the phones fared using a 3G connection. Page rendering is denoted by a Poor to Excellent rating while the color (green is good; red is poor) takes into account both speed and page rendering accuracy. This second table show how each phone performs under a WiFi connection. All-in-all, it was a pretty interesting showdown. Some lived up to their expectation while some failed miserably. Safe to say, if mobile internet browsing is your kind of thing, then it seems that it’s best to go with the iPhone albeit lacking support for flash. For more details about the results and how they conducted the test, you can check out Gizmodo. How about you guys? Which mobile phone do you think provides the best mobile internet experience?
uMobile has official ceased its operations last week with Red Mobile rising from its ashes to take its place. We’re a bit saddened to hear this news, but nevertheless, its replacement looks more than capable of filling up the void the beleaguered telecom has left behind. We’re not quite sure what the reason was for uMobile’s untimely demise, but my personal take on this is that they weren’t able to garner much support in their bid to offer a unique approach to advertising and mobile communications service all rolled into one. However, Red Mobile has emerged in its downfall and is offering the country’s lowest pre-paid call rates at P0.50/minute for Red Mobile-to-Red mobile calls. Despite the name change, the main company behind Red Mobile is the same guys who put up uMobile, Cure, which is a subsidiary of Smart Telecommunications. Current uMobile subscirbers won't be left in the dark as they will be absorbed by Red Mobile and qualify for a free SIM. If you weren’t called or informed by a uMobile CSR, you can call Red Mobile at 9249999 to inquire on how you can get your new SIM. Based on my brief conversation with a CSR, Red Mobile provides better connection with other networks which uMobile failed to do. That, coupled with the low call rates, is indeed something to look forward to. Hopefully, Red Mobile will stay longer in the industry, and with a more traditional approach to the biz, I’m optimistic that they most definitely will.
HTC’s mighty iPhone-killer, the Touch HD, has finally been launched locally alongside the HTC Viva and HTC Touch 3G. We weren’t there at the event, but Yugatech shares the scoop on this highly anticipated device. The HTC Touch HD beats the iPhone in screen size, camera rating and comes with a built-in FM radio tuner. To compensate for the lack of iternal memory, they're bundling this baby with an 8GB microSD card. However, these additional perks come at a price, P55900 to be exact. Considering that the 3G iPhone 8GB currently retails for less than P40K as a prepaid kit, the HTC Touch HD doesn’t even come close to beating the iPhone in terms of price. Battery life might also be an area of concern as it only comes with a 1350mAh battery. As for value and preformance, we’ll have to reserve judgment on that at a later date after we get a chance to play around with the Touch HD. However, this early on, we’re already dismayed with the steep price tag of this monster of a phone from HTC. It might be the best touchscreen phone from the HTC, but if no one can afford to buy it, all the technology and hardwork they've put into it will all be for naught.
Here’s some news that might interest all of you iPhone owners out there. Google has just released the latest version of Google Mobile app which now includes voice-recognition functionality. This basically means you don’t have to type in a search query anymore in order to perform a search. Just run the application, place the iPhone near your ear as if you were making a call, and tell it what you want to search for. It’s that easy. It automatically enables voice command functionality when you place the iPhone near your ear thanks to the proximity sensor that’s built-in the device. Voice commands are currently limited to US English only, but additional language support will be provided as part of future updates. This new version of the Google Mobile app likewise comes with Search with My Location which basically provides a localized search based on your current location. It’s a great additional feature, but I don’t think it works here in the Philippines. Anyway, the all-new and improved Google Mobile app is now available via the App Store, and what’s even better is that it’s completely free. Check it out for yourself and tell us what you think about it.
With the slow down of the global economy affecting almost everyone, the new year might not be the best year for high-priced gadgetry. So, in response to the challenges of the present time, Nokia has just announced a new batch phones that will offer great value for your hard-earned money. Included in this fresh new line-up are the Nokia 7100 Supernova, Nokia 5130 XpressMusic, Nokia 2323 Classic, Nokia 2330 Classic, Nokia 1202 and Nokia 1661. The Nokia 7100 Supernova is designed for those who put a premium on style and entertainment. This new slider comes with a high resolution color display, a 1.3 megapixel camera, FM radio, support for Share on Ovi - Nokia's online photo sharing service, Mail on Ovi, as well as an internet browser. The Nokia 7100 Supernova is expected to begin shipping in the last quarter of 2008. Meanwhile, the Nokia 5130 continues the XpressMusic line from Nokia and features the now familiar dedicated music keys. It comes with a 2 megapixel camera , FM radio, 3.5 mm headphone jack, support for Share on Ovi, Mail on Ovi, and is being touted as Nokia's most affordable music phone to date. The Nokia 5130 XpressMusic is expected to become available in the first quarter of 2009. The Nokia 2323 classic and Nokia 2330 classic, on the other hand, offer timeless design with a decent feature set. They both come with an FM radio with recording capabilities, an Internet browser, support Mail on Ovi and Nokia Life Tools. As opposed to the Nokia 2323, the Nokia 2330 classic is equipped with an integrated camera. Both phone models are scheduled to debut in the second quarter of 2009. Last, but not the least, the Nokia 1202 and Nokia 1661 pair provide great value at a very reasonable price. The Nokia 1202 is expected to be the company’s lowest priced mobile phone to date. The Nokia 1202 features a flashlight, extended battery life, loud ringtones and a phone book for up to five users. The Nokia 1661, meanwhile, is Nokia's lowest priced color phone. It comes with an FM radio, a large color screen, loud ringtones, a flashlight and multiple phonebooks as well. Both the Nokia 1202 and 1661 are expected to ship in the first quarter of 2009. No 3G, Wifi or huge megapixel cameras on these new phones, but you do get the basic and most essential features you’ll need on a mobile phone. So if you’re on a strict budget and looking into getting a phone that will mostly be used for calls and SMS, then you might want to check these new Nokia phones out once they hit the local market in 2009.
Laptops are one of the hottest gadgets these days, both figuratively and literally. With more features than ever before, laptops are becoming more versatile and powerful, but at the same time, heat has always been an issue. Due the growing demand for smaller and thinner devices, the small form factor of present day laptops leave little room for proper ventilation for heat to circulate and escape. It’s a good thing, though, that we have products such as the Targus Chill Mat to cool down our laptops and protect our laps from literally getting burned. It supports laptops of up to 17-inch in size and connects via USB for power. It's an ideal partner to a Macbook Pro laptop thanks to its design and color scheme, but I don't see why it shouldn't work with any laptop regardless of brand. The Targus Chill Mat is retailing for P2225 and is exclusively distributed by MSI-ECS in the Philippines. For more product information and other inquiries, you may contact Jonas Lim at 688-3732, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.msi-ecs.com.ph.
It looks like Apple’s venture into the mobile phone biz is finally paying some dividends as they've managed to dislodge RIM from the no. 2 spot as far as 3rd quarter smartphone sales are concerned.
Apple had 17.3 % market share which was good enough to beat RIM’s 15.2%. Nokia is still at the top of the pack with 38.9% which was 12.5% lower than their performance last year. Microsoft was likewise booted out of the top three and is now in fourth spot with just 13.6% market share. Another interesting statistic for Q3 was the rise in smartphone sales despite the slowdown in the regular mobile phone market. The cellphone market growth was down to just 3% while smartphone sales grew to 28% from a year ago amounting to 40M units. Will Apple make it to the top spot? I highly doubt it and even with their brilliant performance in Q3, their current position isn't the safest of leads. Considering that the BlackBerry Bold has yet to become available, RIM may still have what it takes to outperform Apple in the last quarter of 2008. Based on the results of Q3 sales, it seems that the smartphone industry is a worthy business to get into, and despite its exclusivity and relatively high price, the iPhone is still a huge cash cow. I wonder if Apple will consider releasing other variants of the iPhone to further improve on their mobile phone standing. How about an iPhone Nano, perhaps? It's highly unlikely, but just some food for thought to ponder on.
The Nokia E71 has been touted as one of the best E-series phones to come from the Finnish company, but it's relatively expensive when compared to the other previous models Nokia has released in the past couple of months. So as to offer everyone in the market a chance to own and enjoy the benefits of the E71's great form factor as well as some of its stellar features, Nokia has announced the E63. It looks almost like an identical twin of the E71 albeit lacking the sopshitication as it trades in the steel accents for ordinary plastic. Aside from the external changes, it likewise dumps the 3.2-megapixel camera with autofocus, GPS and HSDPA 3.6Mbps connectivity for a more modest 2-megapixel camera and GPRS/EDGE connectivity feature set. Sure, the lack of HSDPA connectivity might be a bummer but at least it still comes with WiFi, Bluetooth, and the same reliable battery to make it a decent buy at its more affordable price of $255 which is roughly just P12K++ as opposed to the P23K SRP of the E71. This is, of course, just my assumption of how much it would probably cost, but let me just stress how its price will play a key role if the E63 has any chance at all in succeeding the local market. No word though on when it will become available in the Philippines, but I'm betting it might make a debut just in time for a post-holiday shopping spree. So if I were you, I'd go easy on the expenses this holiday season because you never really know what goodies lie in store when 2009 finally arrives.
While so far the HP Mini Note is the only netbook that has dared to enter into the Vista arena, Dell has made its intention known to venture into the same playing field when they release their new Inspiron Mini 12 next year. True, the HP runs on a Via processor as opposed to the Intel Atom found on the Inspiron Mini, but based on the findings of Laptop Mag, performance-wise, Vista's still too much for the Inspiron Mini to handle. The good part, though, is that the bigger screen (biggest as of this writing), thinner profile and near-regular-sized keyboard are positive changes in the right direction and battery life has likewise been improved. So if you're completely sold on the idea of getting yourself the Inspiron Mini 12 when it does become available locally, they suggest to get either the Win XP or Linux variant. I totally agree with them.
First, there was only the iTunes Store. Now, you can likewise order iPods, Macbooks, iMacs and other Apple related products direct from the online Apple Store. Yes, that’s right. Philippibe online Apple Store is now open for business. According to Yugatech, orders made from the website will be shipped directly from the regional hub in Asia and only takes 1-2 business days. Purchases that are more than P3000 qualify for free shipping as well.
In line with this momentous event, Apple is also giving away exclusive limited-edition T-shirts to all those who make a purchase from now until November 28. It might not be one of the most wickedly designed shirts to date, but if you’re a true blue Apple fan boy, I’m sure you’d love to have one. The price of their items are not the cheapest as far as the local market is concerned, but at least you can now order from the convenience of your own PC (or Mac) and have your Mac goodies delivered straight to your doorstep.
While Vista may have been a bit too much of a memory hog for the popular ultra-portable laptop of today, it seems that Microsoft has decided to address this problem in their upcoming Windows 7 OS. Accepting the reality that netbooks are here to stay, Windows 7 has taken into account the existence of this segment in today's laptop market, and based on a test run of a beta version installed on an Asus EeePC 1000H, the company has done well to make it more netbook-friendly. With no apps running, Windows 7 manages to use 485MB of RAM which is a huge improvement as opposed to Vista. Now, if we only knew when to expect this new Windows OS, then we can really get excited about Windows 7, but unfortunately, it’s still anybody’s guess as to when it'll finally be ready to hit the market. Nevertheless, this gives netbook users a glimpse as to what they can expect if and when this new OS does become available. Hopefully, this won't also be a reason for manufacturers to ridiculously jack up the price of their new netbook offerings as well.
Even though Windows Mobile 6.1 is a relatively new version already, it’s just not good enough to rival the leading S60 of Nokia and new kids on the block namely Android and the iPhone’s mobile Mac OS. Microsoft fan boys have been waiting for the next full version update to the aging WM OS to be released and while speculation has pointed to a WM 7 release next year, it has been confirmed that WM 6.5 will be the one debuting in 2009. Windows Mobile 7 has been bumped to a later date after WM 6.5 has enjoyed its time in the spotlight. As to when and what 6.5 will bring to the table, we haven’t got the slightest idea since no exact details were revealed regarding the said mobile OS. I guess WM 6.5 is still better than nothing, but it’s really a shame that we’ll have to wait longer to see WM 7. Let’s just hope that when it does finally become available it’ll live up to the expectation and anticipation that has been brewing as a result of its delayed release.
We've seen and marveled at the huge display on the HTC Touch HD, but it seems that whatever the world has to offer, our Japanese neighbors can do one better. To be more specific, they've just unveiled the Aquos FullTouch 931SH phone that comes with a similar 3.8-inch display but with a better resolution of 1024x480.
Other features of this slider include a 5.2-megapixel camera with image stabilizer, 1-seg TV tuner, Bluetooth with A2DP, and 3G connectivity. Unfortunately, it won't be available anywhere outside Japan as this baby is exclusive to their country only. That's probably why it's bundled with a 1-seg TV tuner since that form of mobile entertainment is mostly available in their country. It's a shame though that it won't be release globally. I can already imagine how great it would be to watch movies on its stellar display. Oh well, maybe this a way to get the rest of the competition working a little extra harder this time around to beat this monster of a phone. For now, all we can do is just drool with envy at what the Japanese people will get to enjoy.
While Asus has a massive collection of netbooks to parade in today’s market, Acer has just one to its name, and it’s the Aspire One that is slowly creeping up behind the lead of the EeePC. How successful has the Aspire One been since its debut? Good enough that it could snatch the lead from Asus in the netbook segment of the market. Shipments for the Aspire One for this year is expected to reach a high of 6M units outnumbering Asus' 5M. That’s pretty impressive considering that it was introduced at a later date as compared to the EeePC and rival products popping out of the woodwork when it became available. I guess the low price complemented by a decent spec sheet and stylish design helped propel it to the upper echelon of the market, but will it be enough to upstage Asus and stay at the top? I think they’ve done enough to take the lead, but to stay there, that’s a completely different story. With HP, Dell, MSI and Asus coming out with their next set of netbooks to flood the market, it would be wise for Acer to introduce a more feature-packed netbook come 2009.
Those who are still into jailbreaking iPhones/iPod Touches and are tempted to buy the new Macbooks might want to reconsider buying this latest line of laptops from Apple. Some users have reported that they're experiencing connectivity issues when trying to jailbreak their iPhones/iPod Touch using these new Macbook laptops. It’s still not certain as to what’s really prohibiting these Macs from continuing the normal jailbroken process, but iTunes is certainly being considered as an early suspect. Here’s what Gizmodo has to say about the whole situation:
"It’s a very specific problem, too — the tool still runs, and users who have a pre-modified firmware created on another Mac or Windows machine are able to ‘restore’ their devices to a jailbroken state without any trouble. It’s the creation of modified firmware, which is the central purpose of the Pwnage tool, which has been axed."For now, I think it’s best to stay clear of these new Macbooks if you're still interested in the whole jailbreaking process unless you’ve got a spare PC lying around the house you can use to indulge your little hobby. Anyway, you can allows opt to give up jailbreaking for a brand new laptop. So, which will it be; jailbreaking or a new Macbook? Either way, you'll end up with an expensive Apple device that probably should be worth a lot less than what it's retailing for at the moment, but is definitely way cooler than its cheaper rivals that are out in the market today.
Sad news for those who we're planning to get their Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 phones on the 14th. We've just been informed that the release has been moved to a later date, November 28 to be exact. The expected price, unfortunately, has also changed due to the depreciation of the Philippine Peso and we don't have confirmation yet as to how much it might now cost. Hopefully, it won't cross the P50K threshold and the release won't be prolonged any longer. Anyway, here's a treat for those waiting for some actual photos of the XPERIA X1. These are some of the shots that I took of the XPERIA X1 that was loaned to me so you can have a better idea of what it really looks like from almost every angle. Here's a side-by-side comparison with a Nokia 6300 and an iPod Touch. While I so wanted to compare it to a 3G iPhone, I don't have one at the moment so the next best thing available was my iPod Touch. As you can see, they're almost all the same length, but the XPERIA X1 is noticeably thicker. As for as XPERIA X1's display is concerned, it strikes just the right balance between brightness and richness of color. You might also notice in some of the pictures that the chrome finish and touchscreen are a bit of a dust and fingerprint magnet so that might be a point of concern for those who are obsesively compulsive about cleanliness of their gadgets. That's it for now. Watch out for our full review in one of the upcoming issues of Mobile Philippines.
Despite being a bit on the expensive side and a bit slow when compared to its contemporaries, the HP Mini Note has garnered a following of its own thanks to its exquisite design. Now, HP’s improving on what they’ve gotten correct with their first netbook and is offering up something a bit more at par with rest of the pack the second time around. The HP Mini 1000 will come in two variants: one with the same small 8.9-inch display, and a new one with a bigger and more adequately sized 10.2-inch screen. They've replaced the aluminum finish look for a sleek black plastic chasis. The new Mini will now also finally have an Intel Atom 1.6GHz processor under the hood like the rest of the netbook pack, support up to 2GB of RAM, and have up to 16GB of SSD storage. Other options are yet to be disclosed, but the usual features such as Bluetooth, WiFi and VGA camera are still there. The Vista OS has been bumped off the specs sheet with Windows XP taking over the OS chores, but something to look forward to in 2009 is their new Mobile Internet Experience interfacebuilt on top of Ubuntu. The UI shares similarities with their Touchsmart PC and aims at providing the user with an all-in-one interface for quick access to most commonly used features. This early on, we’re pretty psyched about it as it looks really polished. This is one added feature that might make users opt for the Linux version as opposed to the more popular Windows variant. The HP Mini 1000 that sports an 8.9-inch screen, 512MB RAM, and 8GB SSD on Windows XP will cost $400 while the 10.2-inch version with the same specs is priced at $450. The price of the version that will feature an 8.9-inch screen and the Mobile Internet Experience OS on Ubuntu will start at $380 when it’s made available in January next year. There’s also a red Vivienne Tam Edition that will retail for $700 and 3G-enabled versions set to be announced in December as well. For more pics of the HP Mini 1000, you can check out Gizmodo's photo gallery. Sadly though, no international release dates were mentioned but we’re pretty optimistic it’ll become available before the first half of 2009 comes to an end. This is just another reason for you regret buying that insanely cheap-looking netbook just because you couldn’t wait for something better to come out. But then again, if there’s one thing you can count on in the world of technology, there will always be something new coming out in the not-so-distant future that's sure to replace the latest and coolest gadgets of present time.
True to their word, Sony Ericsson has launched an XPERIA X1 site where you can sign up to be one of the first to own their new mobile phone. This site not only caters to Philippine residents, but is also applicable to Indonesians and Malaysians as well. You just need to enter your name, e-mail address and mobile phone so that you’ll be informed once the XPERIA X1 is available for purchase in your country. We have it on good authority that the big day will be on November 14 as far as the Philippines is concerned, and the price is just a hairline below P40K. That gives you approximately two weeks to save up for this Windows Mobile-powered smartphone, but if you’ve been patiently waiting for the XPERIA X1’s arrival in the local market since its announcement way back in February, you probably would have saved up enough money to buy one unless, of course, you were swayed by your friends to buy a 3G iPhone. If not, then your long wait will soon be rewarded by a brand new touchscreen-enabled, QWERTY-equipped, Windows Mobile smartphone that’s been well crafted by the hard working folks of Sony Ericsson.