Friday, July 31, 2009

The Nokia 888 Can Change Shapes On The Fly

Nokia is planning to change the way we think of mobile phones. Their new phone will come in the form of a device that will roll up and mimic a bracelet, bend over and clip to your pocket, wake you up in the morning, form to fit your face when you use it as a phone and more. So far Nokia’s calling this cell phone a personal mobile communication device. To me it looks like a revolution in the way you look at a gadget.

It uses a liquid battery, speech recognition, and a flexible touch screen. The touch sensitive body cover lets it understand and adjust to the actions you take. Sometimes the sensitivity is positively eerie! When the phone rings, the Nokia 888 forms itself into the shape of a phone. You can personalize these forms and record them. So it fits you the best and makes your brother crazy. It’s like the feeling of having an electronic pet, or maybe a butler. As it senses your moves, it understands what you want, and responds to you in the way you love. It learns you, and learns to fit you better.

Also e-motions lets you send forms to the other Nokia 888 users and it. It could be the shape of a heart or a small dance. This way he can tell you he loves you without words.

By the way, e-motions stands for electronic motions. It works just like a program, where you can create forms to send to your Nokia 888 friends. You can send a heart shape to your girlfriend and her 888 will turn into the shape of a heart. That flexibility can get you thinking of all sorts of great things to do. Make a call to your boyfriend, and wrap him around your wrist; give it a date to remember and it can start flopping around. There are hundreds of ways to give the 888 a chance to surprise you. Form follows function and Nokia now lets form follow you.

“Google GO”

This good looking device comes to us from designer Tryi Yeh powered by Android known as the “Google GO”.

The Google GO isn’t a real Android phone. It is a concept from designer Tryi Yeh. Is not coming out soon and will probably never be built, but I am sure you would agree it has a beautiful design. The GO has touchscreen and slider functions.

The speakers and mike are positioned on the back which slides to reveal a camera and four customizable smartkeys for quick access to the mail, browsing and more. The buttons change depending on what you are currently doing. The GO comes with what seems an inductive charger, media hookup that uses Windows media centre like interface allowing you to watch TV on your phone or use your GO as a remote. Very likable and very realistic.

Source - Intomobile

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Nikon D300s

The world's best semi-pro digital SLR just got better. The Nikon D300s ($1,800; late August 2009) takes Nikon's two-year old D300 and gives it a modest upgrade, adding features like the improved 12.3-megapixel sensor from the D90, automatic Active D-Lighting, one-touch Live View, 24fps, 720p D-Movie recording with Autofocus, 7 fps shooting (8 with battery grip), and a stereo microphone input, while retaining the rock-solid build, spectacular 51-point AF sensor, and 3-inch, 920,000 dot LCD from the original.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

More Apple Tablet PC Rumors

According to recent rumors, the long-awaited Apple Tablet will be released in time for the holiday season this year and it will be subsidized by Verizon.

I’m hesitant to post rumors, especially rumors regarding Apple, and even more so regarding the Tablet, but I have heard from other reliable sources that Apple has been talking to Verizon. While they speculated that this could have been about the iPhone moving carriers, when you take this into account, the Tablet seems far more likely.

If the Tablet were subsidized, one big concern, price, would surely all but disappear. Apple continually claims that they can’t (or won’t) make a low-end netbook citing that they want to make the best, not the most. This could allow them to make the best, but at a much more affordable price point.

But as always this is still a rumor, yet their annual September event is fast approaching, so take it with a grain of salt.

ASUS F50GX F50GX-6X059E Notebook Intel Pentium T3400 with Vista Business

Stylish, contemporary and versatile. The F50GX is designed to be the definitive notebook for the family. Powered by an Intel® Core™2 processor providing users with everyday computing efficiency the F50GX is the perfect addition to any household.

ASUS F50GX F50GX-6X059E Notebook Features:

Microsoft Windows Vista Business
Intel Pentium Dual Core T3400 2.2GHz Processor
NVIDIA® GeForce® 9400M G Graphics
2GB DDR2 800MHz Memory
320GB 5400rpm Hard Drive
DVD Supermulti Drive
16.1" WXGA Colourshine (1366x768) HDMI
1.3 Mega Pixel Camera
Battery Life: Upto 2.0hrs
Weight: from 2.85kg

Should You Get the New iPhone 3GS?

The whole Internet, it seems, is currently fawning over the new iPhone 3GS. That's partially because the device seems to be a worthy upgrade to the iPhone 3G. (We're not sure we'd call it a successor, since it will be sold alongside the existing handset; it's more like choosing between the basic MacBook and the souped-up MacBook Pro.) We also lay responsibility for the hype, though, on the shoulders of one of our pet peeves -- the media's love affair with Apple.

At least one Web site refuses to swallow the story whole, though. The popular tech blog TechCrunch's M.G. Siegler recently wrote an opinion piece arguing that the iPhone 3GS might not be the best bet. But then again, he lays that blame squarely at the feet of AT&T, only backing up our argument that the media may love Apple a bit too much to give a fair assessment.

It's hard to argue with his logic, though. As Siegler points out, AT&T will not be subsidizing the price of the upgrade for existing iPhone 3G customers (as it did for the upgrade from the first-generation iPhone to the iPhone 3G). When the iPhone 3G launched, AT&T offered it for a single price, $199, to new subscribers and existing iPhone customers alike, regardless of whether or not their contracts were up for renewal. Not so with the iPhone 3G. If you jumped on the iPhone 3G last year, you'll have to either wait another year to get the discount, or pay face value for the 3GS ($399 for the 16-gigabyte version, or $499 for the 32-gigabyte). Of course, if you're new to the iPhone or AT&T, or if you bought the original iPhone back in 2007 and your contract is up for renewal, then you can get the new iPhone 3GS for the nice price of $199.

Even worse, AT&T has yet to lock up exclusivity of the Apple handset. Currently, the contract between the two companies is set to expire in 2010, though AT&T is trying to extend that through 2011. If it fails to do so, you can expect the iPhone to find its way onto other carriers pretty quickly. This means that Verizon fans just might want to wait a year before they sign up for a 2-year contract with AT&T just to get an iPhone (we're not promising anything, though).

Given these stumbling blocks, what's the point of upgrading to or buying the new iPhone 3GS? We've come up with a few pros and cons.

Why you should upgrade: The primary reason you might want to get the new iPhone 3GS is because it's the fastest iPhone so far. The current iPhone is sleek and fancy, but certainly not a speed demon. Many purely 2-D games stutter and freeze, and even basic tasks, such as opening a text message, can sometimes take up to 30 seconds. The iPhone 3GS packs a significantly faster processor, more RAM, and a new 3-D graphics processor capable of handling much more complex imagery (in other words, games will more realistic and run more smoothly). Game developers are loving this new processor, and you'll likely see a number of games hit the App Store that require the 3GS and won't run on older iPhones at all.

Then there are the other perks that come with the upgrade, like the upgraded camera with auto-white-balance, auto-focus, and video capabilities. Naturally, it won't replace your point-and-shoot, but it should finally bring the iPhone up to speed with most other feature phones. And don't forget the digital compass, which may not sound like a major feature, but will make finding your way using the included Google Maps app much easier.

Why you shouldn't upgrade: Besides the pricing issues described above, the iPhone 3GS isn't such a big leap forward in technology that current 3G owners will be driven to assaulting those eligible for the upgrade. The move to 7.2 Mbps HSDPA (double the download speed of the current iPhone 3G) is only useful in areas where AT&T will actually upgrade its network (no specific areas or time frame have been announced), and if you can keep a 3G signal for longer than two minutes. AT&T's service is almost universally panned, and is notoriously spotty in many major metropolitan areas.We can tell you that coverage in New York City (where the Switched offices are located) is infuriatingly inconsistent and often slow.

Also, if you already on an iPhone, then many of the benefits of the iPhone 3.0 software update -- cut-and-pasting ability, MMS, a landscape keyboard for all apps, and turn-by-turn directions using the GPS -- will come to you in the way of an automatic software download and installation.

Bottom line: For users of the first gen iPhone -- or some other aging handset, like (gasp) the RAZR -- the iPhone 3GS might be a worthwhile upgrade. Ditto those who don't own iPhones at all, as $199 is a competitive price for a pretty advanced smartphone, and it's simply the best for watching video and listening to music on the go (especially if you already use iTunes). Make sure to check with other AT&T customers in your area to find out about 3G coverage if you're planning on doing a lot of Web surfing or like to use apps that need a Web connection, though. Another option, if you're a first-gen iPhone owner, is an upgrade to the standard iPhone 3G, which AT&T will be selling for $99 with a two-year contract. The 3G is still a capable handset, and more advanced than most other phones at that price point, which often lack touch screens, and can't match the iPhone's Web browser or catalog of applications. We expect Google, BlackBerry, Palm, and Microsoft to slip into panic mode any day now.

Our advice if you're a current iPhone 3G customer? Wait. The smart phone market is changing so quickly you may regret dropping $399 on phone just because you're impatient. Besides, you have another year left on your contract to see where the burgeoning smartphone market is going. . Android, Google's fledgling smart phone OS, is just starting to come into its own, Palm is experiencing a resurgence, Windows Mobile will be getting a major update in the next year, and BlackBerry is not resting on its laurels either.

In other words we're just now entering the golden age of affordable and advanced smartphones, iPhone 3G owners, so sit back, check out the new releases, save your money, and revisit this decision again in a year.

HTC Hero

We're going to need some real time with the device to make a final opinion, but we're cautiously optimistic that HTC has a winner with its new Hero. Here's what we've got from our first looks at the phone in London and NY:

* The beveled edges along the back makes the handset sit comfortably in the hand, and while the teflon coat doesn't necessarily feel revolutionary, it's going to make a world of difference after a couple of months riding in our grubby pockets. It's certainly solid, but much more so than other "brick" phones.
* The Sense UI (or as HTC terms it, "user experience") riding a capacitive touchscreen offers a people-centric approach to managing your information that is absolutely dreamy at first blush -- though it shares a lot of TouchFLO heritage. In fact, HTC promises to have a very similar Sense-branded experience for Windows Mobile.
* The on-screen keyboard also seems quite useable with a nice simulated haptic forced-feedback bounce when you strike each key in either landscape or portrait mode (which can naturally be deactivated). HTC has built its own touch keyboard from the ground up, and in our brief couple of tests we'd say it's probably the best touchscreen typing experience we've ever felt. It never lags behind, and has great colorful visual cues for its auto-corrected words -- green means it's suggesting a correctly spelled word, red means we've gone off the beaten path, and the T9-style multiple suggestions are heavenly.
* This intuitive one-hander isn't shy with the specs either as we've already seen in the official press release. Our only concern is possible sluggishness from the Qualcomm processor that cause the graphic transitions to stutter a bit and results in screen rotations that feel dangerously uncomfortable.
* We were told that the device we saw was running pre-production firmware so there's still time to tweak -- though not much with a July European launch.
* The Hero is not a "Google Experience" device. As such, you won't find the Google logo anywhere (no big deal) but you also won't be downloading any firmware updates over the air -- sideloading only kids. Not a deal breaker but an annoying and seemingly arbitrary limitation nonetheless. There's still a small lack of clarity of how updates will work with HTC's "mods" living on top of basic Android -- even if they're able to port in new Android versions seamlessly, we imagine there will be some breakage.
* For a device without a physical keyboard, the Hero seems a little thick up against its HTC Magic, Nokia N97, and iPhone 3G counterparts, but not overly so.
* HTC has confirmed that whichever (unspecified) carrier gets the phone in the US will have a modified version, both in software (carrier-specific services) and in hardware chassis tweaks. Just don't take our teflon away, ok HTC?
* Battery is the same larger slab that's in the myTouch, and HTC also claims to have done some vague, unspecified things OS-side to improve battery life as well. "Heavy users will be able to get through a day."
* The camera is responsive and seems to do a fine job at autofocus, but wasn't astonishingly great at first glance.
* The phone will be available for free on T-Mobile UK -- if only we could be so subsidy lucky in the US.

There are four videos for you after the break. The first shows Flash running at full screen on the HTC Hero courtesy of YouTube. The second, however, shows it failing when running a trailer from Yahoo Movies, just like Adobe did -- in fact, it crashed all four times that we tried it on what we were told was a Hero running the final build of the OS. Third one is a quickie showing the on-screen keyboard rotating from portrait to landscape and back. Lastly, we demonstrate the hardware a little bit and show off our lightning speed at typing. For the real completists, there's also a new gallery of hands-on shots from the NY launch event right below.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

HTC Snap

Style & Handling Summary

The HTC Snap is reminiscent of the BlackBerry Bold, with a spacious QWERTY keyboard that has a rather fetching bronze tint.

User Friendliness Summary

The relatively small 2.4-inch screen hinders the internet experience, but navigating with the track ball posed few problems. Syncing with email accounts such as Outlook and Hotmail was also simple to do.

Feature Set Summary


If you’re not a fan of touch-screens then the QWERTY keypad will appeal, but the main attraction of the Snap is the ‘Inner Circle’ feature. Select your most important contacts and one press of the green button will bring up all their emails. Genius.

Performance Summary

HSDPA and Wi-Fi ensure speedy internet browsing but the camera performed poorly, with just two megapixels and no flash – this was always going to be the case.

Battery Power Summary

Battery life is good.

The Verdict

The Inner Circle feature is genuinely helpful, but as smartphones go, there are better-equipped models on the market..

HTC has been so caught up with the Google Android/touch-screen whirlwind that we’d almost forgotten about its longstanding relationship with Windows Mobile. The HTC Snap, which offers both the aforementioned operating system and a full QWERTY keyboard, doesn’t even look like an HTC device. In fact, it resembles something more akin to the BlackBerry Curve range, albeit slightly longer and thinner.

Look and feel

The HTC Snap’s slim appearance helps keeps its weight down to an impressive 120g, and we actually found the bronze tinted keypad rather endearing. The QWERTY keypad consists of four rows, with the letters on the left of the pad doubling up as numeric keys. Above the keypad is a trackball that is surrounded by the call and call end keys, two hard keys and the home and back buttons. The keys are in close proximity to each other, though there is enough to distinguish between them all.

The trackball is certainly a welcome addition, but we found it a little loose and the overall result wasn’t as fluid as the BlackBerry experience. This is a shame as, due to the lack of a touch-screen, it’s the main means of navigating around the phone.

Operating on Windows Mobile 6.1, the Snap is compatible with Outlook and can even be synced with other email accounts such as Hotmail. Outlook is the only account that has push-email though.

Inner circle

The Snap’s unique selling point is its ‘Inner Circle’, which aims to prioritise emails from your most important or frequent contacts. Pressing the green inner circle key on the bottom right of the keypad will pull up any emails from your chosen contacts. It’s a great touch from HTC, and a genuine time saver.

With on-board HSDPA and Wi-Fi, all your connectivity needs are catered for and the experience was a real breeze. However, we did find the screen a tad on the small side, as excessive scrolling through webpages is necessary.

On-board GPS

The size of the screen also demeans the navigational experience as once again you’ll be using the trackball to scroll around Google Maps. Sadly, it also took us an age to get a GPS satellite fix, though this did improve when we switched on the QuickGPS feature in the accessories menu. Google Maps does include a useful search facility however, that enables you to find the nearest coffee shop to your current location for example, simply by typing in the word ‘coffee’. You can then call that venue directly, which is useful if you want to book a table.

HTC has included a two-megapixel camera that lacks features, in what appears to be nothing more than a token gesture. There’s no flash for one thing, and though you can select from a variety of white balance modes, our photos always appeared far darker than the conditions in which we were taking them. There is a video recording functionality, though the same issues occur.

The verdict

The HTC Snap is a very competent smartphone with some innovative features, most notably the ‘Inner Circle’. However, the majority of today’s flagship handsets are affectively smartphones, even if they don’t market themselves as such, and these outgun the likes of the Snap. A noble effort by HTC, but we just wonder if phones of this ilk have seen their day.

Toshiba TG01

Style & Handling Summary

A good looking device with a minimalist design and an attractive WVGA touch-screen that dominates the front of the handset.

User Friendliness Summary

The TG01 is seriously lacking in terms of usability, with a clunky user interface, an unresponsive touch-screen and oversights in hardware finish.

Feature Set Summary

Toshiba’s device is lacking any kind of standout feature and setting up new applications is a long-winded process. It fails to compete with other hero handsets, most of which are far superior in terms of features.

Performance Summary

The TG01 is able to find and connect to Wi-Fi hotspots quickly, but the overall internet experience was glitch-ridden and the touch-screen’s lack of responsiveness was incredibly frustrating.

Battery Power Summary

On the plus side, battery life was above average.

The Verdict

A highly disappointing release from Toshiba, especially considering the hype surrounding its launch. It might look nice, but there’s not much else on offer.

Panasonic announces LUMIX DMC-FP8 digital camera

Panasonic continues with its barrage of digital camera releases by unveiling the latest model in its new FP-Series, where the LUMIX FP-8 aims to achieve a careful balance between design and function. With that in mind, you can be sure that you won’t be shortchanged should you decide to bring this puppy home as a present to yourself or a loved one, as you can now capture your favorite memories in full 12.1-megapixels glory, thanks to its high-quality 28mm wide-angle, 4.6x Leica DC lens with folding optics, all stashed away within a futuristic-looking stylish body.

Apart from the relatively unique design, the FP8 will also boast advanced functions such as high-speed Auto Focus (AF) and Panasonic’s Intelligent Auto (iA) suite of technologies. The fast AF, when coupled with a high-speed start-up of only 0.95 seconds, will enable anyone to capture even the most fleeting of shots courtesy of the FP8’s fast response time. In addition, Panasonic’s iA, a popular feature on LUMIX cameras, will now include POWER Optical Image Stabilization (O.I.S.) that boasts double the repression power compared to the previous image stabilization system, MEGA O.I.S. You also need not worry about blurry images due to hand-shake generated during the pressing of the shutter button, or when capturing images under low light conditions using a slow shutter speed thanks to the improved POWER O.I.S.

Some of the features of the DMC-FP8 include :-

* HD Movies with VIERA Link Networking - Records dynamic HD motion pictures in 1280 x 720p at a smooth 30 fps, in addition to WVGA (848 x 480) and normal VGA (640 x 480). With HD component output capability, the user can enjoy watching photos and video in stunning HD quality by simply connecting the camera to a television via an optional component cable (DMW-HDC2)
* Scene Modes - Twenty-seven scene modes are available with the FP8, including the High Dynamic mode which helps to capture a scene with moderate exposure, even though the scene may contain both bright and dark areas together
* PHOTOfunSTUDIO 4.0 - Included with the FP8, this software allows users to view, edit and archive captured photos and videos with greater ease. The new PHOTOfunSTUDIO 4.0 features dramatic speed-up of operation and also allows users to store and sort for photos by a specific, recognized face in the image

You will be able to pick up the LUMIX DMC-FP8 this September for $299.95, where color choices are limited to black, red and silver.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Sony DSLR-A900, world’s highest megapixel camera

Sony has announced a new SLR addition to its digital camera lineup, the DSLR-A900. The high-end camera takes photographs at a 24.6-megapixel resolution, and is a full-frame camera meaning its sensor is the same size as a 35mm film frame.

Phil Lubell, director of digital camera marketing at Sony Electronics said “The α (alpha) DSLR-A900 introduction solidifies Sony’s position as a leading camera manufacturer that can meet the demands of serious enthusiasts…It represents the best in sensor and image processing technologies and offers enhanced functions, performance and reliability so photographers can push their creativity to the limit.”

The A900 can accept both Sony’s proprietary Memory Stick as well as the more common Compact Flash cards, which gives you a little flexibility when it comes to saving your pictures. The camera can hold both cards simultaneously, which can give you a little additional space to save your pictures as well without having to switch out memory cards.

The A900 has a 3-inch LCD, can shot photographs continuously at a rate of one photo per every 5 seconds, and has an HDMI output to high-definition televisions. The DSLR-A900 is expected to sell for around $3000 for the body alone, and is compatible with Minolta, Sony, and Konica-Minolta lenses.

The camera is the first to use Sony’s new “Intelligent Preview” function. The function allows users to press a preview button, and then adjust things like white balance and exposure compensation before actually “taking” the picture. The changes you make to the photograph show up on the screen, which makes it easier to make minor tweaks.

I’m personally pretty excited about the preview function. I often find myself at shoots where I’m adjusting a lot of settings. With my current camera I have to take the picture, look at it, adjust, then take another picture, look at it, adjust….it gets tiresome for both me and the subject being photographed. I love the idea of being able to adjust things like my exposure on the camera while I’m looking at the picture, and being able to see in real time how the changes I’m making are affecting my image.

So, for three grand would you buy one of these?

12 Megapixel Camera Phone, the latest release from Samsung

Samsung was the first to release the 8 Megapixel camera phone. Continuing the trend, Samsung is again the first to announce and launch its 12 Megapixel handset at Mobile World Congress 2009. Samsung is planning for the mass production of this latest 12 Megapixel handset before the end of February with its release in Europe first.

The Samsung’s 12 Megapixel camera phone, dubbed as the Pixon 12 (M8910) is featured with an AMOLED touchscreen display of 3.1 inches and a resolution of 720 x 480. Other specifications being its internal memory of 150MB, a microSD slot, FM radio with RDS, GSM / GPRS / EDGE, HSPA and GPS. As the reviews, the most attractive art of the phone is its integrated 12 Megapixel camera with 4000 x 3000 pixels, 28mm wide lens, xenon flash, Power LED flash and autofocus technology.

You can easily capture, browse and share your images on the brilliantly featured full-touch screen display. The Samsung Pixon 12 has an integrated and dedicated Camera Power Key, which offers you with one-touch feature for faster accessing of the camera. Just like any other advance digital camera of today, the Samsung Pixon 12 helps in aiming, snapping and capturing of images equally faster. It also offers fast saving of the image so that you can move on to the next shot within 2 seconds. The phone is also equipped with an internal memory of 150MB along with microSD card slot.

Measuring 108 x 53 x 13.8 mm in dimension, the new Samsung Pixon M8910 weighs approximately 120 grams. The phone supports video formats such as DivX, XviD, H.263, H.264, WMV and MP4. The supported audio formats are MP3, eAAC+, WMA and AMR. Although the phone has been set for its launch in Europe in June and other parts of the world by August. However, there’s still no news of the pricing yet.