Behold, Verizon Wireless subscribers — the upcoming Chocolate sequel you had been praying was the BL40. Unfortunately no, it is most certainly not the BL40. We’ve known the Chocolate Touch would be a previously unseen handset for a while now of course, so this shouldn’t come as too much of a disappointment. As these live images of the handset emerge however, we can’t help but feel a little sad to think of how great a subsidized BL40 on VZW could have been. Alas, the peculiar mid-range handset you see at the top of this post is what we have to look forward to in its place. Rumored specs include a 3.2MP camera, 3.5mm headset jack, HTML Web browser, some form of limited multitasking support, a music player and a WVGA touchscreen display. Hit the jump for another shot.
In what would certainly be an interesting move on Sony Ericsson’s part, Brand Republic is reporting that the upcoming Xperia Pureness will launch at £530 through various non-carrier retailers around the UK. We already knew that SE was targeting November for the Pureness launch but the price point, which is equivalent to $874 USD if accurate, had been unknown. Also unknown was the launch strategy, which supposedly puts the Pureness in the hands of consumers via retailers like Selfridges (high end department store, also sells the Moto Aura) and various Design Museum Shop (artsy specialty shop) locations. A bold move we suppose, but SE views the handset as ‘an iconic niche product’ not geared toward the mass market. This will be the first time Sony Ericsson has launched a phone in the UK without carrier support so it will be interesting to see how much product the company can move — though we don’t imagine expectations are incredibly high. As unique as the Pureness is, it’s still a £530 feature phone with the least impressive feature set we’ve seen in ages.
On one end of the mobile spectrum, you have smartphone OSes that are feature packed, diverse and almost endlessly enhanceable. On the other end of the spectrum, you have dumb phone OSes that are limited in function but typically well-suited for the average consumer. Somewhere in the middle lies Qualcomm’s BREW Mobile Platform. Some may have been under the impression that BREW was going the way of the dinosaur but the truth is that it’s still managing to garner attention from manufacturers and carriers alike. Back in July, HTC reportedly let it be known that it has plans to release a BREW-powered handset some time in 2009. Now Sprint has jumped on board with this morning’s announcement that “it is planning to offer its customers additional device options by launching devices running Qualcomm’s Brew Mobile Platform™ (Brew MP).” No word yet on who might manufacture said phones, though HTC could certainly be among the companies currently working on a BREW-based Sprint handset. Whether or not the addition of BREW MP will be welcomed by Sprint subscribers remains to be seen but more options are never a bad thing, we suppose.
Sheesh — now even Alltel is getting in on the action. It seems like everyone is trying to detract from Motorola’s big announcements later today as the flurry of news this morning just keeps on coming. In this latest addition, Samsung has announced the availability of the Samsung Freeform via Alltel. Specs include:
- Slim Bar Design with Four-row QWERTY keyboard
- Teal and Burgundy Color Options
- Music Player
- Stereo Bluetooth® Wireless Technology
- Multiple Messaging Options with Threaded Text Messaging
- GPS-enabled with Alltel Navigation
- Expandable Memory up to 16GB
- Voice Recognition
- Dimensions: 2.4″ x 4.42″ x .50″
- Main Display: 2.2″ QCIF, 262K TFT LCD
No, it won’t knock your socks off, but it’s certainly a viable messaging option for customers in the remaining Alltel markets. Though it is not currently listed on Alltel’s site and pricing has not yet been made available, the Freeform is said to be available immediately.
This morning, AT&T took the wraps off its plan to upgrade 3G in various markets across the US this year. By various markets, we mean exactly six. HSPA 7.2, or High Speed Packet Access capable of providing downlink speeds up to 7.2Mbps, will theoretically provide a tremendous boost to AT&T’s 3G network speeds ahead of its eventual 4G rollout. As you may recall, Apple’s iPhone 3GS handset is HSPA 7.2-ready and owners have been waiting impatiently for word on when they might actually be able to take advantage of the higher-speed data services they were promised. Unfortunately, unless you live in and around Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles or Miami, the answer is still unknown. The six aforementioned markets are due to go live before the end of 2009 and AT&T claims another 19 unnamed major markets will go live by the end of 2010. The majority of AT&T’s remaining 3G footprint is slated to be upgraded by the end of 2011 — while many are (hopefully) already enjoying LTE. So to AT&T customers in the six markets listed above, congrats. The rest of you will unfortunately have to make due with what you have in the meantime.
Perhaps it’s the ultra-wide 21:9 touchscreen display or maybe it’s the revised LG UI, but something about the Chocolate BL40 intrigues us. The simple fact that this handset is decidedly different from anything else on the market could be what’s drawing us in. Whatever the case, LG has just officially announced that its new oddball Chocolate phone will launch sometime toward the middle of this month in Europe. According to the release, the rest of the world will get the handset in October, though specific markets remain unnamed. To refresh your memory and whet your appetite, this Black Label phone features a 4-inch 800×345 pixel touchscreen display, LG’s S Class UI, a 5 megapixel camera with Schneider-Kreuznach lens, 7.2Mbps UMTS/HSDPA connectivity, Wi-Fi, and aGPS. The specs are there, the unique factor is there — the question is whether or not the market is there for a barely-pocketable feature phone with what will undoubtedly be a lofty price tag.
In case you were wondering, yes, the flood gates are open. Windows Phones — or handsets running Windows Mobile 6.5, for the marketing impaired — are raining down left and right since Microsoft’s official announcement that Windows Mobile 6.5 is set for takeoff on October 6th. LG promised three Windows Phones right off the bat with 10 more to come in the near future, and now the second piece of the puzzle has fallen into place. If the GW550 wasn’t your cup of tea, perhaps we can interest you in a slightly stronger brew dubbed the GM750. This full touchscreen handset features WinMo 6.5 of course, along with LG’s S Class UI, a 3-inch display, 5 megapixel camera, GPS, Wi-Fi and an accelerometer. While pricing hasn’t yet been made available, the GM750 will launch on October 6th in seven Vodafone markets (Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and the UK).
Remember that extremely weird Sony Ericsson handset codenamed “Kiki” that you didn’t care about because you were too busy ogling the X3 aka “Rachael”? Well as it turns out, our favorite wireless JV managed to announce it with a name even more ridiculous than Kiki. Behold: The Sony Ericsson Xperia Pureness. After unveiling a new “make.believe” slogan this morning, we knew some pretty weird things would follow. As it turns out, we didn’t have to wait long at all. Though few details were provided, SE took the wraps off the Xperia Pureness at a London event today and no specs have been released. All we know for now is that it’s a feature phone, it has a crazy transparent display visible from both sides of the handset and it will be available in November from “selected retail distribution channels in key cities around the world”. Consider us oddly intrigued. Hit the jump for a quick video and a few marketing shots.
Was the Mural announcement from this morning not quite enough to satisfy your entry-level Nokia cravings? Don’t fret — the Shade should be just what the doctor ordered. Not much is known about this mysterious flipping feature phone for the time being but suffice it to say, most of you likely won’t care one way or the other. If you happen to have a child or perhaps a much younger sibling looking for a low-end dumb phone with a standard 0-9 keypad however, take notice: Rumor has it the Nokia Shade will eventually replace the Mirage on Verizon’s shelves, though specs are completely unknown for now. Figure on S40, a 2 megapixel camera and a handful of music/social networking features headlining the spec sheet once this little guy gets official. Hit the jump for another couple of shots.
It looks like it soon may be raining Android handsets in Big Red country as yet another handset touting the Google OS has reportedly been spied in Verizon’s inventory system. The image above is an alleged screen capture showing the previously unheard of HTC Desire 6200 sitting pretty in VZW’s system. We know the Sholes will be announced a week from today and last we heard, the Calgary still isn’t set to drop for a while but what when did VZW start getting gaga over Android and what is this mysterious third Android handset? We suppose it could also be the HTC Click, though that’s pure speculation for the time being. The Hero perhaps? It is pretty desirable no doubt, but rumblings suggest that the Hero may be a Sprint exclusive for a while to come. The only other info provided by the source of the screenshot is that the Desire will be a Google-branded handset, meaning no Sense UI. We’ll keep an ear to the ground but truth be told, the only Android handset headed to VZW that we’ll be caring about for the next week or so it the Sholes.
The news just keeps on coming today for Windows Mobile enthusiasts. This morning, Microsoft announced that “Windows Phones” — aka handsets powered by Microsoft’s Windows Mobile 6.5 OS — would begin to reach market on October 6th. Now, AT&T has jumped in to reveal plans to add Windows Mobile-powered handsets to its free Wi-Fi pool. That’s right folks, starting Friday September 14th, AT&T’s WinMo smartphones will gain free access to each and every AT&T Wi-Fi hotspot. BlackBerrys and iPhones have enjoyed free AT&T Wi-Fi for quite a while now, so it’s nice to finally see Windows Mobile join the fun. There are two requirements of course, the first being an unlimited data plan or other qualifying data option. Secondly, your WinMo handset must, in fact, have Wi-Fi capabilities in order for you to enjoy free Wi-Fi. Right on.
Netbook fans may be pleasantly surprised today — or perhaps disappointed — as a purported roadmap for ASUS’ US Eee PC offerings is currently making the rounds. Allegedly depicting the Eee PC launch schedule for the remainder of the year, this roadmap doesn’t offer too much in the way of excitement but at least those in need of a new netbook can get an idea of what ASUS will have to offer in the coming months. If it’s real, that is. Hit the jump for the details.
Let’s face it — annoying, stale and overused references to a “desktop experience” aside, the N900 is probably one of the most exciting things to happen to Nokia in years… At least for technophiles. In a nutshell, Maemo 5 is the first fresh new OS to find its way to a Nokia smartphone since S60 3rd Edition first found its way to Fred Flinstone’s phone back in the stone ages. S60 3rd is still rocking relatively hard where global sales are concerned of course, but even the most avid Nokia fans will reluctantly admit to being bored with it at this point. S60 5th Edition is just more of the same and until Symbian^4 struts its stuff, Maemo is apparently where it’s at. The N900, Nokia’s first Maemo-powered smartphone, will drop some time in October so until then all we can do is watch painfully loud promo videos and yearn for the day when Nokia’s new kit finds its way to our pockets, and hopefully, our hearts. Video after the jump.