Hands-on with Samsung’s unnamed SCH-i520

By on January 6, 2011 at 6:45 PM.

Hands-on with Samsung’s unnamed SCH-i520

You have to feel just a little sympathy for the Samsung SCH-i520. Showcased next to handsets with names like Thunderbolt and BIONC, this poor little guy is only identifiable by his model name — it’s simply referred to as the “Samsung 4G LTE Smartphone” in Verizon’s official press release. Aside from the name, the device does boast a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, 1GHz processor, 8 megapixel rear-facing camera, 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera, and Android 2.2… so you can’t feel too, too bad for the device. We were given a few minutes with the i520 — which is all we need to form an opinion — and are ready to give you the skinny. Hit the bounce below and let’s do this thing. More →

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Ballmer on Windows Phone 7: 5,500 apps, updates coming, Verizon and Sprint in first half of 2011

By on January 5, 2011 at 10:22 PM.

Ballmer on Windows Phone 7: 5,500 apps, updates coming, Verizon and Sprint in first half of 2011

Speaking at his company’s CES keynote, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer let go several pertinent facts about the Windows Phone 7 operating system. For starters, the much anticipated WP7 software update — the one that brings copy & paste along with a host of other improvements — is due in the next few months. Mr. Ballmer also noted that the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace now has 5,500 applications and is growing at the rate of 100 new applications every day; he also mentioned that 50% of the user base downloads a new application each day. Lastly, the highly anticipated Verizon and Sprint Windows Phone devices — like the HTC 7 Pro — are due “in the first half of 2011.” Not exactly the timeframe we were looking for… and no mention of official sales figures for the platform. Anyone else disappointed by the lack of specificity on the WP7, CDMA timeline?

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Vizio makes VIA Phone and VIA Tablet official

By on January 3, 2011 at 12:01 PM.

Vizio makes VIA Phone and VIA Tablet official

Following on the heels of a report by the Wall Street Journal, electronics maker Vizio has made its entry into the smartphone and tablet market official. In a press release, the company outlines its VIA Phone and VIA Tablet devices that are set to debut this week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Vizio’s VIA Phone will be a 1GHz device with a 4-inch “high-resolution” capacitive touchscreen, Wi-Fi b/g/n, GPS, Bluetooth, micro-SD card slot, front-facing video camera, three external speakers, and an HDMI-out port. The VIA Tablet will also feature a 1GHz processor and will be paired with an 8-inch capacitive touchscreen display, Wi-Fi b/g/n, GPS, Bluetooth, micro-SD card slot, front-facing video camera, three external speakers, and an HDMI-out port. Dèjá vu. Both the tablet and smartphone will have “a built-in IR blaster with universal remote control app for quick access to the entire home theater or nearly any other CE device in the home,” which sounds pretty nifty. Hit the jump to check out the full press release. More →

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PlayStation phone due in Spring of 2011?

By on December 28, 2010 at 1:34 PM.

PlayStation phone due in Spring of 2011?

A report filed today claims that Sony Ericsson’s PlayStation phone is set to launch in “spring of 2011″ — the article was published in the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun. The publication goes on to state that the device will be “based on the PSPgo” and will “retain the PSP’s familiar gaming controls” — all of the leaked images and videos we’ve seen seem to confirm this as well. Sony has yet to comment on the previously aforementioned images and videos and declined to comment on Asahi Shimbun‘s report. “We do not comment on rumor or speculation,” noted a Sony spokeswoman. The PS phone, which will be powered by Android, is rumored to boast a 1GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, 1GB of ROM, microSD slot, and a special Sony Marketplace portal. Not to rain on Sony Ericsson’s parade, but a 1GHz processor in an Android handset might start to look pretty pedestrian after the Consumer Electronics Show next week and Mobile World Congress in February. More →

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Verizon introduces Mobile Email 4.0, brings Exchange to feature phones

By on December 21, 2010 at 4:59 AM.

Verizon introduces Mobile Email 4.0, brings Exchange to feature phones

Think you can avoid having corporate email on your mobile device by buying a feature phone? Think again, as today Verizon Wireless announced an update to its feature phone email solution, Mobile Email 4.0. The downloadable application will allow users to connect their non-smartphone devices to Microsoft’s Exchange environment, leverage push email, and utilize an integrated contact list. The service will retail for $5 per month and is available to those with a data plan of at least $15 per month. The software is currently compatible with eight VZW phones, including the Samsung Zeal, LG Cosmos Touch, and Pantech Crux. Hit the read link for the full PR. More →

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Murtazin: Nokia to build Windows Phone 7 devices?

By on December 20, 2010 at 7:25 AM.

Murtazin: Nokia to build Windows Phone 7 devices?

While the following seems completely improbable, you have to give the idea consideration due to the source. Mobile Review‘s Eldar Murtazin, who is known for his deep Nokia connections, writes that Nokia and Microsoft are working on a partnership that would create “an entire line of Windows Phone devices that may go under the name Nokia [translated].” That’s right: Microsoft’s software, Nokia’s hardware. Now, before anyone gets too excited, Nokia’s lame-duck Mobile VP, Anssi Vanjoki, has publicly (and quite humorously) stated that this company is not interested in utilizing third-party mobile operating systems such as Google’s Android. Perhaps the new leadership team over at Nokia is rethinking its position on third-party code? It’s a stretch, but it is, to say the least, interesting. More →

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Best Buy posts Nexus S FAQ section

By on December 10, 2010 at 9:51 PM.

Best Buy posts Nexus S FAQ section

So you want to pick yourself up a Nexus S and live the pure Google life. You probably have questions, no? Recently, Best Buy Mobile posted an FAQ page that pertains specifically to the forthcoming Samsung Nexus S. The questions range from the benign — When will the Google Nexus S be available to purchase? — to the slighly less benign — If I’m unable to upgrade and renew my account, can I still add a new line to my plan and get the Nexus S for $199? If you plan on hitting up Best Buy Mobile on the 16th, hit the read link and check out Best Buy’s policies on the Sexy Nexy: Part II to make sure there are no surprises on game day. More →

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Microsoft readying second major Window Phone 7 update for February?

By on December 10, 2010 at 10:07 AM.

Microsoft readying second major Window Phone 7 update for February?

Blog WinRumors is reporting that Microsoft is preparing a second, developer-centric software update for its Windows Phone 7 platform to be released this February. The information was relayed to the site by an anonymous source involved with Windows Phone development.

“Microsoft’s second update will introduce enhanced developer controls for applications,” reads the report. “Microsoft is expected to open up several new APIs that will allow for greater multi-tasking, in-app downloads and better customization for end users.”

The blog goes on to note that the Redmond company is already compiling beta builds of the second mobile-OS update and shipping it to select beta testers.

The new bits are expected to be introduced at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Spain this February. When asked about a Silverlight update for WP7, Microsoft’s senior technical evangelist for Visual Studio, Brian Keller, was quoted as saying, “I think we are saving those, for say another event. If only there was a massive event in Barcelona on mobile phones and or other events in the future.”

Microsoft is expect to introduce the first major software update for Windows Phone 7 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in early January of 2011. More →

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Video chat icons, PlayStation-like gaming calls found in Android 2.3 SDK

By on December 7, 2010 at 10:49 AM.

Video chat icons, PlayStation-like gaming calls found in Android 2.3 SDK

Over the past 24-hours, electronic archeologists — of sorts — have been sifting through the Android 2.3 SDK looking for little nuggets of information that could indicate future features destined to drop on Google’s mobile OS. It hasn’t taken the software sleuths very long, as they have found several interesting artifacts under the SDK’s hood: video chat icons and API calls for a PlayStation-like controller.

The presence video chat icons are pretty self explanatory. We don’t have to stretch our imaginations very far to envision Google incorporating Google Talk video-chat — a service that is up and running on the desktop — into Android. At yesterday’s D:Dive Into Mobile talk, Google’s Andy Rubin showed-off a prototype Motorola tablet. When Mr. Rubin powered the tablet on, he noted that we were looking at a version of Google Talk that had video chat icons before quickly clearing it off the screen. Google’s next developer phone, the Nexus S, includes a front-facing video camera, making a video-chat feature both expected and likely in the very near future.

The second bit of information comes in the form of API calls. Android now includes calls for R1, R2, L1, L2, select, and start keys, similar to those found on a PlayStation controller. The fabled PlayStation Phone is anything but a secret and hopefully — if the device ever comes to market — it will be rocking out with Android 2.3.

More →

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Throwback Thursday: Nokia 8110

By on December 2, 2010 at 4:31 PM.

Throwback Thursday: Nokia 8110

Released in September of 1996, the Nokia 8110 was a unique member of the Finnish company’s high-end 8000-series line of phones. The device’s curved shape and manual-sliding keyboard cover earned the device the nickname of “banana phone.” The device operated on the 900MHz GSM frequency, had a monochromatic, dot-matrix display, and could store a whopping 125 contacts in its on-board address book. As the press release boasts:

The revolutionary curved design fits the natural shape of your face. It has unique sliding mouthpiece for maximum voice quality. The mouthpiece, which has microphone embedded within it, both protects the keypad and slides forward to fit the contour of your chin. […] The Nokia 8100 is an ideal combination of size and weight, design and ergonomics, quality and features for people looking for the best. It will set the pace for a new generation of mobile phones.

Three years after its release, the 8110 gained a cult-like following after the Wachowski brothers used a modified version of the handset in their breakthrough film, The Matrix. For the film, the handset was modified with an automatic sliding mechanism to give it an extra dash of flair. In October of 1999, Nokia released the 7110 handset, which incorporated the popular automatic-sliding key-cover.

What do you say? Did any of you trendsetters have a Nokia 8110 or 7110? More →

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Windows Phone 7 unlock tool released

By on November 26, 2010 at 3:40 PM.

Windows Phone 7 unlock tool released

If you have a Windows Phone 7 device and are itching to get some OS tinkering in, listen up. Blog ChevronWP7 has released their first Windows Phone 7 unlocking tool for users running Windows XP SP2 or higher. The unlock will allows for “the sideloading of experimental applications that would otherwise can’t be published to the Marketplace, such as those which access private or native APIs.” The tool itself is a dead-simple executable file that requires three to four clicks to delivery its payload. If you’re interested, hit the read link and let us know how you make out. More →

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T-Mobile’s Galaxy Tab tweaked to make phone calls by XDA

By on November 19, 2010 at 7:07 AM.

T-Mobile’s Galaxy Tab tweaked to make phone calls by XDA

The tinkering community that is xda-developers has managed to shoehorn the phone.apk Android module onto T-Mobile’s Samsung Galaxy Tab. Forum member Jyveafk has figured out how to flash the device, using Odin3, to allow calling over T-Mo’s EDGE network. In it’s current state, XDA cautions that the procedure is “for experienced flashers only.” If you’re the adventurous type, and give this a shot, let us know how you make out. More →

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WSJ: AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon working on mobile payment system

By on November 16, 2010 at 7:10 AM.

WSJ: AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon working on mobile payment system

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that U.S. wireless providers AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless are working on a joint project that aims to bring a mobile-phone payment system Stateside. Purportedly, the effort is being headed by General Electric executive Michael Abbott and will be financed by Barclays PLC and Discover Financial Services.

“The rare showing of cooperation between three of the four national carriers creates a potentially large base of users for its mobile-payment system,” writes the Journal. “The carriers are eager to move into mobile transactions because it represents a new revenue stream and another feature that gets subscribers spending more time on their phone.”

The report goes on to note that the announcement of the new service’s existence could come as early as today. Mobile payments systems have been in use in Canada and Europe for several years. More →

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