Posted on 04 August 2010
I’ve been away for the last two weeks. I took two smartphones and a netbook with me which is a slightly different setup to my usual phone/umpc/netbook combo. Fortunately I wasn’t caught-out on my outings where all I took were my smartphones but I was conscious of having to do any sort of site support with just a touchscreen phone! I took my X10i and my N82 as phone companions and the N82 was about the only device I used as a camera although I did find myself doing a few shots with the X10 just because it was easier to tweet / send to Facebook and that’s one of the features I really love using on Android. The sharing ‘bus’ that allows any application to link into the ‘share’ menu and get a message from an application is just killer.
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Posted on 10 April 2010
Some people say that twitter friends are important influencers. This morning, Arne Hess threw a big one my way with a simple "I must admit that I’m deeply impressed by the SE Xperia X10 8 megapixel camera!" [source]
Wonderful. Just as I get over my desire for the Satio (plastic, not fantastic) and the Vivaz (Steve Litchfield wasn’t that impressed so I’m not impressed) out of my system, I now have to reconsider the Sony Ericsson X10 that I had previously discounted due to expensive price (around 500 Euro making it 150 Euro more than the Motorola Milestone) and a 1.6 version of Android (see how impressed JKK was when he upgraded to 2.1 on the Milestone/Droid)
You might have already read that I’ve got an N82 which was, after I’ve repaired the control key, going to continue to be my #1. The problem is that 1) The Xenon flash is starting to fail. We’re up to about 20% pre-flash / flash fail rate now (I must have run 5000 photos or more through it so I’m not surprised) and the two batteries I have aren’t giving me more than 4-6hr battery life even on GSM with no services running. With the delay to the Dell Mini 5 (which was to be my uber-phone in working situations) it now means I have at least 3 months ahead of me without a reliable smartphone and that’s not acceptable.
I’m still looking at the Milestone and at 360 Euro, it’s an absolute bargain now but if the X10 is going to get 2.1 and has top-class photography (based on all my criteria) then I’m willing to give it a shot at 20 Euro per month. But then, there’s the Nokia N8 and LG GW990 to think of. If they feed in at the end of the year I don’t want to be stuck with the X10 and 20 Euro per month.
Maybe I should just get a Nokia 6710 Navigator , LG Electronics GW620 (loving the look of the 5-row keyboard on that) or Android 2.1-based Samsung Galaxy Spica to keep me going over the summer. At 250 Euro, these are all bargains.
Posted on 01 December 2009
Last week I had the chance to check out the Milestone, the GSM version of the Motorola Droid. With its powerful processor and what I call a ‘dynamic’ operating system (which basically means you can load up apps and mess around with fun widgets) it is definitely a leading light in the web-centric smartphone for me. I own an Omnia Pro and I’ve got the N900 here as a test device so although I only had a short time with the Milestone I managed to take a quick set of photos which I’ve put into the gallery.
Full Motorola Milestone Gallery here.
The Milestone is noticeably thinner in the pocket but you don’t quite get the keyboard experience that you do on the Omnia Pro and N900. While the N900 keyboard is small, it’s very well designed and offers good key separation feeling and feedback.
The advantages of the capacitive screen can’t be ignored though. I loved the light-touch and haptic feedback and the rugged glass front is going to be a huge advantage over time. I’m really not interested in having my smartphone screen look like something on a Nintendo DS!
I also took the Archos 5 Internet tablet and compared a couple of websites. Its easy to see how you lose effective space on a small screen. Fonts have to be big enough to read so looks what happens when you do thatâ€¦
Motorola Milestone and Archos 5 Internet tablet. Both running Android. Both 800×480.
Smartphones are getting really good at providing a solid web experience but with physical issues like this, it leaves the door open for dedicated devices that can provide a much more comfortable experience.
Next week i should be getting an HTC HD2 to test for a week. I’ve had a quick session with one and the screen is incredible but it’s extremely expensive and leans towards the business user. I can’t see too many ‘normal’ people buying one to be honest but we’ll see. I’ll be doing some videos and am planning a live vodcast with JKKMobile. We’ll let you know as soon as we have a date and time for it.
Posted on 30 November 2009
I’ve had a few hours hands-on with the Milestone and I have to say I really loved it. It brings the fun of Android to a really useful form factor and design. The capacitive screen, keyboard and 5mp camera go together to make this an excelent value package. Slightly too small, in my opinion, to be a fully productive web-app tool but for a smartphone, this is about as much as you could hope to get in a 24/7 pocketable package. In this video, JKK of JKKMobile unboxes the Milestone and takes us round the device.
More information about the Motorola Droid.
Posted on 13 November 2009
There’s nothing more fun than walking from mobile phone shop to mobile phone shop trying to work out what exactly is going on in the market. For a start it’s shocking to hear the differences in opinion between shops of the same ‘brand’ and secondly, none of them have a clue what’s going on with their own websites let along what’s happening in the market. Questions about the Motorola Milestone today were met with that millisecond pause that tells you that what comes out of their mouth is going to be bullshit!
What I did discover is the following (that will only be of interest to Germans, that can read English. (note-to-self: Maybe widening your niche area might result in more visitors!)
As I went from shop to shop I tweeted my findings:
Vodafone and 02 have confirmation that the Droid / Milestone is coming. I’m a Vodafone customer who’s contract finishes in Feb so this is interesting to me but there’s something even more interesting.
O2 have an interesting ‘transparent’ system where they’ve separated the phones and contracts into different products. A phone is free and costs 5,10,15 or 20 per month over 2 years. It allows them to sell voice and data services on a month-by-month basis. You can combine multiple products in different ways which benefits someone like me who rarely makes a voice call but is connected to the data channel for most of the day. I’ve been offered a Motorola Milestone/Droid for 20 Euro per month / 24 months (480 Euros) I can then add a 0 Euro per month voice contract. (0,15 Euros per call/sms) and then (and this is the cool part) add a 300MB or 5GB HSPA (in Bonn) contract on for 10 or 25 Euro per month. (Actually they are both flat rate data but throttle down to GPRS after the limit is reached.) For 45 Euro per month I get a Droid and 5GB of lovely 7.2mbps data. Vodafone, you’ve got about 5 days to offer me something else because apparently the Milestone/Droid will be here next week.
Other updates: Amazon have one weeks exclusivity on the Nkia N900 in Germany. Nokia shop gets it one week later. (Should be under 2 weeks)
I didn’t get a chance to talk to the T-Mobile people about the HTC HD2. It’s coming soon and it looks like it will be exclusive to T-Mobile for a while as no-one else knew anything about it. The T-Mobile shop was rammed full so I left. Maybe I’ll check them out again later.
I spotted the Omnia Pro B7610 in a few shops and spoke to one person about why it took too long to reach the shelves in Germany. ‘Germany is a different place’ he said. ‘Everyone else is casual about faults but it’s different in Germany.’ I had to laugh out loud because it’s so true. The Germans are the best quality control testers in the world!
It’s funny how a walk around the shops results in a different conclusion to browsing the web. There’s an extra special element of excitement that can catch you unaware. Right now I’m seriously thinking about the Milestone for next week. If I get it I’ll start a sub-blog droid-milestone.carrypad.com My only worry is that I will end up with a QWERTZ keyboard.