Unboxing the BlackBerry 9530 (Storm)

January 31, 2009

Yes, I’m crashing the BlackBerry 9530 (Storm) party and I’m being fashionably late :)

Oh, I know what you’re thinking – this time, she’s gone completely mad! A BlackBerry? The Storm? With Verizon? Hush – I have a plan and I have 30 days!

See, in addition to CDMA/EVDO, the Storm supports GSM/GPRS/EDGE (quad band) and UMTS/HSDPA (2100, Europe/Asia). I’m unlocking it, and I’m taking it for a spin.

It’s only fair – I’ve already played with every other capacitive touch screen device available so far, except the Storm. Besides, the camera is nice (probably better than the competition), and I’m a sucker for good cameras on phones.

So check out the pictures, and hold on! It’s gonna be a fun ride…


Pictures taken with the Nokia 5800

January 29, 2009

The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic boasts an impressive list of features for a mid-range device. The camera, while falling short of the current state-of-the-art, certainly looks good on paper: 3.2 megapixel sensor, Carl Zeiss lens, auto-focus with macro, dual LED flash, and VGA video recording!

How does it perform in real life?

Read the rest of this entry »


Nokia N96 – a worthy flagship?

January 28, 2009

I really want to like the Nokia N96 – I really do! After all, it is Nokia’s flagship device, and based on its groundbreaking predecessors, it was supposed to be something special. And therein lies the rub – as much as the original N95 was revolutionary, the N96 is just evolutionary.

Take the N95 8 GB, add another 8 GB of built-in flash storage for a total of 16 GB, add a micro-SDHC card slot for external storage, add hi-speed USB support, add a DVB-H digital TV tuner, replace the single LED flash with a dual LED flash, upgrade the OS to Symbian S60v3 Feature Pack 2, and make it a bit thinner, using Nokia’s tasty new Nseries design language… That’s the N96.

Read the rest of this entry »


Nokia N96 camera

January 24, 2009

The Nokia N96 camera has a lot to live up to. It follows in the footsteps of Nokia’s amazing N95 and fantastic N82 cameras and it bears the expectations of excellence bestowed upon a flagship device!

It has the same impressive features as its predecessors: 5 megapixel sensor, Carl Zeiss lens, auto-focus with macro and VGA video recording. It also incorporates a dual LED flash, which improves upon the N95’s single LED flash, but falls short of the N82’s xenon flash. Like some versions of the N95, the N96 is missing a lens cover.

Overall, the N96 camera takes very nice pictures, but it’s not good enough for a flagship phone. Noise is a problem – perhaps Nokia is using a smaller sensor to make the phone thinner, or perhaps the firmware is lacking, but low-light performance is noticeably worse than the N95 and the N82

Colors and exposure appear well balanced in most cases, but bright spots (like neon) tend to be smeared in low light. The shutter button on the N96 is almost flush with the body, making it more difficult to use.

Ultimately, I can’t recommend the N96 camera when other devices like the N95 8 GB perform better and offer almost the same features at a lower cost – but that’s just my $0.02 :)


Tasty bits – CES 2009

January 18, 2009

Palm Pre

While I was frolicking all over Macworld in San Francisco, some interesting stuff was revealed at CES in Las Vegas.

Here’s my list of tasty bits from CES, devices that I’m interested in playing with:

- Palm Pre:
There are no ifs or buts about it – the Palm Pre is an amazing device! It features a 3.1″ HVGA capacitive touch screen (with mutitouch), a 3 megapixel camera (with LED flash), 8 GB of built-in flash storage (with USB mass storage), a QWERTY keyboard, 3G, WiFi, GPS, and full Bluetooth (with A2DP & DUN).

But the hardware is only half the battle – as I recently mentioned in my podcast with Matt Bennett, the software Palm created, WebOS, is just as promising, with an intuitive UI and clever integration with popular online services… Robert Scoble is right: watch out Nokia, this may just be Palm’s comeback, and may just be Sprint’s salvation.

Of course I’m looking forward to the unlocked GSM version with 3G :)

- OQO model 2+:
What’s not to be excited about? Take the already awesome OQO Model 02, replace the crappy VIA C7-M with a perky Intel Atom CPU, replace the EVDO modem with a global EVDO/HSDPA modem (optional), replace the active digitizer with a passive touch screen, replace the TFT display with an OLED display (optional), double the RAM, and lower the price… Want!

- Sony VAIO P The anti-netbook:
Sure it’s not for everyone, but it’s shiny and tiny and yummy! Just don’t call it a netbook… Have I mentioned it’s super sexy?

- Novatel MiFi:
A credit card-sized mobile wireless router with integrated 3G… Oh yes, I’m in love!

- MSI XSlim 320:
The MacBook Air of the netbook world – I’m intrigued.

- Asus Eee Keyboard:
Now I can relive my Sinclair QL days – perfect :)


Road trip recap

January 18, 2009

As expected, I created a lot of content (some of it live) on my recent road trip to New Orleans using several Nokia devices + various online services, and proving once again, that the best camera is the one you have with you.

Here are all my posts, pictures and videos:
Here (articles)
On Twitter (updates)
On Flickr (pictures)
On Qik (live videos)
On YouTube (videos)

Enjoy :)


Podcast: Talking with Matt #4

January 11, 2009

Here’s my latest audio podcast (37 min) with Matthew Bennett, recorded outside Farley’s! It’s also available as a video podcast on his blog

In this edition, we discussed (amongst other things) the worsening low-light performance of Nokia’s latest crop of devices (N96/N85/N79/5800/E71), vs. Nokia’s former devices (N82/N95) and vs. other camera phones, from the spectacular i-mobile 902 to the pedestrian T-Mobile G1.

Other topics include the impressive Palm Pre, and how Nokia should bite the bullet and support Android on the N97 (in addition to Symbian), or just eat the zombie’s brains buy Palm and support WebOS on the N97 :)

Click here to subscribe to this podcast.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 15,850 other followers