Quickie: LG KM900 (Arena)

February 27, 2010

One of my coworkers recently let me take a euro-spec LG KM900 (Arena) for a spin…

It’s a feature phone that was introduced about a year ago to compete with the iPhone 3G, and while the software is nothing to write home about, the hardware is actually quite decent!

What’s also interesting is that AT&T recently introduced a US-spec Arena (with 3G on the 1900/850 MHz bands).

So how does it stack up? Find out after the break :)

Read the rest of this entry »


HTC Dream/T-Mobile G1 camera

November 29, 2008

I really like my HTC Dream/T-Mobile G1 – I do :)

But to be honest, based on my brief experience with other HTC devices and the small-looking 3 megapixel sensor, I was not expecting much from the T-Mobile G1 camera. In fact, I was fearing the same dismal performance as the Nokia E66/E71 camera…

So I was pleasantly surprised with the pictures produced by the T-Mobile G1 camera. While being no match for the current state-of-the-art, I’m satisfied with the results.

Pros:
- Auto-focus
- Excellent macro (requiring no user intervention)
- Decent low-light performance
- Dedicated 2-stage shutter button
- Geo-tagging

Cons:
- Inconsistent color balance
- No flash, zoom, or video recording
- No manual settings (exposure, white balance, ISO, etc…)
- Volume keys get in the way when taking pictures

In summary, this is a camera I can live with, much like the LG CU920 (Vu) camera. Still, I’m hoping for future firmware improvements!


Nokia E66 camera

August 23, 2008

I recently unboxed the Nokia E66. It’s a nice phone overall, but the camera is disappointing. Take a look at my pictures.

I don’t expect all Nokia devices to feature a good camera, and certainly don’t expect a business phone to have a decent camera. But based of the specs alone, I was hoping for more with the E66. Picture quality is low for a 3.2 megapixel camera with auto-focus, macro and flash…

Colors are over-saturated, and low light performance is very poor. The tiny sensor is quite noisy, and there appears to be excessive image processing. The LG CU920 (Vu) takes better pictures with its 2 megapixel camera!

Furthermore, the firmware is buggy, and the image is displayed upside down unless the phone is started and kept in offline mode! No fix is available for this yet (in fact the E66 is not even recognized by NSU).

Hopefully some of these problems will be resolved with future firmware, but ultimately I can’t recommend the E66 camera.


Pictures taken with the Apple iPhone 3G

August 10, 2008

I decided to take some pictures with my iPhone 3G, and compare them to the ones from my original iPhone.

As expected, the results are very similar, i.e. adequate but quite limited by the lack of auto-focus, macro and flash…

I really hope that Apple improves the camera in future models to match (at a minimum) or even surpass the LG CU920 (Vu) camera!


LG Vu camera

June 14, 2008

A few weeks ago, I looked at the LG CU920 (Vu).

I was rather disappointed overall, but I was impressed with the 2 megapixel camera, which features auto-focus and macro, but no flash.

The resulting pictures speak for themselves. Nice eh?

It’s amazing how much of a difference auto-focus, macro, a decent glass lens, a 2-stage shutter button and decent image processing can make…

Low-light performance is pretty good, but colors fade a bit in bright light. I can live without the flash :)

The only major problem I experienced was with the EXIF date being wrong for each picture, while the file creation date was right.

In the end, this is definitely the best 2 megapixel camera I’ve used since Sony Ericsson’s W800i, and I’ve played with quite a few!


LG Vu: the good, the bad, and the ugly

May 10, 2008

So I’ve been using the LG CU920 (Vu) for almost a week now and – sorry for the cliché – it’s no iPhone killer!

Despite 3G support and a much nicer camera, the user experience is far from polished…

The good:
- It’s small, thin, and light
- 3G support with DUN
- Nice 2 megapixel camera with auto-focus and macro (see pictures)
- Impressive sound quality over Bluetooth (A2DP stereo support)
- Streams 3GPP (for Internet radio)
- Video recording
- Haptic feedback
- Removable battery
- Good battery life

The bad:
- Resistive touch screen (not sensitive enough, no multitouch)
- No flash or lens cover on camera
- No gapless music playback
- No iSync support (not even via hacked plugins)
- No accelerometer, WiFi, or GPS
- No USB data cable or Micro-SD card supplied with device
- Micro-SD slot behind battery
- Proprietary audio/USB/power connector
- User interface problems (scrolling is difficult and counter intuitive, landscape setting is not saved for browser or virtual keyboard)

The ugly:
- Screen is unreadable in direct sunlight
- Crashes randomly (and hangs temporarily)
- Bad Java support (not full-screen, no virtual keypad for menu shortcuts makes it impossible to zoom in Google maps)
- No file browsing over Bluetooth (incomplete ObEx support, transfer works)
- No multitasking other than music (and this disables the camera)
- No configurable POP3/IMAP/IM client
- Inoperable without SIM inserted

BTW, I’m not evaluating the TV service (mediaFlo) since I’m not signed up for it.

That’s it for now :)


Unboxing the LG CU920 (Vu)

May 4, 2008

I can has LG CU920 (Vu). Enjoy the pictures – more soon :)

I’m heading to the Maker Faire (again) with it now.


Tasty bits – CTIA and beyond

April 27, 2008

Wait! Did two months of tasty bits just go by, CTIA and all? Hmmm yes…

HP 2133 (Mini-Note):
- HP 2133 Mini-Note UMPC Reviewed (Verdict: Rich Man's Eee PC)
- Lightning Review: HP 2133 Mini-Note
- HP Mini-Note 2133 officially official, reviewed
- HP Mini-Note gets unboxed, causes extreme jealousy
- jkOnTheRun review- hands on with the HP Mini-Note UMPC

Asus 701/900 (Eee):
- Video Hands on With the 8.9-inch Asus Eee PC 900
- Asus Eee PC 900 Hits U.S. May 12 for $549
- 1.2 GHz Pentium M in your Eee PC? No problem
- Hands-on with the 9-inch Eee PC
- ASUS' 9-inch Eee PC, now with living pixels!
- Eee PC 900 gets dissected, looks about the same as the Eee PC 700

Nokia N810:
- Android on the N810: Working on it!
- Nokia Internet Tablets to get Ubuntu and Qt ports
- Nokia's N810 Internet Tablet WiMAX Edition gets official

Nokia N95:
- 8 GB North American Model N95 available: $779 online
- North American Nokia N95 8GB (Nokia N95-4) Unboxing

Nokia N82:
- All About Symbian Review: Long term battle: Nokia N95, N95 8GB and N82
- Nokia N82 gets blacked out for retail

Other Nokia:
- Eight useful codes for S60 devices
- 10 Awesome Applications for Symbian Phones
- Your S60 smartphone as a drum machine!
- WalkingHotSpot trial available for download
- Nokia E71 Pops up Down Under
- FCC Gives Nokia 6220 Classic the Nod
- T-Mobile’s new mystery 3G Nokia handset outted
- Nokia secretly shows E71 at Mobile Wor… er, in Sydney
- Google gets even chummier with S60, releases search app
- S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 2 gets broken down to the nitty gritty
- Nokia N96 gets in-depth review months ahead of release
- Things may be looking brighter for Nokia N96, Xenon flash in the works?
- Nokia readies iPhone-ish "Tube," disses Apple's sales
- Nokia E71 sneaks into the wild once again
- Exclusive: latest update on the hotly anticipated Nokia Tube
- The Nokia Guide: Getting the most out of your Nseries’ camera

Apple iPhone:
- iPhone Pwnage Tool Getting Public Release Tomorrow; Unsigned Firmware Support For All
- iPhone to Support GPS, Stereo Bluetooth, Nike+, Battle Hackers
- iPhone firmware 2.0? You’re damn right we got it!
- Nike+ going WiFi and 3G, headed to iPhone
- The second-gen iPhone: 3G, GPS, only slightly thicker – Engadget
- Touchpad turns your iPhone into a remote trackpad
- Palm emulated on the iPhone: finally we can leave that IIIc at home
- Easy 1.1.4 jailbreaking with iNdependence, Ziphone, and… iTunes?
- iPhone PwnageTool released!
- 3G iPhone rumors building up steam
- iPhone gets VoIP and chat options thanks to Fring
- iPhone firmware hints strengthen case for GPS support
- iPhone feature rumor round-up: Jabber and iTunes control
- Flickr Find: Lilliputian iPhone unboxing
- Twinkle: location-aware Twittter client for iPhone
- iPhone video recorder with audio support debuts

Sony Ericsson:
- Sony Ericsson's X1 reviewed
- XPERIA X1 white paper reveals yet more details
- Is this Sony Ericsson's P5 or "Paris"?
- Specs revealed of the real (or fake) Sony Ericsson "Paris"
- Another shot of Sony Ericsson's Paris?
- Yet another convincing Sony Ericsson Paris pic — open, this time

LG:
- LG KG750 Is Sleek of Line, High (Five) of Megapixels, Shoots DivX, Called Secret
- Live Pics: MediaFLO for AT&T on the LG Vu and Samsung Access
- LG Vu further slides into view
- Hands-on with the LG Vu
- Thin is in: LG shares a glimpse of its 5 megapixel hottie phone

Samsung:
- Samsung-built, Google-branded Android phones due later this year?
- Rumored Prada II specs surface in purported leaked press release

Motorola:
- T-Mobile considering Motorola Z10 for 3G launch?
- Motorola’s 2008 Roadmap Revealed
- Spy shots of the Motorola ZN5
- Motorola's ZN5 gets clearer, Kodak co-branding and all

Android:
- Android gets handled, now with Street View
- T-Mobile confirms it'll have an Android device sometime this year

Other:
- Meizu M8, Something You Burn in a Paper Bag on Someone's Porch
- T-Mobile's 3G Network Rolling Out May in NYC, Coincides With 3G HTC Touch Dual?
- Sharp-Willcom D4 UMPC With Intel Atom Centrino, Vista Hits the States on June 20th
- Crowded Ultraportable Party Gets Dissected
- Meizu prototype caught in the flesh at CeBIT, we handle it
- Meizu M8 interface gets tweaked once again. A few pixels to the left, please?
- Meizu's M8 gets more UI tweaks for its music player
- More MID videos: IdeaPad U8 and Aigo
- Mozilla Mobile shows 5.9x performance increase on ARM device
- Opera Mini 4.1 beta released- good gets better
- Sharp Willcom D4: Vista in your hand for $1,526
- Life with the MacBook Air


Tasty bits – 30 31 32 (yummy chunks)

October 23, 2007

Another month, another triple edition of tasty bits… I just can’t keep up!

A device I just acquired, the Sony Ericsson K850i:
- Sony Ericsson K850i Unboxing!

A device I recently reviewed, the BlackBerry 8320 (Curve):
- T-Mobile’s Wi-Fi BlackBerry Curve Is Fo’ Real and Quite Tasty
- UMA: T-Mobile’s secret weapon. Truphone: everyone else’s?
- T-Mobile BlackBerry Curve 8320 Unboxing Part 2 / Giveaway
- T-Mobile BlackBerry Curve 8320 Unboxing!
- BlackBerry 8320 Wi-Fi vs. BlackBerry 8300 EDGE speed test
- T-Mobile announces BlackBerry Curve with WiFi, we check it out
- Another look at the BlackBerry 8320 for T-Mobile

Nokia N95 (I expect to get my hands on the US version soon):
- A Brief Look at the Nokia N95 US 3G, PT. 1
- A Brief Look at the Nokia N95 US 3G, PT. 2- Battery Life Comparison
- A Brief Look at the Nokia N95 US 3G, PT. 3 – Build Quality
- BL-6F Into Nokia N95 – Yes It Can Be Done, But…
- Nokia N95 or Apple iPhone? – The Question Has Been Answered
- Sling Player Now Available on Nokia N95
- US 3G Costs Nokia N95 a Mere Hour of Battery Life
- US 3G Nokia N95 Runs For Over 9 Hours On EDGE
- US Nokia N95 Reviewed: Better Than the Euro Version
- New Nokia N95-3: it’s what the original should have been
- Unboxing the Nokia N95 8GB
- All About Symbian Review: Nokia N95 8GB
- Nokia N95-3 hands-on!
- Nokia N95-3 with North American 3G now available
- Hands-on (again) with the North American N95!
- Wiimote used to control Nokia N95
- Google Maps gets cozy with N95′s internal GPS

Nokia N810 (a device I’m very excited about, since I’m coming from the Nokia 770):
- Nokia N810 Hands-On Gallery and Video
- Nokia N810 Internet Tablet with QWERTY is peeped!
- Third generation tablet on TabletBlog
- N810 on TabletBlog
- Nokia’s N810 Internet Tablet, MOSH to debut soon?
- Nokia N810 gets official
- Nokia N810 hands-on

More Nokia news:
- S60 Touch Interface Launched
- Nokia E90 review: Heavyweight champion

iPhone info (centered around the 1.1.1 update and Apple finally announcing an SDK):
- iPhone Firmware 1.1.1 Out and Tested: Breaks 3rd-party Apps, Relocks iPhones and Sends Them to Semi-Brick Activation Limbo (Updated with video)
- iPhone Installer App Updated to 3.0beta3 With Many Improvements
- New anySim Gets Bugs Ironed Out, Now Integrated with Installer.app
- 250,000 Unlocked iPhones Have Been Sold
- iPhone Dashboard Widgets Imminent?
- iPhone Re-Reviewed (Verdict: Don’t Buy)
- Apollo IM for iPhone hits 1.0
- A note to both Apple and iPhone customers on the v1.1.1 update
- Truphone demos VoIP for iPhone
- iPhone update: facts and fiction
- iPhone v1.1.1 baseband downgrade released
- Orange to sell unlocked iPhones in France
- iPhone / iPod touch v1.1.1 jailbreak code posted
- MEX – the strategy forum for mobile user experience – Award surprises, Apple interface guidelines & our challenge for operators
- Apple: “iPhone SIM unlockers will end up with iBricks”
- How to relock your iPhone before the firmware update
- “iPhone Dev Team” issues statement
- Moment of Truth: iPhone Software 1.1.1 is out
- iPhone: 90 Days Later
- DIY iFlash for the iPhone
- iPhone/iPod touch Remote Control
- BusinessWeek: Why I Won’t Buy an iPhone
- iPhone Dev Team announces public iPhone 1.1.1 Jailbreak
- iPhone SIM Free announces 1.1.1 SIM Unlock, iPhone Unbricking
- iToner working with iPhone Firmware 1.1.1
- iPhone jailbreak interface INdependence updated to 1.2.2
- iPhone Dev Team announces free unlock
- Apple: “we plan to have an iPhone SDK in developers’ hands in February”
- iToner 1.0.3 works with iPhone 1.1.1
- iPhone programming 101: full header documentation released
- Stacks on the iPhone

Walt Mossberg echoes (in part) my own rant about the iPhone:
- Mossberg howls: “Free my Phone”

More Apple news:
- Apple Macbook Touch Concept and Thoughts on the Newton 2 Rumors
- We need a real handheld computer, who will build one? Apple of course
- More “New Newton” rumors

Samsung P520 (Armani), G800 and more:
- Samsung Armani Phone Hands On Video
- Java Phone: Sun Microsystems and Samsung May Be Developing Cheaper iPhone Alternative
- Specs Drop for Samsung’s Touchscreen, WiMax UMPC SPH-9200
- Samsung i550, GPS Phone, officially announced
- Samsung’s Armani phone has a surprise: a haptic feedback UI
- Samsung’s 5 megapixel G800 gets launched, available next month

LG VX10000 (Voyager) and CU920 (Vu2):
- Verizon’s Voyager- going after the iPhone crowd
- LG Shine, Prada coming to AT&T as Vu, Vu2?

Google phone:
- What’s the Google phone going to be? Hardware or software?
- The Google Phone: It’s the OS dummy

Linux/DIY:
- Compulab’s EM-X270 brings DIY to smartphones
- Wired’s Open Phone Round-Up Tells the Bleak Truth

Other:
- Motorola’s big ‘08 splash
- Meizu’s MiniOne M8 GUI showcased further, still devoid of originality


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