HTC Touch Pro/Fuze review

May 10, 2009

Soon after reaching out to the HTC folks at CTIA, I received an HTC Fuze to review. The HTC Fuze is AT&T’s locked and branded version of the HTC Touch Pro. This is my first review unit from HTC, and hopefully the first of many. Within about an hour of getting the phone, I unlocked and unbranded it into an HTC Touch Pro (sans front-facing camera).

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Life with the BlackBerry Storm

February 22, 2009

I only have 2 words to describe my 3 weeks with the BlackBerry 9530 (Storm): epic fail! From the day the Storm was announced it was clear to me that some nasty weather was heading this way from Canada. Hold this thought as a segue for moment.

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Hello AirCard 860, goodbye BlackJack

April 14, 2007

Contrary to popular belief, I rarely get free devices to review! So after recently acquiring my Nokia N95, I decided to sell my Nokia N80 – I also decided to sell my Samsung i607 (BlackJack), and I acquired a Sierra Wireless AirCard 860

The AirCard 860 is extremely affordable and is HSDPA (1900/850MHz) and EDGE (quad-band) compatible. This is my first time owning a dedicated data card – mine is unlocked, and is working very well with both Cingular (HSDPA) and T-Mobile (EDGE) in Windows XP Pro.

I plan to test it in Linux (Ubuntu) as well :)

Nokia N95 battery life

April 10, 2007

There’s been a lot of great Nokia N95 coverage in the past week, and one of the biggest criticisms is about battery life

I’m experiencing about the same battery life with my N95 as with my Nokia N80 or my Samsung i607 (BlackJack), i.e. I’m averaging 24-48 hours between charges, depending on use.

“Use” for me means about 1 hour of talking per charge, some web browsing (both WiFi and EDGE), some photo taking and viewing, some music playback, some GPS mapping, and some Bluetooth and USB access.

By default I keep WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth off. My N95 is set to GSM only and the display is set to maximum brightness, with a 20 second timeout.

Sure, the N95 battery life is not the best compared to some others, but it’s manageable, especially when you consider that most people charge their phone every night!

If your N95 is running on empty after 6-18 hours, what are you doing?

I’d like to know :)

Tasty bits – 16

April 6, 2007

Now that the Nokia N95 is in the wild, so are the pictures, the unboxing, a navigation review, a music review, and a camera review! In addition, here’s a video podcast about video editing, as well as info about GPS applications and the tilt sensor

The OQO Model 02 is also in the wild – but where is mine?

Speaking of handtops, the Vulcan Flipstart is shipping.

Will you buy the Apple iPhone on June 11? I’m going to try :)

Apparently, the LG KE850 (Prada) is now available for free – check out this interface video

Here are more pictures of the sexy Samsung F700!

It looks like Microsoft is trying to catch up to Nokia on the mobile web browser front.

Speaking of browsers, Opera Mobile for Windows Mobile Smartphone is now available for download – my Samsung i607 (BlackJack) is smiling :)

How about high-quality DRM-free music from the iTunes store? Well, it’s about time.

Tasty bits – 15

March 28, 2007

CTIA just started, bringing Symbian v9.5 along with more pictures of the Nokia E90….

Several bloggers have received production versions of the Nokia N95, including Steve, Rafe, James, and Darla who got a custom pink one!

In addition, there are rumors that the N95 is going to be released officially by Nokia in the US.

Here is a promotional video and a design video of the beautifully sleek Nokia N76.

Samsung i607 (BlackJack) users (me) rejoice! An official Windows Mobile upgrade is now available…

I’ve mentioned before that 2007 will be the year of the touch-based device, and apparently Microsoft got the memo.

OS X update adds Bluetooth PAN

March 15, 2007

On Tuesday, Apple released the Mac OS X 10.4.9 update, which (amongst other things) adds support for Bluetooth PAN! Strangely, this profile was missing from OS X, despite Apple traditionally leading Bluetooth support.

So why does this matter to me? Like most devices running Windows Mobile 5.0 with AKU3, my Samsung i607 (BlackJack) does not support Bluetooth DUN, so until this OS X update, I was forced to connect via USB…

I’m happy to report that Bluetooth PAN in OS X works flawlessly with my BlackJack.

On a related note, I was asked why I’ve not mentioned the BlackJack here recently. Well there’s really not much to report… I tweaked the device to be useful to me and I’ve been using it on and off ever since.

I have replaced Windows Live Search with the native Windows Mobile version of the Google Maps client.

I originally picked up the BlackJack because I was looking for a US-compatible HSDPA smartphone. It is a good device overall, and Windows Mobile is better than I expected. Nonetheless, I still prefer Symbian!

The problem with Bluetooth PAN

December 29, 2006

Other than OS X not (yet) supporting Bluetooth PAN, the lack of Bluetooth DUN on my Samsung i607 (BlackJack) was not a major problem for me… Until yesterday.

I tried to share my Bluetooth PAN connection over WiFi in Windows XP (thus turning my OQO into a WiFi access point for a friend’s Mac) – but no, it’s just not possible! Yet it’s possible to share a Bluetooth DUN connection.

So Microsoft, what’s going on here?

Java solution and Windows Live Search

December 11, 2006

Thanks to a bit more help, I now have working Java solution for my Samsung i607 (BlackJack)! Java applications are no longer constantly prompting for permission to access the network… This makes the Google Maps Mobile and GMail Mobile actually useful :)

And speaking of Google, I recently installed the native (Windows Mobile) version of Windows Live Search, and I’m pretty impressed! Which begs the question: when is Google going to release a native (preferably Symbian) version of Google Maps Mobile? Because despite being a non-Microsoft person, I’m sorry to report that Windows Live Search walks all over Google Maps Mobile…

I don’t sync so

November 28, 2006

So I’ve been using my Samsung i607 (BlackJack) for several days now and I’m pretty impressed! You see, I’m primarily a Symbian & Mac person so I’ll admit being a little worried about purchasing a Windows Mobile device, especially since the ones I’d tested in the past generally appeared to sacrifice basic phone functionality (poor RF, audio and UI performance) without being particularly compelling “multimedia computers” (as an aside I think Nokia’s terminology is dead on).

Samsung hardware is generally pretty decent, and the i607 is quite nice. But surprisingly, Microsoft’s software is also pretty decent, and is quite stable, too! However, there’s one nagging problem with Windows Mobile… It’s called ActiveSync. Call me crazy, but in this day and age, how can you make a smartphone without support for Bluetooth DUN & OBEX? I know Microsoft likes promoting ActiveSync, but why Bluetooth PAN? Why not also support the existing industry standards?

So I ended up purchasing Missing Sync. It’s not particularly intuitive, but after some trial and error, I managed to sync over USB and Bluetooth. I also succeeded in getting DUN (over USB) setup on my Mac, and Bluetooth PAN setup on my OQO (Windows XP). Then I got the phone SIM unlocked and application unlocked. With a bit of help, I also got SlingPlayer working and the annoying startup/shutdown audio disabled. The only fix left is finding a way to stop Java applications from constantly prompting for permission to access the network.

Give this device a better camera, WiFi, and Symbian and I’d have my ideal smartphone – like blending the E61, N73 and adding tri-band HSDPA. Nokia, are you listening? In the meantime, if you’re looking for a decent Windows Mobile device, the BlackJack is it… But in the end, my N80 is not ready to be retired yet.


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