Despite being pilloried in both the press and gaming communities, the Nokia N-Gage QD is a great (and most importantly, cheap) smartphone. At E3, Nokia unveiled some accessories that look to improve the platform, including the problem of having a smartphone platform where the expandable storage and game cards use the same slot. These new add-ons are all due in the second half of the year.
Unfortunately, each accessory has some strange drawback or flaw, and perhaps shows that the N-Gage just isn’t fully up to the task of being what Nokia envisions the platform as. Let’s take a look at what they’ve come up with.
PT from MAKEzine and FlashEnabled has put together a mini-review of Spark Fun’s new rotary mobile phone. I’ve seen some hack projects similar to this, but this is the first commercially available one we’ve come across. I really do miss the old fashioned phones, and once a handset like this comes out that’s a bit cheaper I’ll go buy one for my desk at work. Ideally someone will make a commercially available Bluetooth version of this so it can just act as a headset for the mobile phone left in my bag.
British telecom giant BT is getting together with Virgin Mobile to roll out BT Livetime today. This service will allow users to listen to 50 different stations via their mobile phone, and even download songs for a small fee. BT hopes that these services will take a chunk out of the multi-billion pound music download industry dominated by Apple. Other services available through Livetime include music videos, and live news and sports coverage.
Read More | The Guardian
Pretty much everyone has a cell phone these days, right? Some have cameras, some have Internet and email access, some play mp3’s, and some can even be used to watch TV segments. Heck, some even have the capability to do all of the above. Phones these days can do nearly anything, so why not store your credit or debit card information on the phone, so you don’t even need to take your wallet when you leave the house? The process is quite simple, and it’s already in use in Japan.
At the simplest level, all that’s needed is to embed phones with a short-range radio chip to beam credit card information to a terminal at a store register. It’s not unlike the wireless system used to pay tolls on many highways or the SpeedPass key chain wand used to buy gas at Exxon Mobile Corp. pumps.
Mastercard International has already been testing out this technology, which they call PayPass, since 2003, and they may even conduct a market trial sometime next year.
Read More | USA Today
Most of us have played the piddly games available on our mobile phones, but this one is really awesome. Instead of your typical game, this one allows you to shoot targets through your phone’s camera. What’s even more is that when you move your phone away more targets appear, and then when you turn back the previous targets remain in the same spot. This game really takes a step forward in blurring the lines between virtual and actual reality.
Read More | Moco News
Even more phones announced from Nokia today - declaring today as Wireless Handset Day 2005:
- 6280: The 6280 is a 3G phone with a slide form factor with EDGE support, 320x240 screen, 2 MP camera, second VGA camera for video calls, miniSD, Bluetooth, and an FM tuner.
- 6270: This similar to the 6280, but only 2G. It also has stereo speakers, and also supports EDGE along with GSM/GPRS.
- 6265: The 6270 brings the CDMA love. It supports 1xRTT data and E911 location services. 2 MP camera, miniSD, and Bluetooth round it out.
- 6111: This is another slider GSM phone. EDGE support along with GSM/GRPS 900/1800/1900. It has a 128x160 screen, 1 MP camera, Bluetooth and an FM tuner.
That’s a lot of phone love from Nokia, and that isn’t even the end of it for the day. Stay tuned.
Read More | Gizmodo
At Nokia Connection 2005 a bunch of phones were announced. The Nokia 6060 just happens to be a flip phone, a rarity for Nokia. Of course, they are revisiting their focus on flip phones this year, so this is no surprise. This one is entry-level. Expect a 128x160 display and MP3 ringtones in this dual band GSM unit. Expect the Nokia 6060 to retail at about $170 USD, or 150 EUR in the third quarter of 2K5.
The Sony Ericsson Z520a is a phone made for those who use their phone as much as they do for function. engadget got the details on the phone today, which should include a VGA camera, a quad-band radio, a 65,000 color screen, and integrated Bluetooth. As far as they could tell, the screen left them unimpressed.
Read More | engadget
A busboy in Delray Beach took Jimmy Buffett’s cell phone after he left it on a table in a restaurant. After a week it was finally returned after the cops showed up at Jason Martin’s House (the busboy.) Among the contacts on the phone were Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Al Gore, Bill Gates, George Clooney, and various other famous people. The thing, although the phone was recovered, Martin had removed and kept the SIM card. The SIM is what holds all of the phones information.
“We were sitting around smoking weed and strolling down the list on Jimmy’s phone, going ‘Wow!’ ” Martin told Page Two. He said he didn’t call anyone on the list. But according to the police report, Martin said some of his friends may have crank-called former President Clinton.
Read More | Palm Beach Post
If you needed proof that we now live in a digital age, here it is. The band Coldplay had their hopes of a #1 debut for their newest single dashed this weekend when “Crazy Frog Axle F,” a wildly popular ring tone, sold more copies. That’s right – a mobile phone ring tone is topping the charts in the UK right now.
Update: It has been falsely reported, with the popularity of this super-hot new ringtone, that the song was originally written less than a decade ago by a 17-year-old Swedish student. However, a sharp-eyed reader pointed out that the song is much older – appearing on the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack in 1984.
Read More | The Independent