On Gear Live: iOS 8 review: A more powerful iPhone experience arrives

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iPhone

We have been waiting for this one for quite a while, and Apple delivered on the iPhone rumors that have been making the rounds for the better part of a year. The iPhone is more than just a phone though - this is the next generation iPod, a portable version of OS X, and a portable Internet navigator. Let’s first look at the hardware features.

The new iPhone features a 3.5-inch widescreen tough-sensitive display. The screen is a 320x480 at 160 ppi - that is an absolutely amazing feat, as 160 ppi is going to be gorgeous. The phone itself is 11.6 mm thin, and features a 2.0 megapixel camera, quad-band GSM/EDGE, EiFi, and Bluetooth 2.0. Battery life will be 16 hours for audio, 5 hours for talk time, video, and web browsing. Even cooler still is the built-in proximity sensor, which recognizes when the phone is on your ear so that it turns off the screen to save power. The accelerometer senses when the phone is tilted into a portrait or landscape display, and changes what is seen on the screen as appropriate. Lastly, there are ambient light sensors as well.

On the software side of things, the iPhone runs a specialized version of OS X, with the promise of support for full desktop-class applications. The phone also has SMS session support, which looks to have an iChat-like interface. This allows you to follow an SMS conversation back and forth on one screen. The three way calling support on the phone looks to work easily and seamlessly - if you have two calls going at once, simply hit the conference button, and both calls are brought together. Safari is built in, touted as the first fully usable HTML browser on a phone, and it features on-the-fly zooming that reminded us of the Wii Opera Browser. Photo management is top notch, and the phone even support Dashboard widgets as well, allowing for a whole host of software application possibilities that haven’t even been thought of yet.

Apple also announced support for Yahoo! IMAP email, which will be PUSH email similar to what you find on the BlackBerry. Google Maps is also integrated into the phone in a snazzy way, and that includes satellite map support.

The iPhone is going to be offered exclusively through Cingular in the US starting in June, and hits Europe in the fourth quarter of 2007, followed by Asia in 2008. The 4 GB model will be available for $499 with a two-year contract, while the 8 GB model will sell for $599 with two-year contract. Once it passes FCC approval, the phone will be available for purchase from both Cingular and Apple.

Apple has created a great interactive site that lets you see exactly how a bunch of the iPhone features work, which you can check out below.

Read More | Apple iPhone Product Page

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Waterfield DSL Case

We think it’s about time that designers of iPod accessories make way for the Nintendo DS Lite. WaterField Designs has recently unveiled its DSL case, which is crafted from ballistic nylon with a double layer of leather for its flap and a scratch-free interior liner. At a size of 5.75 x 3.5 x 1.25-inches and a weight of only three oz., the case has enough room to hold the unit, ear buds, charger, several games, and an extra stylus. With your choice of black or a patterned design, the Lite pouch is available for $39.00.

Read More | WaterField Designs

TMX Elmo

Toys ‘R Us has announced that it will be receiving 13,000+ PS3s, 6,000+ Wiis and accessories, and 65,000+ TMX Elmos for these last days of holiday shopping. They also promise more items in demand such as GameBoy Advance and Fisher Price digital cameras. Not to be found online, you will have to hotfoot it to your nearest location to see if they are keeping to their word. Rather than participate in the possibly physical conflict over trying to grab the last Elmo from another customer, we think we will just watch the demo of the hysterical red creature again and wonder what the fuss is all about.

Read More | Toys 'R Us

Virtual boyfriend/girlfriend gameIf you are unattached for the holidays this year, Aria’s Virtual Boyfriend/Girlfriend games provide you with a choice of up to 8 different dates with distinct personalities. Keep them happy by buying them gifts, complimenting them, taking them out, and even engaging in, what Aria refers to as “a night of hot passion.” The more points you amass, the better the relationship becomes. Available for £13.49 (~$27.00,) they measure 7 x 5 cm, fit on a keyring, and come with batteries. Practice enough, and perhaps next year you will be ready for a real relationship with another human.

Read More | Aria

This is an entry from our 2006 Holiday Gift Guide. Check it out for suggestions on what to buy your loved, liked, and hated ones this holiday season!

Sony DCR-SR1000

Here at Gear Live HQ, we are pretty keen on hard drive-based camcorders. If you aren’t shooting any major productions, these cameras are great in situations where a handheld camera is appropriate. The Sony DCR-SR1000 is a great tapeless camcorder, holding about 7.3 hours of high quality footage on it’s internal drive. You can change the quality of your recording in order to squeeze out over 20 hours of recording capacity from the camcorder. Low light performance is better than other cameras of similar size, as it sports a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens. It also have an onboard mic that records in four directions, allowing you to record in Dolby 5.1 surround sound. The only downside we could find to this one is that it’s a tad on the heavy side at 22.4 ounces.

Price: $1,630


BlackJack smartphoneSamsung has finally released its ultra-thin BlackJack smartphone. Available sometime this month, the 4.1 oz. 3 GB device features a QWERTY keyboard, a 320 x 240 QVGA high-resolution screen, Windows Mobile 5.0, Bluetooth capabilities, an MP3 player with access to Cingular Music, and a 1.3 megapixel digital cam with video capture. Samsung claims it delivers 5.5 hours of talk time and battery storage of up to 11 days in standby.

You can pre-order BlackJack at Cingular for $199.95 and expect arrival sometime this month. In honor of the occasion, last night Larry Kimmell passed out mystery boxes to his audience and gave a few away. Those that did not get the smartphone, including guest Jerry Springer, received lettuce. Pass the Good Seasons.

Read More | Cingular Media

This is an entry from our Holiday Gift Guide. We will be updating it daily through the holidays, so be sure to check it often for some great gadget gift tips!

Read More | Gear Live Holiday Gift Guide

This is an entry from our 2006 Holiday Gift Guide. Check it out for suggestions on what to buy your loved, liked, and hated ones this holiday season!

Motorola Q

If you are looking for a full-fledged smartphone that lacks bulk, look the way of the Motorola Q. The Q packs in Bluetooth, a 1.3-megapoxel camera, and a QWERTY keyboard into a freaking thin 4.3 x 2.5 x 0.5-inch handset. The Motorola Q weighs just 4.1 ounces, so carrying this phone around is very comfy. The Q also sports a scroll wheel on the side, reminding us of the BlackBerry mainstay, and it works nicely on the Windows Mobile 5 OS. The screen is a 2.4-inch 320x240 display, but we wish the font size could be bumped down a few notches to fit more text without having to scroll. The Q can also do multimedia, which can be access on Verizon’s EV-DO network, or locally by packing your content onto a miniSD card.

You can watch our full Motorola Q video review for more information.

Price: $300 with two-year contract

Read More | HelloMoto

This is an entry from our 2006 Holiday Gift Guide. Check it out for suggestions on what to buy your loved, liked, and hated ones this holiday season!

BlackBerry Pearl 8100

BlackBerry has gone mainstream with the BlackBerry Pearl 8100. Much more than a business-level messaging device, the Pearl 8100 packs in a 1.3-megapixel camera, vibrant 320x240 display, and MP3 support. The abridged QWERTY keypad allows you to type messages quicker than you would using standard T9, and also keeps the phone as thin as any other cell phone out there, with dimensions of 4.2 x 2 x 0.6-inches. The BlackBerry Pearl 8100 throws away the scroll wheel, and instead uses the Pearl-esque scroll ball in the center of the device. Throw in EDGE support, and you have a winner.

Price: $199 with two-year contract

Read More | BlackBerry Pearl Product Page

Nokia E61 BoxWave

Hand-crafted from fine, premium grade leather, BoxWave’s Designio Leather Case is a hard leather case that is custom-fitted for the Nokia E61.  This durable leather case neatly stores your device and protects it from everyday wear and tear, while giving it a slim and professional look. The Designio Leather Case is a form-fitting leather case that protects your device, and has accessible cutouts. You can pick one up for $34.95 USD at BoxWave’s online store.

Read More | E61 Designio Case

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