Apparently Nokia is nothing if not persistent. This week Nokia plans to introduce a third cell phone to bear the name N-Gage and try yet again to gain some traction with its cell phone/game device hybrid. This time they spent some time with the design firm Ideo to research what consumers wanted in such a device and think they have it right this time. “The graphics problem has been removed. And phones today are always connected and you always carry them with you. Phones are now the perfect device for gaming,” says product manager Tomi Huttula.
Most curious perhaps is the decision to stick with the name N-Gage, which at this point carries some pretty negative baggage. The idea of a cell phone that plays half decent games isn’t particularly bad on the face of it but the Finland-based company learned the hard way in 2003 that gamers, who are likely to be the early adopters and initial market for such a device, won’t jump on board just because an idea has potential but lacks proper execution. There’s no reason to stick with the brand name when it has already failed twice.
Still, Nokia seems undaunted by past disappointments and is focusing this time around on the multiplayer features and streamlining the experience to be more attractive to casual gamers. Also Nokia isn’t focusing on a single model this time around but will offer N-Gage games on a few of its Series 60 smartphones, presumably as a trial run, before gradually expanding to all Series 60 models. The prices have yet to be announced, but more details should be available later in the week.
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
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
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
Sprint has finally unleashed the Treo 700wx today, which we have all but been waiting for over the past few weeks. The Treo 700wx sports EV-DO/1xRTT, 128MB NVRAM, 240x240 touchscreen, XScale 312MHz processor, a full QWERTY keyboard, Bluetooth support, and the standard 1.3 megapixel camera. It runs Windows Mobile 5.0 Pocket PC edition, and is, you know, a Treo. The 700wx sports double the RAM of the Treo 700w on Verizon, but everything else is pretty much in line. Of course, Sprint has had the Treo 700p available for a while now - but if you just gotta have that Pocket PC goodness, now is your chance if you are on Sprint.
Read More | MobileTechReview