Monday, December 13, 2010

Want a dream phone? Check out Nokia N95!

Nokia N95, a much-awaited smart phone with a unique handset design has started shipping in India.

Its front slides up to reveal a traditional numeric phone keypad and can also slide down providing access to a row of dedicated multimedia playback control buttons, automatically switching the screen to landscape mode and launching the multimedia menu.

Hardware: It is powered by the fastest processor currently used in the Symbian operating system devices and is faster than Dopod D600, a Windows Mobile 5 PDA.

The N95 sports the regular 64 MB RAM (E90 claims to offer almost 80 MB of free operating memory) and about 160 MB internal storage memory and can be expanded with microSD cards to 2 GB.

Dopod D600 comes in with built-in 128 MB ROM, 64 MB RAM that gives N95 a close run. N95 also overtakes when it comes to price. Nokia has priced this baby at a whopping Rs 40,249 while the Dopod has priced its machine at Rs 22,893.

Bells & Whistles Nokia has topped the N95 with a GPS receiver. And a 5 megapixel (sufficient for even 11x14-inch sized prints), autofocus camera can deliver delightful pictures. Dopod's D600 is a 2 MP camera, but when viewed on D600's 71.1mm TFT LCD display, it can put other business phones to shame.

While Nokia has put in a secondary camera to support video calls, despite being a PDA D600 seems to have omitted it. Although DVD quality is certainly an exaggeration by Nokia, but video recorded on N95 definitely offers quality of amateur single-sensor mini-DV camcorders.

Connectivity: The Dopod's PDA has also missed out on connectivity and data transfer options that are found in plenty in N95. Nokia has included HSDPA that give a speed of upto 3.6 Mbps with simultaneous voice and data, wireless LAN will give around 54 Mbit/s. Universal Plug and Play, Bluetooth 2.0 with mass storage class support are a part of N95 too.

D600, although delivers a smooth performance on the Push Email and browsing net front, the presence of Wi-Fi support would have been welcomed in a PDA.

The D600 could not fit in the the web pages in its browser and the more advanced AJAX pages would not work. Navigation was a breeze since this one is a touchscreen machine.

Nokia launches messaging service for small biz

Mobile handset maker Nokia launched on Tuesday a messaging service in partnership with US-based Intuit, under which small businesses can send SMS' to their customers about their products and services.

Aimed at small businesses with upto 10 employees, the 'GoConnect' service will help companies send information on products and other details to their customers in a personalised manner.

"Small businesses can deepen their relationships through targetted communication, which results in increased repeat visit from customers," Nokia India sales director Vipul Sabharwal told reporters in New Delhi.

Asked how the service was different from bulk messaging service offered by other companies, Sabharwal said, "This is targetted at small businesses, for example, a florist, who has a dedicated clientele and the messages sent out are more personalised."

The Intuit GoConnect service is based on a subscription model, which would be available through Nokia Priority dealers.

The service will cost Rs 2,400 for six months (10,000 SMS') and Rs 3,600 for a year (20,000 messages).

"In case, the company finishes the SMS' given to him as part of the package, he can get it recharged through various tariff plans," Intuit Global Small Business vice president and General Manager Terry Hicks said.

Though the service is being launched as a pilot in Delhi and Chandigarh, Nokia expects to roll out GoConnect across the country by early 2011.

Microsoft officially launches Windows Phone 7

Microsoft Philippines, in partnership with HTC Corp. and Smart Communications, Inc., has launched Windows Phone 7, the latest and much-awaited mobile technology from Microsoft, designed to optimize the mobile experience and give its users everything they love in just a snap.

“We are very excited to bring Windows Phone 7 and introduce it to the local market,” said John Bessey, Managing Director, Microsoft Philippines. “Microsoft and its partners are delivering a different kind of mobile phone to fuel new experiences by making everyday tasks easier to accomplish – getting more done in fewer steps and providing timely information easier and faster.”

Windows Phone 7 was designed to deliver a mobile experience that has the phone working better for people, bringing together the things they care about most and helping them get things done faster.

Microsoft tied up with leading network provider Smart Communications, Inc., creating a special combination of service platforms and an innovative technology that revolutionizes the way Filipinos consume data and communicate.

“We are pleased to partner with Microsoft in launching Windows Phone 7 devices in the Philippines,” said Napoleon Nazareno, President and CEO, Smart. “With Smart’s superior network coverage powering Windows Phone 7 devices, we will provide mobile phone users a more productive and enriching experience.”

The sleek and elegantly-crafted HTC 7 Mozart is the first Windows Phone 7-powered smartphone to be available to the Filipinos.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Microsoft and Smart in taking the Windows Phone 7 experience to a whole new level with HTC 7 Mozart,” said Mark Sergio, Country Manager for the Philippines, HTC Corp. “With the Windows Phone 7 technology powering the HTC 7 Mozart, users are given more control over the information that they need and are provided with a more enhanced mobile lifestyle.”

The HTC 7 Mozart allows its users to have an all-around multimedia experience. It is equipped with the SRS WOW HD technology, enabling virtual surround sound for a richer listening and viewing experience. With Windows Phone 7 as the platform, it is also the first in the Philippines to offer the Zune music experience on a phone where users can play their music collection, synced wirelessly from their PC.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Facebook rolls out new mobile privacy features

Facebook is updating its mobile privacy settings.

People using their mobiles to find the latest parcel delivery information through social media sites have been provided with new privacy management features.

Facebook has rolled out a dashboard it launched back in October to mobile phones that allows users to update and manage the information they share from wherever they happen to be.

Building on current privacy controls for mobile devices, users will be able to see a detailed view of the information that they have shared with various applications and websites.

Announcing the measures on the Facebook blog, Rose Yao from the social network site said they will be rolled out over the coming weeks.

She added: "As more people use their phones to connect and share information, we'll continue to innovate and improve your mobile privacy controls so you can enjoy Facebook wherever you go."

The news comes after the social media launched its own email address that will link to the site.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pine Polo Mobile Phone Launched In India

Pine Polo, the new touch-screen handset from the Singapore-based Pine Mobile was launched in India. The handset has a sleek body with a wide display screen and is equipped with attractive internet features.

The company boasts that the phone is equipped with high-end technology and applications that best suits masses.

“The develop world and the developing world demands the best technology. The POLO is designed with the best technology suiting the masses. We bring the high-end POLO phones in the market with updated applications and technology,” Pine Mobiles CEO, Rohit Agarwal was quoted as saying.

The Pine Polo comes with a 2.0 mega pixel camera with digital zoom, 2.8 inches wide touch-screen display, video player, MP4 player, USB port, Micro SD/T flash card, internal memory 58 MB expandable up to 32GB and withstand up to 7 hours of talktime.

The phone also supports social networking sites including, Opera Mini browser, Nimbuzz and Snatu.

The Pine Polo mobile phone comes with the price tag of Rs. 5,999. The phone will be available with all the leading retail outlets.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Google launches Nexus S phone in UK and US

Google has made its second bid for a slice of the mobile phone market, with the launch of its Nexus S phone.

The Samsung-built device comes less than 12 months after the launch of the firm's Nexus One, built by HTC, which failed to win over many consumers.

The Nexus S will initially be launched in the UK and US, and will be available "from the end of the month".

It is the first phone to feature the latest version of Google's Android operating system known as Gingerbread.

It also comes with new hardware such as Near Field Communications (NFC).

This short-range wireless technology is used predominantly in places like Japan and allows people to use their phone as a travel ticket, make small payments and scan their phone over adverts, for example, to get more information about a product.

"NFC allows the Nexus S to read smart objects" said David Burke of Google's mobile division.

These objects must have a small, unpowered NFC chip in them that is activated when the phone is held near.

"When you put the phone on top, it energises the circuit," explained Mr Burke. "It can echo information back to the phone and the phone can send information to the chip.

"So, you can swipe a movie poster and watch the trailer automatically," he said.

NFC is a growing trend in mobiles and will start to become more pervasive in the New Year, said Shaun Collins, managing director of research firm CCS Insight.

"NFC is going to be the technology of 2011, in my opinion," he told BBC News. "Most of the BlackBerries will have it and a big swathe of mid to high-level Nokias will have it."

The next version of the iPhone is also rumoured to contain the technology.

Net calls
The Nexus S was first shown off by Google boss Eric Schmidt at the Web 2.0 summit in San Francisco in November.

The touchscreen device has been built in cooperation with Samsung and is part of its Galaxy S family of phones and tablets.

Mr Collins said it would compete with other "flagship devices" such as Nokia's N8, the BlackBerry Torch and the HTC Desire HD.

"This is great news for Samsung," said Mr Collins. "It becomes the de-facto flagship product for Android."
The search giant dismissed claims that it was showing any favouritism towards Samsung or that it was going into competition with other handset manufacturers that produce phones using Android.

"Our objective is not to compete with partners," said Mr Burke. "Our goal is to push the mobile ecosystem forward."

Mr Collins said that Samsung's window of opportunity with the device was small.

The phone claims to have the "world's first" 4in (10cm) curved display and has front and rear-facing cameras.

Inside it has the same processor as the Nexus One, but with increased memory bandwidth to make it more responsive, according to Mr Burke.

The phone is also the first handset to introduce the latest version of Android - known as Gingerbread.

The software is the fifth major revision of the firm's software and will be rolled out to most Android phones in the "coming weeks or months", said Mr Burke.

It includes a new user interface, support for new hardware such as gyroscope - used for gaming, for example, and internet calling.

This allows anyone to set up a VOIP account that can be used to place and receive calls over the internet.

The phone can be configured to use this feature as soon as it is in range of a wi-fi hotspot, allowing people to by pass the network operators.

Mr Burke said that he didn't expect any resistance to this feature from the networks, particularly as many of them customise the android software and could " remove the feature if they want to".

Phone promise
The phone also has a greater emphasis on voice control.

"In the US, one in four searches done on Android devices is done with voice," said Mr Burke.

The phone comes with existing software that allows people to control navigation on the phone with their voice as well as conduct searches. 
A new set of commands also allows people to send text messages, e-mails and set alarms on their phone, amongst other things.

These will initially only be available in the US, whilst the firm build the voice models needed for its software to cope with other regional accents.

The phone will initially offered for sale by Carphone Warehouse in the UK and Best Buy in the US. It will not have its own Google web store like the Nexus One, which was shut after less than 5 months after Google admitted that it "remained a niche channel for early adopters".

"That didn't work out for Google," said Mr Collins. "But Carphone Warehouse is a different ball game - they have the distribution, brand and presence."

Mr Collins said that Carphone Warehouse was "setting themselves up as the place to go to for Android".
"They see that the operating system is increasingly becoming the differentiating factor for consumers and they are aligning themselves with Android," he said.

Mr Burke admitted the firm was "going for volume" by partnering with Carphone Warehouse.

In the UK, the Nexus S will come free with £35 per month contracts or will be offered unlocked - to be used on any carrier - for £549.

A spokesperson for Carphone Warehouse said that it would take pre-orders from 1600 GMT today, but it would not be on sale "until later in the month".

The firm said it was still negotiating contracts with "all of the UK operators" but could not say when a phone ordered today would be delivered.

"We don't want to promise anything to customers that we can't deliver," she said.

Google has made its second bid for a slice of the mobile phone market, with the launch of its Nexus S phone.