Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wow it must be the keyboard phone season at Plemix! We have seen quite a lot of smartphones coming to us that are equipped with a keyboard. Certainly some phones are better than the others, is the Palm Treo Pro one of them? Let’s find out now.
The package comes with the phone, a battery, a charger, a data cable, a stereo handsfree, and a user’s guide.
The Palm Treo Pro retains the black surface and white key design that is the favour of most businessmen but Palm also added some really nice curves on the body. The 1.74” square screen is somewhat smaller than the 2.8” screens more commonly used but it has more pixels (320 x 320) than the common ones. If you have used a Palm Centro before, you will immediately notice the larger keyboard and the more “professional” construction.
The keys are small so it takes some time to get used to it. They are better than the on-screen keyboards but they are no match for slide-out keyboards. Notice the big Palm logo? This logo light up when a voicemail arrives. Next to it are the usual buttons for Start Menu, OK, Calendar and Messaging. The green Phone key and the red Power key add some color (nicely) to the otherwise dull design. I like the roundedness of these buttons, they look much better than those square buttons on the Centro.
The piano-black back cover uses a different material that has more fiction to provide a better grip. There are a 2MP camera and a Palm logo on the back. The camera has no flash or auto-focus but I don’t think Palm users will miss them very much.
The power button can be used to turn on/off screen (brief click) and enable Flight Mode (long press). The ringer switch to the right of the power button allows you to quickly mute the phone before entering into a meeting, very handy indeed!
The USB plug and earphone jack are on the bottom of the phone with no cover. If you are going to put the phone in a pocket full of keys and hard objects, I would recommend you to get a pouch or something to protect the two most important ports.
Below the infra-red port there is a WiFi button. If you have used Windows Mobile before you will know how hard it is to access the antenna control, this button is a god-send!
The My Treo program allows you to configure Bluetooth, Wireless and email account in one place. If you are a first time Windows Mobile user this could be quite helpful but amateurs should know where to find the settings well enough!
The bundled Webraska Navigation application (trial version) allows you to get turn-by-turn navigation information of pan Europe. The application expires 30days after activation.
If you are not living in Europe or don’t want to pay extra for maps you can still rely on Google Map. Viewing a map on a 1.74” screen may not be the safest way to get directions when you are driving, so Palm Treo Pro probably can’t replace your GPS Navigation device. But if you only want to know the closest Starbucks or restaurants Pam Treo Pro can get the information quickly and quite accurately.
If you want a miniature device that runs Windows Mobile 6.1 Palm Treo Pro is an excellent choice. HSDPA connection, 400Mhz CPU and 128MB ram make Palm Treo Pro a very fast device. The screen is a tad small but it is still adequate for casual reading of texts and maps. Before making your ultimate choice, don’t forget to check out the hp iPAQ 912c and the BlackBerry Bold!
The tricks below allow you to access the commonest settings at great speed:
1. Hold down power key to toggle flight mode: phone antenna off, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth settings unaffected (great for web browsing on a plane through Wi-Fi)
2. Press the Wi-Fi button to turn Wi-Fi antenna on/off. In typical WM device you have to go to Start, Settings, Connections, Wi-Fi.
3. Press the ringer switch to mute the phone. In typical WM device you need to hold down the volume- button, which generates some noise in the process.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
A phone, a battery, a charger, a handsfree and a user’s guide occupy the whole package.
The phone is so small that I mistook it for the hTC Touch, which is a touch-screen-only phone. Samsung J800’s material is not the shiny kind which attracts fingerprints.
The big ring serves as a 4-way D-pad and I especially like the huge ok button with the blue backlight (cool!). With this set of large buttons and a responsive interface there is 0 hassle in navigating through the menu.
Undoubtedly Samsung wants to make the best use of the limited space for keypad. The keys are not the prettiest but they are large enough for fast typing. Good job Samsung!
The phone is one gorgeous slider! It is well balanced and you shouldn’t have too much problem sliding it with one hand. The 15mm thickness is quite typical for a slider phone.
The back of the phone is filled with some really subtle lines to add friction to the surface.
The phone has a blindingly-bright flash for the 2MP camera.
microSD card (not included) exchange can be done at the side of the phone. The same plastic bar for protection can be found on the Samsung L700.
The default color scheme is black and grey, which matches the exterior design nicely. The same layout can be found in countless generations of Samsung phones. While the layout is well organized, I think it’s time to come up with something more refreshing.
I like this phone a lot, it can do many of the smartphone tasks (office document viewing, web-browsing and RSS subscription) at half the price and double the speed. Operation is intuitive and the phone barely slows down. Besides, I have absolutely no resistance against its beautiful design…
The package comes with the phone, a charger, a battery, a data cable and a “white” handsfree. I am not sure if white looks good with silver...
The metallic body has a hairline pattern on it. It appears to be tough, durable and fingerprint-proof.
Since the keys are so big there shouldn’t be any problem with touch-typing. The keys are bouncy and using them is a pleasure.
Many of the electronic components are hidden inside the cover, only the SIM slot and camera are exposed. The cover is all metallic for a complete protection of the phone.
Despite being a budget model, Samsung L700 has a 2MP camera and a flash! It’s not as strong as the dual-LED flashes but it should have enough strength for shooting in a small, dark room.
You can insert microSD cards (not included) from the left side of the phone. The slot is protected by a thin plastic bar which looks a lot better than those rubber bars seen in other models.
The phone is not the thinnest slab phone on the planet at 12.8mm thick, but it makes a pretty secure grip.
The interface is typical Samsung. I have seen the same interface in many not-so-recent Samsung phones. Time for a change, Samsung?
There are not too many bundled applications in Samsung L700. The music player supports the most common music formats but it lacks the music enhancement feature found on Nokia phones.
The music player can be minimised and the phone comes with other features include office document viewer (a rarity for a budget phone), HTML browser (no HSDPA though), and 3G video call.
Samsung L700 is created for practical people who want a reliable phone that can get the job done. The bundled applications are very useful and the phone is responsive. At this price point Samsung L700 performs excellently with a lot of functionality.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
The package come with a Battery, a microUSB cable, an AV cable, a stereo headset, a mobile charger, a travel charger and a user’s guide.
Inspired by N81, N85 with a neat design and made of shiny black plastic.
Here’s the numeric keypad with the phone slides up. The slider mechanism feels sturdy.
The navigational cluster below the display, there are right and left soft keys, send, end, and the five-way d-pad, menu and clear keys and a multimedia key. However, the menu and clear keys which are on the corners are a bit cramped to press.
The keys are flat and close to each other with very little space in between, that means you may take a risk of pressing the wrong one. And the keys are a bit hard to press, but they give a perfect tactile feedback.
MicroSD slot located on the top left of the phone.
The bronze back panel has a glossy finish together with a wavy pattern just like the one on N96 but in different color.
5-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss lens and dual-LED flash located at the back which is similar to N96. But this time luckily, we have lens cover which N96 didn’t have it.
On the top, there are 3.5mm jack, the on/off button and the Mini USB port.
On the right hand side, there are stereo speakers, camera key, a lock key and a volume rocker.
It features an auto screen rotation just like N96. The screen can be automatically rotate according to how you place the phone.
A downward slide reveals four media keys- FF, Play/Pause, Stop and RW. They can also be used for gaming controls. N-Gage is also on board. Like the keypad, these keys are dark at rest but white when being used.
Application of Nokia Map in action. It has GPS receiver with A-GPS as well.
Also it has integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0.
N85 has a built-in FM transmitter that will let us listen to the music from our phone directly on a radio. But, there is missing on N96.
We find that the image looks clearer than the one in N96 when it is camera in action. Of course, since N85 has new screen technology called AM OLED which make the image looks brighter, better color gamut (numbers of colors that can be accurately displayed at same time), better contrast ratio.
Here’s the actual photo image taken by N85 in an indoor environment. The colors are realistic and saturated. Wonderful~
Another shot by N85.
The photo is taken with flash on. The image is clear but feels a bit dark even the LED flash is on.
Lastly, I would like to mention the power of N85 which comes with bigger battery with 1200 mAh vs. 950 mAh on the Nokia N96.Its talking time is up to 6.9h, compared with the 3.66h of N96, which is more striking. N85 is the definitive entertainment package that inherited N81’s brilliant and upgraded N96’s powerful features. Well~ the latest Nokia Nseries is setting another new standard for mobile entertainment, gaming and sharing. Nokia, you are incomparable!
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