Tag Archive for 3G

Where is my Nokia N97?

n97I’m in the market for a new phone. It’s time to upgrade my “phone only” phone.  Okay, it does have a camera, but when I bought it all I wanted was a phone with a good speakerphone, but now I am in the market for something new and up-to-date.

One phone I have in mind is the Nokia N97due out in late March ’09.  Nokia gave a demo of the phone at this month’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2009) in Las Vegas. This is being touted as Nokia’s new flagship phone, but they prefer to call it “the world’s most advanced mobile computer”.

Let’s check out the details…

Tech Features

The N97has a 3.5-inch, 640 x 360 pixel, 16:9 aspect ratio, resistive touchscreen display with tactile feedback and a slideout QWERTY keyboard.  It has a wide range of connectivity with HSDPA (or 3.5G, half a step up from 3G), WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS.  It also has a 3.5-mm headjack.

What impressed me was its storage capacity.  It has 32GB of onboard memory, and that can be expanded to 48GB through the use of a microSD Flash card.  The onboard memory alone is double that found in the iPhone 3G (16 GB).

The battery life is also pretty impressive because it can play up to 1.5 days of continuous audio (those are your music files or podcasts), or it could playback 4.5-hours video.

It has a built in 5 megapixel camera with a Carl Zeiss lens, and DVD quality video capture. Looks like I won’t be needing my digital camera and camcorder for much longer after the N97 hits the market.

Software and the FaceBook app

facebook_picThough Nokia isn’t saying much right now, there is going to be additional software available for the N97, but the phone is still in development at this stage, and there are some features that haven’t been finalized yet.

One thing that is being discussed though is the Facebook application that is being integrated into the phone. You’ll be able to have a full screen view of Facebook so you can keep up to date with your friends while you’re on the move. This is an application for the phone that can be used in addition to actually visiting Facebook on the web over it 3G or WiFi connection. The N97 is designed so you can have immediate access to this feature whenever you’re connected.

Release Date and Pricing

The N97 is scheduled for a late March release in the UK. Pre-orders are already being accepted.  No date has been set for the US, nor has any provider partnerships been mentioned, but there is talk that an unlocked version will be released in the US.  The price is expected to be similar to that of the current N96 which retails from $650 to $900.

Second Generation iPhone to be Released Friday

News has it that people started lining up out side the flagship Apple Store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan around June 27 to be among the first to buy the new second generation iPhone from Apple on July 11.  The line has grown slightly in the days since then.  Meanwhile, no one is lining up outside the AT&T store in Times Square.  AT&T being the sole carrier for the iPhone in the US.

Apple iPhone 3G (pair). Courtesy of AppleWhat’s All The Hubbub?
Of course, the first generation iPhone was wildly popular with its touchscreen interface, digital camera, iPod functionality with audio and video files, PDA (personal data assistant) features, fantastic web browsing features, and Apple style cachet.

Not so popular was the $400+ price tag, limited battery life, no voice dial feature, sluggish Internet access, headphone accessibility, lacking business email and calendar functionality, and the touchy touch screen. You may remember Steve Jobs quickly resolved the first problem with a steep price drop, much to the chagrin of the early adopters, but he later appeased them, too.  Some of the remaining problems will be addressed with the new second gen iPhone coming out this week.

Also unpopular was the fact that the phone was only available for the AT&T network.  That remains the same.  Stories abounded about iPhones being hacked to work elsewhere, and subsequent software upgrades from Apple that deactivated the hackphones. What’s New? The new iPhone has a few new features not available on its predecessors.  Some of enhancements are just improvements on the original:

  1. 3G: The new phone has improved Internet access now because its can now access the faster 3G (or third generation) wide area cellular telephone networks with high speed Internet access.
  2. GPS: The global positioning system is a new feature which allows you to see where you are and where you’re going, though it s not as fast as the units available for cars, so don’t toss out your Garmin or TomTom just yet.
  3. Improved Operating System (v 2.0): Most reviewers state this is the biggest improvement with synchronization features for corporate and calendars through secure Microsoft Exchange servers. The absence of this feature kept many businesses from adopting the first generation iPhone. The new system also allows the integration of third party (non-Apple) applications available for download through an App Store. First gen phone owners will be able to upgrade to 2.0 when it’s released on Friday.

The Downside Early reports have it that the battery life is shorter on the new phone, and since the battery is internal and can’t be swapped for a fully charged battery, you need to keep a close eye on the battery life, particularly if you are a heavy email, text messaging, and Internet user. Walt Mossberg at the Wall Street Journal reports he experienced about 4 hours and 30 minutes of talk time; almost three hours less than the first generation phone. Also, 3G access is only available in 280 US cities. Those locations without 3G access can just switch off the 3G system and double the life of the battery while using the slower data network of the original phone. The Cost The new phone costs either $199 or $299, versus the original’s $399 or $499.  The price depends upon the amount of internal memory (storage) you choose: 8 GB (gigbaytes) or 16 GB. So you can can save as much as $200 over the original. SPrint and Samsung\'s Instinct phoneThe catch is, AT&T has raised its unlimited data access rate by $10 a month to $70 a month before taxes and fees. Additionally, there is no text messaging plan included either; that’ll be an additional $5 a month (It was free on the original phone). So you’ll pay $240 more on the two year contract than you did on the old phone, or a total of $360 more over two years if you get the text messaging plan. The Competition Hot competition is coming from Sprint and Samsung with their Instinct phone. It has many of the same features as the iPhone (looks, 3G, Internet and email, camera, video recording, touch screen) and at $129, it costs about $70 less, though it’s not likely to steal away the Apple faithful. Additional Reading:

To buy, or not to buy?  That is the question.

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