Monday, November 30, 2009

Nokia aiming for one Maemo device in 2010

In light of successful Nokia N900 sales and positive feedback over its Maemo platform, it appeared as if all hope for future Symbian S60 smartphones was abandoned. Not so fast Maemo lovers! A source came forth to Reuters claiming “direct knowledge of Nokia’s 2010 product roadmap” and stated that Nokia would only be manufacturing one Maemo device in the coming year. A Nokia spokesperson declined to comment but did say, “We remain firmly committed to Symbian as our smartphone platform of choice.” So, what do you think? On one hand we have Maemo, a new platform in need of development in order to improve touchscreen capabilities, and on the other hand we have the tried-and-true Symbian S60.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Black Friday Smart Phone Deals

Well, we’ve scoured the internet to bring you some of Black Friday’s best smartphone offerings. If lacing up those sneakers and strapping on those elbow pads for some day-after-Thanksgiving deals is your bag, then there are some pretty nice options out there for you. However, for those of you looking to find big savings on popular smartphones, you need go no further than your computer desk – take a look at Wirefly’s deals below to find out what I mean. In any case, there’s a lot of money to be saved. Which device tickles your fancy? Check out all the steals-and-deals below:

  • AT&T BlackBerry Curve 8900: $0.01 with new AT&T service plan
  • AT&T HTC Pure: $0.01 with new AT&T service plan
  • Sprint BlackBerry 9630 Tour: $49.99 with new Sprint service plan
  • Sprint Samsung Moment: $79.99 with new Sprint service plan
  • T-Mobile BlackBerry 9700 Bold2: $149.99 with new T-Mobile service plan
  • Verizon BlackBerry 9550 Storm2: $149.99 with new Verizon service plan

Friday: Starting on Black Friday (no given time) you can check out for “vaule packed” holiday savings through “Cyber Monday.” From store opening to noon ALL devices will be $50 off. AT&T is also said to be pushing out some hot deals via its Twitter and Facebook pages – so you might want to check them out periodically on Friday. For the thousands of current AT&T customers, sadly it doesn’t look like there's too much in store for you this Holiday season. That is unless you are due for an upgrade, in which case you might want to give HTC's trade-in program below a little gander.

Saturday: Saturday is the 24-hour BlackBerry Sale
  • Pearl 8110 or Curve 8310: $0.00 with 2-year agreement and minimum plan of $69.99 a month.
  • Curve 8320 or Curve 8900: $99 with 2-year agreement and minimum plan of $69.99 a month.
Sunday: Free Solstice, Neon, Magnet, Karma or Propel quick messaging device. Unlimited messaging or data required, plus 2-year service agreement.

Cyber Monday: 1 Cent Sale, device offers rotate every three hours.
  • Nokia E71x: $0.01 with 2-year service agreement- Sony Cybershot: $0.01 with 2-year service agreement
  • BlackBerry Curve 8900: $0.01 with 2-year service agreement
  • Pantech Reveal: $0.01 with 2-year service agreementSamsung Jack: $0.01 with 2-year service agreement
Follow this link for more AT&T information.

Best Buy (stores open at 5 a.m.):
  • Sprint Palm Pre in Black: $79.99 with 2-year contract
  • Verizon LG Chocolate: Free with 2-year contract
  • BONUS: Best Buy’s wonderful Black Friday Shopping Tips
Radio Shack:
  • BlackBerry 8520 Curve: $0.00 with 2-year agreement
  • LG Xenon: $0.00 with 2-year agreement
Verizon Wireless:
  • Gateway LT Netbook: $299.99 after $100 mail-in-rebate
  • BlackBerry Pearl Flip: $9.99 after $100 mail-in-rebate (also buy-on-get-one free)
  • HTC Ozone: $9.99 after $100 mail-in-rebate (also buy-on-get-one free)
  • LG Glance: $0
  • LG Versa: $29.99 after $50 mail-in-rebate (also buy-on-get-one free)
  • Mifi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot: $49.99 after $50 mail-in-rebate (Black Friday only)
  • Motorola Entice: $19.99 after $50 mail-in-rebate (also buy-one-get-one free)
  • Motorola VU204: $0
  • Nokia 7705 Twist: $29.99 after $50 mail-in-rebate
  • Samsung Smooth: $0 after $50 mail-in-rebate
  • Free LG HBM-210 Bluetooth headset with purchase of LG enV3 or enV Touch.
  • Verizon BlackBerry Storm2: $0.99 for new subscribers and $29.99 for existing Verizon customers (Black Friday only)
  • Verizon BlackBerry Storm2: $9.99 for new subscribers and 429.99 for existing Verizon customers (Sat. Nov. 28 – Mon. Nov. 30)
  • AT&T BlackBerry Bold 9700: $0 for new subscribers and $29.99 for existing AT&T customers (Fri. Nov. 27 – Mon. Nov. 30)
  • Sprint Samsung Moment: $79.99 for new subscribers and $99.99 for existing Sprint customers (Fri. Nov. 27 – Mon. Nov. 30)

  • Verizon HTC Droid Eris: $30 after a $149.99 instant discount and signed 2-year contract


  • Motorola CLIQ: $149 with 2-year service plan
  • BlackBerry Bold 9700: $149.99 with 2-year service plan
  • Samsung Highlight: $49 with 2-year service plan

HTC is enacting a trade-in program this Holiday season. When you purchase an HTC Tilt 2, HTC Touch Pro 2, HTC Imagio, Pure or HTC Ozone you can send back an eligible trade-in to receive a $100 rebate from HTC.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Privus Mobile's Greg Smith talks about the Apple App Store approval process

The Apple App store practically created the mobile application market, but has been scrutinized for it's unpredictable approval process. Privus Mobile president, Greg Smith, sat down with TechVi to talk about what Apple could do to make that process easier for mobile application developers.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Samsung Omnia II to hit Verizon Wireless Dec. 2

Tis’ the season…to launch your smartphone! Verizon Wireless adds yet another device to its ever-growing lineup with the announcement of Samsung’s Windows Mobile 6.5 device, the Omnia II. The Omnia II will be stocked and ready to go at your neighborhood Verizon Wireless store on Dec. 2 for $200 with standard 2-year contract and $100 mail-in-rebate. Let’s review some specs:

  • 3.7-inch WVGA AMOLED display
  • Virtual QWERTY (no physical keyboard)
  • Samsung TouchWiz 2.0 interface
  • 5-megapixel camera with LED flash and autofocus
  • 3G, WiFi and GPS capabilities
  • 8GB internal storage
  • 800MHz processor

From reviews, it seems you will either love or hate the TouchWiz UI. So, who’s planning on putting an Omnia II in their own stocking this year?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

T-Mobile offers more contract-free options with T-Mobile Complete

T-Mobile is slowly revealing new contract-free options just in time for the Holiday season and I have to say, I really like what T-Mobile is doing and I hope other carriers follow suit. It seems T-Mobile Complete will offer four handsets, two of which are said to be the BlackBerry Curve 8520 and the BlackBerry Pearl. These BlackBerry devices will be sold for $299.99 and $149.99 respectively, and you can pick them up at your neighborhood Best Buy or Walmart. The device comes with the one month service – making it perfect for Holiday gift giving. The recipient, or yourself, will then have the option to use a T-Mobile Even More Plus plan. These contract-free plans start at a mere $50, although for the BlackBerrys you’ll probably need the $80 plan. Remember, it’s still a prepaid phone plan so you will need to make sure it’s paid for at the beginning of each month to continue service. We’ll let you know when we hear more - but you might want to add the BlackBerry Curve to your Holiday shopping list for Uncle Phil, because you know he won’t upgrade that free-with-contract clamshell and its 1998 monophonic ringtone all by himself.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Acer officially announces Liquid A1, rumored for a late November

We wrote a post about Acer’s first Android device back in October, and Acer officially announced the Liquid A1 today. Does the name make anyone else think of the famous steak sauce, or am I just hungry? Although the device will come loaded with Android 1.6, it seems to be on par with its competition when it comes to screen size and processor speed. The Liquid A1 is powered by the increasingly-popular 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 800 x 480 WVGA capacitive touchscreen and a 5-megapixel camera. It appears the manufacturer is going after the social networking crowd with “smart integration” of popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Acer’s Liquid steak sauce looks pretty impressive on paper and I’m definitely interested to see a hands-on. Still no official word on pricing, but you know how manufacturers and carriers like to let you speculate right up until the release.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

BlackBerry 9700 available at T-Mobile, set to launch on AT&T Nov. 22

The BlackBerry 9700 (aka Bold 2) made its way into the hands of lucky Berry lovers on T-Mobile yesterday. If you like to live your mobile life without strings attached, you should read about the fancy contract-free options T-Mobile is offering with the 9700 here. AT&T is still holding strong to a Nov. 22 release of the 9700 for its non-business customers, but don’t worry! We hear stores are fully stocked and ready to go. If you have an upgrade available on either T-Mobile or AT&T, I highly recommend getting one of these bad boys. The cumbersome trackball has been replaced with a trackpad, the beveled edges and sweet faux-leather battery cover give the device a much sleeker look and overall the device runs faster and smoother than any BlackBerry yet.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 to launch Feb.10

We announced Sony Ericsson’s fancy new Android touchscreen, the XPERIA X10, here on the blog a couple weeks ago. The device was slated for a Q1 launch, and the manufacturer’s UK Web site confirmed a Feb. 10 release. Engadget Mobile had a hands-on with a very early model of the X10 and said it was “plagued by lag and unresponsiveness,” even though the device comes powered by the increasingly popular 1GHz Snapdragon processor. It looks as if Sony Ericsson has been working extra hard to get those kinks out as you can see in this video. With a little less than three months to get the device running in perfect order it will be interesting to see how the X10 fares in the market with the multitude of Android devices coming in 2010. Pricing and carrier support will play a large role in its success and we’ll let you know as soon as that information is made available.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Samsung Behold II Coming to T-Mobile Nov. 18

The Samsung Behold II is definitely coming to T-Mobile on Nov. 18 and Engadget gives us a little preview before this Android device gets a serious hands-on. Samsung has definitely laid its own brand of pizzazz over the Android 1.5 OS via its signature TouchWiz UI. In its current state, TouchWiz seems to slow down the operating system a bit – which is something that could pose a problem for users who fill up their smartphones rather easily. However, the build seems to be solid with quality materials and nice tactile front-facing buttons. Another noted feature was the camera button on the side of the device that focuses when pressed halfway down – just like a real camera! Samsung brings us a nice but standard Android option, and if T-Mobile has any sense, it wouldn’t even think about pricing this little baby over $199. More details to come.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Storm2 Gets a Hands-On Review

Chris Ziegler from Engadget Mobile got his hands on a BlackBerry Storm2 and threw a no-holds-barred post up on the popular mobile blog this afternoon. The biggest addition that comes to the Storm2 is Wi-Fi, which could be reason enough to cause current Storm owners to upgrade. From what I gather, if you’re not an avid BlackBerry user or haven’t been bothered by the wobbly screen or user-interface lags you might not be able to tell much of a difference. However, it seems as if “the devil is in the details,” so let’s get to them.

One of the major complaints about the original Storm was its SurePress technology which consisted of a single mechanical switch mounted below the center of the screen. This mechanical switch would allow the keyboard to move up and down giving the user a feeling similar to clicking a physical key on a QWERTY keyboard. However, the location of the single switch lead to wobbly and inconsistent clicks the further away from the center the user pressed down. But was that inconsistency enough to keep RIM from bringing the SurePress technology to Storm2? Not exactly. SurePress technology for the Storm2 now consists of four piezoelectric mechanical switches mounted in all four corners of the screen. This modification helps the touchscreen clicks to feel more sturdy and accurate than the original; however, it leads to a harder click and a louder “thunk” when pressing the screen. According to Ziegler, you’ll need some pretty beefy thumb-muscles to avoid getting finger-fatigue while writing an email on the Storm2.

The appearance of the Storm2 is almost identical to the original Storm. The Storm2 has black chrome bezel, a tastefully rubberized back and overall sleeker appearance from the front. Also, the LED-flashin’ 3.2-megapixel camera of the Storm2 is surprisingly far better than the 5.0-megapixel camera of the original Storm – not something you’d generally expect with a loss in megapixels. When diving further into the software of the Storm2 the first thing to mention is that it will run BlackBerry OS 5.0. This software upgrade allows for internal scrolling throughout the platform, and an overall smoother experience from the device. Ziegler states with the 5.0 OS update, the Web browser is slightly improved but he’d take a “good Webkit browser over this any day, but the platform just isn’t there yet.”

Rewind to about this time last year and the mobile world was clamoring over pictures, rumored specs and release dates of BlackBerry’s first touchscreen device. Some guy actually got a tattoo of the Storm on his leg for crying out loud! The addition of Wi-Fi capability might win over some new users and lead current Storm owners to upgrade, but beyond that the Storm2 is merely a slightly-improved version of the original.

Click here to read the entire hands-on review

[photo credit: CrackBerry]

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Walmart is giving you $100 to buy a BlackBerry

Black Friday is almost upon us, and Walmart has grown a little wiser, and perhaps a little “smarter,” about holiday shopping. For phone enthusiasts in the market for a new smartphone, Walmart’s giving you a holiday savings head start on some of your favorite BlackBerry devices offered by various carriers. From Nov. 14 through Nov. 20, Walmart will give customers who purchase any BlackBerry device listed below a $100 Walmart gift card. You won’t even need to mail in a proof-of-purchase. These little berries aren’t contract-free though. You must sign a two-year carrier contract as well.

· AT&T Curve 8310
· AT&T Bold 9000
· Sprint Curve 8330 (Red & Titanium colors)
· T-Mobile 8520 (Black, White, and Frost)
· T-Mobile Pearl 8120 (Emerald)
· Verizon Storm
· Verizon Storm II

You can check out the full press release here.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"HTC Passion" image spurs a flurry of speculation

Smartphone blog posts are beginning to look like a daytime soap opera. New rumors. New names. One ongoing saga. Let’s rejoin the HTC storyline. There is an image of an HTC device circulating the blogs today, and this image is speculated to be Verizon’s HTC Passion aka Dragon (aka Android version of the HD2). The HD2 also has a U.S. Windows Mobile 6.5 version (codenamed Leo) heading to T-Mobile in Q1 of 2010. Confused yet? Needless to say this image could be a shot of any of these HTC devices.

I don’t know about you, but the only thing the above image tells me is the device runs HTC’s Sense UI and was taken underneath a fluorescent office light. I can’t make out the device, nor can I tell if it is an Android device. For all we know this could be a shot of the HTC Hero, which HTC made an announcement at the end of October that it was currently working hard to make its Sense UI compatible with the Android 2.0 (├ęclair) update. Perhaps the anonymous tipster (whom lives in Baltimore and currently enjoys the mostly cloudy, 61-degree weather) told BGR the image provided was in fact a shot of the HTC Passion. For now we’ll just take the image as pure speculation. If it is indeed an image of HTC’s Sense UI running in conjunction with Android 2.0, well then we will cross our fingers for the update to make its way to the HTC Droid Eris soon.

Monday, November 9, 2009

T-Mobile's BlackBerry 9700 Pricing

T-Mobile is expected to get the BlackBerry 9700 Bold2 on Nov. 16, and Phone Arena recieved a tip about pricing. You can pick up the new device for $199.99 with a standard 2-year contract. If you're affraid of commitment you can snag the Berry for a whopping $499.99 or 20 monthly payments of $22.50 on top of an Even More Plus plan. The Even More Plus plans allow you to customize a contract free plan that best suits you. The unlimited talk, text and web plan plus the monthly BlackBerry Bold2 payment of $22.50 comes in at around $100 - enough to make any iPhone user weep. If you're looking for a solid contract-free BlackBerry device I would say this is a pretty good option!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Verizon Gets a Phone That Isn't a DROID, Curve2 On Its Way

Verizon, Verizon, Verizon. It seems you've been dominating the news lately with all of your fancy releases. No, it isn't all of the looming Android releases we'll be talking about today.

The network wants to give it's BlackBerry lovers a gift with the Nov. 20 release of the Curve2. We knew Verizon would get the device, we just didn't know when. The Curve2 is a pretty solid device and the loved, yet hated trackball has been replaced with an optical trackpad. Good news is the device can be yours for $99 after the standard 2-year contract and $100 mail-in-rebate and comes in either Black or Smokey Violet for the ladies.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Motorola Droid Eris gets unboxed

I know we’re all counting down, so I don’t have to remind you Verizon Wireless is releasing two highly anticipated Android devices from Motorola Friday. The DROID may have overshadowed the Motorola Droid Eris, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve some drool-worthy attention. Photos of the new Android device being unboxed have surfaced over on BGR. Like we said before, this device may look like Sprint’s HTC Hero but this device is thinner and lighter. Oh, and it's $80 cheaper! Said to be the best Android device on the market aside from cousin DROID, I’d say this little baby is a steal.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sony Ericsson announces XPERIA X10 Android device

Sony Ericsson announced its flagship Android device, XPERIA X10, today with a press release and a flurry of images and videos. Sony Ericsson's first Android device will run Android 1.6 (cupcake) with its own branded "Rachael" user interface. The XPERIA X10 features an "infinite button" which allows you to aggregate all interactions with one person into one view. Yet another device that aims to integrate your social media experiences on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter with your everyday phone use.

The XPERIA X10 has a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 8.1-megapixel camera with autofocus, GPS with Google Maps, 3.5mm audio jack, WiFi and a 4-inch 480 x 854 WVGA scratch-resistant screen. There's only 1GB of built-in memory, but the device comes boxed with an 8GB microSD card for memory expansion. The XPERIA will come in Sensuous Black and Lustre White, and we're guessing will make its way to either T-Mobile or AT&T - although release date, pricing and carrier support were left out of the release. It looks like this is the year of the Android, everyone. We're just glad our Privus Mobile Caller ID application will work on all of the new upcoming Android devices!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sprint Android Talk

Sprint executive David Owens conducted a live chat with Sprint customers last Thursday and laid down somewhat of a roadmap for the remainder of this year and on into 2010. Owens stated the carrier would be selling multiple HTC Android devices in the coming year and also confirmed that both the HTC Hero and Samsung Moment will receive Android updates. HTC also confirmed yesterday that the manufacturer is working on a 2.0 update for the Hero, although both Sprint and HTC won’t give specifics as to when this update will be ready. Owens told customers that Windows Mobile 6.5 is currently being tested for the TouchPro2, but again did not confirm a date for the update.

Sprint is set to release Wi-Fi enabled Blackberries, including a Wi-Fi-capable version of the Tour. According to Owens, Android phones on Sprint’s network will become less expensive “as we see volume across the industry.” Well, all I’ll say is Sprint better hope Verizon isn’t really planning on introducing the HTC Droid Eris next week for $99! The carrier already lost a little over 800,000 customers to competing networks during the quarter, which is actually down from over a million in the second quarter of this year. Sprint CEO Dan Hess says he expects customer retention to be prettier in the final quarter of 2009. It seems the carrier is putting a lot of eggs in its Android basket, and with stiff competition coming its way via Verizon, I’m a little skeptical of that.

Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless made it clear they plan to become the leading network for Android users, but according to the Boy Genius Report’s sources, it sounds like the carrier plans to become the leading network for smartphones period. Apparently if Verizon can’t have the iPhone, the carrier plans to dethrone AT&T by carrying everything but Apple’s wonder device.

Curious as to which devices will join the big red in this “Best network, best smartphone” campaign? Either the BlackBerry Curve2 or the HTC Passion (aka Dragon) will launch on Black Friday, with the second launching in mid-December. The Motorola Calgary is also said to be a device joining the ranks along with a “couple BlackBerrys” and some unannounced devices. Counting the BlackBerry Storm, Verizon aims to release 15 new phones by year’s end. When you take into account the highly anticipated Motorola DROID and Droid Eris (which is now confirmed to be a mere $99) launching this Friday, I’d say the carrier has a fair shot. What I’d like to know is how many of you are planning to jump ship in order to pick up one of Verizon’s new Android devices?