Samsung Galaxy Note. First Look
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May 2010 Previews, Premiers of the Month
If April was a calm month, then May turned out to be very quiet. There were almost no new releases, no news that could attract attention. Given that, every model met the eye, though there were no breakthrough devices. But we managed to find some curious items.
Overall new models – 7
How To Read It
The price in Euro is shown for the European markets, for the US market it is usually safe to use the same number in dollars, but, of course, prices may differ, sometimes drastically.
The article structure is very simple: the Manufacturers are sorted in alphabetical order, you can quickly go to the manufacturer who interests you the most by clicking a link on top of the page. When describing a particular model we will be showing its approximate price when it appears on the market. Another factor is the grade models receive. I want to especially underline that this is a subjective grade formed from our understanding of a model, manufacturer, resources invested or not invested into its marketing. The grade can have a few variances, let’s look at them all:
The device, based on Snapdragon platform with 1 GHz CPU, is the direct sequel of Liquid E, moreover the phone’s got its own user interface, which is in no way similar to HTC Sense, but very comfortable to use. It can be easily turned off in the menu and then you will have a standard Android interface.
The device has a 3.7”AMOLED touch screen and works on Android 2.1 OS. It also has 512 MB of RAM and 2 GB of ROM, supports HSDPA, Wi-Fi b/g/n and Bluetooth data transfer standards. HDMI slot can be considered to be another advantage.
Acer Stream comes with 5 MPx camera with Auto Focus that can shoot HD video with up to 720ð definition. There is also a microSD slot (it supports memory cards up to 32 GB). Unusual solution for Acer is the customization of interface, instead of standard Android UI tools the device now has different panels, ability to look through used applications and also support of UPnP and DLNA, similarly to LumiRead book reader that was announced the same day. The phone is 11.2 mm thick. Inside they managed to find a space for a FM-transmitter. In order to improve the sound of speakers Dolby Mobile sound enhancement technology was implemented. The device supports DivX/XVid video formats right from the box.
This is a very pleasant model, which, priced right, can become a serious competitor to the other manufacturers’ models that have already been announced.
It is another addition to the senior phone segment. Unlike previous models this one has pop-out screen. The feature that is unlikely to be popular among grandmothers and grandfathers. As for the rest, it is a very interesting model, a kind of mistake correction.
Judging by the price, Just5 CP11 turns out to be a niche model. But if in case of the previous model it was fair to say that it will be bought equally by (or for) senior people and simply as the second phone for calls only, then in case of CP11 only the latter description is applicable. And problem is not in the price, which is too high for a very simple model with monochrome display and monophonic speakers. There is another problem. The device has three competitors: Just CP09, CP10 and pre-released Texet TM-B100. The last one resembles CP09 in every way including price tag. Compared to these phones CP11 looks interesting only because of its pop-out screen, but how many people will decide to buy their grandparents a phone with such a “feature”? Not many, I think. This is exactly why unlike previous models CP11 is a phone not for senior people, but for those who will use it as the second phone to call. The sales will tell whether it is true, but I think that it is.
The device is interesting from the point of view of mistake correction. CP10 had not very comfortable buttons, they were taken from CP09. Previous models used small inconvenient slot for the battery charger (it is hardly comfortable for the seniors to aim at it), in case of CP11 they added recharging cradle into which the phone can be placed easily. Finally CP11 has considerably larger screen than CP09 or 10. Altogether if the manufacturer will take out the wow effect of pop-out screen and make their new phone, for example CP12, the same as CP11 but with a normal big screen, it would be indeed the advancement of senior phone series. Just5 CP11 is the image model of this new category. It remains unclear how it will be met by the audience and will this segment have any further development.
The thing is that to my mind this is one of those few HTC Smartphones that is not overpriced from very beginning, the value for money with the Wildfire is good, even for the white market devices at the sales start. It is cheaper than HTC Hero, the price is comparable to the Tattoo, but the Wildfire is better than both in every way: presence of metal parts in the body, reliable optical trackball, big diagonal size of the screen, fresh Android and Sense. In the lower and middle price segments of Android platform the HTC Wildfire can cause a furor.
The thing is that unlike other manufacturers who cut here and there when they develop cheap devices, HTC cut the expenses only with one element – display. Yes the Wildfire screen is far from perfect, only 240x320 pixels. But even here they kept capacitive display and multitouch. The working speed is on the same level as in Desire or Legend, the same with interfaces. It also has the same camera, the same Android version and the newer Sense. Among possible competitors there is Samsung i5700 but this device is technically worse in many important specifications (it has less RAM, lower camera resolution, no FM radio, smaller diagonal size of the screen); moreover, it is sold with the basic Android version, that is why with the same or lower price tag it cannot be called a direct rival of Wildfire.
So at the end we have the first truly affordable Android smartphone, with all the chances to become a massive bestseller. Phone with an easily comprehensible interface, set of features and specs able to satisfy the majority of users.
Nokia announced the released of the new X-series phone – Nokia X2. The start of sales is expected in August 2010, approximate retail price in Europe will be 110 Euro.
A candybar Nokia X2 is equipped with 2.2” QVGA display, at the same time it weights 81 gram, the thickness of the phone is 13 mm. Just as the older Nokia X3 and Nokia X6, the new device is designed for the music playback and aimed at users who prefer to combine functionality of the phone and music player in one device. New Nokia X2 has two stereo speakers, dedicated buttons for instant music access, FM radio and supports microSD memory cards up to 16GB. Among other features there is 5 MPx camera that can shoot video.
The device has the Bluetooth 2.1 module for wireless stereo headsets and through the 3.5 mm audio jack the owner can connect his own headphones. Fast file transfer is available via USB 2.0, comfortable management of music files is exercised through Ovi Player PC client and Windows Media Player 11.
Samsung decided not to slow down the pace with which they release cheap touchscreen phones and immediately introduced another device with the Touchwiz Lite 2.0 UI to the market. It allows user to have up to 7 desktops with full screen widgets and intuitive 3x3 menu with Cartoon UI interface for young audience. The owners will be able to listen to their music by plugging in their headphones into 3.5-mm jack or by using two external speakers. Built-in memory can be expanded by memory cards up to 8GB. Also touchphone is equipped with 1,000 mAh battery. Samsung Ñ3300 allows you to listen to the favorite music in background mode while using browser or other applications. Affordable Samsung C3300 will be released in late July with an approximate price of 110 Euros.
Versace fashion house in cooperation with ModeLabs and LG introduced the new mobile phone under its brand. The model is called Unique, it will be available in June. The device looks exquisite: it is enclosed in a square ceramic body, finished with 18 karat yellow gold or stainless steel. The back of the phone is covered with handmade leather with Versace logo on it.
Unique has 3” touchscreen cowered with solid sapphire glass. The phone supports 3G networks, has a media player and a 5 MPx camera with a flash. In addition, it uses Dolby Mobile sound enhancement technology. According to Versace CEO, Unique is not only an innovative product from technological perspective, but it is also an upscale fashion accessory. The device will be available in several colors including black, brown, violet and grey. It will cost from 5 500 to 15 000 Euro.
Vertu Ascent 2010 (Vertu X)
Vertu introduced its new Ascent 2010. It is a device in classic form factor with 2” 16M colors QVGA screen protected by sapphire glass and with a numeric keyboard made of stainless steel. It works on S40 platform and is available with 8 or 32 GB of built-in memory. Moreover, the 8 GB phones have aluminum body with a grey or orange rubber or a brown leather finish. And the 32 GB device body is made of titanium and decorated with black or red leather.
Full review of Ascent 2010 will be published in few days.
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Published 04 June 2010
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