The i8910 – the day after

Now that the orgasmic explosion of excitement is over (ok, this is a lie; I’m still pretty excited), what do all the various features and functions of the i8910 mean?

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The Samsung i8910 – It is mine

Holy crap holy crap holy holy crap holy crap crap!

It’s confirmed. It’s all confirmed.

Excuse me a moment while I cool down and compose myself.  This is like porn for me.

(Five minutes pass.)

OK, ok…I think I’m ready.  First off, let me introduce you to the Samsung i8910, in the flesh.  Yesterday’s rumors proved 100% accurate, which I must say is a bit of a rarity.  Usually with rumors one or two things are either off or completely wrong, which leads to disappointment and general sad panda-ness when the “real” device is actually unveiled either in additional spy shots or officially.

But this time it all proved true—and I could not be happier.

Let’s go through the specs that, thanks to the shots, are now fact:

  • S60 5th Edition with touch
  • GPS
  • WiFi with DLNA
  • 8 MP camera (3264×2448 )
  • HDMI-out
  • High Definition video recording (1280×720), plus D1 (720×480), VGA (640×480) and QVGA (320×240)
  • DivX support
  • UPDATE: 3.5mm jack (according to text)
  • UPDATE: Capacitive (glass) screen (according to text)
  • UPDATE: AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diod) display

What is still unknown is the processor (though it must be very powerful to even be able to handle 720p video recording and playback—possibly an OMAP 3430 or similar chip) and the screen size.  S60 5.0 is known to be capable of at least nHD (640×360) resolution, so the i8910 is at least that or possibly higher (it’s currently rumored at WVGA, 800×480).

I haven’t been this impressed with a phone in a very long while.  There have been exciting phones, yes—the first slew of 8MP phones were some, but the feeling faded rather quickly—but this is the first phone to completely knock it out of the park.  More often than not, phones don’t deliver everything; there’s always give and take.  You want an 8MP camera?  You’re not getting a touchscreen.  You want 8MP and a touchscreen?  You’re not getting WiFi and it’s not going to be a smartphone.  You want WiFi and a smartphone?  Well, it won’t be 8MP, buddy.  This is the first phone to incorporate literally every 2009-spec feature and then some.  The ONLY thing this phone doesn’t have—and it’s due to the sheer apparent thinness of the device—is a Xenon flash.  MWC may reveal more awesome phones, but I doubt many will be as good as this one, and I can’t believe any will be better.  At least, not this early in the year.

UPDATE: In addition to everything else, it also apparently has a capacitive screen (think iPhone) which is AMOLED (which saves a ton on battery life).  INSANE.

More drool-worthy pictures after the break.

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Samsung Leaksville

Just came across this leaked i8910, codenamed “Acme.”

If the rumors prove true, and I hope they do, we’re looking at an S60 touch device with an 8MP camera and—wait for it!—HD video recording! That’s a minimum of 1024×768 (XGA), folks, though most likely 1280×720 (720p). That certainly blows the measly 640×480 recording I’m used to out of the water.

If memory serves, this is one of two 8MP phones that will be announced at MWC in less than two weeks. The other one should be the i8510 successor with optical zoom. It will be interesting to see how the other specs of these two devices compare—optical zoom is a very nice feature, but how will the video recording be? And will the OZ model have a touchscreen? Time will tell. Either way, this i8910 is very enticing.

Also the codename is amusing. Acme. Reminds me of the Looney Tunes cartoons where the Acme company was able to build just about anything. Perhaps that is the idea.

UPDATE: Another report, this time suggesting a very large screen.  We shall see.  One thing’s for sure—MWC is going to rock.

Interesting developments in Network Land

Recently Verizon bought Alltel for 16 quadrillion dollars and as such, was ordered by the FCC to give up some of its wireless network/spectrum in certain market, lest they become a monopoly and therefore more evil than they are already.

Apparently one of those market areas that needs to be given up includes Omaha and a sizable chunk of the rest of the state, which were Alltel strongholds.

Interestingly, as far as I know, this CDMA market operates off 800 Mhz. AT&T, one of the companies interested in scooping it up—and the one most likely to be able to financially-speaking—operates off 1900 Mhz in this area. So, if AT&T wins and uses the spectrum, it may logically follow they they will augment the recently-activated 1900 Mhz HSDPA network with 850 Mhz, which is able to penetrate buildings much better.

That is just my speculation and is assuming a lot, but it would be exciting if it unfolds as such.

The sieve is open–MWC seems ripe for 12MP hotness

There are now tons of reports out in the Interwebz that Samsung does indeed seem to be prepping a 12 MP camera phone for MWC starting on the 16th.  Of course, they may also announce it early on the 9th as previous reports suggested.  The best news is that it’s supposed to be ready to ship at the end of the month and will be available sometime in the spring in Europe.

If the device is supposed to be an i8510 INNOV8 successor or follow-on, I expect it to have a mile-long spec list.  After all, if the headlining feature is a 12 MP camera, it’s bound to be good.  If the i8510 had  8GB and 16GB versions, I expect the successor to have 16GB and 32GB versions.  If the i8510 had a single LED bulb, I expect at least a dual-LED flash, preferably Xenon (though I’m not getting my hopes up).  If the i8510 used S60 3.2 I expect the successor to have S60 5.0, perhaps even with touch.

We’ll see how much of this proves true.

UPDATE: Even more hotness. Seems as though the 12 MP phone will be using the proprietary Samsung interface (hopefully TouchWiz), while the “true” i8510 successor, an 8 MP unit with 3x optical zoom,  will be using S60.

Verrrry very interesink

If this shoddily-translated Korean report is true, apparently we’ll be seeing a 12 MP camera phone out of Samsung at MWC this year.  (No, not a “1200” MP phone as the article states; that’s for next year.)

While it’s generally regarded as fact that 12 MP phones will be released this year—both Samsung and Sony announced mobile 12 MP sensors around November of last year—I wasn’t expecting an actual device so early.  Of course, maybe there will be no device yet and this report is bologna, but it’s still interesting nonetheless.  Of course, Samsung is a Korean company and if anyone had insider information it would probably be the Koreans.

Whether this device materializes on the 9th, which is when the “biggest release of the year” is supposed to be announced, remains a mystery.

Unless Nokia pulls a rabbit out of its ass, I expect Samsung to be crowned the Cameraphone King at MWC this year, since it was already rumored that an 8 MP phone with optical zoom was to be introduced, and now we have evidence the 12 MP behemoth will also be showcased.

My mouth salivates.

My predictions for MWC 2009

On a personal note, I wish it was still referred to as 3GSM.  Sounds a lot cooler than MWC.  Especially when you learn what “MWC” stands for–“Mobile World Congress.”  Sounds like white people in suits.  Sounds like no fun.

Anyway, last year’s “MWC’ was pretty good.  Not great, but good.  It saw the intro of Sony Ericsson’s Xperia X1, which in my opinion stole the show, even though it is only a mediocre device, spec-wise, and ended up being released like a bajillion years later.  It also saw the announcement of Nokia’s N96, which is a disgrace to the Nseries brand.  But, hey.

This year looks like it’s going to be amazing.  Knock your socks off awesome.

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3G in Omaha

My last 3G in Omaha post is probably the most popular on the whole friggin’ blog, and I’m comforted that some people are as dorky as I am.

Unfortunately, it’s also the one I didn’t update when the switch was actually flipped.

So, it shall come as no surprise to anyone that 3G/HSDPA is now deployed in Omaha and has been for over a month.  There were delays, stops, forks in the road, and probably a few murders, but it all got figured out in the end.

For the record, HSDPA in Omaha is deployed ONLY on the 1900 Mhz band, as is 2G EDGE.  There is no 850 Mhz in Omaha to speak of, though that doesn’t mean they’ll someday augment the current network with some 850.  Of course, by the time they do, we’ll have 4G LTE and no one will care.

The speeds are…good.  Not great.  I’m certainly having a blast surfing the ‘Net on 3G, but it’s not as ZOMG SUPR AMAZIN like I was expecting.  Indeed, on my Nokia N95 and N82, both of which are limited to EDGE in the States, my browsing experience is only minimally worse than on my AT&T-branded Nokia 6650 with HSDPA 850/1900.  That said, I’m glad it’s here and am happy to take advantage of it.  The only significant difference in speed seems to be sending and receiving email.

The thing that sucks now is that I need to be more picky when I get new phones.  Before, my only requirement was quadband GSM.  Now, I require that and at least dualband 850/1900 HSDPA.  Nokia does a good job getting NAM versions of their Nseries line, so I think I’ll be safe.

But just as I say that…

…Something else comes along to blow away my ideas.

I was set on the N85 just a few hours ago, but information has surfaced that makes me wonder otherwise.

One of the great cell phone resources I have is a Russian site called Mobile-Review.  The owner has inside information into a lot of companies and loves to drop hints about upcoming devices in his reviews.  Well, in his review of the N85 (and the N79 that was also announced today), he said that there will be about 7 new S60 devices from Nokia presented in February (at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona), and that two of them will essentially turn the market on its head.

Several things are known about Nokia now: They’re working on an 8MP phone.  Several companies including Sony Ericsson, LG, and Samsung have announced 8 MP phones, and each are pretty impressive, so it’s only a matter of time before Nokia shows them how it’s done.

Two: They’re working on a touchscreen flagship.  Their current touch phone they are about to unveil—the XpressMusic/Media 5800 “Tube” (which was showcased in The Dark Knight)—is a mid-end phone for the masses, though it has high-end specs like WLAN, GPS, etc.  There is a second touch phone in the works that will be “flagship” status, which means, in other words, armed to the teeth.  The 5800’s screen resolution is already known to be 640×360, and apparently the flagship touch device is to be even denser.  It’s speculated further that the touch flagship and the 8MP phone are actually one in the same, and I tend to agree.

A rendering of the 5800 Tube, based on live spypics.

A rendering of the 5800 "Tube," based on live spypics.

Three: On the business side, there is a device floating around called the “E77,” which apparently has a touchscreen and a side-sliding keyboard.  It’s supposed to be far superior to even the third-generation iPhone that will likely make an appearance next summer.

The touch flagship and this “E77” are the likely candidates for being unveiled in February and subsequently released in the summer sometime (or before).

As much as I like the N85, I did just get the N82, which I LOVE, and don’t really want to part with it anytime soon.  And I’d much rather wait even upwards of a year to get my hands on an 8MP touchscreen Nokia flagship rather than get a phone that is only marginally better than what I have.  The N85, as awesome as it sounds, would realistically only be an incremental upgrade, whereas this device to be unveiled in February would be more than deserving of my money.

So, there we go.  Waiting it shall be.

Realistically, what I expect the touchscreen flagship to have is a 5-8 MP autofocus CZ camera with face detection and dual-LED flash, video recording at either the standard 640×480 or possibly bumped up to 720×480, WLAN, Bluetooth, screen resolution of at least 640×360 but possibly increased to even 960×540 (apparently some S60 Touch phones will exceed the densest Windows Mobile screens), AM-OLED screen, FM radio/FM transmitter, 3.5 mm jack, microUSB with charging, and all the other bells and whistles common on a high-end Nokia.

You all are going to shoot me, but…

…I’m seriously thinking about selling my N82 in about two to three months. Nope, guess not.  See above post.

*Dodges the tomatoes

Through a site called ImportGSM.com, I can sell back any phone for “fair market value,” and since my N82 is NEW, for all intents and purposes, I expect I could recoup almost all of my money.

You can either choose to receive a check in the mail, or a coupon on a new phone.

Well, you can guess which I want.

That’s right: Today Nokia announced the Nokia N85, which is probably the most revolutionary phone they’ve announced since the N95 two-plus years ago.

The N85 is being billed as the N95 replacement/true successor, rather than the N96. The N96 is more than 1.5 times as much money, and is simply too bulky and unoriginal for “average” people to purchase.

The N85, on the other hand, combines many brand-new technologies. It has an FM transmitter, which allows you to broadcast music on an FM band and pick it up in your car or on a stereo. VERY cool. It is also the first Nokia phone to have triband HSDPA, which means GLOBAL roaming in both the US and Europe on 3G frequencies. Awesome. It also has an AM-OLED screen, which is a brand-new technology that doesn’t require a backlight. Backlights are the main battery drains on a phone (except for making calls), and the AM-OLED display removes this, thus boosting the battery life tremendously. That, and it has a 1200 mAh battery—the largest in an Nseries phone. It also has S60 FP2, which has pretty transitions and other eye candy. The N85’s D-pad also doubles as a scroll wheel, similar to an iPod.  Not to mention, it’s both smaller and thinner than the N82.

It’s also set for immediate release—well, close to immediate. October, I think.

I am amazed by the phone. I love my N82 to pieces, but this phone brings something new to the table, and I’m very interested. If I were unable to trade in phones and recoup money, I would never consider it, but the prospect of slashing possibly $400 off the initial $650 price tag is very appealing to me. If I wait a little longer, that price is surely to drop.

Dunno. I’m tempted. I admit it’s an odd move even for me, but this phone is something special.

PETA forces close on phone ad

I’m not fan of Verizon and basically indifferent to PETA, but I do not see a problem with this ad.  OK, the dogs (pit bulls) are in a reletively stereotypical role, since while the animals do have a penchant for killing and maiming things, not all of them do.  So I see that.  But PETA is for the “ethical treatment of animals,” which to me means physical treatment.  The animals (person included) are clearly not harmed.  Emotionally harmed, though—is that the argument?  That the dogs are in a stereotypical role?  I refuse to believe the dogs have sophisticated enough emotions to understand the role they were placed in (much less what “stereotypical” is), but regardless, PETA got 7,000 people to send letters to VZW and they pulled the ad.

Is there something unethical here I’m just not seeing?

Is it wrong to be in love with a battery?

Well, I don’t care, because I am.

My Nokia N82’s battery is AMAZING.  Absolutely great.  Today, I’ve used WLAN, checked e-mail, used Bluetooth, checked Websites, placed calls, sent texts, listened to music, listened to the FM radio, taken pictures, used the Xenon flash…possibly more.  So far, no bars have been depleted from the battery.

That doesn’t mean the battery is at 100%; that’s impossible.  It’s just that the battery hasn’t gone down enough for one of the seven bars on the main screen to disappear.

I got pretty good battery life out of my N95 even though stereotypically it was supposed to get bad battery life.  So since The N82 has a larger battery, this bodes VERY well.  I am extremely happy.

To get better battery life out of your electronic devices, it’s important not to over-charge them.  In other words, don’t leave them plugged in over night.  After a while, the battery will wear down and not perform as well.  It won’t happen after a week of over-charging, and the change may not be very noticible, but it will happen.

That’s another reason why Nokia is so awesome—when the battery is done charging, the phone gives a very audible BEEP to let you know it’s done.  As such, I don’t charge my phones over night so I can listen for the beep.

Mobile Applications—not that anyone personally cares

Now that I have time to mess around with it, I think I have all the applications I need (for the time-being) installed on my N82.

So far I’ve got:

  • Google Maps—Can’t do without that; quick GPS fixes and local searches in a pinch
  • Amaze GPS—Free turn-by-turn GPS voice navigation
  • Midomi—Pseudo song track recognition thing
  • Internet Radio—Nokia program; streaming radio over the Web
  • IM+—AIM, Yahoo, MSN, and ICQ all under one roof.  I hope to use this one often
  • WWIGO—Webcam Wherever I Go; turns the phone camera into a webcam over Bluetooth; useful since I don’t own a webcam

So far so good.  I’m always on the prowl for more, though.

OK, Mr. American Radio Batman Announcer…

When you’re doing your little Batman giveaway commercial, it’s pronounced NO-kia, not no-KIA.

no-KIA is what you say in response to the question: “Tarzan, do you own a Kia?”  I realize Nokia has very little market share in the United States, but that’s no reason to mispronounce their name.  You’re putting the emPHAsis on the wrong sylLABle and you sound like a moron.  Please stop.

NO-kia, NO-kia, NO-kia.

LED vs Xenon…FIGHT!

The winner is clear, as I knew it would be.

In the fight between an LED flash and a Xenon flash, there is no contest.

The N95, while close to perfection, is beat out in the camera department by the N82.  Low-light conditions were not the N95’s friend, as they were either too dark, blurry, or both.

The N82, with its Xenon gas flash, eliminates any problems related to darkenss, night, or anything relating with or pertaining to black (DAMN I did it again! 😛 ).

Following the jump will reveal the true difference between the two flashes.

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