More phone updates

Not much to report recently, although this just caught my eye.

Highlights include:

  • 13.5 hours of talktime
  • Up to 3 hours of video recording at 720p (4.1 hours for D1)

In other words, the battery life in the final units will be seriously improved from the prototypes.

OmniaHD uses OMAP 3440?

Another link into the mystery of what processor the OmniaHD uses, this one in Italian.  However, it’s pretty easy to understand, and says that the phone uses an OMAP 3440 running 800 Mhz.  The 3440 is capable of HD recording and playback, while the 3430 is not.

The difference is in the caps

Something I noticed about the Nokia N86 versus the Samsung Omnia HD: Nokia’s handset has all of its connectors exposed, while the Samsung unit has caps for all of them.

While I can’t speak for Samsung units across all time, I can make statements about Nokia’s Nseries phones.  Except for the microSD slot, all the hardware “extras,” including the 3.5mm jack and the USB slot, are exposed.  This leads to dust and pocket lint getting inside, and well, it looks like of messy.

On the other hand, the Omnia HD’s 3.5mm jack and USB slot are both protected under a flap.

The really odd part is that my Nokia 6650, from AT&T, has everything under a flap—why does an expensive Nseries phone have exposed connectors while a $60 on-contract phone has things protected?

OMAP3 powers the Omnia HD

I had my suspicions this would be true when I first read about what the i8910 could do, but this article seems to confirm it. The Omnia HD is powered by an OMAP 3 chip with a dedicated graphics processor.  Which kind of OMAP 3 is unclear—there’s a 3430, which is what the Palm Pre is using, and is the most likely candidate for the i8910—but regardless, this means the phone will be incredibly fast and responsive.  The dedicated graphics processor will allow all those fancy animations to render and process that much more quickly too.

You can see some of the cool animations and effects (that don’t exist on Nokia’s S60 5.0 devices) in this video:

It’s 2006 all over again–the real Nokia N95 sucessor has arrived as the Omnia HD

Don’t let the title mislead you—when I say it’s 2006, that’s a good thing.  It was in 2006 that Nokia shocked the world when it unveiled the N95, a phone that even by today’s harsh standards is still a very good phone.

It was today, Feb. 16, 2009, that Samsung has announced the first phone that in my opinion is able to fully replace every aspect of one’s mobile life, just as the N95 did three years ago.

The Samsung i8910 OmniaHD is far more impressive than any other mobile presented at MWC thus far.  The only thing that can rival it at this point is the Sony Ericsson Idou, but that is just a concept for now and not a real competitor due to its far-future release.

The Omnia HD incorporates a gigantic touchscreen, frickin’ HD video recording, and—this is the part the impressed me—triband HSPA, which means it’s fully usuable in North America on the 1900 Mhz frequency band.  WOOHOO!

Let’s take a look at the complete spec sheet:

  • Symbian S60 5.0
  • GSM/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900
  • HSDPA (7.2 Mbps)/HSUPA 900/1900/2100
  • 123x58x12.9mm
  • GPS/aGPS
  • 3.7-inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen @ 640×360
  • 8/16 GB of internal ROM
  • microSD slot up to 32 GB
  • WLAN b/g with DLNA
  • Proximity sensor/Accelerometer
  • 8 MP (3264×2448 ) camera
  • Face/Smile/Blink detection
  • Geotagging
  • HD video recording (1280×720@24fps)
  • microUSB (with charging)
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • HDMI port
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • FM radio with RDS/FM transmitter
  • Digital compass
  • 1500 mAh battery

In other words: I just jizzed in my pants.

I’ll have my full opinion on this amazing phone later, as well as updates for other phones.  Until then, salivate over those specs.

First Omnia HD/i8910 official photo

The first official press photo has leaked from…somewhere.  It matters not where it came from—what matters is that it’s here and we can clearly see that it’s running S60 (as evidenced by the signal strength and battery indicators at top) and that it has a custom TouchWiz skin/overlay in place of the standard standby screen.

I was wondering if Samsung would put such an overlay in the phone, and now it’s clear they did.  I think it’s a great move and will help greatly with the phone’s finger-friendliness.  Couple that with the rumored capacitive AMOLED screen, and this phone will be a pleasure to use.

If you don’t like TouchWiz, like all S60 phones, the custom overlay can be turned off and the standard standby screen can used instead.

Samsung’s i8910 to officially be the Omnia HD

Or, specifically, the OmniaHD if the superscript is to be recognized.

I think it’s a very interesting name choice.  Of course, I prefer numerical names for phones the best (in this case, the i8910), but at least this is a cool name.  They decided against the codename of “Acme,” which is a relief since it can be easily confused with a pimple breakout.

What’s most interesting about the name is that there is already a Samsung Omnia in existence—a Windows Mobile device that shares essentially no characteristics with this new Omnia HD except for form factor.  So, this would lead me to believe that “Omnia” is not just representative of one device and its successors, but an entire product line or sub-brand.  “Omnia” may represent a new brand of Samsung high-end super smartphones.

Either way, at least its announcement is official now.

Source: PhoneArena

No 12MP phone this time, folks

Samsung apparently will not be introducing a shiney new 12MP cameraphone at MWC on Monday, despite earlier rumors (from the same original source, I think) that they would.

Oh well.

There are plenty of months left in the year.

S8300 UltraTOUCH a sign of things to come next week

Samsung’s “big” announcement today was the S8300.  Sure, it’s no i8910, but it’s still a pretty remarkable device.

Despite being primarily designed as a fashion phone and not a power device, it still packs the most up-to-date specifications around including an 8MP autofocus camera with dual-LED flash, D1 video recording, GPS, and a 2.8-inch WQVGA AMOLED capacitive screen.  Pretty impressive for such a slim phone.  What it lacks is WiFi, but for a feature phone this is partly excusable.  Still, some companies these days are sticking WiFi in their feature handsets and Samsung so far hasn’t gotten on board with that trend.

All this makes me more excited for the Feb. 16 announcement of the i8910, which has gotten confirmed by two independent sources as also using an AMOLED capacitive glass display.  It would certainly make sense, as all current Samsung touch devices feature such screens.

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.

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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