Samsung and LG Declare War on the iPhone and the Tube

28 09 2008

Today’s new handset announcements are a clear sign of how fast the cellular world is developing. Just yesterday (not literally) the N95 shocked us all with its 5mp camera, the first of its kind on a phone. Today, Samsung and LG showed us all that we have come a long way since those ancient days of the 5mp N95, not to mention the 2mp iPhone.

Samsung announced the M8800, which has some pretty crazy specs, such as an 8 mp camera, auto focus, face recognition with smile detection and blink detection, WDR (wide dynamic range), ASR (advanced shake reduction), GPS geotagging, ISO 1600, WVGA (720×480 pixels) and VGA (640 x 480 pixels) @30fps video recording. That is just the camera’s specs. The phone has built in GPS, an accelerometer, and a feature that I found to be pretty cool, integrated Shozu. Shozu can be set up to automatically upload any video or picture you take, to Facebook, MySpace, or any other social network or email account.

The M8800 sounds like a pretty cool phone, but as I always say, no such thing as a perfect phone. In my opinion, its two down sides are its relatively small display (I know it is 3.2 inches, but I cannot help but to compare it to the 3.8 inch HTC Touch HD’s screen), and its LACK OF Wifi. Why, Samsung, why?

The lack of WiFi is going to be its downfall, and that is where LG comes in the picture. They announced the KC910 Renoir. Also an 8mp monster, with all the other features that the M8800 has, plus Wifi. So why is the Renoir not the perfect phone? Only a 3 inch screen! That is just too small for me.

Both these handsets, with their imperfections, are really groundbreaking phones. Who could have imagined just 3 years ago, that using your phone, you would be able to take a photo with enough megapixels to hang as a billboard on a highway or bridge?

Check out Samsung’s ad for the M8800 below.

-Hillel

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Nokia’s Jumping in The Ring, Apple’s Taking off The Gloves

28 09 2008

In the never ending war between cellphone manufacturers, a lot has transpired over the last 24 hours. It looks like Nokia is going to be announcing their own iPhone Killer (I cannot tell you how much I hate that term, but it definitely says something about how revolutionary the iPhone really is). As I recall, the Tube (the name of the new Nokia, which leads me to my regular question: who comes up with these names?) was introduced (unofficially of course) before the release of the iPhone, so as opposed to the Omnia and others like it, it was not a response to the iPhone.

The Tube looks like a pretty nice phone, nothing we have never seen before, but as I have said many times, when it is being released by the market leader, Nokia, it does not matter what we have seen in the past from “small” players like Samsung or HTC.

In any case, Apple has no intention on sitting back and letting Nokia take over its touch screen market dominance. They have just begun to sell the first ever version of the unlocked iPhone in Hong Kong for $695. Worried, Apple? Maybe next time you should allow your users to replace their batteries or send an MMS!

What is left to be seen is, will the S60 full Touch UI compete with the iPhone’s interface? Because we all know that the user experience is what is going to be the deal maker or breaker for Nokia. Check out the first demo of the Tube’s UI in the video below.

-Hillel


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iPhone Coming to Kenya- Why not Israel??

27 09 2008

Hey Everyone,

I know you haven’t heard from me in a while but things have been pretty crazy around here. I launched my company’s online forum this past week and its a lot of work to get it off the ground. I haven’t been reading anything this past week except for the blog, and my Google Reader shows it, over 1000 unread. It’s really great that I have a partner in crime, Hillel, who has taken over the work and done a really great job, Thanks man!

Ok, on with my rant. Apple has extended its country list for planned iPhone distribution. On this list Botswana, Kenya, Mali, Malta, Senegal, Guinea, Egypt and Jordan. Why is Israel left off this list? I am not saying anything bad about Kenya but come on Apple, are Israelis that hard to deal with??

-Aryeh

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HTC Touch HD Video Review- The King?

26 09 2008

There is a new in-depth video review of the HTC Touch HD circulating the Web this morning. The screen looks absolutely stunning and the OS looks very responsive. However, we know there really is no perfect phone (yet) so I knew there had to be a catch. Fortunately, the catch is not something I cannot handle (that means I can handle it). The 5mp camera has no flash. Not the end of the world, there could be worse things, like no WiFi or GPS. I will never understand cellphone manufacturers and why they do these kinds of things. How hard can it be for HTC to offer a flash? My old Nokia 6288 had a flash!!

In any case, for me, this topic of cellphones might actually become a practical one in the near future. I am now using a CDMA phone (ouch!), and  I was just notified that my cellular carrier will be joining the 21st century by year’s end and switching to GSM. You know what that means? It means that it is time to decide what phone to get.

As of now, I am leaning toward the Omnia (I can’t help it, I am shallow and it is so pretty), but a lot can happen until the end of the year, so let’s wait and see.

-Hillel

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Mobile Battle

25 09 2008

The mobile world has come a really long way in an extremely short period of time. With new innovative handsets being released every day, and features such as 3G, WiFi, and 5 mp cameras becoming standard, the question is, what phone, in the current market, is the real king?

I am going to list a few that really stand out in my head, feel free to vote in the comments:

Apple iPhone 3G: There is no doubt that the iPhone changed the mobile world more than any other single handset. Whether you are a fan of the iPhone or believe it to be mostly hype, you cannot deny the outstanding job Apple has done with its revolutionary interface. Yes, it lacks MMS capabilities and a video camera, but with that amazing screen and unprecedented user experience, does it really matter?

HTC Touch HD: I do not remember the last time I was this excited about a phone. The Touch HD is the only phone out there that might actually have a nicer screen (3.8 inches vs. the iPhone’s 3.5) than the iPhone. It definitely packs in more features with its 5mp camera and full multimedia capabilities, but it is yet to be seen, will the interface really compete with that of the iPhone or will it be another HTC Touch Diamond-like disaster?

Nokia N96: When it was announced, it was huge news, but will its dual slide design and 16GB memory compete with current phones out there? Not feeling it!

Samsung INNOV8: Now this is one sexy phone. I think one of the nicest phones on the market, but will the 8mp camera make it good enough to play with the big boys?

Samsung Omnia: I know I just wrote this about five lines up, but I do not remember the last time I was this excited about a phone.  I recently handled this phone, and I have to say, it is the nicest phone I have ever personally held in my hand. Instead of talking about what the Omnia has, why don’t I just ask, what does it NOT have?

I think that is enough selection for you to make your choice. I purposely left out the new Google phone i.e the HTC Dream or G1, because I do not feel, even with Android, that this phone is in the same league as the others. Its lack of Bluetooth options (no file transfer or stereo Bluetooth), 3.5mm headphones jack, and its older 3G just prevent it from being able to play in the major leagues. Knowing Google, I am sure their G2 will be a different story.

So, which one of the above handsets (or did I leave out a phone that is the real king? E71 perhaps? Maybe some boldness?), is the current king of the mobile world?

-Hillel

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Two Very Useful Web-Based Applications

25 09 2008

Although this is not generally a topic we blog about, I recently came across two websites that most people would find to be very useful:

  • mediaconverter.org: A great site, which enables you to download any video from the Web in pretty much any format. There have been many instances that I wanted to download a video from YouTube, but was unable to do so. This site not only allows you to do that, but it also enables you to choose your desired format. It also offers 2GB of online storage, if you want to store a video or audio of yours. A pretty cool site that I am sure I will use often in the future.
  • resizenow.co.cc: A very useful Israeli site that enables you to resize any picture online, then download it to your hard drive. Pretty simple concept. There have been so many times that I got an email with picture attachments that were so huge, they were extremely difficult to view. On all those occasions, I thought to myself, why couldn’t the sender just resize the picture first? The answer is that most people do not know how to use applications to edit their photos. This site makes that task completely idiot proof. Also a great site I will definitely use in the future.

Just thought I would share these sites, hope you enjoy them!

-Hillel

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The Flip Side of The G1: Android

24 09 2008

Contrary to my thoughts on the G1, Android itself is pretty amazing.

Check out these videos:

-Hillel

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