Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Trying out new candidates

So, my poor sad Nokia 9300 communicator finally passed away this week. Neglected and abused, dropped repeatedly to the floor, broken hinge and scratched screen. Particularly sad as the replacement about to be dropped in from HQ (the E90) has missed it's landing Zone and fallen behind enemy lines (well, or maybe something about technical problems). Plus, I fancied a slightly less brick like phone.

So on the basis of many reviews I went for the HTC Tytn II. First impressions are amazing, the details that HTC take care of are unheard of: Beautifully boxed, included case, spare stylus. Moving on to the software the addition of the touch add on for the today screen is a boon, and little touches abound, with the addition of CMContact ( a free little add on) you have iPhone like contact list (and a choice of threaded SMS). Charges and syncs off standard mini USB. Incredible GPS reception making google maps a delight. In short there is much to like, if not love.

Sadly, there are issues, mainly with Windows Mobile and not the device. Thanks to a lousy 3G reception in my area I have constant drops in signal as the phone ranges between 3G and 2G. Even with a QVGA screen (the VGA WM devices are REALLY slow) I missed several calls due to having the audacity to close the phone as I picked it up (WM6 taking to long to re-orientate the screen). A battery cover that makes the device screen twist alarmingly as you remove it, likewise, the screen tends to open when removed from it's case. And worst of all is simply the inbuilt WM6 phone features: Vibrate that is either on or off, and when it's on it vibrates like you wouldn't believe with none of the little "pulses" we normally get. Indicator LEDs which are a Million times to bright and flash ALL the time.

So It went back, i'm sure in the future a ROM update will fix many of these issues, but for the time being I'm riding with a Nokia e61i, ugly as Sin, but It never puts a foot wrong.

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Once more into the breach dear Social

Looks like our friends at the "social" are ready to take on the might of Apple once more (please no sniggering at the back) and to be frank; Revision 2 is looking a lot more promising than the first poor units to attempt to storm the beach.

It's also pleasing to see that the new Zune 2.0 units have now got 2 Sku to better compete with the Nano/Video combo and that Podcasts are now supported. As a some time Windows Mobile user I really would have liked to have seen a touchFlo inspired makeover and a little more consumer sensibilities creep into that line to take on the iPhone.

Full specs and speculation are over at Engadget, the gist of it is thus:

New 80GB Hard drive model, small increase in screen size (but no increase in resolution)

New 4GB/8GB flash models

No WiFi song purchasing but you can now sync to your PC via wiFi

Zune store going DRM free (rather nice I think)

New touch sensitive d-Pad (still only four directional mind you)

Availability November, pricing: 80GB $250, 8GB $200, 4GB $150

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