The keyboard was pretty good on it, though there is no space between the keys, so it is a bit cramped. The screen is a bit odd at that resolution, but it seems to work. The Start menu has four rows, allowing it a lot to fit on the screen.
The device was speedy to use and seemed like a nice middle of the road front-facing QWERTY device. Will it beat out a Treo Pro? Tough call, but I do like the minimalist look of the Treo Pro better. Still, this seems like a compelling device and Samsung has been quite successful with this line so far.
This particular Windows phone will be available Oct. 11 on Sprint.
We all know HTC likes to re-skin the OS with its TouchFlo/Sense UI systems, but LG, in one of its first Windows Mobile devices, has gone way, way beyond what even HTC has done so far. From playing with the phone for some time, it seems that LG has re-skinned roughly 95 percent of the OS — in fact the only thing that I recognized as being Windows Mobile was the Start bar, Mobile Internet Explorer and Start menu, everything else felt like a different OS altogether. E-mail, SMS, settings, menus, contacts, dial pad all felt like they were part of some proprietary operating system, like a "feature phone" on steroids.
A very strange experience, but not bad either. The soft keyboard seemed okay and the 5-megapixel camera was actually quite fast with very good results. Plus the vibrate/tactile feedback just plain works well here.
I wont comment if it is necessarily better than TouchFLO (we'll leave that to you), but considering the devices is running on the MSM-7200a chipset, it actually handled quite well — it was fast, responded well to touch and their layout grew on me after awhile. What was really weird though is how there is no Windows key on the device. In fact, the only keys are those Home/End keys, with the traditional softkeys as touch-only.
We have to give credit though: LG has brought its game face to the table, doing some quite impressive re-workings of the OS. And considering they're the new guy in town, this is quite remarkable.
The good:Wow. What a device. If there was one phone that blew me away it would be the massive TG01. The combination of a huge 4.1-inch screen and 1GHz Snapdragon was an experience to witness.
When Windows Mobile 6.5 hits 1GHz it becomes something different. It is so fluid, fast and quick to the touch it changes the game. And that screen was just this big, bold, beautiful source of visual goodness--I was like a moth staring at the spotlight.
It was a little strange surrendering all hardware buttons--even the Phone/Send and End keys are part of the screen, but all in all it works just because it is so huge. Now I see why HTC made the HD2, they must have played with TG01. Man if this phone had a capacitive screen, it would be the Zune phone that everyone wants.
The bad: Well for one, there is no promise of this thing coming to the States, so this may have been my only chance. Number two, the soft keyboard was awful. Perhaps the screen sensitivity could be tweaked or there are other versions to be made, but I literally missed every other letter when typing. Maybe they can license HTC's fantastic soft keyboard. Finally, there is no 3.5mm headset jack.
Availability: Now, import only. Price varies.
Want to see this beast in action? Take a look after the break! Trust me, it's worth it.
To wrap up the Microsoft NYC Open House this week, we got to play with some of the latest and greatest Windows phones featuring Windows Mobile 6.5. It was all the usual suspects if you will: AT&T Touch Pro 2 (aka Tilt 2), Pure; Verizon Imagio. (Toshiba TG01, Sprint Intrepid & the LG GM750 were covered elsewhere).
All in all we came away very impressed. All the manufacturers present have really stepped up their game and we think customers win out in the end with this years crop of WM6.5 phones.
Read on for some great photos and our thoughts on these three devices.
The AT&T Tilt2 has vanished from AT&T's inventory. At least online that is.
Checking both the main AT&T Wireless website and the Premiere Customer site (business accounts) the Tilt2 is no where in sight. We've seen the Tilt2 marked as "out of stock" and offered as refurbished but never completely taken off the inventory listing.
The only three remaining Windows Phones listed with AT&T are the Samsung Jack (currently out of stock), the Samsung Propel and HP Glisten.
Granted this could be a regional issue or just a simple oversight. But could this be a sign that AT&T is making room for the upcoming Windows Phone 7 units? If so, doesn't it feel early to be clearing out room for a phone that isn't supposed to hit market until November? If we get any updates, we'll pass them along.
T-Mobile has announced a "Kids are Free" promotion that will allow qualifying family plans to receive up to three lines of service for free until January 1, 2012.
Ashley White, Marketing Director for T-Mobile, stated, “The up-front cost of purchasing new phones and dealing with monthly service fees for an entire family can add up quickly, so this promotion is designed to make it easier for families.”
The promotion is set up for customers to pay for lines one and two on T-Mobile's Family Plans with lines three, four, and five being free. You will have to pay taxes, activation fees, and web access data will be an additional charge on the free lines. Some of the Family Plans will extend texting to the free lines but if you're looking to get your child a Windows Phone, web/email data will be an additional charge.
We are learning a little more about the HTC event scheduled for September 15th in London. While we are still expecting a press event to unveil the HTC HD3 Windows Phone 7, we have also learned that HTC will be hosting a public "meetup" as well.
According to HTC's Twitter and Facebook pages, the Meetup will take place from 6:30pm until 10:00pm at the Redhook Hotel in London. HTC posts, "We will have food, drinks, music and phones for you to enjoy. We will also have a few phones to give away to attendees!"
HTC is asking those planning to attend to RSVP through Facebook, their Twitter tag (#HTCLON) or their Flickr Tag (HTCLON). You can also visit the Redhook's website for venue information. You do have to be 18 years of age or older to attend.
It sounds like it will be an interesting evening. Anyone making plans to attend? If so, feel free to send us your impressions, photos and any extra HTC phones that are left over.
IDC, who you may remember from the Microsoft-used-the-wrong-slide media fiasco earlier this year, has gone ahead and released their forecast for smartphone adoption over the next five years in their Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report.
Personally, we can't even imagine what a smartphone will look like in 2014, nor what the market landscape, but assuming the current state of things, lets see what IDC says:
For the first half of 2010, vendors shipped a total of 119.4 million units or 55.5% more than the 76.8 million units shipped during the first half of 2009
"Android is the wild card, deserving close observation for the rest of this year and the years to come,"
IDC now expects the 2010 overall mobile phone market to grow 14.1%, or 1.5% higher than its previous forecast. Last year, the market declined 2.8%, the first such occurrence in Mobile Phone Tracker history
Despite uncertainty about the economy, the smartphone market is expected to increase 24.5% in 2011. However, smartphone growth will decline progressively over the course of IDC's five-year forecast period. In 2014, for example, the market is expected to rise by just 13.6%
No one smartphone OS will dominate mobile phones in the way that Microsoft has with Windows on the personal computer. "IDC believes the market will comfortably support up to five OS players over the next five years,"
Finally, the big news for Microsoft it they are expected to regain market share bumping from a low of 6.8% to 9.8% by 2014. While that's only a 3% change in overall market share, due to the increasingly huge numbers of smartphones we are talking about, it translates into a 43% change in volume, which is pretty significant (assuming its accuracy). At that point, Microsoft would only trail Android as far as speed of growth.
While no one predicts Microsoft to dominate the mobile OS field anytime soon, it's not too hard to imagine them being a major player by 2014, if they play their cards right.
For those of you lucky enough to have the T-Mobile HTC HD2, you may have been surprised to see that your Barnes & Noble eReader received a nice and much needed update.
User Jason M was kind enough to send us his report of the update and its new features noting
I opened up my Barnes and Noble eReader tonight and noticed an alert for a new update. I allowed it to install on my HD2 and noticed new features such as an option for a nice looking grid view of the book covers, access to the Lend Me function, a huge number of addition settings (font changes, background colors, day/night themes, dictionary lookup, etc), and finally bookmarks! Basically, the HD2 version has been brought in line with what is offered on other platforms. This is good news since Amazon is ignoring Windows Mobile completely.
Indeed! The 'Lend Me' feature is one the most coveted updates as it basically allows you to share your eBooks to a friend for a short duration--think controlled DRM. This is something that Amazon is sorely missing, but as Jason points out, Amazon so far as given a cold shoulder to Windows Mobile with no Kindle access for us.
Lets hope Barnes & Noble and Amazon both bring some eReaders to Windows Phone 7. (BTW, small plug: been using the Kindle 3 for the last few days and it's great, but it needs a 'Lend Me' feature ASAP).
Now it looks like LG is the first major smartphone OEM to commit themselves to the powerhouse CPU coming out Q4 of this year. The Tegra 2 is no slouch, featuring
...the first mobile dual-core CPU, the only ultra low-power NVIDIA GeForce(r) GPU and the first 1080p HD mobile video processor. Taking full advantage of the two speedy 1 GHz processors sharing the workload in Tegra 2, consumers can experience up to 2x faster web browsing and up to 5x faster gaming performance over single core processors running at 1 GHz. NVIDIA's leadership in graphics also delivers flawless 1080p HD video playback, console-quality gaming and amazing 3D capabilities.
Sounds quite promising and LG intends such a CPU for their Optimus line, which includes Android and Windows Phone 7 devices, though no word on whether both OSs will get the Tegra 2 treatment.
Finally, no word on whether those current LG devices featuring Windows Phone 7 (C900/E900) have a Tegra 2 or Qualcomm, though we're leaning towards the latter. Who knows about production-ready devices though. We'll keep an eye out.
Rumors are circulating that HTC has scheduled a press event for September 15, 2010 in London to introduce the HD3 Windows Phone 7 device.
The HTC Windows Phone 7 is reported to have a 4.5" AMOLED touchscreen, dual core 1.5ghz ARM-based processor, 1GB RAM, 32GB storage, 4G capable, a 8mp camera with HD recording capabilities, all powered by a 1800mah battery.
We've seen signs that the HD3 will be headed to the UK provider O2 as the HTC HD7. However, some are reporting the HTC Windows Phone 7 is headed to Australian provider Telstra on an exclusive 3-month deal.
Hopefully, after the 15th, we all will have a better picture on the where and when the HD3 will make it to market. We're also curious to know if anything will be mentioned about the U.S. market time-line.