We'll be doing a full review of the projector, including a video demonstration, in a few days, but for now we figured we would give you our quick, initial impressions of the $179.99 add-on.
First, it's pretty tiny and light. Weighing in at just 50 grams (1.75oz) the little plastic guy is light as a feather. It's actually remarkable how small and light it is, making it easy to carry around (especially since it comes with a nice little satchel ).
Second, it's easy to set up: you just take the metal battery cover off of the eXpo and slide on the projector. In that sense, it feels like you're adding on an extended battery cover. You then turn on the phone and if you slide the lens door on the projector open, you get a pop screen giving you basic directions and a slider. Move the slider and on comes the projector.
The projector will display anything. That is, if it's on your screen, it can be on the wall. The camera button acts as a portrait/landscape button and you have a physical slider on the projector to focus (which can be a bit tricky). It of course uses your phone's battery and yeah, it drains a bit, but you can always plug in your phone. Still, you should easily get two full hours we suppose.
How's it look? Pretty good actually. It can project up to a 40 foot picture and the throw is pretty remarkable (they say the throw is up to 8 ft, but we easily more than doubled that). We tossed it onto a small screen in an actual movie theater and it was totally workable--not cinema quality, for but presentations or showing off a video clip...yeah, it would do the job.
So our initial thoughts: impressed.
Have questions? Want us to test something specific? Hit us up in comments and we'll get it done.
Nokia? We're doing a Nokia week in the Round Robin? OK, but I thought Nokia was just for Europeans. And maybe it is, at least in terms of popularity. As far as Nokia goes in the United States, well, it just doesn't go very far. There's very little carrier support (the N71 got some love on AT&T), we're mostly used to considering Nokia the leader in cheap dumbphones.
If you ever need more confirmation that the HTC HD2 was going to get an update to Windows Mobile 7, we'll point you to the facts that (A) The original tweet saying an upgrade was coming was quickly deleted and (B) the above non-denial-denial recently posted by HTC. OK, we get it. That the HD2 might be upgraded to Windows Mobile 7 is "unconfirmed." Sure thing, guys. (Thanks to everyone who sent this in!)
Here's a brief look at a new Windows Mobile user interface that's currently in development. The Infinity UI is widget-based, and it very much has an Android-type feel to it. Want a clock? Add a clock. Want program shortcuts? Add program shortcuts. As we said, it's still in the very early stages, so things are a bit unfinished. But this is one we're going to keep our eyes on. Find out more and download the alpha here. And peep video of the Infinity UI after the break. [via XDA]
LG turned heads with the announcement of its latest Windows phone, the eXpo. The slide-out keyboard phone is the first Windows phone designed with an optional pico projector.
Our first impression of the eXpo are good. The phone feels well-built, comfortable in the hand and has some interesting features, such as an optical scanner that pulls double duty as a directional pad and fingerprint scanner.
We shared our initial impressions on the Expo and now we share our thoughts after taking the phone out for a test drive. Ease on past the break to see how long our initial impressions of the Expo lasted after a few days of use.
Sometimes you look so hard in the back alleys for leaks on something that you miss it when it's right in front of you.
In this case, lets flash back to October 2009 at the Microsoft San Francisco Dev Camp (we covered it here). A traveling, nerdy roadshow, the Dev Camp was meant to get developers to attend presentations on programming and working with WM6.5 as well as a chance to meet with and ask questions members of the WinMo development team.
In other words, pretty technical and dry. Unless some questions on Windows Mobile 7 and prospects of Zune phones get brought up...and answered.
Thanks to forum member Interframe, who watched the nearly 3 hr video, he caught some major gems that we all missed.
For example, at the 2hr mark, we get this exchange:
Q: (roughly translated): "So Steve Ballmer went out and recently said "Windows Mobile 6.1 wasn't what we wanted it to be, neither was 6.5", so with that in mind, when is 7 coming out?" ..... (The WM7 developer added to what the others from the WM team had to say about the question) ..... A: "I can give you a little inside information there Mike. I'm not gonna give you anymore than Loke gave you, but I can give you some context. My day job, is working on Windows Mobile 7. I own the calendar feature in fact. I had to try really really hard to convince my manager to let me come down here in San Fransisco and take a day off. All day long, working on 7, staying focused. Its on track (Ed. cough, cough)
The reason its been delayed and you haven't heard much about it is cause we had to go back to the drawing board with our strategy. Change things a little bit to be more competitive when we come out the door, so were not laughed at. We wanna make the same kind of impact the Zune HD made, if you look at Engadget and the blogosphere, people were very impressed with the Zune HD in many ways except for the lack of an app store.
We wanna put out something that we're all proud of, which is competitive on day one, we don't wanna wait any longer."
But there's more.
There won't be an OTA update feature in WM6.5 (which should be obvious at this point) but they are serious about it for WM7
Definitely no Zune phone, but they are most certainly aware of trying to emulate that success with their new OS
Better graphics support in the OS and for developers too
Running WM6.5 build 21845 and with about 67MB of RAM/64MB ROM, it sure seems zippy enough when we loaded it up on our phone. Overall, it looks exactly the same as the WM6.1 version, but it does have some little graphic enhancements (Outlook), is snappy as all heck, has MyPhone/Marketplace and even features a new home-screen customizer (see below) which is quite nice. The customizer allows you to enable/disable panels and even move them up/down to your liking.
Then there's all the internal stuff: new kernel, better battery life, performance enhancements, better Exchange support, etc.
While not as drastic as a change from WM6.1 to WM6.5 Professional, we do think the Ozone (one of our favorite devices in 2009) definitely deserves this update.
Of course, being an unofficial/official update, we have to throw out all the warnings and caveats as needed. But if you're cool with it (and we did it ourselves), then you can download right here.
Update: The Tweet you see above has been deleted. Validation!?!?! (Good eye, Mxx!)
We're really not fans of seeing "official" sources break news on Twitter, but so be it. Here you see a translation of a Tweet from @HTC_Ru, HTC's Russian Twitter account. And it clearly says that of the Windows phones currently available, only the HD2 is slated to get an upgrade to Windows Mobile 7. That's something we've been quietly expecting for a while now, especially given the supposed WM7 chassis specs. The HD2 has the 1GHz Snapdragon processor. It's got a capacitive screen. And it's hulking size means I wouldn't want to tell it it'd be stuck with Windows Mobile 6.5 forever.
As for other devices getting an upgrade to Windows Mobile 7? We'll go ahead and say that the bunch we saw recently in that HTC leak are a pretty good bet, assuming they're not actually launched with Windows Mobile 7.
Of course we know MSFT has no issue with this and in fact encourages such practice, plus it's not like you can't turn off Sense to return to the WM UI. Still, it's an interesting tidbit for the future.
Heads up, folks. I'll be invading The iPhone Blog's live podcast tonight to talk up Windows Mobile, talk about the Smartphone Round Robin and maybe (just maybe) get Rene Ritchie & Co. to admit that the iPhone isn't the coolest thing since the Newton. Here are the deets:
Time: 8 p.m. EDT tonight. (That's 5 p.m. for you guys on the West Coast.)
Topic: Windows Mobile, Windows Mobile, Windows Mobile. (And maybe some iPhone.)
We suppose one convenient aspect of that list is the ability to keep shifting dates around and we have to admit, we're getting quite far out now from that October Windows Mobile 6.5 announcement.
Still, better late than never, and it sure beats the Ozone/Snap duo, which are still listed as "Date Not Available" -- luckily both of those have custom ROMs too. Guess we know where WM Standard is sitting on the priority list.
See those hands up there? Those are the 10 talented fingers of one Matthew Miller of NokiaExperts. And in Week 3 of the third annual Smartphone Round Robin, he's taking a look at Windows Mobile, and specifically the HTC Touch Pro 2 and HD2.
We're connecting players via the LIVE services on new devices beyond the console. We need a Principle Program Manager who can help drive the platform and bring Xbox LIVE enabled games to Windows Mobile. This person will focus specifically on what makes gaming experiences "LIVE Enabled" through aspects such as avatar integration, social interactions, and multi-screen experiences.
That's just vague enough to make us wonder if we'll actually be playing games on Windows phones, or if they'll become some soft of ancillary device in the Xbox experience. Either way, it's something we're looking forward to. [Mobile Tech World via Engadget]
We’ve known (unofficially) for some time now that Microsoft has been working on various follow-ups to Windows Mobile 6.5. ROMs based off of 6.5.x builds of Windows Mobile have been floating around XDA and other similar sites for months, but we hadn’t seen anything official from Microsoft (or even semi-official) ... until now.
MSDN (the Microsoft Developer Network) Web site is where developers go for documentation on various APIs and methods for creating applications for Microsoft products. The documentation for the Widget Engine in Windows Mobile 6.5 makes reference to the changes that we’ve seen with the softkeys and menus in 6.5.x ROMs. The quote states: “Beginning with the Windows Mobile 6.5.3 release, touchable tiles replace soft keys. For developers, the change from soft keys to touchable tiles is automatic starting with Windows Mobile 6.5.3. All of the following applies to touchable tiles and to soft keys.”
This may not seem like much of a mention, but the timing of this discovery may be significant. With Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer scheduled for the opening Keynote at CES next week, might we get some details on where Windows Mobile is headed? We’ll be there to keep you posted.
Stressing that this is still beta, the .cab file will allow interaction of the compass with those GPS apps, though each one will vary in terms of action.
For instance, Google Maps won't rotate the map for you (shame) but it will give you a constant blue arrow for direction status (sort of like when you a driving, but now it will work at all times and be more sensitive). iGO8 in 3D mode will "...rotate with the entire screen according to your compass heading, as long as you have a GPS fix"
Of course this is the tip of the iceberg and we're sure digital compasses and GPS on Windows phones is just starting.