What do you do when you see HTC's Eric Lin at the GDGT New York launch party? You corner him and make him show you some of the latest HTC goodness, of course. On Thursday night, he had none other than the Verizon Imagio on hand, and the guys at Pocketnow got a bit of video of the beast. We get a good look at the UI and the MediaFLO TV feature -- the uber-cool kickstand doubles as an antenna, apparently.
This is easily being heralded as one of the top devices of the year, at least short of anything with a Tegra or Snapdragon next-generation processor. And we're starting to see what's causing all the hype.
For being another keyboardless black slab, the LG GM750 doesn't look all that bad. From what we can see in this video from FoneHouse UK, things are running fairly smooth. I'm still not sold on the whole widget thing, but to each his own. You should be able to pick up the GM750 on Vodafone starting Friday.
As we’ve been discussing since July, our plan is to deliver the full Marketplace experience in two phases. First, we’ll launch Windows Marketplace for Mobile with Windows phones on October 6th. We’ve also discussed following this launch with an update that will include support for Windows Mobile 6 and 6.1 by the end of the year. More specifically, we’re targeting November for phase two.
So, it's coming to older phones, just not until November. But, wait, there's more.
In addition, this second phase will bring the PC based catalog and shopping experience, user generated app reviews, advanced key-based anti-piracy protection and other enhancements that expand your business opportunity and make it easier for a larger number of customers to find and buy your application.
So there you go. A big segment of the Windows Mobile population will have to wait a month or so.
Launches online Oct. 6 for $199.99 after two-year contract and $100 rebate.
Available in stores on Oct. 20.
Windows Mobile 6.5 Professional
World Phone: EV-DO Rev. A and 850/900/1800/1900/2100MHz GSM.
3.6-inch resistive touchscreen at 480x800 pixels.
3.5mm headphone jack.
There you have it, folks. The first U.S. carrier to launch the Whitestone (or call it a follow to the Touch Diamond, if you want, even if it's from a different fork in the tree.) But our question still stands: Is this your thing? Or are you holding out for the Omnia II?
We've looked at the T-Mobile Touch Pro 2 and were impressed. We've looked at Sprint's Touch Pro 2 and were equally impressed. Now we turn our sites towards Verizon's Touch Pro 2 to see if we can go three for three with impressive versions of HTC's Windows Mobile Phone.
We'll cut to the chase on this one, so just follow the break for our impressions on the Verizon TP2.
Starting tomorrow, the price drop for HTC TouchPro2 from Sprint is only available to corporate liable customers with 100+ lines. All other channels will sell at original price $349.99 with a two-year service agreement and after $100 mail-in rebate.
Don't know about you, but we sure don't fall into that category.
Surveys and marketing research are important things. Without them, companies would be flying blind.
The Seattle P-I points us to the CFI Group Smartphone Satisfaction Survey [pdf link] of 1,074 people, and the boys and girls in Redmond can't be happy with the results. Results are broken down into the following devices:
Ouch. At least the Nokia fans our feeling our pain, as Windows Mobile and Symbian both apparently had such low mindshare as to fall into the "other" category. CFI spells it out:
Throughout this report we have focused on the main ‘branded’ smartphones like iPhone, Android, Pre, BlackBerry, and Treo. And yet there are many more smartphones in use today, manufactured by the likes of LG, Samsung, Motorola, and Nokia, running either the Windows Mobile or Symbian operating system. What’s going on with these smartphones?
For one thing, many users can’t identify their operating system. While Android users know they have phone on the Android platform, most Windows Mobile or Symbian users have no idea what operating system is running their phone. This lack of branding and awareness can only hurt the generic smartphone.
Obviously, that's not good. We're expecting big things from Microsoft with Windows Mobile. We'll repeat it until we're blue in the face: Microsoft has proven it can marry a compelling user interface with sleek and sophisticated hardware with the Zune HD. It for darn sure better do so with Windows Mobile 7 (and we still have to figure out where exactly the Project Pink phones fit in).
And we'll go one further and say that this is the reason Microsoft is pushing the "Windows phone" strategy so hard. Microsoft has some great manufacturers behind Windows phones. HTC. Samsung. Sony Ericsson (for now). LG. Acer. Once upon a time, Palm. But, outside of the Treo line, mindshare is still lacking, as evidenced by this survey. Will Windows Mobile 7 and the whole "Windows phone" strategy begin to turn that around? (And we say "begin" because to expect an iPhone-like response is just not rational, for smartphone manufacturer.) News at 11.
But never fear: We've gotten (very blurry) word that the X2 (aka the Vulcan) is due Nov. 6. Price and plans still to be determined (or at least leaked).
Even better, the GM750 should be on hand this Friday, Oct. 2. As you can see, £25 a month gets you 300 minutes and unlimited texts, and the phone itself is free. Unlimited data will cost another £5 a month.
For us, the question remains: Will either of these phones see love on this side of the pond?
Our Fall Freebies continue! Last month, we reviewed the Blueant Q1 voice controlled headset and now we want to give it away.
To have a chance at the Blueant Q1 all you have to do is post a comment on any story (except this one) between now and 5:00 p.m. PST on Friday, October, 2, 2009. We'll randomly select a winner from these comments.
Keep in mind that you do have to register to leave a comment and that painless process starts here. And we're sure to have more giveaways in the future. Stayed tuned and as soon as Dieter looks the other way, we'll see what we can sneak out of the store.
Verizon is waiting for Samsung to officially launch it first.
Verizon is looking to launch sometime in mid-October.
It will launch on Verizon with Windows Mobile 6.1.
Windows Mobile 6.5 will be in a ROM update, but not for a while.
The Omnia II is launching elsewhere with Windows Mobile 6.5.
Of course Verizon is also launching the HTC Imagio aka 'Whitestone' on Oct. 6, which we hear is still on track. That device is launching with Windows Mobile 6.5, giving a slight advantage over the Omnia II, at least initially.
Don't expect to see this is stores anytime soon, but AT&T this morning announced it'll carry the TerreStar Genus Windows Mobile satellite phone. Dieter actually got his hands on this beast back at CTIA in April. As a reminder, we're talking a 2.6-inch, 240x230 touchscreen, WinMo 6.5 Pro,WiFi, GPS (natch), 3MP camera, 100MB of user-available memory and a 1,400mAh battery.
But, like we said, the Genus won't be available in your corner AT&T store. It's government Corporate Responsibility User subscribers, enterprise and small businesses who can look for it in the first quarter of 2010. AT&T does, however, say it's "working on a simliar solution for consumers."
For you T-Mobile Touch Pro 2 owners who don't want to bulk up with a full-fledged case, BodyGuardz now has custom-fit protective skins.
These protectors are made from the same material that is used to protect the front of automobiles from stones and other abrasive elements and, as the name implies, are like a second skin for your phone.
We've not been the biggest fans of Microsoft Tag for several reasons — it's another standard that would have be be adopted, it's not widely available, etc. — but you have to admit the advert you see above is compelling. And Tag is built ino Windows Mobile 6.5, so we may see it gain some traction.
This video actually is a spec ad directed by a previous Microsoft collaborator.
Here's one we didn't quite get to earlier this month at CES 2009: Microsoft Tag. If the little barcode looks familiar, it should. It's in the same family as the QR Code, the black-and-white dot matrix-looking guy that gained popularity in Japan but hasn't really made it anywhere else.
Now Microsoft is pushing this new standard. Basically, using an app from Microsoft, you take a picture of the tag. The app then gets the metadata off the tag, then heads online to display a Web page, Vcard, text ad, dialier, etc.
Advantages over the black-and-white QR Code:
The color and design of the tag allow for more data in a smaller space.
It works better with cell phone cameras.
Unlike QR Code, this has the full weight of Microsoft behind it.
What's holding it back:
This never got off the ground in Japan. Is a better tag enough to make it popular here? Right now, this beta program is only available in the U.S.
It's yet one more standard for developers and users. And this one is "owned" by microsoft and needs its servers to work in the first place.
Because it goes through the mothership, Microsoft will have all sorts of metrics on who uses the tags (as well as on you, the user). And right now, it's free to create a tag. Will it always be so?
Let's face it: This is still pretty gadgety, even for us.