Nokia Lumia 800–To Light Up Sooner?

There’s no specific date yet when the much-awaited Nokia smart phone–Lumia 800 could make a landfall in the Philippine soil. Not even its official price tag is definite as of this time.

Rhomel Marcojos, Ecosystem and Developer (EDX) Head of Nokia Philippines presented some working models of the Lumia 800 to local media and bloggers in Cebu, Friday (Feb. 3) in a briefing held at the Harold’s Hotel.

Rhomel Marcojos demonstrates the black Nokia Lumia 800 during the briefing with the local media and bloggers. The Lumia 800 also comes in Cyan and Magenta colors. Jonica Pena--Marketing Manager of Nokia Philippines looks on as Marcojos highlighted some of the key features of the Lumia 800.

However, Marcojos estimates Lumia 800 shall be at the price range between P25,000 and P30,000 based on the selling price of the device in Singapore at S$730.

The Lumia 800 is sporting the Windows Phone 7.5 Mango OS paired with a 1.4Ghz Scorpion processor making your browsing fast. It connects to any 3G cell site at blazing speed of 14.4Mbps. More specs here.

The Nokia Lumia 800 has a 3.7 inch AMOLED display and comes in Cyan, Magenta, and Black colors. The Lumia is reminiscent to the Nokia N9.

The Nokia 710 is also powered by Windows Mango and by the 1.4Ghz processor. It has also a 3.7 inches display but it's just an LCD.

Among the features in Lumia 800 is the Nokia Map where street maps of selected places across the country can be seen. This includes the street map of Metro Manila, Baguio, Cebu, Davao, Boracay and few others

Nokia partnered with Microsoft in an attempt to fight competition in the smart phone sector. However, Rhomel Marcojos confidently says the Philippines still a Nokia territory as far as the featured phone is concerned. Nokia has just hit its 1.5 billion sales of the revolutionary Series 40 mobile phones to the 1.5 billionth buyer in Sao Paulo, Brazil on January 25, 2012.

Also, Nokia Philippines has a new General Manager–Dharmesh Goshalia who also heads the Sales force of the office in the country.

Nokia Philippines new General Manager--Dharmesh Goshalia was former head of Nokia Greece and Nokia Cyprus prior his appointment to the Philippines. He brought with him 16 years of experience in the telecom industry. The last 6 years of which have been with Nokia.

iPhone is a China Phone!

Apple’s A5 chip is made by Samsung of Korea. Foxconn of China assembled the iPhone in the mainland and in its Taiwan factory. In short, iPhone is not made by U.S. It’s a China phone with South Korean brain. Though, it’s design by Apple in Palo Alto, California.

Apple becomes the raison d’etre (reason for existence) of several semiconductor companies as it engages in sourcing process of its major components.

To prove this, several tech-sites published an “iPhone teardown” articles like this one from iFixit that reveal the labeled parts and components of an iPhone unit showing various manufacturers.

It's very clear in the label of this teared-down iPhone4 that the unit is assembled in China.

Some of the major parts of iPhone are either constructed by other manufacturers based on Apple’s design or an existing device made by genuine part makers. Apple is not alone on this practice. You can see components made by competing brands in some appliances like a Toshiba battery pack in other brands of laptops.

The front glass panel of the iPhone is made of Gorilla Glass by Corning. The glass is said to be 20 times stiffer and 30 times harder than plastic. Corning Incorporated is the world leader in specialty glass and ceramics. The LED backlit TFT LCD capacitive touchscreen of iPhone4 is manufactured by LG--another mobile phone manufacturer based in South Korea.

The A4 & A5 processor chips in iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s respectively are manufactured by Samsung of South Korea. However, A5 chips are already manufactured in a newly-built 1.6 million square feet facility in Austin, Texas. The facility is constructed at $3.6 billion cost and has been in full production since early December. The Dual-Core A5 chip was first used in iPad2. Its design is licensed by Apple from ARM Holdings of Britain.

This module includes the audio codec provided by Cirrus Logic which is branded as Apple. Also includes the Samsung flash memory and the touch screen controller by Texas Instruments.

The Wifi, bluetooth and GPS are all provided by Broadcom. The Wifi and bluetooth has included the FM tuner in the single chip.

OmniVision Technologies Inc supplied the camera imaging sensor of iPhone 4 but lost its bid for the part to Japanese maker Sony for the iPhone 4s 8Mp camera.

The intelligent personal assistant SIRI integrated in iOS5 started as an application available in the App Store but acquired by Apple last year preventing its use by other platforms like Blackberry and Android-powered phones. SIRI was owned by SRI International.

Again, here’s a summary of the part-makers for iPhone:

  • Samsung (A5 chip, flash memory)
  • ARM Holdings (A5 design license)
  • LG (LCD screen)
  • Texas Instruments (touch screen controller)
  • Corning Inc. (Gorilla Glass)
  • Sony (8Mp camera)
  • Omnivision Technologies (5Mp camera of iPhone 4)
  • SRI International (SIRI)
  • Broadcom (Wifi, Bluetooth, FM, GPS)
  • Cirrus Logic (audio codec)
  • Skyworks (RF radio)
  • StMicro (accelerometer)

To top it all and has been given prominence is Foxconn of China that assembles and delivers the finished iPhone units to Palo Alto. Foxconn has been involved in controversies alleging employees mistreatment and suicides. But this does not prevent the company from getting big customers because of its cheap labor without sacrificing quality.

If we think China phones as inferior. Think it again because the famous brands are made by Foxconn.  Lately Lenovo has been introducing China phones using Taiwan’s MediaTek (MTK) platform and marketed the units as quality phones.

Lenovo Dual-SIM phone with MTK chips.

12 Ways of Telpad this Christmas

PLDT’s reinvention of the land line revitalizes the manner our homes use the phone. Even if the residential broadband service has long been available to our homes, mobile subscribers have been attracting people for its portability, usability, and affordability.

The entry of computer tablets made land lines more complex to compete in the telephone industry. Late 2010, PLDT surprised everyone with its reinvented land line–the TELPAD. I was among who blog about it days after it was launched in Manila in December 2010.

If there’s TELEBABAD, there’ll be TELEPADPAD. Now, i’m thinking a dozen ways to use the Telpad.

#1. Minimize electricity bill

A computer desktop consumes about 300-350 watts an hour. That’s about 7-8 times than the usual 40 watts consumption of a laptop. A tablet consumes power much lower than a laptop. Telpad’s AD-1000A unit is fully charged approximately in four hours while it can stay on standby for 70 hours. Video playback runs the battery out of power in 4-5 hours.

By using the Telpad instead of your desktop and laptop saves you lot of money this Christmas. My own estimate is about P8 savings in three hours of consecutive use.

#2. An ordinary phone with a tablet experience

Use the Telpad tablet like an ordinary phone but with digital features.You can add caller picture for easy recognition of the caller. Check call history. Store your contact list. Others. More about land line features in PLDT Facebook page.

#3. Update your profiles at any corner of your home

Telpad requires a Wi-Fi signal to connect to the internet. Any Wi-Fi router is compatible with any of the Telpad units. Hence, the portability of tablet makes everyone convenient in updating their status, reply to messages, take and upload photos and many others in any social networking site while doing some chores at home.

#4. Sweep the neighborhood and be informed

Get an exclusive access to PLDT HOME and askPLDT 101-143 services for a simple touch. Thus, your Telpad is your way to finding establishments nearby and it’s your device to get the news and guide to several information such as directory services, health and fitness, beauty and fashion, and many more.

#5. Play streaming video with speed

Telpad’s lowest  internet speed offer is 1Mbps @ Plan 1849. My PLDT DSL experience tells me that 1Mbps is quite enough for video streaming over YouTube. That would mean no wait for buffering to finish when playing video. If your existing plan is higher than Plan 1849, an additional 500kbps shall be added to your speed once you upgrade to Telpad. The complete Telpad Plan is here.

#6. Multimedia experience in your palm

The 2Mp front-facing camera of the Telpad tablet is a little bit below the standard specs of most tablet nowadays. However, it’s quite enough to record the good memories this Christmas and show it to the whole family in slideshow or share it with other devices. The Telpad  tablet supports up to 32GB of microSD card that can store hundreds of pictures, videos, and music combined. As a multimedia device, you can play video,  hear music and play games on the Telpad tablet.

#7. If a picture is not enough, a video call is possible

A video call is possible in Telpad tablet just like in other Android tablets using third-party apps or VoIP. Check the video demo below.

#8. Productivity via Android apps

With thousands of Android applications for tablets productivity is somewhat limitless. Name it, the Android Market has it.

#9. Telpad reads eBooks

As an Android tablet, Telpad is a wonderful eBook reader using the Kindle app for Android. You can tuck along the Telpad in the kitchen to refer to cook books while cooking your favorite Christmas dishes or read the best novels while relaxing in the couch.

#10. Write on the Telpad

Many of us consider typing on any tablet too tasking due to the absence of a physical keyboard and the small keys thinly spaced from each other. But not on Telpad’s larger on-screen keyboard which provides us ample space between keys to compose any document and texts. You can send Christmas greetings in your email with ease.

 

#11. (Reserved for future use of Telpad)

Can we use the Telpad as an IP Surveillance Camera monitor? Or as a small screen for PLDT’s future video service via fiber optic line?

#12. Finally, carry the Telpad anywhere and connect

You can carry the Telpad to school and office as if it’s a regular laptop or netbook. The handset in the Telpad works even the tablet is off docked. Just like any other tablet, you can connect the Telpad to any Wi-Fi hotspot.

Telpad Microsite link (www.pldttelpad.com)
PLDT landline Facebook page (www.facebook.com/pldtlandline)

(Disclosure: This post is an entry to the PLDT contest on Telpad blogging–“Blog it To Win it“. A full review of the Telpad shall be conducted by this blog soon.)

REVIEW: Sony Ericsson Xperia Play

This one looks sturdy and bulky but its size brings some inherent benefits with it like easy composition of text in both portrait and landscape modes. I’ve been using Sony Ericsson Xperia Play for a couple of days now after finishing off a review on Xperia Ray a week ago.

The Xperia Play is thicker at 16mm way above the Xperia Ray’s 9.4mm thick. It’s bigger than iPhone 4s with its 119 x 62 built. This is due to the PlayStation gaming control that requires more space. It weighs more in your pocket at 175g (Xperia Ray- 100g, iPhone 4s – 140g).

The Xperia Play has 4″ TFT capacitive touchscreen with 16M colors, 480 x 854 pixels (WVGA) screen resolution. Texting is easier in Xperia Play than in Xperia Ray because of bigger virtual QWERTY keys and keypad. The touchscreen is very responsive.

Slide the body and the Xperia Play reveals its dedicated gaming keys which resemble to that of a regular Sony PlayStation. This makes Xperia Play the world’s first PlayStation-certified Android phone.

Unlike other smart phones, the microSD card and SIM card slots of Xperia Play are located outside the battery compartment making it easy to insert both cards. Surprisingly, the internal storage of Xperia Play is only 400MB unlike Ray’s 1GB. Though, it is expandable up to 32GB. RAM is 512MB.

The standard battery pack BST-41 can run up to 8hrs 25mins talk time while on GSM/GPRS and 2hrs lower when it is on UMTS. Standby time: 425hrs (GSM/GPRS); 413hrs (UMTS). Game play time: 5 hrs 35mins. MP3 playback is up to 30hrs 35mins.

UNDER THE HOOD

The Xperia Play OS is Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread/planned upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich) coupled with the 1GHz Snapdragon single-core processor from Qualcomm that can decode high-definition video at 720p resolution.

HSDPA modem speed is not mentioned in Sony Ericsson’s site and in some reviews but one review cited 7.2Mbps HSDPA, 5.76Mpbs HSUPA. Wi-Fi connection, on the other hand, is fair and Xperia Play can be transformed into a hotspot for other Wi-Fi devices to connect to the internet using the HSDPA/HSUPA modem.

CAMERA

The decent 5MP rear camera shoots up to 2592х1944 pixels images with auto-focus lens and LED flash. However, Xperia Play doesn’t have the XMOR R image sensor technology resulting in darker background at poor-lit surrounding. Got some pictures here under various ambient conditions:

 

    

 

What i like in the camera features of Xperia Play is the shutter button at the lower right corner of the screen which is not present in Xperia Ray(shutter switch is by a tap of the screen which is distracting to your viewing angle.)

Video recording is up to 720p but it has no image stabilizer to minimize jerking of your captured video while doing walking or running shot. I would still prefer Xperia Ray for its best camera features. I’ve this raw video taken early morning while documenting a dilapidated road in our barangay.

ENTERTAINMENT

Though, music and video gaming are some of the entertainment features of Xperia Play but it has no FM radio tuner. You have just to enjoy yourself with the MP3 and MP4 players for music playback. It has speaker phones for our listening convenience.

BROWSING

Xperia Play is capable of WAP 2.0/xHTML, HTML, Adobe Flash Lite, and a Voice Search–just say it and you’ll find the search list of what you’re looking for. Full web browsing experience is good in landscape mode while a list of previously related visited URL will show when writing at the browser bar for us to choose from and speed up our browsing. Document viewing for PDF files via Adobe Reader and Google Doc is seamless.

GAMING

Playing the Xperia Play brings the real Sony PlayStation experience. The dedicated gaming buttons work like that of a regular PS console.

Honestly, playing the Xperia Play is not easy for me. It’s not that this first PlayStation-certified mobile phone is at par below the regular gaming console but it’s simply because i am not used to play video games. Period. 🙂

But the way i see the gaming experiences of my kids who played the Xperia Play with its downloaded games, i can say offhand that this phone is awesome. Out-of-the-box, the Xperia Play is preloaded with some games like Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior.

WHAT IS LACKING?

  • No image stabilizer
  • No XMOR R image sensor
  • No radio tuner

I’ll be updating this post as soon as something new in my Xperia Play experience comes in. In the meantime, here’s a complete official specs and features of Xperia Play which can be found here or have a peep on this video review from TechTV101.

Disclosure: Sony Ericsson provided the review unit of this post.

Android Phones Projecting Images and Videos to Laptop and Computer Screens by Wireless and no Bluetooth

I consider the title of this post kilometric. But i have no choice just to give you the idea of what this post is all about in a glance. YES! I really mean it. Viewing images and videos from any Android phones to bigger screens like PC, laptop, and even to projector screens is possible.

And believe it or not. It can be done wireless and without using bluetooth. You only need to connect your Android phone and your big screen to the same WiFi network. Using a small app (1.5M in size) called vscreens, downloadable free from Android market, images and videos from your phone can be viewed using a browser at the vscreens official web site.

The current version of the app is v1.5 and it requires Android 2.1 (Eclair) & up (Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice cream sandwich) to operate. The app is still at beta stage but reviews of it are already favorable due to its awesome result.

Here are the steps and screen shots of vscreens:

  

Continue reading this post @ iStoryang HaaayTek!