Friday, January 20, 2006

Windows Mobile 5 Sync errors

Just got this piece of news from my buddy David.
It seems that there can be an issue whereby Activesync (and you should be using version 4.1.0) will say your items have been synced, but nothing has actually happened. Daves fix is to go to the Tools menu in Activesync (on the PC), Options, and untick all the items set to sync. Accept the changes, and re-sync. Now go back into the options to check the items you want to sync, accept the changes, and re-sync again.

Hope this helps, and Thanks to David. Any comments go in the comments bit below.

Nokia N91

Time for some Nokia love. The N91 is the only launch model of the new flagship N-series not to have seen release. It's also the most anticipated. It's killer feature is a 4Gb hard-drive, seeing as it's intended market is the rapidly growing musicphone market. And if it launches soon, there isn't anything that can match it for what it does. As you would expect from a Nokia flagship device, it's chock full of features. We're talking 2 mega-pixel camera, which judging by previous attempts, should be of excellent quality. It also lays down WiFi (802.11b & g), FM stereo, GSM, GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, triband, USB 2.0 with a standard mini USB connector, MP3, AAC, WMA and M4A support, and finally Bluetooth. But by now every phone should have Bluetooth.

Ok, that gets the features out of the way, (and makes it sound very similar to the HTC Muse, below) let's get down to the TRUTH.

The operating system is the now-familiar, and easy to use Symbian series 60. This means the interface will be roughly the same as the 6600, 6630, 7610. 6680, N70 etc, etc, etc.If you know anything about Symbian Series 60, you'll know of the great joys (simplicity, compatibility, wide support) and pitfalls (needs housekeeping, eats the limited memory, very non-transparent file system, Bluetooth Viruses). For most people the Series 60 system will be a boon, but let's hope Nokia implement a few tweaks, and test them thoroughly.

Another gimmick they've dropped in, which I think is great, is the unique design. Nokia have really been sidelined in terms of innovation of late, and it's nice to see they can produce results. The stainless steel is in stark contrast to the toy-like feel of some phones, and hopefully won't be detrimental in terms of weight.The device is astonishingly small for its class, and the best (unique) bit is the slider.
It's not a slider in the traditional sense (like a Samsung D500 say). Instead, the keypad is covered by an 'active slide', which displays a simple but intuitive music keypad. Take a look, it's genius. You can also answer a call without sliding the flip down. This is the kind of design that made Nokia a household name, it's nice to see a return to form. What else? Well a standardised cable means no weird conflicts or £40 cables you can't use with anything else, and the fact theat the phone is recognised by Windows as a USB 2.0 mass-storage device, means anyone with a basic knowledge of Windows can drag and drop their tunes, and support cost is significantly reduced.

Basically, if this comes out when it should, it's gonna be a killer.

HTC Muse

Here's the downlow on HTC's upcoming musicphone - this isn't new information, but it's definitely one to watch: It won't be available until the end of the year, which is an awful long time to wait. But some of the features may be worth the wait.

Like how about 4Gb of flash memory, how would that do you, huh? You like Music? How about the built-in FM radio? You mant more music? Damn, I guess you're lucky it supports the oh-so-cheap and ubiquitous SD card format. (subject to further speculation - some sources suggest it may be microSD/Transflash - if so, my rant below is null and void :D)

But here's the rub: A 4Gb musicphone realeased now would corner the market. In fact, truth be told, it would likely have a detrimental effect on HTC's current lineup. By releasing it so late, they'll firstly be competing against Nokias N91 (Which should release first), and secondly, I'd expect power-users (read: geeks) to be wielding their mighty 4Gb SD cards by then. We've already got 1Gb cards as the optimal priced choice, with 2Gb selling at £70.

I digress. The other features are worthy of attention - see the camera on the front? That's right it's rocking the UMTS, along with GPRS and GSM.It's got a worthy 416Mhz processor, WiFi, Irda (natch), 2.1 mega-pixel camera, with flash *deep breath*, and TV out. With the 4Gb of flash, HTC have just turned this into a very versatile PMP into the bargain.
The last item of notice is the square 240 x 240 QVGA touchscreen.
That's just stupid.

Here are the specs as we know them for HTC's iPod molester:

  • 4Gb of NAND flash

  • WiFi

  • TV-out

  • Windows Mobile 5


  • FM Radio

  • 2.1 Megapixel camera

  • 416Mhz processor

  • Triband

  • Bluetooth, infrared

  • 240x240 QVGA touchscreen

  • Start saving.


The HTC Athena is now the HTC Prophet?

I've been checking the Prophet out for a while now. My first thoughts were - it's a great phone with a superb set of features, but -dammit- it's only got a 200Mhz processor. Well I've got some good news. Firstly, the elusive HTC Athena (as specified on the "HTC roadmap" document) is actually now the Prophet (after perhaps a re-name), and not the XDA Atom or whatever.

The second point is, that the 200Mhz processor is not an Intel Bulevarde CPU, but a Texas Instruments OMAP 850 CPU. What this means is that while not as fast as a 400Mhz Bulevarde, it vastly outperforms a 200Mhz Intel chip, and has less battery-drain. The one point stopping this phone from being nearly perfect (apart from the lack of a flash) would be if the CPU couldn't handle video. Time will tell on this one.

Other bonuses are built in WiFi, Bluetooth stereo headset support, a 2 mega-pixel camera, comparable in size to the HTC Wizard, and SD-IO card support. Oh yeah, and it looks AMAZING.
I can see this as being a worthy successor to the Wizard/refresh, a powerful, excellent all-rounder.
Another small (tiny) factor is that the layout of the buttons doesn't look too conducive to gaming - for emulation in landscape mode for example - but I can't imagine it to be a huge upset to anyone.
And one of the reasons for this too, is that in running Windows Mobile 5, the device supports one-handed navigation.
Perhaps the best new feature of Windows Mobile 5, is that the memory is no longer volatile. So if you find yourself maxing out your battery, with no charger in sight, your data won't magically disappear in a few hours.

Here's a brief rundown on the specs:

  • Quad band


  • 200MHz Texas Instruments (fast) CPU

  • W-LAN 802.11b & 802.11g

  • Bluetooth A2DP (stereo Headset profile)

  • 2.8" QVGA touchscreen

  • 2 mega-pixel camera (no flash :( )

  • SD(IO)/MMC Slot

  • Mini USB

  • 1200 mAh battery

  • FM radio?

  • Looks amazing

So yeah, I pretty much need this, or my life will end.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

DualCor cPC

A company called DualCor have just announced what may just be the most incredible phone I have ever seen.

The thing runs Windows XP AND Windows mobile 5, and can switch between the two at the tap of the finger (or stylus, if, unlike me you manage not to lose yours).

The processor runs at a healthy 1.5GHz, alongside a Gig of RAM, which puts it alongside any dedicated sub-notebook in its size class, AND a 40gb Hard-drive. That makes me want to scream already. Going back to the phone, (which runs on seperate hardware to the XP side), and we have 1Gb of NAND flash memory, a massive (for a phone) 800 X 400 pixel display (perfect for films), and a nifty nub-style inteface.

So what's the catch? Although it lasts an OK 8 hours in Pocket PC mode, and 3 Hours in XP mode, you don't really want a phone that's gonna run flat in under a day. For occasional users, this would just about be ok. But I don't think there are going to be many "occasional" users buying this phone.
The second problem is (possibly) the size. I'm used to carrying around an XDA II and a PSP. This phone is around the same size as a PSP - slightly bigger in fact - so I could cope. But I want a smaller phone anyway.
And the last point (not necessarily a problem) is the design. it's not pretty for one, and I can't help but think that a bigger nub and a mirrored layout would suit games a lot more. But that's just me.

If I had a car, I can imagine this being a replacement for a laptop, phone, PDA, and with a modification to the DIN slot, your car stereo. That would be awesome. And it would at least charge the damn thing.

Sony - Ericsson P990i

Ok, this site is about smartphones. And right now, Dwayne is screaming about the Sony Ericsson P990i. Looks like a badass update to the P910i, with a more standardized screen resolution (QVGA 320 x 240 - so no 16:9 widescreen ratio either).

The things we want to see are the WiFi, which is thankfully included, a better quality camera with a flash. and I guess the design is pretty good.

One thing that plagued the P-series in the past was the sluggish operating system. This isn't strictly true, but it is a fact that Symbian Operating systems do require more housekeeping than many users are prepared to do. While there are third party solutions out there, it will be interesting to see what Sony-Ericsson themselves have done to address the issue - with more RAM and a faster CPU, that alone could solve the issues for most people. Fingers crossed.

The video capture runs at an astonishing 30 frames-per-second - which is easily good enough for a phone.

And yes it does use Memory Stick Pro Duo, although, I've lightened towards them since getting a PSP, and also (most likely related to PSP sales) the recent price drop. But SD cards are soooo much cheaper. And if you're going to use this phone to it's full potential (Movies, Photos, Music), you will need a 1Gb stick.

Briefly, on the subject of Music, let's hope they sorted out the native music player. That was verrry slow.

With phones like these, it seems like The prophecy is nearing fullfilment.