A Review: HTC Hero

October 20, 2009


I bought a HTC Hero last friday. Comes in a very small white hard box, so small you might thought it’s a budget, no frill phone.
First impression when I took it out of the box: Robust, heavy, feels good in the hand.

Power up the phone and I waited for maybe more than a minute to be able to start using the phone.

The optical ball seems like a good idea, but i seldom used it once I get used to poking the screen. The only time I used it is for the camera. You have to press the ball to capture an image, not good for self portrait. Second thing not good: no flash! So night shot is dark. Third thing not good: slow to take a picture. So, not really a camera replacement. Only good, u can pin point where you want the camera to focus by touching the screen.

The design is the update of the once-upon-a-time Nokia banana phone. That is not good as it does not work on a standard phone holder in the car, I dropped it thrice due to its shape. Now I placed it horizontal, since the screen can tilt anyway (it has accelerometer) but still not as secure.

Now all the good parts. The phone can be charged using your laptop via USB. Charging takes about the same time as most power hungry phone.

Touchscreen buttons are always not as good as a physical keypad but I managed to survive by used the virtual keypad, after a while, I can be equally as fast. As an after thought, it took me just as much time as any other phone to learn it, there after it’s fun all the way. I am still learning it now since I am still exploring, but it’s great dicovery.

Like most interactive user interface that is not an apple or microsoft, you can customise your “desktop” with the applications that you will use most of the time. The widgets are great. One thing that surprizes me (might not be new to others) is the clock that updates itself without any setting up. Actually, the phone did not need much of a setting up. It is up and running within a minute. It even telling me the weather of the exact location, not the country or city but the town! WiFi is auto, and no set up for the internet as well.

SMS is like a chat platform. Contact search is the same just that it doesn’t go back to the top when you have gone to the bottom, so that’s a boring part but the contact itself is now linked to facebook and twitter, and that is very neat! You can read about your contacts’ everyday living just like the facebook lite and, you can scroll through their recent updated photos just the same way as you would in your photo gallery, meaning, it’s fast and efficient. Viewing the photo, I have to add, is like photoshop.com. 

Its Android so it is everything google. Gmail is already there for you. Google map is great as a simple GPS, signal is good. Internet upload is fast. As is most latest touchscreen, you can pinch to enlarge or reduce and move through a full webpage, so I don’t need to view lite versions any more and the bookmark is like google chrome, I like! I tried the Youtube last night, streaming is fast, or maybe it’s already loaded somewhere. So far, all the applications I have used, there is no lagging!

Call wise, it’s loud and clear although sometimes it’s broken reception. Could be the service provider and not the phone’s fault though, I do not know for sure.

Synchronising with the PC takes a bit of setting up but after that its working the same way as most phones.

Power consumption is bad the last few days. I had to charge everyday, but what do you expect, I am exploring and using all the functions extensively… so not a good benchmark.

I am still happy as of today, it’s a definite major upgrade from my Nokia E71. Good phone!

Extract from HTC

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Palm Pre

January 16, 2009


The new Palm and Palm OS. I am still using the Tungsten T2, and I am using a Nokia E77. It takes so long the Palm to do something better, I thought they were going to die.

The Palm Pre, preview at the CES, shows a slider keyboard, runs multiple applications, smooth application with the new WebOS like the iPhone and really fast. 3 megapixel camera, GPS, claims to have tons of softwares online for use to buy. It has an inductive charger called Touchstone that lets you just place the phone atop it for power.

I will give up using Nokia when it launch in the shores of Singapore probably at the end of 2009… if Nokia is stale… I was a fan of Palm, and it seems they have rekindled the flame in heart.

Extract from Engadget

Samsung Omnia SGH-i900

June 11, 2008


Available on June 17 at SGD1098, the new Samsung SGH-i900 is a Windows Mobile 6.1 PDA-phone. The i900 come with HSDPA, 16GB internal storage expandable by another 16GB with SDHC slot, a 5-megapixel auto focus camera and looks like the iPhone.
 
It has a 624MHz Marvell processor, 128MB of RAM and haptic feedback. Haptic feedback in a mobile phone is designed to make the feeling of pressing an onscreen virtual button more realistic, making it almost like typing on a real keypad. It also have an optical sensor for a directional pad. This can be used in two modes–as a regular four-way directional pad or as an onscreen mouse pointer.
An orientation sensor is built into the i900. When rotated, it does this fancy transition whereby the display shrinks and expands back to fill the screen in a different orientation, just like the iPod Touch. The screen is 3.2″ TFT (240×400) WQVGA with full touch Touchwiz UI technology. Phone dimension is smaller than the iPhone at 112x56x12.5mm.

Extract from Samsung Omnia

HTC Diamond

May 11, 2008


The HTC Diamond. it’s powered by a 3D graphics processor and Qualcomm MSM7201A clocked at 528MHz. it has 192MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage. It’s compact with dimensions of 102 x 51 x 11.3mm and comes with a VGA display. It comes with a full suite of connectivity features including Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth. It is HSDPA and capable of HSUPA. It has a decent camera with 3.2 megapixels. It’s not iPhone…

Extract from CNET Asia, YouTube

Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1

February 13, 2008


The first device in its premium XPERIA sub-brand, the X1 is a touchscreen device with a slide-out QWERTY keypad. HSDPA, 3-inch touchscreen (800 x480) with 65K colors, 3.2MP camera with AF, A2DP supported Bluetooth, assisted GPS, internal 400MB memory, microSD support, FM radio, WMP, IE Mobile, WiFi connectivity, Windows Mobile OS and available in either black or silver.

Extract from SE XPERIA™ X1

Palm Treo 500v

October 2, 2007


The Palm Treo 500v, a European cousin of the Centro, that should be coming to Singapore shore is a consumer-centric smart phone that packs 3G, no Wi-Fi and HSDPA, no touchscreen (a first from Palm), 2-megapixel camera, expandable microSD slot and Windows Mobile 6… there must always be something that is not up to standard… when will it be the day Palm has a flagship phone that is able to replace the Ericssons and Nokias?

Extract from Palm UK

Palm® Centro™ Smartphone

October 2, 2007

The Palm Centro, a smart phone that I would buy to replace my other high end smartphones just because it is running on Palm OS, smaller and nicer than the previous generations of Treo. Sadly, don’t know if it will ever come to Singapore shore.

The Centro has a touchscreen, a low 1.3 megapixels camera with 2x digital zoom and video capture , microSD card for expansion and all the standards of a Palm.

Extract from Palm U.S.