Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘LG’

It’s astounding that until this moment, three years after the iPhone, the biggest software company in the world basically didn’t compete in mobile. Windows Phone 7 Series is more than the Microsoft smartphone we’ve been waiting for. Everything’s different now.

Windows Phone 7 Series. Get used to the name, because it’s now a part of the smartphone vernacular… however verbose it may seem. Today Microsoft launches one of its most ambitious (if not most ambitious) projects: the rebranding of Windows Mobile. The company is introducing the new mobile OS at Mobile World Congress 2010, in Barcelona, and if the press is anything to be believed, this is just the beginning. The phone operating system does away with pretty much every scrap of previous mobile efforts from Microsoft, from the look and feel down to the underlying code — everything is brand new. 7 Series has rebuilt Windows Mobile from the ground up, featuring a completely altered home screen and user interface experience, robust Xbox LIVE and Zune integration, and vastly new and improved social networking tools. Gone is the familiar Start screen, now replaced with “tiles” which scroll vertically and can be customized as quick launches, links to contacts, or self contained widgets. The look of the OS has also been radically upended, mirroring the Zune HD experience closely, replete with that large, iconic text for menus, and content transitions which elegantly (and dimensionally) slide a user into and out of different views. The OS is also heavily focused on social networking, providing integrated contact pages which show status updates from multiple services and allow fast jumps to richer cloud content (such as photo galleries). The Xbox integration will include LIVE games, avatars, and profiles, while the Zune end of things appears to be a carbon copy of the standalone device’s features (including FM radio).

Besides just flipping the script on the brand, the company seems to be taking a much more vertical approach with hardware and user experience, dictating rigid specs for 7 Series devices (a specific CPU and speed, screen aspect ratio and resolution, memory, and even button configuration), and doing away with carrier or partner UI customizations such as Sense or TouchWiz. That’s right — there will be a single Windows Phone identity regardless of carrier or device brand. Those new phones will likely look similar at first, featuring a high res touchscreen, three front-facing buttons (back, start, and perhaps not shockingly, a Bing key), and little else.

Carrier partnerships are far and wide, including AT&T, Deutsche Telekom AG, Orange, SFR, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telstra, T-Mobile USA, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone, while hardware partners include Dell, Garmin-Asus, HTC, HP, LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba and Qualcomm. We’re told that we likely won’t get to see any third-party devices at MWC, though Microsoft is showing off dev units of unknown origin, and the first handsets are supposed to hit the market by the holidays of this year.

Read Full Post »

LG GD910 Watch Phone

What we’re looking at here, in the crudest possible terms, is a style item with ringtones. That need not necessarily spell disaster, as good execution and a keen sense for that ephemeral style thing could still make it a success, but we must also set aside our preconceptions of what a modern phone is and does in order to assess the watchphone on its own merits. Our mission here will be to determine whether it succeeds at what it sets out to do or trips over its faux leather-strapped self.

Hardware

At first blush, it would be easy to dismiss the GD910 as being too big for a watch and too small to be a phone, but our time with it has revealed both conclusions to be inaccurate. While undeniably bulkier than your average watch, the watchphone’s styling is akin to some of those chunky leather bracelet that hipsters seem keen on wearing and popularizing, so we’ll just give it a pass there and move on. Its stay on our tender wrist was certainly no great bother, although we’ll admit it was no great pleasure either. A more flexible metal strap might’ve been preferable.

On the phone front, if you focus in on the word phone and exclude the cornucopia of additional functions and gimmicks that manufacturers have added to modern mobiles, you’ll find that this bad boy does that job pretty well too. After all, it was only this century that the Ericsson T39 and its 101 x 54 monochromatic display were considered fresh and new, so we shouldn’t think of the LG’s 128 x 160 resolution as being particularly limiting. Where the device shines is with the clarity and vibrancy of its display, which gave us no cause for gripes, and the responsiveness of its capacitive touchscreen, which was flawless throughout.

Construction is also reassuring, with that adjustable faux leather strap and the water resistant stainless steel case both appearing likely to last a while. You can see the entire set of physical buttons above, all pretty much self-explanatory, with the touchscreen picking up the majority of navigation duties. The trio of side-mounted keys were easily identifiable from one another, and we were thankfully spared from having to look to see what we were pressing.

You do get a speakerphone with the device, whose quality we’d place somewhere in the middle of the pack — it’s neither outstanding nor dire. It’s good enough to use on a regular basis to carry out calls, and we had no problems talking with our arm in a relaxed position, as opposed to some awkward wrist-to-the-face pose. You’ll still want to use a Bluetooth headset for the majority of your calls though, unless you like the idea of having everyone in your vicinity listen in on your conversations.

User Interface

The most basic expectation of any phone – which is perhaps even more applicable in this case, given the dearth of additional features – is that the user should find its interface intuitive and straightforward to use. In this department, LG hits more often than it misses, as navigation is both fluid and logical and responsiveness is also excellent. We did find, however, that the relatively small screen made accurate texting quite the challenge to pull off – trying to hit 9 and ending up pressing the delete button was an unfortunately common event for this thick-fingered reviewer. We’d put that down to simply trying to cram too many keys into the small space, as dialing numbers was a delightfully crisp and easygoing affair. On the whole, we’d say the UI does very well at the basic jobs of acting as both a watch and a phone, but shows its shortcomings when the user tries to dig deeper into the menus, with configurations and adding of contacts being slightly fiddly.

Another thing to keep in mind is that for the most part, you’ll be looking at the default high-contrast black and white clock, and only two presses of the side buttons will get you to the home screen and the stylized timepiece of your choice. A small foible, to be sure, but when the entirety of your offering is characterized by the title of your product, well, both the watch and the phone have to be pretty much perfect.

It merits noting that, even with a plethora of tasteful clock and menu design presets, the watchphone lacks an essential feature that might really have made it an object of lustful desire – customizability. We understand and to an extent prefer its simplification of the menu system, but allowing users to create and import their own watch interfaces would have given the GD910 at least a shot at creating a fan ecosystem and would have injected some added novelty down the road. Then again, perhaps LG is right in believing – as we presume – that the people this device is targeted at just want it to work straight out of the box and have little desire for tweaking options.

In terms of added functionality, you get a calendar and a memo pad, both of which are well implemented, and also a media player. Alas, with 80MB of integrated memory and no expansion options, this is as bare a multimedia feast as you’re likely to find on a modern device. When you factor in the understandable lack of a headphone jack, what you’re looking at is strictly a last resort for media consumption.

And now, to the most important aspect of the watchphone – does it feel like the sort of luxurious crossover device that can justify its extravagant price? The short and dissatisfying answer is “kinda.” The long answer is that while a lot of things have been executed brilliantly and allow us a glimpse at the world of luxury, there’s just not enough to make us experience the sense of operating a transcendental device. First class materials and construction are offset by questionable ergonomics and the inescapable need for a Bluetooth headset, while the generally pleasing UI falls short of perfect, which – at this uncompromising price point – it ought to have been.

Conclusion

We really like the LG watchphone. In a world unbound by the economic realities we face today, we might even recommend it with only a few minor reservations. But when you consider that the hotly anticipated HTC HD2, accompanied by its armada of apps and utilities, is going to cost less without contract in UK, the watchphone simply cannot be justified as a reasoned purchase. Furthermore, Engadget Spanish has already handled a direct competitor from Samsung, which is heading to the Iberian peninsula this December at a more affordable €450 ($672) — which further undermines the rationality, whatever traces there are of it, in LG’s pricing.

The LG GD910 is a well executed device, whose engineers should be rightly proud. LG’s accountants, on the other hand, ought to step outside and smell the recession before trying to pitch us a device at a price point as ludicrous as £500. Ultimately, the watchphone is a fun diversion and also conducts itself well when needed to sub in for your day-to-day phone, but until its price undergoes a major haircut it’ll remain difficult, bordering on impossible, to recommend.

Read Full Post »

Samsung has created a new wave in mobile industry with the launch of its first watch phone Samsung S9110, giving completion to LG GD910. Samsung S9110 is the thinnest phone measuring 11.98mm while its competitor LG GD910 has a thickness of 13.9mm.

With sporty looks it looks like a dream come true for those gadget freaks who always wanted to feel such James Bond gadgets in real life.

Samsung S9110 Wrist Phone
Samsung S9110 Wrist Phone

Features:

The considerable features of Samsung S9110 wrist phone are 1.76 inch glass, scratch proof touchscreen, stainless steel body with many other facilities such as Bluetooth 2.1, Outlook Email sync, MP3 Player, 2.1 speakerphone and voice recognition system. Some other features are 176 x 220 pixel, 262k color TFT TSP display, 40 MB memory, Li-Ion 630 mAh battery and 57.5 x 41.1 x 11.98mm / 91g footprint.

Some Disadvantage:

Although it is not supporting 3G features and thus you may lack features like Video calls and high rate data transfer but still it looks like a hard competitor to LG. Also memory is no expandable so you have to be satisfied with 40 MB. You will also lack data transfer tools such as HSCSD, EDGE, 3G, WLAN Infrared and USB. But this phone is made basically for handy use so must compromise on these.

Cost:

Cost of Samsung S9110 is €450 that is approximately $639, seems little higher but looking at the features and look, it’s reasonable.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Read Full Post »