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Palm Pixi Plus and Palm Pre Plus

Posted By Denys Java Saturday, January 23, 2010 0 komentar

Palm Pixi Plus and Palm Pre Plus

They're back, this time on Verizon and with a "Plus" tacked to the end of their names. Though nearly identical to the Sprint versions, the Palm Pre and Palm Pixi, the Verizon versions add a few tweaks while keeping the contract price the same as Sprint's models. The Pixi Plus gains WiFi 802.11b/g and the Pre Plus doubles the Pre's storage to 16 gigs. Both models will be available on Verizon on January 25, 2010 and the Pixi Plus will sell for $99 with contract while the Pre Plus will sell for $149.

Our review of these two will be brief because honestly, you've read it all before in our Palm Pre review and Palm Pixi review. There's very little difference between the Sprint and Verizon versions beyond carrier customizations (e.g.: Sprint's products have Sprint Navigation while Verizon's version has VZ Navigator) and the increase in storage for the Pre and added WiFi for the Pixi. Our feeling is the same when it comes to picking between the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus: it's really worth the extra $50 to get the Pre Plus. It has a larger, higher resolution display that's noticeably more vibrant and bright, it has a better QWERTY keyboard and it can also play 3D games that the Pixi Plus can't.

Verizon's got another value-added for both the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus: Mobile HotSpot. This free downloadable application basically turns your webOS Palm smartphone into a MiFi. Run the app, create either an open or WPA/WPA2 WiFi network and turn on the HotSpot feature. Your Palm becomes its own WiFi network and it shares its EV-DO Rev. A connection with your notebook, PC or other WiFi enabled device. Gone are the torturous tethering setups over Bluetooth and USB. If you wish to use the Mobile HotSpot feature, you'll have to pay an additional $40 a month on top of the the Pre and Pixi $29.99/month unlimited data plan.

Palm's application store is now a reasonably lively place, and you can download free and paid apps directly to the phone. While the selection isn't as overwhelming as the iTunes store nor as robust as the Android Market, there are some good apps now including various weather programs, AP News, the New York Times webOS app and even good quality 3D games like Need for Speed for the Pre. If you wish to purchase applications, you'll do so using a credit card and your Palm's App Catalog program since there's currently no billing through the carrier. Many apps are 99 cents to $4.99, while tier one games like Need for Speed cost $9.99. Overall, there's quite a lot of fluff in the nascent App Catalog, but there are enough useful titles to keep one entertained and productive. Palm includes an Office suite so you don't need to purchase that.

Palm's Synergy is alive and well on the Verizon versions of these phones, and we still love its impossibly solid ability to sync PIM data from multiple sources without creating a bucket of duplicates or munged contacts. The Pre Plus and Pixi Plus can sync to Google, MS Exchange, Facebook, LinkedIn and Yahoo and it can handle POP3 and IMAP email too. Palm's webOS phones don't sync over USB or Bluetooth to your desktop computer-- it's all cloud syncing. But they do notoriously sync music via iTunes (though Apple frequently breaks syncing with iTunes updates).

After some time away from webOS, we have to say it's great to dive back in: it's a thoroughly modern and attractive operating system that handles multi-tasking with aplomb yet manages to be stable. It's not as customizable as Android and it doesn't have the huge ecosystem of applications that the iPhone does, but it's very visually appealing, powerful yet easy to learn.

Palm Pre Plus

While the Sprint version has a gloss back, the Verizon version opts for a soft touch finish that's less slippery and doesn't get mucky with fingerprints. We still like webOS and the Pre's decent speed even when multi-tasking, though it's a bit slower than the iPhone 3GS and faster Android phones like the Motorola Droid and Nexus One.

The 3.1" capacitive display is bright and so colorful you could mistake it for an AMOLED screen. The 320 x 480 resolution is the same as the iPhone's, and significantly lower than the Droid's and the HTC Imagio. But Palm's webOS is fresh, fun and easy to use, so hardware isn't everything. And the Pre's impressive 600MHz ARM Cortex A8 CPU is modern and among the faster smartphone CPUs. WebOS multi-tasks (take that, iPhone) and it's incredibly easy to switch between applications: just tap the illuminated touch bar below the screen to minimize an app. Throw its window up toward the top edge of the display to quit the program.

The smartphone comes with the usual webOS applications including a YouTube Player, Google Maps, a photo viewer, capable webkit web browser, memos, music and video players and PIM applications. The Pre Plus ships with VZ Navigator, Verizon's $9.99/month navigation and spoken directions application that works with the Pre Plus' GPS.

The Pre Plus has Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR, a 3 megapixel fixed focus camera with a small LED flash, and a slide-down QWERTY keyboard with tiny, rubbery keys that aren't among the best for serious typing.

Palm Pixi Plus

The Pixi Plus is a lot like its big brother the Pre Plus, but it doesn't do most things as well. It has a smaller 2.63" capacitive touch screen that runs at a slightly lower 320 x 400 pixel resolution. Its display isn't as bright and vibrant as the Pre's, and finger control is slightly more difficult since the on-screen targets are smaller. The Pixi Plus carries the same list of features as the Pre Plus: WiFi 802.11b/g with Mobile HotSpot support, Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR, a GPS that works with Google Maps and VZ Navigator and a 3.5mm stereo headset jack. The Pixi Plus has a lower resolution 2 megapixel camera with a small LED flash and a fixed focus lens. Rather than the Pre's Cortex A8 CPU, the Pixi runs on a 600MHz Qualcomm MSM7627 CPU. Though their clock speeds are the same, the Pre Plus is noticeably faster and has support for high quality 3D games which aren't available for the Pixi Plus. The Pixi Plus does run more responsively than the Sprint version did with the original firmware. Unfortunately, we no longer have the Sprint Pixi in house to compare them with the newest firmware.

Like the Pre Plus, the Pixi has tiny, rubbery keys. But the Pixi's are even smaller and the keyboard rows are straight rather than curved in a more ergonomic smile configuration.

The Pixi Plus targets folks who are upgrading from the once very popular Palm Centro, and it sports a modern version of the Centro form factor. If you like QWERTY bar phones and prefer a thinner phone, the Pixi gains points against the Pre Plus. But in all other respects, from display quality and speed to camera quality and QWERTY keyboard, the Pre Plus is the better phone. It's a fun and affordable smartphone, but as we noted in our review of the Sprint version, the Pre is the Pixi's biggest enemy.

Video Review

Here's our 7 minute video review of the Palm Pixi Plus and Palm Pre Plus:


Both the Palm Pre Plus and the Palm Pixi Plus are fun, modern and enjoyable smartphones. Combined with Verizon's strong network and EV-DO Rev. A fast data, these phones are definitely worth a good, long look. Palm's webOS is capable and multi-tasks well, but we'd say its simple and non-customizable UI is best suited to smartphone novices and those who don't want to spend hours, days or weeks customizing their smartphone. If you're a power user who likes to tweak and have a customizable desktop, or craves a higher resolution display to better view web pages and MS Office documents, Verizon's Droid duo and their HTC Windows Mobile phones might be a better choice. But then, it's great to have choice, isn't it? And between the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus, if you can afford the $50 additional, you know which we'd pick.

What about the Sprint vs. Verizon versions? Honestly, the phones are so close that we can't say the Plus phones are a really signficant improvement. We'd wager that WiFi on the Pixi Plus is a lot more important to most of you than the increased storage capacitity on the Pre Plus. What it comes down to here is choosing the carrier that suits you best in terms of service, features and price. Again, it's great to have choice.

Price: Palm Pre Plus is $149 after rebate with a 2 year contract. The Palm Pixi Plus is $99 after rebate with a 2 year contract.

Websites: www.verizonwireless.com, www.palm.com


Palm Pre Plus:

Display: 24K color capacitive touch screen. Screen size diagonally: 3.1". Resolution: 320 x 480, supports both portrait and landscape modes in certain applications (has accelerometer). Has proximity and ambient light sensors.

Battery: Lithium Ion rechargeable. Battery is user replaceable.

Performance: ARM Cortex-A8 (TI OMAP 3430), 600MHz CPU, 16 gigs flash storage built-in.

Size: 3.9 x 2.3 x 0.67 inches. Weight: 4.76 ounces.

Phone: CDMA dual band digital 800/1900MHz with EVDO Rev. A.

Camera: 3 MP with LED flash. Takes photos but not video.

Audio: Built in speaker, mic and 3.5mm standard stereo headphone jack. Stereo headset included. Can play MP3, AAC, AAC+, AMR, QCLEP and WAV files. Video player can play MPEG H.263 and H.264 formats.

Networking: Integrated WiFi 802.11b/g and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR with A2DP Bluetooth stereo profile.

Software: Palm Web OS 1.0.2. Messaging (SMS, Google Talk and AIM), web browser, email, photo viewer, video player, tasks, memos, music player, Google Maps, YouTube player, Amazon MP3, Sprint TV, Sprint Navigation, Nascar mobile, calculator, MS Office document viewer, PDF viewer, clock and App Catalog.

Expansion: None. Micro USB connector.

Palm Pixi Plus:

Display: 320 x 400 pixel capacitive display, 18 bit color. Screen size diagonally: 2.63". Resolution: 240 x 320. Has an accelerometer, ambient light sensor and proximity sensor.

Battery: Lithium Ion rechargeable. Battery is user replaceable. 1150 mAh. Claimed talk time: up to 5 hours.

Performance: Qualcomm MSM7627 600 MHz processor (dual core with 400MHz modem core). 256 megs RAM. 8 gigs flash storage.

Size: 4.4 x 2.2 x 0.4 inches. Weight: 3.26 ounces.

Phone: CDMA dual band digital 800/1900MHz with EV-DO Rev. A for fast data and fallback to 1xRTT.

Camera: 2.0 MP with LED flash (shoots photos only).

GPS: Has GPS that works with Sprint Navigation and Google Maps.

Audio: Built in speakers, mic and 3.5mm standard stereo headphone jack. Has ringer silencer switch.

Networking: Integrated WiFi 802.11b/g and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR with A2DP stereo.

Software: Palm web OS. Messaging (SMS, Google Talk and AIM), web browser, email, photo viewer, video player, tasks, memos, music player, Google Maps, YouTube player, Amazon MP3, Sprint TV, Sprint Navigation, Nascar mobile, calculator, MS Office document viewer, PDF viewer, clock and App Catalog.

Expansion slot: None.

Nokia 7710

Posted By Denys Java 0 komentar

Nokia 7710

Symbian Series 90 as a UI (user interface) platform has been discontinued. The much talked about Nokia 7700 based on Series 90 appeared only in previews and never saw production. However, one Series 90 device did make it to market, and that product is the Nokia 7710. Billed as both a PDA and a media device, the Nokia 7710 has a wide and bright touch screen, a megapixel camera, a built-in FM radio receiver and 90 MB RAM. Throw in Bluetooth, stereo audio, a full set of PIM (Personal Information Manager) applications and EDGE support, you've got the 7710.

The Nokia 7710 smartphone is also designed for business users. It comes with full set of office applications, email and messaging, local and remote synchronization with PC, and web browsing with Flash support. None of our US carriers sells the Nokia 7710, rather it's only available from importers such as TigerDirect.com and expansys.com. They sell the device unlocked and you can use any GSM carrier's SIM card in the 7710. This is a triband phone supporting the 900/1800/1900 MHz bands (no 850 MHz for Cingular and AT&T Wireless).

In the Box

The package includes the 7710 phone with a black plastic stand, USB sync cable, stereo headphones with FM radio antenna unit, 2 styli, 128 MB MMC card, 1300 mAh Li-Polymer battery, companion CD with PC Suite for synchronization and a printed user manual.

Design and Ergonomics

The Nokia 7710 is a giant among phones. With its 5 inch long and 2.7 inch tall body, the 7710 has a hefty presence. It's certainly still pocket-able although you will notice the weight in your pants' pocket or your purse. Even though big, the design of the Nokia shows a certain elegance. All the corners are slightly curved and the sides slope gently. Both the front and back plastic covers are in silver with some white highlights to create attractive accent lines. The case that houses the phone is black and it's not covered by the silver plates. Six function buttons along with a 5-way directional pad flank the device; three on each side of the display. The d-pad, menu key and desk UI key sit on the left side of the screen while the zoom key, switch key and the Esc key on the right. The earpiece lives under the front face plate between the switch key and the Esc key, and the mic is near the bottom on the left side of the device.

There are no buttons or ports on the left side of the Nokia 7710 and you will only find the Power On/Off switch on the right side panel. You will find the Call Send/Answer, Call End/Reject buttons along with a speaker switch on the top left of the device and a battery door latch on the top right side. The battery door covers the entire back side of the Nokia leaving only the camera lens and the back firing speaker uncovered. Underneath the battery door, you will find the MMC slot and SIM card slot next to the battery. The MMC slot is easy to access, however if you wish to swap SIM card you will need to take the battery out first to access the SIM slot. The charging port and the Pop-port connector for synchronization/headphone/FM radio live on the bottom edge of the phone. Stylus silo opens on the bottom right edge of the 7710.

Size comparison: Sony Ericsson T610, Palm Treo 650, 7710 and Samsung i730

Horsepower and Performance

The Nokia 7710 has an ARM based processor running at 150 MHz, slightly faster than the Nokia Series 60 devices such as the Nokia 7610 and the Nokia N-Gage QD. Applications launch with a slight delay compared to the instant loading on the Series 60 phones, but by no means unbearable. Working with Office files such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint files shows no sign of delay; however saving photos taken with the megapixel camera takes longer than on other Nokia phones. The speed lag also appears in the phone's boot up time and in web page rendering using the bundled web browser application.

The Nokia 7710 comes with about 90 MB of RAM for you to store your PIM data, messages and multimedia files as well as applications. That's a healthy amount of memory if you mainly need to store contacts, calendar, ringing tones and some photos. But if you have a large multimedia library with ton of videos, then you can utilize the MultiMediaCard (MMC) for additional storage space. The 7710 sales package comes with a 128 MB MMC card and the device supports up to 512 MB MMC.

Phone Features

The Nokia 7710 is a GSM cell phone that runs on the 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz bands. For those of you who aren't familiar with the US band support: Cingular and AT&T Wireless rely heavily on the 850 band and also use the 1900 MHz band. T Mobile uses only 1900 MHz in the US. The Nokia 7710 is sold only through importers in this country, not through any carriers, and the device is unlocked which means you can pop in any GSM SIM card and use the phone where service is available.

Like many Nokia phones, the 7710 has strong reception. It gets full signal strength in strong coverage areas and half signal strength in poor coverage areas where other brands struggle to hold a signal. The Nokia has an amazing microphone and earpiece and both incoming and outgoing call quality is very good. You can change the volume of the earpiece and speaker by tapping on the Audio Settings next to the phone dialer screen. The separate Speaker Switch hardware button makes it easy to turn on the speaker during a call.

Like many smartphones, the Nokia 7710 has a dialer screen that you can either launch from the "desk" menu or by pushing the Call Send/Answer button on the device. The dialer screen has two sets of functions depending on whether you are on or off the phone. While not in a call, the dialer screen shows a number pad that looks like the number keypad on regular phones. On the right of the number pad, you will find short cuts to Contacts and Recent Calls. If you have just answered a call and the incoming number isn't in your contacts database, the dialer application will give you an option to save it to your contacts or dial that number. During a call, the shortcuts on the dialer screen will change to Audio Settings and options to make another call or a conference call. When you have two lines in use, the dialer screen will show you both calls' info and you can put one on hold very easily. While providing these easy-to-use features, the dialer screen can also generate some hassle and confusion. To pack all the features into the application, the phone app makes you go through three drop-down menus to access the number pad, the speed dial screen and the call manager which has call send, end, answer, hold options. Doubtless, few of us wish to go through several different screens to handle these basic phone functions.

The Nokia phone supports voice dialing, conference call, call forwarding, call barring and setting various profiles. Voice dialing works well. It can be used in any language and it uses voice recognition so you should record the voice tags if you are the one who will be using the voice dialing feature. The Nokia comes with 6 default profiles including Flight mode, and you can add your own profiles and set ringtones and alerts for incoming calls, email, text and Multimedia messages and more. You have 8 empty slots for speed dial numbers and you can assign them and change them anytime you wish. Like most phones, the number 1 speed dial is reserved for the voice mail. The 7710 also supports unique ringtones for specific contacts and display of photo caller ID. While in a call, you can also access other applications such as taking notes, looking up other contacts, etc. without interrupting the phone call.

The Nokia 7710 has class 10 GPRS for data and EDGE. The phones gets throughput of 55k to 100k on T-Mobile network in our area where EDGE is available. The connection will maintain for a while even after you have stopped using the data network. While the data speed is desirable, web page rendering using the built-in browser is slow, especially when loading pages with a good number of images. Too bad Opera doesn't have a version of their excellent web browser for Series 90.

Display, Sound and Multimedia

Other than the Nokia Communicators such as the 9300 and 9500 series and the upcoming 770, the Nokia 7710 is one of the rare few with a luxurious 3.5 inch TFT wide screen that's made for web browser, working on Office documents and email and watching wide screen video clips. The touch screen sports 640 x 320 resolution and is capable of displaying 65k colors. The display is sharp and bright. Colors are reasonably saturated with a very slight blue tint. Surfing web pages and viewing photos on the Nokia is a joy, though the animations and video samples that come with the phone didn't show off the great screen quality due to the device speed.

The sound quality through the speaker and the headset is superb and the volume is loud. It's a rare thing to hear such excellent sound on a mobile phone. You can use the bundled Music Player to play MP3s. The phone supports AAC, AMR, RealAudio, WAV and MIDI ringtones. If you want to use your own ringtones, simply copy the sound file to the MMC and use the Profile to personalize the ringtones. Another use for the great sound quality is the built-in Pop-port FM radio. To listen to the FM radio, connect the Pop-port headset to the device and launch the Visual Radio application from your phone. The radio gets plenty of FM stations in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Visual Radio software provides you with interface to set up favorite channels, search for stations and more.

The Nokia 7710 supports three video formats: 3GPP standard H.263 profile 0 level 10 video codec with audio encoded in narrowband AMR, MPEG4 SVP level 0 video using the 3GP file format for playback only and RealVideo 8 RealAudio 8 for video streaming. The bundled sample videos on the MMC in these formats played fine on the Nokia. We tried some AVI and MOV files on the phone, none of the clips played. Video playback exhibited some rendering delays and dropped frames using the bundled RealPlayer.


The Nokia 7710 has good quality megapixel CMOS camera that's capable of taking still photos up to 1152 x 864 resolution with 2x digital zoom and live video with audio at QCIF resolution. Photo quality is similar to the excellent Nokia 7610 and beats many other camera phones on the market, though it can't compare to the Sony Ericsson S710's 1.3MP CCD camera. It does well in bright to moderate light but shows some noise in low light settings. You can set the Contrast and Brightness for the camera and select from three image and video quality levels to take pictures and videos. Nokia bundles a very capable image viewer for photo editing and viewing. You can edit the images, save them into folders, use them for Photo ID in contacts or send them via MMS. You can playback the videos in RealPlayer.


The Nokia 7710 has integrated Bluetooth 1.1 with support for Serial Port, Dial-Up Networking (DUN), Object Push, File Transfer and Handsfree Profiles. The Bluetooth application is accessible via the Control Panel and provides step-by-step instructions on connecting the device to a PC or pairing it with a Bluetooth headset. To synchronize with the PC or transfer files via Bluetooth connection, you will need to install the PC Suite application on your desktop and then use SyncML for syncing or follow the transfer wizard for transferring data. Pairing the 7710 with several Bluetooth headset including the Motorola HS820 and the Plantronics M3500 proved to be quick and easy. The voice quality via these headsets is decent and the range between the headsets and the device reached over 20 feet.


The Nokia 7710 has a user replaceable 1300 mAh Li-Polymer battery. That's a healthy amount of juice for this phone. The battery lives under the back plate next to the SIM card slot. If you open the back plate to access the MMC, the phone will notice it and you won't be able to use the phone until you put the back plate back on.

The battery performs well supporting the large and sharp display, Bluetooth, the camera and other functions on the phone. The claimed talk time is up to 12 hours and standby time is up to 14 days. In our test, the phone didn't achieve these goals, but did very well compare to other smartphones with similar feature sets. You can get about 5 days standby time with Bluetooth radio turned off. The talk time is close to 7 hours. The camera and Bluetooth will use more power, of course.

User Interface and Software

The Nokia 7710 runs the Series 90 UI that includes an icon-based home screen that Nokia calls the Desk application, a well designed on-screen text input keyboard and handwriting recognition, a Control Panel that gives you access to over a dozen phone settings and functions as well as a file manager that works with many bundled applications. The Desk UI will look familiar to Series 60 users since it uses similar icons. The on-screen keyboard works very well as does the handwriting recognition. The keyboard will pop up automatically when you are in need of entering letters or numbers; this means you don't need to look for the keyboard or launch it yourself.

The Nokia bundles applications to work with Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations. You can create and edit Word documents and Excel spreadsheets with the applications on the Nokia, but you can only view or run slide shows with PowerPoint presentations. Most of the files we tested didn't need any conversion and ran straight from the MMC. Nokia also bundles a web browser that supports HTML, xHTML, Macromedia Flash 6 and SMS Tags. The Messaging application can send and receive text messages, multimedia messages and email messages. The multimedia messaging supports the 3GPP SML profile which allows you to send short presentations via MMS. Email support includes SMTP, POP3, IMAP4 and APOP protocols. The Nokia also supports WAP Push messages which means that the messages are received without constant connections through the WAP Stack into your Messaging Inbox.

For multimedia, the Nokia 7710 bundles Music Player for playing MP3, WAV and AMR files.; They include Images for viewing photos and editing images using the sketch function; and RealPlayer for playing videos. The Nokia supports Java technology for gaming and you can run games and applications developed for MIDP 2.0 and CLDC 1.1. To work with the FM radio bundled with the 7710 Pop-port headset, Nokia provides the Visual Radio application for you to select channels, search stations, change volume and more. One of the most exciting multimedia features, though in its very early technology stage, is the support for the DVB-H mobile television format which allows you to watch real time broadcast TV. There is no such service yet in the US, some parts of UK have already begun the test runs.

In addition to the Office apps and multimedia tools, the Nokia comes with a full set of PIM (Personal Information Manager) applications. They include Contacts, Calendar, To-do and some useful tools such as Converter (currency, length, mass, energy and much more), Calculator, Clock and Voice Recorder. To sync the device with your desktop PC, you can use the PC Suite on the companion CD.


A stunning looking and unique phone that has Nokia's excellent reception and call quality. The unit is however rather large by phone standards, and the user interface requires too many steps for simple tasks. Call management is handled largely on-screen and many users will miss the standard phone hardware buttons. The 7710 boasts impressive multimedia features: 1 megapixel camera with video, FM radio, RealPlayer and Flash. However the device runs slowly when working with multimedia, despite the 150 MHz processor. Still, if you want a very large resolution touch screen smartphone that combines a PDA with Nokia's signature phone reception and strong Bluetooth, the 7710 is worth considering.

Web site: www.nokia.com

List price: Estimated US price from importers $589 unlocked.


Display: 3.5 inch TFT wide screen. 640 x 320 resolution, capable of displaying 65k colors.

Battery: 1300 mAh Li-Polymer battery. Claimed talk time: up to 12 hours; claimed standby time: up to 342 hours.

Performance: 150 MHz ARM family processor. 90 MB RAM for storing data and applications. 128 MB MMC included and supports up to 512 MB MMC capacity.

Size: 5 x 2.7 x 0.74 inches (128 x 69.5 x 19 mm). Weighs 6.66 oz. (189 grams).

Camera: 1 megapixel CMOS camera capable of taking still photos and video with audio. Max. resolution: 1152 x 864 for still shots and 176 x 144 for videos. F 1:3.2 aperture.

Audio: Built in speaker, mic and Pop-port stereo headset connector. Voice Recorder, Visual Radio and Music Player included.

Networking: Bluetooth 1.1, no IR port.

Phone: GSM 900/1800/1900 MHz. Class 10 GPRS and EDGE.

Software: Symbian OS version 7.0s, Series 90 UI. PIM applications include Contacts, Calendar and To-Do. Document, Sheet and Presentations bundled for working with MS Office files. Multimedia applications include RealPlayer, Music Player, Images and Visual Radio. Web browser and Messaging included. Other tools include: Telephone app for using with the phone features, Calculator, Clock, Converter and File Manager. PC Suite include for synchronizing with desktop PC.

Expansion: One MultiMedia Card (MMC) slot, supports up to 512 MB MultiMedia cards. A 128 MB MMC card included in the package.

Nokia N-Gage QD

Posted By Denys Java 0 komentar

Nokia N-Gage QD GSM Phone and Game Deck

When is a mobile phone not just a mobile phone? When it's the Nokia N-Gage QD "Game Deck". Sure, mobile phones can be smart, offering some of the same features found on PDAs. They can all play games, but the ergonomics aren't up to snuff for an hour of action-riddled fun. The N-Gage QD aims to change that, with a design befitting a handheld game console that somehow manages to work well as a phone.

While the original N-Gage (no QD at the end of its name) acquired a collection of descriptive phrases such as the taco and side talkin' thanks to its ungainly design and oddly mounted speaker and mic which required you to hold it on end to talk, the QD is a new animal. Not that the innards have changed much, but the exterior has been completely redesigned. The QD is smaller, looks slick, works well for gaming and phoning and best of all: you hold it normally, flat against your ear and face to have a conversation.

Besides its impressive gaming capabilities, perhaps the most attractive thing about the N-Gage QD is its price. Symbian Series 60 GSM phones are generally pricey, but the N-Gage QD is a wildly affordable Series 60 beast with Bluetooth. What is Symbian Series 60? The Symbian operating system is the most widely used cell phone OS. Series 60 is at the high end of the Symbian OS lineup, offering several PDA-like features, an expansion slot for memory, and the ability to install add-on programs of all sorts (there are more than a thousand available). Such power comes at a price, and Series 60 Nokia phones generally cost between $300 to $500 US. The QD sells in the US for somewhere between free and $149 with activation and an unlocked version for use with any GSM carrier sells for $199 (no contract commitment required).

Not bad! Of course, the N-Gage targets kids who love gaming along with adults. That means the device had to be relatively inexpensive. To keep costs down, Nokia didn't load this with some of the features you'll find on their more expensive Series 60 phones such as the Nokia 7610 or 6620. The QD has only a 4,096 color display rather than the usual high end 65,000 color display (though games look very good), it lacks a camera and there is no cable syncing option and no IR port, so you'll need to suffer through Bluetooth syncing if you need to get your Outlook data onto the phone. If you can live without those features, are on a budget, or best of all are a hardcore gamer who doesn't want to carry two devices or be seen with a Nintendo DS on the commuter train, read on.

Design and Ergonomics

The QD looks like no other cell phone. That's a good thing, since the device doubles as a handheld game deck. Not a flip, not a candy bar, not even a taco; the QD fits well in the hand for use as a phone but has an overall design reminiscent of a game controller. The excellent 5-way directional pad lives on the left and the number pad (also used in gaming) is to the right of the color display. It feels great in the hand when gaming and the controls work perfectly. The d-pad supports diagonals and the domed number keys work well for gaming and dialing. The 5 and 7 keys have a different look and an added bubble-shaped dome on top making them easy to locate since they're used most often in games.

Above: the N-Gage QD and the original N-Gage.

The call send and end buttons flank the lower left and right sides of the front face, and the standard Nokia Series 60 application launch pad and "pencil" (turns on/off predictive text, changes to numeric input/text/symbols) buttons are there along with an action button located just below and to the right of the d-pad. The number pad's standard layout makes dialing and SMS-ing simple, and the keys are backlit. The headset jack and charger port are located on the top edge under a rubber flap, and the MMC card slot is located under a flap on the bottom edge of the phone. That's right: unlike the original N-Gage, the QD has a hot-swappable slot on the side rather than placing the MMC slot under the battery. That means you need not power down the phone to switch cards or games (games are sold on MMC cards). The earpiece speaker is located on the front face in the top right corner and the mic is located on the opposite end, so you can hold the phone normally in conversation. The speaker for system sounds, gaming and speakerphone is located on the bottom edge so it won't accidentally deafen you when holding the phone to your head.

The battery lives under a large door on the back of the phone, and the SIM slot is located under the battery as with most phones. The power button is on the right side under the rubberized surround that wraps the around the sides for a good grip. You do have to press the power button with some force due to the stiffness of the rubber surround. The phone can accept interchangeable face plates and the rubber grip is replaceable. Overall, it looks and feels solid and well made. Our unit has withstood months of gaming use and the buttons haven't lost their firmness or masking, and the casing is still in great shape.

While the QD is larger than today's "micro" phone offerings, it is not overly large and fits into pocket or purse. The QD is as small as possible without compromising gaming ergonomics.

Phone Features, Reception and Data

The N-Gage QD is a GSM device with GPRS for data. It comes in two flavors: an 850/1900MHz version for the US and a 900/1800MHz version for Europe and Asia. If you need a quad band world phone that works anywhere in the world GSM is available, look elsewhere. If you're not an overseas traveler, read on. GSM service in the US is offered by T-Mobile, Cingular and AT&T Wireless, all of whom offer the N-Gage QD at attractive new activation pricing. If you prefer, you can buy the unlocked version of the QD for use with any GSM carrier, no contract required. Just pop in your SIM and start gaming and calling. There is no CDMA version of the N-Gage, which means it is not offered by Sprint and Verizon, the two largest US CDMA network carriers.

The QD has all the features you've come to expect on a quality Nokia phone such as call logging, last number redial, speakerphone, call mute, speed dialing up to 8 numbers, voice dialing up to 25 numbers and support for conference calling. When in a call you can adjust call volume by pressing the d-pad left and right. Volume and mic sensitivity through the built-in mic and earpiece are good. The same can be said of the included dual mono earbud headset (unlike the original N-Gage, the QD doesn't have stereo output) and call quality through a variety of popular Bluetooth headsets. If you're gaming when a call comes in, the QD gracefully notifies you of the call and allows you to answer without any fuss, muss or crashing.

As with most current Nokia phones, reception is very good and near the top of the pack, beating out many other brands and bested only by the Nokia 7610 and palmOne Treo 650. Voice quality has been good, even in low signal areas. Incoming voices were sharp and clear by cell phone standards and our call recipients said we sounded great.

For data, the QD has GPRS class 6. That's not going to excite any data-happy geek, as class 6 is slower than the now more commonly used class 10 (the fastest standard GPRS implementation) and the phone lacks EDGE. Class 6 should give you about 37kbps, while class 10 averages 45 - 53 kbps and EDGE averages 100kbps. The good news is that connections are reliable with the N-Gage and it's very easy to use as a Bluetooth cellular modem with a PDA or notebook (commonly called DUN or dial up networking). Given the display size and rendering abilities of mobile phones, class 6 is more than adequate for browsing the web, though a faster data connection would improve the multi-player gaming experience. Speaking of browsers, Nokia includes their own XHTML web browser which supports WAP and HTML sites. In addition, you get a mail application that supports IMAP4, POP3 and SMTP.


When it comes to gaming, the N-Gage QD is truly a rare breed. The combination of a great game deck design, top tier AAA tiles and multiplayer capabilities over GPRS makes this device unique and appealing to gamers who are serious about gaming on their cell phones. You won't find this combination of features on any PDA, not even the Tapwave Zodiac which lacks GPRS and a wide selection of top titles. Even handheld gaming consoles such as the Nintendo DS and the upcoming Sony PSP (due out late March in the US) and Gizmondo (US release in Q1) can't compete on all fronts. To further differentiate the QD from the pack, Nokia hosts the N-Gage Arena where players can download game demos, play massive multiplayer games, participate in competitions and more.

Sims screen shot

No gaming device can survive without a solid game library and Nokia has built and continues to build an impressive line of games that will attract not only casual gamers but serious gamers too. Aside from the usual mobile gaming titles such as Snakes and Bomberman, you'll find very attractive ports and original games that can't be found on other handheld gaming devices. Sports games fans will find Madden, Tiger Woods, FIFA and SSX titles. First and third person shooters can get their fix on Pathway to Glory, Call of Duty and even Splinter Cell Chaos Theory. And let's not forget RPG fans who will drool over The Elder Scrolls Travels: Shadowkey, X-Men Legends and the first mobile MMORPG (massive multiplayer online role playing game) Pocket Kingdom. All games on the N-Gage are designed for you to play for ten minutes or the entire day depending on your schedule, true to the mobile purpose; and most support multiplayer over Bluetooth.

The games' mobile implementations work well and are well-mated to the N-Gage's controls. The game designs and ports have more streamlined sequences or story lines, suitable for the handheld portable gaming experience. In Ashen, a first person shooter game, you will explore 8 long levels with various types of terrain and hunt down monsters. The sequence is straightforward: explore the level, kill all monsters and get out. The movement and controls are easy even without the traditional shoulder buttons. Picking up weapons and shooting at enemies are equally effortless. The game has amazing audio that could startle you when a monster catches you by surprise hiding in an alcove or coming around the corner. It doesn't have as many types of weapons as you will find in Unreal Tournament, but with 4 multiplayer maps and a good number of weapons you'll feel the same adrenalin rush in death match and team death match modes.

The streamlined game design also works in more complex games such as The Sims Bustin' Out. The N-Gage version of the Sims changes the focus of the game from free play to goal/quest oriented play. You will unlock items by completing goals given to you by Sims and move into bigger and bigger houses along the way. The game adds more depth to the main quest by packing in a good number of mini games where you can become the most successful Sim. The number pad on the QD gives the Sims game plenty of control options and it doesn't have much of a learning curve before you get helplessly addicted. The multiplayer game allows you to trade or sell rare items through daily live auctions. There are many, many more titles, so check out a few more for yourself if you get a QD! Games are sold in many retail stores on MMC cards and average $29 to $35, and both the original N-Gage and the N-Gage QD can play the same games.

Comparing the size of the Nokia 3650, N-Gage QD, Sony Ericsson T610 and the Audiovox SMT 5600.

Display, Sound and Multimedia

The 2.2" 176 x 208 pixel 4,096 color backlit display may not be the best on the block but it manages to look darned good when playing games. It has good color saturation, brightness and contrast. It's not the ideal unit for photo viewing given the lack of color depth, but then the QD lacks a camera anyway.

Sound through the speaker is of good quality and can get plenty loud-- certainly great for gaming. Unfortunately it is a mono device (the original N-Gage was stereo) and it has no FM radio capability. While the QD can play MP3s, you won't be using it as an iPod replacement since it lacks stereo output. Hence the unit ships with a dual mono earbud headset and there is no stereo headset option. The QD supports MIDI and WAV ringtones but not MP3 ringtones.

Battery Life

The QD ships with the 1070 mA Nokia BL-6C Lithium Ion rechargeable battery and Nokia's standard compact world charger. That's a high capacity battery and the N-Gage has excellent battery life. When not gaming and talking on the phone for 45 minutes/day with Bluetooth turned on, the device lasts 5 days on a charge. Gaming reduces battery life and you'll get approximately 4 hours of pure gaming on a charge.


The QD has integrated Bluetooth 1.1 class B. You can use Bluetooth for multiplayer gaming, sending and receiving files (OBEX profile), syncing (serial port profile) and headsets (hands free profile). Like most Nokia phones, the N-Gage's Bluetooth was solid and easy to use. We used it as a wireless modem over Bluetooth with a variety of PDAs and a notebook, exchanged files and contact records with desktops and PDAs and used it with several of the Bluetooth headsets reviewed on our site. The QD worked well with all the headsets we tested, offering easy pairing, reliable connections, good audio quality, volume and range. Syncing to Outlook using PC Suite over Bluetooth is a challenge so be prepared to spend some time getting that connection working. Also be sure to get the latest version of PC Suite available for the N-Gage, as each new version offers improvements in ease of use and reliability.

Software Bundle

The device runs Symbian Series 60, 6.0 version 1. Like all Series 60 phones, it comes with a generous helping of useful applications for PIM data, and apps such as a video player, image viewer, calculator, clock, voice recorder, ringtone composer, unit converter, screen shot, web browser and email client.

For PIM apps, the QD has Calendar, Contacts, Tasks and a Notes app too. The Contacts application has fields for first name, last name, company, address, telephone (home and work), web site, email address, mobile phone number (home and work), fax (home and work), pager, job title, notes, birthday and more . The Calendar has day, week and month views, and you can specify the default view and the starting day of the week. Of course it has alarms and you can create new entries categorized as Meeting, Memo or Anniversary. Calendar supports repeating events: weekly, bi-weekly, monthly and yearly. To-do is a task management app that supports priorities and Notes is a note taking application. All of these sync to Outlook on the desktop using PC Suite on the desktop. Mac owners can give iSync a try.


If you're a gamer, this is an excellent device. There's a good selection of high quality titles and the device has great gaming ergonomics. It works well as a phone and is the most affordable current Symbian Series 60 smartphone.

Pro: Great for gaming and there's an excellent selection of titles. It's sturdy and will withstand plenty of gaming action. The device is attractive and portable. Strong compliment of mobile phone features and works well as a phone overall. A very affordable Series 60 device that works with the wealth of Series 60 freeware and shareware on the market. Bluetooth is reliable. Though only 4,096 colors, the display looks great when gaming. MMC slot is hot swappable and easily accessible (no need to pull the battery out). Very good battery life when used as a phone and organizer, respectable life when gaming.

Con: No cabled sync port for those who don't want to tackle Bluetooth syncing to the desktop for PIM data. Mono rather than stereo output. GPRS class 6 is not very fast by today's standards and likely hinders more bandwidth intensive multi-player game features. Speed dial only holds 8 numbers.

Web Site: www.n-gage.com

Price: $199 for the unlocked version for use with any carrier. Carrier subsidized versions available from T-Mobile, AT&T Wireless and Cingular for $149 and often much less (free!) with new activation.


Display: TFT color backlit LCD. 12 bit color, 4,096 colors. 176 x 208 pixel display, 2.2" diagonal.

Battery: Lithium Ion rechargeable. Battery is user replaceable. 1070 mA Nokia BL-6C.

Performance: Symbian Series 60 OS, 6.0 version 1. 104MHz ARM 9 processor, 3.4 megs internal memory. Expandable via MMC cards.

Size: 4.65 x 2.68 x .87 inches. Weight: 5 oz.

Audio: Built in speaker, mic and 2.5mm headset jack. Audio is mono, and the phone will output dual mono with Nokia's headset. Supports Midi and WAV ringtones. Supports voice dialing and has speakerphone.

Networking: Bluetooth 1.1.

Wireless: GSM 850/1900MZ (US model), 900/1800 (Asia, Europe). GPRS class 6 (2+2, 3+1, class B).

Software: Symbian Series 60 OS, 6.0 version 1. Messaging (mail client for POP, IMAP and SMTP, MMS, SMS and threaded IM), web browser (WAP and xHTML), Contacts, Calendar, Notes, To-do, ringtone composer (midi), video player, calculator, clock, voice recorder, screen shot, image viewer, Converter (unit conversion), Profiles, Game Manager, call log, app manager, N-Gage Arena (multiplayer online gaming over GPRS).

Expansion: 1 MMC slot accepts MMC cards only (not SD). Card is hot swappable.

Nokia 7610b

Posted By Denys Java 0 komentar

Nokia 7610b

Nokia, the largest cell phone manufacturer in the world, offers a wide array of phones from the most simple to power smartphones running Symbian Series 60. The 7610 is one of Nokia's high end beauties, running the new version 2 of Symbian Series 60 and offering just about every feature you could want. It's a GSM phone that comes in two flavors: the 7610 which runs on 900/1800/1900MHz bands (world phone) and the still hard to find 7610b which runs on the 850/1800/1900MHz bands for the US. The phone is widely available in Europe and Asia, and from importers in the US. As of late November 2004, Cingular will be offering the 7610b in the US: great news!

The 7610 caters not only to power users, but those who want a strong dose of style. Nokia makes many, many cookie-cutter candy bar phones; but they're also fond of playing with style, sometimes radically in certain models. Unlike the Nokia 3650 which had a round keypad design that was so radical it gave fervent SMS-ers apoplexy, the 7610's stylized keypad is striking but not impossible to use. The 7610 has a design that most folks find striking and very attractive and it turns heads wherever we go. It's available in black or white and as you'd expect, Nokia sells additional "Express On" covers should you feel like a color change. But the 7610 is more than just a pretty face, and features great reception, Bluetooth, a lovely 65,000 color 2" display and a stunning 1 megapixel camera capable of taking still shots and video.

Design and Ergonomics

This is a device that hopes to find its way into the Museum of Modern Art. The black version is particularly striking and has a gloss finish with silver (some versions add red) accents. It is perfectly symmetrical with right angles at the top left and lower right corners, and gentle curves on the top right and lower left. Turn it on its face, turn it upside down and the pleasing form will remain the same.

The silver insets around the large display swoop down to meet the keypad where they widen, forming the backdrop for the outer keys. The keypad features a sweeping radial design and the left and lower keys are larger than the rest. Though the keys aren't uniformed in size and don't line up in the usual rectangular pattern with the 4 key directly below the 1 key, the keyboard isn't hard to use. In two hours I found it easy to use the keypad for dialing and SMS. Though the keyboard has a visually distinct appearance, Nokia didn't alter the keys enough to create usability problems.

Above: side view of the Nokia 7610b. Below, a size comparison with the Motorola MPx220,
Sony Ericsson T610, the Nokia 7610 and the Nokia 3650.

The center directional pad is small and stiff, nested perhaps a bit too close to the surrounding keys. It's usable and works well one-handed but you'll need a bit of coordination and a day of use to become proficient at it. A two inch display dominates the upper portion of the unit, with the speaker located above the display. The Nokia Pop-Port is located on the bottom of the phone and the camera lens on the back. The lens is relatively large compared to some other camera phones and that's a good thing: a larger lens usually means better photos. Rather than the usual tiny round self-portait mirror found next to the lens, the 7610 has a large mirror that incorporates nicely into the design on the back panel. Those of us who like to check our hair on the go will love that mirror, while those who score low on the vanity scale might prefer a completely black rear casing. Regardless of which camp you fall into, you'll likely agree that the mirror and and surrounding pattern are striking. And after all, this phone is both a smartphone and a fashion phone. If you like the features and specs of the 7610 but don't want the novel keyboard or standout looks, consider the Nokia 6670 instead. The 6670 is a triband world phone with the guts of a 7610 and a more "normal" appearance.

Horsepower and Expansion

According to Psiloc System Tools, the 7610 has a 123MHz ARM processor which is currently one of the fastest you'll find in a Series 60 phone. It has 8 megs of internal memory, which doesn't sound like much, but it's more than adequate because Symbian apps are generally quite small. The phone uses the new Reduced Size MMC cards (RS-MMC) which are half the length of standard MMC cards. But you won't have to scramble to find a card for your 7610 because Nokia generously includes a 64 meg card with the phone. You'll find a variety of 3rd party software demo apps on the card which you can test, purchase or delete as you see fit. Nokia says that the phone will work with up to 256meg RS-MMC cards and that was the largest capacity available when the phone was released. Now there are 512 meg cards on the market and they work fine with the 7610.

The phone has Bluetooth, a Nokia Pop-Port connector but no IR. It comes with the DKU-2 USB cable which attaches to the Pop-Port for syncing and using the phone as a wireless modem for a PC or Mac over USB. As Windows user who's struggled to sync PIM data over Bluetooth using PC Suite can tell you, the cable is a much more reliable and less crazy-making method of getting you Contacts, Calendar, Tasks and Notes data synced to the phone. You can still transfer files to and from the phone via Bluetooth, but the 7610 doesn't support Serial Port Profile, so you will need to use the cable to sync PIM data.

A Bit about Bands and the 7610 vs. 7610b

As mentioned, the phone comes in two versions, the 7610 and the 7610b. The 7610 is a world phone that works anywhere GSM service is available. It has 900MHz (Europe), 1800MHz (Asia) and 1900MHz (US). The 7610b targets the US, and trades the 900MHz band for 850MHz which is a relatively new band used in the US by AT&T/Cingular. You'll still get reception in the US using the non-b version of the phone on the 1900MHz band. 1900MHz is used by every US GSM carrier, but some metro areas have been built out with added 850MHz service in the past year. Note that if you get the b version, you won't be able to use the phone in Europe. If you're a T-Mobile US customer, you don't need to worry about the 850MHz band because T-Mobile only uses 1900MHz.

Phone Features, Reception and Data

Nokia phones have great reception and the 7610b is no exception. In fact, it tops other recent Nokias we've tested including the 3650, N-Gage QD and the 6820. The phone gets a signal where other phones can't and shows very high db readings overall for signal strength. The unit hasn't dropped a call in two weeks of testing, even when in a very poor signal area with 1 bar. Miraculously, call sound quality was good even with 1 bar. We tested the unit with a T-Mobile SIM on the 1900MHz band in the US. No doubt, US customers with AT&T/Cingular on 850MHz towers will see even better performance indoors as will 900MHz users in Europe.

The 7610 has all the standard phone features you'll find on other Series 60 phones such as voice dialing using voice tags, a loud speaker phone, speed dialing for up to 99 numbers, support for conference calling, call waiting and picture caller ID. The phone's earpiece and mic volume are good and are loud and clear enough for use in public places. The 7610 ups the ante with voice commands that allow you to launch applications or even toggle Bluetooth on and off. You'll record voice tags for commands, just as you do for voice dialing. We did note that there's a longer delay after you hear the voice prompt before you can speak your command compared to other phones. Wait one full second after you hear the auditory prompt to speak your command or wait for the on-screen progress bar to start moving before you speak. Voice dialing and voice commands work darned near 100% if you wait and will surely fail if you don't.

Display, Sound and Multimedia

Certainly this is one of the nicest displays we've seen on a Nokia phone. The 2" TFT display is capable of displaying 65,000 colors and runs at the standard Series 60 176 x 208 resolution. The screen is contrasty and has very good color saturation. While there are LCDs that can display even more colors and are a bit brighter such as the Motorola MPx220, photos actually look more natural and show more gradations in contrast and intensity on the Nokia. Indeed the 7610's display is plenty bright and you can adjust the brightness if you wish but you can't change the backlight timeout which can be annoying if you like to surf, read ebooks and the like. There are utilities that will turn the backlight on indefinitely such as the free FExplorer, thank goodness.

Surprisingly, the 7610 doesn't have stereo output even though it can play MP3s and movies. What a shame. . . Sound quality when listening to music and videos with audio is good though but this unit won't put your iPod out of a job. The included earbud headset has low volume for multimedia and voice calls, so do consider getting a different Pop-Port headset or a Bluetooth headset. Volume through the speaker is quite good, as is volume through Bluetooth headsets. The 7610 supports MP3 ringtones which opens a entire realm of free and custom ringers.

RealPlayer is included for playback of MP3, Real Audio, Real Video and 3GP videos shot with the phone's camera.

Battery Life

For a smartphone, the 7610 had good battery life, lasting us about 2 days of moderate use per charge. It has a 900 mAh Lithium Ion BL-5C battery which is larger than some prior Series 60 devices' batteries, though not as large as the N-Gage QD's 1,000 mAh battery which will not physically fit in the 7610 in case you were wondering . In our tests we spoke for 30 to 45 minutes per day on the phone, surfed for one hour using the included web browser and Opera, used the phone as a wireless modem over Bluetooth with a Dell Axim X50v and an HP iPAQ hx4700 for one hour per day, watched a few short videos and played games for 30 minutes per day. Most but not all of our phone conversations involved Bluetooth headsets and we left Bluetooth turned on 80% of the time.

Software and Syncing

Thanks to the included USB syncing cable, syncing to Windows PCs is now easy. One caveat: ignore the version of PC Suite on the CD and download the latest version from Nokia's web site. Right now, that's version 6.4 and it not only works reliably with the 7610 but it has many new features and a spiffy user interface. You'll use PC Suite to browse the phone's contents, transfer files, sync PIM data to Outlook, play movies taken with the camera and more. If you prefer Bluetooth, you can transfer files but you won't be able to sync PIM data because the phone doesn't have the serial port profile.

Speaking of PIM apps, the 7610 has very strong Calendar, Contacts, Tasks and a Notes app too. The Contacts application includes a large number of fields and will suit most Outlook users nicely. The Calendar defaults to month view with appointments appearing as blue triangles, and has week and day views as well which you can switch to at any time or select as your default view. Of course it has alarms and you can create new entries categorized as Meeting, Memo or Anniversary. To-to is a task management app that supports priorities and Notes (nested in the Extras folder) is a note taking application. All of these sync to Outlook on the desktop


The Nokia has one of the best 1 megapixel cameras available on a phone. The only phone that beats it is the Sony Ericsson S700i which is a rather large and expensive phone that's sold only by importers in the US. It's capable of taking photos up to 1152 x 864 pixels resolution, uses a CMOS sensor and has 4x digital zoom. The lens is fast at 2:8 which is good for low light settings yet it does well in bright outdoor environments and doesn't white out brighter objects. Like other Nokias, the lens is a wide angle at 3.7mm which is roughly equivalent to a 28mm film camera lens.

While some phone and PDA cameras offer a plethora of settings yet take mediocre photos, the Nokia has relatively few manual settings but consistently takes excellent photos on the automatic setting. Of course, the phone won't replace your dedicated digicam but the photos are good enough to save, put on web pages and perhaps even print up to 4" x 6". Nokia clearly believes the photos are worth printing since they include software for printing photos to a Bluetooth printer. Outdoor shots show relatively little color fringing, have very good color and light balance, do not blow out and overexpose on sunny days, and have surprisingly little noise. They do have a bias toward the cyan on cloudy days but that's easily fixed using adjustments such as "Auto Color" in Adobe Photoshop on the desktop. Indoor shots under incandescent and fluorescent light are also quite good with the expected added warm tones under incandescent lighting. The camera has a low light setting that's very effective and will allow you to take decent shots with some added noise in a poorly lit room at night or an outdoors shot at dusk. Overall colors are slightly undersaturated on the 7610 but appear natural and realistic. There is absolutely no comparison when looking at photos taken with the Motorola MPx220 MS Smartphone and its 1.3MP camera. The Moto's photos are simply terrible compared to the 7610. Given that these phones compete neck and neck on features, the Nokia wins if camera quality is important to you.


We generally expect a strong and reliable Bluetooth implementation from Nokia and the 7610 doesn't disappoint. Like all Nokias, it supports Handsfree profile but not headset profile. Since most all headsets and car kits made in the last two years offer the more feature-rich handsfree profile, we don't see this as a problem. The 7610 paired reliably with several headsets we tested and had good range, volume and call clarity.

In addition, the Nokia supports OBEX profile for file transfer between the phone and other phones, PDAs and Bluetooth enabled computers. Unlike prior Series 60 devices, it doesn't have serial port profile, and that's why Nokia includes their USB syncing cable. The phone has the dial up networking profile and worked perfectly as a modem for several of our PDAs and a notebook. Though the 7610 is only a Class 6 GPRS device capable of a maximum 40k throughput, it offered strong transfer speeds and we couldn't generally tell the difference between it and the Class 10 Motorola MPx220 and Audiovox SMT5600 (aka Orange SPV C500) when used as a modem for an HP iPAQ hx4700 and the Dell Axim X50v.


It's hard not to love this phone! It offers great style, yet maintains usability. Add a large, lovely color display, Bluetooth and a truly impressive 1MP digicam and you've got quite a phone. It has strong battery life for a smartphone and should last most users two days on a charge. The device feels reasonably snappy and is one of the fastest Series 60 devices we've tested. It has the latest version of Series 60 with several nice enhancements. Thanks to the included USB Sync cable, syncing PIM data to and from a PC is no longer a head-banging experience.

Pro: Great style and unique looks. Wonderful digital camera, large color display, good battery life, Bluetooth and PDA-like features such as PIM apps and the ability to install any of the many Series 60 apps available on the Net. It's available in two flavors to suit most users in the world.

Con: If you prefer conservative phones and a grid keypad layout, the 7610 may not be for you. Consider the Nokia 6670 instead which is basically the same phone in a conservative suit. The phone is not large by any means, coming close to the diminutive Sony Ericsson T610, but if you prefer very small phones, the 7610 may not please you. This isn't a quad band phone so you'll need to choose between the world band phone (900/1800/1900) which will work anywhere in the world but lacks the 850 band being rolled out in the US by AT&T/Cingular (not T-Mobile), or get the 7610b which is now offered by Cingular and lacks the 900MHz band used in Europe.

Web site: www.nokia.com, www.nokiausa.com

Price: approximately $500 US unlocked without contract, cheaper with Cingular contract.

Comparison Shopping: Where to Buy


Display: TFT color LCD, 65K colors, screen size diag: 2 ". Resolution: 176 x 208.

Battery: Lithium Ion 900 mA rechargeable BL-5C battery. Battery is user replaceable.

Performance: 123MHz ARM processor. 8 MB built-in RAM. Comes with a 64 RS-MMC card.

Size: 108.6 mm x 53 mm x 18.7 mm(4.27" x 2.1" x 0.7"), 118 grams ( 4.16 ounces).

Audio: Built in speaker, mic, Pop Port jack and Pop-Port earbud headset. Voice Recorder and RealPlayer 9. Phone and headset output are mono.

Camera: Integrated megapixel (1152 x 864 pixels) camera with 4x digital zoom. Also records video with audio.

Network: GSM phone with GPRS class B, multislot class 6 device for data. 7610: 900/1800/1900MHz bands with auto-switching. 7610b: 850/1800/1900MHz with auto-switching. Bluetooth 1.1 included.

Software: Symbian OS 7.0s, Series 60 version 2.

Expansion: 1 RS-MMC card slot (Reduced Size MMC).

In the box: Phone, battery, charger, USB cable, Pop-Port headset, 64 meg RS-MMC card, printed manual and a cleaning cloth.

Siemens SX1

Posted By Denys Java Friday, January 22, 2010 1 komentar

Above: the SX1 and the Nokia 6600

Siemens SX1 Mobile Phone

In a largely Nokia dominated market, the SX1 is unique because it's the first phone not manufactured by Nokia to run the Symbian Series 60 OS in the Asian scene. It is also unique because it's the first phone to have an eccentric side keypad with the only function buttons located on the phone's front face. The Siemens SX1 has a candy bar design and is a GSM triband device that works on 900/1800/1900 bands. Thus it should work in any country that supports GSM, though it won't take advantage of AT&T Wireless' added 850MHz band in the US (the phone will work on their 1900MHz band).

As a PDA, the handset is equipped with basic PIM functions such as contacts, to-do list, calendar, notes application, and built in voice recorder. Internet browsing through GPRS supports WAP 2.0/xHTML. The email client supports POP3, IMAP and SMTP.

As a multimedia device, the SX1 delivers much with a 640 x 480 integrated VGA camera. Video recording at 15 fps is also supported at 176 x 144 pixels (QCIF). The handset is also capable of sending multimedia messages (MMS) in pictures and video or through the image editor which comes bundled with the handset.

The SX1's direct competitors are other Symbian Series 60 phones such as the Nokia 7650, 6600 and the 3650, the latter sporting an eccentric circular keypad layout which is also found in Panasonic fashion phones. The SX1 is roughly the size and weight of the 6600 and they share a similar wide form factor. The power of the Series 60 platform is further enhanced by the SX1, bundling several proprietary multimedia and PIM apps which usually have to be purchased from third party developers.

What does it look like?

Consumers will definitely look twice at the SX1 due to its novel design. The seven function keys (menu, two soft keys, two dedicated call buttons, shift and cancel) are located on the front face of the phone together with the 5-way d-pad. The twelve number keys are spread out evenly on the left and right sides of the phone. The prominent loudspeaker grill is located above the 176 x 220 pixel screen.

Flipping the phone to its right side, you'll find two dedicated buttons for taking snapshots with the 0.3 megapixel digital camera and for activating the voice recorder. The voice recorder button also doubles as the hands free activation when in a call. The MMC slot is located on the left side. SD cards are not supported, but you can hot-swap MMC cards.

The 0.3 megapixel camera lens is located on the back, on the upper left side. The IR port is located opposite the camera on the top side of the phone.

Inside the Box

Upon opening the box, I was greeted by the SX1 handset, a Lithium Polymer battery, standard wall charger, user guide, marketing photos, and the CD with product demo, interactive help guide and additional applications.

Bundled Applications

It is important to note that all Symbian Series 60 phones have the standard set of applications bundled with the OS. The calendar, to-do list, contacts, video recorder, and BT, IrDA and connectivity functions are all found in the Nokia 3650/7650 and 6600. The same applications are found in the Siemens SX1, with slight modifications and additions:

PIM Apps

Today - A summary of the list of tasks, messages and appointments is given on screen. It is very similar to the Today screen on Windows Mobile devices. You can customize the main function buttons to display the Today screen. From there you can view the day's summary of appointments and tasks as well as compose messages.

World Clock - Very similar to the 'world time' of the popular World Mate application for Palm, Pocket PC and Symbian which displays four different time zones apart from home time.

File Manager - A file directory browser which usually has to be bought separately for the Symbian OS. This proprietary version allows users to move files, create directories and transfer specific items via Bluetooth, IrDA or through E-mail via GPRS.

Multimedia Apps

MP3 Jukebox - The MP3 jukebox searches for MP3 files stored in internal memory and in the removable MMC card. Playing MP3 files using the phone's natural loudspeaker delivers a powerful audio experience. Bitrates of 64kbps play satisfactory especially with the headset. Siemens has their own proprietary connector for the headset which is sold separately. This means you can't use universal headsets sold elsewhere.

Radio - The FM radio can be configured manually or for frequency auto search. The frequency range is from 87.5 - 108 MHz with six customizable station keys. The radio will only work with the handsfree provided by Siemens which also doubles as an antenna. This accessory is sold separately.

Snap Shot - This is the camera application which allows for standard shots, small portrait shots and landscape view. Images can be saved to an MMC card or to the phone's internal memory, and can be edited using the Image Fun application. The quality of images is a lot better than early Nokia counterparts since the bluish haze has been fixed. These Images aren't very crisp but are colorful. The built-in camera can take shots at resolutions from 160x120 to 640x480 in standard mode. The camera has a light sensitivity of > 30 lux and focuses from 30 cm to infinity. It has a 24 bit color depth.

Image Fun - After taking photos with the built in camera, you can use the Image Fun application to edit photos to add distortion, haze as well as borders and text which can be sent wirelessly through Bluetooth, MMS and IrDA. Edited images are saved as separate files so users can always go back to the original pictures if they wish to edit them again.

Other Applications - The SX1 comes with several games and the ability to run J2ME applications. The most innovative game bundled with the SX1 makes use of the camera function: it uses the camera viewfinder window as the gaming screen, and animated mosquitoes fly around. The objective is to move the camera about and shoot the insects when you position them on the target reticule.

Below, sample photos shot at 640 x 480.

Click on an image to see the full size image.

Wireless Voice, Data and Connectivity

The SX1 is a tri-band world phone, supporting 900/1800/1900MHz bands. It is compatible with the US, Europe and Asia (except Japan). The natural loudspeaker delivers a powerful and clear audio which can be adjusted to fit the desired hearing volume.

For data connectivity, the SX1 has an internal modem capable of speeds up to 53.6 kbps. It sports GPRS class 10 and class 2 fax services.

The SX1 has both Bluetooth and IrDA, and sending files is a breeze thanks to the simplicity of the Symbian Series 60 platform. In addition you can use Bluetooth headsets with the Siemens.

Power and Expansion

The SX1 is powered by an OMAP processor at 130MHz. This is the fastest Series 60 smartphone with a 0.3MP VGA camera. It is good to note that the Nokia smartphones on the other side of the fence are powered by ARM processors, albeit with 109MHz of processing power. The volatile 4MB of internal memory can be increased through MMC expansion and be used to save images, video, contacts, multimedia messages and short messages.

With a Lithium Polymer 1000mAh user replaceable battery, charging time from empty to full takes less than three hours. Talk time with the standard battery is less than four hours and standby time less than 200 hours. I found that with moderate usage, the battery lasts a day and a half. Heavy usage however drains the battery in eight to twelve hours.

The SX1 is the first Symbian phone to support hot swapping of memory cards (a standard feature for Palm OS and Pocket PC devices). The slot is only compatible with MMC cards, and SD cards won't work (the same can be said for Nokia Series 60 phones). The OS gives a warning message when you swap cards saying that to prevent data loss, you must first stop running applications that are accessing the card. The phone stops running apps for you when you choose this option from the settings menu.


After connecting the SX1 to my desktop computer and installing PC Suite, I noticed that synchronization of contacts and appointments was rather slow despite the USB connection. An alternative is to try to synchronize using Bluetooth which I did via the Billionton BT USB Adapter.

What's great about the sync software is that it allows you to easily organize multimedia files, which was a pain to do in the older versions of the desktop software.

What's good about the SX1

Bundled software is always a plus for me. For the record, all Nokia Series 60 phone models do not come with a file explorer, mp3 jukebox, radio application and an enhanced organizer with Today screen. The front speaker is also very audible and the camera set at 640x480 still delivers colorful images, unlike the 3650 whose photos have a bluish haze. The hot-swap MMC slot also adds a tinge of convenience since you don't need to open the unit and remove the battery to get to the expansion card, as with Series 60 Nokias (other than the N-Gage QD).

What needs to be improved

Obviously the overall design turns me off. Having the keypads on both sides of the phone doesn't allow you to make use of it with one hand. Battery life need some work. Even though it has a 1000mAh battery, it doesn't compare well with the Nokias. The camera has no night mode. It is also a bit overpriced, and is more expensive than the Nokia 6600. It is only available in one color, "Ice Blue."


If you are looking for a phone that runs on the Series 60 platform that is packed with features and don't care much about the design, then this is the phone for you. Though battery life is on the weak side, Siemens compensates with a rich multimedia experience, booming audio and a good camera that rivals other smartphones on the market.

Web site: www.my-siemens.com/sx1

Price: ~$500 US unlocked. Available from importers and phone retailers such as www.expansys.com and www.just-talk.com.


Display: Hi Res 16 Bit 64k Colors at 176 x 220 pixels.

Battery: Lithium Ion rechargeable user replaceable at 1000 mAh.

Performance: TI OMAP 310 at 130MHz with 4MB of volatile memory (RAM).

Size: 109 x 56 x 19 mm, 116 grams.

Audio: Built in speaker with digital voice recorder. Music player supports MP3 format. FM Radio built in with frequency range from 20Hz - 20 kHz. Power output at 2 x 7.5 mW.

Networking: Bluetooth 1.1, IrDA.

Camera: Camera resolution at VGA 0.3 megapixels at 640 x 480 and 160 x 120 resolution with 24bit color depth. Video: Real Player bundled with phone. Formats supported are MPEG4, H.263, Real Audio, Real Video and AMR. Video capture resolution at 176 x 144 at 15 fps

Software: Symbian Series 60 OS. Java support. WAP browsers, Messaging application for email, Organizer functions with Today screen, Synchronization with MS Outlook 97, 98, 2000. Synchronization with PC via Bluetooth, IrDA and SyncML 1.0.1.

Expansion: 1 MMC (MultiMedia Card) slot (doesn't support SD cards).

Mobile Phone Network: GSM triband world phone (900/1800/1900MHz). GPRS class 10 for data.