Category Archives: Phones

Windows Phone 7

Well since nobody here has really talked about this I’d thought I try to bring it up. And my opinion if it will be better than the iPhone/Android/Whatbeit.

First I’ll just tell the tech facts about it. Firstly, it’s based on the same kernel that Windows CE6 is based on. Also the same kernel the Zune HD uses. Which is an upgrade because Windows Mobile 6 was based on the CE5 kernel.

Now the UI of it is very interesting and very pretty. First you have the home screen which is full of several ‘blocks’ that can be personalized to your choosing.

Windows Phone 7
The homescreen of Windows Phone 7 (You can personalize it)

For anyone who has used previous WindowsMo versions you can clearly tell Microsoft spent a lot of time trying to make this version look puurdy. No longer do you have to use that little stylus to tap that start menu and tap the application again. One of Windows Phone 7′s premier features, in my opinion is pushing the brand towards a ‘finger friendly’ experience.

Now on the the applications. That’s all anyone seems to care about these days. Well in the first party applications instead of being conventional and making the application scroll up and down like any other device. In Windows Phone 7 you go from left to right and vice-versa.

As you can see it works horizontally instead of verticality.

Another thing you can see if that Microsoft clearly modelled this after the Zune HD interface. Which was a good decision in my opinion.

As for an actual ‘app store’ Microsoft has that covered too! It’s called the ‘Windows Phone Marketplace’. But Microsoft says this will be much more than some ‘app store’. You’ll be able to buy content from Xbox Live games, to your favourite music.

A screen shot of the Windows Phone Marketplace

Another big part of this is the new Xbox Live integration. You will be able to login to Live with your gamertag and download live games. You can play these games on your phone and earn gamerscore to go towards you Live account. You can also send messages and do anything else you’d be able to do on your Xbox 360.

A screenshot of the Xbox Live integration & example of games you can buy

Now two things Microsoft did that drives me crazy.

  • No Multitasking
  • No Copy & Paste

Those are two things that were always held against Apple and it’s iPhone. And with OS 4 the multitasking will be fixed and then it will have everything people held against it gone. And I know this will probably be fixed with a firmware update in the future but why not have the things you’ve mocked Apple for not having in the first version of Windows Phone 7?!

And now my final take. I think this Windows Phone 7 is the most intergrated phone OS ever. You’ll have your Hotmail, Xbox Live, Facebook,etc all in one location. And MS takes the opposite approach that Apple took by letting you customize everything. But one major thing helps Windows Phone 7 is that it’s just an OS. It’ll be on a lot of different kinds of phones. Meaning if you want a messaging phone,you can have it with this, if you want a candy bar phone, you can have it with this, and etc. While the iPhone OS is just locked down to one form factor. But to say this is better than iPhone OS or Android is nearly impossible as it is not out yet and we don’t have a physical phone we can buy yet.

Keep in mind that this is a very brief breakdown and I will be posting more info when more info become available.

Apple to Hold iPhone OS 4.0 Event April 8th

Apple recently sent out a notice to several media outlets yesterday telling everyone and their mother that they’re holding a new event.  What exactly’s in this event?  iPhone OS 4.0.  That’s what.

It’s no secret that iPhone OS 4.0 will bring major software enhancements to their landmark devices — the iPhone, the iPod touch, and of course, the recently released iPad.  But what will it bring exactly?  Only Apple can tell us. 

Will we finally get the multitasking features other smartphones already have, will Apple incorporate their recent aqusition of online music streaming service LaLa?  What about simply unlocking the FM radio already included in both the iPhone and iPod touch.  (Perhaps even the iPad?)  Time can only tell.  Be looking out on popular blog sites such as Engadget come April 8th.

Google Nexus One To Hit All 4 Major US Carriers

You heard it right folks Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T have all announced that they will be releasing the Google/HTC Android Flagship phone; The Nexus One. This is big news not only for Google, but for the Android platform itself. Many claimed that Android, although gaining substantial market shares, was only a flash in the pan and would be short lived. Many critics claimed that Android was becoming fragmented by lack of updates, and by lack of supporting carriers. Now we can claim that one more of the barriers facing the Android Platform has been removed.

AT&T recently released the Moto Backflip, their first Android based phone, featuring Android 1.5. Soon after they announced that they would be releasing the proclaimed “iPhone Killer,” the Nexus One, to their line of phones. This comes to big news to many. Most can’t help but wonder what Apple is thinking with this bold move when Steve Jobbs himself claimed that Android was dedicated to destroying the iPhone during a closed doors meeting.

With the Nexus coming to all four major carriers (something the iPhone noticeable lacked) it is only proper to wonder how it will not only affect the iPhone sales, but also the spread of Android devices as a whole throughout the cellular market.

For all you Android users out there keep your eyes on this topic, for it has great weight in the community.

We can expect a universal price of $199 USD between all carriers, the same price of the low-end iPhone 3GS.

Goodbye(?) iPhone/Rogers monopoly!

This week the Rogers GSM Monopoly was broken in Canada. Bell and Telus having been working over the past months to get their own GSM network up and running, why would they want to run both network types? Enter the iPhone 3G[s], the hot selling phone for which I haven’t seen an advertisement from Rogers on in a long time. It is selling so good that it doesn’t need advertising. Well needless to say myself and many other Canadians having been waiting to see the prices stack up; the results? Not so good.

The Phone
Rogers, Bell and TELUS all have the new 3Gs (16GB and 32GB white/Black) and also the cheap 8GB Black 3G. Looking for the best buy on an on contract iPhone? Bell Has the 32GB at $299.95, 16GB at $199.95, and the 8GB at $99.95. Rogers and TELUS both have prices of 32GB at $299.99, 16GB at $199.99, and the 8GB at $99.99. Rogers also has some 16GB 3G iPhone’s kicking around for $149 if you really can’t afford to go 3Gs.
Off contract prices don’t really mean much seen as all three have the iPhone but in the interest of no terms. Rogers: 32GB 3Gs $780, 16GB 3Gs $680, 16GB 3G $730, 8GB 3G $580. TELUS: 32GB 3Gs $799, 16GB 3Gs $699, 8GB 3G $599. Bell doesn’t seem to be offering their iPhones off contract.
In summary, phone prices essentially don’t matter too much once we start looking at plans, but the best deal would be on Rogers. Why? As nice as the 3Gs is the 3G still is an amazing phone, $149 for a 16GB 3G is the slightly better $99 iPhone with 8GB more for $50. What do I recommend? 32GB 3Gs, once you start paying thousands for this phone on contract you might as well shell out a few extra hundreds and go with the big an new.

Plans
This is where the fun begins. I was hoping to see some better plans at a cheaper monthly rate, and if that wasn’t going to happen it would have seemed a smart bet on some two year contracts showing up. Unfortunately the wonderful Canadian telecoms have let us down once again. All three only offer the iPhone on the glorious 3 year contracts. This basically means that during your 3 year term there will be two new iPhones released (if we are to believe apple is going to keep releasing an iPhone every year). Once again we are screwed over unless we want to pay off contract prices for the new hardware.
Let’s get to comparisons, the general idea for a plan that I was look at was around 400 minutes, 2GB of data, Nationwide five favorite numbers, if possible an unlimited texting plan on top, and visual voicemail.

  • Rogers

RogersPlan

  • TELUS

TELUSPlan

  • Bell

BellPlan

Add-ons

  • Rogers

RogersAddon

  • TELUS

TELUSAddon

  • Bell

BellAddon

To Sum up the monthly bill…

  • Rogers

Rogerstotal

  • TELUS

TELUStotal

  • Bell

BellTotal

Who wins?

This might be better titles as who loses? You, with no two year contracts in sight and voice/data combos not getting cheaper it’s pretty much up in the air.  The best 3 year contract goes to TELUS. With a 2GB data plan combined with one of three voice plans, one of which you can drop the texting add-on if you don’t want video/picture messaging.

Conclusion

It’s funny how the older stuff gets it gets worse. Over a year ago when I picked up my iPhone I got a $35 Canada wide ‘My5’ plan, a 6GB/ month data plan and a $15 Visual voicemail + 250 text add-on. What gives telecoms? Honestly the price of data is going to kill you when you look at getting any modern day smart phone. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE CASH, unfortunately as awesome and as main stream as the iPhone is these days it still is a bit of a rich man’s toy. What I hope to see in the future from at least one of the three is a nice two year contract. A great voice plan, say maybe 200 local and 200 long distance minutes?  Maybe we throw at least a 4GB plan on top of that, throw in a little visual voice mail and some unlimited picture/video messaging. Then give it to me at around $75/month.  I guess we can only hope.