Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Nokia announces the Lumia 710 and 800 Windows Phone 7.5 Mango devices

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AppId is over the quota
Summary: Nokia has to be the worst at keeping secrets and there are no real surprises here with some top notch devices running Windows Phone 7.5.

I think the Nokia N9 is one of the best pieces of smartphone hardware I have ever held and I am seriously thinking of buying one for $750+ on ebay. We heard LOTS of rumors of Nokia’s Windows Phone plans, some of which were revealed by Stephen Elop himself, and today we heard Nokia announce the Nokia Lumia 710 and Lumia 800.

The Nokia Lumia 710 reminds me a bit of the HTC Radar 4G with a white finish and looks to be the lower cost, mid-level Windows Phone device for those moving onto a smartphone. Specifications of the Nokia Lumia 710 include the following:

Windows Phone 7.5 Mango OS3.7 inch ClearBlack AMOLED display (N9 is 3.9 inches)1.4 GHz Snapdragon processor1GB RAM and 512MB ROM5 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics8GB internal memory with microSD card expansion capability1300 mAh batteryPrice of EUR 270

The Nokia Lumia 800 is the same basic form factor as the Nokia N9 with a physical camera button and capacitive hardware buttons below the display since these are minimum specifications dictated by Microsoft. Other features of the Nokia 800 include the following:

Windows Phone 7.5 Mango OS3.7 inch ClearBlack AMOLED display (N9 is 3.9 inches)1.4 GHz Snapdragon processor1GB RAM and 512MB ROM8 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics16 GB internal memory802.11 b/g/n WiFi1450 mAh batteryPrice of EUR 420

There were rumors of a Nokia 900, but that did not materialize and was a fake out. I would love to buy a Nokia 800 that is coming to France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, and Netherlands in November. Those of us in the U.S. won’t see a Nokia Windows Phone until early 2012.

Matthew Miller started using a Pilot 1000 in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since.


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Top 10 smartphones of 2011 (Holiday Gift Guide)

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AppId is over the quota
Summary: Apple’s iOS and Google Android are the two clear leaders in the smartphone market here in the U.S. so it was easy to pick the top two devices from these platforms. The next eight were not as easy in such a competitive market.

The beginning of the year always starts with a bang with smartphones being revealed at CES, Mobile World Congress and CTIA. I created a preliminary top 10 smartphones list in March and now that we have all the major anticipated announcements for the year I thought it was fitting to post my top 10 smartphones for the year 2011. Many of the phones I had on that list are present in this new list, but now that I have had hands-on time with some my perspective has changed. Some have yet to be released, but should be coming before the holidays so I included them as well. There are some great devices coming in 2012, but since it is likely we won’t see them this year I couldn’t include them in this list.

Last year I posted my top 10 smartphones of 2010 article in May, but Apple pushed back their iPhone 4S announcement from the traditional summer time frame. Google and Microsoft also made major announcements just this month. It is getting a bit easier to pick top platforms as iOS and Android are the clear leaders with Windows Phone on the move up and BlackBerry on the way down. BlackBerry devices are still 3rd in U.S. market share, but their OS is getting dated and we won’t see much excitement for the platform until QNX-based devices hit the streets. webOS is non-existent and out of the picture while Symbian is rare to find here in the U.S.

I was at Nokia World last week and saw the solid Nokia 710 and 800 devices and initially had the 800 planned for 3rd place, but since we are unlikely to see either of them here in the U.S. until early 2012 I had to take them off the list.

You can check out several product photos of these top 10 devices in my image gallery, but I also highly recommend you visit your carrier store or local electronics retailer to get some hands-on time with a device before you make your purchase decision. Also, check out online reviews from multiple sites to get a good feel for the devices.

The prices you will see in this article are from the carrier, when available. If you are new to a carrier or adding another line you will find excellent prices on Amazon.com and other online vendors like Wirefly. Each carrier is different for all of us and performance is highly dependent on where you live, work, and play. I recommend you figure out which carrier works best for you before buying a device you won’t be happy with because of the carrier. There are many excellent smartphone options today and you honestly can’t really go wrong with any of the available choices. Like carriers, different smartphone operating systems work for different people because of their different strengths and weaknesses, 3rd party applications, and available form factors.

Enough about the disclaimers and warnings, let’s take a look at my list of Top 10 Smartphones of 2011. I hope you find this helpful as we head into the holiday buying season.

I participated in the ZDNet Great Debate for the Apple iPhone 4S, but readers overwhelmingly voted against it and many in the tech press stated it was not much of an upgrade. However, consumers responded in a big way and Apple had record opening weekend sales exceeding 4 million devices.

I became an iPhone owner again with the iPhone 4S on Verizon and am very happy with the device. The internals were bumped up with a dual-core processor, updated antenna design, and 8 megapixel camera. The Siri artificial intelligence utility is excellent and even in beta demonstrates a new way to interact with your device. I love that I can make appointments and set alarms with a few short words and the iPhone 4S is changing the way I use my smartphone. You can also SIM unlock the Verizon iPhone 4S for true world phone usage with Sprint and AT&T having slightly different policies. I used my iPhone 4S with my Truphone SIM in London and it worked very well.

The Apple iPhone 4S is available on AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint for $199 (16GB), $299 (32GB), and $399 (64GB) with a two-year contract. The unsubsidized, no-contract prices range from $649 (16GB) to $849 (64GB), depending on your carrier.

Google rolled out the Nexus One back in January 2010 as their flagship device that supports the latest Android operating system. The Nexus S was released last year and just last week Google and Samsung announced the Galaxy Nexus that will be coming to the U.S. with Verizon confirmed to get the device first before the end of this year.

Unlike the previous Nexus devices, there is really nothing missing in this latest device, including the latest wireless radios. The Galaxy Nexus sports a 4.65 inch 1280×720 Super AMOLED HD display, LTE and HSPA+ pentaband support, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), NFC, barometer, 1080p HD video camera, 1750 mAh battery and more. I have regularly ranted on this blog about the lack of pentaband 3G data support that currently only Nokia provides in true world phone fashion with support for frequencies in all ranges. Thankfully, the new Galaxy Nexus is a pentaband phone, with support for the 21 Mbps HSPA+ data network so it is highly likely I will be picking one up to use with T-Mobile USA.

There is no pricing or availability yet and it sounds like it will roll out in Europe and other countries first with a Verizon LTE model coming before the end of 2011. It’s not clear if we will see one launching on AT&T or T-Mobile here in the U.S.

Readers know I am a major Windows Phone fan and I know it hasn’t yet been adopted by a large number of Americans, but it really is fantastic and everyone I know that tries it out likes it. I was going to put one of the new Nokia Windows Phone devices here in 3rd, but none are coming to the U.S. this year so I am throwing in the HTC Titan that is coming to AT&T soon, likely in November. I finally had a chance to try out the HTC Titan this week and even though the display is huge, it is quite thin and extremely well made.

The HTC Titan has a massive 4.7 inch Super LCD display at the same standard 800×480 resolution that still looks crisp and clear. It has a 1.5 GHz processor, 16GB integrated storage, 512MB RAM, 1600 mAh battery, HSPA+ radio (up to 14.4 Mbps downloads), and 8 megapixel camera. HTC had done work with their cameras and it is actually quite good.

There is no pricing yet for AT&T, but Microsoft recently showed it off and it is coming to the carrier soon.

Let’s check out numbers 4 through 7 »

Matthew Miller started using a Pilot 1000 in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since.


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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What makes Nokia Windows Phone devices unique?

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AppId is over the quota
Summary: When Nokia and Microsoft announced their future Windows Phone strategy less than 10 months ago, there was the promise of some unique features in Nokia’s devices. We saw a couple of these unique features last week at Nokia World.

I had the chance to attend the first day of Nokia World last week where they announced the Lumia 710 and 800 devices. James mentioned that he did not see much from the Nokia partnership. Nokia did mention three pieces in the keynote, but didn’t explain many of the details so I spent some time talking with some folks on the show floor and found out more to share with you.

One of the main services mentioned in February when Nokia and Microsoft announced their partnership was the integration of Nokia Maps into Windows Phone. The two companies said that Nokia Maps would not be exclusive to Nokia devices and that was confirmed at Nokia World. People with HTC, Samsung, LG, and other Windows Phone devices should see Nokia Maps appearing in the Windows Phone Marketplace within the next couple of weeks as a free software application. This version of Nokia Maps will NOT support offline maps or voice guided navigation, but does have the following features:

Local POI details (provides you location, phone number, reviews, and photos of up to 25 locations in your vicinity)Deep link support (you can pin destinations to the Start screen)Detailed maps in satellite, 2D, and 3D views

The differentiation between Nokia and other manufacturers will be offline maps and Nokia Drive, which is the program powering voice navigation. The voice navigation experience is much like what you see with Nokia Maps on the Symbian and MeeGo platforms. You can find voice guided navigation on Windows Phone in programs like Navigon, but when you get a Nokia Windows Phone you will get this support for free.

The Windows Phone experience is best in the United States where you get full access to all the services of the Microsoft ecosystem. Outside the U.S. there is a matrix of unsupported services that gives Windows Phone users an inconsistent experience. Nokia is working to improve the out-of-box experience by providing Nokia Music for FREE on all Nokia Windows Phone devices. Nokia Music is similar to Spotify, Slacker, Rdio and other $10/month subscription services where you get unlimited streaming music support and offline music to enjoy when you have no connection.

As you can see in my video walk through with a Nokia representative below, there are several features in Nokia Music that make it a pretty compelling experience for new Windows Phone users.

Nokia Music does provide a one tap link to the Zune music on your device when you tap the My Music words in the main Nokia Music interface. There is radio stations customized for different regions that you can tap and download for offline listening. You get 50 songs per channel and up to four channels to download for something like 10-12 hours of music that should cover most any flight. There are also personalization options where you can search for your favorite artist and enjoy music from that artist.

The ability to get up and running with music right out of the box on Nokia Windows Phones is pretty compelling, especially when you know that other Windows Phone devices require you to first connect to a PC or Mac to get any music. With this free service and the trend of people to stream music, Microsoft may find fewer people subscribing to the Zune service with Nokia Windows Phones.

The third app/service announced at Nokia World was an ESPN hub. I didn’t find this on the show floor to discuss more details and there was not much covered during the keynote. Based on what was shown, I really did not see any differences between this ESPN app and the ESPN ScoreCenter app for all Windows Phone devices. The ESPN Sports Hub was not on any of the devices in the hands-on area of the show and Nokia did not reveal when this would be coming to these devices.

I think the two main services, Maps and Music, are compelling offerings and if these services are important to you then it may be a no brainer to purchase a Nokia Windows Phone. It is important to put what we see here into perspective and understand that it was just earlier this February when Nokia and Microsoft announced this Windows Phone strategy and we already see a couple of unique Windows Phone services and two solid Windows Phone smartphones. I imagine there will be a LOT more coming from both Nokia and Microsoft in the future and in my opinion this partnership will be valuable for both companies.

Matthew Miller started using a Pilot 1000 in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since.


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Monday, November 28, 2011

Nokia Lumia 800, N9, HTC Rezound and more (Phones Show Chat podcast #112)

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AppId is over the quota
Summary: I always enjoy talking with folks about mobile technology and this week I had the pleasure of joining Steve and Tim on Phones Show Chat episode 112.

Listen here (MP3, 48 MB, 66 minutes)

Subscribe to the show with this link (RSS)

I record the MobileTechRoundup (MoTR) podcast with Kevin Tofel on a weekly basis, but every once in a while other shows invite me on to discuss the world of mobile phones and devices. This weekend I had the pleasure of joining Steve Litchfield and Tim Salmon on Phones Show Chat episode 112. I enjoyed finally meeting Steve in person at Nokia World in London a couple of weeks ago as well.

There were many topics covered in this podcast so make sure to check the Phones Show website for the full list. Topics included discussions on the Nokia Lumia 800, Nokia N9, SE Xperia Play, HTC Desire S, HTC Rezound, and more. Thanks again to Steve and Tim for having me on the show.

Matthew Miller started using a Pilot 1000 in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since.


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Siri understands intent, beats Google Voice Actions, Tellme, and Vlingo

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AppId is over the quota
Summary: Siri is the talk of the town at the moment and here you can see how it compares to other platforms and a cross platform service. Siri still beats them all handily.

Likely one of the most compelling features of the new Apple iPhone 4S is the Siri personal assistant functionality. While we have seen voice control and voice to text before, I think Siri really sets itself apart with the “common language” interaction and conversational understanding of user intent. That said, it is still a beta and there are some basic features that it lacks. The popularity of Siri has given other platforms and solutions some much needed attention and I thought you might want to hear a bit more about Siri and those other available solutions.

Siri is only available at this time on the new Apple iPhone 4S and requires a connection to perform even the most basic function. I disconnected from the network and the utility is worthless. You also have to rely on the Apple server being up and running and as I pointed out a few days ago you may have to reset your connection if things get overloaded. I imagine as the novelty wears off a bit that the server load will go down and we won’t have so many times where Siri is offline.

I have used the other voice services discussed in this post, but Siri stands apart with the ability to interact with natural speaking and is also one of the sassiest programs I have ever interacted with as it talks back to you as well. I am sure many people did what I did and tried swearing at Siri and saying other dumb things to see what the reaction was and you can go visit this Siri sample site to see some funny responses.

There is no speech learning required to use Siri and it’s smart enough to carry on a conversation so you can move to setting a reminder and then having Siri adjust it back another hour if you change your mind during the conversation. You really need to try it to see what it can do. Here is a list of things Siri can do, simply ask “What can I say?” to see this list on your iPhone 4S:

Call people or numbersPlay songs stored on your iPhoneText peopleSetup meetingsSetup remindersAsk for directionsEmail peopleFind out stock pricesSet alarmsAsk for address info from your contact listFind your friends using the Find My Friends utilityCreate notesGet answers to calculations and trivia via Wolfram AlphaSearch the InternetVoice to text: Mic icon appears like on Android and even this requires a data connection.

As I mentioned, Siri lets you hold “real” conversations so you can create a note with one item and then pause in between each item to add as a bullet to a note in an ongoing conversation. You can ask Siri what your schedule is for today, the week, or more with questions such as “What’s next for me?” I use my phone for my alarms and tend to vary my wake up time on a regular basis. I hated going through several steps to set these up and now I just tell Siri to wake me at 4:15 am and am done. Siri also supports location-based services, being referred to by people as a geo-fence, so you can have a reminder go off when you get to a certain location, such as “Remind me to call the dentist when I get home.”

Here are a list of things that Siri cannot yet do:

Launch applications: I tend to load up quite a few and have them embedded in folders.Give better driving directions: Only basic Google Maps is provided for directions and Apple needs to either provide a better service or allow 3rd party vendors like Navigon to tie into Siri.List the songs in your music collection to choose what to playRead you your search results: Siri still requires you to look at your display for many results.

Google Voice Actions has been around for a while on Android 2.2 devices and is quite good too. It doesn’t have the intelligence to carry on a conversation like Siri, but it can perform nearly all of the same functions as Siri. The voice to text capability is pretty accurate and the navigation is world’s better thanks to Google Maps Navigation integration. Here is a list of things Google Voice Actions can do:

Call people or numbersPlay songs, including through 3rd party streaming music servicesText peopleAsk for directionsEmail peopleAsk for address info from your contact listCreate notesSearch the InternetVoice to text: Mic icon appears in keyboard

As you can see there are no voice actions for reminders and appointments, which actually tend to be the ones I am using most on my new iPhone 4S as it saves several steps. There is also no conversational support so Google Voice Actions won’t remember what we have been talking about to refine the intended action like Siri does.

Microsoft purchased Tellme and then integrated the technology into Windows Phone 7. I wrote up a recent post where I was blown away by the ability to carry on a text messaging conversation with my daughter through a Bluetooth headset without ever once touching my Windows Phone 7 device. That was before I had the chance to try out Siri on the Apple iPhone 4S.

Here are the things you can do with a Windows Phone 7 device:

Call people or numbersSearch the Internet through BingOpen applicationsText peopleMap addressesInitiate calls to others or press numbers during a phone callEase of access functions (such as setup speed dial)

As you can see, as amazing as Windows Phone 7’s Tellme technology is for communications and search, it doesn’t go much further than that. There is no text to speech functionality, except within text messaging. There is a lot of work to do by Microsoft to compete with the others in voice, but they do have a solid foundation and a powerful technology with Tellme. As the folks at Pocketnow posted Windows Phone will eventually get functionality like Siri.

To use Siri you have to be an Apple iPhone 4S owner, but if you have an older iPhone you are not left out if you look to apps such as Vlingo, which has actually seen a major increase in interest thanks to the coverage of Siri. I have used Vlingo before on Android before Voice Actions and the great things about Vlingo is that it is cross platform and works on iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Nokia, and the older Windows Mobile devices.

Vlingo does a great job of tying into apps on the platforms and providing voice to text functionality. Unlike Siri, it is not conversational. It is natural though and does not require any kind of voice training or anything. With Vlingo you can perform the following types of actions:

Call people or numbersUpdate your Facebook or Twitter statusPlay songs stored on your iPhoneText peopleAsk for directionsEmail peopleCreate notesSearch the InternetOpen applicationsVoice to text

Vlingo functions much like Google Voice Actions, except it works on multiple platforms. It is very powerful and you should check it out if you don’t have an iPhone 4S.

I was starting to put together a table to compare these different platforms and services, but I think it is actually quite easy to compare and contrast Siri with the rest. Google Voice Actions, Windows Phone 7, and Vlingo are all very similar and the only real big functional advantage they have over Siri is the ability to launch applications. Other than that, Siri beats all the others with the conversational nature of the utility that helps refine actions and make your life easier. Some of what Siri does actually helps ease my concern with a smaller display on the iPhone 4S compared to the Android and Windows Phone 7 big 4.3 inch devices. All of these services require data connections to perform so that is an inherent weakness with these voice recognition and assistant programs.

People who have not tried Siri really cannot understand the power and capability of it. Here is a sample conversation I had with Siri that shows how functional it really is:

Me: Play This Week in TechSiri: Now playing Twit 322: Damn you SiriMe: Play Twit 323Siri: Here’s Twit 323: There’s an App in my Lap

I then went on to make a couple of calls and after about 15 minutes I came back to Siri.

Me: Resume playing TwitSiri: OK…

I don’t know about you, but the ability of Siri to continue the conversation and understand my INTENT is simply amazing and revolutionary. I honestly think we are just starting to see the beginning of a new smartphone user paradigm and unlike many people who have said the novelty of Siri will wear off I think people will start using it more and more and then not be able to use phones that don’t provide such assistance.

Since Siri is so popular at the moment, there are several other writers who took a look at Siri and some of the competition so check out these other great articles:

Matthew Miller started using a Pilot 1000 in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since.


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HTC Rezound coming to Verizon Wireless to challenge Galaxy Nexus

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AppId is over the quota
Summary: HTC held an event in New York this afternoon to announce the next generation of their Incredible look-alike black slab Android phone, the HTC Rezound.

I am not sure if HTC releasing a new phone every week or two is a good thing as even I am getting confused by all the different models, and I follow phone news. Today, HTC announced the HTC Rezound for Verizon Wireless that looks to be a 3rd generation HTC Incredible with impressive specs and that unique back cover. It also looks to be a competitor to the Galaxy Nexus, but launches with Gingerbread and not Ice Cream Sandwich.

The HTC Rezound has a 4.3 inch 1280×720 pixels resolution display, 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8 megapixel camera, LTE radio, and Beats audio support. It’s interesting that Verizon is also likely getting the Galaxy Nexus first here in the U.S. and I know if I had a choice the Galaxy Nexus would be the clear winner with ICS and likelihood of faster Android updates. Plus, it is hard to beat Samsung’s Super AMOLED displays. We also don’t have all the detailed specs on the Rezound, such as NFC support.

From the press release we see the following:

Today HTC announced the first and only phone in the U.S. with integrated Beats Audio™, the HTC Rezound. The HTC Rezound is a multimedia powerhouse with unparalleled audio and entertainment capabilities which allows customers to experience music and entertainment on-the-go like never before.

The HTC Rezound enables customers to hear music the way the artist intended with unique audio tuning that delivers thundering bass, soaring midrange and crisp highs with stunning clarity and incredible stereo sound. Unique to HTC, the HTC Rezound also includes a pair of new lightweight Beats™ headphones, created exclusively to integrate with the Beats’ Audio™ profile on the phone. One of the first smartphones from HTC to feature a true HD display, the HTC Rezound is perfect for enjoying high-quality entertainment on-the-go with a 4.3 inch LCD screen. The HTC Rezound also integrates HTC Watch, which puts an entire library of the latest premium movies and TV shows right at your fingertips. In addition, the HTC Rezound boasts an 8-megapixel camera featuring autofocus and dual LED flash with enhanced camera features, such as panoramic mode and action burst, to ensure you capture every moment – in the moment – this holiday season.

Featuring the latest version of HTC Sense™, the HTC Rezound allows customers to create a personal and intuitive user experience that matches their preferences and lifestyle. Equipped with a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor and access to Verizon Wireless’ lightning-fast 4G LTE network, the HTC Rezound enables customers to enjoy their favorite music and entertainment without compromising their speed or experience.

The HTC Rezound will be available beginning Nov. 14 at Verizon Wireless and at Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores for $299.99 with a new two-year customer agreement.

The HTC Rezound seems to have one of the higher end cameras seen recently in a few other HTC devices and also includes the Beats Audio technology. It is rather expensive at $299.99 and there appears to be a trend toward this $300 price point for the higher end devices.

Matthew Miller started using a Pilot 1000 in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since.


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Sunday, November 27, 2011

iPhone 4S subsidy savings totals a whopping $450

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AppId is over the quota
Summary: Not all of us are eligible for the full upgrade subsidy pricing of the new iPhone 4S and if we want this new device we are going to have to pay a $450 premium.

It has been a couple of years since I owned an iPhone and earlier this week I participated with Jason Perlow in the Great Debate about the new iPhone 4S. I wasn’t necessarily overwhelmed by the iPhone 4S and wasn’t sure if I was going to buy one, but I am almost certain to order one after reading of Steve Jobs’ passing as a personal tribute to his legacy. One factor in my purchase decision is the non-subsidized price because I have only been a Verizon customer for about 8 months. Larry wrote a post about the subsidized pricing model, but without this upgrade eligibility be prepared for a shock.

We always compare subsidized pricing in reviews since that is the way people buy their phones in the U.S. However, I usually buy my phones overseas or so often that I rarely get the subsidized price. The new iPhone 4S comes in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB capacities priced at subsidized prices of $199, $299, and $399, respectively. If you are like me and not yet eligible for the full price subsidy then the prices are $649, $749, and $849, respectively. Yes, the subsidy takes care of $450 of the full price.

Due to this huge $450 cost difference, I realize I could pay the $325 ETF and still come out $125 ahead of the game with another carrier. Thus I started to consider the Sprint iPhone 4S with unlimited data or the AT&T iPhone 4S with faster data speeds. The thing is I like Verizon because I am grandfathered into their unlimited data plan and I get better coverage with them than with Sprint or AT&T. However, for the same price I pay Verizon I could also get unlimited text messaging and unlimited calls to other mobile phones. Thus, before Friday morning (that’s when online pre-orders start) I need to decide if I am going back with Sprint or sticking with Verizon at a premium price.

Will you be buying a non-subsidized iPhone 4S or is this price just too high for you?

Matthew Miller started using a Pilot 1000 in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since.


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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Apple plays it safe with iPhone 4S, targets iPhone 3GS owners

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AppId is over the quota
Summary: The iPhone 4S is a very nice upgrade for iPhone 3GS owners and Apple again shows they don’t jump on the latest and greatest wireless technologies just because enthusiasts want them to.

We have all read the news on the new iPhone 4S and enjoyed the Great Debate with myself and Jason Perlow and see that Apple once again shows the world that the iPhone is not about the latest and greatest in wireless technologies. Apple is focused on the iPhone upgraders at this point and I think this iPhone 4S is really intended for the iPhone 3GS owner looking to make their 2-year upgrade.

The first iPhone launched without 3G at a time when 3G phones were available and rolling out. This time, we have cutting edge technologies like fast HSPA+ (42.2 Mbps on T-Mobile), LTE, NFC, and 3D displays and yet the new iPhone 4S doesn’t include any of these. It is a safe and solid upgrade to the iPhone 4, but there is no real compelling reason for a current iPhone 4 customer to upgrade to the device.

Apple waits to put these newer technologies into their iPhone products until after they are proven and tested by others. I imagine we will see LTE and faster data support in 2012, but a big drawback at this time with these fast networks is the major hit in battery life. Apple will likely make sure this is addressed before jumping on this technology. NFC is cool, but there are not many reasons for using it yet and when Apple supports it they will tell us why it is the coolest thing since sliced bread.

Apple will likely still sell millions of the iPhone 4S, shoot I may get one myself, but the competition is much more fierce than it was when they rolled out the first iPhone in 2007. If you want the latest and greatest in technolgies, then the Android platform is the place to look.

Matthew Miller started using a Pilot 1000 in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since.


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