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Saturday, September 17, 2005

Pocket PC Dubai - i-Mate JASJAR First Impressions

Pocket PC Dubai - i-Mate JASJAR First Impressions

i-Mate JASJAR First Impressions

By: Docc

September 12, 2005

Since its first appearance a few months, the JASJAR (HTC Universal) has been on the top of the list for every single gadget-geek (like me) on the face of the planet. Our daily prayers suddenly included something new, a wish for a JASJAR. Even God must be pretty uneasy ever since this device was announced Big Grin

A lot of expectations have been placed on the JASJAR, and they should be as it is a device capable of doing almost anything except giving you a backrub Wink I will be posting a full review later on in the coming weeks, but would like to give you guys a rough idea about what this BEAST is all about and what it is capable of. So lets begin…

1) Specifications: Top of the line specifications. HTC has taken great care to give the device the very best but at the same time leave’s some facets to be desired. It has most of the high-end specifications such as a VGA screen and a 520MHz processor but still leaves out practical requirements such as Quad-Band and EDGE. This will hit the users in the USA the most as both these requirements are pretty much on the top of the list for them. Barring these 2 requirements, this device is top-notch.

2) Ergonomics: A largely shared opinion is the fact that the device is too big and heavy. For those users who have been using the HTC Blue Angel (PDA2k), this will not be a shocker. The JASJAR is relatively heavier (by 70g) but not that much bigger. It is broader than the BA, but by a very small margin. It fits well in the hand, but best useable with both hands. Those who prefer single-handed functionality; this device is not for you. But I would like to advice these users also to try this device out as it really gets you hooked onto it.

3) Feel: The feel of the device is absolutely great. It is really sturdy and doesn’t creak anywhere. The only part of the device that could have been better was the back cover which is a little thin, but it has a minute tiled pattern on it to provide a good grip on the device. Feels very strong overall.

4) Functionality: I am very comfortable using the device. Most of the time I use it in notebook style rather than PDA style. If a call comes in, I just flip it open, see who’s calling, close the flip and press the green button on the side to answer the call. All this takes less than 5 seconds. The extra hardware buttons including the power button are well placed but they could have had a better tactile feel to it.

5) Bluetooth: It got along with my GPS and my Notebook like they were childhood buddies. I can Active sync without a problem and can keep the flip closed while doing so to prevent battery from being used up. In fact, most of the time, my device is closed but connected to Active sync through BT. Range is also very good on the device. I will write in a little more detail about BT and its compatibility with headsets and Caller ID later on when I do a full review.

6) Voice Speed Dial: Just plain superb. All you have to do is record voice tags for your contacts and you are good to go. Just press on the VSD button and it is in listening mode. You can also use VSD to start any application after recording a voice tag for it. It is surprisingly accurate. HTC has done a good job with this.

7) Keyboard: This is without doubt my favourite part of the device. Very responsive, good tactile feel, well spaced. Unless you have hands the size of a Yeti, you are going to enjoy using the keyboard. Once you get used to it, you can type surprisingly fast. I hardly use the stylus anymore, in fact I depend entirely on the keyboard for 99% of the functions. Where, I need to use the stylus, I just use my index finger (does the job).

8) Screen: I for one was stunned when I saw the screen. I have never used a VGA screen before, but I now realise what I have been missing out on. I just don’t know why this hasn’t become an industry standard (it will soon). The colours, the fonts, the display are just stunning. Backlight can be switched on and off using a dedicated backlight button on the front of the device.

9) Speakers: Although they are announced as proudly as the coronation of the Pope, the stereo speakers don’t give you the 5.1 surround feel because they are spaced by just 7-8cms. However, when in speakerphone mode, it is uncomfortably loud if you are in a quiet surrounding. If you are in a noisy surrounding, its still audible, although I am sure the person at the other end of the call would probably be swearing at you Big Grin

10) Camera: Finally a camera to make you throw away your 6MP camera. Oh get serious, that’s not going to happen anytime soon!!! On a more serious note, the camera is very good in comparison to its predecessors. Its takes good quality images at 1MP and 2MP (interpolated). There are various settings that can be used such as Auto, Night, Sepia etc. I must mention here about the Night mode which really improves the picture quality. Since this device supports Flash (which is very powerful), taking close-up pictures in the night is rather easy.

Things I don’t like about the device right now:

1) Boot time: Takes longer than its predecessors, roughly about 40 seconds

2) Too bulky when placed in case, have to carry in hand. You can place it in the jacket pocket on the side but it might make you look like a man with one bre*** Big Grin

3) IR port creaks even if a little pressure is used on it. Most of the time, when you open the flip from the front, you end up pressing on the IR port. I suppose it might cause a little trouble in the long run, will have to wait and see.

4) Cannot use Fn + Numerical keys for shortcut function like with notebooks.

5) Battery cover is a tad on the flimsy side, but it’s not a big issue.

These are just petty things, which absolutely should not make any difference when deciding to purchase this device.

DT decides it wants to hold onto T-Mobile USA. Again. - Engadget -

DT decides it wants to hold onto T-Mobile USA. Again. - Engadget - www.engadget.comDT decides it wants to hold onto T-Mobile USA. Again.

Posted Sep 16, 2005, 11:42 PM ET by Peter Rojas
Related entries: Cellphones

T-Mobile MDA IV

Deutsche Telecom says no deal, and apparently this time they mean it: despite the recent resurgence of rumors about a possible sale, they’ve decided to hold on to T-Mobile USA, at least for the time being. We already went through all this once before — back in July the company went to great lengths to squash any and all speculation that they might be putting the 4th largest wireless carrier on the block — but then DT CEO Kai-Uwe Ricke blew it when he went out of his way to state that as far as T-Mobile USA was concerned he was “keeping all options open.” Well, it looks like DT is taking at least one option off the table now, with Ricke saying the other day that there is “no reason for a sale” and that going forward they’re going to focus on building out T-Mob USA’s 3G network. - More information about Sprint PCS Vision Smart Device (PPC-6700) available - More information about Sprint PCS Vision Smart Device (PPC-6700) availableMore information about Sprint PCS Vision Smart Device (PPC-6700) available
September 17, 2005 [Pocket PC phone]
While in EU (and globally) the first Windows Mobile 5.0 phone was T-Mobile MDA Pro - in Germany, the first Windows Mobile 5.0 in USA is PPC-6700 Pocket PC phone:


Information from Sprint follows.

* * * * *

Sprint Launches First Pocket PC Phone in the Country to Feature Windows Mobile 5.0 Platform

Sprint PCS Vision Smart Device (PPC-6700) Features a Sleek, New Design and Represents the First Smart Device from Sprint with EV-DO and Wi-Fi Data Capabilities

Sprint announced the launch of the Sprint PCS Vision Smart Device (PPC-6700), the first PDA/phone-combination handset in the country to offer the new Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 software, featuring updated Microsoft Office applications including Outlook Mobile and the new PowerPoint Mobile. Marketed by UT Starcom Personal Communications and operating on the Nationwide Sprint PCS Network, this CDMA device is a light and manageable productivity powerhouse combining a wireless phone, Evolution Data Optimized (EV-DO) and Wi-Fi data functionality, Bluetooth Wireless Technology, email, Web access, a full QWERTY keyboard, and a 1.3-megapixel camera with video capabilities. The PPC-6700 will be available through Sprint business sales channels next week for a suggested retail price of $629.99 before discounts and promotions. The device will be offered nationwide in Sprint Stores and online at later this year.

"Sprint continues to provide mobile professionals a portfolio of wireless devices and broadband choices unsurpassed in the industry," said Vicki Warker, vice president of marketing and product for Sprint. "With Wi-Fi, 3G and EV-DO high-speed wireless data, our customers now have more choices for staying productive while on the go. The PPC-6700 allows customers to capture the power of any of those services without taking up too much space in a briefcase or pocket."

The PPC-6700 reproduces the Windows-based PC experience and utilizes a new suite of Microsoft Office software, including the addition of PowerPoint Mobile for viewing presentations on the go and Excel Mobile with enhanced attachment-viewing capabilities. Managing documents, email, appointments, contacts and tasks is easier than ever with a 416 MHz Intel PXA270 processor and a sliding QWERTY keyboard that opens from the side and automatically changes orientation from portrait to landscape viewing mode.

"We believe the PPC-6700 really is the next-generation mobile device," said Philip Christopher, president of UT Starcom Personal Communications. "Built with business applications in mind, the sliding keyboard and advanced data capabilities are just two of the many features, which when paired with Sprint's advanced wireless service, are designed to enable professionals to virtually carry office capabilities in their pocket." Multiple data capabilities give customers more choices for quick and convenient methods to send or receive email, attachments and text messages; view documents; browse the Web; listen to news, music and other audio clips; and access corporate applications while on the go. The handset supports broadband-like speeds where Sprint's wireless high-speed data (EV-DO) is available and is backwards compatible to provide 1XRTT throughput speeds in areas where EV-DO service is not yet available. Sprint currently provides wireless high-speed data service in more than 75 markets nationwide, covering more than 100 airports in the country. Embedded Wi-Fi for data will also allow users to connect in thousands of Sprint-compatible domestic and international Wi-Fi ZONES and other public, enterprise and residential Wi-Fi locations. Various billing methods apply in non-Sprint venues.

With embedded Bluetooth Wireless Technology, the PPC-6700 automatically connects with Bluetooth headsets and car kits (sold separately). Dial-up networking capabilities for use with Bluetooth-enabled laptops and desktop computers will be enabled with a future software release. Capturing, sharing and viewing pictures and video is easy with the embedded 1.3-megapixel camera with built-in flash and digital zoom. The device also includes a built-in mini USB port and mini SD expansion card to add memory; transfer music, photos and video from the desktop; or load additional games and applications.

"With the power and flexibility of the new Windows Mobile 5.0 software platform and the speed of the Nationwide Sprint PCS Network, mobile information workers will have the freedom to stay connected when and where they want," said Suzan DelBene, corporate vice president of marketing for the Mobile and Embedded Devices Division at Microsoft Corp. "The PPC-6700 is the result of Microsoft's strong relationship with Sprint, molding flexible software with innovative hardware and a dependable network to help business customers more easily access their most essential information."

The PPC-6700 also supports Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync for over-the-air synchronization of email and calendar information with Microsoft Exchange Server 2003.

Packaged applications include Action Info and AudibleListener. Users will enjoy a 30-day free trial of access to content from their favorite brands, including eBay,, FOX Sports, AP News, AP Stocks, Microsoft MapPoint, AccuWeather, Restaurant Row, and Zap 2 it Movies; details at Also, Sprint customers can receive $100 cash back with a 12-month subscription to audio books, audio magazines, newspapers, radio programs and more with at

Additional content is available via the Sprint PCS Software Store provided by Handango, an intelligent on-device catalog of applications and digital media, allowing users to find, download and buy software, games, ringtones, graphics and other applications simply and securely. The store can also be visited online at

For complete details on the PPC-6700, visit

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

I4U News - JVC to Release New High Quality Music File Compression

I4U News - JVC to Release New High Quality Music File CompressionJVC to Release New High Quality Music File Compression

Topic: Other Stuff

JVC to Release New High Quality Music File Compression Technology News, Electronics Buy Guide and Gadget Review Japanese Nihon Keizai Shimbun reports that JVC is about to introduce a new high quality music file compression technology.

JVC's new music compression is supposed to allow downloaded music files to have CD quality. JVC Victor will offer CD tracks for download with the new compression starting October. JVC developed a player software for portable music players to use the new format.
In the article there is no word about how well the technology compresses. Strangely enough the JVC technology is supposed to be compatible with Apple's AAC and Sony's ATRAC format.

eBay to Acquire Skype @ Dave's iPAQ

eBay to Acquire Skype @ Dave's iPAQ
eBay to Acquire Skype

By David Ciccone, posted 17 hours ago
Reader Comments: 2

Ebay has agreed to acquire Luxembourg-based Skype Technologies SA, the global Internet communications company, for approximately $2.6 billion in up-front cash and eBay stock, plus potential performance-based consideration. The acquisition will strengthen eBay's global marketplace and payments platform, while opening several new lines of business and creating significant new monetization opportunities for the company. The deal also represents a major opportunity for Skype to advance its leadership in Internet voice communications and offer people worldwide new ways to communicate in a global online era. Skype, eBay and PayPal will create an unparalleled ecommerce and communications engine for buyers and sellers around the world.

"Communications is at the heart of ecommerce and community," said Meg Whitman, President and Chief Executive Officer of eBay. "By combining the two leading ecommerce franchises, eBay and PayPal, with the leader in Internet voice communications, we will create an extraordinarily powerful environment for business on the Net."

Founded in 2002 by Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, Skype offers high-quality voice communications to anyone with an Internet connection anywhere in the world. The Skype software is easy to download and install, and enables free calls between Skype users online. Skype's premium services provide low-cost connectivity to traditional fixed and mobile telephones. Skype's software also offers a robust set of features, including voicemail, instant messaging, call forwarding and conference calling. Upcoming product innovations include Skype video, expressive content such as avatars, and customized toolbars for Outlook and Internet Explorer.

One of the fastest growing companies on the Internet, Skype already has 54 million members in 225 countries and territories. Skype is currently adding approximately 150,000 users a day and has created a thriving ecosystem of products, services, developers, and affiliates. Skype is considered the market leader in virtually all countries in which it does business. In North America alone, Skype has more users and serves more voice minutes than any other Internet voice communications provider.

"Our vision for Skype has always been to build the world's largest communications business and revolutionize the ease with which people can communicate through the Internet," said Niklas Zennstrom, Skype CEO and co-founder. "We can't think of any better platform to fulfill this vision to become the voice of the Internet than with eBay and PayPal."

"We're great admirers of how eBay and PayPal have simplified global ecommerce and payments," said Janus Friis, Skype co-founder and senior vice president, strategy. "Together we feel we can really change the way that people communicate, shop and do business online."

Zennstrom and Friis will remain in their current positions. Zennstrom will report to eBay CEO Whitman and join eBay's senior executive team. - Why choose a Microsoft platform? (for mobile phones and PDAs) - Why choose a Microsoft platform? (for mobile phones and PDAs)Why choose a Microsoft platform? (for mobile phones and PDAs)
September 12, 2005 [General]
Symbian is inferior to Windows Mobile, so obviously one should select Windows Mobile phones, rather than Symbian based - that's our answer... but let's take a look what is Microsoft's answer, that is also much less controversial:

A quote from writings of Marcus Perryman follows.

* * * * *

Why choose a Microsoft platform?

Microsoft is not new to mobile computing. Windows CE has been in production since 1996 and is a custom built operating system aimed at resource constrained devices. The Windows Mobile platform is built using Windows CE components and enhancements to provide consistent user and developer experience across a wide range of hardware. Microsoft considers mobile computing strategic to the future of the IT industry and an ideal delivery platform for .NET applications and is in the game for the long term.

The latest version, Windows Mobile 5.0 brings improved usability, tighter security, updated Office integration and a vast improvement in the developers experience in conjunction with Visual Studio 2005.

Developers moving from .NET desktop development to the device can use their existing skills to build .NET code on the device using the same Visual Studio 2005 tools with new device specific form designers and hi-fidelity device emulators of both Pocket PC and Smartphone devices.

One style of device is not enough to solve every need and suite every taste. Microsoft works with over 40 Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM’s) to provide the Windows Mobile software on different shape, style and capability devices while still maintaining the common user and developer experience. Modern mobile hardware is very capable with bright, colour VGA screens, 600Mhz + processors and up to 12GB of storage. Coupled with the full relational SQL Mobile database and tools even the most demanding enterprise application can be brought to Pocket PC and Smartphone devices through SQL 2000 or SQL 2005 merge replication or remote data access.

:: LAPTOP Magazine • Jabra SP500 ::

LAPTOP Magazine • Jabra SP500 ::

Jabra SP500
Price: $99.99

by William Van Winkle

Buy this Product
If you don't like wearing a headset while you drive, give the Jabra SP500 a home in your vehicle. This ovoid speakerphone clips onto a triple suction cup windshield mount and features a noise-canceling microphone at the end of a curved, rubber arm that swings out from above the speaker. A Multifunction button nestles against the speaker, and a Mute button and Volume knob rest on the bottom of the device. Jabra includes both AC and DC charging cables, and the unit weighs six ounces. Connecting the SP500 with your Bluetooth cell is easy: simply power up and hold down the Pairing button.

Functionally, the SP500 is very similar to the Bluetooth headsets we tested. The DSP-based sound enhancement technology used to match speaker volume against background noise easily overcame a full-blast air conditioner and moderate volume background music. User voices emerged clearly over driving noise, and the directional microphone demonstrated good clarity, albeit with somewhat tinny fidelity. Only highway driving with the windows down thwarted the speakerphone. Baking on a hot dashboard for several hours had no ill effects. Talk time lasted a mammoth 20 hours.

The bottom line is that this is the best sub-$300 add-on car speakerphone we've ever heard. Buy it, use it, and love it.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Pocket PC Thoughts - Daily News, Views, Rants and Raves

Pocket PC Thoughts - Daily News, Views, Rants and Raves
OFF-TOPIC eBay Acquires Skype
Posted by Darius Wey @ 08:45 AM
"eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY; has agreed to acquire Luxembourg-based Skype Technologies SA, the global Internet communications company, for approximately $2.6 billion in up-front cash and eBay stock, plus potential performance-based consideration. The acquisition will strengthen eBay’s global marketplace and payments platform, while opening several new lines of business and creating significant new monetization opportunities for the company. The deal also represents a major opportunity for Skype to advance its leadership in Internet voice communications and offer people worldwide new ways to communicate in a global online era. Skype, eBay and PayPal will create an unparalleled ecommerce and communications engine for buyers and sellers around the world."

2005 has proven to be a hotbed for mammoth acquisitions, and this one is no exception. Just announced today is eBay's acquisition of Skype Technologies, the company behind Skype for Pocket PC (and Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux). The press release outlines some of eBay's plans with Skype, but plans aside, history has shown that acquisitions can go either way (i.e. success or failure). Your thoughts on this one?