Sunday, August 31, 2008

HTC Diamond and Touch Pro Dates Leaked

I've held an HTC Diamond and played with it, in GSM form.
My initial reaction was that it was nice, but not amazing as I had hoped. Could be because it was a demo unit, but I'm wondering how the CDMA model will compare, what with all the rumors of various flavors being released on a multitude of CDMA carriers states-side.

Well, thankfully I won't have to wait too much longer- or rather, at least now I have a better idea how much longer I'll need to wait thanks to some supposed leaked internal Sprint documents.

As always, take these with a grain of salt, but it seems to be on par with many of the current release date rumors for Sprint.

More on this over at wmpoweruser.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New Instinct vs. Iphone 3G videos

I gotta admit, I really enjoyed seeing Sprint's aggressive marketing of the Samsung Instinct, especially since it combined my two passions: Mobile tech and film making.

I'll be honest:
I'm not the biggest fan of the Instinct.
However, I do appreciate seeing someone else try to promote an iPhone competitor.

Do I expect the Instinct to be an "iphone-killer"? Not a chance.
Apple is a marketing machine, and they sure do know how to push that "reality distortion field" into making consumers believe this is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Just look at how much carriers in other countries are charging for the 3G. But, I don't believe the iPhone deserves the pedestal it has been placed on, and so I appreciate seeing others take a stab at it.

The stuff that really made me chuckle was Sprint's Instinct vs. iPhone ads made at the new Samsung's launch.
At the time, they showed the Instinct up against the original iPhone (2G), with such examples as:
  • Showing the Instinct finish loading a page while the iPhone continues to chug along at what appears to be excruciating Edge speed.
  • Showing location based services on the GPS enabled Instinct while the iPhone showed you "somewhere in this ginormous circle" with triangulation and Google Maps.
  • Downloading music over the air with the Sprint store, vs iPhone requiring WiFi to access iTunes
All these videos were well made and perfectly executed with movie narrator voices and witty body language by the fingers demonstrating.

However, now that the iPhone 3G is out, which introduced GPS and 3G, they had to pull some of their older ads.

Thankfully, they managed to cook up some fresh new ones.
These include some stuff STILL not fixed in the new iPhone, such as replacing a battery, turn-by-turn GPS routing, and some network comparison stuff showing 3G coverage (which Sprint has plenty of) and a features/price comparison with the plans.

In any event, its worth checking out these videos, even if you LIKE the iPhone. They're pretty funny.

Follow the link:

Monday, August 25, 2008

T-Mobile 3G - Compatibility?

As I mentioned recently here, T-mobile USA is FINALLY rolling out 3G in 27 cities by Oct 1 of this year, just shy of that 2009 prediction.

But before you start fantasizing about unlocking that iPhone 3G, Nokia E71 or Blackberry Bold, I forgot to mention its not compatible with other 3G networks. That's right, you heard me.

Yep, since T-Mobile had to buy that unused 1700mhz spectrum from the FCC to make 3G happen, it will be working on frequencies completely different from AT&T, which in turn are completely different from GSM elsewhere in the world.
Anyone who's ever bought unlocked phones is already familiar with the difference between Europe's 3G UMTS vs. United States versions of the phones.

But now, you'll also need to consider special T-Mobile USA edition phones if you want 3G. There are 3 primary versions of GSM 3G: UMTS 3G for the rest of the world, and 850/1900 AT&T or 1700Mhz T-Mobile USA. This is going to make handset purchases very difficult, and further complicated one of the greatest benefits of GSM: compatible portability.

I'm not the biggest fan of CDMA, but at least their network technology is far less confusing!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sprint HTC Diamond (Victor)- RED?

Back in June, some blurry photos were released online of the new Sprint Diamond (or HTC Victor).
Than, in July, this same user (ksemt7781) posted:
"To answer one question I saw come up in the forums, The back of the diamond is burgandy and ruberized like the palm 755 was. "
Interesting- With the exception of the metallic-blue T-Mobile Wing, you don't normally see HTC devices branded in colors off the gray-scale spectrum. But, since these were all rumors from an as-of-yet unverified source, there's no reason to really believe any of this...

Until now, anyway. Over at, a user has posted a photo gallery of what appears to be a Sprint branded HTC Diamind, with Victor-style curves and... a "burgundy" back.

There is no connection between this and the previous user as far as we can tell, so its possible that these are two independant sources pointing to the same thing- the red Spring Diamond is real.

Its also possible, as speculated, this is an elaborate photoshop job.

I think this is the real deal, personally. What I'm wondering is, will only the Sprint one be red, and is Telus really going to get this first?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

T-mobile USA: Officially the last major network in US for 3G

Once upon a time, I loved T-mobile.

In fact around the start of this blog, actually.

This was not without good reason- T-Mobile may be struggling now, but they used to be the TOP of their game when it came to wireless data not too long ago.
Now, they are officially the last major network to roll out 3G data service.

Oh, the irony.

Just after the turn of the century, when Deutsch Telecom bought out VoiceStream to create T-mobile USA, the country was introduced to many new exciting data services and devices.
T-mobile USA had an advantage over the other new budding GSM networks because T-Mobile in Europe was already one of the leading wireless providers in the world, and brought some of that experience to the States along with mass-produced GSM phones.
The end result was T-mobile was the first to offer many bleeding edge data handsets, such as the first Blackberry with integrated voice (Blackberry 5810), the first Pocket PC Phone (XDA), and Danger's HipTop (Sidekick).

But, it seemed T-mobile was more interested in flashing their new handsets than improving their network. Meanwhile, GSM competitors AT&T and Cingular were slowly gaining subscribers by adding towers and rolling out their faster data networks.
By the time T-Mobile said they were rolling out EDGE (2.5G) data services, Cingular and AT&T had combined into one company, and had already announced their 3G network plans.
Meanwhile, CDMA providers Verizon and Sprint had already had their EVDO 3G network running. Somehow in the mix of things, T-mobile had fallen to the bottom of the pack.

T-mobile was my service of choice for many years; they had an open network design that allowed 3rd party handsets, super competitive data pricing, and always treated me well as a customer. I almost felt bad leaving them, as if I'm somehow cheating on a loved one. But, in the summer of 2007 when I heard that T-mobile's plans for 3G might take them into 2009 before full rollout, I decided it was time to jump ship. EVERYONE had 3G by then, except T-mobile USA. It was time to give up.

I'm now with Sprint, who has excellent 3G coverage.
Now, I'm not going to lie to you and tell you that Sprint is the best network out there, however I have 3G in places AT&T does not, and although Sprint has its infamous customer service snafoos, I've been thoroughly impressed by their network services.
Between their competitive services and pricing, and the fact that they've been in talks about 4G WiMax (Xohm) for a while already, I've never looked back to T-mobile since making the move.

T-mobile has recently announced it is rolling out 3G by Oct 1 in 27 major cities. While its good to see that they're going to make it 3 months shy of the 2009 prediction, its very possible it will be well into 2009 before a more national rollout is complete.

Once upon a time, I would have been ecstatic to see this news. Now, I can only sigh and feel bad for all those still stuck with the big pink T. I'm really, really, glad I left. *sigh*

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

More new HTC handset news...

According to this engadget post, there is now some more evidence to point to my theory of the HTC Diamond coming to CDMA will in fact be the HTC Victor, and the Diamond Pro most likely the HTC Herman.

In my last post, I mentioned that Telus seems to be getting the phone first, however an article from the China Post has mentioned that Sprint should be getting the new HTC phone some time in August- which we are already in!
Telus has been advertising the phone for some time already, but who will get it first?
It's still entirely possible that the China Post published a typo, since all evidence until now pointed to a Telus release first.
Meanwhile, I had pointed out that pictures on the Telus site indicate the Victor version (curved corners, non-angled back) as opposed to the sharp corners and oddly angled back of the GSM Diamond.

In fact, a leaked picture of the supposed HTC Diamond with Sprint branding has emerged and has been circulating the internet (see image on right).

Note the curved bottom on this handset- that's one of the telltale signs that this is a Victor-styled device, and not the original GSM Diamond style.

So, it would appear that all hands are pointing to the sleek and professional-looking Victor/Herman style handsets in store for the new bread of HTC north-american CDMA market.

Now, that doesnt mean that all cdma diamond-class devices will look the same- according to the engadget post linked above (as well as the phone arena article it sources), the Verizon version of the Diamond will be different from the rest of the pack.

Sporting a stainless steel case and "wimpier" specs (less CPU mhz and memory), the Verizon Diamond will likely look very different. At this point details are still scarce, but the VZ version may look more like the GSM Diamond in all its angled glory (or lack thereof)... We shall see.
Predictions anyone?