Your smartphone and / or tablet is just begging for an update. From time to time, these mobile devices are blessed with maintenance refreshes, bug fixes, custom ROMs and anything in between, and so many of them are floating around that it’s easy for a sizable chunk to get lost in the mix. To make sure they don’t escape without notice, we’ve gathered every possible update, hack, and other miscellaneous tomfoolery we could find during the last week and crammed them into one convenient roundup. If you find something available for your device, please give us a shout at tips at engadget dawt com and let us know. Enjoy!
S60 fans rejoice – Nokia has just announced that it has begun shipping the highly anticipated 5800 XpressMusic. Woo! Don’t get too excited just yet though, only retailers in Russia, Spain, India, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Finland and a few other markets will be receiving this first round of shipments and there’s still no word as to how the schedule is looking for other regions. Unfortunately, it still looks like potential buyers in those markets can likely look forward to some elevated pricing until year’s end, but those of you who absolutely must have the 5800 can chalk it up to early-adopter tax. The fact that you can brag to your S60-loving buddies in other regions about being the first to get your hands on Nokia’s touchscreen revival should make up for the extra cost, maybe.
The results are in and news now hitting the smartphone world is that Nokia is slipping down from the peak of the mountain while Apple and RIM work their way to the top. With only the iPhone and iPhone 3G, Apple has managed to step over RIM’s shoulders to take the number two spot in the smartphone world with 17.3% of the market share. RIM, however, isn’t too far behind with 15.2% and climbing with anticipation of the Storm’s release mounting. Nokia, meanwhile, can’t help but sit and watch as it sees its market share drop to 38.9% from 51.4% the year before. Apple is undoubtedly snatching up Nokia and RIM’s business with the iPhone 3G, having sold nearly 7 million units since its official release on July 11. With those sales, Apple is not just second in the smartphone war but it now accounts for 2.3% of the overall mobile phone market – not bad after just a year and a half in business! Still, with two up-and-comers battling and plenty of momentum, Nokia and the Symbian OS remain on top of the pile as the ones to beat. All they have to do now is figure out how to hold the other two down, and that is going to take something pretty big.
The key to Android’s success in the US will undoubtedly be carrier adoption which is still the only effective way to sell handsets in this country – just ask Nokia how its Nseries and Eseries lines are doing here. One carrier however, just isn’t going to cut it. The T-Mobile partnership was a great move for both parties involved and it was a tremendous start to Google’s mobile OS efforts here in the US. T-Mobile was all for it as it brought them hype and exclusivity and Google was all for it as, well, it let them launch a handset. Google has a long road ahead of it on its way to becoming a successful player in the US market however, and having its OS publicly rejected by two of the four major US carriers was surely not a goal. First Sprint CEO Dan Hesse made the now-famous comment that Android isn’t “good enough to put the Sprint brand on,” and now AT&T has made a similar sentiment public. AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega told The San Fransisco Chronicle that while AT&T has been looking into Android for a while, it has no plans of offering an Android-powered handset any time soon. One of the reasons given, which may have been a nice little pot-shot at Google, was that Android needs to “open up more” and offer some “non-Google” applications. Burn. For de la Vega to publicly say that Google’s open OS needs to “open up more” isn’t a good sign. Hopefully next year when the app store is a but more flushed out AT&T will sing a different tune.
As part of the whole discussion on the leaked Nokia promotional video about a month ago, the existence of the mysterious Eseries phone, the E63, has come to light. Much of the phone still remains a mystery but we do have some new spy shots to confirm its existence and few leaked details on the handset itself courtesy of the Telefon-Tredd.de forums. This is all rumor so take it with a healthy grain of salt. The Nokia E63 is purported to come in three variants: the E63-1: for Europe, the E63-2: without a camera and more memory (?), and E63-3: for the Americas. According to a user agent profile on Nokia servers and from the spy shooter himself, the E63 will have the following specs:
- GSM and GPRS + EDGE
- UMTS + HSDPA
- Display: 240 x 320 Pixel, 18bit
- Camera: At least 2MP. No Front Camera.
- Symbian v9.1
- S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 1
- MIDP 2.0 and CLDC 1.1
- Has 3.5 mm jack connector
- Is thicker than E71
- Has a flashlight function (which by pressing the space bar immediately activated and can be disabled)
- No metal construction (plastic only) except Navikey and camera module
- No side buttons
- Left side: microSD slot and micro-USB connector (with hard plastic closure)
- The microphone is on the lower side (not front as E71)
- 2mm mains next to the microphone
- Bottom right (on the corner) is an eyelet
- Menu’s like E71, looks like FP1
So there you have it folks, the Nokia E63 as we know it today. Hit the jump for a few more spy shots.
[via Finest Fones]
While Nokia makes a habit of practically defining “featurephone” for the industry, traditionally it’s handsets like the N95 that hog all the spotlight, leaving Nokia’s few QWERTY phones in the shadows. Not that they’ve been trying too hard — while the E62 and E61i have both shipped over here, neither has featured 3G data in US bands, and the E62 even had the distinct pleasure of having WiFi stripped out. Enter E71, the successor to those phones, and Nokia’s very first QWERTY device to feature US-friendly 3G.
Nokia is also (finally) taking form factor much more seriously: at 10mm thick, the E71 is one of the slimmest Nokia phones to date, and Nokia claims it’s the thinnest QWERTY smartphone on the market. The E71 also attacks the drab, plastic looks of its predecessors with chrome accents and a glossy screen. The phone is incredibly pocketable, and comfortable to hold and use. Of course, with the smaller size Nokia had to cut down on screen real estate and keyboard spacing, but at a QVGA resolution there’s little suffering on that front. The keyboard had a much more rigid, clicky feel to it compared to the spongy keys of the E62, and we were virtually typo-free on it within minutes.
Gallery: Nokia E71 review