Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from your friends at Smartphone Fanatics!


Living with My BlackBerry Curve: The Hardware

It has been a little more than a week since I swapped my trusty Palm Treo 755p for a BlackBerry Curve 8330, both for the Sprint EVDO wireless network and it has been an interesting experience so far.

I’d like to start off by talking about some of the hardware differences between my BlackBerry and Treo.

The Curve is about a third thinner than my Treo. Eyeballing them both on my desk, the Curve and the Treo are the same width and height, although the Curve is a tiny bit shorter. As far as weight is concerned, the Curve is also a lighter when I’m holding both in my hands, but that so much that I notice a difference when carrying the BlackBerry in a belt case.

I miss the Treo’s ringer switch with the BlackBerry. And I like the Treo’s keyboard better. The keyboard on the Curve is usable and I am getting along with it OK, however, the Treo keyboard just felt better and more sturdy. The trackball on the BlackBerry is easy to get use to. I like it as much as the 5-way navigator on the Treo because it allows you to hold the device in either hand and use it. That wasn’t the case with older BlackBerry devices that only had a scroll wheel on the right side fo the device.

Probably the biggest thing that I miss on the BlackBerry that I used all the time on my Treo is the touch screen. It was really easy to just reach up with a thumb or pointer finger and tap an object on the screen.

Some other welcomed changes wtih the BlackBerry include a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, built-in (assisted) GPS, a mini USB port for charging and data synchronization (which is now the standard on new Palm devices), and a 2.0MP digital camera with a flash. Palm’s Treo 755p ships with a 320×320 display. The Curve has a 320×240 display. The difference in display resolution has turned out to not be as big of a deal as I expected it would. I have found both displays easy to read. That said, the BlackBerry has an auto adjusting screen brightness feature where the screen brigthness goes up in well lit rooms making it even easy to ready in a well lit room in the office or at home.

Voice call quality is good on the BlackBerry and I was able to pair my Bluetooth headset with it. The speaker phone option is loud which is good when your home with the kids, however, my not be so good if you are in your office. You will need to adjust the call volume to meet your needs and environment.

All in all, the BlackBerry Curve offers the same hardware features that I like about my Treo. I prefer a full Qwerty keyboard over on screen keyboards like the one found on the Apple iPhone and the multi-function keypad on devices like the BlackBerry Perl. The track ball is as easy to use as the nav pad on the Treo. Both devices fit nicely in my hands, however, I do miss the soft touch paint that Palm has ben using on the Treo 750, 755p, and the newest Sprint Centro smartphones.

For more information about the BlackBerry Curve 8300 series devices, check out Research In Motion’s BlackBerry website.


Opera Front End 1.1

If you like to use Opera’s Mini Java browser on your Palm OS smartphone (or PDA) Opera Front End 1.1 looks like the app for you.

“Opera Mini is the outstanding mobile browser from Opera which also works on Palm OS devices. Unfortunately, it doesn’t behave like a default browser, URL’s can’t be transfered from other apps and access to special characters is limited.

OperaFrontEnd is made to change all this: Opera Mini is now your default browser, URL’s are enqueued into Opera Mini and the access to the build-in keyboard makes it possible to enter every single character your Palm can display.

OperaFrontEnd v1.1 even allows you to fall back to good-old Blazer whenever you need it for downloads or compatibility issues.”

Opera Front End is on sale for $2.95 at MobiHand until December 31, 2008. For more details, visit the MetaViewSoft blog.

apple · iphone

Apple iPhone Coming to Wal-Mart

Gadgets On The Go is reporting that Wal-Mart will begin selling the Apple iPhone G3 this coming Sunday, December 28. The retailer will carry both the 8 and 16GB editions of the phone at $197 and $297 with a new 2-year service agreement.

“We are delighted to bring customers this ground-breaking mobile technology,” said Gary Severson, senior vice president, Entertainment, Wal-Mart, in the press release. “Our electronics associates have been preparing for many weeks for the arrival of iPhone 3G. We are excited to now help new customers learn more about the features and services that make the iPhone unique.”

[Via GadgetsOnTheGo.net…]