In Review: Torch 9800 vs 9810 with OS 7

So we’ve heard around the vines that Research In Motion (RIM) the creators of BlackBerry will release a new line of handhelds powered by mysterious BlackBerry OS 7 including the latest BlackBerry Torch 9810. In the North America area, #TeamBlackBerry members have already been raving about how nice this evolved BlackBerry Torch seems to function.

So as not to be too far behind, I’ve round-up all information on these two babies (9800 vs 9810) to give you an idea what improvements were made and how well does the OS 7 really fair vs OS 6.

DISPLAY

9810 – High Resolution with 640×480 display

9800 – High Resolution with 480×360 display

MEMORY

9810 – 8GB internal memory (onboard) with 768MB RAM

9800 – 4GB eMMC and box usually comes with 4GB microSD card with 512MB RAM’

CAMERA

9810 – 5MP with HD Video recording, 4x Zoom, Zero shutter lag, Geo-tagging, continuous auto focus

9800 – 5MP with Video Recording, 2x Zoom

BATTERY

9810 – 1270mAh good for 6.5 hours of calls and texts or 5.9 hours for 3G use.

9800 – 1270mAhR good for 5. hours for calls and text or 5.0 hours for 3G use.

OS

9810 – BlackBerry OS 7  (with new and improved browser, latest JAVA engine, effective support for Flash, faster HTML rendering and speedier loading)

9800 – BlackBerry OS 6 (not too far off but browsing is just much better in OS 7)

Look and feel

Both look highly professional since that is the master plan of RIM. But in terms of the phone’s UI, OS 6 is too professional that in its goals to make everything organized, it’s too rigid. THe OS 7 on the other hand boasts of the new Liquified Graphics interface which according to RIM promises to be visually catchy and more customizable compared to OS 6. We don’t really know how true this is and how it will actualize in the phones but if RIM intends to really set the bar high, then this must be one thing they cannot let up on.

New Function

BlackBerry OS 7 also comes with the BlackBerry Balance. As it is aptly named, this function allows users to create, precisely, a work – life balance. We are told that this function will enable users to organize apps and functions into work and another organization for your social life. This is a nice touch similar to the Nokia phones (like E73) and Windows phones in the market.

With the information rounded up, we believe that OS 7 in the new BlackBerry Torch 9810 will really be a superb phone. Whether or not these will translate well into the actual unit is for us to see until we get our hands on a new BlackBerry Torch 9810 with OS 7.

That’s all for now.

In Review: Nokia E7

Nokia E7 Review

First Impressions:

I have to admit, the first time I got hold of this phone, I was intimidated. Sleek and heavy at 176 grams, I deemed it isn’t the kind of phone I would bring with me for a late afternoon walk at a crowded park. When it comes to phones, I have weight issues. Hence, after unboxing my Nokia E7, I thought to myself – it better be worth the weight.

Appearance & Interface

At first, I thought E7 was just another improved twin of the N8. Then again, the subtle inclusion of the slide-out QWERTY keyboard caught me by surprise. I think it’s an upgrade on both sophistication and flexibility. I like how it appears like a mini monitor and keyboard every time I slide it open. I just wish Nokia would polish the hinge further to make sliding easier.

 

Scrolling and shifting from the vertical to the horizontal view is also seamless. The capacitive touchscreen shows Nokia’s great improvement on its touchscreen technology. No need to touch twice because you’ll get it on the first click.  With this improvement, you have the screen lock or standby button installed just perfectly to balance the improved sensitivity.

Features

Camera

Browsing through its features, E7 is packed with all the inclusions of a regular digital camera. It is equipped with an 8-megapixel and dual-LED flash camera. Not to mention, shooting features include face-detect, grid focus, self-timer function and even photo editor. Having all these, I thought it was worth ditching my trusty camera for.

Then again, I was disappointed with the actual shots. Its current specs may be promising but Nokia should still improve on the camera capacity for indoor and night-time shots. Although, I would say that picture quality is already satisfactory for the daytime and outdoor shots. Shots are kept crisp and do not get pixelated even when zoomed in for review. To optimize the quality of photos, just don’t forget to turn on red-eye reduction.

As for the video, the shots are grainy. Quality is comparable to typical home videos. Because it comes handy with the phone, it is perfect for spontaneous capturing of key moments during the day. Indoor capturing is fine, just as long as the location is well-lit

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Multimedia

For its music playing function, I have nothing but praises for E7. Sound quality is exceptional. Leave your earphones behind and share the music out loud with a friend or two. As for downloaded and converted videos, playback is great, too.

I would suggest the horizontal view when watching videos. Especially when the keyboard is slid up, the phone’s form makes you want to view it from afar and treat it like a television screen. It also helps that the phone has a video editor where you can create, edit and then later own view your own videos.

Internet & Social Networking

This phone has all the connectivity means in full-force, from 3G, EDGE, WAP and WIFI capacity. I would say browsing is quite an experience. Given the huge screen and the seamless interface, it may be comparable to the iPhone’s browser. Just make sure you have a stable connection and you’re good to go.

For social networking, this isn’t the phone for you. Don’t expect snap and share to work well on this. Multimedia items are not directly transferrable to social network accounts, unlike in other smartphones. Nokia needs to catch up on that.

Memory & Syncing

I was at first peeved to find out that there is no card slot for this phone. But after consulting the manual, I found out that the internal memory capacity is powerful at 16 GB, with 256 MB RAM and 1 GB ROM. Man, this phone is already powerful by default. There is just so much that you can do and store with such memory.

The only downside is content portability. It may be reliable as a flash drive but the transfer of multiple files may be inconvenient when there’s no computer around. I had to rely on its Bluetooth function to transfer pictures from this phone to my old phone.

Best Feature

Although still not in its best form, I would deem that the idea of slide-out QWERTY keyboard is E7’s best feature. Touch technology may be in but still, there nothing like the classic experience of typing. I think it is E7’s edge over its counterparts – Apple iPhone, Samsung Wave or even its earlier twin, Nokia N8. E7 gives users the best of both worlds – they can touch and they can type.

For quick responses, I use the touch screen interface. For more intent and leisure composition, I use the keyboard. There can be no monotony in the usage.

(As you can see, I am a fan of the phone’s horizontal layout.)

Overall Recommendation

I remain firm in saying that this isn’t the phone I would bring with me for an afternoon walk at a crowded park. Rather, this is the phone I would bring with me when I get stuck alone in an island. I hope you get the picture. This phone has it all – maps for navigation, office document tools for work, connectivity and multimedia capacity for entertainment. To cap it all, E7 boasts a seamless interface and an excellent battery life. You can say that it tries to be everything. And, for me, it has succeeded in doing so.

Definitely, it is worth the weight.

First Look: LG Optimus ME P350

LG OPTIMUS ME P350 REVIEW

First Impressions:

Having to unbox a phone for the first time proves to be quite an experience, every time. Excitement and anticipation jitters would always ignite the tech enthusiast in me. With LG Optimus ME P350, I didn’t have to wait a long time to be able to get hold of one. Coming at an affordable price, it was a temptation that was too good to resist.

LG Optimus ME P350. Photo courtesy of TechPinas

Appearance

If you are a fan of sleek and sophisticated-looking gadgets, I would not recommend this phone for you. But, if you are a sucker for fun and youthful-looking phones, then LG Optimus Me P350 might just be the perfect handset for you. I got mine in blue and I like it funky this way. At 130 grams, I usually don’t mind carrying it around and putting it in my pocket, every time.

Interface

As in most touch screen phones, the home interface shows a wide array of the handset’s applications. LG could do better at organizing its icons. Related applications have not been clustered together by default. Being new to LG, I was surprised at the messaging icon. It looks quite unconventional in its non-envelope-shaped design. To make it easier for first time users, I think it would be better to have it placed at the topmost left side, as how it is by default in most touch screen phones. Other than these, I had an easy time tinkering on the other controls.

Its touch screen performance is not exactly one for the books, although satisfactory for a low-end phone. I would say I’m satisfied with the response rate. I like how easy it is to navigate through the calendar, messaging and call logs with just simple flips through the screen. This is perfect for people like me who usually find it hard to touch icons precisely.

Features:

Camera

Boasting a 3.15 megapixel camera with autofocus, photos are okay but not superb. With Facebook and Twitter coming handy as applications, it gives one the convenience of taking photos and sharing them in real time. Although, I didn’t bother dwelling much on its video application, as its VGA remains low at 24 frames per second.

Music

Sound quality is again, satisfactory. Being MP3 and MP4 capable, LG Optimus Me P350 can prove to be one good companion on slow and quiet days. Although, the briefness of the battery life could counter the excitement, as it only took me approximately 3 hours of listening to the FM radio, combined with a couple of hours talk time, until the battery died.

Internet

Among the features that I was most excited about on this phone were its 3G and WIFI capabilities. Ideally, these would best complement the built-in applications of Google Search, Maps, Latitude, Facebook and Twitter. So far, I have no complaints on the usability and functioning of these. Graphics were not so smooth and seamless, though, and viewing could be enhanced with a bigger screen size.

This brings me to another good point of LG Optimus Me P350 – it can be used as a WIFI router. With its USB port, I connected it to my laptop and eventually, I was able to establish a connection. Although slow in loading, I would still give it a plus for the connection capacity. Besides, as it is in any platform, the browsing experience of the user can only be fully-optimized with a good internet service provider.

Memory

Before purchasing a MicroSD for this phone, I was disappointed to find out that the internal memory is only up to 140MB. Although, it’s 32GB expandable memory compensates for this. With this phone all-boosted up, the average user can already enjoy storing music, videos and files up to his heart’s content and even beyond. For this, I would give it another plus.

Best Feature

As an Android phone with a multitude of possibilities for software download and updates, I like how the developers have explicitly added an icon feature on Software Updates. Most users may not be keen enough to update their installed applications each time but this function makes it all handy for them. Besides, these applications are the lifeblood of Android phones. The more updated and dynamic they are, the better becomes the user experience.

Overall Recommendation

Overall, being an Android phone offered at a friendly, midrange price gives LG Optimus Me P350 a lot more rooms for enhancement. It can be further improved with better graphics and eliminated glitches. Although, with its up-to-date features – from its capacitive touch screen, up to its 3G connectivity, I would still say that there is a lot to LG Optimus Me P350 the user can enjoy and maximize.