Do your ever reminisce about the day they made the big transition from a rotary dial to a push-button phone? Oh sure, its funny now, but those inventions did exist and some of them still workfor instance, the landline The Gadget Inspector uses every day.
Who would have ever thought that phones, cameras, computers, televisions, CD players and everything except the proverbial kitchen sink would become an all-in-one contraption that fits in a shirt pocket? Hey, throw in a feature that cleans the kitchen sink and the rest of the kitchen too, and it'll be the investment of a lifetime!
This is the era of the smart phone, and 2007 was undeniably the year of the platinum-selling iPhone. With the new year comes the new competitors, and some of them are gunning for the top spot. Here are some gems we found:
First up is Verizons LG Voyager (also known as the LX10000). This was the first competitor on the market to offer a three-inch interactive touch screen and full keypad, along with VCAST Mobile TV, VCAST Music, MP3 and VCAST Video capabilities.
It also boasts a 2.0-megapixel camera, camcorder, broadband and Bluetooth technology. Throw in ubiquitous wireless high-speed and dual Stereo speakers, and the Voyager will be of interest for music fans wanting to grab n go with downloads.
Here is a video walk through on the Voyager. Try not to fall asleep though, this guy sounds a little like your high school science teacher
And just for kicks heres a rap about the Voyager. We didnt say it was a good rap, but you might have loved a phone this much once or twice
Look for Zune to enter the phone market soon. While developed by Microsoft, rumor has it that the Zune phone wont run Windows, but will operate similarly to the Zune, with wireless Xbox 360 and streaming video and Wi-Max music sharing capabilities. It will reportedly come in 16GB and 32GB to start. Although the photo here says T-Mobile, we cannot find a formal announcement of a service provider as of yet.
Can Microsoft get in the game? From the looks of this satirical video and photo we found, this may be even bigger than the Mac vs. PC debate!
Competition looks fierce on the HTC Touch front. You may be most familiar with HTC touch screen technology on phones like T-Mobiles MDA device. With newly designed models like the Touch Vogue (already signed on with Sprint), Touch Dual/Nike P5500 and Touch Cruise P3650/Polaris hitting the streets, it could turn out to be a big showdown in the touch screen arena.
The Touch Vogue is already on sale at Sprint, and has been re-dubbed the Sprint Touch by HTC. The price is comparable at $499 (or $249 with those binding contracts and rebates, of course).
Its got Windows Mobile 6 Professional, a 512MB removable memory card (it can support up to 4G), and all the company-only extras like Sprint TV.
The Touch Cruise (initially called the Polaris, and renamed the 02 Xda Orbit 2 in Europe) runs Microsoft Windows Mobile 6 Professional, with 256 MB and 128 MB RAM. It offers music capabilities, touchscreen, memory card support,Bluetooth 2.0, a built-in camera with 1x optical zoom and camcorder.
That kitchen sink must be in there somewhere, but only Europeans know for now!
Also already on sale in Europe, the HTC Touch Dual/Nike P5500 slider (also announced as the HTC Touch II) is an any-day-now technological wonder for American consumers.
It is Windows-based and sensitive enough to differentiate between finger strokes and stylus use. It features HTCs TouchFlo technology for Web browsing, messaging, e-mail and easy access to content, and responds to voice commands - which is more than most humans do. The European version touts a front facing camera for video calling. The future is here!
The JavaFX Mobile from Sun Microsystems, is based on (obviously) Java/JavaFX Script/Linux software. It is considered a direct competitor to the iPhone due to its complete desktop capabilities. Look for it in a carrier near you early this year.
The Google squad has made our lives easier with pretty much everything else, so why wouldnt they venture into smartphones in 2008? Although no carrier has been formally announced (we did see a rumor that Sprint/Nextel was snapping this up), the gPhone promises to be the next big thing in an increasingly small pond. There are so many prototype photos, but this one seemed to be the most recent. (Will the real gPhone please stand up?)
Predictions are that the gPhone will have a three-inch screen, touch display, camera, video and Wi-Fi (although if they roll with Sprint, itll probably be WiMax). By keeping the bells and whistles to a minimum, the phone could retail for less than $100maybe even much, much less. Some reports are comparing the prototype to the T-Mobile Dash.
Another good look in the sizable screen space realm is the Samsung Ultra Smart F700. With an almost three-inch touch screen with drag and drop capabilities, a slide-out keyboard, VibeTonz technology (youll be able to feel the phone vibrate as you press buttons) plus Bluetooth, the F700 also has an impressive 5.0-megapixel autofocus camera and speedy 7.2 mbps HSPDA downloads in lieu of Wi-Fi.
Rumor has it that this will be another Verizon phone. Should be interesting.
And finally, theres the Nokia N810 Internet Tablet, loaded with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Theres almost nothing this phone cant doit has a large four-inch touchscreen, Internet, camera, video, slide-out keyboard, even a GPS receiver and a handy kickstand. Read, watch, chat, e-mail, call, listen, find your way, download, store, playback, dance to the music as Sly used to saythe N810 makes it all possible.
This video walk through of the Nokia N810 is a little long, but kudos to the guy who had the time to mumble through all this.
Will any of these phones be the next success story in smart phones in 2008? Only time (and your bank account) will tell