As we greet the changing colors of autumn, so too do we greet the fall CTIA show. Typically a smaller event when compared to the big spring show, the fall event still deals with all things wireless and mobile. This year our colleagues Bonnie Cha and Kent German from reviews, Maggie Reardon from News.com, and Jessica Dolcourt from Download.com will be scouring the show floor in San Diego to bring you the latest news in the mobile industry.
Nokia has been a little sneaky lately with its handset announcements. Rather than sending out a formal press release, the manufacturer quietly posted the news to its press blog. It happened a month ago with the Nokia Mural and the company took the same course Thursday when it released the Nokia 6350.
Destined for AT&T, the 6350 sports a simple flip design in red or graphite. Features include messaging, a speakerphone, assisted-GPS with support for AT&T Navigator, a 2-megapixel camera, a music player, voice dialing, a 2.5 millimeter headset jack (hiss!), Bluetooth, a personal organizer, … Read more
Verizon Wireless rounded out its big day Wednesday by announcing the Motorola Barrage. The rugged flip phone joins the Samsung Razzle, the Nokia Shade, and the HTC Imagio as the newest handsets in the carrier's lineup. It goes on sale on October 1 for $129.99 with a two-year contract after a $50 mail-in rebate.
We're guessing the "Barrage" name comes from the fact that the handset could handle a barrage of the elements. Like Moto's Nextel phones, the Barrage is certified to military specifications for high and low temperatures, shock, vibration, dust, and the … Read more
The Nokia 2705 Shade is a new compact flip phone for Verizon Wireless. Surprisingly, you can buy the Shade with or without a camera, and you also have the choice of various Xpress-on changeable covers, which are sold separately.
Features include a 1,000-entry phone book, text and multimedia messaging, a 1.3-megapixel camera, and Bluetooth. The Shade will be available starting October 6 as an online exclusive for $29.99 with a new two-year commitment. The Xpress-on covers are available in blue, red, and purple for $19.99 at Verizon Wireless' online store as well.
Verizon Wireless has just announced the Verizon Wireless Razzle, a phone that can tilt and swivel to fit both your messaging and music-playing needs. Developed by PCD, the phone's lower half twists to reveal either a full QWERTY keyboard or external music controls.
It has a 2.2-inch color display, a 1.3-megapixel camera, stereo Bluetooth, voice commands, a speakerphone, a microSD card slot, and access to Verizon Wireless' V Cast Music with Rhapsody. However, it doesn't have EV-DO and won't support over-the-air song downloads. The Razzle is available starting October 6th for $69.99 with a … Read more
The best place at any trade show is your departure gate at the airport. While events like CTIA certainly can be interesting, and even fun, they're also a lot of work. What's more, I don't enjoy being away from my family, my friends, and my own couch. Yet, even with those caveats I can always count on CTIA, CES, and the GSMA World Congress to teach me lessons about what's happening in the cell phone world. Even when the show is relatively quiet, as CES 2009 was, I wind up learning something.
Times are tough Even before the CNET crew arrived in Las Vegas we knew that CTIA wouldn't be too lively. Such was the case at both CES and GSMA, so we couldn't imagine that CTIA would be different. As I said in my CTIA wrap-up, the economy is a likely factor, but CTIA also has the unfortunate position of following two events with worldwide profiles.
As expected, attendance was down by a noticeable amount. I don't have figures to back me up right now, but there were plenty of telling signs that fewer people made the trip to Vegas. For instance, I didn't have to wait in line to get lunch and at times you could go bowling down the convention floor aisles. More importantly, while horrendous taxi lines are very common at McCarran Airport, I waited only a few minutes. I seriously think that the length of the Vegas airport cab line should be a new economic indicator.
News at the show was also pretty light. In its usual fashion, Samsung made the strongest showing with LG and Kyocera following closely behind. Yet, the total numbers of new phones introduced was far smaller than in previous years, and we didn't hear any hot tidbits around high-profile items like the Palm Pre or the Google Android OS. Moto, Nokia, and HTC had just one major announcement each, and Sony Ericsson had none. Sony Ericsson even shared a booth with parent company Ericsson, a sure sign that it the company is laying low.… Read more
As CTIA 2009 closes, so does the busy cell phone trade show season that began three months ago at CES. And now that the CNET crew has left Las Vegas for San Francisco and New York City, we've had a chance to reflect on what CTIA gave us. I'll describe the highlights in detail below, but be sure to check out our CTIA videos and CTIA photo galleries. We also picked our favorite products for the Best of CTIA.
A snoozer of a show Though there were plenty of new phones to handle, CTIA was rather quiet. Sure, the torpid economy is a likely culprit, but CTIA has a bigger strike against it. Since it follows the two much bigger blowouts of CES and the GSMA World Congress, CTIA just can't offer the same level of news.
It's not really CTIA's fault--after all, a U.S.-focused show can't be expected to compete with global events--but I'm not the first to suggest that CTIA should switch its schedule to later in the year. But as I said, there was plenty to report.
Getting the message If there was one theme at CTIA 2009, it was the messaging phone. A total of five new models made their first appearance in Las Vegas, with Samsung and AT&T leading the way.
On the Monday before the show, Sammy and AT&T unveiled the Samsung Impression and the Samsung Magnet. Both offer full QWERTY keyboards on a different theme. While the Magnet offers minimal features and a simple design, the Impression has a comfortable slider design, a brilliant display, and mid-range multimedia. It made such an impression on us that we picked it as our top phone of the show. … Read more
Even though the LG Wine was released back in January, we weren't able to have a hands-on with the device until CTIA 2009. The Wine comes in this nice burgundy color to go along with the wine theme, and is a simple mid-tier flip phone from U.S. Cellular. There's also a white version.
The most unique thing about the Wine is that it has four dedicated hot keys underneath the display. They correspond to the messaging interface, the alarm clock, the images folder, and the U.S. Cellular's easyedge Web portal. It also has a very … Read more
Indeed, it looks a lot like the LG Rumor 2, but it has a slightly more rectangular design, plus it has interchangeable faceplates. The faceplates are pretty easy to take on and off--just slip your finger nail in around the edge to pry it off. So far, the Banter has silver and green face plates. The Banter's keyboard … Read more
BlueAnt introduced a new visor-mount speakerphone at CTIA 2009, called the BlueAnt S1. Designed to work in the car, it has pretty much the same features as the Supertooth 3, except it has support for A2DP. That means you can stream music wirelessly to it from a device that has stereo Bluetooth. It's not really meant as a stereo speaker system though, so don't expect it to replace your expensive car stereo.
Like the other BlueAnt devices, the S1 lets you use your voice to make and answer calls. It also has multipoint, which means it can connect … Read more