Quite a few services on the market offer some variation on the theme of making inexpensive international calls. Fring and EQO dress it up with IM and a social networking aspect that grants free international calls between registered friends and cheap calls to everyone else. Likewise, there's Skype to Go and Talkster, which both require you to punch in local access numbers to get cheap rates. However, Packet8's MobileTalk has risen above them all as a mass market solution that sheds the extra messaging frills, money-making ads, and prep time to make the call. (Note: Give yourself a … Read more
You know you're in an expensive shopping mall when even at the cell phone store you can't afford anything. While walking through the posh Wynn Hotel at CTIA, I stopped by the Vertu store to gawk with the other tourists. Of course, Vertu is Nokia's ultraluxury handset line with design accents such as gold plating, leather skins, and real diamonds. They can run in the five-digit range, but in all seriousness, if you have to ask how much they cost, you probably can't afford them. The store's formidable staff discouraged extended browsing, but I recommend … Read more
While waiting at Las Vegas' McCarran airport for my flight home to San Francisco, I spotted one of the most interesting things I've seen during my CTIA trip. Sitting between a water fountain and the restrooms was a nifty cell phone charging stand. For $3, it delivers 30 minutes of charging time, which can be just enough juice if your phone is dying but you left your charger in your checked luggage. The machine included connectors for 12 types cell phones, including Kyocera, Samsung, Nokia, Palm Treo, RIM BlackBerry, LG, and Nokia. It also had connectors for iPods and … Read more
Motorola broke a few molds when it announced the Smart Rider at CTIA this week. Smart Rider is a cross between a phone and a portable GPS device, using a 2.8-inch high-resolution screen for map display and turn-by-turn directions. It also has voice command and Bluetooth hands-free calling features. Although the news release is a little short on details, it seems to say that you can pair your phone with the Smart Rider, and transfer contact information. However, Smart Rider also has its own GSM connection, so presumably it would have its own phone number, and its cellular connection … Read more
There was more going on at Kyocera's CTIA booth then its new cell phones. The company also showed an interesting demo of NFC technology. In case you're not familiar, NFC allow users to store and access business cards in their cell phones, which they can then use to make purchases. In essence, your cell phone becomes your wallet, as it can be all you need to buy everything from a pack of gum to movie tickets.
In the demo I had a choice between a bottled water, a candle, or a pack of gum. I chose the gum … Read more
Bluefire's bid joins them to the ranks of other security vendors who have created mobile versions of their desktop apps. I got a chance to preview Mobile Defender at CTIA 2008 in Las Vegas. The app, currently available in private beta for Windows Mobile phones, has a simple four-button interface, with each button corresponding to an element of protection--firewall, SMS and MMS spam-blocking, an application protection shield that guards against auto-installing malware, and a … Read more
Dashwire, a small Seattle start-up eleven employees strong, continues to impress with its growing service for managing and interacting with the contents of your cell phone online. To recap an earlier review, Dashwire synchronizes your cell phone to an online account, displaying on a flexible dashboard your call history, images, profile, texting history, photos, ring tones, videos, and contacts. You can roll up your sleeves and muck around with your phone from Dashwire, a much happier experience than crouching over your two-inch cell phone screen and tapping or clicking away through on-device management programs, particularly if you're not on … Read more
Casio showed off its new G'zOne Type-S for Verizon Wireless in black and silver at the UTStarcom booth here at CTIA. It's almost exactly the same as the original rugged clamshell, but it now supports push-to-talk capabilities. The rest of the Type-S Casios will have this feature as well, it's just that the black and silver version is the first out the gate with it. It's saddled with only a VGA camera, but a rugged phone like this doesn't need a lot of bells and whistles. Verizon is offering it now for $99.99 after … Read more
LAS VEGAS--AT&T's top wireless man told the Wall Street Journal at the CTIA tradeshow here this week that the company is considering using Google's Android handsets.
Ralph de la Vega, head of AT&T's wireless unit, told the Journal he has reviewed the technology closely and is "confident it is something we are going to want in our portfolio."
This is good news for Google, which benefits greatly from having as many carriers and handset makers as possible using its new operating system.
A 5-megapixel camera phone and an upgrade to the Samsung SGH-G800, the SGH-810 is a bulky slider phone in shiny silver. As expected, it's heavy on the camera features with an autofocus, a 3x optical zoom, and a xenon flash and it looks like a standalone shooter when viewed from behind. The large, full-color screen is lovely, and the controls and keypad buttons were pretty easy to … Read more