Mostly Everything

Unboxing the Samsung Galaxy Y Netphone Edition

Got my hands on the Samsung Galaxy Y Netphone Edition. Here’s an unboxing with a bit of commentary. On the side, I actually prefer writing commentary on the photos rather than watermarking it. Makes it more informative. =)

Read on.

Mostly Everything

A look into the new 2011 Ford Explorer with My Touch

I’m not a car geek. Far from it. So let me tell you how I ended up test driving the new 2011 Ford Explorer. All 3.5L V6 of it.

Mostly Everything

HTC ChaCha: The Facebook phone you’ve been waiting for! (Part I)

EDIT: Part II of review here

You could probably argue that all Android phones are made of the same stuff. Some may have bigger screens. Other are thinner than the rest. Some duke it out with better cameras and battery life. But essentially, they’re all made of the same operating system with the same basic features. So, choosing what Android phone to buy is usually based on aesthetics, brand loyalty and basic phone specs (I mean, there isn’t really much difference between a 5MP and 8MP camera but to some they feel it matters).

Mostly Everything

Hands on with the Dell Streak 5 inch hybrid

Guess what? I’m doing my very first hands on without actual photos. That’s because I came by the unit through means which I cannot disclose in public. No worries. I didn’t crash an event. I was quite surprised though to have met someone who actually had a unit on him. Old news na pala ito. So without “in the wild” pics, I’m going to give you my first impression of this new device. Trust me I’m a blogger.

The Dell Streak, although labeled as a Tablet by Dell, sits in between the 3 and 4 inch screen Android phones common to HTC, Samsung and Sony Ericsson and the 7 inch Android tablets and iPads. The Dell Streak is at the golden mean of 5 inches.

I was floored with the form factor. A 5 inch device CAN be a sweet spot between a regular phone and a tablet as I was able to hold the Streak up to my ear without looking silly and still have a tablet-like feel for browsing sites and playing games. It holds well on both hands — and even with one hand and provides, IMHO the best touch screen SMS-keyboard experience I have yet seen without sacrificing portability. Sure you can do the same thing on a Galaxy Tab or an iPad but you won’t have the gift of being able to slide the phone into your pocket. Because the Streak has a pretty huge screen, Dell bundles the device with its own neoprene carrying pouch.

The Dell Streak runs on Android 2.2 with support for a front face camera. In terms of performance, I found the UI to be a step less than fast but I’m, not sure if this has anything to do with the fact that the screen is huge. It is, at the end of the day, workable. I didn’t have time to run apps. Neither did I have time to road test the battery.

Pros: Great screen, best form factor, fits in your pocket, “5 inch sweet spot”
Cons: Battery cover is hard to snap on and off

I’m not sure if the Dell Streak will be launched officially but if it does, the sweet spot form factor and screen size is sure to win the hearts of many LOLZ. I definitely would not mind owning one.

Mostly Everything

Hands on with the Nokia N900 running on Maemo Interface


The Nokia N900, seen wild in this blurry camera phone pic, is in Manila. Yesterday was Nokia’s Christmas Party and apart from winning a Nokia 5800 XpressMusic phone (!!!) at the raffle I got the chance to take a peek at the new N900. I only got the better of 4 minutes with the device so here are my first impressions in bullet form. These are general impressions on the N900 as well as the new Maemo user interface.

The N900 is beautiful. It is a sturdy messaging phone, light to the touch with fast UI response.

  • The multiple desktop functions of the Maemo UI is similar to the iPod / iPhone’s. You are allowed to have four desktops which you can scroll through using your thumb. Imagine combining the widget home screen interface of Samsung and Apple’s iPhone and this is what you get. It works.
  • The “apps menu” icon has been changed to resemble a series of squares on the upper left. Pressing that opens the application menu. One noticeable difference is that “Messaging” has been changed to “Conversations” which is really the move to threaded messaging. When you have multiple messages open, Maemo shows this ala Expose for Mac OS X with each window (let’s say, two message threads and the main Inbox) all neatly aligned. You can delete a window using the big “X” on the upper right hand side. The N900 is highlighted by its really good integration of messaging applications.
  • The new UI is fast. Essentially, the changes are really aesthetic. I can compare it to how HTC made their own interface (before the SenseUI of the HTC Hero) over and above Windows Mobile to compensate for the slow and rather outdated UI. Maemo is Linux based so it does feel lighter.
  • I noticed that Maemo doesn’t have a back button. I could be wrong but going back to previous functions entails using a hidden button on the N900 which I discovered by accident. Again, I’m not sure if this is a feature of the N900 per se or as a part of Maemo.
  • No pricing yet. This phone isn’t even OFFICIALLY out yet locally.