Mostly Everything

Samsung UltraTOUCH S8300 Hands On (SRP P23,990)


Announced early this year in MWC 2009, the Samsung Ultra Touch (UltraTOUCH) is now here in the Philippines. Although the official launch is still set for tomorrow, I was able to steal a demo unit from their office. My first impressions cover a whole day of usage.

Mostly Everything

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic as a touch screen device


Hi folks. You probably read my first hands on with the Nokia 5800 last year. My first impressions still are basically the same, now that I finally have the unit with me and I’d like to supplemement that review with this post. I’ve been pondering how to go about reviewing this phone and opted out from a specs perspective, and will talk about the experience of using a touch screen Nokia device. Thus this review is oriented for Nokia users who are wondering how well the touch screen technology has been implemented on the 5800.

Before I continue, note that this is not Nokia’s first take on the touch screen. They had two devices in the past that did this, and their “N” web browser tablets also do the same. But this is the first time Nokia has put out so much marketing for an XpressMusic phone that seems to be more like an Nseries device because of the way it’s implemented.

The photo above shows you how to get around to the different “hot areas” of the phone’s main menu. Because of the touch screen, you can find other ways to access the clock, alarm, connectivity, and profiles without creating shortcuts. With the XpressMusic menu button on top, you also don’t need to use the custom shortcut buttons for the multimedia functions. Thus, I use the 4 shortcut keys for putting in other things such as messaging, calculator and the camera.

Size Comparisons

Below are comparisons with the Nokia E71, the Apple iPod Touch (Generation II), and the HTC TyTn II. The 5800 is handy and light to the hand, similar to the Nokia N82.



Home Screen

You can customize the phone’s home screen to use the traditional S60 menu of calendars and updates or you can use the “RSS friend” tracker that updates you with the information of 4 of your chosen friends. I personally don’t find the latter function to be as useful (it does sound cool but I prefer to have my dates and to do’s on the menu).


Nokia 5800 Virtual Keypad

How well can you text with it?

It’s been four days and I don’t use the QWERTY or mini QWERTY mode of input. I stick to the good ‘ol fashioned numerical keypad that works almost as well as real keys. There have been mixed feedback on how sensitive the keys are compared to real hardware buttons but I sincerely think that you can get used to it.


A small reservation I have is the method for finding names, as it can get rather confusing when you have the entire A-Z displayed, and as you type in a name, some letters go odd man out on you to see what’s left. It can be confusing at first but come to think of it, it’s the most efficient way save for offering multitouch on the keypad.

Browsing through names using the scroll bar can be a chore. I’m glad that the keypad senses your entire thumb even if you’re not directly touching the scroll node. To scroll up and down, it’s most comfy to put your thumb above or below the node and let the phone scroll itself up and down the contacts list.

iSync Compatibility with OS X


If you are a Mac user, as of late there is still no sync tool for iSync. But guess what? I was able to find a workaround to getting a flawless sync to work with Apple’s iSync. You can download the plugin from that link. Keep checking the official iSync plugin page for an official driver.

Things that need to be improved:

There seems to be something up with the signal. The screen flickers on and off at times when I’m on a call and I tend to lose the person I’m talking to on the other line. It doesn’t happen often but it needs to be addressed.

Battery life is another issue. It’s not as bad as when the first N95 came out. You will get a day of full charge on this thing if you use the multimedia and WiFi sparingly but you may need to carry around a spare charger for a really long day.

So, I know a lot of guys lined up the for the huge pre-sell discount. How goes your Nokia 5800 experience so far? Leave a comment and let’s figure things out!

Mostly Everything

TORQUE C100 Review: Bluetooth and camera for P2,199


EDIT: If you’re looking for more TORQUE products, check out the cheapest dual SIM phone in the market, the TORQUE D100.

There’s a different philosophy behind reviewing entry level phones – more than features, people tend to look at price, but with the way the mobile phone market is becoming more and more sophisticated, even low end phones have to be distinguished by some creative features. Today, I have a brand new TORQUE straight from the box. The TORQUE C100 is the China made entry level phone that has been out for a few days in your favorite mobile phone flea market. Read on for my hands on.

Mostly Everything

Nokia E63 retails for P14,200 in the Philippines

A few weeks ago I won a Nokia N79 from a raffle from Nokia. Having really wanted the semi-brand new E71 in its stead, I bargained for a swap since the latter was a tad cheaper in price mainly due to an earlier release date. The E71 is a fantastic QWERTY business device and my one and I guess biggest complaint is the dropping of support for BlackBerry Connect. If this is a software issue, I hope Nokia can release a firmware upgrade in the future so it can support both Intellisync and BlackBerry Connect.

A few weeks after the E71’s release, Nokia announces a lower end enterprise phone – the Nokia E63 which is basically the same in most respects except for its slightly less conservative form factor. As seen above, the Nokia E63 resembles much of the E71 and is in fact cheaper by a mile – only P14,200 whereas the E71 retails between P19,500 to P22,000. The main difference between the two is really more on the form factor and “lower end” 2.0MP camera – which is really relative as the E71 comes with a 3.2MP camera.

Who said cheaper meant worse specs? The E63 comes with support for 3.5mm headsets while my E71 supports 2.5mm connectivity – I’d need to use an adapter to use regular earphones. Bluetooth, WiFi, Share on Ovi, a really good browser, and fast UI make this phone a definite winner if you don’t need HSDPA! More specs available here.

The Nokia E63 is available NOW for only P14,200. This is the most affordable mass market enterprise level phone of Nokia and I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t consider it for Christmas.

Mostly Everything

Samsung Pixon M8800 Photos and Review

This review begins with a short story involving a small, nonchalant “reunion” of myself, Lorraine Javalera from Samsung Mobile and MJ Cordova who does their PR. After the media was toured through the new features and specs of the M8800 Pixon camera phone, I was able to do some catching up with both girls — Lorraine, whom I see at these events and MJ whom I’ve known since college.

Raine had a working Pixon on her and I wanted to take some photos. After she handed it to me, she got a phone call and had to run off to do, well … some product manager stuff so I was left alone with the unit. “Keep this first, I’ll catch up with you later!” were her parting words.

So there I was, probably the only guest at the event with a working Pixon. I had two choices – run out the event door, change my name and start a new life with the new Samsung M8800 … or take product shots. I chose the latter. Click. Click. Click. Initial photos after the jump.