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Samsung's UpStage Looks To Trump iPhone 197

Posted by kdawson
from the flip dept.
bj sends word of Samsung's recently unveiled cell phone, called UpStage. It will ship April 1 (no fooling) for $300, or $150 with a 2-year contract from Sprint Nextel. "...the UpStage is a candy-bar style handset that's less than half an inch thick and not much taller or wider than an iPod Nano. Other multimedia-friendly cell phones struggle to balance the sometimes-conflicting requirements of a conventional handset and a music or video player; the UpStage solves this quandary by simply putting phone functions on one side of the device and the multimedia functions on the other side."
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Samsung's UpStage Looks To Trump iPhone

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  • by lemmen (48986) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @01:51AM (#18498277) Homepage
    It doesn't matter if a phone has all nice features, a lot depends on the looks (both physical and OS).
    A small phone with MP3 playback option won't win it of iPhone just because of the MP3 functionality.

    Just my 2 cts.
    • by Virtual_Raider (52165) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @02:33AM (#18498467) Homepage
      It does have a neat feature that I swear I was thinking about some time ago. That spare battery that charges the phone while in the walled. I should have patented it =( I think its biggest downside would be that flip thingamabob, it just to much annoyance potential. IANAAF (I am not an Apple Fanboy) but I read that Jobs supposedly sent designers back to the drawing board because he was unhappy with the usability of the iPhone. I wonder if the Samsung engineers actually spent any time playing with a functional prototype. I feel it would be pretty hard to use this device the way I use my Nokia 6820: play song - text some SMS - read email - pause music - consult the time. If I had to Flip back and forth all the time for half of this things it would certainly make ME flip :P
      • by dlim (928138)
        On the other hand, usability of a phone and usability of a PDA or music player may not be the same thing. For example, I like being able to feel the keys on my phone's keypad so I can press and hold the 2 button and execute the speed dial to call home without having to navigate menus or look at the screen to be sure I'm hitting the right key. This is the main reason I've never purchased a touchscreen PDA/phone.

        Similarly, I need a limited number of functions on my music/media player. Play/Pause, Stop,
    • by aztracker1 (702135) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @03:39AM (#18498717) Homepage
      Personally, I think it's a horrible idea, the first problem, what kind of case, carrying/clip is going to be available. The fact that you have one screen in your hand, and another against your face when not using the headset is another (smudgy filthy screen). Not being able to setup playlists on the side that controls playback is a bad idea all around.

      Honestly, if you want a decent phone with mp3 playback there are more than a few options out there with mp3 playback, and MicroSD support. I'm using a Nokia 6133, the music interface isn't so great, but is good enough to get through a workout without the need for an extra device (leash).

      I think that overall the "Chocolate" line of phones seems to be the best mix of cell + mp3, the biggest limitation on any of them is capacity. It really isn't *SO* hard to have a usable interface for music playback, and regular general phone usage. I honestly like the idea of music in my phone as it's one less device to carry around, but honestly, my iPod is still going to be my preferred device for this. This phone is a gimmick, and to be honest, just seems like something that will annoy people after more than a day of using the thing... Ala nokia's nGage, which was a cool idea, poorly executed...
      • by arivanov (12034) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @04:32AM (#18498955) Homepage
        The ergonomics on the recent crop of Samsung (quick look at the article shows that this is valid for this one as well) is absolute crap.

        To the point - the side buttons which allow it to be narrower and smaller than a comparable phone by other manufacturers make it impossible to fit the phone in a car holder without pressing at least one of them. Further to this, while it is possible to disable them when the phone is inactive they get activated when you answer or call. As a result you end up with your phone being "friendly" and rejecting a call, adjusting the volume or doing something else wonderfull in call for you if you are answering using a handsfree in a car.

        No thanks.

        I would rather have a slightly bigger and less buggy phone, which I can fit in a proper car holder. Even if Samsung has actually provided a proper headphone socket this time which I bet it did not so you are stuck with the original crappy headphones.
    • by Mattsson (105422)
      Well, I took a look at the Samsung phone and in my eye, it beats the Iphone hands down in looks.
      But I also think Apples other hardware are so-so looking... (I have a problem with chrome, white and glossy-plastic designs.)

      It also have the advantage of having physical buttons for controllers.
      Touchscreens may be cool looking, but they suck from an ergonomics and usability point of view.
      For an example, try using a touchscreen mp3-device in your pocket while riding you bicycle.

      The biggest downside I can see with
    • IMHO, This phone just competes with existing phones, it is nothing like an iphone. The iphone for example has NO buttons on the surface of the phone. It is in a completely different league from anything that currently exists on the phone market. The upstage is a good competitor for existing phones though, like against the motokrzr, etc.
    • by Yvan256 (722131)
      It's not all about the looks. I'm tired of the "People only buy Apple gear because of the look" cliché. Some of us buy it because it "just works". The fact that the gear looks nice is just a bonus.

  • by Taelron (1046946) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @01:53AM (#18498283)
    You just know we are going to read about these in a couple of months failing because the screens are getting cracked and busted left and right.
    • by kjart (941720) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @02:53AM (#18498549)

      You just know we are going to read about these in a couple of months failing because the screens are getting cracked and busted left and right.

      I don't understand - why would having screens on two sides of a phone make them more likely to be damaged? I'd be more worried about the screen on the iPhone since it is a) large and b) the only real input method on the phone. Lets say the the multimedia screen breaks on this device - you still have a functioning phone. If it breaks on the iPhone, you have an expensive brick.

    • by Joebert (946227)
      Why would anyone want to buy a stylish extra-protective cover if they didn't ?
      Gosh, don't you know anything ?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by superpete (867509)
      I don't mean to criticise you, but have you ever owned any of the new phones at all? I've only ever seen one phone with a colour screen crack. Compare this to the old Nokia 5110 which had a recall for screens just failing. In fact, I've seen more monochrome screens fail or crack then I have any colour phone displays. On the other side, I don't see what makes this phone so special. Almost every phone on the market here in Australia has MP3 Playback support. In fact you can pick up a Sony Ericsson W300i walk
  • by nebaz (453974) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @01:56AM (#18498295)
    Wouldn't a stylus approach, with a touch screen allow for arbitrary button placement? Wouldn't this solve this problem?
    • by Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @02:27AM (#18498419) Homepage Journal
      Wouldn't a stylus approach, with a touch screen allow for arbitrary button placement? Wouldn't this solve this problem?

      Gak! Stylus? On a phone - like I really want to need two hands to use my phone...
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        Gak! Stylus? On a phone - like I really want to need two hands to use my phone...

        One hand to keep the pr0n coming via WAP, the other to umm... keep yourself coming via FAP?
      • Seriously, how would we drive at 90 MPH and dial at the same time?
    • by kjart (941720) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @02:59AM (#18498573)

      Wouldn't a stylus approach, with a touch screen allow for arbitrary button placement? Wouldn't this solve this problem?

      This is a solution, but I wouldn't say it's the solution. I currently have a PDA-phone and though the touchscreen is nice for the PDA aspects, having to use it for dialing is a pain. Having to a) look at the screen and b) use two hands to do almost everything (as opposed to dialing single-handed and without looking on a normal handset, for example) is a pain. I'm glad cell phone makers are not all on-board with the touchscreen thing because I still think there keypads make for far superior phones. If I didn't have a phone provided through work (hence the lame PDA-phone), I'd possibly consider one of these things.

      • Much better would be little bumps on the screen which feel like buttons but you could see the screen underneath. The buttons could then display their function.

      • by *weasel (174362)
        whether nubby buttons are better than touch-buttons for txt-ing/email is to be determined, but for dialing?
        who needs buttons? Voice dialing on my last two phones was more than up to the task.

        The necessary interface for a cellphone is now pretty much just a speaker, a mic, and a button. (send/end/power)

        That's the extent of my bluetooth-enabled car's interface - and it works far better than one-handed dialing by a long shot. Particularly if you're actually doing anything (like driving).

        If they can get optio
    • stylus (Score:3, Insightful)

      by arcite (661011)
      But using a stylus is annoying. They are usually smaller than a pen or pencil so they are uncomfortable to use for long periods of time. And then what happens when you lose it? IMO iPhone uses a much better technology...human fingers.
  • $300 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mastershake_phd (1050150) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @01:56AM (#18498297) Homepage
    $300 isnt too bad. Seems like phones have been getting too close to PS3 price territory.
  • by Telephone Sanitizer (989116) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @02:00AM (#18498313)
    "Samsung's UpStage Looks To Trump iPhone"

    And fails.

    Okay, I have no experience with the phone. I'm just saying that as with all recent Samsung phones, it almost certainly has two fatal weaknesses:

    1) the typical Samsung phone interface (designed for the cheap and ignorant and their pet hamsters); and

    2) the typical Samsung advanced feature-set (a.k.a. the self-destruct which activates immediately upon using it for anything other than voicemail).
    • Re:"Looks To..." (Score:5, Informative)

      by Aqua OS X (458522) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @02:25AM (#18498411)
      true true.

      here's the phone in action.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-XFK8zOt9E [youtube.com]

      This think strikes me as another clunky convergence device with a million buttons..
      • by kjart (941720)

        Nice video. I think it actually looks fairly decent. What I'd really like is this concept with essentially an iPod on one side and that phone on the other (or maybe phone by sony ericsson, nokia, etc). The mp3 side looks a bit clunky, but the concept is really cool.

        As for the million button thing...this is literally a phone combined with an mp3 player...do you have problem with using a normal telephone or something?

      • Re:"Looks To..." (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Dan East (318230) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @06:18AM (#18499393) Homepage Journal
        Did you catch the part where the lady from Samsung is showing how you can flip the phone - one side for PDA / playing music and the other for making calls? The Gizmondo guy asks "There's no way to get both, right?", to which she replies "No, you wouldn't want them both.". Oh, really? So if I'm in the middle of a phone call and want to lookup a piece of information, or take down a piece of information, or do something as terribly extreme as using a calculator app, then I'm out of luck? I just love the way these marketing people dictate what people are supposed to want. Instead of saying "No, there is a technical limitation" or "We just couldn't get that flexibility into the first generation" she responds with something more along the line of "People smarter than you decided this is how you are going to use this phone".

        Sorry, that just really jumped out at me.

        Dan East
  • Ironic name. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Ironic name, seeing as they're trying to upstage Apple with their product. Wonder what PR genius thought that up. Gives me a chuckle, at least.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by hc5duke (930493)
      Ironic? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means...
      • Actually, it *is* pretty ironic, given that it doesn't really appear to have any features that would upstage the iPhone at all. Maybe size, but that cuts into the video playback size pretty severely.
  • How does it trump? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SuperKendall (25149) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @02:03AM (#18498333)
    It has a smaller screen, and what sounds like (to me) a more confusing UI that will really get fingerprints and palm prints on the device since you are always turning it over in your hands... And it has its own software for sync. Chances that is better than iTunes?

    Also, as you get into pure touchscreen devices (which the media side of this is) then the in-phone UI is crucial, and Apple has shown they can do a good job with consumer UI in small devices.

    Now what does sound like a kind of good idea, is the battery pouch where it recharges its smaller battery. That is an interesting ide to keep the device size down while keeping battery life good and shifting some weight to your hip where it an be borne easier.
    • by kjart (941720)

      It has a smaller screen, and what sounds like (to me) a more confusing UI that will really get fingerprints and palm prints on the device since you are always turning it over in your hands...

      More fingerprints than, say, a device that relies entirely on touching the screen (iPhone)? I don't think so. Also, based on the information here [mobileburn.com], the buttons for the media side are touch=sensitive, and not the screen (I'm guessing there is an on/off switch for that side? shrug).

      In any case, this seems far less conf

      • More fingerprints than, say, a device that relies entirely on touching the screen (iPhone)? I don't think so. Also, based on the information here, the buttons for the media side are touch=sensitive, and not the screen (I'm guessing there is an on/off switch for that side? shrug).

        Yes, more fingerprints (or at least smudging) because when you hold a phone your palm will be in constant contact with the media screen, as opposed to brief presses around the screen here and there.

        In any case, this seems far less c
        • by kjart (941720)

          Read the description, that is not really the case. Want to search for a song? You have to flip it over to use the keypad. So really what it ends up being is a media device with a screen on one side and a keypad for controlling it on the other, and software that tells you to fli pthe phone when it needs input. That does not sound at all usable to me, no other device maker has decided to solve the "cannot fit keyboard and screen in same space" problem by putting the keyboard opposite the display.

          To me it s

        • by dwater (72834)
          > To me it seems overly expensive for what it is, when for just $200 more you can get, well, an iPhone.

          $200 is a lot to some people...
        • by sammy baby (14909)

          To me it seems overly expensive for what it is, when for just $200 more you can get, well, an iPhone.


          "Just" $200 more?

          Let me rewrite that sentence for you...

          To me it seems overly expensive for what it is, when for more than twice the price you can get, well, an iPhone.


          There.
        • by gibodean (224873)

          Want to search for a song? You have to flip it over to use the keypad.

          Funny. I've got an Ipod, and I don't have a keypad at all. I manage.
    • by samkass (174571)
      My guess is that they're going to sell WAY more of these things than Apple will sell iPhones during April and May.

      It's funny that a product that won't be on sale for several months is "the one to beat".
  • uPhone? (Score:4, Funny)

    by dotslashdot (694478) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @02:03AM (#18498335)
    Shouldn't they just call it uPhone? That way, when someone asks, "iPhone?", you can reply, "No. uPhone."
  • WhaHuh? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Telvin_3d (855514) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @02:07AM (#18498345)
    Um, how does this have anything to do with the iPhone? What is the point in comparing the two devices? For all I know this phone will turn out to be successful, but it is a completely different product.

    iPhone - 4-8 GB of storage
    Upstage - 64 MB (HA! yes Megabyte!)

    iPhone - 3.5 inch screen at 320x480
    Upstage - 2.1 inch screen at 176x220

    iPhone - Ability to upload your own video content
    Upstage - Access to Sprint TV video clips

    Why are these being compared? They are not in the same product class or market.
    • Re:WhaHuh? (Score:5, Funny)

      by carpe_noctem (457178) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @02:31AM (#18498453) Homepage Journal
      Why are these being compared? They are not in the same product class or market.

      Because it's an "iPhone killer", duh!

      Oh wait.... since the iPhone hasn't been released yet, I guess that would instead make it an "iPhone aborter"..
    • by suv4x4 (956391)
      Um, how does this have anything to do with the iPhone?

      It's a phone. Don't nitpick.

      Wink-wink. Did I say that out loud question mark

      What is the point in comparing the two devices? For all I know this phone will turn out to be successful, but it is a completely different product.

      Apple sells.. newspapers, most of all. I bet Apple sold more worth of site articles, newspapers and magazines than all business Apple ever had on its own.

      Which is why, with all this free advertisement iPhone gets, it'll be quite the sh
    • by kjart (941720)

      iPhone - 4-8 GB of storage
      Upstage - 64 MB (HA! yes Megabyte!)

      iPhone - Ability to upload your own video content
      Upstage - Access to Sprint TV video clips

      The storage is via microSD memory cards and it supports up to 2GB sticks. The 64MB is what is included with the phone. As for video, it mentions that you can upload your own music to the phone rather than purchasing it via Sprint, but makes no mention of whether you can do the same with video (I'll assume not until someone says you can).

      Why are these

      • So U claiming 2GB+64MB > 4GB???
        Hmmm... i always thought our school system taught us bad math. I didn't know it was this bad.
        • by steveo777 (183629)
          iPhone: 4GigaBytes
          Upstage: 2GigaBytes + 64MegaByes = 264GigaMegaBytes

          I see no flaw with this math.
    • First of all, the uPhone is expandable via MicroSD cards. The iPhone is not from any specs I have seen. Seeing how you can get a 2 GB MicroSD card now for under $50 I would be highly surprised if Sprint was not packaging this phone with AT LEAST 2 GB of memory when it finally comes out. It may in fact have 4 GB. And even if it does not unlike the iPhone, you can expand it to your heart's content.

      Secondly, because there are actually TWO screens and ACTUAL BUTTONS FOR THE PHONE you don't need a large screen.
      • by dFaust (546790)
        Actually, the iPhone does have wifi [apple.com] (B/G)
      • Second, no WiFi. If it was a bit cheaper, or it had WiFi, at least your business customers might jump on the bandwagon.

        You could do with checking the iPhone Product Page [apple.com] there. You'll notice that it does in fact boast WiFi support:

        ... you can read a web page while downloading your email in the background over Wi-Fi or EDGE.

        I would imagine that the confusion here has arisen due to the lack of WiFi-based VoIP in the iPhone. But I'd expect that no carriers would agree to sell or work with the iPhone if it did cheap VoIP, so I had never given any credence to such rumours in the first place.

        *shrugs*

        -Q

      • by jpkunst (612360)

        Second, no WiFi.

        It has WiFi: http://www.apple.com/iphone/technology/wireless.ht ml [apple.com]

        JP

  • by edwardpickman (965122) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @02:14AM (#18498379)
    It's impossible to compare the two. Out of the gate the screen size is nothing like the iPhone and the features and system don't compare. Smaller isn't always better. Remember the old calculators on pens? How many weeks did those last. It's another smart phone not an iPhone killer. Love it or hate it iPhone isn't like other phones on the market so they are tough to accurately compare. In another release or two the differences should get a lot more obvious.
    • by Mattsson (105422)
      It is impossible to make an Iphone killer since it hasn't been release yet.
      I is also impossible to compare it to other phones on the market since it isn't on the market yet.
      When I can stand in a shop and actually try it out, *then* I can compare it to other phones on the market.
      Paper-specs, pictures and flash-animations are worthless when it comes to deciding if a device is any good or not.

  • Already Obsolete (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bmo (77928) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @02:24AM (#18498407)
    The blurb in the ad says that it's upgradable to 2GB.

    Sorry, but the new SD cards are 4GB. Devices that max out at 2GB don't even see that the card exists.

    A coworker bought one to stuff in his smartphone. He should have read the fine print.

    --
    BMO

       
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Geekner (1080577)
      It is hard to find high capacity SD cards that work in most devices. First, most devices have restrictions like filesystems and older SD specifications for the card reader. Only revised SD specs support 4GB cards. Even worse, there are new SDHC (Secure digital high capacity) cards, special cards that use a completely different filesystem and make it even harder to find the right card for your device. For example, while looking for a card for my palm tx, palm's website stated a max of 2gb for SD cards. It t
    • by mgblst (80109)
      It is not really your work mates fault, it can be tricky trying to find out how much your devices will support (some only support 1gb, some 2gb, some 8 gb, some less) Even the product information page at Sandisk is incomplete.
    • by RedBear (207369)

      The blurb in the ad says that it's upgradable to 2GB.

      Sorry, but the new SD cards are 4GB. Devices that max out at 2GB don't even see that the card exists.

      A coworker bought one to stuff in his smartphone. He should have read the fine print.

      Everyone in this thread so far has apparently failed to notice that MicroSD is not the same as the regular SD card format. And MicroSD only comes in up to 2gb so far. 4gb is probably a ways away since SDHC cards have only recently reached 4gb. Even MiniSD maxes out at 2gb

    • A ROM upgrade should enable the 4gb limit on most devices. Most high-tech media/phone device owners should be used to the occasional upgrade.
  • One word: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Goatboy (22601) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @02:40AM (#18498499)
    Ugly.

    How can you compare something that looks like a cellphone and an mp3 player stuck together back to back with something as undeniably sleek and well-designed as the iPhone?

    C'mon cell phone manufacturers, it's not that hard, hire some designers can actually design something that looks good and is functional - this is all that Apple does, it really is as simple as that; they've proven that people will pay extra for something that is beautiful and 'just works'

    To paraphrase Ballmer: "Designers! Designers! Designers!"
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Ed Mooring (300887)
      "C'mon cell phone manufacturers, it's not that hard, hire some designers can actually design something that looks good and is functional - this is all that Apple does, it really is as simple as that; they've proven that people will pay extra for something that is beautiful and 'just works'"

      It actually is that hard. You don't just go out and hire a designer. You need to spend time and money figuring out what people want so your brilliant designer can make something that is "beautiful and 'just works'".
      PHBs d
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kjart (941720)

      Ugly.

      Some people don't judge things based on appearance. Attractive does not necessarily mean usable and ugly does not necessarily mean unusable. My old blackberry was significantly more easy to use than my current Windows Mobile phone but it doesn't look nearly as nice.

    • by rizzo420 (136707)
      you try dialing one handed without looking at the screen on your iphone, while i dial one handed without looking at the keypad on my ugly LG VX6100. we'll see whose phone is more usable. looks aren't everything with phones. apple is entering a market they have not tried before and are completely changing the design of the phone. the iphone, from what i can tell is not for people who want a functional phone. it's for people who want a toy and nothing more. i predict it will be a quite difficult to use
  • Why is the iPhone the reference?
    1) It even isn't there yet.
    2) Most of those fancy Windows Mobile (and versions before) were touchscreen only bar like phones ... what is the new thing about that iPhone -- except, that you are not allowed to use your own software?

    So, may somebody tell me the great thing about the iPhone, besides that it is from Apple?
  • Why don't we just start calling every cell phone an "iPhone Killer" right now, instead of building up to it for months...

    I'm sick of the Apple pop cliche. If you want to build a phone, good for you, Apple need not enter into it. Constantly comparing your products to Apple's, will only help Apple out-sell you, and not for reasons of technical superiority, either. Trends just work that way...

    And if you want to make a damn good product, a half-assed job copying a handful of individual features isn't going t
  • by tinrobot (314936)
    I really don't want to turn the phone over to access the other half of the functionality.

    What interface guru thought that up?
    • by mgblst (80109)
      You don't have to, just carry a mirror with you everywhere you go, and strategically place it when you want to see the other side. See, samsung thought of everything.

      Samsung have been doing this for while with there phones, just realeasing a huge pile of phones, and hope that some of them stick. I see it as more as a prototype production house, than an actual sales giant. If anyone at Samsung gets a new idea (good or not), bam, a new phone. I think they are just trying to release as many products as possibl
  • Faster approval? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ktappe (747125) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @03:39AM (#18498715)
    The supposed reason we're waiting for the iPhone (at least for those of us who are waiting for it) is that Apple needed 5 months to get FCC approval for it. How are all these "iPhone killer" rivals getting their products to market faster? Sure, one could say "they started first" but when why don't we know about their products already? Apple seemed deathly afraid of not being able to keep their application secret, but it is said they could not keep it secret any longer once they submitted it to the FCC. This implies that if there is an "iPhone killer" out there, its application to the FCC is on file and all we need to do is check with the FCC or get a spy there to leak the info. N'est pas?
    • by egomaniac (105476)
      Because it's not a secret that Samsung makes phones, and nobody is going to go shouting "OMFG SAMSUNG JUST GOT FCC APPROVAL FOR A NEW PHONE!!!!11!!11". Apple's development of the iPhone was (sort of) a secret, and thus the FCC approval would have been a dead giveaway. Plus there are a hell of a lot more folks slobbering over Apple's secret projects than most other companies' secret projects, so much higher likelihood of the FCC approval getting noticed in the first place.
  • Whatever happened (Score:2, Interesting)

    by chuckymonkey (1059244)
    to using a phone to talk to people? I have a cell phone under protest and that's all I use it for. My camera takes better pictures and my mobile music player holds much more music and can be strapped to my arm. So why this insistance on making a phone a small computer. Some use it for work sure, and I don't get that really. Work stays at work for me, family is much more important.
    • by Erwos (553607)
      You know, this comment comes up every time there's an article about convergence devices, and it drives me crazy each time.

      Some of like not having to carry a cell phone, a portable media player, a digital camera and a laptop around with us just to be functional on the go. No, some of us actually like having a single device that can make calls, check our email, send IMs, play music and video, do light web browsing, and take a picture in a pinch - even if it doesn't do these things as well as the individual di
  • Urg (Score:3, Interesting)

    by grrrl (110084) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @04:30AM (#18498933)
    Surely the screen sizes are the wrong way around?

    My Ericsson T18 had a screen that big, and while you can certainly SMS with only two lines of text that was the good old days when we SMSd in the snow and liked it, or something. I think we are well past that now - seeing the entire message on the screen is a little more user-friendly.

    For music though, you don't need as much space - the iPod nano only has 6 or 7 lines per page and is very usable.
  • Supports java too (Score:3, Informative)

    by LarsWestergren (9033) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @04:47AM (#18499033) Homepage Journal
    Runs J2ME [phonearena.com], so I can use one of the many open SSH implementations, GMaps [engadget.com], lots of great games etc.

    Being more open and home brew friendly makes this much more attractive to me than the iPhone.
  • American Phones Suck (Score:3, Informative)

    by paulkimchee (1080589) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @04:52AM (#18499055) Homepage
    I'm in Korea right now, and the technology that they put into phones is amazing. They've had DMB http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Multimedia_Br oadcasting [wikipedia.org] in their phones for about a year now... The cameras in their phones go up to 5 megapixels, broadband internet (WiBro)... they have tons of phones that trump the iPhone... hands down, but not in the US market. When Samsung exports phones to the US, we're getting phones that Korea had 2-3 years ago...
    • It's a very similar situation to what auto manufacturers have to deal with. There are a lot of cool cars outside the US but we don't get them because it's hard to meet all the US regulations.

      It's a double edged sword. On the one hand the US regulations protect the various interested parties (FCC, amateur radio operators, TV/radio/cable companies, safety regulations, etc.) but it also makes it hard for a company to just throw something together and release it like they do in other countries.

      The rules are n
    • Right, you want to see what the US cellphones don't want you to know.

      http://www.phonescoop.com/ [phonescoop.com]

      You'll see how Verizon hamstrung the Chocolate(LG 8500).
      Buy your GSM phone direct then use Tmobile.
  • After owning a Samsung 'Blade' A900 for a short time, I can't imagine this phone has any redeeming features whatsoever.

    The A900's battery life was appallingly bad, you couldn't add words to the T9 dictionary, mp3 ringtones we limited to those you had to pay for (converting mp3 to AAC video was a hack, but i resent having to 'hack' this simple functionality) , interface was abyssmally bad, call quality was poor and the connectors were fiddly and poorly designed.

    Basically, the worst piece of crap cellphone i'
  • Cluster (Score:4, Funny)

    by Morky (577776) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @05:29AM (#18499191)
    A Beowulf cluster of these things couldn't upstage the iPhone.
  • Even when the music/multimedia side is activated, you will have to use the phone side whenever you need to input text--for example, to create a playlist, search the Sprint Store's music catalog, or specify a URL for a site you wish to visit in the small-screen-optimized browser.

    I was a little confused the first time I encountered a text-input box on the music side, since no alphanumeric keys and no software keyboard appeared. But the device is smart enough to recognize the need to use the phone side, and I noticed that "Flip" had appeared on screen as a soft-key option.

    When I used it and began entering text from the phone keypad (T9 text input mode is a welcome option here), "Save/Flip" also appeared as a soft-key option to return me seamlessly to the multimedia side.

    Ok, is it just me, or does that sound like it would get incredibly annoying to use? Why even allow text-input boxes on the music side if it requires flipping the phone over to the other side to input text? This device sounds like an absolutely confusing usability nightmare. No thanks... next please.

  • by tsa (15680) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @06:48AM (#18499529) Homepage
    WiFi and Skype. If it can't do that, I won't buy it. I'm only interested in calling cheap. That what a phone is for. Skype is the cheapest way I know to call people, provided they also have a Skype account.
    • But it needs to connect to the internet to make the call. Right now all of the unlimited data plans are more expensive as the regular monthly bundle, unless you make a ton and a half of calls( and yes you can measure call time by gross weight). there are some devices like the nokia internet appliance that is only a skype phone that rely on wifi or a blue tooth internet connection, but there isn't enough wifi coverage in my area to be practical.
    • Their data network is a little sluggish when running skype, but it works fine when you are in a Wifi area.
  • Moo (Score:2, Funny)

    by Chacham (981)
    The UpStage trumped [slashdot.org] the iPhone, which killed [slashdot.org] the iPod, which replaced [slashdot.org] the Flight Data Recorder, which ...
  • Hmmm maybe 500 or so if you're lucky. Ok so 500 is pretty good but let's have a little truth in advertising.

    Secondly, my $9 mp3 player has 1GB so let's not make a huge deal out of a whopping 2GB.

    Third, the Samsung A900-MM has bluetooth anyway so you get mate it to wireless headphones, to your iPod now and have the phone interrupt the iPod, answer the call, hang up, resume the iPod.

    Fourth, do you really want the screen on the back the phone where it's bound to get scratched?

    Fifth, and this is based on being
  • The iphone is a lot more about a phone that does everything very well, instead of just one aspect. For me, and most business people the MP3 feature is going to be completely unused. However, a better way to get at contacts, sync with your computer, pull up google maps, widgets, etc... now those valuable features to have on the road!

    More than that though, I think Apple got it right on the core concept. No hardware interface, just a canvas that can be updated, change per application, etc, and no need for a
  • This is simply a CDMA version of an old Samsung F300 Ultra Music [mobile-review.com] GSM phone. While form factor is new, music component in F300 is kinda bleh (and it was not positioned as iPhone competitor). I doubt this has changed in CDMA version.
    But any new CDMA phone is good, given how few interesting phones are available.
  • It's called PHOTOS you morons!

  • I also have made an iPhone killer in my basement. Sorry, I'm not releasing any picture of it yet.

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