Smartwatches are Here – Get used to it.

So, who wants a wristwatch smart phone, a smartwatch? Not sure I do, just another mobile to recycle. I’m more into smartphones with screens that expand to tablet size at will.

Fonebank and Smartwatches

Smartwatches can be beautiful

However, you can bet there’s a market for smartwatches, either as screen extensions for your smartphone right through to models with their own SIM and fully self contained – and every manufacturer of note will be producing just take a look at every smartwatch currently in development – Digital Trends http://news.google.com

Apple had a team of about 100 designers working on watch-like device, two people familiar with the matter said in February and we can be pretty sure that Bloomberg’s tip that Samsung is about to release the Samsung Gear wrist device early in September is on the money. So, what’s inside Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch?  http://gigaom.com

Samsung’s offering looks reasonably compact, but some of these devices are going to be pretty chunky and won’t be on my wrist. However, if you like to be flashy and seen as a first mover …….

Quad Band Android Phone Watch – Android Wrist Watch Phone With Quad Band Connection 

And then, if you really want to push the boat out All Hail The Hyetis Crossbow, The 41-Megapixel Smart Watchttp://techcrunch.com

One thing that’s becoming clear , whatever the naysayers say, is that we are going to become increasingly connected via mobile devices. Whether that’s one device for all  occasions or, perhaps more likely, several devices for different purposes (communication with people, health monitoring, environmental monitoring) we are going to have to be geared for very sound environmental recycling of this plethora of mobile stuff. Particularly if we don’t want to kill the goose.

We need a focus on how this is done. There are problems. At the moment mobile phones and other mobile devices that are refurbished are often sold at affordable prices into third world countries where environmental concerns are, quite sensibly, not put ahead of human survival and the building of economies that help with that survival process. What can the first world do to assist?

Should the recycling industry that benefits from this process, indeed should  the whole mobile industry as a whole also be encouraging and contributing to the initiation of environmentally sound recycling into the countries to which their output is going.

Contentious, eh?

Which Phone Update for Me?

Upgrading a phone is not always easyAndroid, iOS, Windows Phone 8, photographic quality, design et al make the choice of phone upgrade tricky. “Which phone shall I get?” is not always a happy question. The opportunity for something new and desirable often offset by “What if I make the wrong choice?”

Get used to it. The range of choices is going to increase. Apart from anything else, you might find you’re staying with your existing phone and buying a tablet.

So, what to do? Start reading….. Scott Matteson of TechRepublic, for instance. Choose your smartphone wisely: iPhone or Android | TechRepublic www.techrepublic.com11/5/12

Note that the Android isn’t a phone per se (however, I’ll refer to it as one for the purpose of this article) but rather the Linux-based OS that runs on the phone. A phone running Android can be one of any number of different

Then there’s why Microsoft think Windows Phone 8 should be your choice. For one thing, they need it to make up the ground that Apple and Android had removed from under their feet. As the Seattle Times observes – As part of the effort to reverse that slide, Microsoft executives at Monday’s event presented their cases for why Windows Phone 8 is different, and better, than its competitors. They kept on message, stressing the platform’s … Microsoft pushes for new image with Windows Phone 8 release phys.org11/2/12

Blackberry 10 image

Blackberry 10

 

Then there’s Blackberry. Not everyone thinks it’s a lost cause. George Kesarios wrote an article on why BlackBerry 10 will be a success. Why BlackBerry 10 Will Be A Success – N4BB n4bb.com11/5/12

 

 

As we find more useful links to aid choice we’ll post them. Just remember, whether for business or pleasure, upgrading your phone should be fun. The chances of making a big mistake are pretty slim, so enjoy.

How often does Camera Capability Dictate your Phone Upgrade

Harriman Park Camera Test iphone 5

Harriman Park Camera Test iphone 5

Without doubt, one of the great features of the current crop of phones is their camera. Quite often, when other things are broadly in balance, the choice of camera will dictate just which phone upgrade choice we make.

The only way to tackle which one is to keep reading as much as you can about what’s on offer. Don’t do that and run the risk of really wishing you had when a mate shows you which phone he/she bought.

Let’s let Pocket-lint start the ball rolling:- Phone cameras are catching up with compacts, how long does your camera have left? Each camera, and now mobile phone, will be put through the same rigorous testing, with the smartphones undergoing 14 tests in all. Phone cameras catching up with compacts, how long does your camera have left? – Pocket-lint.com news.google.com

But what you really need are some comparisons that enable choice. Not easy to find but TechPatio has some thoughts on the matter.

Beating the iPhone 5 camera capability is still no easy matter. It’s got a great track record and now it’s got that great panorama feature. Just take another look at the detail on the Harriman Park test picture at the top of this segment. And how about this image:

For something of a specialist view on the iPhone 5 camera we offer the review from iSight. Apple iPhone 5 iSight Camera Review www.ephotozine.com10/29/12

And if you really want to get down to detail, there’s some handy apps to help out with that. I’ve always hated toting unwieldy DSLRs when I’m eating out. While they take better photos, DSLRs are just too bulky for casual use, so when you simply want to dig in that temping mound of fat on your plate, it tends to get in Shuttergrub: 3 Android App Essentials for Food Photography  www.pepper.ph10/31/12

We’ve hardly touched on video so there’s still a lot of ground to cover. Later.

Windows Phone 8. It’s Really Nearly Here

HTC MIcrosoft Windows Phone 8

HTC Phone 8

 

Microsoft has sent an invite saying that they will release more details about Windows Phone 8 on October 30 in Sydney. So, what do we know already?

Taking account of the dateline, the US appears to be getting the details around the same time as Australia. If you’re willing to bear with the US context, Christina DesMarais of TechHive has some interesting cross manufacture information.

 

For an Australian commercial perspective it’s interesting to hear that food manufacturer, Sara Lee has chosen Windows Phone 8 over Blackberry, iPhone or Android. Quite a few companies (Woolworths, Qantas among them) have abandoned Blackberry and may well, like, Sara Lee, find the solution in Phone 8. Good for the phone recycle industry (yes, such as www.fonebank.com.au).

PC Advisor had this observation about the Sara Lee story, a key part being the more ready integration of mobile services with core, Microsoft systems. Windows is Sara Lee’s favourite mobile OS flavour – PC Advisor news.google.com

You can be there’ll be a wide range of Phone 8 phones coming along very soon. Mobicity has been quick off the mark with an opportunity to pre-order its first offering. Samsung’s first Windows Phone 8 powered smartphone. Samsung ATIV S 16GB – Windows Phone 8 Powered Smartphone with 4.8-inch … – PRWire news.google.com

Before you choose what your phone upgrade system will be, another view of the current offering comes from that long standing pool of expertise ZDNet. Mathew Miller writes that it’s Windows Phone 8 decision time: Samsung, HTC, or Nokia. Next Monday we will see the official Microsoft Windows Phone 8 full reveal and at this time I am planning on making the day trip down to San Francisco to see everything in person and get some …Windows Phone 8 decision time: Samsung, HTC, or Nokia – ZDNet news.google.com

Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 could be real game changers. Certainly that’s what Microsoft is hoping. In 12 months or so, we’ll all know the answer.

 

Phones, Tablets & Phablets.

iPad Mini, Surface, other Windows 8 devices, so much that’s new on the tablet and phone front. But what about a star (at least in the eyes of many) that’s already out there and now in it’s second and, quite stunning, next iteration.

Galaxy Note 2

Of course I refer to the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and perhaps it’s time for  reflection on what it has to offer. Fonebank has collected a few review that might help put the Note 2 in context with all the new stuff that’s on the market.

 

A detailed analysis of what the Note 2 has to offer was placed on Youtube by The Androidizen. If you’ve got 41 minutes to spare this is worth the time. [youtube]http://youtu.be/gVi0f3E8dnQ[/youtube]

If you’d rather read about it, then Ubergizmo takes a good look at the capability of the Samsung Note 2 and discusses the “fit” with need (and size of hands).

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Review – Ubergizmonews.google.com

UbergizmoSamsung Galaxy Note 2 ReviewUbergizmoI personally love the device (version 1 and 2) and, to challenge the size argument, Hubert did carry it regularly in his jeans’ front pockets and he was fine. In this review, will cover how it feels to us …

For a briefer look at the Note 2 features, Business Insider has a perspective, perhaps less enthusiastic than some others but there’s value in contrary views when considering a phone upgrade.

Hands-On Photos Of Samsung’s New Super Phone, The Galaxy Note II – Business Insider  news.google.com

Business InsiderHands-On Photos Of Samsung’s New Super Phone, The Galaxy Note IIBusiness Insider… that launched earlier this year. You can check out the full review here, but we also have a guided photo tour of the device for you in the gallery.

YouTube, obviously carries quite a few Galaxy Note 2 reviews but for one of the more medium length video reviews this one from Android Authority is packed with information. [youtube]http://youtu.be/MKQwa17mkY0[/youtube]

Would I get a Note 2? Frankly I’m not sure. It’s attractive in many ways, but that size. It would mean a move from iPhone, do I really want to do that? On the other hand there’s those other offerings coming up outside of Android and iOS6.

It’s possible to wait for ever when considering a phone upgrade or tablet change. Personally, I now will wait until Windows 8 phones are a reality, so that I can determine whether or not that system creates device interopability that matches that of Apple’s.

 

New Mobile Phone Launches

Two fresh options to choose from to upgrade your phone.

Word on the street has it that Google’s Android-themed event that is happening in New York City this coming October 29th would also be the platform where the LG Nexus 4 (E960) is announced officially, more ……..LG Nexus 4 (E960) announcement this October 29th? | Ubergizmo www.ubergizmo.com10/19/12

Then there’s the HTC Butterfly.

Don’t know when it will reach Australia but HTC is to launch its first full-HD smartphone with 440 ppi display in Japan.  CIO MagazineAu, one of Japan’s main three mobile operators, announced the HTC J Butterfly as part of its winter collection at a press conference in Tokyo. HTC to launch first full-HD smartphone with 440 ppi display in Japan – CIO Magazinenews.google.com

A footnote: Whichever phone we end up choosing, it’s important to remember to make sure that the old one doesn’t just end up in landfill. Responsible recycling of mobile phones is an environmental essential.

 

Will Blackberry Stay the Course

Back in September, RIM said yes.

RIM Shows Off New BlackBerry 10 Phones, but Gives No Firm bits.blogs.nytimes.com9/25/12

A new prototype of RIM’s BlackBerry 10 phones includes more refined software than a previous version. But in displaying the new phones, the company’s chief executive, Thorsten Heins, did not say exactly when they would land 

BlackBerry 10 L-Series phone leaked again in new video | The Vergewww.theverge.com10/12/12

RIM’s new generation of phones is still under wraps, but a laissez-faire video policy has given us another look at one of them. At an event in Mexico, Hola Telcel captured footage of a RIM employee…

In October, the new Blackberry series is lurking but not showing itself in any official detail.If you’re a RIM devotee this approach makes it hard to decide just when to upgrade your phone. Will you be tempted to change to iOS or Android, just because of the wait? If you’re selling your existing Blackberry to a refurbisher, what will it be worth with RIM so much on the back foot?

Nicole Perlroth reports in Tuesday’s New York Times, those who still hold one today say the device has become a magnet for mockery and derision from those with iPhones and the latest Android phones. Read more..Daily Report: The Stigma of the BlackBerry User – NYTimes.com bits.blogs.nytimes.com10/16/12

RIM have too much to lose by not staying in the game. It’s hard to imagine that they won’t pull something pretty good out of the hat so maybe, if you want to upgrade your Blackberry, being a very patient RIM enthusiast is what’s required.

 

 

Update your Mobile Phone to a Galaxy Note 2 – or stay small?

There are so many attractions in a screen that’s just a bit bigger than the average phone screen but not the size and weight of a tablet. Now the Galaxy Note 2 is just around the corner and for many of us, it’s make your mind up time.

Samsung Galaxy Note II: Preview | Delimiter delimiter.com.au10/16/12

Samsung’s latest attempt to merge stylus computing with a smartphone comes across as a marriage between the original Galaxy Note and its extremely popular Galaxy S III. But does this ‘phablet’ device bridge the gap

Of course no new entry into the crowded mobile phone market is going to have a completely free ride and it’s important to listen to the naysayers as much as it is to the enthusiastic supporters.

Five things we hate about the Samsung Galaxy Note II – TouchWiz www.pcworld.idg.com.au10/11/12

Here’s five things we don’t like about the Galaxy Note II so far. unboxing and first look. Thanks to Australian online store MobiCity, we’ve been using the Galaxy Note II for a few days.  

And now, with Windows 8 products coming to Australia, we luxuriate in choice.

Let’s face it, if Windows 8 phones and tablets work really well then the Apple attraction of seamless interface between phone, computer and table products may be watered down. What Microsoft devotee wouldn’t have his/her tongue hanging out for the gadget interface smoothness that only Apple presently provides.

October heating up: iPad Mini, Galaxy Note II and Windows 8 whatsyourtech.ca10/13/12

The stage is seemingly set for a busy lead-in to Halloween with Apple’s phantom iPad Mini, Samsung’s Galaxy Note II and Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system.

So, how much will the Galaxy Note 2 cost in Australia? At the equivalent of around A$750 in India and Germany we can maybe expect it to be a tad higher when it reaches our shores. Will this be a turn off – not if you want it badly enough. This phone fills a big hole in the market for those who want that bridge between phone and tablet.

It will be interesting to see what impact Apple’s new mini-pad has on the Note II.

Great iPhone 5 Review

iPhone 5 Review

Charles Arthur, Technology Editor
The Guardian

The Guardian UK’s Technology editor has provided a really useful look at the iPhone 5’s functionality; much more than just a restatement of specifications and features. He makes the iPhone 5 comparison directly alongside the iPhone 4S.

We’d love to have uploaded the video as part of this post but, at 8 min 39 secs, it was just too large. You can see it by clicking here.

 

This phone is going to mean a lot of iPhone 4s (and earlier) being replaced. Let’s all make sure the environment is looked after by recycling them in a way that avoids landfill solutions.