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iPhone Review - Smartphone Round Robin 48

by Dieter Bohn Fri, 18 Dec 2009 3:04 pm EST


I'm kicking off this year's Smartphone Round Robin with the iPhone platform. You can take a look at this year's first-looks video for some initial thoughts. Heck, you can take a look at the articles I wrote about the iPhone for Round Robin 2007 and Round Robin 2008. The iPhone sits in a unique place in the Smartphone world - apart from the rest, the de-facto phone that others are now judged against, for many people it's the smartphone. There's probably little about the iPhone that I could tell you that you don't already know.

So why are we here? Well, while the iPhone platform has remained relatively unchanged (though of course not completely, there have been advancements), the rest of the smartphone world has changed significantly around it. Some might call that catch-up and that's fair, but it's also the case that the iPhone, for all its apps, still isn't the best platform for everybody. So let's take a look at where the iPhone is now and how it stacks up against webOS.


iPhone Hands-on Video, Smartphone Round Robin 106

by Dieter Bohn Mon, 14 Dec 2009 1:00 pm EST

The Smartphone Round Robin officially begins... now! This week I'm taking a look at the iPhone - comparing it to webOS. I have a lot on my mind as I consider these two platforms: does it matter that webOS is behind on features and graphical capabilities? How important is true multitasking? Is the notifications system on webOS essential or just a gimmick? Which platform is more 'elegant?'

As a part of that conversation I've started a thread over at The iPhone Blog Forums to get feedback from iPhone users. Stay tuned for a thread in our own forums to help out Phil Nickinson of WMExperts.

For now, though, we have a video after the break for you and a few comparison photos as well. What you'll see is my latest hands-on with the iPhone and it's a discussion with Rene Ritchie of The iPhone Blog about the strengths and weaknesses of the iPhone platform as compared to webOS. I'll be spending the rest of the week thinking and working with the iPhone, chatting with you all, and generally getting ready for Friday's review. Stay tuned!


Review: Plantronics Voyager 835 Bluetooth Headset 13

by Derek Kessler Fri, 11 Dec 2009 5:33 pm EST

Plantronics Voyager 835 Bluetooth Headset

Equipped with dual microphones, noise cancellation tech, and a wind noise reduction system, the Plantronics Voyager 835 bluetooth headset crams a lot of tech into a reasonably priced package. This combination of technologies allows the headset to operate well in all sorts noisy environments, though not quite as well as some more specialized (and more expensive) headsets.


Review: Blueant S1 Bluetooth Car Kit 12

by Derek Kessler Mon, 07 Dec 2009 1:23 pm EST

Blueant S1 Bluetooth Car Kit

With simple controls and a loud speaker, the Blueant S1 Bluetooth car kit may not be the fanciest car kit on the market, but it works and does so well. With how subpar the Pre’s speakerphone can be against the whines, grumbles, whirs, and rumbles of a car engine, road noise, and traffic, a strong speakerphone car kit is considered by many to be an essential road warrior's accessory. The Blueant S1 measures up in that regard, providing a loud and reasonably clear speaker that broadcasts not only your calls, but your music. With easy to use controls and an excellent battery life, the S1 isn’t a bad choice amongst the crowd of car kits out there.


Review: Case-Mate Naked Case for Palm Pre 40

by Derek Kessler Sun, 06 Dec 2009 12:48 am EST

Case-Mate Naked Case for Palm Pre

The Case-Mate Naked Case for Palm Pre combines two popular Pre accessories into one package: screen protection and body protection. While most Palm Pre cases only cover the back and sides of the top half, the Naked Case also incorporates a plastic sheet that covers the screen and gesture area, allowing unimpeded use of the Pre while offering maximum protection.


Review: Covertec Luxury Leather Flip Case for Palm Pre 13

by Derek Kessler Mon, 30 Nov 2009 8:51 pm EST

Covertec Luxury Leather Flip Case

The Covertec Luxury Leather Flip Case for the Palm Pre is a solid combination of a leather flip case and a hard snap case, providing protection and class in a single package. Inside is the bottom half of a snap case, serving as a mounting point for the Pre, while the outside is wrapped in soft fine grain leather with tastefully contrasting stitching. This flip case strikes a balance between protection and style that few cases have, but it is not without its faults.


Music Player (Remix) Offers 25 Key Upgrades 34

by milominderbinde Mon, 30 Nov 2009 11:22 am EST

Palm Pre webOS Music Player Remix Splash Screen

PreCentral member DanPLC has hit gold with his Music Player (Remix). Remix is one of the Favorite Homebrew Apps and the most popular with over 200,000 downloads. Remix  patches dozens of missing features into the Palm Pre webOS Music Player including a slider, elapsed time, font and background colors, wallpaper, bookmarks, lyrics, resume play, and on-the-fly-playlists. Perhaps the most amazing thing about Music Player (Remix) is that Dan has been working alone, part-time, for only two months.

Getting Started: Homebrew Apps, Patches, and Themes will show you how to install Remix and other Homebrew Applicaitons in a matter of minutes.

The Palm Pre has a list of great features. Unfortunately few of them are in the Music Player. In 2003, the Palm Treo 600 came bundled with Pocket Tunes 2.1. pTunes featured on the fly playlists, "skins," a "progress bar," bookmarks, and could even resume playing a long rock track where you left off.  Sadly the Pre has not been able to meet Palm's own 2003 standards...

...until now!


Review: Incipio Sports Holster 19

by Derek Kessler Thu, 26 Nov 2009 1:44 pm EST

Incipio Sports Holster for Palm Pre

Made of soft scuba material and woven nylon, the Incipio Sports Holster for Palm Pre is a quality durable side case that will protect your Pre in style. Incipio designed the Sports Holster specifically for the Palm Pre, so it provides a secure fit without being too tight like some other Pre cases. The Sports Holster is also quasi hardened under that soft exterior, allowing it to serve in a protective role for your precious phone.


Palm Pixi First Impressions from Another Perspective 26

by Annie Latham Mon, 23 Nov 2009 11:58 am EST

The reviewers have been weighing in on the Palm Pixi over the last couple of weeks. Most complain about the Pixi’s speed (due to its slower processor). Others rip on it because there’s no WiFi. The screen size and resolution was bothersome too. I found that what I needed to do is take a step back and put myself into the mind of the Palm Pixi’s target audience.

The Pixi isn’t a smartphone for power users or gadget aficionados. That’s clear. In fact it seems like the Pixi IS supposed to be targeted to:

  • Smartphone newbies
  • Young people who want to step up from their feature phone
  • Centro owners looking for a replacement in a similar price bracket

So how does the Pixi stack up for this target audience? I've got a review of just that, after the break!


Review: Body Glove Faux Nylon Case for Palm Pre 37

by Derek Kessler Wed, 18 Nov 2009 8:21 pm EST

Body Glove Faux Nylon Case for Palm Pre

While most clip-on cases add some protection and color to the Palm Pre, the Body Glove Faux Nylon Case for Palm Pre takes it a step further by adding some textural visual flair. Sporting two contrasting textures, the Faux Nylon Case encases your Pre in a layer of protective plastic while still providing access to all the phone’s features. But is the extra protection and style worth the extra bulk that this case adds?