Motorola And Nokia Prep For The iPhone5
Apple’s anticipated iPhone5 announcement on September 12 is expected to set off another buying frenzy. Everyone is eagerly waiting to see what wonderful new feature or service Apple will offer. It better be good, as Apple’s competitors have announced some very significant phones as decent alternatives. On September 5, both Motorola and Nokia announced their new smart phones.
The RAZR’s Edge
The Motorola phones are the first really new products the company has offered since Google acquired it. These phones are an extension of the Droid RAZR line. The headliner, the RAZR HD, offers a high-resolution super-AMOLED 4.7-in. screen with 78% more pixels than before and an 8-Mpixel camera (Fig. 1).
The 4G LTE phone runs on Verizon’s LTE network. It includes all the usual wireless accessories like Bluetooth, GPS, and Wi-Fi. Plus, it can serve as a Wi-Fi hot spot. There was no word on near-field communications (NFC) capability, though, something that would mesh with Google’s Wallet initiative for e-commerce payments.
The operating system (OS) is the “Ice Cream Sandwich” version of Android. The newer and better “Jelly Bean” version is expected to be available later in the year. The phone comes with Google’s fast Chrome browser, YouTube, and Google Maps navigation.
A larger 2500-mAh battery offers significantly longer battery life and longer talk and video watching times. A version with an even larger battery called the Droid RAZR Maxx HD is available as well. Motorola also introduced a smaller screen version called the RAZR M, with essentially the same main features but a slightly lower-resolution 4.3-in. screen.
Motorola didn’t say much about prices and availability other than that the phones would be available before the holidays. The RAZR M will be priced at $99. More details are needed here.
Lumia Lights The Way
That price and availability information was also missing from Nokia’s announcement. The company didn’t offer any word on available dates, prices, or even carrier partners. Nevertheless, the new phones are pretty amazing (Fig. 2).
The larger model, the Lumia 920, has a 4.5-in. screen with HD 1280- by 768-pixel resolution. The camera is an 8.7-Mpixel unit with Carl Zeiss optics and very low-light capability.
The phone is also 4G LTE capable with a fallback to HSPA/WCDMA, so the carrier of choice is likely to be AT&T and eventually T-Mobile. It offers Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, A-GPS/GLONASS, and even NFC. The processor is a dual-core, 1.5-GHz Qualcomm S4 Snapdragon with 1-Gbyte RAM.
The OS in this one is Microsoft’s Phone 8 with its unique tiled user interface. Internet Explorer 10 is the browser. Nokia’s Drive navigation system gives turn-by-turn directions. The battery is a 2000-mAh affair with a decent talk time. The charging is by ac as well as a wireless charging feature.
Nokia also introduced a smaller model, the Lumia 820, which is mostly similar but with a 4.3-in. OLED screen. The battery is a 1650-mAh unit with ac and wireless charging.
A Hot Market
Do these new phones have a chance against the new Apple iPhone? I think so. All of them seem to be solid contenders. I just wish RIM had joined the fray with a new BlackBerry model. Just remember that you don’t have to buy an iPhone to be cool. One of those new yellow Nokia models should label you as an ultra-cool dude.
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