Each June, cell phone manufacturers from across Asia journey to Singapore for the annual CommunicAsia show. Though not quite as big as Mobile World Congress, CommunicAsia still offers plenty of wireless sights. And as they've always done, our colleagues at CNET Asia were out in force in their home town to cover the latest and greatest gadgets. Their full package will show you everything you need to know--including their top cell phone picks--but we're happy to offer the highlights here.Nokia N9
Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) has come up with an iOS and Web app that puts your mug shot on a 3D model. By simply taking a frontal image of a face and sending the image via the Internet, A*Star's 3DFM Web server automatically maps it on a virtual avatar head.
This is a much simpler process than the previous procedure of using 3D scanners and then performing tedious post-processing work. According to the organization, the trick now is to create compelling applications and games to leverage on this technology.
For example, you can play soccer games with players sporting the face of your favorite celebrities, or put your mug shot on Master Chief from Halo. This service is available for free for a limited period and can be accessed via this Web site. The iOS app will be available at a later date.
Finnish mobile giant Nokia introduced its latest smartphone, the Nokia N9, today. We at Crave Asia managed to try the new MeeGo smartphone at the Nokia booth at CommunicAsia in Singapore. Here are our early impressions of this sleek-looking mobile.
Weighing just about 4.7 ounces and measuring less than half an inch, the N9 comes in either a 16GB or 64GB configuration. The phone feels great in our hands, and the curved 3.9-inch Corning Gorilla glass AMOLED screen looks fantastic. The display runs at a 16:9 FWVGA (854x480 pixels) resolution.
Nokia has also clarified that the polycarbonate used for the N9's chassis is colored throughout, which means that if there's a scratch, there would be no change in color. The polycarbonate body may seem a little "cheap," but it gives the handset a funky look. The N9 will come in three colors--black, cyan, and magenta. … Read more
From a hardware perspective, the MediaPad feels solidly built. The chassis appears to be made from a single piece of metal, not unlike the unibody design found in HTC phones such as the Desire HD. The similarity extends to the fact that there are plastic cutouts on the top and bottom sections.
At almost half an inch thick and weighing a little less than a pound, the MediaPad is quite slim and light. It has a micro-USB port alongside an HDMI-out at the base. Slightly unusual is the addition of a dedicated power connector--most tablets just make use of one port for charging and syncing. On the top is its 3.5mm audio output, together with a pair of speaker grills. … Read more
After a longer wait than was the case for users in the U.S., Asian gamers will finally be able to get back to the PlayStation Network.
Starting tomorrow, users in Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, and Thailand, among other countries, will once again be able to gain access to the PlayStation Network and Sony's Qriocity services. Sony said that it "worked closely with respected outside security firms" to ensure the security of its services was better than it had been. It also implemented an "early-warning system" that will alert the company as quickly as possible to … Read more
LAS VEGAS--With so many press conferences, meetings, and product demonstrations, there's never enough time to really see CES. Indeed, it wasn't until the second day of this year's show that I was able to roam the Las Vegas Convention Center and check out the cell phone action.
Naturally, I was first drawn to the booths of the big players first, but half the fun of a gadget trade show is tracking down the smaller mobile players that bring the more unusual products to Las Vegas. So while racing between the immense booths of RIM and Verizon Wireless, … Read more
A project between Intel and Korea Telecom is aiming to turn South Korea into the first country with nationwide WiMax coverage.
The two companies announced today the expansion of their effort to roll out WiMax-based high-speed Internet service throughout South Korea.
Currently available in Seoul, Inchon, and Suwon, the expanded service will reach five new cities as of tomorrow--Busan, Daegu, Gwangju, Daejeon, and Ulsan--and also cover the expressways of Gyeongbu, Jungbu, Honam, and Yeongdong.
HTC may be capable of making heroic smartphones, but it certainly can't contain leaks of its unannounced devices.
The HTC T8788 looks set to join the brotherhood of Windows Phone 7 handsets due for a "holiday release." Engadget has apparently unearthed information on a touch-screen HTC slider destined for AT&T shelves in the U.S. But what's different is that instead of a QWERTY keyboard, the phone slides open to reveal a built-in speaker. There's also a kickstand around back, which will help make the T8788 more convincing as a portable media player.… Read more
SINGAPORE--Samsung announced a slew of new handsets at this year's CommunicAsia trade show in Singapore. In addition to the Galaxy 3 and Galaxy 5 Android entrants, the company expanded its Omnia and Wave portfolios with new Windows Mobile and Bada devices.
When it first announced its Bada mobile platform last November, Samsung said it was meant for low- to midrange devices. However, there seemed to be some contradiction as its first Bada phone, the Wave, came with a fast 1GHz processor and the Sammy's best Super AMOLED display. With the new Wave 2 (S5250) and Wave2 Pro (S5330), the company will be realizing that plan. The two handsets come with a 3.2-inch WQVGA screen and 2.5G connectivity. High-speed Internet is still possible, as they feature Wi-Fi, though you'll need to be within range of a hotspot for that to work.
A year back, Samsung greatly expanded its Omnia (Windows Phone) lineup with multiple products bearing different form factors. This time, the two new Omnia Pro 4 (B7350) and Omnia Pro 5 (B6520) are simply updates of the non-touch-screen B7330 smartphone. They come with pretty standard features, including a QVGA display (Pro 5) or 320 x 320-pixel screen (Pro 4) and HSDPA connectivity.
There are all sorts of mobile phones out there, but the EPI Life is possibly the only handset that can save your life. Designed by Singapore company Ephone International, the EPI Life stands out with a built-in electrocardiogram measurement function linked to a 24-hour health concierge service. It takes 30 seconds to complete a reading, which can be sent back to the firm via GPRS anywhere in the world.
The collected data is analyzed for life-threatening conditions by a team of 10 cardiologists round the clock, and an appropriate emergency response will be rendered by Ephone International's call center. This includes private ambulance service, expedited patient admission into any of its three partnering local hospitals, and on-call doctors. … Read more