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
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
Aside from its Android smartphone, Huawei also showcased its E583X wireless modem at CommunicAsia 2009. Other HSDPA modems are usually shaped like flash drives that you plug into a free USB port on your computer.
The E583X does it differently because it's able to send out a Wi-Fi signal that you connect to wirelessly (like at a hot spot) from your notebook. This means you can leave the device out of sight and not have something dangling from your slim, fashionable Netbook. A 1,500mAh battery powers the device, giving about five hours of wireless productivity. It charges via … Read more
China electronics maker Haier on Tuesday displayed its first Android mobile phone, the H7, at CommunicAsia 2009 held at the Singapore Expo.
The H7 is probably the fourth phone we know of that's employing the Google-developed OS, besides the HTC Dream, Magic, and the Samsung I7500. It's understood that the Haier phone will definitely operate on Android OS 1.5, but the company does not dispute that it will ship the handset with OS 2.0 if the firmware is available by then.
As the unit displayed at the booth was just a mockup, we weren't able … Read more
China-based Huawei announced its first Android-based smartphone, dubbed the U823X, at Singapore's CommunicAsia 2009. One key feature is the 3.5-inch display, which is larger than all the HTC Android devices released so far. It will also contain a 1,500mAh cell for longer battery life and connectivity features such as HSDPA, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.
Huawei also mentioned on its specs sheet that the phone will come with the "Chrome Lite" browser. Google co-founder Sergey Brin mentioned last year that the Android browser could possibly bear the Chrome name, but the company has never done that officially. … Read more