The Party Line — Phone Buzz of the Day


In the midst of sifting through breaking developments, reviewing mobile devices and finding new ways to use technology, the news never stops. Since it’s not possible to cover it all, let’s see how “the Party line” works on occasion. The title is a throwback to the old telephony method where multiple callers were connected on a shared loop. If you’ve ever been privy to a party line conversation, you know that it’s really like trying to follow multiple conversations simultaneously. Here are some of today’s conversations I enjoyed reading or viewing, along with some brief thoughts:

htcleopl3_thumbPics of the HTC Leo surface (WMPowerUser) — this WinMo handset isn’t just a looker with a 4.3″ 800 x 480 display. The inside packs 512MB of ROM, 320MB of RAM and a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 8250B processor. This isn’t your father’s Windows Mobile device! I had a 528MHz CPU in my WinMo PDA four years ago, so the extra “oomph” of this processor is long overdue. Plus the screen on this device looks gorgeous.

Three reasons the Cliq will click with customers (AndroidGuys) — As social networking gathers steam, consumers could gravitate towards an integrated solution like the MotoBlur interface. There’s also a rumored $0 price point after subsidy and plan commitment, which of course attract attention simply because of the word “free.” If you had a feature phone with a WAP browser and could move to WebKit — and a full keyboard — would you make the move? I know I’d consider it.

palm-pre-99-dollarsPalm’s Pre can be had for $99 (The Cheapskate) – I paid $199 for my Pre, but you don’t have to. The handset is regularly priced at $149, but you can save another $50 by hitting up Wirefly. They’re offering the Palm Pre on Sprint for $99 to new customers, and that includes shipping. Current Sprint customers can extend their contract another two years and pay $139.99. The $99 price barrier for a solid, modern smartphone is huge. Apple has done it with the old 8GB iPhone 3G and now the Pre joins the sub-$100 party.

Rogers Offers 21MBps HSPA+ (BGR) — The good news for Canadians is that the speedy service is now available in five cities. The bad news is that nary a handset can yet take advantage of it. But not all is lost on this $79.99 monthly service. One of the Rogers Mobile Internet Rocket Sticks does add these peppy speeds to your notebook via USB. My USB 727 adapter is jealous, not to mention left in the dust at around 1.5MBps download speeds.

iPhone OS 3.1 breaks modem tethering on unlocked handsets (Slashdot Mobile) — iPhones running on non-Apple partner carriers are losing the ability to tether for modem use after the OS 3.1 upgrade. I’m still lax on upgrading my iPhone, even though I’m running it on AT&T. Why? Because I have Internet Tethering working as a backup and I have no intention of losing that just yet. I’m not even going to risk it.

rim_blackberry_tourSprint offers BlackBerry Tour sans camera (Crunchgear) — Can’t use a cameraphone at the office but still want the latest BlackBerry? Sprint can handle that request, now that they have a version of the Tour without a camera. $199, just like the version with a shooter, and it’s yours. Bonus for following the corporate rules: this limits the possibility of incriminating and embarrassing pics from the holiday office party, no?



To be honest Kevin I haven’t looked at either Sprint or Nextel variants – I’m partial to a GSM version, and the one T-Mobile sells doesn’t have the 3.5mm jack. I might just visit my Verizon outlet though, their price for the TP2 is only $199 while T-Mobile and Sprint both want $349.

James, you’ll be seeing me mention Pinetrail again real soon! :)


That HTC Leo is a nice-looking device, but I still won’t buy, the same reason why I’m putting off the TP2 – I want a WinMo phone with a sliding keyboard and a 3.5mm jack. They have yet to release a device that has both features, and until they do, I’m just not interested.

Too bad the Zune HD doesn’t have a phone in it…

Kevin C. Tofel

Does the TP2 on Sprint and Verizon meet your needs? If I recall, those went with a standard 3.5mm headset jack and of course, have the sliding / tilting keyboard.

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