@angsuman just tweeted this. I followed the link and googled about it, what I found was VERY VERY IMPRESSIVE.
Ok so this phone is called S1 and is a result of collaboration between Land Rover and Sonim. During testing they ran over it with a Land Rover, submerged it in mud and had an elephant stand on it to test its durability. S1 also survived being roasted in an oven at 150 degrees centigrade, soaked in a pint of lager and tossed from the second floor of a building. No wonder they call it the ‘indestructible’ mobile device, which may sound very appealing to builders, workmen, adventure/outdoors enthusiasts and other people working in tough conditions.
Sonim manufactures ruggedized phones and have also launched a phone in collaboration with JCB earlier, its called JCB Tough Phone
Some of the features of S1 are:
1. 1,500 hours of battery life.
2. 2.0 megapixel camera.
3. An extra loud ringtone to be heard overy sound of heavy machinery.
4. IP-67 International Protection certificate
5. GPS, Bluetooth, WAP, Opera Mini Browser
7. Extra-wide buttons, can be used wearing gloves.
Telegraph reports that – Tesco, who launch the phone today at a retail price of £249.99, are so confident it can’t be broken that it comes with an unconditional 3 years guarantee. The S1 is available for £25 a month on a contract with Orange and is being sold exclusively by Tesco.
If you are a mobile developer like me, then you can take heart from the fact that Sonim has a Developer Portal as well, which enables you to register with them and download Java SDK complete with emulations tool to develop J2ME applications for their ruggedized phones.
Included below is a video featuring Land Rover S1 from TimesOnline.
While I am waiting to finally lay my hands on iPhone when its launched in India in a few months, I am also very excited about what I would like to call a Gphone.
Technically there is nothing called a Gphone, instead there is a mobile OS called Android released by Google. T-Mobile USA is expected to launch first Android device this year and reportedly its manufactured by HTC which is numero uno windows mobile device manufacturer. Interesting 🙂
Android Community released first live images and videos of Android demo phone last month and I was really impressed by the great user interface on that phone. In many ways its looks quite similar to iPhone’s interface where you can do most of the stuff using your finger, but you expect Google to do some innovations, don’t you? And that’s what Google did.
I really liked the phone unlock option on the demo phone, you can just slide your finger in a preset pattern to unlock the phone. They also demonstrated how the built in compass in the phone lets you pan-around the location based images just like you are into some kind of virtual tour of that location. That’s very cool I must say. Anyway to check out all the images and videos you need to click here.
So go ahead and see for yourself what Google has to offer and let me know what do you think.
Airtel and IFFCO have formed a JV called IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Limited (IKSL) to provider mobile services in villages specially designed for farmers and as per press release by Airtel:
“On offer will be affordable mobile handsets bundled with Airtel mobile connection. The farmer will also get access to a unique VAS platform that will broadcast 5 free voice messages on mandi prices, farming techniques, weather forecasts, dairy farming, animal husbandry, rural health initiatives and fertiliser availability etc. on a daily basis. In addition, the farmer will be able to call a dedicated helpline, manned by experts from various fields, to get answers to their specific queries.
Bharti Airtel will offer competitive calling rates @ 50 paise/minute for calls between IFFCO members.”
The Economic Times further reports that: “The JV will bring several hand-cranked products of common use. These include transistors, community radios and torches.” It also goes on to say that farmers will be able to charge their mobile phones without power by using some wind-up charger, which I think is really interesting.
I personally welcome this initiative as its a good example of technology working at the grass-root level, however talking about farmers in India also reminds me of very serious issue of farmers’ suicide and I just hope that something could be done to improve this grim situation.
Palm India recently launched Centro its newest, cheapest and probably also the best smartphone offering in India. I am calling it cheapest because its retail price as listed on the website is Rs. 13,990. When Treo 680 was first launched in India, its listed price was more than Rs. 25000, however I just checked and its now being sold for Rs. 14,400. However I would quickly like to point out that in US Centro is available for just $99 with service contract and rebates which makes it almost free.
I also call it best palm smartphone because its undoubtedly the smallest and sleekest smartphone from Palm and does everything a Treo 680 does. It also has a camera better than Treo 680.
However I have 2 complaints from Palm.
1. They don’t advertise much and their distribution/dealership network does not exist on non-metro Indian cities. I am so tired of people looking at my Treo 680 and asking me what kind of phone it is? Is it a Chinese phone? Is it good and such things. People recognize an O2, Imate or even HTC quite well here and everybody recognises Nokia.
2. Second problem I have is that there are simply no color choices available for Centro in India, but I guess that’s because they only have a single color available for GSM Centro. They have option of 3 very attractive colors for CDMA versions in US though.
Apple always maintained that iPhone is revolutionary. Many bloggers and analysts have said that it is just evolutionary. When I first watched webcast in which Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone, I was really impressed by what I saw and I still feel that iPhone is probably the best phone available in the market today.
However I just watched a breathtaking video of Morph Concept forwarded to me by my friend Abhijeet and I don’t know what to say about it. I am very very impressed.
Well who wouldn’t be impressed with a phone which behaves like elastic and can stretch and change shape and can be worn on your wrist as wrist band or can even be used as a fashion accessory to match your style. Well that’s what Morph intends to be. However Morph is just a concept device now so we can’t think of laying hands on one in near future.
In its press release Nokia describes Morph as a joint nanotechnology concept, developed by Nokia Research Center (NRC) and the University of Cambridge (UK). Morph demonstrates how future mobile devices might be stretchable and flexible, allowing the user to transform their mobile device into radically different shapes.
It demonstrates the ultimate functionality that nanotechnology might be capable of delivering: flexible materials, transparent electronics and self-cleaning surfaces.
Sony Ericsson yesterday announced its first windows mobile phone called XPERIA™ X1. So all those rumors were really true. I am now waiting for rumor about Nokia also going windows mobile way to be true as well 🙂
I don’t know how MS pulled this off considering SE has stakes in Symbain and launced only Symbian powered smartphones earlier. It will be interesting to see if Nokia also takes the bait.
Official press release by SE is here and another relevant news is here.
Its seem Windows Mobile is now really looking to grab the mobile OS share in consumer market as well. Its has already got good share in mobile OS for corporate market.
Apple decided to end the long running rumours when Steve Jobs in his keynote address at Macworld 2007 finally announced the much awaited iPhone (http://apple.com/iphone)
I watched the demos and keynote video on apple’s site and I think it really has potential to be a revolutionary product.
Other highlights of the event were Apple rechristening itself as Apple Inc from earlier Apple Computers Inc and announcement of another interesting product called Apple TV (http://apple.com/appletv/)
Coming back to iPhone, its going to be available in 2 models:
1. 4GB model costing $499 with 2 yrs contract
2. 8GB model costing $599 with 2 yrs contract
Its going to be available on Cingular networks in USA starting June 2007, in Europe by the end of this year and in Asia in 2008.
Now talking about some unique features of the phone:
1. Simple design without keys and you don’t need stylus to tap on the touch screen.
2. You can merge 2 simultaneous calls in a conferance with a few simple tapping on the screen
3. You can scroll without scroll bar
4. You can flip through pictures in your phone like you flip pages of a book
5. SMS, Text messages are displayed as chats in IMs
6. Sensor detects if you rotate the device and changes your portrait mode to landscape automatically
7. Light sensor adjusts brightness according to light around you
8. Proximity sensor detects when you move phone near your ears and switches off the display
9. You can zoom in and zoom out using a pinch motion on screen using your two fingers
10. It runs Mac OS X
There is lots to talk and know about iPhone, so I will suggest to watch Steve Job’s keynote video for complete action. You can also read another blog for more details and pictures. iPhone announcement got a very encouraging reaction from stock markets as well, as apple’s stocks soared on the bourses whereas stocks of other handset manufacturers like Nokia, Motorola and Samsung came down.
One thing which I don’t like is that Apple does not offer an SDK for developers like us to develop applications for iPhone and I hope that changes soon in future. Read more – what’s missing from iPhone.
Apple aims to have 1% market share of annual mobile sales(1 Billion) in 2008 and that’s not a small expectation by any means so let’s wait and watch if all the hype around the iPhone translates into real sales or not.
Update on 7th Many 08: Vodafone bringing iPhone to India in September 2008