Monday, March 23, 2009

Sony Ericsson W580i Review

It has been a while since I've had a new phone to review but this one is a special one. Unlike my most recently reviews, this isn't a Nokia - it's a Sony Ericsson. When my mom was ready to replace her aging Motorola V3 RAZR which was having a difficult time holding a charge, I looked at the best cheap phone she could get. Since she was on Rogers and her contract had been up for a while, the best place was to get a phone on contract. My mom isn't big on e-mail or browsing the web so a smartphone would overcomplicate things for her. There were a few Motorola flips and Nokia flips that didn't even look as nice as the RAZR - as you can tell, she's big on asthetics. But she spotted a pink thin slider that sparked her interest - namely the W580i.

The firmware on my W580i is R8BE001 (the initial Rogers production firmware). The box contains the phone, Sony Ericsson Battery BST-38 900 mAh, travel charger CST-60, USB data cable, Sony Ericsson Stereo Headset HPM-70, 512MB Memory Stick Micro card, and Sony Ericsson CD with utilities and programs

The W580i is a very sleek thin slider running Sony Ericsson's proprietary OS.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Nokia N97 Widget Competition


A while ago, Nokia was accepting idea submissions for small mini-applications that run on a phone's home screen, called widgets, in their Nokia N97 Widget Competition. One winner will receive a N97 with their winning widget entry developed and running on the N97.

Since the submission deadline and preliminary voting had ended, Nokia has shorten the list to 50 widgets for everyone to vote. The widget receiving the most votes will continue along with 9 other widgets selected by the Forum Nokia panel to the grand prize.

I had submitted a few widget ideas for this competition and two out of nine of them made it to the short list:

Location based sightseeing/events

Wouldn't it be great to be somewhere and be able to find out that there's a free concert at the local park just 10 minutes? Using the GPS/AGPS of the user's Nokia device, the widget will transmit the user's location to a central server. The central will then return events happening close to the user's location and time

Ovi Local Notes

Leave your friends or everyone a note that will appear when they visit the same spot. So you can let everyone know that the pub just around the corner has great beer! Each note you create can be limited to your friends/contacts on Ovi or everyone + includes your location based on AGPS. Notes that appear are automatically updated based on AGPS.

There were a lot of quality submissions so I'm pretty happy to make it to the top 50. I hope I move on to the next round too.

You can go take a short list and vote for your favorite at:

There's a little quirk to the voting process: You choose one widget as your favorite, scroll to the bottom and click "Ready to Vote", then scroll to the bottom again to click "Submit Vote". You can only vote for 1 so make it count :)

I found out this week that one of my designs made it to the top 10!

Location based sightseeing/events

Thanks to everyone who voted for me. Mine was picked by NSeries and Forum Nokia as one of the nine strongest ideas. So now my widget will be programmed by a team of talented developers from Forum Nokia on April 28, 2009 in Monte Carlo during the Nokia Developer Summit. The team will have 24 hours in what's called a Hackathon to code my widget then it'll go before a panel of judges to select a winner.

I'm really glad to see one of my ideas make it this far. I'm definitely eager to see my idea implemented into a real widget. Hope I go all the way!

*Originally posted 3/10/09