Archive for May, 2011

Editorial: iAm So Sick of Phone Names and Boxes

>Every now and again, I like to post some opinions on this site. They usually come from a place of frustration, and sadly this time is no different. For those who don’t know, I sell phones for most of the main carriers. Over the past few years, I’ve sold countless models of phones, and I’ve noticed a few things they all have in common: Their names suck and their boxes suck.

First off, the naming thing. There are 3 types of phone names: Random Letters and Numbers, the Random Adjective, and Just Completely Random. The first one I shouldn’t have to explain why its terrible. Nothing quite says “Buy Me!” like the Samsung SGH-T259. The Random Adjective is usually just a straight up lie. The HTC Droid Incredible is not only an incredibly long name, but it’s really not that special, and I certain don’t feel incredulous when it’s in my hand. The Just Completely Random can be just as deceptive as the Random Adjective, and is therefore even more obnoxious. When I first saw the HTC Imagio, I thought it was a joke. Sadly, it was not.

Then there’s the boxes. Here’s your average box: On the outside, there’s a picture of the phone, maybe the carrier’s logo, the manufacturer logo, and the name of the phone. You open up the box, and there’s the phone, with the phone’s name on a screen protector (except for AT&T’s “No Texting And Driving” ones). Under that is the instruction book, battery, charger, maybe headphones just thrown in there. They’re all the same, with a few exceptions. For example, the Samsung Instinct’s box was killer. You had an outside glossy sleeve. That slid off to reveal a matte cardboard box with “Instinct” etched in. The box was in two pieces, no hinge. You lifted the top half off to show the phone almost framed by black cardboard. Below that was all the extra goodies, neatly boxed in cardboard cubbies. It was gorgeous. The best box ever? This guy:

You had to plug the box, which looks like it came from 2001: A Space Odyssey, into your computer, and when it pops open, fog comes out. Fog. Now obviously not all phones can come with a mini fog machine, but they can certainly be sexier. And when a company does try to go different, we end up with something like the Cup of EVO Soup:

Now let’s talk about the one product that does it all wrong: The iPhone. First off, not many people know, but the “i” stands for “individual”. Exactly what is “individual” about a phone that, up until recently, couldn’t even have a user-defined wallpaper? The iPhone is known as the least customizable device, and yet its name acts as if it was made specifically for you. The box follows the minimalistic style of the device itself. That’s fine. But it’s the same formula. Picture of phone: Check. Phone right under lid: Check. Other stuff just sitting there under that: Check. Yawn, yawn, yawn. Apple should embrace its old motto and think a little differently on it’s packaging.

So please, phone makers, start using more memorable names. The Mustang is an iconic car. It’s the Mustang. Its memorable, it gives a feeling of the power and style of the car. The LG Sentio tells you nothing about the phone. The Pantech Pursuit showcases that it’s behind the front runners. Your boxes might not seem all that important, but it is the first impression of the phone. Awesome hardware deserves an awesome packaging and an appropriate moniker.

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>Steve Jobs to Announce iCloud, iOS 5 at WWDC

>In a very un-Apple move, Apple just put out a short press release confirming that Steve Jobs (and other Apple execs) will be leading the keynote speech at the World Wide Developer Conference this Monday. Even stranger, they teased exactly what he’ll be announcing. While the iOS 5 updates and Mac OS Lion details aren’t surprising, they also name dropped “iCloud”. The release describes iCloud as a “cloud services offering”. What that actually means remains to be seen. It could be a revamp of MobileMe, it will most likely be bringing your music (at least) to the cloud, but all of that is just guesswork. Fortunately, we only have 6 days to worry about it. We’ll be keeping you posted on all the good stuff on Monday!

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>Plants vs Zombies Comes to Android, Free on Amazon Today

>Finally, the wait is over! The new classic Plants vs Zombies has broken the iOS barrier and made its way to Android. If you haven’t seen or heard of it before, it’s an awesome strategy game. You must use various plants to stop the zombie horde from reaching your house. It doesn’t sound very exciting, but the cartoon feel is infectious, the music is toe tapping, and the zombies are downright hilarious. It will normally be $2.99, but on the Amazon App store, you can find it as today’s free app. Go download it now. Seriously.

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>Summer Cell Phone Buying Guide: T-Mobile

>How much longer you’ll actually still have T-Mobile may be a mystery, but nothing is stopping you from grabbing a new phone while AT&T tries to grab T-Mo. This is a tough one with all the Android love, but here’s today’s buying guide for T-Mobile!

Cream of the Crop: LG G2X

The LG G2x is possibly one of the best Android phones to date. The 4″ screen is really good quality, it rocks the dual-core Tegra II processor, 8GB of internal memory, and a microSD card slot. What really makes the G2X stand out is the camera. Your typical 1.3 megapixel cam sits in front for video conferencing, but the 8 megapixel cam in the back is capable of 1080p video recording. Definitely a great way to capture your awesome fun in the sun. And the battery life is excellent as well, so you won’t have to worry about missing a beat this summer. Plus, once it cools down, you can play back those memories with the HDMI out port. This guy will set you back $250, but is well worth the cash.

Runner Up: Samsung Galaxy S 4G

The Blast from the Past: Samsung Sidekick 4G

In the summer of 2002, a little company called Danger unleashed one of the first phones to truly be a popular device, and the first phone with a consolidated app store. For many years, the Sidekick reigned supreme, bringing Instant Messaging and web browsing on the go to the masses. Then the iPhone came out, there was some major data loss, and the Sidekick lost its steam. Flash forward a few years and the Sidekick 4G by Samsung is bringing it back. The Sidekick 4G is still the same style you’re used to, the screen slides up from the center of the phone to unveil the killer keyboard below. But nowit’s been infused with Android 2.2. Gone is the old carousel menu, it’s basic Android as we know and love. But the hardware will bring you back to much simpler times this summer. The Sidekick’s reincarnation will only cost you $100.

Runner Up (Mid Range Device): MyTouch Slide

The Best of WP7:  HTC  HD7

Let me clarify that title. I’m not saying this is the best Windows Phone on T-Mobile. I mean it’s the best Windows Phone currently on the market. It’s your usual Windows Phone specs: 1GHz processor, 16GB internal memory, Xbox Live,  and Zune integration. The screen is on the higher side of Windows Phones at 4.3″ and it has Dolby Digital speakers that give it quite a kick. Speaking of kick, it’s got a kickstand. Kickstands are just awesome and will make Netflix and other video awesome to watch. All this for $100 makes it a killer T-Mo phone.

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>ASUS Announces UX21, Tablets, Macbook Air Beware

ASUS UX21

>Apparently not satisfied with just announcing the Voltron-esque Padfone, ASUS also announced a few more devices. First up is the Eee Pad MeMO 3D, a 7″ IPS glasses-free 3D display running Honeycomb. What’s really cool about this guy is that it is 3G enabled. That’s nothing new, but tablets can’t exactly be used for phone calls very well. But it will be bundled with the MeMic bluetooth handset. The MeMic will allow you to take calls, control music, and a few other basic functions.

The other big device announced today was the UX21, an ultra thin laptop that will be going head-to-head with the Macbook Air. The laptop is built almost entirely out of aluminum, the trackpad made of glass, and only weighs 2lbs. There will be a few models, all running Windows 7, with the highest end rocking Intel’s Core i7 processors. In addition to that, you’ll get a SATA III Solid State Drive, allowing this thing to go from sleep to fully active in 2 seconds. Literally. ASUS claims that the battery can last up to a week when hibernating. No pricing was announced, but we’ll find out soon since this bad boy launches this September.

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>ASUS Makes Official the Padfone, Gives Us Little More Details

>As we told you yesterday, ASUS officially announced the Padfone. The fone will be a 4.3″ touchscreen, the Pad will have a 10.1″. For now. Basically, all of this is subject to change since there aren’t any working devices, just plastic mock ups. ASUS has said that it will be shooting for a holiday launch and that it won’t be running Honeycomb, so you’ll most likely be getting Ice Cream Sandwich. The fone will dock into the back through microUSB and microHDMI. The Pad is just a big screen with a microphone or two, a big speaker, and an extra battery. The fone part will still be doing all the processing. We’ll keep you posted as more details arrive!

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> ASUS “Padfone” to be Announced Tomorrow, Emulate Voltron?

>If that picture looks weird to you, that’s ok. Everyone is a bit confused about this guy. What you see there is a render of the ASUS Padfone. From the looks of it, it is an Android phone that will dock into a larger tablet, presumably giving you access to the same content on a much bigger screen. The guys at Pocket Now broke this story, and the details are scant for now. Fortunately, we won’t have to wait long as it looks like ASUS will officially announce the Padfone tomorrow at Computex. We’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, leave a comment below if you want something like this or could think of any worse of a name.

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