Feeds

Hands on with the blingest flagship phones

Haptic feedback - it's the new herpes

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Mobile World Congress I'm only here because of a terrible misunderstanding. When the News Editor asked if I wanted to go to "Mobile World Congress", I naturally jumped at the chance. Pictures of caravans, camping equipment and motorized Zimmer Frames swam before my eyes.

You know - really useful stuff. Some of the best design and technology goes into camping clobber these days, and as the proud owner of a JetBoil, I began to plot how I could blag some accessories.

You can imagine my disappointment when I arrived in Barcelona to discover that it's nothing of the sort. It's the bleeding phone show again: the GSM Association having rebranded the industry's annual get-together in a deceptive, new acryonym-free style, presumably to attract more "lifestyle" hacks and hackettes.

But it's phones you want to know about, so here they are. I had a go with eight of the key high-end models today, and here's my extremely prejudiced notebook. (I broke my newly acquired Nokia the other day - the smartest phone of all).

Measured by crowds and TV crews, the biggest attraction is Sony Ericsson's new Windows phone, the Xperia X1 - but I'll save that for last, because there's a lot less to this than you might imagine - and I want to tell you what the Koreans are doing in response to the iPhone, first.

You can already guess what they're doing: they're copying it like mad, but like a Kevin Keegan-coached back four, none of these pieces quite fit together, and a couple shouldn't be there at all.

Let's start with LG, which is promoting its new touch screens with the toe-curling slogan "Yousability".

The accompanying blurb promises "Complexity Lost" and asks:

Take out your mobile phone and set the alarm. How many menus did you have to dig through? How many buttons did you push?

A fair point, and a dig at all its rivals, particularly Nokia, with its knotty and labyrinthine S60 user interface. But then in the very next paragraph, you read this bit:

The LG-KF700 is a gadgetphile's dream, using three input methods, each assigned to the tasks at which it is most efficient.

Uh oh! ... and you know you're in for disappointment.

This is the KF-700 and the three input methods are... a large touchscreen with haptic feedback, an alphanumeric keypad and ... a scroll wheel.

LG's KF700 phone

The touchscreen gives you haptic feedback – a little buzz – when you click a control. But it also gives you a little buzz even if you don't activate a control, and just click on some dead space on the screen. So it just buzzes for the hell of it, whenever you touch it. Somebody must have thought that's cute.

I tried creating a text message, only to find that there wasn't a button for "insert contact" or "go to address book". When you use the alphanumeric keypad, it just enters numbers. Similarly, you can't use the wheel to scroll through the UI controls, like you could on a Sony Ericsson P800/P900/P910. So much of the time the wheel is "deactivated". These three UI methods just parts don't fit together.

Google advises on Yousability

Onto LG's great rival Samsung, to see how they were fighting the iPhone.

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.