Jul 082010
 

So, here’s a quick rant…

Last week my brother video calls me. My friend butts in to the conversation.

Friend: OMG dude do you have the new iPhone???

Me: No dude, this is an Xperia X1

Friend: Uhh dude, are you sure. Only the iPhone 4 has video calling, I saw it on a video from their public announcement thing.

Me: Uhh not true, I’m pretty sure what phone I have, haha. Video calling has been around for years and years.

Friend: No dude, it JUST came out.

Epic Fail!

The conversation went on and on. Why do people think video calling is a new thing? And why do people think only the iPhone 4 can do it? From what I heard the Video calling on the iPhone requires Wi-Fi and can’t do it over the cell network. All my phones I’ve had in the past 4 years supported video calling.

May 302010
 

Well, with the recent release of the Apple iPad, I found myself going to Apple’s site this morning to check out pricing, functionality, etc…

Not that money is an issue, but this is one pricey little piece of machinery, with all the hype I’ve been hearing in the news, I thought for sure Apple would have made a feature set that really puts a bang for a buck. As much as they probably did design this for the consumer, I was curious about how it could fit in to the business life of a young professional.

I quickly jumped on YouTube, and searched for iPad reviews. I’m not going to go into too much detail as to what I saw, but here’s a quick list of pros and cons (this is personally MY opinion).

Pros:

-Handheld tablet, excellent battery life

-That’s it?

Cons:

-iPhone/iPod interface

-The interface is designed for your typical non-technical monkey, I feel trapped in these interfaces (you could call it technical Closter phobia).

-I still have yet to find out the difference between this, and a giant sized iPod Touch! It’s funny that my spell check keeps mistaking iPad for iPod! hahaha

Anyways! Some time ago, I heard about the possibility of a Microsoft Tablet. Keep in mind I’m a HUGE fan of exchange, ActiveSync, and some of the work Microsoft is doing with their Enterprise Software Suites (their Unified Messaging, work with VoIP, etc…). The only phone I will ever use is a Microsoft Windows Mobile based phone.

I was looking forward to a tablet from Microsoft that allowed you to collect notes during those long meetings, have it sync up with Exchange/Outlook, organize it inside of some new piece of software with a crazy interesting codename only to later jump on your desktop computer, review the notes, and use them to plan the next big project. I was looking forward to a device that allowed the professional to be totally connected with summaries of information available as his/her fingertips that he or she would normally have on their computers. I could go on and on, but from what I hear, the project has been canceled.

What happened Microsoft? I know you have your reasons, but you had me so excited!

Apr 242010
 

Noticed quite a bit of traffic coming in from people searching for this so I thought I would post it…

Below are the settings for the Xperia and Windows Mobile phones for MMS and Internet:

Generic Internet:

APN: internet.com

User: blank

Pass: blank

VPN Connect (Settings if you pay for the VPN option):

APN: vpn.com

User: blank

Pass: blank

MMS Settings:

For MMS, create a data connection (cellular 3G) for your “Work Connection”.

APN: media.com

User: media

Pass: mda01

Then go to your text messages, hit “Menu” at the bottom right. Select “MMS Options…”. Select the servers tab at the bottom of the screen. Select New.

Server Name: Rogers MMS

Gateway: 10.128.1.69

Port: 80

Server Address: http://mms.gprs.rogers.com/

Connectvia: My Work Network (This is the connection you configured above)

Send Limit: 300K

WAP Version: WAP 2.0

And that’s it!

Apr 242010
 

For those of you that find the “SMS Succesfully Sent” notification annoying on Windows Mobile 6.X you can disable it by modifying the phone registry. Please note that I always use “CeRegEditor” available from http://ceregeditor.mdsoft.pl/

To disable the SMS Sent Notification:

Open the registry and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Inbox\Settings. If the Settings folder does not exist, create it.

Look for SMSNoSentMsg (it is a DWORD value), change it to “0” (without quotations). If it does not exist, create it.

Some users who have been using unlocked phones on local providers (including Rogers and Fido) have been having issues with the time on text messages being wrong. This is due to the incorrect time being provided on the cell network. To correct, see below.

To remove the time issues of received text messages:

Open the registry and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\OEM\PhoneSetting.

Create a new DWORD value called “TrustTimeZoneField” and set it to a value of “0” (without quotations).

Apr 242010
 

Around June of 2009 I purchased a (Silver) Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 Windows Mobile phone (unlocked directly from Sony). I’ve always been a die-hard enthusiast of Windows Mobile based devices and try to keep up to date with the latest and greatest phones coming out. As of April 2010 I recently signed up on a Rogers Corporate plan and received a bunch of new black Xperia X1s for me and my employees, I decided to keep my old silver one in case of an emergency.

In the past I’ve had:

-Red-E Microsoft Developer Smartphone

-Motorola MPX220

-HP iPaq hw6955 (My Review available here)

-I Mate SP3i

-I Mate SP5

-HTC TyTN II

And it’s only fair that the Xperia X1 get’s added to the list as the latest and greatest!

Keep in mind this review is coming from a professional user, and not a media junky. I use e-mail, open word documents, call people, text, view sites, Google maps, etc… I do not use my phone to watch movies, buy pointless apps, etc… But I do send out a hundred e-mails daily.

Upon un-boxing, you’ll get all excited. This is an extremely sexy phone and as I mentioned before it is extremely small for the punch it packs! The device itself comes with a headset which sounds pretty good, also a FM radio antenna dongle which connects between the phone and the headset (it’s optional only if you want to use the FM tuner).

The device runs the standard Windows Mobile 6.1 professional operating system. Configuring Exchange push with your SSL certificates is the same as any other device. One thing I have noticed is that this phone can handle large amounts of e-mail, calendars, and contacts way faster than any of the previous devices I have had. During the first sync, the phone chews through all the information no problem, where with previous phones the phone would sort of freeze because of all the information coming in. This phone has WAY more memory then any Windows Mobile device I have used in the past, which is great considering my old phones hated me for the amounts of e-mail I wanted to ActiveSync…

The screen is beautiful and vibrant. I believe that the resolution is higher than most standard devices so you have to keep in mind that some of your media application might not function properly. However you can always use Windows Media Mobile, or use the Xperia Media panel to view content.

Panels are something new from Sony. At first I thought I was going to hate panels and never use them, but after owning the phone for some time, I have to say I love them. A panel essentially changes your Windows Mobile Today screen with a different application (if that makes sense). You can change your today screen to Face book, Twitter (currently beta), Media viewer, Google Search, Windows Live, etc…  (As of today’s date there are 21+ panels available on Sony’s site). When hitting the panel button you are showed 9 panels which you select to show up, unfortunately you can’t increase or decrease this.

Calling on this phone is very slick. Unlock other touch screens I have had no problems using my finger to dial on the big phone pad via Touch Screen (and I have big fingers). The phone volume allows you to crank the volume up pretty high. Call quality is also amazing (as long as the person you’re talking to doesn’t have a crappy phone). Video calling on this phone rocks. For the most part it’s clear, and the camera quality is great for cell phone video calling. Just make sure you don’t rack up huge costs by video calling all your friends.

One of my biggest pet peeves about this phone is the fact you cannot record 30fps video at high quality. This is because of some patent or copyright issue between one of the chip manufactures and a patent or something inside of North America. Only the North American versions of this phone have this problem.

The phone is a small little device, perfect for carrying around in your suit pocket. You can pop in and pull it out of your favorite pair of jeans as well. The keyboard is a tad bit small, but after a few months of frustration you’ll get used to typing on it and will be able to pump out messages pretty fast.

With phone’s that look as fragile as these I often get concerned that with heavy use the phone will become damaged just from general use, but this is not the case. Please note that if you purchase the Silver version, you will have to be a little bit more gentle as the case is made with crappy plastic that can crack easily, the black version of the phone feels a little better as the back portion of the case feels like it is made from a plastic/rubber mix.

I’d recommend this phone to any professional who needs to stay connected. DO NOT get this phone if you have bad eyes (you won’t be able to read the screen).

Pros:

-One of the most responsive Windows Mobile phones I have used/owned.

-Keyboard open/close screen swap (portrait/landscape) changes very quickly.

-3 words: SONY PANELS ROCK!

-Great Picture Quality

-Super high resolution (good for those of you with good eyes)

-Optic touchpad is great for scrolling

-Great call quality

-GPS works great, get’s a fix on your location very fast after your first fix.

-Skype calls actually use the earpiece and mic on the phone as if you were making a normal phone call.

Cons:

-Horrible video frame rate on high resolution videos (this is due to some copyright or patent issue a chip manufacturer had in North America). This issue only affects North American versions of the phone.

-The Silver edition cracks very easily, after receiving the black version from Rogers, the case feels slightly rubber now instead of cheap fake chrome.

-Camera button, and up button on front controls are both annoying.

-There is no “Start” hard-button on the phone, you must use the touch screen, or pop out keyboard.

Apr 222010
 

For the longest time I’ve been on Fido with a unlocked (direct from Sony) Xperia X1a. I’ve never had any problems with it at all. Everything worked flawless. It was a great setup. Exchange, connecting to my VPN, etc…

Recently I setup a corporate plan with Rogers. Ended up getting a bunch of Xperia X1s at a discounted rate since I signed a 3 year on a bunch of lines… Turns out Rogers charges you for an “external IP” that you can use to connect to your business VPN. If you don’t add this option you will not be able to connect to a VPN.

After setting up the VPN.com apn on the new rogers (rogers firmware) Xperia X1s, I noticed that everything worked except simple web page browsing (in both browsers). No errors, just loaded completely blank pages. When changing apn back to internet.com everything worked fine. I automaticly assumed this was related to a “hidden proxy” configured somewhere on the phone.

From this behavior I went ahead and checked the config on the device, no proxies were configured anywhere. Rogers denied the proxy existed, I’m not sure if they do this because they don’t want anyone knowing their internet is being filtered/monitored, or if tech’s simply do not know.

While waiting for a call back from Tier 2 support, I went ahead and started fishing through the registry. I found a bunch of very odd registry entries pertaining to proxies. There was a SOCKS proxy configured, along with what appeared to be a HTTP Proxy, a few other entries also existed which were configured.

After removing these “odd” proxy registry keys, all of a sudden everything started working. Please note that if you modify these settings, you may break your configuration. Any of your providers “online” services (such as ring tone marketplace, application marketplace, etc…) also may cease to function properly (as these services are probably being hosted on their internal network).

To Remove:

1. Open your phone’s registry using any Windows Mobile Registry editor. I use “CeRegEditor” available at: http://ceregeditor.mdsoft.pl/

2. Open “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE”, then open “Comm”, then open “ConnMgr”. Under this value, you should be able to see all the devices configured GPRS/HSPA/HSDPA data connections. Browse through the folders and look for a “Proxy” entry. The “Proxy” entry is the configured hidden proxy. I simply deleted this key. If you find anything that has a value of “inet-new” or “inet-corp” you can safely ignore these as I have found they are part of the standard Windows Mobile firmware.

3. Take a look at the other folders under “ConnMgr”, you may notice a few items called “SOCKS”, and “HTTP”. Go into these folders, and remove the proxy values. As I mentioned before if you see any keys with the values “inet-new” or “inet-corp” you can safely ignore these.

Please note that this worked in my specific case. Your results may vary. Also insure that you have made a backup of the keys you have modified in case you need to revert back. Depending on the way your provider has configured your device you may also be tampering with other services (ie. MMS, WAP).