Saturday, November 25, 2006

Cingular BlackJack i607 is a Winning Handheld

You won't take too much of a gamble with the new Cingular BlackJack wireless device. This Windows smartphone takes on the Palm Treo, the Motorola Q and the BlackBerry devices to offer a winning combination of features for the mobile professional.

The BlackJack is a Samsung smartphone that's only available with Cingular Wireless service. But, it's hooked up for high speed data downloads via Cingular's HSDPA service at up to 700 Kbps or EDGE at up to 144 Kbps. Cingular has been slower out of the gate for 3G network deployment than Verizon or Sprint, but they have the advantage of being able to offer a true "world phone" with quad band GSM and dual band UMTS service. UMTS or Universal Mobile Telecommunications System is the GSM equivalent of EVDO in the CDMA world. HSDPA is the fastest service, followed by EDGE, and GPRS for speeds equivalent to dial-up. Both voice and data access are almost universally available, but your download speed will depend on where you are. Generally, the most populated areas and high traffic business travel locations like airports have the best cellular broadband connectivity.

Another notable characteristic of the BlackJack, also known as the Samsung i607, is that it is only a half-inch in thickness. Thin profile cell phones and wireless messaging devices are the current fashion in wireless design. The trick is to get both high functionality and long battery life in a thin design. This one doesn't disappoint, as talk time is up to 330 minutes or 5 1/2 hours. Standby is up to 11 days. It's lightweight, too. Just 3.5 ounces, making it easy to carry in a pocket or bag.

You'll also find a full backlit QWERTY keyboard with angled keys. It's exactly what's needed for the fully featured Pocket Outlook email client. You'll have attachment viewing for Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents and PDF documents. You can synch over the air using ActiveSync or via Bluetooth or USB cable. The Microsoft Outlook Calendar supports meeting requests.

Other messaging features include Microsoft Pocket Explorer with HTML support for Web browsing, SMS text messaging, multimedia messaging, and Instant messaging with popular IM clients already loaded.

The Cingular BlackJack offers a 1.3 Megapixel digital camera with 2x digital zoom and picture editing tools. It will capture video at 15 frames per second in H.263 and MPEG4 formats. Viewing is made vivid with a 2.2 inch TFT 65K color main display. The BlackJack supports streaming multimedia and includes an MP3 player for tunes and podcasts. The Bluetooth on this device includes streaming to wireless stereo headsets using the A2DP protocol, as well as the more common clip-on telephony headsets.

BlackJack has a 200 MHz TI processor running Windows Mobile 5.0. Built-in memory is 120 MB ROM and 64 MB Ram. However, expandable memory cards can boost that up to 2 GB of storage using the microSD/TransFlash card format. The outstanding phone book gives you 36 fields per contact plus notes. Voice-activated dialing lets you record voice tags for phone book entries, as well as voice memos.

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