The 9320 has visited more countries during its short gestation than some phones get to see in their whole lives, but it’s finally arrived. The specs are pretty much what we guessed, with the socially-focused BB OS 7.1 onboard, a 3.2-megapixel camera and typical Curve features like a 2.44-inch 320 x 240 non-touch LCD display, ‘super charged’ 1450mAh battery, FM radio and a small, lightweight 103 gram QWERTY form factor. Same specs, different day, but then there’s also microSD expandability beyond the 512MB RAM, which can’t be taken for granted, plus a new feature in the form of a dedicated BBM key on the side. As for the 9320′s cheaper sibling, the 9220 shown above, we’ve already been hands-on at BlackBerry World and spotted that one of its main sacrifices is the camera: it’s only 2-megapixels and there’s no flash. That’s all 11,000 rupees ($210) gets you.
Were you eying Bowers & Wilkins’ P5 headphones, but put off by the initial $300 (now $250) sticker price and not so inclined to the in-ear C5? Someone at the company heard you, as we’re now getting the P3 for a more affordable $200. What changes when you pocket the extra cash? You’ll get aluminum and other hallmarks of buying the British outlet’s audiophile gear, but the cost trimming brings a special “ultra-light acoustic fabric” instead of sheepskin leather and a more portable folding design instead of the pivoting earcups found on the P5. Bowers & Wilkins is light on performance details, but it promises that the design will be comfortable for long listening sessions, and there are both universal and Apple-friendly in-line remotes to make your phone calls and skip tracks. Black- and white-hued versions of the P3 should be hitting American shops in June.
Is Microsoft preparing to fill in Google’s old mobile boots? It could very well be, now that the search king has firmly committed to the hardware side of the mobile business. According to a report on GigaOM, MS was one of many potential suitors circling Motorola’s treasure trove of patents, effectively forcing El Goog to swoop in for the $12.5 billion kill. Moto’s portfolio of 17,000 patents and 7,500 patent applications would have significantly strengthened Redmond’s attack on the Android platform, but it appears the loss might actually benefit MS in other unintended ways. Despite the cheery, public well-wishing from handset makers, insider rumblings indicate a possible mass OEM defection to Windows Phone 7 could shortly be afoot, paving the way for a fierce, three-way mobile OS fight. For its part, Google doesn’t seem too worried about the competition, considering the deal’s hefty $2.5 billion break-up fee — a percentage three times that of the AT&T / T-Mobile mergerpenalty — a confident financial sign it intends to win this wireless race.
Windows Phone’s latest iteration (codename Mango) is all about keeping it in the hood. We had a chance to sit down with a Windows Phone rep before today’s big reveal, and they let us in on a couple of new features that will most definitely set the OS apart — at least when it comes to navigating the tangled web that is the internet. We did get a quick glimpse at IE9, but the new browser isn’t much of a game changer — it supports HTML5, but still won’t deliver Flash or Silverlight compatibility. The real news here is in the Bing-powered search function, which lets users surf the vast expanses of the web four different ways, with a focus on the local.
Clicking the dedicated search button from the Windows Phone home screen takes you to a familiar Bing page, offering the visual, audio, and voice options we heard rumored earlier this month, along with a city scape icon. That skyline represents Local Scout, a function that focuses your queries on the neighborhood you’re in, providing location-specific results that highlight important information about establishments and events in your immediate area. Clicking through on any link brings up general information as well as reviews gleaned from popular user-generated sites. That’s not all that’s new, however, as Mango also offers some nifty tricks in its visual search. Instead of just snapping a barcode, you can actually use a shot of the product itself to bring up information about pricing, availability, and relevant apps.
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If this image doesn’t have you completely dumbfounded, scroll down and watch the video. Sufficiently awestruck? Good. Now, for a little background on exactly how someone got a pile of Legos and a smartphone to solve the devil’s puzzle Megaminx. The aptly titled Megaminxer enlists the Mindstorms NXT kit to do the dirty work and an HTC Desire, running a custom Android app, as the brains of the operation. Said app uses the phone’s camera to take individual images of each of the puzzle’s 12 faces, then processes the information and sends a signal via Bluetooth to the NXT controller, which in turn goes to town. Unfortunately, there’s no explaining how they got the Android to dance like that, but, really, why ruin the magic?