Summer touchscreen gadget overload!

 

Man oh man, it’s a great time to be a touchscreen gadget lover… that is, if you’ve got deep pockets or service with most of the major carriers in the U.S. (which I don’t, sadly). There is a veritable tidal wave of new phones coming this summer, beginning this Saturday, June 6, with the long-awaited Palm Pre from Sprint that I was salivating over last time.

But that’s not all.

Nokia has thrown their hat into the ring by announcing the new N97 (pictured above) will arrive worldwide on June 19. This is the first Nokia N-series phone to combine the slider keyboard with the touch screen and the new Ovi app store, so it’s quite a formidable opponent for the Palm Pre. The head of Nokia was at last week’s D7 conference showing it off, and now I’ve gotta get me one of those suckers, too! Since they don’t have any carrier partnerships in the U.S., at least that one is easier… it’s being sold unlocked here and it’s a GSM phone, which means it will work with my existing AT&T SIM card. But “easier” in this case means dropping $700 (although it’s on preorder now at Amazon for a bit less), but that’s better than signing up for new service somewhere, I guess.

T-Mobile has just hinted that their G1 Google phone is about to get a refresh in the next few weeks, too. I had a lot of interest in the first Android phone until I went to the T-Mobile store nearby and played with the floor model a bit… it wasn’t powered up, but the phone itself felt kind of cheap to me (and most of the reviews called them out on this as well).

Verizon is promising the Blackberry Storm 2 is imminent as well… another phone I lusted after but ultimately didn’t do anything about, after reading all the negative feedback about its software OS problems (and that lack of Wi-Fi, which was a big one for me). The Storm 2 appears poised to solve those problems, so it will be interesting to see how that one shakes out.

And last but not least, Apple’s iPhone 3G is rumored to be getting a refresh, most likely at least announced on Monday at the WWDC (their annual developer’s conference, where the street date for the iPhone 3G was announced last year). It’s public knowledge that the iPhone OS 3.0 is in beta, and yesterday afternoon, Apple pushed out an iTunes 8.2 update, with the only major feature being compatibility with said OS 3.0. Call it wishful thinking, but that tells me that OS 3.0 might be closer than we think, although I can’t imagine they’d release it prior to any new hardware… but who knows. OS 3.0 promises to bring the iPhone up to snuff with its peers, including copy, cut & paste, MMS, better YouTube integration, Bluetooth peer-to-peer connectivity, and tons of other stuff that inferior phones could already do anyway.

As far as a 2009 model iPhone goes, the safe rumors seem to be betting on a built-in magnetometer (which will greatly increase the accuracy of the motion sensors already present in the first 2 models), a camera bump to 3.2 megapixels with video recording capability, and a storage bump to 32 GB (long overdue, but I’ll take it when I can get it). There’s also the long-standing, nagging rumor of a front-facing camera for video chats, which I would welcome, too. And lest I forget, a few rumors that the new iPhone would be capable of recording H.264 HD video comparable to the Flip MinoHD. I don’t want to get my hopes up on that last one too much, but personally, I’d… well… flip out if it came true, then I would be able to carry just my iPhone around and leave my Flip MinoHD at home (or better yet, sell it on eBay).

Of course, there are tons more handsets coming this summer, but these are the ones that I’m eager to at least try out. How about you guys?

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009 at 2:35 pm and is filed under Apple Talk, Gadgets, Random Thoughts, Technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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