Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Time to Purchase a New Cell Phone

I've had my current cell phone, a Motorola E815, for about 2-1/2 years. That is probably the longest that I have held onto a cell phone. It's time to get a new one. I've been on the Verizon network, and since I've been happy with it, I plan to stay put. I quickly narrowed down my choices to the Venus, the EnV, and the Voyager. I played with the Venus and the EnV (I think) in the Verizon Store a couple of months ago. For some reason I don't think that the Voyager was powered up or available to look at. Although I consider my current phone to have quite a few great features such as Mobile Web, Get It Now, and VCast, there are a few new features out there that my Motorola can't support such as Mobile TV and VZNavigator. The Voyager (also known as the LG VX10000) supports all of them. Therefore my research is now concentrating solely on the Voyager. At this point, I am only figuring out if there is any reason to disqualify it. I doubt I will, but we'll see. During my research, I wanted to learn more about Verizon's Mobile TV service. Apparently Verizon is using Qualcomm's technology known as MediaFLO. In some ways, Mobile TV is a lot like the digital TV that the US will supposedly be switching entirely to on February 17, 2009. Mobile TV is a broadcast-based service. The "FLO" in MediaFLO stands for Forward Link Only. This means that the cell phone does not report back to the broadcaster to indicate the data was successfully received or not. Another way they are similar is that they used advanced compression techniques for the video. Mobile TV uses AVC/H.264. I believe that HDTV settled on MPEG-2 (but I could be wrong). Also, if I am not mistaken both Mobile TV and digital TV pad the data with a bunch of extra data. This is known as Forward Error Correction.

I'll probably order this phone in a few days and have it a few days after that. I'll let you know what I think of it.