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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

What is T-Mobile's EDGE cellular network?

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I've received a few e-mails regarding the EDGE availability on T-Mobile's branded Samsung t809 cellular phone. EDGE is the faster replacement of T-Mobile's previous (and still used) GPRS network.

EDGE stands for Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution. It is a digital technology which works to replace the previous GPRS technology -- it is available on any network that has GPRS, if the network provider (T-Mobile in this case) provides the upgrades needed.

EDGE uses some new schemes to get more bandwidth out of basically the same area in the spectrum. EDGE can provide up to 3 times as much bandwidth as GPRS did -- meaning three times faster download speeds. EDGE also uses the bandwidth more efficiently, offering even faster speeds as GPRS was not the most efficient use of the spectrum.

EDGE competes with other spectrum uses too -- notably UMTS and EVDO, which are used by other network providers. Those may be faster than EDGE, but EDGE seems to have better coverage at the higher speeds.

EDGE's maximum speed is considered to be 236.8 kbit/s, which is called Class 10. The Samsung t809 cellular phone sold by T-Mobile can handle this Class 10 bandwidth.

At the most basic usage, EDGE will provide fast Internet access to your phone and any PC/PDA that can tether to your phone. Even at only 150 kbit/s, one would still see speeds 6-10 times faster than GPRS or even a dial up modem on a regular phone line.

Other uses of EDGE might be VoIP, real time security monitoring and other digital processes that can utilize a higher bandwidth.

As of this date, the current companies have EDGE in some or all of their network:

Austria - Mobilkom Austria
Azerbiajan - Azercell
Belarus - Velcom
Belgium - Orange
Canada - Rogers Wireless
Czech Republic - T-Mobile
India - AirTel
Finland - Sonera
Finland - Elisa Oyj
Finland - Dna Finland
France - Orange, Bouygues Telecom
Israel - Cellcom
Malaysia - DiGi
Mexico - Telcel, movistar
Moldova - Moldcell
Netherlands - Telfort
Poland - Orange
Slovakia - Orange
South Africa - Cell C, MTN
Thailand - DTAC
United States - Cingular, T-Mobile

Monday, January 23, 2006

International / Multicarrier Samsung t809 cell phone usage

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I'm going to be traveling to Europe and Asia in February and March and would love to get some input on using the phone in different markets. I'll surely be taking notes on where it works with T-Mobile and what carriers it has worked well with.

I also want to get the Internet support set up in the FAQ for EVERY provider. If you're using the Samsung t809 cellular phone on a non-USA-TMobile network, let me know. If you have GPRS working or not, let me know. I'll get it sorted out and see what we can do!

Thanks for everyone's support, I've got a lot of adding and updating to do in the next few days.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

FAQ updates!

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I've updated the FAQ today and will continue to do so. I'll likely have quite a bit more information to add, so if you're watching it, take a look at the end of today. I'll also try to get a PDF version of the FAQ online so you can download and print it.

Thanks for all the help and comments, I'll be going through ALL the comments today in the entire history of this site and making sure all your questions are answered in the FAQ.

Friday, January 13, 2006

t809 MP3 to 3GP conversion "software"

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I've been getting SO MANY MP3 questions in e-mail, I decided to make a simple batch file to help those who are having problems.

Download this file directly into the folder with the MP3 files you want to put on your phone. I recommend copying your MP3's into a temporary file to rename them. Double click the batch file, it takes about 1/2 second to run (you will get no message that it ran). Hit the F5 key to refresh the folder and the files will magically be 3GPs. Copy them to your phone.

E-mail me or post here if you have any questions. This only works with Windows PCs (any Windows PC) as I am not familiar with Mac or Linux scripting tools.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

t809 dust update -- bad news?

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I received my phone back this morning -- my tech friend didn't want to take it apart. He said it is definitely more complicated, and while it can be done, it will likely be damaged by MOST users. As such, he's recommending sending any phone with dust problems back for repair or replacement. Since I didn't want a $300 brick, I'm going to wait until used phones are available cheaply before I go and ruin my toy, sorry folks. If anyone wants to throw $150 in for more research, I'll move further on it.

Back to the drawing board -- I'm going to try a few different tactics to try to clean out the screen. I found some interesting "hairs" that can be used to slide into crevices to remove gunk, I'm going to see if I can use them to find the real "hole" into the inside. I'm still believing it is under the swivel camera, as my rubber "plug" has given me no more dust.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

T-Mobile WAP outage (Chicago, New York) -- BACK UP

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Just a few minutes ago, users in New York and Chicago have started to experience an outage for data services with T-Mobile.

If you attempt to use WAP from your t809 (or any cell likely), you may get a "Error: Network unavailable" message. You are not alone -- calling T-Mobile will likely not expedite anything.

Some have said they can connect through Bluetooth modem -- I've confirmed that it IS working for me (Northern Chicago suburbs). This might just mean that T-Mobile's "WAP" servers are down but the EDGE/GPRS network is not.

I will try to edit this message when I confirm the services are back up.


As of about 8:50PM CST it looks like WAP is back up. If I notice another problem I'll post here!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Samsung t809 dust prevention

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Over the weekend, I put my t809 in my jeans pocket every minute I was out (and some time at the house). I received ZERO additional dust. The solution? Plugging the hole under the swivel-camera. It is a GLARING mistake that Samsung should have not released.

My "date" in the clean room is postponed for a few more days -- I will have the phone apart hopefully by Wednesday with photos, sorry for the delay. I'm getting free time with an engineer, so I have to deal with his schedule.

Once I have the phone apart, I will make measurements needed to find the best way to plug the camera hole. I used a very thin piece of canvas-paper, but the camera gets jammed in one position. I'll be trying some thin plastic film next.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Cell phone accessories

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I receive a few e-mails every day regarding cell phone accessories for the t809 and haven't really seen a single source of information for what works and what doesn't.

If you've tried certain items (cell phone cases, cell phone screen protectors, cell phone Bluetooth handsfree headsets, etc) and they worked or didn't work, let me know. I'll be starting a separate FAQ next week and will keep it updated with my research and your research as well.

I'll be offering some giveaways soon for those offering to share their advice for the FAQs I'm maintaining.

Friday, January 06, 2006

t809 dust problem continues

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This phone is like an iPod: nearly impossible to take apart to clean. Compressed air is a failure -- using a 5000psi compressed air bottle outputting 850psi I was unable to get the dust out. I was able to get it to clump a bit to one side, so my problem is "fixed" temporarily. Since the one day I jeans-pocketed the phone and got the dust, I haven't added any as the phone now stays in its satin-lined pocket. For those with dust problems, get a replacement phone and get yourself a nice satin-lining in your pocket ($5 from any good seamstress).

I've tried about 10 different tactics to get the dust out but none worked well. I even spoke with an engineering friend who specializes in static protection for equipment (he recommended trying to statically move the dust) and that didn't help at all.

I'm taking the phone to a relatively clean room at a local chip manufacturer in Illinois to see if we can take it apart with some experts -- hopefully I won't end up with a $350 piece of plastic. I'll take pictures if we end up getting it apart.

Again, my dust problem is no big deal at all, but for those who put the phone in any cloth pocket, it'll get really ugly really quickly. Be careful!

The PR Newsire released a nice run-down of all the Samsung phones, including the t809. It seems Samsung will have a bigger share of phones with new technology.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Samsung's announces more T-Mobile phones

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Seems like Samsung announced yesterday another version of the t809 for the T-Mobile market: the t709. It looks to be similar to the t809 with the addition of WiFi. Looks to be released the second quarter of 2006.

PC Magazine also throws up an article today about Samsung's latest releases. They also bring in a question I was asking myself: will the t709 allow Voice over WiFi?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Samsung announced the D807

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A few hours ago, Samsung announced the D807 -- a version of the t809 for other carriers. The t809 is a T-Mobile branded phone, the D807 will be released initially to Cingular in the second quarter of 2006.

Another article with more Samsung phones is available here.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Picture ID and Caller Ringtone?

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While this information is in the manual, I am still seeing 2 or 3 e-mails a day regarding setting up a custom picture and ringtone for a particular caller.Once you have their number saved in your phone book, you can customize their calling options easily.

Click the Phonebook button (right side top button), select 2 Contact list, and scroll to find the saved phonebook listing. Click Options -> 1 View and scroll to select either Picture ID or Ringtone and hit Options -> Edit. YOu can now select a picture or a ringtone. Once selected, Save the changes, and you're good to go!

The Samsung t809's phonebook is not as powerful as some previous phones, and some users are unhappy about the limitations in the number of phone numbers, lack of contact address information and the like. I use my t809 in unison with a PDA, so I'm able to save much more information. I do understand the need to have more features if you only want to port around one device -- I'm surprised at Samsung's decision to minimize the interface this way.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Samsung t809 Screen Protector

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I've received numerous e-mails and comments regarding which screen protectors fit the t809. Up to now, I only cut my own (pain in the rear).

I ordered a bunch of different ones to find the best one -- should receive them this week. My sources tell me the t809 has the same size screen as the Samsung i600, A760, and D415/D410, but I'll know this week and hopefully have some links up for others.

If you do know, post a comment so I can confirm it from a few different sources.

Still working on the screen dust problem, have some good news and some neutral news!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

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Please visit our new website at Samsung t809 FAQ

I'm off today, taking care of cleaning up the house -- if you're new to this blog, check out the FAQ I've put together. I'm going to do some updates on it tomorrow, so stay tuned.

The link to the FAQ is in the sidebar on the right, under links.


 
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