Continuing the superhero theme, I downloaded the first episode of "Heroes" Season 2, entitled "Four Months Later ... ," onto the phones. This was a 506,359-kbyte file.
Audio CD test
We performed the final set of tests by downloading an audio CD to the phones. I tried to find something that fit the theme, but my collection was sadly lacking. I have been listening to the Flobots' "Fight with Tools" in my car and, while the music could not be considered heroic, the band name certainly sounds like it should be.
And the winner is ...
The RIM BlackBerry Bold came out on top again this year. And again I am left wondering why, as the BlackBerry is traditionally perceived as the ultimate tool for e-mail communication while the other phones are pitched as multimedia devices.
It all comes down to the inclusion of the Cypress Semiconductor CYWB0124AB West Bridge peripheral controller. This is the same part found in the previous BlackBerry 8120. The device works the same way, by providing a direct connection of peripherals and creating fast transfer tunnels without loading the main processor. Instead of routing files from the computer through the phone processor to the storage device, it sets up a tunnel directly from the computer to the storage device.
One neat thing I discovered--almost by accident--is that you can still watch video and listen to music on the BlackBerry's internal memory while downloading content to the MicroSD card. When the other phones were plugged in, a screen popped up saying something along the lines of "Connecting phone to PC using USB cable" and preventing access to any other functions. Due to the West Bridge part, you can access the phone functions without slowing the transfer. I watched some videos while transferring the "Incredible Hulk" onto the Bold; the download speed was the same as when not using the phone.
A newer version of this device, the CYWB0224ABM, is now available. It works with even larger storage densities, including multilevel cell instead of single-level cell, as well as support for both embedded memory and external cards. This allows you to load content onto both storage mediums at the same time, getting you out the door even faster.
I am somewhat surprised that, with the improvements in cell phone technology over the past year, particularly the increase in memory densities, companies--specifically LG and Samsung--have not put more thought into enabling faster transfer speeds. Given that so much content can be loaded onto the phones, especially new models, enabling faster transfer would improve users' experience.
Interestingly, you can actually reduce the time the downloads take, resulting in even better times than I achieved. This is done by right clicking on the drive on your PC's My Computer, going into the Hardware tab in the Properties, selecting the drive and going to Properties, then optimizing for performance in the Policies tab. It may sound like a lot of steps, but it can save a lot of time when transferring a significant amount of data.
A note of caution, however: With this method, the phone must be disconnected using Safely Remove Hardware rather than just unplugging the USB cable from the computer.