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AVAILABLE: Samsung releases 1st free Windows Mobile 6 ROM upgrades for the SGH-i600 [UPDATE 2]
Posted by Arne Hess - on Monday, 30.07.07 - 12:04:32 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News - Viewed 43036x
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This is the most interesting news for Samsung SGH-i600 owners and something historic for Samsung Windows Mobile devices! The Korean mobile phone manufacture just released the long awaited (and never officially announced) Windows Mobile 6 Standard ROM upgrade for its bestselling Samsung SGH-i600 and it's available for free for European i600 owners!
While it's actually available for certain countries only (Netherlands and Russia) other localized versions will follow soon (incl. France, Germany, Italy and the U.K.). Furthermore I got the word that all upcoming i600s will be sold with Windows Mobile 6 pre-installed!

During the past weeks, I was already able to pretest a Beta version on my SGH-i600 and I can tell you it rocks! Part of the Windows Mobile 6 ROM are Office Mobile (incl. Word Mobile, Excel Mobile and PowerPoint Mobile and support for Office 2007 XML-based file formats) as well as Windows Live and Windows Live Messenger (even if I'm not sure if I like it). And for sure, Samsung again put the Home screen carousel in the ROM:


As said, these downloads are/will be available free of charge for all European SGH-i600 customers but the ROM upgrade is designed for the i600 only. Don't try to upgrade a Samsung BlackJack (US version of the i600) since the radio parts are different (as well as the BlackJack excludes WiFi and the front-facing video telephony cam).
Keep an eye on the upgrade page to make sure you are not missing the release for your country.

UPDATE: As some users told me, it seems you definitely need a PC with Windows XP and ActiveSync 4.x as it seems Windows Vista and Windows Mobile Device Center doesn't lets you upgrade. Too bad, so make sure to either downgrade your PC before you try to upgrade your device or find a friend still running Windows XP. I'll keep you updated.

UPDATE: According to several reports from users which upgraded to the official Windows Mobile 6 bits, Office Mobile isn't part of the shipping version anymore (unlike I've reported above). According to a statement from Samsung Benelux, it was removed in favor of the Picsel Viewer. (See the full translation here - thanks to Robert Webbe for the follow-up)
That's too bad. While the Picsel Viewer is a great viewer, it doesn't allows you to edit and modify Word Mobile and Excel Mobile documents at all (which makes sense because it's a viewer only). So I'm sorry to say that the release version is different from the Beta version I had my hands on.

Cheers ~ Arne


 
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Comments
Posted by Felix_Austria on 30.07.07 - 14:46:23

Now that's good news, thanks a lot for the update. I was uncertain if I should go with the HTC Cavalier or the Samsung I600 and decided for the Cavalier already because of Windows Mobile 6. But now, where the I600 gets all the WM6 love also I will go with the I600 instead. Any ideas where to get it (together with the extended battery) in Austria?

Posted by Iván Rodríguez on 30.07.07 - 14:58:02

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

You know I have been waiting for this since January. At last they decided to release the ROM update.

You gave me the info that you were told they were going to do it for sure, and then I wans not so sure they would do it. So that's a big point for you and your inside news smile

I will continue to visit this great site again and again and again. It's one of the best places to get info!

Ups, I forgot to ask... where is the update available?
Also I believe that all ROM updates for Windows Mobile Standard devices include all languages, am I wrong?
So could I install this update although it is not from the Spanish website?

Thanks in advance smile

Posted by Arne Hess on 30.07.07 - 15:18:27

@Felix_Austria: As I said, I was playing with a Beta ROM for some time now and it's definitely worth to wait for! smile
Regarding availability: You might want to try Handit.de (http://www.handit.de/index.php?fuseacti … uktid=4897) or Expansys.at (http://www.expansys.at/p.aspx?i=145998). However, Expansys.at has the QWERTY version only while Handit.de has the (German) QWERTZ version (where I also got one i600 from). But in any case, both are the right choice and AFAIK the latest batch includes the extended battery already.

@Iván Rodríguez: Thanks for the kind words and that you are a happy reader of the::unwired. I'm trying hard to provide you (and all other readers) the best and most accurate info! Sure I told you that the Windows Mobile 6 upgrade is coming! wink I was playing with it already but I was asked not to talk about it for some good reasons. Anyway, the i600 with Windows Mobile 6 rocks (the device rocked with Windows Mobile 5.0 already but Windows Mobile 6 includes some great improvements) and I'm sure you will have much joy with the upgrade as well.

In any case, I would better wait for the upgrade available from Samsung Spain. I'm not sure which languages the localized versions includes. Since my ROM was a Beta, I cannot tell you how the final version will look. So please, stay tuned until Spain releases it - it's worth to wait! smile

Posted by Iván Rodríguez on 30.07.07 - 15:29:34

OK Arne, thank you again and congratulations for the great job you do.

Posted by Iván Rodríguez on 30.07.07 - 16:57:04

Just another question Arne, do you find the device to be faster than with Windows Mobile 5.0?

Because I find it to be a little slow and I was thinking on overclocking it a bit smile

Posted by Arne Hess on 30.07.07 - 18:13:45

Hmmm... No, I wouldn't say that the device is faster overall. The CPU with its current clocking has its limits, so overclocking might makes it faster. But I think overclocking consumes more battery and I'm quite happy with the current speed since it allows me to even watch streamed TV over the Slingbox.
If you mean if the OS itself is snappier - yes I would think so since Windows Mobile 6 is definitely improved, compared to Windows Mobile 5.0

Posted by Iván on 30.07.07 - 21:19:41

I tried installing the Netherlands version in my spanish i600v from vodafone but it does not let me. When I click con check the device it says "Incorrect Software version. Check device" Although in the installation process it lets me select Spanish language

Will I have to wait? there is no Spanish flag on the web sad

Posted by Burm on 30.07.07 - 22:17:35

Just 1 Question for Arne (while I'm waiting for my version to be released)
Does "Carousel" have some improvement? Does it have WM6 function integrated, such as Live Messenger (It should has it own tab for Messenger)
Accessing Live Messenger from "Start Menu only" is frustrating.

Posted by Simon on 30.07.07 - 22:23:41

Hey Ivan!

I am also one of those who can't wait :-) Can you please tell me where to download the dutch firmware upgrade? Neither found it on samsung.nl, nor on samsungmobile.nl. I have an unbranded version of the i600, maybe it works for me. I will tell you after receiving the firmware.


Regards,

Simon

Posted by Iván on 30.07.07 - 22:36:06

It's in samsungmobile.com/i600

You will have to understand Dutch!
And remember you do it at your own risk smile
Just tell me if it works for you

Posted by Arne Hess on 30.07.07 - 23:22:52

@Burm: No, the Carousel (in the version I've tested) is just the same as it is with Windows Mobile 5.0. No Windows Live Messenger, no further changes or enhancements. Keep in mind - you can access running programs from the task manager by pressing and holding the Home button which launches i600 task manager.

@Simon: Iván told you the link already. In any case, all further links are always under the article in the "Related Links" section - in this case you can find it under "Related Links" -> "More Information & Download".

Posted by Simon on 31.07.07 - 00:40:23

Alright, tried to upgrade but get the same error ("Incorrect Software Version. Check the device."). At first I thought that it has something to do with Vistas Mobile Device Center as Samsung wants us to upgrade via Active Sync and an outdated Modem Driver for Win 2000/XP but this is not the case. The software checks for the right version number before upgrading. You need a dutch version of Windows Mobile 5, i.e. a version number starting with "i600UXX". My phone was shipped in Germany, its version number starts with "i600XXG". For sure there are easy (and illegal) ways to change the version number on the phone or bypassing this test by patching the upgrader but as I need the phone for my business I am not willing to test it.
I bet that the upgrade would work on an unbranded european version of the i600 with changed version number / patched upgrader, but let's better wait a few more days/weeks until upgrades are available for more countries instead of wasting our time.  Simon

Posted by Burm on 31.07.07 - 06:22:03

Thanks Arne. I just hope it should be better if I could sign in through Carousel.

Posted by Arne Hess on 31.07.07 - 08:57:03

No question, I would also appreciate at least one customizable tab where you can select applications to launch. For instance I'm missing to launch my Internet Explorer Mobile from the Carousel or the Windows Live Messenger. On the other hand, I've customized the "Wheel Launcher" (press and hold the wheel) with all these applications including direct shortcuts to URLs (which is working great). This "Wheel Launcher" is part of both, the Windows Mobile 5.0 ROM and the new Windows Mobile 6 ROM.
So in general, I see the Carousel more as a kind of output service which allows me to access the one or the other function. As a launcher, I'm either using the Start menu or the "Wheel Launcher".

Posted by Paul_G on 01.08.07 - 08:49:49

THANK YOU Samsung! Great you are taking care of us!!! Please, make the other countries available soon!

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