Archive for November 27th, 2006

By November 27, 2006 Read More →

12 Days of Christmas Competition!

Christmas is just around the corner and to celebrate we are bringing you an extra special competition!

Our “12 Days Of Christmas” competition will run from the 1st December to the 12th December inclusive and we will be giving away at least one prize every day. I know it’s not the ‘true’ 12 days of christmas but we wanted to try and get everyone’s prize to them in time for Christmas!

On each of the 12 days we will pose a question. The winner of each prize will be chosen at random. The question will be posted at random times over the 12 days so now would be a good time to sign up for our Windows Live Alerts! If we have more than one prize on a given day then we shall pose more than one question at different times.

We’ll endeavour to post the details of the winner on the following day.

Here are some of the prizes we’ll be offering and who they have been donated by:

3 Excellent software titles from Astraware. Astraware Sudoku, Big Box of Blox and My Little Tank
Astraware
2.0GB Ultra II memory card in your choice of SD or Compact Flash courtesy of SanDisk.
SanDisk
3 Copies of the brilliant C64 Emulator from ClickGamer.
ClickGamer
iPod Shuffle 2 and iPod Nano accessories from JAVOEdge.
JAVOEdge
A Brodit car holder of your choice from the 968xxx or 971xxx series to suite your device and car. Courtesy of Nemesis.
Nemesis
A fantastic designer Radio-Controlled Alarm Clock with Digital Tuning AM/FM Radio and Barometer courtest of Clove Technology.
Clove Technology
Brando Workshops HTC TyTN Music Dock, suitable for HTC TyTN, Orange M3100, iMate JasJam, Dopod CHT 9000 and all other HTC Hermes based devices.
Brando Workshop
A brand new Sony Ericsson W850i Walkman phone with 1Gb Memory Card and Pay-as-you-go SIM from Orange.
Sony Ericson W850i
A super Toshiba DVD player sponsored by MSMobileNews.
MSMobileNews
An amazing Qtek 8500 (HTC STRTrk) provided by Expansys.
Expansys Qtek 8500
A Sony Ericsson HBH-608 bluetooth headset provided by our friend Fabien at Dafabmobiles.
Dafabmobiles
No less than 12 titles from the library of Vito Technology.
VITO Technology
A fabulous iPod Nano from the guys at expedIT Ltd.
expedIT Ltd
Some fabulous quality ‘Tracy & Matt’ branded t-shirts courtesy of Spreadshirt. Probably the most coveted prizes of all! 🙂
Spreadshirt t-shirt
A super goodie bag from the Windows Mobile team courtesy of Jason Langridge.

Windows Mobile

Each day we’ll tell you more about the prize you can win that day and about the company that donated it along with the question that you need to answer.

Keep your eyes peeled for clues being dropped between now and the start of the competition and check back regularly to see when we pose the question. Remember: the first with the correct answer will be the winner.

There are a couple of prizes that will only be open to UK residents due to regional restrictions ie. SIM Locks and Power requirements, but we’ll make that clear each day.

The above list isn’t final and we hope to offer MORE prizes along the way. In fact if anyone would like to add to our prize list please get in touch and we’ll ensure that we make it worth your while! Thank you very much to everyone that has already contributed!

Don’t forget, you are always welcome to contact us through our feedback form if there is anything you want to talk to us about or if you want to offer us products for review.

Finally, we hope you enjoy the competition and wish everyone a Merry Christmas or for those of you that don’t celebrate Christmas – Seasons Greetings! Thank you to everyone that has supported our site over the past few years. We hope to bring you more news and reviews in 2007!

Matt

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Posted in: Competitions
By November 27, 2006 Read More →

T-Mobile Vario II Reviewed

Gears for CoolSmartphone has published his review of the T-Mobile Vario II.

T-Mobile Vario II

It’s a decent review with lots of photos to illustrate the the points he raises.

This is what he has to say:

The T-Mobile MDA Vario II is an extremely powerful device. Sure, without the power-saving turned on you’ll be needing to recharge it a couple of times a day. Sure, whenever I call someone and the line is busy it goes “BEEP BEEP BEEP” at full volume from the rear speaker for no apparent reason.

Read the full review on CoolSmartphone.

Matt

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Posted in: Phones
By November 27, 2006 Read More →

Parrot MINIKIT Hands-free Speakerphone review

I’m sure that everyone knows by now that using a mobile phone in your car without some form of hands-free apparatus has been illegal in the UK since the end of 2003.

Hands-free Speakerphone

As I do a lot more driving these days I asked Matt to get me a in-car holder/charger for my T-mobile MDA so that I could use it legally with my Bluetooth Headset.

The trouble, I found, with Bluetooth headsets is that the sound quality isn’t that great for either party during the call. Several we tried seemed to pick up the road noise over and above my voice. The other problem I had was that it was never charged when I needed it!

The other option was to have a Bluetooth car kit fitted to my car. However I really didn’t want to do that. Firstly they seem to be quite expensive and they also need (ideally) professional installation. As my car is new I didn’t really want to have someone fitting anything to it.

When I found out about the Parrot MINIKIT hands-free speakerphone I asked Matt to get me one to try as it looked ideal. No installation necessary, just charge it up and use it!

MINIKIT box

A few days later the Parrot MINIKIT arrived and we charged it up for the prescribed amount of time. Pairing with MINIKIT with my phone was so simple, exactly the same way as you would deal with a Bluetooth headset.

The Parrot MINIKIT requires only three buttons to operate it. There are buttons to make and end the call plus the big button in the middle that serves as a menu button and volume control. As there is no screen on this MINIKIT the menus are accessed by voice prompt which allows you to change things like the language setting, volume settings and Bluetooth pairing. In practice I don’t think you’ll need to use the menus at all.

Parrot MINIKIT Parrot MINIKIT bottom

The MINIKIT can be ‘installed’ in the car in one of two ways. Firstly, thanks to the soft rubber feet on the bottom, it can be simply placed on the dashboard of your car and used in that way. The feet are soft and ‘rubbery’ enough to stop it sliding around under all but the most extreme of vehicle manoeuvres. The only trouble with placing the MINIKIT on the dash is that it’s on show and you really have to hide it away when you leave the car.

The other way and, in my opinion, the best way to fit it is to attach the metal clip which is included with the kit and clip it on to the drivers side sun visor. In this position it’s at the right height to pick up your voice and also nice and easy to reach in order to press any of the buttons. It also makes it unobtrusive and harder for a would-be thief to see.

Parrot MINIKIT Fitted

So what do I think of the Parrot MINIKIT?
I’m very pleased with it actually. When I first used it I called Matt while I was driving to work just to try it out. Matt didn’t even know that I was in the car as all of the vehicle noise was cancelled out. Matt said that it was just like speaking to me on a regular phone. From my point of view the sound quality was great. The loudspeaker is certainly loud enough and very clear.

Where it is mounted on the visor above my head is also ideal as I don’t have to fumble for a device sitting loose on the dash or look for a Bluetooth headset and pop it in my ear quickly before the caller rings off.

The other thing that has really impressed me about the MINIKIT is the battery life. I’ve been using it for about 2 weeks now and it’s still on the first charge. I know I don’t use it a great deal but the standby time is amazing!

What’s also important to me, being girly, is that there are no cables dangling or trailing from the unit to make my new car look untidy and nothing permanently fitted to my car.

CONCLUSION
I really like the Parrot MINIKIT, it’s ideal for me. I cant find anything bad to say about it! If you are someone that doesn’t get on well with Bluetooth headsets, or wants something a little bit better but without having anything too complicated or that needs to be installed then I would say that the MINIKIT is for you.

At the RRP of £59 I think it’s an absolute bargain!

Parrot MINIKIT Specification:

  • 3 button user interface.
  • 2W Hi-Fi speaker.
  • Omnidirectional microphone.
  • DSP-2 signal processing algorithms.
  • Built-in voice recognition software.
  • Pairing: up to five phones.
  • Recharging time: three hours maximum.
  • Talk time: 10 hours.
  • Standby time: over 275 hours.
  • Bluetooth:

  • Bluetooth
  • Bluetooth v1.2
  • Profiles supported: –
  •      •   Headset Profile HSP 1.1

         •   Hands-free Profile HFP 1.0

         •   Object Push Profile OPP

  • Maximum range: 10 metres
  • Phone pairing: by PIN code
  • Software updates by Bluetooth
  • Processor: Parrot P4 + at 64MHz; Combo flash = 16Mbits; RAM = 2Mbits
  • Dimensions: Height = 110 mm; Width = 63 mm; Depth = 28 mm; Weight = 104 grammes
  • For more information and where to buy, please visit the Parrot website.

    Tracy

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    Posted in: Reviews