Archive for November, 2006

By November 17, 2006 Read More →

Pocket PC Software

Recently we have been getting a lot of email requests for “Pocket PC Software for my new phone” and “Where can I find smartphone software?” in fact I had a look at the recent search phrases for our site and one very popular phrase is “M3100 Software” or “M3100 Games”.

So in an effort to give our visitors what they want we provide, for your viewing pleasure, the following links:

  • ClickGamer – mobile games for all platforms.
  • ClickAps – applications for Pocket PC, Smartphone and other mobiles.
  • Clickgamer and ClickAps offer excellent software for Pocket PC, Smartphone, PSP, Blackberry, Java/Mobile, Palm, Symbian and more. We are working on some Pocket PC game reviews at the moment so expect to see them here soon!

    Matt

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    Posted in: Apps & Games
    By November 16, 2006 Read More →

    Nikon announce the D40

    Nikon have just announced their latest digital SLR camera, the Nikon D40.

    Nikon D40

    “Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce the D40, a new interchangeable-lens digital SLR that combines the brilliant performance of world-famous Nikkor interchangeable lenses and the practicality of a remarkably small and light camera body. The D40 has been designed with
    handling and performance advantages that do away with the frustrations often associated with compact digital cameras, making it ideal for anyone who wants to capture spectacular digital pictures without complications.

    Thanks to Nikon’s leading digital and optical technologies, the D40 makes it amazingly simple to capture beautiful pictures in almost any situation. The D40’s body* is light and compact, making it easy to carry anywhere, and its design incorporates fewer potentially confusing controls and other distractions, allowing anyone to take breathtaking pictures while eliminating the need to “learn” photography.

    The D40 features a high-resolution 6.1-effective-megapixel Nikon DX Format CCD image sensor and a highly advanced Nikon Image Processing Engine. These combine to produce exceptional image detail with true, vivid colors. Nikon’s exclusive 3D Color Matrix Metering II assures accurate exposure control even in difficult lighting conditions. Using its 420-pixel sensor, the D40 instantly assesses and compares each scene’s brightness, contrast and color with its built-in database of information from over 30,000 real-world lighting scenarios, then instantaneously determines and sets the accurate exposure.

    It will be interesting to see the D40 in action as 6.1 megapixels may seem low to some poeple but Nikon are putting the emphasis on quality rather than quantity. I need to get my hands on one!

    Matt

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    Posted in: Cameras
    By November 16, 2006 Read More →

    Samsung BlackJack in Cingular stores

    For those of you that have been following the progress of the Samsung Blackjack (aka Samsung SGH-i607) and especially those of you in the US we have news that the device will be available in Cingular stores from today.

    Samsung BlackJack

    There have been a few changes to the published Samsung BlackJack specification. It looks like the battery has been replaced for a slightly higher capacity unit as the talk time and standby time are up to 5.5 hours and 11 days repectively.

    The Samsung BlackJack will cost you $199 on Cingular.

    “The stylish and compact BlackJack™ will be available exclusively from Cingular in the U.S. in mid-November for as low as $199.99. This ultra thin, 3G device features a fully integrated QWERTY keyboard with a large high-resolution QVGA color screen. Built to satisfy everyone from the music fan to the business user, BlackJack™ includes a bevy of cutting edge features…”

    Check out the full press release in the Cingular MediaRoom.

    Matt

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    Posted in: Phones
    By November 15, 2006 Read More →

    T-mobile MDA Compact III press release

    Gears over at CoolSmartPhone has come up with the first official press release from T-Mobile about the new MDA Compact III.

    MDA Compact III

    Available with CoPilot® Live 6 satellite navigation*, the MDA Compact III makes dedicated navigation systems redundant, with turn-by-turn voice instructions, detailed street mapping and powerful route calculation for navigation in-car or on foot. With its integrated jog wheel and touch screen, the device makes it easy to enter a destination and follow the comprehensive door-to-door directions. Web’n’walk customers will be able to take advantage of free real-time traffic alerts and avoidance, delivered directly into CoPilot via the T-Mobile GPRS network.”

    The MDA Compact III will be available from T-Mobile stores and online at www.t-mobile.co.uk from 16th November and will cost £59.99 when purchased on the Flext 35 tariff plus web’n’walk (£42.50 per month).

    Read the full release over at CoolSmartPhone.

    Matt

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    Posted in: Press Releases
    By November 14, 2006 Read More →

    HTC Artemis coming to Orange as SPV M650

    Another day, another phone announcement.

    Following on from the news yesterday that the HTC Artemis will be coming to T-mobile, Orange France have annouced that they too will be carryinng the HTC Artemis and it’s going under the name of SPV M650.

    There is a whole section on the Orange France site about new GPS Navigation that the SPV M650 and SPV M700 will have. Check it out HERE.

    Hopefully it wont be long before we start seeing the SPV M650 on Orange here in the UK!

    Orange SPV M650 Specification:

  • Windows Mobile 5 for Pocket PC AKU 3
  • Quad Band GPRS / EDGE
  • FM Radio
  • TI OMAP 850 @ 200MHz
  • 128MB ROM
  • 64MB RAM
  • 2.8″ QVGA 65K colour screen
  • microSD expansion underneath battery
  • 2.0MP camera
  • miniUSB connector for sync / charge / headphones
  • 1200mAh battery
  • up to 3.5 – 5 hrs talktime
  • up to 150-200 hour standby
  • 58mm x 108mm x 16.3mm
  • 127g
  • Matt

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    Posted in: Phones
    By November 14, 2006 Read More →

    Samsung BlackJack arrives on Cingular

    There has been a lot of speculation about the Samsung Blackjack (aka Samsung SGH-i607) but today Cingular officially announced that they will be carrying the device.

    Samsung BlackJack

    The BlackJack includes Bluetooth 2.0 and will utilise Cingular’s HSDPA network, and has a microSD card slot for further expansion.

    The Samsung BlackJack will cost you $199 on cingular.

    Samsung BlackJack Specification

  • Standard: EDGE, GPRS Class 10 (900/1800/1900 MHz)
  • Camera: 1.3 Megapixel Camera
  • Display: 2.2” 240×320 65K Color TFT
  • OS: Windows Mobile 5 for Smartphone
  • Push Email (Messaging & Security Feature Pack)
  • Input: QWERTY Keyboard
  • Video Recording & Messaging (MPEG4 / H.263)
  • Audio: MP3/ AAC / AAC+ / WMA/ WAV / OGG
  • Dual Speaker / Speakerphone
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth / USB / Voice Recognition
  • Memory: 120MB embedded , External Memory (microSD)
  • Size: 111 x 59 x 11.5mm
  • Weight: 95g
  • Matt

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    Posted in: Phones
    By November 13, 2006 Read More →

    MDA Compact III on T-mobile

    The MDA Compact III has just appeared for sale on the T-mobile website.

    MDA Compact III

    The MDA Compact III is T-mobile’s implementation of the HTC Artemis and is basically the same device as the HTC P3300 as reviewed by MoDaCo Paul. However early reports suggest that T-mobile have removed the WiFi from their device.

    The device is available from FREE to £159.99, and comes in at a bargain £19.99 on a FlexT 35 web’n’walk tariff.

    Matt

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    Posted in: Phones
    By November 13, 2006 Read More →

    SanDisk Sansa e270 MP3 player review

    There is no denying that there are a lot of MP3 players on the market at the moment. Players range from under £20 to several hundred pounds and capacities of 128mb to over 100gb.

    SanDisk is a name that most people will recognise and associate with memory products. However SanDisk has fairly recently launched a new range of MP3 players. The Sansa e200 series has players ranging in capacity from 2 to 8gb. Here we are reviewing the e270 which is the 6gb model.

    SanDisk Sansa e270

    The Sansa comes in a rather attractive looking box and the contents are well laid out and presented. It’s always nice to see some effort going in to the packaging, especially as MP3 players are very often given as gifts.

    Sansa Box Sansa Box Contents

    Design

    The Sansa e270 is a sleek looking device, glossy black on the front with a metal alloy back which is said to be extremely scratch resistant. It measures 88 x 44 x 13mm and weighs in at a mere 75g. The alloy back feels nice in the palm of your hand. It has a similar look to the iPod Nano but is slightly larger and heavier. Personally I quite like this as I find the Nano just a bit too small. On the back you’ll also find four screws. These allow you to remove the back and replace the li-ion battery. SanDisk sell replacement batteries for around £15. This is a great idea and one area that the Sansa shows the iPod a thing or two!

    Sansa Front Sansa Back

    The e270 has a 1.8″ colour display in portrait orientation. This takes up almost half of the front of the device. It has a maximum resolution of 176×220 and 65,000 colours. The large display allows for a decent navigation system and is both sharp and well lit.

    Below the screen you find the navigation buttons. This includes a ‘Thumb Wheel’ which seems to have become a prerequisite on MP3 players these days. The thumb wheel differs from the Click Wheel that you find on iPod’s in that it is mechanical rather than touch sensitive. The thin circular dial has raised bumps which makes it easy to use while spinning the wheel provides tactile feedback. I like this method of navigation but found the dial sticks up from the chassis just a bit too much for me, it made pressing the surrounding buttons a bit tricky for my fat fingers. This is only a minor issue though.

    Thumb Wheel Thumb Wheel

    Looking at the rest of the Sansa, on the right hand side we find a microSD card slot. This is an excellent feature which allows us to increase the memory capacity of the player by up to 2gb (at the moment). The left hand side has a record button. This allows us to record voice notes straight on to the Sansa. I like this idea.

    Sansa Left Hand Side
    Sansa Right Hand Side

    On the top of the device you’ll find the headphone socket a lock switch and the microphone. The headphone socket is a standard 3.5mm jack which allows you to use any standard headphones. The lock switch is another nice feature, there is nothing more annoying than accidentally pressing the buttons when you get MP3 players in and out of your pocket or find that the battery is flat as it’s turned itself on in your bag.

    The bottom of the player is where you will find the ‘dock connector’. This is where you plug in your USB cable to charge or to upload content. This is a proprietary connector similar to that found on an iPod. It allows you to connect the Sansa to Various Accessories. I dislike devices having proprietary connectors. I understand that it is to allow for accessories to be connected but, if like me you want to charge the player both at home and at work, it does mean that you have to either carry another USB cable around with you or else purchase an extra one.

    Sansa Top Sansa Bottom

    Also in the box you will find a pouch to put the player in, a lanyard and some headphones. The headphones aren’t actually that bad considering they are the ones bundled with the device. I have seen, or rather heard, a lot worse in the past.

    Sansa Headphones

    Software

    Navigating through the menus on the Sansa could not be easier. The interface is extremely intuitive and simple to use. The main menu is icon based and offers us the choice of Music, Photo, Voice, Video and Settings. These are all accessed using the thumb wheel. Each section has a sub menu which is again navigated using the thumb wheel.

    Music Music 2 Photo Video Voice Settings

    The music library filters are pretty standard on the SanDisk Sansa e200, with Play All tracks up top, along with Artists, Album, Songs, Genres, My Top Rated, Recordings, and Playlists as options. On the playback screen, you get thumbnail album art, track info, and a time-elapsed meter. Pressing the select button takes you to a neat graphic-level meter, full-size album art, and the next song.

    As mentioned before the screen is reasonable large and well lit. I uploaded some photos to the Sansa and was quite impressed with how good they looked. However this looking at photos on the device does show up another niggle. The viewing angle of the screen is quite narrow and looking at the screen in portrait can strain your eyes after a while as the view you get with each eye is slightly different. If you turn the screen 90 to landscape it’s much better.

    There is also a PC application on the supplied CD. ‘Sansa Media Converter’ is a tool for converting and uploading content to the player. It will convert Music as well and Video and Photos into a format compatible with the device. I was quite impressed with the software’s ability to convert DivX video clips, although this process is somewhat time consuming. However, as the connection to the Sansa is USB 2.0, once the media is ready the upload speed is pretty fast.

    Sound Quality

    So lets get down to the important matter of the sound quality. I have tried a lot of MP3 players in the past from cheap players that come free with your cornflakes to expensive high end equipment. I have to say that in a blind sound test I would definitely have to put the Sansa at the top end of the spectrum. I listened to hours of music on the supplied headphones and on my own quality headphones and also connected the player up to my hi-fi. There is plenty of range to the playback. The low end isn’t quite as tight as it could be but playing with the equalizer sorted that out.

    One of the first things a new user should do is download the latest firmware from SanDisk. The installed firmware has a really limited volume level, couple this with average headphones and the experience isn’t great. However the latest firmware has an option in the settings menu for volume and you can set this to high. It makes a big difference. The latest firmware also adds a custom setting to the equalizer.

    Sansa e270 Specification:

  • Sleek, thin design with large 1.8” TFT colour screen for easy viewing
  • Strong alloy metal casing provides excellent durability and scratch resistance
  • Simple to use, backlit controls for fast device interface navigation
  • User replaceable and rechargeable Lithium Ion battery for up to 20 hours of battery life
  • Features microSD™ expansion slot for additional memory capacity
  • Supports SanDisk TrustedFlash and Gruvi content cards
  • voice recording
  • Supports Subscription Music Stores
  • Two year warranty
  • Package Contents

  • Sansa e200 Series Player
  • Travel pouch and lanyard
  • Stereo headphones
  • Lithium Ion rechargeable battery
  • USB cable
  • Quick Start Guide, CD with User Guide
  • Conclusions

    Overall I really like the Sansa. I have been using it for about a week and have found it to be a very capable device. The battery life is every bit as good as they claim, I’ve only needed to charge it once during testing. This equates to about 15 hours which is very good when you consider that I have been playing with the menu system and looking at photos rather than simply listening to music.

    The sound quality, with my decent headphones, is fantastic and the minor niggles I have with it are nothing when you look at the complete package. I think the Sansa is better than any other MP3 player I have ever had, it offers excellent value for money and is well worth considering.

    Matt

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    Posted in: Reviews
    By November 12, 2006 Read More →

    Review: Brodit car kit for MDA Compact and M3100

    Tracy recently got a new car and wanted a car holder for her T-Mobile MDA Compact.

    I had a look around on the web and came across the same name over and over: Brodit.

    Brodit, a Swedish company, manufacture high quality car holders for mobile devices ranging from mobile phones to MP3 players and satellite navigation units. Where Brodit differ from other manufacturers is that their system employs a two stage design.

     

    Brodit car kit

    Brodit Car Kit

    First you select the mounting platform, ProClip, that is right for your vehicle. There is a ProClip platform for almost every make and model of vehicle and in most cases there are multiple mounting locations. Brodit’s website has an extensive search tool that allows you to locate your car by make, model and year. Both left and right hand drive vehicles are supported.

    Once you have chosen your ProClip mount you simply select the correct holder for your device. Again almost every manufacturer is supported from Acer to Zayo. You can also choose Passive Holders, if you just want to mount your device, or an Active Holder if you want to charge the device from the car cigarette lighter socket.

    This flexible approach allows for many thousands of combinations. Tracy opted for the centre mount for her car and an Active Holder as she wanted to charge the battery on her MDA while she was driving.

    Brodit Centre Mount

    The ProClip and MDA holder turned up after just a few days. Tracy just needed me to fit it in her car.

    I must admit that I put the job off for a while thinking that it would be difficult to do, however when I got around to fitting it I was really surprised at how easy it was!

    Brodit’s ProClip mounts work without having to make holes in the dashboard, there are no screws holding them on. Fitting is so simple a trained monkey could do it! (I’m living proof of this!!)

    In the kit you will find a small wedge shaped piece of plastic. This is your ‘Gap Opener’. You insert the gap opener between the dash and the air vent and open up a space large enough to insert one end of the ProClip. Once in place you remove the gap opener.

    Gap Opener

    You repeat this procedure for the bottom of the ProClip, this time inserting the wedge between the air vent and the radio. Again, once the mount is in place you can remove the gap opener. That two minute procedure takes care of fitting the ProClip!

    Gap Opener

    All you have to do then is to screw the device holder to the ProClip mounting platform. I found it a lot easier to do this before I fitted the ProClip in place but Brodit suggest that you do this after.

    The whole procedure took less than 5 minutes and the results are great. Tracy loves the mount, and the location is perfect, you barely have to take your eyes off the road to look at the phone display. She did say that she struggled to get the phone in the holder to begin with as getting the miniUSB connector to line up with the phone was tricky, but now that she is used to it, it goes in first time, every time.

    MDA Holder Holder with MDA in place

    After fitting the holder in Tracy’s car I decided to get one for mine. My car already had an old Nokia holder fitted and it still had the metal bracket in place. So I only needed the holder for my SPV M3100, I didn’t need the ProClip.

    Fitting the mount in my car was again a piece of cake. I just screwed the holder to the existing metal bracket. Simple.

    Hermes Car Holder

    Since fitting these holders to my car I have fitted holders to 3 other cars for work colleagues. None have taken longer than 10 minutes to fit. The quality of these kits is such that they fit perfectly first time. Anyone thinking about fitting a car kit should go straight to Brodit, don’t be afraid to fit one of these, it’s simplicity itself and what’s more they fit without damaging your car which means you can remove them without a trace should you need to.

    The other advantage of Brodit car kits is the modular design. If you buy a new device you simply need to replace one the holder and fit this to the existing ProClip.

    I just can’t fault it! Check out Brodit’s Website or the UK Distributor, Clove, for more information.

    Matt

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    By November 11, 2006 Read More →

    Motorola Q Pro (aka Norman)

    MSMobileNews just found some infomation and pictures of the new Motorola Q Pro Smartphone, codenamed ‘Norman’.

    Motorola Q Pro

    Similar in design to the Motorola Q the Q Pro features a restyled keyboard, more shortcut keys the bottom of its keyboard, mini USB, a 2 megapixel camera, GSM, GPRS, EDGE as well as UMTS and HSDPA and even potentially Wi-Fi!

    Not a bad spec but it sure is a dull looking device!

    More over at MSMobileNews.

    Matt

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    Posted in: Phones