Archive for September 9th, 2008

By September 9, 2008 Read More →

Apple update iPhone, iPod, Touch and iTunes

image Steve Jobs has unveiled Apples revamped media player range for the crucial Christmas sales period and announced a major software update for the iPhone. Speaking to a packed press conference Jobs announced that the iPhone would get a major software upgrade on Friday, which he promised would deal with many of the issues plaguing the device, including reducing dropped calls, extending the battery life and making backing up to iTunes much easier.

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Tracy and Matt look at the Samsung i900

i900_angled_left_thumb Tracy and Matt have taken the time to look at the Samsung i900. Another generally favourable review of a device that almost checks all the boxes. Worth reading especially since the phone seems to be being pushed quite heavily by Orange.

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VOIP app not working on Touch Pro

htc-touch-pro-official-00 According to a report from a user from XDA-Developers, The Windows Mobile VOIP application doesn’t work with the Touch Pro, possibly due to a registry conflict. If you’re planning on buying the Touch Pro hoping to set up your own VOIP through the native Windows Mobile application, you may want to reconsider. Hopefully, the Windows Mobile app gets fixed soon, but there is no word of conflicts from third party applications like Skype. 


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Nokia 5800 (Tube) next month

nokia-tube-with-stylus The UK will be getting their Nokia 5800 touchscreen S60 Symbian phone, also known as the Nokia “Tube” and the Nokia XpressMedia phone, next month. Now, we’re not quite sure how it’ll measure up with the iPhone but it does have what the iPhone doesn’t and what Apple refused to give the iPhone: a stylus. No pricing details yet but the 5800 is said to be a mid-range touchscreen smartphone so yeah it’ll be quite cheap and perhaps even free on a UK carrier. Boy Genius Report has hit upon the date October 8th.

Via PMP Today and BGR

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E-Ten Glofiish X640 Hands-on have posted some nice pictures of the E-Ten Golfish X650. Not the worst specs in the world however it’s hardly innovative. Samsung S3C2442 400MHz CPU, 64MB RAM, 128MB ROM, quad-band GSM/EDGE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, an FM tuner, a 2.8" QVGA (240 x 320) touch screen, a 2.0-megapixel fixed-focus camera with flash, and a microSD slot.

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Sony makes the Alpha A900 official

In a press release received just moments ago Sony have finally made their latest and greatest DSLR, the Alpha A900, official.

The Alpha A900 looks like an awesome piece of kit with an astonishing 24.6 Megapixel full-frame sensor!

No indication of cost at the moment but I suspect that, with this kind of specification, it will compete with the Canon EOS-1DSIII. Naturally I an hoping to get my hands on one to review but I suspect there might be a long waiting list! Watch this space.

Sony Alpha A900 DSLR front view

Sony Alpha A900 DSLR front view (click image to enlarge)

Sony Alpha A900 DSLR rear view

Sony Alpha A900 DSLR back view (click image to enlarge)


Sony press release:

Sony Introduces Alpha A900 the World’s First Full-Frame 24.6 Megapixel DSLR: A900 Delivers the Unmatched Image Quality, Creative Expression and Performance Demanded by Professional Photographers

  • Superlative, detail-packed images from full-frame 24.6 effective megapixel CMOS sensor Exmor™
  • Bright optical glass pentaprism viewfinder with 100% coverage
  • Enhanced SteadyShot INSIDE™ offers up to 4.0 steps anti-shake performance with Alpha lenses
  • Ultra-sharp shooting responses and flawless, low-noise images from dual BIONZ™ image processor
  • Review images on High Resolution 3.0-inch Xtra Fine LCD
  • Fast, high-accuracy 9-point AF with 10 focus assist points
  • 5fps continuous shooting at full resolution 24.6 megapixels

The A900 digital SLR from Sony sets a new benchmark for serious photo enthusiasts who demand the unrivalled quality and creative possibilities of full-frame imaging.

The flagship of the Alpha digital SLR camera range features the industry’s first ever 24.6 effective megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor. Developed by Sony, this groundbreaking sensor’s ultra-high pixel count and large size — equivalent to a 35mm film frame — deliver extraordinary image detail and wide dynamic range.

The new-generation sensor captures flawless images with unprecedented fidelity, characterised by vibrant colours, ultra-real textures and subtle tonal gradations. Complementing the extremely high native resolution of the sensor, Exmor™ performs on-chip analogue/digital (A/D) signal conversion and two-stage noise reduction. This guarantees ultra-low noise image files that take advantage of the superb resolving power of high-precision Alpha lenses.

Realising the immense creative potential of the 24.6 megapixel full-frame sensor, the new advanced dual BIONZ™ processors handle massive amounts of image data at extremely high speed. Powerful noise reduction algorithms are applied prior to RAW data conversion and then again during image processing, yielding flawless, detail packed images with an absolute minimum of noise. The dual BIONZ™ processors also underpin the camera’s razor-sharp shooting responses, allowing sustained 5fps continuous shooting at full 24.6 megapixel resolution.

Serious photo enthusiasts will appreciate the ground-glass optical pentaprism viewfinder that offers exceptional brightness and a field of view covering 100% of the full-frame sensor’s imaging area (approx.).

The camera’s uncompromising credentials are underlined by a fast, high-accuracy 9-point AF system to ensure fewer missed shots. It’s supplemented by 10 focus assist points to assist subject detection, improved out-of-focus detection to reduce focus hunting and a dedicated F2.8 sensor for enhanced AF accuracy with wide aperture lenses.

The A900 digital SLR camera is also the world’s first full-frame camera to feature SteadyShot INSIDE™. This enhanced in-body optical stabilisation system delivers up to 4 steps of anti-shake correction with all compatible lenses*, opening up even greater creative possibilities when shooting handheld.

Shots can be evaluated critically on the 3.0-inch Xtra Fine LCD with an exceptionally high resolution (921k dot) that offers sharp, clear viewing — even outdoors or in bright a mbient light. There’s a wide choice of index view options to simplify best-shot selection, plus a full-featured RGB histogram and shooting information display.

At the touch of a button, the LCD display switches to Quick Navi mode, allowing rapid on-the-fly adjustment of camera settings without disturbing your creative workflow.

A new Intelligent Preview function simulates the effect of White Balance, D-Range Optimiser and exposure level on the LCD screen without actually taking a picture. By simple confirmation on the camera, all the new settings are applied to take the next picture. This simplifies precise control over the final image in complex setups.

Shots can also be viewed on a connected HD television. PhotoTV HD mode provides optimised still image viewing with breathtaking clarity and lifelike colours on compatible BRAVIA™ televisions. The HDMI terminal also give access to HD picture viewing on any compatible TV.

Built for years of unstinting service in challenging environments, the A900 digital SLR camera is ruggedly constructed from a high-tensile aluminium chassis with magnesium alloy body panels. Viewfinder, card slots, controls and other sensitive areas are protected from dust and moisture by rubber seals for worry-free shooting. The inside of the camera is also protected by an anti-dust system that safeguards the full-frame sensor from the effects of dust entering the body during lens exchange.

Allowing stable, comfortable handling in portrait or landscape orientations, the optional VG-C90AM Vertical Grip holds up to two high-capacity batteries for extended shooting time and all the major controls are available in vertical holding for easy operation. The grip has also been designed in the same high quality material as the A900 with magnesium alloy and rubber parts.

There’s now a wide range of compatible alpha lenses to fully realise the incredible imaging potential of the camera’s full-frame sensor.

The choice of premium G series optics by Sony is joined by the high-power 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM telephoto, featuring a High-torque Super Sonic wave Motor for fast, silent AF operation.

Also from Carl Zeiss, the Vario-Sonnar T* 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM is a fast, high-performance wide angle zoom that’s ideal for interiors, landscapes and challenging photo-reportage applications.


Posted by: Matt

Posted in: Cameras
By September 9, 2008 Read More →

Windows Mobile 6.1 upgrade coming for the Touch Cruise

image If you bought the HTC Touch Cruise and were feeling left out with the Windows Mobile 6.1 upgrade goodness well we have some good news. According to HTC, well via their Twitter feed, they are in the final stages of testing it and making sure it is rock solid before it is released. This is good news as it never looked like this was coming out so Touch Cruise users relax!

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Glasgow first in UK to make calls in underground stations

image O2 customers in the Glasgow Subway will soon be the first in the UK to use their mobile phones underground as part of a new ground-breaking deal. O2 will be the first mobile phone operator in the UK to utilise the multi-user distributed antenna system which enables mobile phones to work underground.

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Samsung i900 Omnia review

Now it is time to review the iPhone look alike Samsung i900 (Omnia). This is yet another high end, flag ship of a phone. Can it stand up to the claim from Samsung that it is ‘A truly all-in-one phone’?

For various reasons I have not really been a fan for the later variations from Samsung, in the early days of splashing out cash for phones, my 1st choice was always for a Sammy. Lately I have been tempted away from them to seek the joys and delights of Windows Mobile, so, now Samsung are even entering that market, can I be tempted back?

Samsung i900 Omnia review

The Samsung i900 Omnia (click images to enlarge)


What’s in the Box?

  • i900 Omnia
  • Mains charger with propriety connector
  • USB to propriety connector PC data cable.
  • 2 part stereo headset allowing own set connection through an adaptor.
  • Spare earpiece plugs
  • Detached telescopic stylus – see review.
  • Getting started disc
  • Minimal quick start guide

As always, you can check out Matt’s Samsung i900 Omnia unboxing video for more information on what’s in the box as well as a quick demonstration of the interface.


Samsung i900 Omnia review specification:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
  • 8GB Internal (ROM) 16GB model also available.
  • 128MB RAM.
  • 3.2” WQVGA Touchscreen (240 x 400 pixels)
  • Quad-Band 850/900/1800/1900MHz, HSDPA (7.2 Mbits)
  • Bluetooth 2.0
  • WiFi 802.11g
  • 5 megapixel (auto-focus) camera, with face and smile recognition
  • LED Flash
  • GPS
  • microSDHC (up to 16GB)
  • TV Out
  • FM Radio with RDS
  • TouchWiz User Interface
  • 1440mAh battery
  • 112mm (L) x 56mm (W) x 12.5mm (H)


Around the device



The device is very well made, the chrome and black casing feels solid and doesn’t seem to attract the usual finger marks problems seen on most phones these days to the same extent. The back especially is difficult to mark. It is also not overly heavy at a stated 125g. It appears to follow along with a current trend to keep phone fascias uncluttered and minimal.

Samsung i900 Omnia front view

Samsung i900 Omnia front view

Top of the device there is the power switch and an LED status indicator. Also a very small reset hole.

Samsung i900 Omnia top view

Samsung i900 Omnia top view


On the left hand side of the phone, at the top end there is a lanyard connection or maybe the detached stylus connection, more later. Towards the bottom is the covered multifunction jack used for headset, PC connection and charging.

Samsung i900 Omnia left side

Samsung i900 Omnia left side

Top of the right hand side is a dedicated Main menu launch button; below this is the volume up/down rocker and finally the camera key.

Samsung i900 Omnia right side

Samsung i900 Omnia right side

The bottom of the unit holds nothing more than the mic.

Samsung i900 Omnia bottom view

Samsung i900 Omnia bottom view

On the back you can find the 5 megapixel autofocus camera and LED flash.

Samsung i900 Omnia back view

Samsung i900 Omnia back view

The screen on the i900 dominates the front as it is a 3.2” WQVGA Touchscreen, above you can see the small VGA camera, and below is the a Talk / Speakerphone button and an End / device lock key, these straddle the centred Trackpad.

Inside the back of the device is the side by side SIM card holder and the microSDHC card holder. The battery has to be removed prior to removing either card so no hot swapping here.

Samsung i900 Omnia back off view

Samsung i900 Omnia back off view



  • Great camera
  • Easy to use
  • Great specification


  • Non standard Connectors as usual
  • Missing stylus compartment.




At first I was determined that I did not like the i900 Omnia, it is too long and also resembles the iPhone so much, I was happy not to be a fan. The only reason for me that I took a second look was the specifications appeared impressive. Unfortunately, faults mentioned apart, this is a very nice device that I easily learned to live with and enjoyed a lot more about it than I thought I would have.

Samsung i900 Omnia vs Apple iPhone

Samsung i900 Omnia vs Apple iPhone


There are some points I do not like, for example, it is relatively expensive in its group; however there has to be reasons why it is sold out almost everywhere. So here are some of my thoughts, good and bad.

Firstly when switched on everything is different, the usual Windows screens etc. are nowhere to be found, it took me by surprise to start with, and I have to say I did not like it. I felt that the main menu screen appeared childish in form, the icons appearing in a cartoon style, and the Samsung widget sidebar seemed a waste of time. Now having spent some time with the unit, I have to admit that it probably one of the easiest phones I have used it quite a time, connecting with my car kit and network etc where an absolute doddle. The layout and functionality as a breeze and the icon simplicity made it easy for even those not familiar with Windows mobile to get on in a plain and uncomplicated manner.


The unit certainly responds well and is quick in its opening of applications and the larger processor than standard is also noticeable.



The Samsung widget is handy to use as it is acts as a shortcut to a lot of commonly used programs such as clock, photo album, games, music, radio, profile, notes etc. which can be dropped and dragged straight on to the main screen for launching.


It also boasts Dix VOD straight out if the box once registered. There is also a themes editor allowing the user to change the standard background colour and text colours to one of the multitude of colours available.

The vibration touch screen option was fun at the beginning where a touch of the screen was registered by the phone omitting a gentle buzz, I found that overall this was a little erratic, sometimes it would not register but carry out the command anyway and vice versa, for me in the end it was better switched off. The same can be said for the Auto orientation motion sensor settings, I found that this was better for me set on low as, the simple act of putting the phone down would trigger the screen flipping into landscape, and then having to flip it back again, although it was a handy addition when you did want it to work.

It was also good to be able to rid yourself of the Samsung settings and revert straight back to the standard Windows menus etc. in a way like have 2 different devices really.

Included in the settings are add-on’s such as GPS extra, which I assume downloads satellite positions on a regular customisable interval. There is also a facility to switch the Trackpad between a 4 way navigator or finger mouse, neither of which I find useful, but I know a lot of people do. And as more common on Samsung devices there is also the TV out connection.

Programs are again pretty standard as the device goes, Google maps as you would expect works very well. There is a smart converter for quick conversion of weights, areas, volumes temperatures and lengths. A Touch Player, specifically designed to be able to play music, videos etc at the touch of the screen.

ShoZu enables sharing and watching music videos, shows and photos delivered to your phone automatically again subscription and registration are required.

Apart from the few points already mentioned above, the other good and bad points are as follows;

There is no stylus compartment anywhere on the phone, there is a telescopic stylus included in an attachable case, I find this completely unusable and would imagine one of the easiest ways to scratch the unit would be to attach the stylus and then stow it in your pockets. The advice from Samsung is not to use pens, pencils or any other implements to activate the screen; it fails to mention how to reset the device with your finger?!

The Camera is great, the options and use of the 5 megapixel autofocus was superb and probably the best I have used in a long time, also included was smile as well as face recognition, which seemed to work well enough. I liked playing with such options as the panoramic mode. The photos achieved overall means that you can do away with your extra point and shoot camera, when going out.

Samsung are still insisting that they use their own connectors which drives me crazy, why can’t they adopt the standard miniUSB connections used by so many other manufacturers?

Samsung i900 Omnia USB connector

Samsung i900 Omnia USB connector

The screen is not quite a bright and vibrant as certain new devices lately, although adequate and I definitely preferred the manual settings over the automatic mode, I also had a minor issue with the fact then when displaying a photo, occasionally the phone would fill in the side with a section of the photo repeated, to make up for the longer screen. Having said that, when searching through lists and websites the longer screen was a pleasant extra, as you can see more of the page that you are viewing. Opera worked very well in this form and there is also a built in page zoom when the side of the screen was touched.

The call quality and signal strength indicator appear more than adequate, the earpiece and speaker phones work very well. I also found that the battery life was reasonably good with light to moderate use a couple of days between charges, heavier use of Sat Nav etc. reduces this dramatically.




It is very nice to have Samsung on the Windows Mobile road and this phone was I mentioned above really did grow on me, which was not a real advantage. I am still torn between the Diamond and the Pro, this makes the choice even worse, and the Xperia is likely next week!

I think for me, the advantages of the HTC devices still holds its for me, the VGA screen and the stylus issues mean that i900 not my preferred device of choice. But I was pleasantly surprised on how good it really is. It will be well received by many and also well liked, get over the length of the machine and get involved with the preloaded applications and the ease of use and this will prove to be one of the best phones around. As I covered at the start of the review those in the know have already brought theirs, and that’s why they are sold out!

It has got to be one of the best times in the mobile world for choice of good devices at the moment and more due to follow, will there ever be the ultimate device, or will the makers keep bringing out more and more great devices to part us from our money?



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By September 9, 2008 Read More →

HTC Opal successor to the Touch

image It looks like HTC are about to release another Windows Mobile handset, this time a replacement for the Touch. The device is code named the HTC Opal and it sports a very similar form factor to the original Touch. The brief specs are an Omap 200mhz processor, 128 meg Ram and 256 Meg Rom, WiFi b and g and Windows Mobile 6.1. No mention of GPS and definitely no 3G. It is quad band GSM,GPRS and Edge only. It will have the latest TouchFlo 3D software onboard. Looks like a strange device as it is not that different from the original Touch and the specs are definitely not a great leap forward with the 200mhz processor, 2MP fixed focus camera and 320 x 240 QVGA screen. Would have been nice to see a VGA version with a faster processor. Check out smartmobilegadgets for the full specifications.

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