Archive for September, 2008

By September 8, 2008 Read More →

Sony announces 2 new headphone ranges

Sony has today announced two new headphone ranges; the BT and the EX ranges.

EX range: The fun, affordable EX range of in-ear headphones includes the MDR-EX33LP, which will be available in five colours and come with hybrid silicone earbuds. Additionally – in the UK and Germany only – Sony have also today announced the MDR-EX500LP/ MDR-EX300SL headphones. The premium closed-type in-ear headphones deliver studio quality audio through a vertical in-ear design with new hybrid silicone earbuds for secure fit and long-term wear comfort.

BT range: The DR-BT160AS Bluetooth Stereo wireless headphones stream crisp audio from any Bluetooth compatible device, perfect for active lifestyles.

More details in the press release below:

Would you like to experience the ultimate in studio-quality audio wherever you are? Need a sports-oriented Bluetooth™ Stereo headset without any wires to keep pace with your active lifestyle? Or maybe you’re ready for a great-sounding headphone with cool, fun looks to match your lifestyle.

Whatever sounds right, you’ll find it with latest additions to the Sony range of beautifully styled, comfortable in-ear headphones.

MDR-EX500LP / MDR-EX300SL in-ear headphones

  • Premium closed-type in-ear headphones deliver studio quality audio
  • Vertical in-ear design with new hybrid silicone earbuds for secure fit and long-term wear comfort
  • Innovative multiple layer diaphragm prevents resonanace and distortion
  • Newly-developed 13.5mm EX driver unit for truer sound with wide dynamic range and deep bass
  • Individually hand-tuned for ultimate sound quality (EX500LP)


Sony MDR-EX500 headphone construction

Two new in-ear headphones make studio-quality sound accessible to anyone who’s ready for a dramatic step-up from their MP3 player’s supplied phones.

The top-flight MDR-EX500LP delivers the ultimate in precision monitor quality audio. The latest addition to Sony’s popular EX Monitor Series of in-ear headphones features a newly-developed 13.5mm driver unit that’s oriented vertically in the ear for comfortable extended wear. This innovative Sony design provides an extended low frequency response with excellent sensitivity, smooth, powerful bass and a wider dynamic range.

The MDR-EX500LP’s large driver is complemented by an extremely stiff multi-layer diaphragm. As well as improving high frequency response, this reduces unwanted resonance for ultra-pure, uncoloured sound.

A new-shape silicone earbud offers an extra-comfortable fit, even for extended listening periods. The novel hybrid design features a soft, flexible outer structure that fits snugly in the ear. It surrounds a rigid inner core made of harder silicone that resists deformation to ensure that sound quality remains unimpaired.

Reflecting Sony engineers’ dedication to perfect sound, every MDR-EX500LP unit is individually hand-tuned in the factory to achieve the ultimate sonic performance.

Also in the EX Monitor Range, the MDR-EX300SL features a large 13.5mm EX driver unit, offering very high quality sound at an even more attractive price. Already available, the range-topping MDR-EX700LP introduced the original vertical driver design. It’s combined with Sony’s innovative multi-layer diaphragm inside a 16mm driver unit – the largest of any in-ear headphone design – to reproduce the clearest, most pristine audio.

MDR-EX33LP and MDR-EX35LP in-ear headphones

  • Fun, affordable in-ear headphone with great Sony sound quality
  • EX33LP available in five high-fashion colours; EX35LP three colours
  • Hybrid silicone earbuds for secure fit and long-term wear comfort
  • EX33LP includes extra-small earbuds for smaller ear sizes
  • 9mm EX driver unit for wide dynamic range and deep bass
  • Convenient cord adjuster and cord slider to prevent tangling

MDR-EX35 black

Sony MDR-EX35LP headphones


Now every music lover can express themselves with a fresh, colourful choice of headphones to match their personal style. Featuring new-look pearlescent and metallic colours, the funky MDR-EX33LP is available in five stylish colour variations (pearlescent white, metallic blue, pink, silver, gold).

The affordable MDR-EX33LP delivers crisp, clear, low distortion sound with a wide dynamic range thanks to its high-quality 9mm diameter EX driver. Like other models in the new EX headphone range, a specially developed new hybrid silicone earbud assures extra-comfort wear.

The choice of three supplied earbuds includes a Super Small sized bud that’s a comfortable, more secure fit for girls and younger music fans. The cord slider prevents cord tangling, and a handy cord adjuster is also supplied to control the length of the cable.

Sharing the same 9mm EX driver and hybrid silicone earbuds, the MDR-EX35LP features sleek, contemporary looks and is available in a choice of black, white or red colour-ways.

DR-BT160AS / DR-BT160IK / DR-BT14Q Active Bluetooth Wireless headphones

  • Wireless Bluetooth Stereo headset for sports and active lifestyles
  • Convenient fingertip control of MP3 player functions
  • Take wireless calls from Bluetooth phone with inbuilt microphone
  • Dual support design with soft elastomer hanger for comfortable, secure fit
  • Available as a kit with Bluetooth dongle for iPod


Sony DR-BT160AS headphones


Now you can enjoy superb sound from your Bluetooth phone, Bluetooth WALKMAN®, or other Bluetooth-enabled MP3 player without a tangle of cables while you’re rushing around, jogging or working out.

The DR-BT160AS Bluetooth Stereo wireless headphones stream crisp, wide bandwidth stereo audio directly from any compatible Bluetooth music source. The light, easy to wear headset also features an in-built microphone so you can take hands-free calls from your Bluetooth mobile phone without breaking a sweat… whether you’re pounding the pavement or the treadmill.

The splashproof, street-smart design features a soft elastomer hanger for a comfortable, secure fit on your ears. The sliding earpiece shaft can be easily adjusted to fit a wide range of ear sizes.

No-one needs the distraction of fiddling with their MP3 player’s controls when they’re exercising. The DR-BT160AS makes it easy to skip tracks and to adjust volume and other music player functions using convenient controls on the side of the headset.

The DR-BT160iK kit teams DR-BT160AS headphones with the TMR?BT8iP Bluetooth dongle, allowing you to stream music wirelessly from your iPod®.

Also available, the DR-BT140Q ear-clip headphone offers great audio quality from your Bluetooth music player, with a comfortable clip-on fit and fingertip control of player functions.


Posted by: Matt

Posted in: Gadgets
By September 8, 2008 Read More →

Vodafone announces connect to friends Facebook application

image Vodafone UK is trialling a unique service that enables all UK mobile users to send text messages from their Facebook profile to friends. The pilot service will be extended later this month to also include picture messages. Vodafone Connect to Friends lets Facebook users send texts and picture messages without having to switch from PC to mobile simply by installing the ‘Vodafone Connect to Friends’ application to their Facebook profile. The application allows users to send messages not only to their online Facebook friends but also to non-Facebook users and groups. Vodafone Connect to Friends can be used by anyone regardless of their choice of UK mobile operator.

Posted in: Phones
By September 8, 2008 Read More →

Google Android coming to T-Mobile UK

image The Telegraph are reporting that the HTC Dream Google Android handset will be coming to the UK exclusively on T-Mobile from November. This is good news as in the UK we have sat and watched the proposed launch in the US without any indication until now that we will see an Android handset. You can read what The Telegraph have to say after the break.

Posted in: Phones
By September 8, 2008 Read More →

The Cell Phone Junkie Show #119

logo2 The Cell Phone Junkie Show #119
Show Notes
AT&T’s data service knocked out in the Northeast, a $20,000 cell phone bill and you’ve answered my call to action with some great questions and comments.More S60 and E71 discussion. Sony Ericsson TM506 Review. Test call audio quality of the TM506

Posted in: Podcast
By September 7, 2008 Read More →

Sony Reader eBook PRS-505

The more observant of you will have already noticed and know of this cool device, but with the recent press highlights of it we thought we ought to see just what all the fuss is about!

Well it seems it is a revolutionary bit of kit.

In short the Sony Reader eBook PRS-505 is an electronic book with a very clever screen that is not backlight, and is really thin so it feels a bit like a book and you need light to read from it.  Its internal memory will allow up to 160 ebooks to be stored whilst memory card slots allow for even more expansion.  With an impressive battery life, the Reader will allow for 6,800 page turns.

Our friends at Clove Technology expect to have the Sony Reader eBook PRS-505  in stock this coming week.



Overview of Sony Reader eBook PRS-505:

Experience the joy of reading your favorite books-all stored digitally in one compact mobile device. The slimmer, redesigned Reader eBook lets you carry a stack of books in one hand.

The Sony Reader eBook holds about 160 eBooks or hundreds more with optional removable memory cards.

Smaller than a typical paperback, 8mm thick and very light: it’s a stylish unit that fits in your coat pocket. Its portable size makes it the perfect travel companion; allowing you to read a variety of books whenever and wherever you want. Its long battery life lasts up to 6,800 continuous page turns, and the amazing paper-like screen technology is easy on the eyes.

A perfect companion, with a compact and lightweight design, you can take it almost anywhere and read your books whenever and wherever you want.

More compact than many paperbacks, it weighs about 9 ounces (without cover), is 1/3" thin. You can easily hold it in one hand.

The Reader eBook provides a new way to experience reading. It boasts an impressive 6-inch display, utilising a breakthrough E Ink technology that’s almost paper-like, making it easy to read, even in bright sunshine. In addition, the screen allows for high contrast and high resolution, with a near 180º viewing angle. The text can also be magnified for sight-impaired readers.

The Sony Reader eBook isn’t just about reading eBooks. Using the included eBook Library 2.0 PC Software, you can easily transfer Adobe PDF documents, Microsoft Word documents, BBeB Book, and other text file formats to the Reader, allowing you the flexibility to access and view multiple files at any time.


Features of Sony Reader eBook PRS-505

    • Easy to use menu and simple, intuitive controls

    • Add bookmarks, read page-by-page or "fast forward" through the book

    • Automatically find the page you were last reading.

    • Call up your stored books quickly: by author, title or date

    • MemoryStick  DUO and SD Card slots allow you to optionally increase capacity up to approximately 13000 titles!

    • Very low power consumption

    • Can be fully charged in only 4 hours from a laptop or PC via supplied USB cable.

    • Uses the EPUB standard – the most widely used eBook type.

    • Use with headphones to listen to music while you read (MP3 or AAC files).

    • All necessary software (eBook Library) plus quick start instructions supplied. Full user guide is included on PDF.

    • Complete with soft tan case


    What’s in the box of Sony Reader eBook PRS-505?

      • Sony Reader eBook PRS-505

      • Soft cover Tan, man made

      • USB Cable 

      • Quick Start guide

      • eBook Library software

      • User Guides (PDF)


      Sony Reader eBook PRS-505 specification:

      Display Screen

      Technology – E Ink® "Electronic Paper"

      Screen size (inch) – 6

      Resolution – 170 pixels per inch

      Grey scale – 8-level grey scale


      Storage Capacity

      Built in flash memory (MB) – 192 (Approx. 160 eBooks)

      MemoryStick™ MS DUO slot – YES (Approx. 13000 from 16GB Stick)

      SD Card Slot – YES



      Battery Type – Rechargeable lithium-ion

      Battery Life (reading EPUB eBooks) – Approx 6800 page turns

      Recharging Time – Four hours with USB, Two hours with optional AC charger


      Compatible Formats

      Unsecured / free eBooks & text files – EPUB eBook, BBeB Book, Adobe® PDF, Microsoft® Word, TXT, RTF

      DRM (Secure / purchased) eBooks and text files – EPUB eBooks (Adept) BBeB eBooks (Marlin)

      Unsecured Audio files – mp3, AAC (not most DRM audio)

      Image & Photo files – JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP


      General data

      Width (mm) – 122

      Height (mm) – 175.3

      Depth (mm) – 7.6

      Weight (g) – 260

      Audio Output – 3.5 mm stereo mini-jack (for headphones, etc)


      Posted by: Matt

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      Posted in: Gadgets
      By September 7, 2008 Read More →

      iPhone 2.1 Firmware to be Released Tuesday?

      image According to arstechnica iPhone firmware version 2.1 will be released on September 9th along with iTunes 8. If the rumours are to be believed we should see a couple of features that are unexpected, please let it be multi media messaging and copy / paste. More than likely it is the enhanced GPS to track your speed and direction which is not what we need, (give us turn by turn directions please) and the push notifications for IM. While this would be a nice addition the strain it would put on an already overworked battery concerns me greatly. Also this is Apples chance to put the numerous bugs to bed with signal strength, call dropping and application crashes. It should be an interesting week ahead and of course you will get all the latest news right here.

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      Posted in: Phones
      By September 7, 2008 Read More →

      HTC Touch Pro vs Apple iPhone – web browser performance

      image The iPhone has taken a lot of criticism lately on poorly worded advertising and rightly so, we have stumbled across a video comparing the HTC Touch Pro and the iPhone browsers rendering a few different pages over WiFi and the iPhone definitely does the better job. The video shows the Safari browser loads and completes every page well before Opera 9.5. Check out the video after the break to see the differences.

      Posted in: Phones
      By September 6, 2008 Read More →

      Samsung i300 review


      I’ll be honest. The i300 passed me by on release, and when Matt asked me to check out a WM2003 device, I wasn’t exactly excited by the prospect. However, the i300 does have a few unique selling points, and you could say was ahead of its time, meaning it could be worth a look even today.


      The Samsung i300

      What’s in the box?

      As usual for Samsung, there’s a box full of goodies, two batteries and even a dock included.

      • Samsung i300
      • AC Charger
      • Docking cradle
      • Standard battery
      • Extended battery
      • Direct USB connection
      • Headset

      Samsung i300 Specification:

      • Dimensions : 113 x 48 x 20 (mm)
      • Weight : 121 g
      • Talk time: up to 7 hours
      • Standby time: up to 200 hours
      • Display type: TFT, 256K colors at 240 x 320 pixels
      • Camera: 2 Megapixel, 1280×1024 pixels, video captue/playback, with flash
      • Bluetooth, v1.2
      • MP3/WMA/AAC/MPEG4 player
      • Operating system: Microsoft Windows Mobile 2003 SE
      • Memory: 3 GB microdrive, 64 MB internal memory, expandable via TransFlash memory cards
      • Tri band: GSM 900 / GSM 1800 / GSM 1900


      There isn’t much to see on the top of the Samsung i300, just the black iRDA ‘window’.


      Samsung i300 top view

      On the bottom you’ll find plastic cover over the proprietary Sync/Charge connector.


      Samsung i300 bottom view

      On the left hand side you can find another plastic cover over the proprietary headphone connector. Below there a buttons for voice recorder, keylock and volume control.


      Samsung i300 left side

      Looking to the right side there’s yet another cover, this time it covers the MicroSD/Transflash card slot. There’ also a dedicated camera button and two additional soft keys.


      Samsung i300 right side

      The Samsung i300 has a decent looking keypad with regular numeric pad and standard smartphone shortcut keys. In the middle is a rotating jog dial that works to scroll through the phone’s menus as stored media files.


      Samsung i300 keypad

      Unusually, the Samsung i300 package includes a neat docking station that allows you to charge the device and the spare battery at the same time.


      The Samsung i300 in its dock



      So why are we reviewing an older smartphone? A few reasons really. For a start eXpansys want you to buy one, but I was also interested in the retro looks of the device, and of course the 3gb “microdrive”.

      3gb isn’t a great deal now with the iPhone, but then this isn’t anywhere near the cost of one. It’s was, until the Diamond, the only WM based device to have built in storage. It’s an interesting phone and is as quick as any of the devices being launched today.

      The retro look comes from a mix of black and silver plastic, but feels very well built. The sides are filled with various shortcut hardware buttons, and although these make it look a bit business orientated, most are of some use.

      Throughout it’s life, it has, perhaps oddly, been pushed as a consumer device (and in the marketing, you’d be forgiven for thinking the hard disk only accepts music files!). This seems a little strange to me, as its crying out to be used in enterprise. Its a true USB Stick/phone combo, and 3gb of storage, plus a decent well spec’ed phone for £70 seems good.

      The i300 of course does beat the likes of Sony Walkman phones in terms of storage, but the teenage girl crowd are not going to want to carry around i300! Style wise then, it is in a niche market, but I do firmly believe it retains its use even now – especially with now stupidly low pricing – it even comes with a decent set of headphones and a headphone adapter for those wishing to use their own headphones.


      i300 headphone adapter

      As you might expect, music (and anything else) is easily synced to the device with a combination of Windows Media Player and ActiveSync, but unfortunately the built in speakers are pretty awful. As usual, and as most people do, using earphones improves the quality no end.

      As well as the full scale hard disk, the i300 still supports external micro-sd cards, which can be hot swapped without removing the battery.

      There’s is sadly no way of upgrading the device from its rather old WM2003 Second Edition despite the fact that later builds of the i300 did include WM5.

      The usual array of software is available on the device immediately – and Samsung have also added “Picsel viewer” which opens most Office documents.

      The built in camera at 1.3meg is acceptable, but does struggle to perform at the levels expected these days. The camera button is on the right hand side of the phone, next to a button dedicated to the standard profile selection screen. This doubles up with a long press to activate flight mode. A third button applies the keylock.

      On the right hand side, there is the volume rocker switch, the headphones port, and a voice control/voice recorder button.

      The front of the phone is typical retro candybar looks. Screen at the top, buttons at the bottom, and the standard WM softkeys. The navigation ring is really useful though. First off its the usual 5-way direction pad, but the ring itself also spins, with a ridge to make it even easier to navigate through websites and other documents. It is also the method used to digitally zoom the camera.

      I really do want to love this phone, and considering its age, its still amazingly useful and easy to use. It is big, and perhaps a bit too heavy. It just about gets away with it, because you do get something for the hassle – the hard disk. I do hope it can withstand a few heavy falls though!

      The battery life is acceptable, although you will lose access to the hard disk when the battery drops to a certain level. This will at least in theory give you a little bit of extra time to get home and recharge! The package does include an extra battery that you can carry for the emergency situations.


      Samsung i300 battery packs


      • Nice retro look
      • 3gb memory
      • High quality screen
      • Decent battery life


      • A little too heavy
      • WM2003 and seemingly no WM5 upgrade available


      For all its minor niggles, I can’t help liking the i300, despite its age, and the older OS. The 3gb storage is a really nice addon, and its what separates this from other devices of its time – and makes it a worthwhile purchase for some even now.


      Review by: Mark

      Posted in: Reviews
      By September 6, 2008 Read More →

      Microsoft job posting hints at cross-platform Zune environment?

      A recent job posting from Redmond for a "Software Development Engineer in Test" calls for someone who "dreams about having a mobile phone based entertainment experience powered by a unified entertainment service across devices such as Zune, Xbox and PC." Someone, the ad reads, who will, "create a ‘Connected Entertainment’ experience, realized through the Zune service, that spans multiple devices such as Zune, Xbox, PC and Mobile phones."  We have been saying for a while now that if Windows Mobile is going to compete in the consumer market, this is cristical to it’s success. The iPhone as a standalone phone is nice but it is the surrounding infrastructure that makes it a killer device, App Store, iTunes etc. So if this is to be believed Microsoft could be listening to what Windows Mobile users need at last. Add this to the last job posting for the Skymarket and it is all starting to make sense.

      via Engadget

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      Posted in: Phones
      By September 6, 2008 Read More →

      Yet another iPhone killer… this time from LG

      67455-1 The Mobile Weblog have hit us with another attempt at an iPhone killer. Once upon a time, LG released a phone called the Viewty, described as an iPhone killer, which it certainly wasn’t, however it was quite a good phone. I know, I have one. On the back of the Prada II they have announced a successor to the Viewty also. They have called it the KC910.

      Posted in: Phones