Archive for October, 2008

By October 6, 2008 Read More →

Switch from Palm to Windows Mobile the easy way

image If you are thinking of switching or have just switched devices from a Palm to a Windows Mobile phone you must read Alli’s article over at Mobility Today. Alli has been a Palm user for many years, but this year has made the transition over to Windows Mobile. During the process Alli has tested loads of Windows Mobile software with the aim of recreating her favourite Palm experiences with the Treo 800W. This article is a must read if your considering the switch.

Posted in: Phones
By October 5, 2008 Read More →

The pick of this weeks stories

image Another slow news Sunday so thought it may be a good idea to highlight some of the good stories that have appeared on the site in the last seven days just incase you missed them.

Pay and Go iPhone 3G now available            Xperia X1 unboxed

Microsoft continues with licensing fees            Zune software coming to Windows Mobile

Meet the Nokia 5800 touch screen phone       Fring for iPhone released

HP Oak hitting Europe                                    Bad news if you want a HTC Touch HD in America

We want to hear from you!!                             Google Android Emulator

Posted in: Site Announcements
By October 5, 2008 Read More →

Wacom Bamboo Fun tablet review

The Wacom Bamboo Fun is one of Wacom’s entry level graphics tablets.

For those who don’t know what a graphics tablet is, think of it as a pen and pad that replace the mouse as a way of controlling your computer. (You can use a special mouse on these pads as well, but I’ve yet to meet anyone who actually uses them)


Wacom Bamboo Fun (in blue obviously!)


Some people just use it as a replacement for their mouse as it can help with RSI or just because they prefer the pen input over a mouse, but most people will use it in art packages for everything from photo retouching to painting their own Mona Lisa.


What’s in the box?

  • Bamboo Fun pen tablet
  • Bamboo Fun mouse
  • Bamboo Fun pen
  • Pen stand
  • USB cable
  • Quick start guide
  • Installation CD (includes tablet driver and electronic user manual)
  • Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0 Win/4.0 Mac
  • Corel Painter Essentials 3.0
  • Package of 3 replacement pen nibs


Wacom Bamboo Fun Specification:

  • Tablet Size:
    Small: 8.4" W x 7.3" D x 0.3" H
    Medium: 11.0" W x 9.3" D x 0.3" H
  • Active Area
    Small: 5.8" W x 3.7" D
    Medium: 8.5" W x 5.3" D
  • Pressure Sensitivity
    512 Levels
  • Resolution
    2,540 Lines Per Inch
  • ExpressKeys
  • Finger-Sensitive Input
    Touch Ring
  • Color
    Available in Black,
    Silver, White and Blue

Quick tour

The setup of the Bamboo Fun couldn’t be any easier – it just plugs into a free USB socket and after the installation of the drivers you open up your favourite art package (or install the included applications) and start drawing your very own masterpiece.

At the top of the pad are ‘Express keys’ that you can customise in the drivers to do common shortcuts, and the big circular thing is the ‘Touch Ring’. This is used for things like zoom in and out, or scrolling – all very useful.

The thing that will take some people a little time to get used to is that the surface of the pad represents the whole of your monitor, so top left on the pad is the top left of the monitor and bottom right is bottom right. So unlike your mouse where you lift it and the cursor stays put, when you put the pen to the surface the cursor jumps straight there.

When you are just in normal applications or on the desktop then you can use the pen to single or double click just like you would with a mouse – the pen also has left and right click buttons built in.


This natural mapping and the use of a pen instead of a mouse make graphics tablets good for people who suffer from RSI as tablets provide a less physically stressful input method.

The pen is also pressure sensitive – in this case 512 levels of sensitivity – so in programs that support pressure information, they can translate the pressure that you applying and change the affects on the program. The simplest example of this is when you are in an art program and set it to use the pressure to set the transparency of the strokes – light pressure with the pen produce light marks, pressing harder with the pen produces heavier marks, very cool and very different to using a mouse.

Some other examples of things that the pressure can control include brush width and brush colour,  and these options differ from program to program, so I won’t even attempt to list all the possibilities here.

What this means is that using the pen is very much like using a normal pencil or paintbrush – with the big advantage that on a computer you can press UNDO 😀


Wacom Pen


The pen also has an ‘eraser’ on the other end, which is also pressure sensitive – so if you want to rub out part of your art then just flip the pen upside down, exactly as you would if you were using a pencil in the real world. Very useful for erasing mistakes or softening edges.

The eraser is really a second tip, so if you want to tell the program to use that end of the pen for something different then you can.

And it’s not just traditional painting programs that can use these tablets either, some of the 3d art packages also support the pressure information to allow things like sculpting.

For anyone who’s worried about the pen nib wearing down, don’t as you can replace the nibs very easily – there are even 3 included in the package.


Bamboo Fun Controls


The Review

I’m primarily a programmer, but every now and again I do things like photo retouching, website design, game art etc, and so a couple of years ago I decided to have a look at graphics tablets.

Without question the most respected name out there was Wacom – but I couldn’t really justify anything expensive and in the end I picked up a cheap tablet from another manufacturer. I use it occasionally and it’s functional at best, and I’ve always wondered what a real Wacom tablet would be like.

The Bamboo Fun is targeting people just like me in many respects – people who don’t want to spend lots of cash, but like the idea of having a graphics tablet as an input device for doing their doodles or photo retouching. As the name says, Bamboo Fun.

The pad is dead simple to install, and once I’d realised that Wacom pens don’t actually need batteries, I was good to go. (Wacom tablets use their own technology that is different to other manufacturers)

I opened up my trusty art package and away I doodled. I tested out the pressure sensitivity input in all it’s various guises and generally made a very pretty mess of the screen. The ExpressKeys are useful for commonly used tasks, as is the Touch Ring, but being placed at the top of the tablet isn’t ideal – I realise that it’s there as otherwise they’d have to put 2 sets on (for left and right handed people) but they are just a little awkward at the top.

After a bit of playing I realised that something didn’t quite feeling right with the pen interaction. I decided to try the included software instead, as that would obviously show the pen at it’s best.

So I installed Photoshop Elements and once I’d worked out how to use the program and enable the pressure sensitivity stuff, I was away and doodling again.

Again something wasn’t quite right. The sensitivity of the pen at the light pressure end of the scale was a little poor, so it went from near zero to mid pressure with very little change in actual pressure on the pen. I tried holding the pen differently and tinkering with driver settings, but I couldn’t get it quite where I wanted it to be.

In a general input sense the pen was accurate enough though, so for actual input, the tablet is fine. The size of the working area might frustrate some, but at the end of the day if you want a bigger area, you buy a bigger tablet.

On a personal note, the other slight niggle was the feeling of the nib on the surface of the tablet. It felt a little ‘scratchy’ to me – but this might be improved with a different type of nib.



  • draw directly into your PC, very cool
  • accuracy of the pen’s movement is something Wacom are well known for


  • it would be nice if the USB cable was a little longer
  • surface feels a little ‘scratchy’ in use – might be fixable with new nibs



As an input device to just replace a mouse the Bamboo Fun is fine. As a tablet for the occasional photo retouching or just messing around in art packages, kids will love it, then again it’s fine.

If you are looking to do lots of artwork and need delicate control from the pen, then I’d try another of the Wacom pads instead.


Review by: Iain

Posted in: Reviews
By October 5, 2008 Read More →

Google Android Emulator

image Want to have a closer look at the Android OS in action, T-Mobile have just posted a web page with an emulated G1 to have a click around. It is a bit limited in functionality but you can see what some of the interface is going to look like. They have also posted a page with a 360 degree look around the phone and you can event flip the keyboard up and down. Here is the link if you want to take a look.

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Posted in: Phones
By October 5, 2008 Read More →

Eten Glofiish V900 review


As Matt mentioned earlier I have been playing with the Eten Glofiish for the past week or so. This was the first time I had used a Windows Mobile device that wasn’t manufactured by HTC which was one of the main reasons for wanting a shot of this phone. Another reason was the full DVB TV which I’ll tell you more about as the review moves forward.

Eten Glofiish V900

The 10 second review:
Device: Eten GlofiishV900
Cost: SIM free only: £464.13 (Inc VAT) from Clove Technology.
Available to pre-order from: CLOVE technology (Go and buy one from here)
Summary: As far as Windows Mobile devices go this is fairly bog standard but then we look at the phone and see there’s just a little more to this than meets the eye.
Best of: DVB TV, Box & Packaging, GPS Folder (See below), FM Radio, SMS Service
Worst of: Screen Flicker, Bottom App Section

What’s in the box?

Well we wont go into too much detail about what’s in the box as we have an Unboxing Video already online.


Matt has posted the specs along with the  Unboxing Video already so have a look there before reading on.


The Eten Glofiish V900 didn’t really follow in the same design the other Glofiish handsets out there (not that there is a specific Glofiish design). Weighing in at 147g it’s not quite the lightest handset out there but saying that it really isn’t heavy either.

The front end of the phone boasts a large 2.8" 480 x 640 touch screen. Sitting at the top of the screen there is a front facing VGA camera for 3G Video calls and an earpiece grill which houses two system indicator lights.

Angled view of Glofiish V900

The left hand side of the phone has just 2 buttons and the DVB antenna which looks like a stylus when tucked away. The button at the top is the rocker volume switch which I have to admit would have been better on the right hand side for comfort. The second button is defaulted as Voice Command but can be customised.

The Left Hand Side

Moving over to the opposite side we find the power button, reset pin hole, MicroSD slot, camera button and the Stylus.

The Right Hand Side

The top of the handset has nothing but a simple GPS logo etched in.

Top View

At the bottom we find (from left to right) the 2.5mm Jack socket (please stop this device manufacturers), miniUSB port and the microphone.

Bottom View

At the top left hand side on the back of the phone 3.1MP auto focus camera with the self portrait mirror, LED flash, and large speaker sitting just to the right of it. Underneath this lot we see the Glofiish name and windows logo printed on the removable part of the back cover.

Back View

Removing the back from the phone allows you access to the Li-Ion 1530 mAh battery and simcard area. The first thing I noticed when removing the back cover was a label saying "Don’t Tear" which if I’m being honest I have no idea what it relates to but can only guess that its talking about a piece of plastic film that’s been stuck to the battery to make it easier to remove.. 

Highlights and Lowlights



+ FM Radio

+ Screen Size

– Screen seems to get brighter every now and again causing a flicker effect.

– Flimsy Antenna

– No full paper version of instructions


The phone is priced quite highly which for me was a downside, even with the DVB and GPS. If I was to pick a group of people that would be interested in this phone I would go with the Windows Mobile fan who just wants a little more tech in his technology.

When I took the phone box out of its very nice "Special Delivery" pack and bubble wrap the first thing that caught my eye was a very simplistic yet eye catching box. In saying that I found it funny that the box told you where to buy it despite the fact that by having it you have already bought it (or had it for Free like us). Opening the box was very refreshing, no confuddle of leaflets, cables etc… just a very plain cardboard insert housing the phone which did however take me a wee while to get the phone out of there as I had not seen Matt’s video at this point. Underneath the initial cardboard insert lay a cardboard box which was very neatly packed with the cables and leaflets that normally clutter every other box.

Powering on the phone gave a very bright orange background which if you look at the glofiish website seems to be their trade colour. After running through the normal Windows Mobile set up it loaded the spb Shell interface which in general I am not a fan of but it was nice for a change to see it coming built in.

Navigation was very simple as you’ll find that all Windows Mobile systems handle the same way. The D-Pad wasn’t however just as easy to navigate with. I found this quite cumbersome and slow to respond. I decided that for the remainder of my trial I would only use it if needed.

Angled D-Pad View

There were lots on nice things sitting inside the programs menu like the GPS folder which had a GPS viewer, Location SMS and Satelite Data Update tucked inside it. The next "nice thing" was the Multimedia folder which had the FM Transmitter, FM Tuner and Mobile TV Player inside. I played a lot with all of these tools and loved everyone of them. The FM radio needed no headset to play which was a great feature and the Location SMS was simply fun to use.

If asked to describe the Mobile TV Player I would say I have mixed feelings. After speaking with Matt we thought that it might only be possible to get this service working on London or Birmingham as those were the only 2 cities in the UK listed in the presets however after fiddling about with the settings a little more I eventually found a section that would allow me to scan deeper and low and behold I had Digitial TV working on the phone. This was met with a little annoyance as it did take over 10 minutes to scan and load the channel lists.

At the bottom of the today screen there is a section that contains nearly every app / program the phone has, I found this really annoying as I prefer to have a clean desktop but would admit that this could come in handy if your not as fussy as I am.

The MicroSD slot was a nightmare! I had to use the stylus to insert and remove my 8gb MicroSD as the slot was sunken so deep a mere mortals fingers would struggle to get anything in our out of it.

If you were to ask me what I would change on this phone I would say remove the D-Pad, remove the app /program launcher at the bottom of the today screen, include a paper user manual, fix the software on the Mobile TV to allow for a quick scan, sort out the MicroSD slot and more preset Cities and strengthen the antenna. Having said all that there are a number of features I would hate to have changed such as GPS, SMS and FM radio.

Antenna View


I used the phone for over a week and found it very easy to use. Having never used another manufactures windows mobile device I was surprised to see that there was so much that could be tweaked / customised from one device to another and that Eten took advantage of this. I enjoyed using the phone and despite it’s downsides and would honest still buy one for the TV & Radio systems alone. I think it was a very bold move for Eten to include the TV on the phone but I think it was a move which will pay off for them.

If you are interested in this handset then why not pop over to CLOVE technology where you can pre-order this handset for £464.13 (Inc VAT).

Posted by: John

Posted in: Reviews
By October 4, 2008 Read More → – An update on their troubles

image If your a fan of Windows Mobile I am sure is on your regular read list, it certainly is on mine, anyway they have had horrendous problems with an attack which has ended up were Google have pretty much knocked them off the internet. Any search you do in Google that returns a Coolsmartphone page will have a horrible message under it saying, "This site may harm your computer". Leigh has worked tirelessly to remove the problem and now reports all is well. You can read the full explanation after the break.

Posted in: Phones
By October 4, 2008 Read More →

We want to hear from you!!

image As you all know we now do a weekly podcast which is now up to episode 6. Well we want to add a comments and questions section to our podcast and that’s where you come in. We want to hear from you so we can play your questions, comments or opinions on the podcast. To get in touch we have a couple of ways to do it. The first way is by Skype, we have a dedicated voicemail line which you can call and leave a message by clicking on the link below, that way we can play your question on the podcast. The second way is to email us at by clicking here, please get in touch and be part of the future podcasts.

Leave me voicemail

Posted in: Site Announcements
By October 4, 2008 Read More →

Bad news if you want a HTC Touch HD in America

image HTC via their Twitter updates have confirmed that "we have no plans for a US 3G version of the HD at this time" in a separate tweet they did say "We can’t promise the US will get a phone similar to the HD, only hope along with you that the possibility exists." So there you have it, bad news for our American readers and another frustrating decision by HTC after the long wait you guy’s had for the Diamond and Touch Pro.

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Posted in: Phones
By October 4, 2008 Read More →

Andy Ruben talks about Android Market

ab-600x263 Android Community has an article about Andy Ruben from Google commenting on the Android Market.

Andy Rubin, head of Google’s Android project, spoke this week about his visions for Android Market. Rubin discussed application bandwidth limits and, more importantly perhaps, how Android Market will differ from Apples iTunes App Store.

Posted in: Phones
By October 4, 2008 Read More →

Sony Rolly (mini) review and video

I have to say, when Sony asked me to review the Sony Rolly I’d never heard of it, when they then explained it to me it sounded like a terrible idea. However, when it arrived a week ago and I’d had time to play with it I decided that it was actually quite cool.


The Sony Rolly


So what is the Sony Rolly? It’s actually quite difficult to define. Is it an MP3 player? Is it a toy? Is it a bluetooth speaker system? The answer to all of these questions is yes.

Looking a little like a rugby ball with wheels I expected the Rolly to be about that size, however, it actually fits comfortably in the palm of your hand.

The Rolly has 1 or 2GB of internal memory (depending on the model) which can hold your MP3 music. To transfer the music to the Rolly though you’ll have to use the supplied PC software called Rolly Choreographer. There’s no MAC version of this. The Automatic Choreography feature uses 12 tone analysis and beat analysis technology to analyse music on your Rolly, and then automatically creates motion that matches the music. You can manually work on the choreography if you want using the software too.


Sony Rolly on its Cradle


When you turn Rolly on its arms open to reveal the built in loudspeakers that are on each end. Now Rolly can be used as media player without any dance movements or you can press the play button again and Rolly enters dance mode.

The display-less Rolly will play MP3 files, as well as ATRAC, streamed via Bluetooth from your computer or mobile phone. It also contains sensors that know which way is up, so that volume can be adjusted by turning the player clockwise or anti-clockwise, tracks can be changed by rolling the player forwards or backwards or shaking it.

It’s probably easier to show you what the Rolly is all about rather than tell you so have a look at the video below:


Sony Rolly unboxed and previewed


So how do we define the Sony Rolly? I guess you’d have to call it an entertainment gadget. Everyone seems to like it but then goes on to ask what it’s for!


Rolly with its stand


Whether or not it’s worth the £175 price tag personally I would have to say no. Sony’s robot technology is spectacular and you’ll want to watch Rolly dance for a little while before it simple turns into and expensive set of bluetooth speakers. Granted the audio quality is good but for the price you could by a high capacity MP3 player and basic bluetooth speakers and still find change from the £175. I guess if you are a DJ or Club owner then the cost maybe more justifiable. Or maybe you just want to own one of R2-D2’s distant cousins?


Review by: Matt

Posted in: Reviews