Archive for October, 2008

By October 4, 2008 Read More →

HP Oak hitting Europe

oakhp Here’s a rather swish looking HP. Having let us down a bit with HP iPaq 914, HP is fighting back with a take on the Touch Pro/Experia and it looks to be a smart looking phone. Check out the preview picture after the break.

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

Touch HD Walkthrough

htc-touch-hd Mobility Today has posted a video with a look at the Touch HD. It’s quite short and spends most of its time in landscape. It’s a nice advert but really doesn’t cover too many of the questions we are all asking. Check the link after the break.

Posted in: Phones
By October 3, 2008 Read More →

Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 – Release date and price confirmed!

Thanks to Clove Technology, we’ve just found out the release date and price of the Sony Ericsson Xperai X1

Week commencing 6th October, we will see the first of the brand new and highly sought after Sony Xperia X1 become available. With a truly spectacular specification and features set, the X1 has been gaining lots of attention.

  • The X1 will have a QWERTY keyboard
  • MicroSD Slot
  • 3” WVGA Display
  • Bluetooth
  • Windows Mobile

The price has been confirmed at just £439 + VAT. Available in either Black or Silver you can order yours today ready for shipping next week. CLICK HERE to pre-order yours today!


Posted by: Matt

Posted in: News
By October 3, 2008 Read More →

Camcorder group test (Part 2) Panasonic SDR-S7 review

Panasonic SDR-S7 Review

Like everything else these days, personal video cameras or camcorders are getting smaller and more convenient to use. We’ve gone from wallet-busting shoulder mounted behemoths of the late 80’s using tape to compact handheld devices that fit in your pocket and which can be had for less than £200. The Panasonic SDR-S7 is a typical example of the new breed of camcorders that have made “home movies” so much more accessible for all of us by being low cost and convenient.


The Panasonic SDR-S7 camcorder


What’s in the box?

  • SDR-S7 video camera
  • USB lead
  • AV cable
  • Strap
  • Printed manual
  • Software CD
  • Mains charger


Panasonic SDR-S7 unboxing video



I’m going to break with convention and avoid describing all the controls in detail as, by their nature, video cameras have a significant number of buttons, controls, menus and doo-dahs to operate them. However, controls have sensibly been kept to a minimum and this is undoubtedly a good thing when I watch how many people struggle with a normal digicam. Suffice to say, ease of use has been designed into the device and I found it remarkably easy to get to grips with without having to refer to the manual. This is a good test of any device and the Panasonic passes with distinction. I’m sure my mum could operate it!

s7_controls s7_lens s7_connectors

The main control is a rotary switch that selects two operating modes for either motion picture recording, motion picture playback, still picture recording or still picture playback. To the left and above this switch is a menu select, auto-mode select, manual mode/auto-manual focus select and a 5-way cursor keypad for menu selection. On the top of the body there’s zoom-in/out controls and to the front on the right hand side next to the lens there’s a switch that opens or closes the lens cover (there’s no separate lens cover to be lost here – good thinking).
To the rear of the camera body behind a flap there’s a power jack, AV-out jack and USB socket for direct connection to a pc. Next to this is a dual function switch that either activates the camera shutter or starts/stops video filming. Now I realise that might sound fairly complicated, but in reality it’s not and in everyday use there’s only the rotary on/off mode select switch, the shutter release and the zoom controls to bother yourself about.

Panasonic SDR-S7 Specification:

  • Battery: Li-ion VW-VBJ10, 3.6v/1000mAh
  • Video resolution: Standard Definition
  • Sensor size: 1/6" CCD 800k Pixels
  • Video Recording Format: SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card,
  • USB Connection: Yes
  • Optical Zoom Factor: 10x
  • Digital Zoom: 10x – 700x
  • Image Stabiliser: Yes
  • LCD Screen Size: 2.7", 123k pixels
  • Built-In Flash: No
  • MPEG movie mode: MPEG-1 layer 2
  • Photo mode: Yes
  • Photo mode resolution: 640×480 (jpeg)
  • Media card: SDHC Card or SD Card,
  • Sound: Stereo
  • Manual exposure: Yes
  • Manual white balance: Yes
  • Backlight compensation: Yes
  • Built-in light: No
  • Shutter speed: 1/25th 1/8000 sec (video), 1/25th -1/500 sec (stills)
  • Minimum light (Lux): 2 Lux (Colour Night View)
  • Accessory shoe: No
  • Analogue input: No
  • External microphone socket: No
  • Dimensions (WxHxD) mm: 41.0 x 59.0 x 102.0 mm
  • Weight: 165g (camera only)


  • Simple
  • Compact
  • Robust
  • Uses SD cards
  • Easy to use


  • Screen attracts dust and fingerprints
  • Feels a bit cheap
  • No conventional viewfinder


The Panasonic is an extremely compact device – in the hand with the screen closed it’s little bigger than many current mobile phones.

It’s easy to use and pretty much foolproof. Fold the screen out, power it on by using the rotary mode switch, selecting either video or still camera mode and, depending whether or not you use it at eye-level or waist-level, start filming by pressing the record button on the rear of the camera or the right side. The whole process takes less than 5 seconds with a very impressive start-up time. This reduces the chances of missing film-worthy action and helps to ensure you can capture those entertaining moments. The only potential gotcha here is forgetting to open the manual lens cover. I am sure we’ve all done that before!

There’s a manual focus mode and manual exposure mode that gives more control over the shooting options available, but to be honest that sort of defeats the object of this kind of camera. Its forte is quick operation and convenience so, the best thing to do is leave it in auto, leave the lens cover open, point it at your subject and get on with filming. It’s worth pointing out at this stage that if you are after high-quality footage then you should look beyond this unit. Resolution is 704 x 576 and, depending upon the recording mode used (there’s three levels of compression) you can expect to get between 50 minutes and 3.25hrs of footage on a 4GB SDHC card.

For a budget model the Panasonic copes quite well in low light levels which, is just as well because there is no built-in light. There was some discernible noise, but by the time it’s been mangled by YouTube or other online services it wouldn’t be noticeable.

Shooting with the camera at eye-level is not as natural or convenient as it would be with a more traditional kind using an optical or conventional viewfinder. In fact, I found using it in this manner resulted in wrist strain. However, it excels at waist level filming, which is a good technique to use if you want to remain fairly discrete. I can imagine this camcorder is ideal for parties and it’s the sort of device that I’d like strapped to the side of my motorcycle for a bit of fun.

The 10x optical zoom is fairly modest by camcorder standards – I didn’t investigate the digital zoom as this inevitably destroys image quality and, as a photographer, I am very fussy about that. The limited zoom isn’t an issue though because it encourages the user to get in closer which, almost always results in far better and more personal footage.

As a camera things are not so rosy. The resolution is very low at 640 x 480 making images look grainy and dull so, I would only ever use it in an emergency. There is no built-in flash so, it would only be usable in good light and therefore it’s no better than a very basic phone camera. In fact, you are probably better off using a camera phone. This might sound a bit harsh, but to be fair to Panasonic it’s not intended to be a still camera.

Battery life seemed to be adequate with about 1 – 1.25 hrs use being possible depending upon how much zooming in-out I did and what compression mode was used. It might not seem much, but it’s about par for most DV video cameras and enough considering its intended use.


Panasonic SDR-S7 battery and memory card


You can download a sample video – taken straight from the SDR-S7 memory card with this link.



There’s much to like in a package like this. It’s compact, easy to use, convenient and fairly robust. At a push it can also double as a camera. At around £190 plus the cost of a high capacity SDHC card, the price is now within reach of many of us without causing the credit card to freak out. If you’re serious about filming then like most consumer devices you really should look elsewhere, but if you’re looking for something to publish to YouTube, your blog or for capturing little clips for family entertainment then there’s not much wrong with the Panasonic. I can’t see many of us being too dissatisfied with it and I’d be happy with one of these for casual everyday use.

Join me again soon for the next camera in the Camcorder Group Test or head over and look at Part 1 to see which cameras we are including or take a look at my Toshiba Camileo H10 review or Sanyo Xacti HD700 review.


Review by: Nigel

Posted in: Reviews
By October 3, 2008 Read More →

Devicewire Bundles of Joy

The team over at Devicewire have thrown together 8 new package deals on HTC Devices that we thought you might be interested in. Each bundle has a saving of between £5 and £35 which if you ask me makes it very lucrative.

The have the following bundles on offer:

  • HTC Touch Diamond Starter Bundle

This bundle includes the HTC Touch Diamond, the Official HTC Touch Diamond Car Kit Upgrade Kit, the Official HTC Touch Diamond Pouch Case and the Official HTC Screen Protector (Pack of 2).

  • HTC Touch Diamond UK Sat Nav Bundle

This bundle includes the HTC Touch Diamond, the Official HTC Touch Diamond Car Kit Upgrade Kit and the CoPilot Live software (Regional Edition).

  • HTC Touch Diamond Europe Sat Nav Bundle

This bundle includes the HTC Touch Diamond, the Official HTC Touch Diamond Car Kit Upgrade Kit and the CoPilot Live software (Europe Edition).


  • HTC Touch Pro Starter Bundle

This bundle includes the HTC Touch Pro, the Official HTC Touch Pro Car Kit Upgrade Kit, the Kingston 2GB microSD card, the Official HTC Standard Pouch and the Official HTC Screen Protector (Pack of 2).

  • HTC Touch Pro Car Bundle

This bundle includes the HTC Touch Pro and the Official HTC Touch Pro Car Kit Upgrade Kit.

  • HTC Touch Pro Memory Bundle

This bundle includes the HTC Touch Pro and the Kingston 2GB microSD card.

  • HTC Touch Pro (UK & Ireland) Sat Nav Bundle

This bundle includes the HTC Touch Pro, the Official HTC Touch Pro Car Kit Upgrade Kit and CoPilot Live 7 (UK & Ireland).

  • HTC Touch Pro (European) Sat Nav Bundle

This bundle includes the HTC Touch Pro, the Official HTC Touch Pro Car Kit Upgrade Kit and CoPilot Live 7 (European).


Pop over to Devicewire now and have a closer look at these amazing deals

Posted by: John

Posted in: News
By October 3, 2008 Read More →

Expansys – Windows Mobile Friday

Thanks to our friends over at Expansys we are again able to offer two special Tracy & Matt deals this week.

The first offer is the MWg UBiQUiO 501

MWg UBiQUiO 501

  • Operating System: Windows Mobile 5.0 Pocket PC Edition
  • Memory: 128MB ROM, 64MB RAM
  • Dimensions: 122 (L) x 65 (W) x 13.5 (D) mm
  • Weight:135g
  • GSM/GPRS/EDGE: GSM 900/DCS 1800/PCS 1900, GPRS Class 10
  • Bluetooth: 1.2 wth A2DP
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g
  • Processor: TI OMAP 750 200 MHz
  • Display: 2.5" QVGA Colour TFT
  • Camera: 2 Mega-Pixel
  • Memory Card: Mini SD
  • Connector: mini USB

The second offer we have is on the MWg UBiQUiO 503G

MWg UBiQUiO 503G

  • Operating System – Windows Mobile 6 Professional
  • Memory – 192MB ROM, 96MB RAM
  • GSM/GPRS/EDGE – Quad-band 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, GPRS Class 10
  • WCDMA/UMTS – Tri-band 850/1900/2100 MHz, HSDPA 3.6 Mbps
  • Processor – 520MHz Intel XScale 270 + Qualcomm 6280
  • Bluetooth – 1.2 with A2DP
  • Wi-Fi – 802.11b/g
  • Display – 2.4" QVGA (240×320) Colour TFT
  • Camera(s) – 2MP main camera, secondary 0.3MP camera
  • Memory Card – Micro SD
  • Connector – mini USB
  • Dimensions – 123mm x 65mm x 15.7mm

The deals are only available between 11am and 4pm UK time on Friday the 3rd of October*. Normal pricing will resume at 4pm.

MWg UBiQUiO 501 save £50
Normally £149.99, now only £99.99 inc VAT, save £50

MWg UBiQUiO 501 on T-Mobile contract (£30 per month) plus FREE Slingbox Classic
Normally £209, now FREE**, save £209

MWg UBiQUiO 503G
Normally £229.99, now only £109.99 inc VAT, save £120

MWg UBiQUiO 503G on T-Mobile contract with 3G (£35 per month) plus FREE Celio Redfly
Normally £356, now FREE**, save £356

eXpansys are also pleased to announce that they are sponsoring for the second year the PDA Essential Awards 2008. You can vote for Best PDA/Smartphone of 2008 and Best GPS of 2008. Place your vote and two lucky winners could win the best device out of each category.

Posted by: John

Posted in: News
By October 2, 2008 Read More →

Meet the Nokia 5800 touch screen phone

image Nokia launched the 5800 XpressMusic touch screen Symbian OS phone today, a mobile device for music that brings innovative new features to the mass market.  Delivering on Nokia’s vision to provide the best total music experience possible, the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic will be among the first devices to support Comes With Music, Nokia’s groundbreaking service which offers one year of unlimited access to the entire Nokia Music Store catalogue. We have lots of videos after the break and I am unimpressed with the OS, check them out and see what you think.

Posted in: Phones
By October 2, 2008 Read More →

Zune software coming to Windows Mobile

image We have been talking about this for a long time and this is the first confirmation that we have heard from Microsoft that they intend to incorporate the Zune music playing capabilities into Windows Mobile devices. Steve Balmer speaking in an interview with CIO editor Martin Veitch said "At the end of the day, one of the big trends is that all content is going digital. And if we don’t have the software and services that are useful, helpful and valuable for the consumption of music and video, we are sort of not really a player. Now, we built the Zune hardware with the Zune software – and what you’ll see more and more over time is that the Zune software will also be ported to and be more important not just with the hardware but on the PC, on Windows Mobile devices, etc." Don’t expect this anytime soon though, my guess would be Windows Mobile 7 at the earliest.

via wmpoweruser and CIO

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Posted in: Phones
By October 2, 2008 Read More →

Eten Glofiish V900 unboxed

The Glofiish V900 is one of the newest devices from Eten and joins the ranks as one of the few Windows Mobile devices with a built in DVB TV tuner!

I’ve played with a couple of the TV capable devices in the past and have found all of them to be rather disappointing. However, the V900 is somewhat different as the TV tuner actually works. Using it at the office in London I can actually pick up over 50 channels of digital freeview TV. I actually lost the phone for about a day while some of the chaps in the office watched Sky Sports News. Several argued that the V900 was worth its price tag for that feature alone!


The Eten Glofiish V900


John has been using the Glofiish V900 over the past few weeks and his review, which I hope will cover more features that just the TV tuner, will be online shortly.

As always, you can see more of the Eten Glofiish V900 in the unboxing video below:


Eten Glofiish V900 Unboxed


Eten Glofiish V900 specification:

  • Windows Mobile 6 Professional
  • Samsung 667 MHz CPU
  • ROM: 256MB
  • RAM: 128MB
  • 2.8" (480 x 640) TFT Touchscreen
  • GSM850, GSM900, GSM1800, GSM1900, UMTS850, UMTS1900, UMTS2100, CSD, GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, HSDPA
  • Bluetooth 2.0 EDR
  • USB 1.1 Client (mini-USB connecter)
  • WiFi
  • FM Radio Receiver
  • T-DMB/DAB/DVB-T/DVB-H tuner
  • TV-Out feature
  • MicroSDHC card slot
  • 3.1 Mega Pixel, VGA camera for Video telephony
  • SiRFStar III GPS
  • Removable Lithium-ion1530mAh battery
  • 60.5 x 106 x 17.5 millimetres
  • 147 grams


Posted by: Matt

Posted in: Videos/Unboxings
By October 2, 2008 Read More →

Best software awards 2008

awards_page_header_2008 Pocketpcmag have published the awards for the best Smartphone and Pocket PC software for 2008. This is usually a pretty reliable list of whats hot. Scanning down it there are a few things that you might disagree with however these are decided upon for the masses. Worth looking at if you are thinking about picking up something and just can’t decide which incarnation to go with. Hit the link and have a look.

Update: Link corrected – Sorry 🙂

Posted in: Phones