Archive for December 3rd, 2008

By December 3, 2008 Read More →

Meizu M8 reviewed in Chinese (translated)

1257013 There is now a translated review of the Meizu M8. It is extremely thorough and if you are not totally put off by the pigeon English translation then its worth a read. Not only does it look like the iPhone but the UI seems to be rather similar but is apparently Windows CE 6.0n albeit heavily redesigned. If this is ever released outside Asia I would imagine that there would be a great deal of confusion. That said, the device is given top marks!

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

T-Mobile G1 now free on £30 contract

image If you have been holding off taking the plunge on the T-Mobile G1 phone, now could be a good time to get one. T-mobile have just sent us an email letting us now that it is now free on the lowest £30.00 per month contract. They will also throw in an 8 Gig memory card too. Full details after the break.

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

O2 energy efficient universal mobile phone charger

image Telefónica O2 UK has today announced the launch of an energy efficient universal mobile phone charger – the O2 Universal Charger. The first product of its kind to be launched by a UK network, the O2 Universal Charger is amongst the most energy efficient in the UK cutting energy consumption by as much as 70 per cent compared to standard mobile phone chargers.

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

HTC take over design company One & Co

image HTC Corporation today announced the continuation of its design focus with the acquisition of San Francisco-based lifestyle design firm One & Company Design, Inc. (One & Co).  Recognized for its award-winning work with some of the world’s best known and most design-savvy lifestyle brands, One & Co will maintain its name and client base while it joins forces with HTC to create an unparalleled force in global mobile design.

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

Press Release: Motorola Introduces MOTOROKR EM35

The latest mobile phone to pop out and say "Hello Moto" it the MotoRokr EM35. On the 9th of last month we gave you the "Spotted in the Wild" post and yesterday Motorola made it real.

EM35_FrontOpen_1, 9/3/08, 10:11 AM,  8C, 4556x1706 (629+3258), 100%, bent 6 adjuste,  1/10 s, R60.9, G45.0, B72.7
  EM35_FrontOpen_1, 9/3/08, 10:11 AM,  8C, 4556x1706 (629+3258), 100%, bent 6 adjuste,  1/10 s, R60.9, G45.0, B72.7
EM35_dynamic 001 EM35_Back_1, 9/3/08, 3:08 PM,  8C, 4476x2154 (717+3090), 100%, Custom,  1/10 s, R48.9, G33.0, B60.7
MotoRokr EM35 In Various Views

MOTOROKR™ EM35 boasts audio-enhancing CrystalTalk™ technology and virtual surround sound with elite music functionality
SCHAUMBURG, Ill. – Dec. 2, 2008 – Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) today announced the addition of MOTOROKR EM35 to the ROKR portfolio. A device designed for supreme audio performance both as a mobile device and music player, EM35 delivers an exceptional audio experience for both music and talk.
“As the popularity of integrated music and talk functionalities on mobile devices increases, so does the demand for enhanced audio to ensure the best experience,” said Tracey Koziol, corporate vice president, mid-tier and feature products, Mobile Devices, Motorola. “With virtual surround sound and an abundance of top features, the EM35 is perfect for the consumer looking to receive the highest multimedia and sound performance. When listening with earphones, a unique algorithm enables music to sound as if it is playing in the space around your head, rather than inside of your eardrums, enhancing the way you listen to music.”
EM35 amplifies your conversations and helps reduce background noise with CrystalTalk technology, so virtually nothing comes between you and your call. From more superior voice quality to personalized noise adaptation, CrystalTalk makes a noticeable difference in the clarity and intelligibility of conversations while in a noisy environment. EM35 further enhances the audio quality with the addition of a second microphone, which helps eliminate more ambient background noise from the call.
ROKR EM35 is a robust music player with a full suite of dedicated keys to easily launch and control music. Whether listening via the built-in dual speakers, stereo Bluetooth wireless technology or 3.5mm stereo wired headphones, the EM35 rocks. Users can quickly access content or search through an entire music library to find a song that suits the mood by simply moving a thumb across the FastScrollTM navigation wheel. Pressing or holding the dedicated “play” key launches shuffle mode.
Slide the device open to send a text or surf the web while listening to music, or to pause the music and make a phone call. Also, find pre-installed and downloadable widgets – third-party web applications – for access to real-time information such as weather, sports scores, stock tickers, flight information, social media, news headlines and more.
MOTOMUSIC player is an exclusive application that enables users to listen to music while simultaneously being connected to the music store. Once connected, users can discover and access new music, preview and purchase music, retrieve artist information, share favourite tracks with friends, gift tracks from the EM35 and watch videos and free podcasts.
Compatibility with Windows® Media Player 11 gives consumers the freedom to manage music on the PC and discover new music by downloading  it from a PC to the phone from more than 200 on-line music stores worldwide. ROKR EM35 has an integrated FM antenna that enables FM radio to be played over stereo Bluetooth or external stereo speakers without the use of a headset. FM radio with Radio Data System (RDS) technology makes identifying songs and artists easy by displaying available FM station information like song, artist and genre. SONGID technology completes the music experience and gives you new ways to discover music while on the go.
MOTOROKR™ EM35 is expected to be available later this quarter. For more information on technical specs, please visit

ROKR™ EM35:  Rock and Talk with Unmatched Audio
MOTOROKR™ EM35 delivers an exceptional audio experience for both music and talk.  The phone features advanced audio-enhancing CrystalTalk™ technology, a robust music player, virtual stereo surround sound– bringing you beyond a typical listening experience to becoming a part of it – and MOTOMUSIC player6 which enables users to play, discover and purchase music. With access to online music stores and stereo Bluetooth®, EM35 offers an all-around multimedia experience.

Audio Excellence Delivered: EM35 delivers incredible audio with virtual stereo surround sound, connecting you with your music like never before.  When listening with earphones, music will sound as if it is playing in the space around your head, rather than inside of your eardrums.  Whether listening via the built-in dual speakers, stereo Bluetooth or 3.5mm stereo wired headphones, the EM35 rocks.

Hear and Be Heard:   Enhanced CrystalTalk technology amplifies your conversations and helps reduce background noise so virtually nothing comes between you and your call.

Bring Your Music Alive: With MOTOMUSIC player1, listen to music while simultaneously being connected to the music store.  Once connected, access, discover, preview and purchase music from the phone or a PC, get artist information, share favorite tracks with friends, gift tracks from the EM35 and watch videos and free podcasts1 Over time, MOTOMUSIC player will even make personalized recommendations to match your musical tastes.

Discover New Music: Windows® Media Player 11 gives you the freedom to manage your music on a PC and discover new music from more than 200 on-line music stores worldwide1,3 ROKR EM35 has an integrated FM antenna that enables FM radio to be played over stereo Bluetooth or external stereo speakers without the use of a headset, and built-in FM radio with SONGID technology1 to complete the music experience.

Rock On-The-Go: The ROKR EM35 has an integrated FM radio with Radio Data System (RDS)4 technology that makes identifying songs and artists easy by displaying available FM station information like song, artist and genre. With an optional 32GB micro SD removable storage card, you can store your favorite songs and take your entire music library wherever you go.  And use the FastScroll navigation wheel to quickly access content and search for music (music mode), calendar (phone mode) and multimedia (imaging mode). 

Create Memories: Catch life’s moments with the 3.1 megapixel camera that captures still images and video.  Edit images and share memories with friends and family through the web or messaging features.

Real-Time Information On-the-Go: Pre-installed and downloadable1 widgets give you access to real-time information such as weather, stock reports and more.



MMS, SMS, Email, POP3/IMAP embedded), IM (Dwnld Java, Embedded –WVIM, MSN Messenger), Open Source 


FM Radio, AAC, AAC+, AAC+ Enhanced, AMR NB, AMR WB, MIDI, MP3, RA v10, RA v9, WAV, WMA v10, WMA v9, XMFMIDI


Capture/Playback/Streaming1, Video-C/P >14fps, Video-Prog Dwnld1, Video-Streaming1, H.263, H.264, MPEG4, RV v9, WMV v10, WMV v9


3.1 MP w/ zoom and fixed focus

On Board Memory

110MB user available memory5, Optional MicroSD Card (Up to 32GB)


Class 2 Stereo Bluetooth Wireless Technology2, 3.5mm, USB 2.0 HS, Mobile Phone Tools, OMA DM, OTA ActiveSync, Over the Air Sync (OTA)1, PC Sync


GSM 850/900/1800/1900, EDGE
Class 12, GPRS Class 12




71.50 cc


49.5(x) 107.00(y) 16.00(z)


2.2” QVGA TFT 262k TFT


810.00 mAh

Standard TT/SB Time

Up to approximately 400 minutes/400 hours 




Linux Java  7.4

Form Factor


Posted by: John

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

Canon Digital IXUS 85IS review

A little while ago, our friends at Canon provided us with a very smart looking Canon Digital IXUS 85IS. This is the mid range camera in the latest Digital IXUS range of cameras from Canon. The IXUS range has been around for a number of years now, and the latest versions certainly seem to continue Canon’s acclaimed styling, reliability and quality. However, if this new version is anything to go by, I have to say that first impressions show an even higher level of build quality than previous units. This little gem is solid, well built and looks like it would take a few knocks or accidental drops for sure.

Have a look below at the front of the camera and judge for your self…


The Canon Digital IXUS 85IS


Canon have certainly stuck to their initial plans from the very first IXUS ranges, and this latest version doesn’t really differ too much in functionality from some of the original cameras. Obviously the electronics have got faster, lenses smother in operation and Image Resolution has increased but the look and feel remains around the same. Don’t expect technical wizardry, in camera editing or a host of scenery effects with this little camera, Leave that for Photoshop. Canon have however built in a really good Image stabilisation system into this camera so there is a little of something for everyone. The processing power of the DIGIC III engine is actually very good, and whilst some of the options seen on other cameras may not be included, the more important benefits really shine through such as very fast focusing and excellent colour capture and reproduction..

What’s in the Box?

Not surprisingly, pretty normal for a compact Digital camera, LI-ON Battery, Manuals, Charger, USB connection and AV cables. Wish I had the patent for those AV cables everyone uses.


Canon IXUS 85IS Specification

  • Type: Type – Ultra Compact
  • Pixels: CCD – 10 megapixels / Resolution (in pixels) – 3648 x 2736
  • Optical: Optical Viewfinder – Real-image zoom, optical viewfinder / LCD display – 2.5" (6.35 cm) PureColor II TFT screen 100% coverage 230,000 dots Up to 15 brightness settings / Macro Distance – 3 cm / Normal Distance – From 30 cm upwards / Optical Zoom – 3x / Digital Zoom – 4x / ISO range – Auto, High ISO auto (with movement detection), 80, 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1600 ISO /
  • Storage: Image formats – JPEG / Memory Card Type – SDHC, SD, MMC Plus, HC MMC Plus cards / Included Memory Card – 32 MB / Internal Memory – No
  • Video: Video mode – Yes, with sound / Video Sequence – 640 x 480 at 30 images/sec. / TV Output – No / Webcam – No
  • Classic IXUS design
  • 10.0 Megapixels
  • 3x zoom with optical IS
  • Motion Detection Technology
  • Face Detection Technology
  • Red-Eye Correction
  • DIGIC III processor and iSAPS
  • 2.5" PureColor LCD II
  • 19 Shooting Modes
  • Creative movie options



The IXUS 85IS, takes its lead from the earlier IXUS80 taking the well tried and tested Image stabilisation introduced with this earlier version and increasing the Image resolution to 10megapixels. This should really be enough for almost anyone allowing a substantial range of enlargements whilst retaining high quality.

Looking at the camera starting at the back shows a very uncluttered set of controls.

A simple “Shoot or Play” switch at the top, menu access via pretty standard buttons, but with direct access to some of the most common used controls such as flash, autotimer and macro settings. It certainly would not take anyone who has used any compact camera before very long at all to use this camera to full effect.


Unusually though for a compact camera is a built in viewfinder which in my opinion is a very useful addition. Seeing any compact camera screen clearly in a very bright sunny day can be difficult, and with additional power saving of not using the screen a further advantage.


A standard SD card slot is provided which will take SDHC cards located right next to the battery location.

ixus_top_off ixus_top_on

Shutter controls and zoom functions are located at the top of the camera, initially I thought the zoom control was slightly too far to the centre of the camera but this turned out to be quite comfortable.


With the majority of the case metal, the look and feel of the camera are very good, controls are simple to operate and menu response very fast when jumping through settings.



  • Very fast to operate – Average start up times of the camera around 1 second
  • Fast focusing of the autofocus engine is very good, allowing shots to be taken very quickly. It takes about 1.5 seconds between shots which is average for a camera of this size and type. Continuous shooting allows a couple of frames a second, but the camera does not refocus though.
  • Good colour and Saturation of images and shots taken
  • Image Stabilisation helps remove lots of camera shake allowing pictures to be taken in lower light levels (This is more important as the IXUS 85IS does suffer from noise at higher ISO levels)
  • Simple to use menus and controls


  • Noise levels on High ISO values over around ISO 400 do start to affect image quality
  • Levels of purple fringing on some shots taken outdoors in bright Sun



This little Canon really looks and feels like its earlier stable-mates from the original IXUS mould. Enhancements have been made, and the increase in image resolution and Image Stabilisation are great benefits but are becoming more and more standard across all manufacturers. What sets Camera this apart is the IXUS style, build quality and performance. Built to take knocks and I’d suggest a reasonable amount of abuse. It’s almost akin to what that certain “Fruit Named” manufacturer did with MP3 players – Added style!

The lens is relatively standard 3x Optical zoom equivalent to a standard 35-105mm lens, perhaps not offering quite the range of some other cameras – I missed a slightly wider angle. Quality though was excellent and zoom in and out times quite impressive. Built into the lens is Canon’s tried and tested image stabilisation which again does the job very well.

Images taken were very sharp and very crisp to view, even when zoomed in at very high levels. The 10MP CCD is certainly well up for almost every demand that most photographers would throw at it. Some issues were seen with shots, mostly with outdoor images in bright sun, with some fringing in a great shade of purple against edges of images. I had seen reports of softening of images towards the corners but I found this acceptable and not overly soft.

Image noise on high ISO values (mostly above 800) was quite high and got worse as the ISO level was increased. I’m sure most users would not really use these high ISO settings on a day to day basis though so probably would never been noticed.

The controls are synonymous with most of the other cameras in the IXUS range as well as most other compact cameras. The simple DPAD and switches to choose Picture, Video or Play mode are located in sensible places, very clearly labelled and simple to understand.

The 2.5” LCD is clear, crisp and very bright in most light levels with the added advantage of a small but very useful viewfinder.



Staying true to the IXUS brand, the IXUS 85IS is a commendable well built and performing compact digital camera. It is very simple to use, light weight (Whilst still feeling very well built) and a fast performer with autofocus taking around ½ second even in low light situations.

The evidence of some fringing in bright shots and the noise on High ISO settings did let things down a little, but most normal photograph takes would never notice these issues.

Overall another worthy contender to the IXUS brand, with prices now coming down on this little unit to very reasonable levels around £140 advertised on various web sites it is a very good day to day camera with some good nifty features.

If you are looking for a reasonably priced, point and shoot camera, with some nice additions this one should be on your list.


Review by: John

Posted in: Reviews