Archive for December 4th, 2008

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iPhone overtakes Windows Mobile

image Q3 2008 saw Apple’s only current smartphone, the iPhone 3G, outsell the numerous devices based on the Windows Mobile platform not only in the USA but on a worldwide scale. Despite the global financial crisis the smartphone market share is still growing (though at a slower pace than last year) and territories are being remapped. The third quarter of 2008 saw some really interesting changes in position.

Posted in: Phones
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If only all UK operators had the same thoughts as Lyca Mobile.


First-rate offer of free text messages to mobiles in ALL countries
Why send cards? Deliver your holiday greetings for free and on time via SMS
Pay As You Go SIM is the ideal stocking filler and secret Santa gift
Festive offer period lasts from 1stDecember to  2nd January

LYCAMOBILE, the international mobile telecoms provider, helps to unite friends and families across the globe this Christmas and New Year with a special festive offer that gives international mobile phone users the opportunity to send their loved ones UNLIMITEDtext messages to mobiles in ANY country in the world.
From this 1st December to 2ndJanuary 2009, all users of Lycamobile’s Pay As You Go SIM, who top-up with £20 in December, can send free Christsmsto mobiles worldwide, may it be to Australia or to Zimbabwe. Complementing Lycamobile’s existing cut-price international call rates, starting from as little as 3p per minute, the festive offer is much more than just the icing on the Christmas cake.

“As always the focus of our festive promotion is to unite family and friends. In line with the increasing trend of sending text messages, we have developed a unique SMS promotion that allows our customers to interact on a global scale in a more straightforward and uncomplicated manner,” says Lycamobile’s CEO Milind Kangle.

Lycamobile’s free text message deal offers users unlimited opportunities that can range from getting your Christmas party started via free SMS invitations to sending seasonal SMS-powered greetings rather than spending extra money on extravagant cards and international postage fees.
As well as sending free text messages to any country, new Lycamobile customers get an extra £2 credit on registration and all customers get an additional £10 worth of calls on £20 top-up vouchers. Calls can be made by simply replacing an existing SIM card, in any unlocked UK mobile handset,with the Lycamobile Pay As You Go SIM. Top-ups and SIM cards are available from more than 85,000 UK retail outlets, including newsagents, convenience stores, payzone and e-pay. Top-up vouchers can also be purchased online at
On top of its seasonal rates Lycamobile always offers cut-price national tariffs, with calls to UK landlines costing 8p per minute while calls to UK mobiles are 10p per minute. Calls made between Lycamobile customers are even less at 0p per minute plus a one-off connection charge
“Why not give the gift of free worldwide text messages and bargain rate calls to your family, friends and colleagues? Our compactly-sized Pay As You Go SIM card makes an ideal stocking filler and secret Santa gift,” adds Kangle.

I’m not sure how much a PAYG simcard from Lyca Mobile will cost but I know that Tesco sell them, so why not get over there and see what this is all about.

For the sake of a £20 top up to take part in this offer it makes me think "where’s the catch", but in all honesty there is none.

Fantastic offer folks, I’m off to get myself a simcard.

Posted by: John

Posted in: News
By December 4, 2008 Read More →

Amazon MP3 store now available in the UK

image Amazon has finally launched their UK MP3 store. If you don’t want to be hooked into iTunes DRM you now have a viable option. Single tracks range in price from 59p to 80p, and albums start from £3.00 up to £10. You can download songs direct from the site, or you can install a program which allows you to download more than one song at time and download entire albums. The Amazon MP3 store is DRM free so once you have bought a track you can have it on any device you wish, they are compatible with iTunes so this maybe a good route for iPod and iPhone users too. Don’t expect a selection as big as iTunes yet but it will come with time. Take a look here.

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Lost dogs a thing of the past thanks to Orange

image The days of trekking across fields and rummaging in the bushes for your lost dog are over. Retrieva is working with Orange to launch the unique Retrieva Tracking and Anti-theft collar. According to the Missing Pets Bureau, nearly 2,500 dogs were lost or stolen every week in 2007. The Retrieva collar will help combat this through its instant tracking and alert system linked directly to your mobile phone.

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ModeLabs Group Announce MTV 3.4

ModeLabs Group, the French manufacturer of tailor-made phones (like the Christian Dior and the Hummer HT1 ones) has announced the availability of MTV 3.4 “Non-Stop MTV” – a new handset designed for youngsters.

ModeLabs Group: MTV 3.4 “Non-Stop MTV”: A New 3G Mobile Available with an Exclusive Offer By SFR

PARIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Regulatory News:

ModeLabs Group (Paris:MDL), the creator of tailor-made handsets, announces the commercial launch of its new MTV 3.4 “Non-Stop MTV” mobile telephone. Following the success of the MTV 3.3 launched in May 2008, MTV is thus reinforcing its range of 100% Music and TV mobiles with the MTV 3.4 to be made available as an exclusive SFR Pack in all SFR shops and retail distribution.

The MTV 3.4 “Non-Stop MTV” mobile incorporates the full range of multimedia functionalities. In particular, its “one-click” ergonomics developed by ModeLabs provide it with SINGLE CLICK access to MTV channels and to MTV’s musical playlists. The MTV 3.4 also possesses a large choice of preloaded MTV content (ring tones, videos, logos and games) and is equipped with a 2 mega pixel camera, an MP3 player, a videoconferencing function, an RSS feed reader and a memory that can be enlarged via a micro SD card.

Available for €29 as part of the SFR pack, this new generation mobile will be the perfect occasion to satisfy young consumers during the year-end festivities.

Coming after the MTV 3.3 phone, which was released in May this year, MTV 3.4 “Non-Stop MTV” obviously offers a set of features that will bring people closer to the popular music TV channel.

These include MTV musical playlists, single click access to MTV channels, exclusive ring tones, logos, wallpapers and two MTV games (Dirty Sanchez and Urban Attack).

MTV 3.4 “Non-Stop MTV” may be a good-looking slider, but except for the stuff mentioned above, its specs are rather modest:

  • 3G connectivity

  • MP3 player

  • 2MP camera

  • Videoconferencing

  • RSS feed reader

  • MicroSD card support, up to 2GB

MTV 3.4 “Non-Stop MTV” is currently available only in France, via SFR, for as low as €29 (as part of a SFR pack).

No word yet about the phone’s availability in other markets.

Posted by: John

[source & text]

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T-Mobile G1 Price Drop

The folks over at T-Mobile have done us all a big festive favour with this little offer.

Previously at £40 per month over 18 months they have decided to knock £10 of the price per month which is a more than welcomed move.

Flext 30 with Web n Walk Plus will get you a monthly credit worth up to 700 mins / 1400 texts or any combination in-between and comes with unlimited mobile data allowance (fair use policy in place).

Whilst we are STILL waiting on someone to send us a G1 I think this is a great deal and if I weren’t tied up with O2 just now I might well consider a move.

Posted by: John

Posted in: Deals & Offers
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T-Mobile Shadow II on FCC

In a move that seems a little unusual to say the least the T-Mobile Shadow II has appeared on the FCC website in all it’s glory.

T-Mobile Shadow II 1 T-Mobile Shadow II 2
T-Mobile Shadow II

Very much the same as it’s predecessor featuring Windows Mobile Standard, QVGA display, scroll wheel, Wi-Fi, microSD slot and a modest 2 megapixel camera the Shadow II will be Manufactured by HTC. Windows Mobile 6 has been upgraded to version 6.1 with additional support for Hot Spot Wi-Fi-based calling.

T-Mobile Shadow II 3 T-Mobile Shadow II 4
T-Mobile Shadow II

The main difference this time round is the more rounded edges and front buttons. The 20-key keyboard is still there using again a Blackberry style QW-ER-TY layout.

Since the phone is not officially announced yet, we don’t have any information about release date or expected price.

Posted by: John

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Press Release: HTC Bolsters Design Credibility With Addition of One & Co

OK so have a quick read through the below press release then I’ll tell you what this means to us.

HTC Bolsters Design Credibility With Addition of One & Co

Leader in lifestyle design will be cornerstone of HTC’s design capability and philosophy

while continuing as an innovative design consultancy

Taoyuan, Taiwan and SAN FRANCISCO, December 3, 2008 – Furthering its reputation as a global leader in mobile innovation and design, 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.

“Design is key, it is why you love or hate something,” said Horace Luke, Chief Innovation Officer, HTC Corporation. “Integrating iconic design into HTC products is an inspiring and dynamic challenge that requires a unique combination of consumer insight, creativity, innovation and an appetite to take risks; attributes that embody One & Co.”

HTC and One & Co first began collaborating in 2006 on the initial incubation and creation of the HTC Touch Diamond, a highly touted phone with iconic design that blended unprecedented use of material and industrial design.

“One & Co is excited to bring our lifestyle, user focused approach to HTC and we look forward to creating iconic, compelling products together,” said Scott Croyle, partner of One & Co. “Knowing about HTC’s cutting edge technology and proven track record of innovation, we are excited to collaborate with HTC as a global lifestyle brand.”

In addition to its work with HTC, One & Co has broad design experience in a variety of industries that range from footwear, snowboarding and skiing, furniture, packaging, houseware, timepieces and more.  One & Co has been recognized by the design and business communities by winning numerous BusinessWeek/IDSA IDEA Awards, the Good Design Awards, CES Innovation Awards, and ID Magazine awards.

Well basically the story goes that One & Co designed the Touch Diamond which I’m sure you will agree was a first for HTC and a very nice looking handset so if anything can be taken by this move its to expect more very well designed handsets coming from the HTC camp.

Posted by: John

Posted in: News
By December 4, 2008 Read More →

Kogan Agora Android handset details

image The Kogan Agora Pro has popped up in Australia as the latest Android handset and is available for international pre-order. The phone has a 2.5-inch resistive touchscreen, QWERTY keyboard, 3G and GPS with a processor running at 624 mhz. Shame it only has a QVGA screen but great to see an Android handset with a front facing QWERTY. Full specs and pictures after the break.

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HTC Touch HD – Question and Answers

Due to the large amount of questions we are getting on the HD we have decided to give it it’s very own post. All the questions and answers from the previous post (review) have been moved here also. One point to note is that after upgrading to Macromedia 7 on the device BBC iPlayer did work although it did still through the script warnings which I ignored and it did glitch a little (opera browser only)

HTC Touch HD
HTC Touch HD

Q. How does it handle PDF files? I have a tytn II but you cannot see much of a pdf without zooming in to around 200% I was wandering how this compared to the xperia x1, same res screen, just bigger as i carry a bunch of printed pdf’s with me for product information. Regards, Phil.

A. At 200% you would never need glasses. The system defaults normally to 78% but I find that 80 to 90% is perfect for the screen size.

Q. Does the proper youtube site work (not the client) after you have installed flash lite 3.1?

A. In short yes.

Q. Is there any chance of bbc iplayer working?

A. Trying to run iPlayer causes script warnings that freeze the device and I have never left it long enough to see it it would work after processing the script Sorry!

Q. Have installed any gps programs, and do they run smoothly?

A. TomTom 6 has been installed and works without issues.

Q. is there absolutely no chance of getting tv-out on this device

A. Not unless HTC re-design the handset.

Q. Do you think can be upgraded to WM7 when it comes out?

A. A device like this would (I’m Sure) be included by HTC and Microsoft for upgrade

Q. Looks like there is no option to attach a Lanyard, is this correct?

A. Correct there is no Lanyard area.

Q. in the unboxing you said 1560mah battery. is that correct?

A. If I did say that then I made a mistake, it’s 1360mAh – sorry!

Q. Does slingplayer use the whole screen?

A. Sorry I don’t have this to test.

Q. Could you see if it plays streaming video such as BBC News or CNN? It’s something that no one thus far has tested on the Touch HD!

A. Since this question was aimed at Tracy or Matt I’m not going to answer it as a matter of Principle.

Q. I would like to see how it handles Excel spreadsheets, also compared with the TytnII or any PDA with QVGA screen, as I own a TytnII and use a lot of spreadsheets.

A. Just for you I had a data analyst in my work run some very complex formulas and move them to and from the HD to the PC and he was well impressed. So much so that he now wants a WM device to do work from home.

Q. Could you let us know how the Touch is as a PDA? – in particular for email (gmail client or gmail via IMAP), text entry and calendar/pim.

A. For me this device works great as a PDA, comes with everything needed to run it as one and has no issue running emails or any of the items above.

Q. I use outlook web access a moderate amount for work email and calendar (since they won’t let unauthorised devices use their Exchange or Blackberry servers). Does either device have an advantage in accessing that?

A. I also use OWA and it works perfect with this phone, all the data you need is transferred from the OWA Server onto your phone and vice versa although I will say I am not a heavy user of this so some items may not run just as well

Q. One of my other options would be a more camera focused phone (eg LG Renoir), to eliminate another device from my pocket. Does the Renoir stack up against the HD in terms of syncing with Outlook, managing calendar/tasks and contacts?

A. Unfortunately until we get a Renoir we cannot answer this question!

Q. Is Matt enjoying the device too much to be torn away and post his thoughts for us minions?

A. Not at all, he would love to but I asked to do this review so blame me for the delay. Sorry!

Q. Is there an on screen keyboard?  What is it like? 
How does the onscreen keyboard (if there is one!) compare to SPBFull Screen keyboard software? 

A. There is indeed an onscreen keyboard although the actual size of the keys does not differ greatly (maybe 1 or 2 mm) from the Touch Diamond.The latest SPB Keyboard software has far bigger keys than th inbuilt keyboard. One thing i do like thought that is quite big is the Phone Pad which can be used like a STD phone pad and with T9.

Q. I currently use a TyTnII and I love the built in keyboard but hate the smaller screen having formerly owned an IpaqHX2490.  Bigger screen or built in keyboard? 

A. For me it will always be bigger screen but then I like watching streaming and movies on my phone too.

Q. Can this be the iPhone beater?

A. Short and simple answer to this is NO. Why not? It just wasn’t made by Apple. The device is supperior to the iPhone in many ways but the whole iPhone thing is just style. The phrase "I have an iPhone 3G" runs better than "I han an HTC Touch HD".

Q. I would love a comparison between Touch HD, Omina, X1, and Touch Pro.

A. I’ll see what I can do on this one, Don’t have many the Omnia or X1 to compare with just now.

21st November 2008

Q. Does this mobile have aGPS?

A. It sure does

Q. Are you able to test any third party software? something with ‘turn-by-turn’ instructions?

A. Can you give me an example of a piece of software you would like tested?

Q. Is it possible to install VLC player?

A. Unless you use the original test cab by VLC then no. VLC pulled the plug on their Windows Mobile compatible software a while ago and have no intentions to work on it again.

Q. I have read the video recording is 320×240, any truth to that?

A. This is indeed correct.

Q. Is there any itunes compatibility? especially for play-lists. any 3rd party software that does this easily?

A. Still Reviewing

Q. how you would rate this as a business phone?

A. This really would depend on the sort of business you are in. For example is you are a builder, forget it! If you are a business traveller then it would be ideal depending on the apps etc… you would need to be using.

Q. How does it compare against a Blackberry bold or storm?

A. The only one of these that I have had experience with yet is the BB Bold which in my view is not as good as the HD. On the other hand there were several features of the BB Bold which I loved (see my review). I think the more fair comparison should be the Storm and the HD which I plan to do when I get hold of a Storm to review (any offers anyone?)

Q. What size card will this take?  I heard that it won’t accept 16gb?  Is this true?

A. I’m told that the HD can accept 16GB SDHC cards but I don’t have one to try.

Q. What’s the MP3 playback like? Can you have it constantly on in the background no matter what other application your using? Is the processor capable of keeping it going when using other heavy apps? i.e. GPS?

A. Yes to both of these questions. The processor allows multiple apps to run and have the MP3 playback running smoothly in the background on Windows Media player.

Q. Did the GPS lag?

A. In the tests I done using Google Maps there was slime to no lag at all. The only thing I did notice was that Google maps using the GPS in my area got a little confused as the street layout is at least 7 years out of date.

Q. What would your rating out of 10 be?

A. I personally would rate this phone at 9 / 10. The missing 1 mark would be as a result of the position of the MicroSD slot, the inability to delete more than 1 mail message at a time and the fact that it does not offer portrait mode for a lot of apps.


Posted by: John

Posted in: News