Archive for October 2nd, 2009

By October 2, 2009 Read More →

HTC HD2 on O2


We have heard numerous blogs and reports today that the HTC HD2 has been published ahead of its launch date by O2.

We therefore went into an O2 shop in Bournemouth this afternoon and can confirm that the HTC HD2 appears in full colour pictures on page 9 of their October catalogue!

Their headline is

“Watch, play and surf in style with the new HTC HD2, featuring the largest screen yet on a mobile”

They promote the HTC HD2 as running windows mobile 6.5  with a 4.3inch WVGA screen and a 5mp camera with twin LED flash.

The blogs go on to mention it offering a 1ghz processor making it one of the fastest devices on the market.

We will have full details on this product on our website on the official launch date which is due to be the 6th October so make sure you visit here on Tuesday

[Source Clove]

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Posted in: Phones
By October 2, 2009 Read More →

Acer devices named


We have become aware today that the names of the new Acer Smartphones will have changed at launch.

The previous names for the devices were apparently always supposed to be internal code names, but rumours suggest the F1 name was the subject on some dispute as to whether it could be used given its association with Formula 1, interesting when Acer already have close ties to F1 and Ferrari in particular!

The new names are as follows

Acer F1 will be called the Acer neoTouch
Acer C1 will be called the beTouch E100
Acer E1 will be called the beTouch E101
Acer L1 will be called the beTouch E200

First stock of these new devices should arrive next week. Further information on all these devices can be found here

Acer neoTouch
Acer beTouch E100
Acer beTouch E101
Acer beTouch E200

[Source Clove]

Posted in: Phones
By October 2, 2009 Read More →

O2 begins LTE network trials


O2 parent Telefónica begins trials of new fourth generation Long Term Evolution network technology in UK, Spain, Germany, Czech Republic, Brazil and Argentina

O2 parent Telefónica is trialling LTE technology with six providers, to launch test projects in the UK, Spain, Germany, the Czech Republic, Brazil and Argentina with a view to a full rollout.

The suppliers Telefónica has chosen so far – Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Huawei, NEC, Nokia Siemens Network and ZTE – will start rolling out the equipment necessary for testing the technology during the coming months. The project is also open to other suppliers and will take place over six months.

The trial will help Telefónica determine its fourth generation mobile network strategy.

Posted in: Phones
By October 2, 2009 Read More →

Sony Ericsson Satio on vodafone

Untitled picture

The Sony Ericsson Satio has hit Vodafone to Pre-order today. This Symbian based multi-media phone ticks many boxes and looks to be a fun device.

  • 12.1 megapixels
  • Built in GPS navigation
  • 3G
  • GPRS
  • Wi-Fi supported
  • Quadband
  • Bluetooth
  • Memory card slot
  • Touch screen
  • Email
  • Games
  • Stereo FM radio
  • Poly ring tones
  • Mobile TV compatible
  • Camera / Video
  • Flash or light
  • Video calling
  • Alarm clock
  • Calendar
  • Handsfree headset
  • Memory card
  • Smartphone
  • MP3 player

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    By October 2, 2009 Read More →

    Hisense 1080p HD Media Player Review

    The Hisense  HD Media Player is a simple proposition really, it lets you browse your media without needing a PC running in order to do so.

    Hisense 1080p Media Player

    Your media can be on USB keys/drives or on your network as this little box says it can handle them all – lets find out.


    What’s in the box

    • Hisense Media Player
    • Remote control (with batteries)
    • Power cable
    • UK adapter
    • Composite AV cable
    • Component cable (according to manual, though not in our review box)


    • HOST: CPU MIPS 400Mhz CPU
    • Flash memory: 16MB
    • SDRAM: DDR2 128MB
    • Video codec:
      -MPEG-2 up to 1080P
      -MPEG-4 (720P/1080i/1080P) ,Xvid
      -H.264 up to 1080P
      -WMV9/VC-1 up to 1080P
      -RealNetworks(RM/RMVB)8/9/10 up to 1920*720(720P)
      -Flash Video
    • Audio codec:
      -MPEG-1 Layers I,II and III and MPEG-2
      -DTS HD Master Audio,LBR
      -Dolby digital Plus,TrueHD
      -RA1/RA-cook/RA-lossless WMA/WMA Pro
    • Video/Audio output:
      -Video YPBPR / HDMI out
      -Audio RCA stereo out(L/R)
    • Network: RJ45 for Ethernet x 1
    • USB port: USB 2.0 x 2
    • Power supply: AC 100~240V / 50~60Hz, DC12V,2A
    • Dimension: 210 x 170 x 32mm
    • Weight: 315g



    Tradition dictates that a quick tour around the outside is the first thing we should do.

    Hisense 1080p Media Player front view 

    Not much to report on the front view, just an led that lights up in the center. Red if the unit is off, green if the unit is on.

    Hisense 1080p Media Player left view

    On the left hand side we find two USB 2.0 ports. You can’t really tell from the picture above, but they are recessed slightly into the body of the casing. Not enough to make them completely inaccessible, more to make them ‘discrete’


    Around the back is where we will find all the connections. From left to right – Component RGB, audio left + right, S/PDIF audio out, HDMI, RJ45 Network and power in.


    There is nothing on the right hand side so we’ll skip that and show you the remote.


    We’ll be discussing this further in a minute.



    • It happily handled most media that I threw at it
    • Up-scaling is very watchable



    • Remote
    • Interface



    The first thing that struck me about the Hisense HD Media Player as I took it out of the box was its weight. It’s as light as the proverbial feather. I suspect the connections on the rear are the only thing making the box the size it is – at this weight there can’t be an awful lot in there. Not to say that the resulting package is large, it’s not – it’s footprint being just slightly larger than a DVD box.


    Setup couldn’t really be any simpler – just connect the power and your choice of output cable – I went with HDMI as it saves messing with audio and video separately.

    Whilst mentioning the setup, I must just say that the UK power adapter included in the box is the ugliest thing I’ve seen in a long time. Most devices these days have ‘clip-in’ pieces for the basic power adapter ‘lump’, allowing you to select the one applicable to your region. The Hisense HD Media Player does not, it comes with a fixed two prong adapter which you then connect into a UK convertor plug – it’s very like a black moulded version of a travel adapter and not very pretty at all.


    Anyway, back to the functionality.

    On first ‘boot’ you are greeted with the Hisense logo and then the main menu screen – all in Chinese. A quick press of the setup button on the remote and a fairly obvious guess let me quickly change everything to English. (Curiously the button is marked ‘Setup’ on the remote, yet it’s called ‘Settings’ within the menu itself). The manual enclosed in our review box was also Chinese.

    Once everything was in a language I could understand, the settings menus, though fairly basic, seem to offer most of the things that the average user is going to want to control.

    ‘Audio’ settings are a choice of RAW or LPCM output.

    ‘Video’ settings has some more options on hand. You can change aspect ratio (also changeable on the fly with the remote), the brightness and contrast (and yes I was surprised to see these being changeable within the unit itself instead of having to change the TV itself), Digital Noise Reduction on or off, and finally, the selection of resolution that you want to output at – ranging from basic NTSC or PAL all the way up to 1080p.

    ‘Network’ settings allow you to set the IP of the box by connecting to a DHCP or else you can give it a fixed IP, entering the IP, Subnet and Default Gateway yourself – which is the only reason for the remote having number keys as far as I can tell.

    ‘System’ settings allows you to change the menu language, text encoding, update the firmware or do a reset to default settings.

    The final sub-menu is ‘Other’ which is primarily used to change the settings for automated slideshows of images – timing can be set from Off up to 2 minutes, transitions can be set to a single personal choice or set to random, background music can be on or off. There are additional settings in here for Resume Play, Movie Preview and Screen Saver.


    So once you’ve finished fiddling with all the settings you can get on with actually looking at your media.


    The browser interface for media selection is best described as ‘functional’. It’s not all bells and whistles, it just does the job. The presentation is really just a list of files and folders, which you can limit to be just photos, just movies, just audio or all media that it recognises. Alongside the list is a preview frame, and guess what, that’s a preview of the media file currently selected – if Movie Preview is set to On in the settings, then it will actually start to play a movie file in there, otherwise it’s only actually used for images and to tell you the file size and encoding of the media in question.


    Once you choose your media it will ‘play’. Images will behave as a slideshow as per your settings, music will play within the browser and movies will play fullscreen.

    Not really much else to say on images – it handles large JPG’s just fine and that’s likely to be it’s main use (it doesn’t like RGBA PNG’s, displaying the alpha as either on or off instead of 256 levels). You can zoom and pan around the current image, but everything else is really controlled by the slideshow settings.

    Audio playback is very basic, there are no visualisers or anything fancy, it just plays the file. Don’t think this is going to be a common use tho, more of an easy thing for the engineers to add as all the MP3 decoding is already in place for the movies.

    So, onto the primary use for the box – video playback.

    I tried DivX, XVid, MPEG and MOV files that I had to hand, ranging from low resolution all the way up to full 1080p HD and the Hisense HD Media Player handled them all easily. I was outputting at 1080p 60Hz with Digital Noise Reduction turned on and I never saw a glitch, all the sound was in-sync – just exactly what you’d expect the player to do really.

    When a video is playing you can fast forward and fast rewind up to 32 times normal speed – though there is no slow-mo functionality which surprised me a little. I imagine that it’s something they could add with a firmware patch, but out of the box it’s not there. You can also skip to the previous or next video in the current folder with a single button press.

    You can change the video ‘zoom’ settings with a press of the remote whilst playing as well, so if your videos include 4:3 and 16:9 you can always find a setting that best shows the video in question.

    You can also change the audio output settings on the fly as well – not something most people are going to use, but it’s nice that it’s there as an option.

    The only other real option during playback is an information bar that you can call up to see some basic information about the movie you are playing – how many minutes into the file you are and the number of files in the current directory. It doesn’t tell you how many remaining minutes, which is frustrating if you are used to that sort of functionality from other media players (as I am).

    So that’s a quick rundown of how everything works, what did I actually think of the player.

    First off, I’d like to say that the hardware in the player itself seems to be very capable of the job that it’s asked to do. Apart from RGBA PNG’s, everything else I tried worked just fine – and I was very happy with the upscaling and DNR in general.

    I was able to play videos off USB keys and over the network without any real problems. The only time I saw anything not working was when I connected to a Buffalo drive over the network. It didn’t seem to be able to retrieve the file information, so it couldn’t tell me the file size and encoding as it did with other sources – but it would play them just fine. On the same drive it didn’t like me selecting the Buffalo ‘filing system’ instead of the raw folder structure, it just hung, but once I went back to the raw folders things were fine.

    The remote is the first thing that lets  the player down. It’s a very basic thing, on first look it reminded me of a remote control for ceiling fans or those really cheap VOIP ‘phones’. The keys themselves feel nasty as they are obviously just buttons directly onto ‘switches’, there is no softness in the tactile experience. On top of that sometimes a button press selects a different option, so you can be watching a video and press a button to fast forward and it will pause or completely stop the playback – it’s not a bug that happens every single time, but it happens enough to become very annoying very quickly. The shape is also very boxy, nothing at all to make it nice to hold.

    In general the remote feels cheap and as that is a large part of the user experience it’s going to taint your thoughts on the player itself.

    Another important part of the experience is the user interface, and again this was disappointingly basic.

    The settings menus are fine, but the browser where you are going to spend the majority of your time is about as basic as it comes – it literally is just a file and folder list, there are no thumbnail previews within that folder for example, you only see a preview of the currently selected item. A little more effort here would make a huge difference to the user experience. To be fair, in general you can indeed get to all your media but to navigate up and down through folder structures feels a little laboured and is certainly not helped by the remote itself. The actual selection of a file can take a moment, as whilst it let’s you browse up and down the list as fast as you wish, it insists on checking the file information before it will let you select play – which leads to more frustration if you as you want to get to your files.

    All this is a shame really as the actual player itself is very capable of doing the playback.



    I’ve used the Hisense HD Media Player for about a week now and I think it’s a shame that the unit is let down by it’s user experience.

    When it’s actually playing the media it does the job in fine fashion, but the second you actually want to do something the interface and remote really start to get on your nerves.

    The problems I’ve described above could be fixed with a new remote and a better thought out interface, but as it stands the player is a little frustrating to use.

    Posted in: Reviews
    By October 2, 2009 Read More →

    Windows Mobile Marketplace coming to 6.1 in November?


    There’s been some speculation on when Marketplace will come to older phones (namely anything running 6.1 and 6.0). Today Microsoft tried to clear up the issue and provided some other tidbits:

    As we’ve been discussing since July, our plan is to deliver the full Marketplace experience in two phases. First, we’ll launch Windows Marketplace for Mobile with Windows phones on October 6th. We’ve also discussed following this launch with an update that will include support for Windows Mobile 6 and 6.1 by the end of the year. More specifically, we’re targeting November for phase two. In addition, this second phase will bring the PC based catalog and shopping experience, user generated app reviews, advanced key-based anti-piracy protection and other enhancements that expand your business opportunity and make it easier for a larger number of customers to find and buy your application.

    Well November is better than January so we’ll take it.

    [Source Tilt Mobility]

    Posted in: Phones
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    O2 May See Up to 30,000 iPhones Returned as Price War Begins


    o2 UK wireless carrier O2 is bracing itself for what may be up to 30,000 returned iPhones as recent customers send back their iPhones to wait for better deals from rivals Orange and Vodafone. Per The Telegraph, the 30,000 customers that bought the iPhone from O2 within the last two weeks are therefore entitled to end their contracts. O2 has stated the company is not planning to offer such users a better deal in order to convince them not to cancel their contract.
    O2 customers with iPhone 3G handsets are already waiting out the end of their long contracts, and will join the others in a search for the cheapest iPhone 3GS deals.

    Posted in: Phones
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    Paid apps hitting Palm Pre today


    The release of webOS 1.2 got all of the stars aligned for a barrage (or, at the very least, a trickle) of paid applications to start hitting the Pre, and the word on the street is that the first of those will be dropping tomorrow, October 2 — for users in the US, anyhow (Canadians apparently need to wait a while longer, a problem that Android users up there are all too acquainted with). The company will smartly be tying purchases to users’ Palm Profiles, meaning you’ll be able to redownload previously bought apps on any device you choose as long as your account is currently tied to it. Of course, the big question is what apps will be available to blow some cash on in the first round of Catalog approvals — what’s everyone hoping for?

    [Source Engadget]

    Posted in: Phones
    By October 2, 2009 Read More →

    Nero Mediasync to work with Motorola Cliq


    Are you familiar with NERO? They are the company made famous by their butt-kicking software that burned mix CDs. Fortunately or unfortunately depending on who you are and how old you feel, that was a full decade ago. So what is the company up to now? Creating software for the Motorola CLIQ that helps you sync all your media and other goodies to your PC of course!

    In an article I spotted on ArsTechnica they reveal that NERO makes a product for handset manufacturers called MediaSync that allows users to connect their phones to their computers and enjoy an awesome syncing experience. But is it true? Where are their sources? What is this “MediaSync” you speak of? Knowing you would ask me these questions if I just reposted the same stuff, I went straight into the Dragon’s layer (

    If you check out the section called “Business Solutions” and drill down to the “OEM” section of that page and scroll alllllllll the way to the bottom you’ll find the following blurb about MediaSync on the Nero website (scroll to the bottom):

    Posted in: Phones
    By October 2, 2009 Read More →

    iPhone customer satisfaction high, Android lagging behind

    smartphone-customer-satisfaction It’s hard to gauge customer satisfaction with mobile phones with any real accuracy. There will be lemons among the devices that hit the market and how well the user knows how to use the device will also affect the satisfaction. A new survey from the CFI Group has ranked mobile phones by customer satisfaction.

    According the survey the iPhone has the most customer satisfaction at 83% and Android is tied for second with the Palm Pre at 77% satisfaction. The Blackberry sits in third with 73% satisfaction.

    Rounding out the list is Palm Treo with only 70% satisfaction and other smartphones OS’ with 66% satisfaction. It’s worth noting that AT&T score lowest in customer satisfaction among the major wireless carriers.

    [Original Story: Android Community]

    Kind of odd that Windows Mobile must be resigned to the ‘Other’ section unless it’s counted under Palm Treo.

    Posted in: Phones