Author Archive: John McKenzie

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By July 2, 2009 Read More →

Press Release: Orange announces HTC Touch Pro2

Orange announces HTC Touch Pro2 for business customers

The ultimate high-end Windows Mobile PDA phone for business customers serious about their communication 

· Straight TalkT – Sometimes you need to stop bouncing emails back and forth and just make the call. The HTC Touch Pro2 lets you do it instantly, from within the email, just by tapping the image icon of the sender

· Slide out QWERTY keyboard and screen tilt feature makes writing email easy

· Powered by Windows Mobile Professional® 6.1 for seamless integration with business networks

2 July 2009 – Orange today announced  the availability of the HTC Touch Pro2  for all business customers,  combining multimedia and powerful business tools with smart styling.

The HTC Touch Pro2 makes organising, hosting and participating in conference calls easier than ever before. The appointment reminder tool will cue up dial-in details and the call agenda and with a tap of the screen you can effortlessly join the call. Further taps to the screen allow the user to also confer privately with a single person and then return to the conference call if they so wish. The HTC Touch Pro2’s quad-band 3G+ connectivity also delivers reliable high quality voice calling and with  Windows Mobile® 6.1 Professional, users can very simply synchronise all Microsoft Outlook email, contacts and calendar information directly with their phone.

Business users can also use the HTC’s Straight TalkT feature to switch from an email account to single or multi-party voice calls by pressing the image icon of the email sender. For those on the move, the HTC Touch Pro2 transforms into a professional quality speaker phone with a noise-cancelling microphone and speakers, just by placing it face down on a surface.

The device also boasts a 3.6-inch high-resolution touch screen, while a slide out QWERTY keyboard with adjustable tilt allows users to easily write emails or amend documents. With capacity for an 8GB MicroSD card, professionals can use the HTC Touch Pro2 to watch a film, listen to music or browse the internet on the move.

“The HTC Touch Pro2 is packed with features to make everyday business tasks a great deal easier and is the ideal mobile companion for the busy business user,” said François Mahieu, Director of Devices at Orange.

pro2_angled_open_6
HTC Touch Pro 2

I have to admit that I’m excited about this device. I haven’t yet posted any of my thoughts or comments regarding the Touch Pro 2 but being a BIG fan of HTC as a brand and the Touch HD and Touch Pro 1 as handsets this pretty much covers everything you could want.

If anyone has one and wants to give me a “long term” shot then feel free to get in touch :0) .

You can read our review of the touch pro 2 (in 3 parts) or view the unboxing video online now.

Posted by: John

Posted in: Press Releases
By July 2, 2009 Read More →

Toshiba’s TG01 Going Orange

As you may or may not have already noticed, the much talked about Toshiba TG01 is heading over to the Orange Network.

Toshiba TG01
Toshiba TG01

Currently on Orange’s UK site with a "coming soon" badge, the TG01’s appearance could mean that the July 9th London press event is when this device will be showcased.

I’m sure Matt will be on the phone to Orange really soon to get our hands on one so watch this space closely.

Posted by: John

Posted in: News
By May 24, 2009 Read More →

HTC Touch Diamond 2 Competition reminder

Put your hand up if you would like to be in with a chance to win one of the latest handsets offered by HTC. There are just a few days remaining in our eXpansys Diamond2 competition so make sure you enter before it’s too late!

image

OK you can out your hand down now. Thanks to our friends over at eXpansys we can offer you that chance. Not content with giving away a Nokia E63 (competition winner to be announced), eXpansys have given us an HTC Touch Diamond 2 worth £484.99 to give away.

TD2

To be in with a chance of winning all you need to do is answer this question: What size screen does the Touch Diamond2 have?

Entries can only be entered via the eXpansys competition site so please don’t send us the answers or you may miss out on a chance of winning.

The closing date for entries is midnight on Sunday 31st May 2009 so get looking through our previous posts about this handset and you will find the answer.

Posted by: John

Posted in: Competitions
By May 9, 2009 Read More →

Press Release: Spoil Your Dad with a Picture Perfect Gift for Father’s Day

5th May 2009 – If you’re shopping for a unique and affordable Father’s Day gift, whether your dad is an avid sports fan who loves getting close to the action, or is obsessed about getting the latest must-have gadgets, Samsung has a camera to suit.

Best for Sporty Dads

A camera for dads with a passion for action, the 12 megapixel ST50 features a 2.7″ QVGA (230K) TFT LCD screen and Samsung’s new "Smart Scene Recognition" technology. "Smart Scene Recognition" has 11 optimized picture pre-settings such as Portrait, Night portrait, Macro, Macro Colour, helping to take the perfect shot regardless of the conditions. He can also use these settings when sorting through his photos – making it quick and easy to find all the portrait, outdoor or macro images he’s taken.

st50_black_quarter_l
Samsung ST 50

Samsung’s innovative Face Detection technology can automatically detect faces and adjust auto focus and auto exposure to ensure better composition and image quality for portraits – whether he’s pointing at the referee or the star player. The premium quality stainless steel ST50 also features Samsung’s Digital Image Stabilization system, compensating for unwanted camera movement and subject blur – so pictures are always crisp and sharp focus, no matter which side is winning.

Best for Gadget Fans

And if your dad is a gadget geek, the 5x Optical zoom PL60 is the perfect gift, presented in a slim compact design that doesn’t compromise on great photographic features.

The 10 megapixel PL60 uses Samsung’s new "Smart Scene Recognition" technology with 11 optimized picture pre-settings such as Portrait, Night portrait, Macro and Macro Colour, helping him to take the perfect shot regardless of the conditions. 

pl60_grey_front_l
Samsung PL 60

The camera also features Samsung’s unique Digital Contents Management system (DCM); a contents management program within the camera itself that significantly reduces the time it takes to find his favourite photos – so it’s quicker and easier to store and manage his photo collection. The clever navigation program automatically organizes photos based on the date they were taken, their contents, colour, or themes – so he’ll be able to share and enjoy his pictures easily with every member of the family.

The ST50, priced at £179, is available in mid grey, arty red and blue black from leading high street and online retailers. Samsung Cameras include a two year warranty. Customers requiring further information should visit samsungcamera.co.uk or call 0845 726 7864.

The PL60, priced at £129, is available in grey and black from leading high street and online retailers. Customers requiring further information should visit samsungcamera.co.uk or call 0845 726 7864.

Posted by: John

Posted in: Press Releases
By May 5, 2009 Read More →

Mobile Broadband Guide by Broadband Genie

About Mobile Broadband

If you ever want to get online when you’re out and about without hunting around for a WiFi hotspot; want to check your mail or your bank balance on the move on your laptop; if you’ve ever wound up frustrated trying to tether your handset to your laptop to try to get a connection  then mobile broadband could be just the thing for you.

Using a USB modem, usually known as dongle, plugged in to your laptop, mobile broadband connects you to the internet via the mobile phone networks, just the same as the 3G connection on your mobile phone: except you’ve got all that lovely laptop functionality to work with, rather than squinting at a tiny handset screen.

MOBLIE_GENIE_228x228(2)

Okay, but is it any good?

Well, that’s the critical question. There are big leaps forward coming very soon for mobile broadband, but at present it is not considered a complete alternative to your fixed-line broadband; mainly because of speed and coverage.

In terms of coverage, mobile broadband experiences the same problems you will already be familiar with from using your mobile phone; some areas have better coverage than others, and it will depend on which network you’re on, and where you are (how far from a mast) as to how good your signal is.

And as far as speed goes, the best speed offered in the UK at the moment is up to 7.2Mb,  but it’s that ‘up to’ that’s the crunch. Just like with your fixed-line broadband, the advertised speeds and the actual speeds don’t usually match up. Again this depends on which network you’re with and where you are geographically, but it’s safe to say that at present it’s likely that your mobile broadband connection will be noticeably slower than your fixed-line one.

However, the important thing to remember is that mobile broadband isn’t the same as fixed-line broadband, so comparisons of speed and coverage aren’t necessarily helpful. The key thing about mobile broadband is that it is mobile, and if you want to get connected on the move, be that regularly or just occasionally, then mobile broadband is the ideal solution.

Choosing mobile broadband

There is a wealth of choice of mobile broadband packages available at the moment:  it’s a competitive market with all the suppliers keen for your custom, so it pays to know what you’re looking for and to shop around. In order to get an overview of what’s on offer, it’s a good idea to use an independent comparison website such as Mobile Broadband Genie, which has up to date information on all the latest deals for easy comparison.

When you’re choosing a mobile broadband deal there are a few key things to look for, namely the contract type and length, the speed offered, the download limit, and of course the price.

Download limit is a key difference between fixed-line and mobile broadband. Most fixed-line deals include unlimited or virtually unlimited downloads, but because it is more expensive to deliver data via a mobile connection, this kind of flat rate unlimited deal is not possible with mobile broadband. Mobile broadband contracts are limited to anything between 1GB and 15GB per month, with higher limits usually costing more. Vodafone recently launched an ‘unlimited’ download offer, although this is still subject to a fair usage policy, so with all contracts it’s a good idea to read the small print and know what you’re entitled to, and what it’ll cost you if you go over.

Contracts are usually available as pay-as-you-go, which offers more flexibility but often at a greater price, or 12, 18 or 24 month fixed contracts. If you’re more a pay-as-you-go sort of person it’s worth noting that you’ll pay for your dongle, and that most providers’ top-ups expire after a certain amount of time, so you can’t just top up and then not use it for months. The exception to this is Vodafone: its top-ups don’t expire. If you opt for the fixed type contract, you’ll usually get the dongle for free, and you may get a better deal all round for signing up for longer, although of course that stops you shopping around again for a while.

Moving on to speed; as mentioned before, mobile broadband is sold as ‘up to’ the headline speed, which tells you almost nothing about what you’ll actually experience. The key here is to get on to the provider and quiz them about speeds in your area:  they should provide you with the relevant information.

Finally the key factor for many people: cost. This depends on what you choose in terms of all of the above. Additionally, what you get for your money changes from month to month, and there are usually some special offers to be had. Special offers may include anything from low introductory rates up to subsidised extras such as a laptop.

There are some really good mobile broadband deals around, and armed with the right information it’s easy to choose the right one for you. Then all you have to do is plug in your dongle and go:  it’s as easy as that.

Written by: Chris Marling of www.broadbandgenie.co.uk, the independent comparison website for broadband and mobile broadband

Posted by: John

Posted in: Desktop Computing
By May 4, 2009 Read More →

Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 Wireless Headphones Review

Earlier this month Matt reviewed the Sony XB40EX headphones and mentioned that “In-ear style headphones are now pretty commonplace but the downside of these is that they have to be small enough to fit in your ear canal which often means that the speaker driver is also small and small drivers lead to a puny sounding bass”.

Does the HBH-IS800 follow the same methodology?

Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 Case
Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 Case View

What’s in the box?

  • The Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 wireless headphones
  • Three different size ear plugs
  • Clip to hold the cable in place
  • Headphone Case

Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 headphone features:

  • BluetoothT Technology – 2.0
  • Auto pairingT
  • Echo cancellation
  • Noise reduction
  • Automatic volume adjustment
  • Whisper mode
  • Second call handling
  • Redial
  • Voice Activated Dialing (VAD)
  • Enhanced Data Rate (EDR)

Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 headphone specifications:

  • Talk Time: up to 4 h
  • Standby Time: up to 270 h
  • Weight : 12.0 gr
  • Available Colours: Black / Silver
  • Operating Range: 10 meters
  • Sizes: 370.0 x 3.0 x 3.0 mm

 

Review

When I got the call from Sony Ericsson asking me to review these headphones I jumped at the chance. You may find that a little bizarre but having never done a review of this sort before I thought it was a great idea both for me and for tracyandmatt.co.uk.

When the package came and I opened it there was a Sony Ericsson W902 and the Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 wireless headphones. Being me I instantly got myself used to the handset as ultimately this is what I was reviewing, the headphones with a compatible and recommended handset. The headset was very lightweight and looked a tad odd as its not just the norm to have wireless headphones yet.

HBH-IS800 Headphones

Unfortunately the headphones were not charged when I got them and I had to get them on a charge before I started testing them. This proved to be difficult as I have a terrible issue of not liking user manuals, so finding the charging port wasn’t just that simple. After finding the charge port hidden behind the Sony Ericsson logo on the right earbud I started charging it (or so I thought). The charge status light is also on the same earbud but not so easy to find and not very bright unless in a dark room.

After getting the headphones charged and sorting which size of in-ear buds were the correct size for me I got about downloading some songs onto the handset of varying types. I used Rock, Pop, Dance, Classical and Jazz music genres to test the diversity of the headphones with the multiple EQ’s on the handset too.

Pairing of the device was simple as it auto-pairs and entering the four zero’s for the passcode was certainly a lot easier than having to try and pair manually.

I was instantly amazed at the clarity and sound that the HBH-IS800 was producing, after all lets not forget that this is a Bluetooth device.

HBH-IS800 Earphone View

All music genre’s sounded fantastic and I listened to music for near on 1 hour without felling the usual uncomfortable feeling that you get with standard earphones. Having that extra bit of freedom to get up and walk around without having a handset with me was a great feeling although notably the 10m distance was put through a strain and after about 7-8m the sound quality did start to deteriorate.

Using the handset at maximum volume level felt a little bizarre due to the Automatic Volume Adjustment  that the HBH-IS800 had. I’m not saying it wasn’t loud enough but I like to have control of the volume away from the handset and this was a major downside for me.

It was time then to start testing the call functionality of the HBH-IS800.

After setting up the voice activated dialling on the handset I called my wife (as she can talk!). Considering I was on the street when I made the call and there was a bit of a wind, the in call clarity was very clear, this is where the noise reduction and automatic volume adjustment came in handy. Whilst my wife didn’t complain that she couldn’t hear me at any point during our call she did mention that at times it sounded like I was in a quiet room as the noise reduction had kicked in so much so that all background noise was pretty much cancelled out.

Unfortunately not even my wife can talk enough to test the talk time and stand by time but I will say that over a period of 1 week I never had to charge the HBH-IS800 once even with using it on my laptop and handset.

Conclusion

The HBH-IS800 is pretty much the answer when it comes to a wireless solution. The only drawbacks for me were the lack of volume control on the headphones and the auto volume adjustment but again this could be down to personal taste. As far as comfort and sound go I would go as far as to say they gave me almost the same listening experience as my Sandisk Sansa View and the answer to the question at the start is yes, the base is handled very well indeed.

Price wise the cheapest I found them was £72.95 which is a little on the steep side for a set of headphones but if I had the money to spend then I would 100% get myself a set of these (or Sony Ericsson could just give me them).

Review by: John

By May 3, 2009 Read More →

Orange Vegas – Some More Details

6 Days ago Matt brought you the news that the Orange Vegas was now official but at that stage we didn’t post much about it so here is all we know about this handset.

Not many people will know this but the device is manufactured by 3G dongle manufacturer ZTE which is a little unusual but as we have been given one to review we will tell you just how unusual it is early next week.

Officially the cheapest full touchscreen handset the Orange Vegas is already available for purchase at the carriers points of sale across UK or online for a price of only £48.50 for pay-as-you-go customers.

black vegas

I’m sure Orange are fully aware that the Vegas ain’t anywhere near as cute as the other touchscreen phones out there  but its price is low enough to make you say "Deal!".

Looking at the phone you can can only say that it reminds you of a cross between the XDA Orbit and the HTC Touch Viva but it doesn’t nearly have the same brains or goodies under the hood.

The carrier were smart enough to launch the Orange Vegas in pink or black as there is definitely a market for pink phones.

pink vegas

The handset offers a 2.4" TFT touchscreen and UI that is designed exclusively for Orange. Unfortunately it only features a 1.3 megapixel camera but the microSD card slot can take cards with up to 4 GB of memory. The good news is that it does have built in FM radio and Bluetooth making it acceptable for today’s teen market. Another nice touch is the free access to services like Bebo, Facebook and MySpace.

Posted by: John

Posted in: News
By May 3, 2009 Read More →

Rumour: Motorola W7 Leaked

The masters of weird devices have struck again, this time in the shape of the Motorola W7 handset.

I’m sure you will all agree that it’s a pretty weird looking device with its elongated D-pad and rather poor choice of colours.

Rumour has it that it will have a QVGA screen and EDGE support. From the leaked photos, it’s clear that it will have a 2 megapixel camera with neither flash, nor even a self-portrait mirror.

moto w7 moto w7 side moto w7 back
Not the prettiest is it?

As for the colours, well see for yourselves. That yellow needs to go.

There are two other keys on the front besides the soft keys and call keys. Presumably, they have some sports-related functionality but it’s not clear what exactly right now. It will be nice if it’s something in the spirit of Nokia Sports Tracker – an app that uses GPS to track your jogging, running or cycling workouts. Or at least put some goodies in the retail box – an armband for example.

Anyway, no word on release date or pricing yet. We’ll keep you posted about that and any changes in the colour scheme that may come up.

Posted by: John

[source]

Posted in: Rumours
By May 2, 2009 Read More →

5GB Broadband with 3 Months Free

 

For those of you that use Mobile Broadband then here is a nice offer. Mybroadbandshop partners up with 3 for £15 per month broadband promotional package. The offer also Includes FREE Huawei Broadband Dongle.

BASINGSTOKE 29th April 2009 – www.mybroadbandshop.co.uk <http://www.mybroadbandshop.co.uk/>  today announce a broadband, credit crunch promotion with leading network provider 3.  The broadband promotion package gives consumers and businesses a financial boost, by offering 3 FREE months of broadband access, a FREE Huawei E156 USB broadband dongle and up to 5GB of data per month, equating to a total saving of £45.00. www.mybroadbandshop.co.uk/offers <http://www.mybroadbandshop.co.uk/offers>

For only £15 per month users can:

  • Send 5000 Outlook/HTML Emails
  • Surf the web for 50 hours
  • Download 25 four minute videos
  • Download 160 four minute music tracks

“When it comes to driving down costs in the extremely tough economic climate, everybody can now enjoy some truly magnificent savings when it comes to mobile broadband”, commented Raj Tanna of mybroadbandshop.  “Our ongoing relationship with 3 enables us to pass on some truly great savings, thereby giving a financial boost to cash strapped consumers and businesses.”

For further information on the broadband offer please head to www.mybroadbandshop.co.uk/offers <http://www.mybroadbandshop.co.uk/offers>

Posted by: John

Posted in: Deals & Offers
By May 2, 2009 Read More →

Press Release – New Samsung SMX-C10

The Samsung SMX-C10 is Samsungs latest digital camcorder. We will try to get our hands on one of these for review but until then here is the press release.

SMX-C10
Samsung SMC-C10

SAMSUNG INTRODUCES NEW DIGITAL MEMORY CARD CAMCORDER

New Samsung SMX-C10 Offers Industry-Leading Style, Design and Ease-of-Use

30th April 2009 – Samsung, leaders in innovation and digital imaging, today extended its family of digital camcorders announcing the launch of the SMX-C10, the new ergonomically designed, compact digital camcorder offering industry leading style and design.

The new SMX-C10 features Samsung’s stylish design with a touch of colour that was first introduced in the company’s flat panel HDTVs. With a touch of colour design, a hint of colour is naturally blended into a deep black body for an attractive appearance.

The SMX-C10 is ideal for the on-the-go consumer and offers an impressive 10x optical zoom paired with Hyper Image Stabilization, a feature which helps reduce blurry footage. The SMX-C10 also uses a 230,000-dot, swivelling 2.7-inch wide LCD screen, allowing you to effortlessly frame your subjects and review your footage.

Similar to the full-HD HMX-R10, the new SMX-C10 boasts Samsung’s Active Angle Lens. This unique design helps reduce fatigue by allowing consumers to grip the camcorder in a more relaxed manner, easing the overall stress on your wrist and elbow. Unlike traditional camcorders, the relaxed grip also removes the LCD screen from your line of sight, enabling you to always keep an eye on your subject while recording.

The SMX-C10 also incorporates Samsung’s play-edit-sharing program called intelli studio. The built-in intelli-studio program allows consumers to connect the camcorder to any computer via USB and edit and play your video without having to install supporting software. Intelli-studio also facilitates the process of uploading your content to popular video sharing Web sites and for convenience, a one-touch “upload” button provides a direct connection to YouTubeT, further reducing the number of steps needed to upload footage. In addition, the camcorder also allows basic on-camera editing, including the ability to merge and split video files.

"The SMX-C10 is a truly unique camcorder, starting with its eye-catching design,” said Paul Scott, Camcorder Product Manager at Samsung Electronics.

“With its ultra-compact, ergonomic and stylish design, the camcorder offers a host of advanced, yet easy-to-use capabilities that encourage you to integrate video recording into your everyday digital lifestyles.”

Thanks to H.264 compression, which drastically enhances recording times when used with standard definition video, you can record over three hours of high quality video footage on the 8GB card. In addition, the SMX-C10 also offers substantial battery life providing more than two hours and 40 minutes of record time on a single charge.

Samsung also enhances the video recording experience for end-users thanks to several unique features, including time-lapse recording, animated thumbnails and a versatile charging system. Time-lapse recording allows you to program the camcorder to record at a pre-set interval of one image every one, three, five, 10, 15 or 30 seconds. Time-lapse recording is especially useful for condensing extremely long events, such as rolling clouds on a sunny day, into a short, easy to-view video.

Samsung’s animated thumbnail feature simplifies the way you search for video clips. Each video clip saved on the camcorder is represented by a small thumbnail on the LCD screen. When scrolling through one’s videos, each thumbnail will provide a short playback of the video file when highlighted. The SMX-C10 also features a versatile charging system; you can either recharge the battery by connecting the camcorder to the supplied AC adapter or via USB while the camcorder is connected to a computer.

The SMX-C10 will be available from leading high street and online retailers from May 2009. Customers requiring further information should call 0845 726 7864 or visit samsungcamcorder.co.uk/

Posted by: John

Posted in: Press Releases