Archive for October, 2006

By October 31, 2006 Read More →

New Acer smartphones next year?

Rumour has it that Acer will be making a return to the Smartphone market by releasing a new device either late this year or very early 2007.

Acer N311

Acer chairman, JT Wang, has been quoted to say “The smartphone, which is outsourced to Compal Communications, will be marketed as a BlackBerry handset for the SOHO and small- and medium-size enterprise (SME) sector”.

Acer’s most recent Windows Mobile based device (Pictures above) is the VGA screened Acer N311, is very small and thin, and if Acer caries forward this experience we can expect to see some really attractive designs next year.


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Posted in: Phones
By October 30, 2006 Read More →

HTC MTeoR Review

There are lots of images in this post so please be patient if you are using a slow connection. Click any of the images for a larger view.

MTeoR Front ViewMTeoR Back View

I used to be a big Smartphone fan. In fact I have had almost every type of Smartphone device released over the last six years. However, once Orange released the SPV M1000 (HTC Himalaya) I have been a PocketPC device fan through and through. Sure I still have some Smartphone devices that I play with but I use them more for software testing than for day-to-day use. I find that PocketPC mobile devices work much better for me with the touch screen and, more recently, the advent of slide-out keyboards.

MTeoR Right ViewMTeoR Left View

The HTC MTeoR is one of the few Smartphone format devices that I have seen for a while that has really grabbed my attention. Lately my HTC TyTN has started to feel a bit big in my pocket so I have been considering a ‘Candybar’ Smartphone.

Smartphones have progressed a lot recently with the advent of push-email and now 3G connectivity they are becoming a more realistic alternative to PocketPC mobile devices.

So can the MTeoR win me over and turn me back in to a Smartphone user?

As I mentioned before the HTC MTeoR incorporates 3G which makes it the worlds first 3G Windows Mobile Smartphone, what’s more, the MTeoR is a slim, pocket-friendly size make it a highly desirable device.

Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 technology with Direct Push, gives you instant access to your emails, this coupled with 3G connectivity make this device a pleasure to use.

There is a back-mounted camera and this shoots stills at up to 1.3-megapixels, but has no flash or self portrait mirror. The picture quality is nothing special and is much the same as any other 1.3mp phone camera.

On the front you’ll find a 5-way joystick style navigation control. What’s quite nice about this is that it has a rubberised middle which makes it easier to use.

MTeoR Joystick

The Smartphone menu has recently undergone some changes (since I last had a smartphone anyway). You don’t have to click ‘more’ to see the next screen of options, you can simply scroll down.

‘Jog Wheels’ have been recently added to several devices and the MTeoR has its own version. This isn’t a wheel as such but more of a self centering rocker on the left hand side of the device. This works well when scrolling through emails or webpages.

MTeoR Scroll Wheel

The overall dimensions are 112.4 x 49 x 14.8 mm. The MTeoR weighs in at just 120g and feels nice in the hand. I like the

One thing ‘missing’ from the MTeoR is WiFi. It seems that people have come to expect WiFi to be included with every device now. I must say that WiFi isn’t something that I miss, I seldom use it on my TyTN and don’t know of any hotspots that I might use other than the WiFi at home where I would use a PC anyway.

The HTC MTeoR accepts microSD cards which seem to be the HTC standard now. The memory card slot is situated on the left side of the device. There is a rubber cover over the microSD card slot which I liked. I have dropped other devices from time to time and this almost always resulted in the memory card ending up on the floor. When this happens with a microSD card it can be pretty hard to find!

MTeoR microSD slot

Like the other HTC devices coming through at the moment, the MTeoR has a combined USB/Headphone socket. As a result you can only use the woefully inadequate headphones that come with the device unless you want to modify them and use your own. Either way, until HTC release the splitter that has been on pre-order with Expansys you’ll not be able to Sync/Charge the device at the same time as listening to music. This is something that bothers people wanting to use these devices in their car.

MTeoR Bottom View

Having switched to the MTeoR from the TyTN I find myself trying to press the screen on quite a regular basis. Not having a touch screen is taking some getting used to and is probably the thing I miss most compared to PPC. I would love to see a device of smartphone format with a touchscreen.

The other thing it takes a while to get use to again is using T9 as the text input method. I used to be quick quick at tapping out a message and could do it without looking. It took me a few days to get used to it again and after that I was away. What helped out here was the fact that the keys on the MTeoR are really positive and not too small.

MTeoR T9 pad

So has the MTeoR turned me in to a Smartphone user? Well, no BUT I have to say that the HTC MTeoR is quite possible the best Smartphone I have ever used. If you are a Smartphone user thats looking to upgrade, you are going to love this phone!

HTC MTeoR Specification

  • Network: UMTS / GSM 900 / GSM 1800 / GSM 1900
  • Dimensions: 112.4 x 49 x 14.8 mm
  • Weight: 120 g
  • Display Type: TFT, 65K colors, Size: 240 x 320 pixels, 34 x 45 mm
  • Controls: 5-way navigation button
  • Card slot: microSD (TransFlash)
  • Memory: 64 MB SDRAM, 128 MB Flash ROM
  • Processor: Samsung 2442, 300 MHz
  • Data: GPRS Class 10 (4+1/3+2 slots), 32 – 48 kbps, EDGE Class 10 (236.8 kbps), 3G (384 kbps), Bluetooth, Infrared port, USB
  • Camera: 1.3 MP, 1280×1024 pixels, video
  • Matt

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    Posted in: Reviews
    By October 29, 2006 Read More →

    Calls to make CD copying legal

    Many people are not aware that copying CD’s that they own to their MP3 player is actually illegal in the UK. Despite there being a wealth of software tools, such as iTunes, that are designed to do just that.

    The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) is calling for a “private right to copy”.

    It would decriminalise millions of Britons who break the law each year by copying their CDs onto music players.

    Making copies of CDs and DVDs for personal use would have little impact on copyright holders, the IPPR argues.

    Copyright issues have, in the past, been steered too much by the music industry, the report said.

    Source: BBC News


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    Posted in: Editorial
    By October 28, 2006 Read More →

    Asus Mars 2

    At first glance you would be forgiven for thinking this was a new variant of the HTC Hermes, however closer inspection reveals that this isn’t an HTC device at all. What you see here is actually the latest offering from ASUSTek.

    Asus Mars 2

    Asus Mars Specification: Intel Xscale PXA270 520MHz, 128MB of ROM, 64MB of RAM, UMTS, 802.11g, Bluetooth 2.0, 2.0mp camera, and a 2.8-inch QVGA display

    One limitation that we have been made aware of is that it is to be Single Band (2100Mhz)3G which will severely limit the devices roaming abilities.

    See more about the Mars 2 here.


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    Posted in: Phones
    By October 27, 2006 Read More →

    Celebrate Halloween with the Astraware Spooktacular!

    It’s almost time for Halloween so we’re excited to announce the Astraware Spooktacular – a special sales event offering a cauldron-full of great games at scarily low prices!

    Astraware Spooktacular

    Starting on Friday 27th October and running until midnight on 31st October 2006, six weird and wonderful games will be available with up to 50% off their regular price. For Club Astraware members, there’s a special Halloween treat as one of them will be available free! Just visit Club Astraware at: Club Astraware is easy to join and costs nothing, so why not grab a free game this Halloween?

    Visit the Astraware website at from Friday 27th October to check out the range of Spooktacular discounts!


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    Posted in: Apps & Games
    By October 26, 2006 Read More →

    Brando Hermes dock competition

    It’s competition time again!

    Most of you will have seen our review of the Brando Workshop sync and docking station for the HTC Hermes. I like my dock so much that I decided to get another one and offer it as a competition prize!

    Brando TyTN Sync Cradle

    Entering the competition could not be easier. All you have to do is answer the question below and, as a tie breaker, tell me why you should be the lucky winner. Use our feedback form to enter. We’ll announce the winner in one weeks time.

    Question: How much, in dollars, does the Brando Workshop sync/charge cradle for the HTC Hermes cost?

    The cradle will fit Dopod CHT9000, Qtek 9600, i-Mate JasJam, O2 XDA Trion, HTC TyTN, HTC Hermes, htc Z, Orange SPV M3100 and T-Mobile MDA vario II devices.


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    Posted in: Competitions
    By October 25, 2006 Read More →

    HTC Trinity in black

    Regular readers will have seen photos of the white version of the HTC Trinity due to go on sale soon with Orange as the SPV M700.

    Quite a lot of excitement about this as it’s going to be one of the first devices to include an on-board GPS receiver (providing it’s not disabled!) and will be HSDPA.

    Our good friend Surur from Windows Mobile 24/7 has uncovered some photos of a black version of the Trinity.

    Black HTC Trinity

    Personally I like the white version best as it looks a little different and would go really nicely with my white MoDaCo C600 although the black one might be more practical for my grubby paws!


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    Posted in: Phones
    By October 24, 2006 Read More →

    Firefox 2


    Since the announcement earlier this week I have been trying out the new version of Firefox.

    I’m pretty impressed with it actually. I had been previously using Avant Browser as I liked the tabbed browsing and the resuming of browsing sessions when you close/re-open the browser.

    These features and more have now been incorporated into Firefox!

    Go give it a try!


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    Posted in: Apps & Games
    By October 23, 2006 Read More →

    HTC TyTN screen alignment fix

    HTC TyTN Alignment Issue

    Screen alignment issues have been discussed a lot where HTC devices are concerned. As we reported a while ago, the HTC Hermes seems to be the latest HTC device to suffer this fate.

    Orange SPV M3100 owners seem to have got off lightly as there have been very few reports of alignment issues with this device. However TyTN owners seem not to be so fortunate. In fact we have had dozens of emails from TyTN owners.

    I’d like to thank Mike for bringing a solution to my attention. What’s more, it’s a solution that wont cost you any money!

    In simple terms you need to slide a thin piece of card between the screen and the bezel to break the bond with the gasket around the edge. Full details can be found here on xda-developers.

    I think this is a pretty safe procedure but do it at your own risk. Breaking the seal around the screen may well lead to allowing dust into the screen.


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    Posted in: Phones
    By October 22, 2006 Read More →

    MicroSD Card Shortage? (Part 2)

    Some time ago I blogged about the apparant shortage of MicroSD (Transflash) memory cards.

    Over the past few months supplies of 512mb and 1gb cards have started to come through slowly, however, prices have remained high.

    I have spoken with a number of resellers that I regularly deal with about the lack of MicroSD cards. I’ve been told that the shortage is not limited to Europe now, and despite orders being placed stock is only coming though in limited numbers.

    512mb MicroSD Memory Card

    To make matters worse, there are allegedly a lot of counterfeit cards being sold on sites like eBay etc. What’s more, the copies are hard to spot.

    Have you got a 2gb microSD? If so where did you get it and how much did you pay? Please share the knowledge with other readers! 🙂


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    Posted in: Phones