The Mobile Phone Club

The latest news and reviews from the Mobile Phone scene.

 

Thursday, 31 January 2008

Garmin Nuvifone


Garmin has added the Nuvifone to the list of expected announcements at the Mobile World Congress (3GSM) in just over a weeks time. The Nuvifone is a touch controlled device drawing together mobile phone, internet and navigation solutions. The latter is Garmins specialist subject and sees the software of their GPS Nuvi integrated with Google search to enable fast access to information relevant to your location. These services are provided over a HSDPA 3G network. A camera is built in for video recording a Geo-tagging.

More information here

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iWash my iPhone


ClubWest have an ingenious solution for keeping the screen clean on your iPhone. Simply download the video from clubwesttv.com and watch in amazement as the iWash bikini girl uses her bucket and sponge to clean the inside of your iPhone screen!

See the video here

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Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Google phone by Dell

Rumours of a Google mobile phone have been around for a while, but the latest twist has only a short period of wait to see if it's true. The recent launch of the Android operating system proved Google sees a future in being more active in the telecoms market but it seems Dell are now to step in to the mobile phone arena to make the Gphone a reality.
Senior industry sources are expecting an announcement at the 3GSM conference in Barcelona next month.

More here

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BlackBerry Pearl gets new features


RIM has just released the latest models in the BlackBerry Pearl range of smartphones. The BlackBerry Pearl 8110 receives updates that include a 2 megapixel camera, A2DP Bluetooth profile and built in GPS. It continues to offer the email and net connectivity of previous BlackBerry devices but does not include Wi-Fi.
That is to be released in another Pearl model, the BlackBerry Pearl 8120, but what RIM give with one hand they take away with the other as the 8120 does not have the GPS facility of the Pearl 8110. So it appears users will have to choose which aspect is more important and go for the device that best suits them. Seems like an unnecessary compromise when so many of the competitors offer both navigation and wireless network access solutions.
The BlackBerry Pearl 8110 is available now on Vodafone, while the Pearl 8120 is out now on O2.

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Tuesday, 29 January 2008

O2 changes tariffs to give customers more


From the 1st February 2008 O2 contract customers will benefit from a new choice of pay monthly tariffs. Six price points will offer a set bundle of minutes and texts, further customised with additional bolt-ons.
The three current tariffs for the Apple iPhone will be brought in line with these new options. This will mean a £35 tariff for an iPhone customer will offer three times the free calls and more than double the free texts, plus users will continue to receive 'unlimited' data access.

More here

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Monday, 28 January 2008

Minerva Industries claims rights to smartphones

According to Mobile Gazette a company called Minerva Industries has been granted a patent that effectively covers most modern smartphones and multimedia phones, meaning many of the manufacturers of these devices are now being sued for infringement by the Californian based company. These include Apple, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, RIM and HTC.

US Patent 7,321,783 filed with the US patent office in November 2003 covers "A mobile entertainment and communication device in a palm-held size housing" and follows on from another patent filed in March 2000.

More here

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Virgin Mobile launch new tariff


UK MVNO Virgin Mobile are to introduce a new flat rate pay as you go tariff that sees all calls charged at 15p per minute, to any network. As an added incentive customers will receive 5 free mins or texts for every 5 mins of calls or 5 text messages charged for.
Virgin Mobile are also introducing a customer loyalty scheme taking 10p for every £1 spent and creating a fund that the customer can then use towards purchasing a new handset.

More here

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Friday, 25 January 2008

Camera phones could gain PC mouse function

A group of UK researchers are currently developing software that will allow a mobile phone with built-in camera to work as a 3D mouse for PC screens or other types of displays. A prototype of the software has been integrated into a camera phone and works with a desktop computer. It uses a Bluetooth connection with the computer operating the respective screen.
The phone successfully substitutes a conventional mouse, therefore it can be used to control any function that is normally accessible via the PC's screen. The new software works with Windows Mobile and Symbian and will probably be customized for other mobile operating systems too.

More here

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Thursday, 24 January 2008

Liscio designer phone


Some teaser images of a new designer mobile phone due to launch in February have been posted here.
The handset is called Liscio and boasts a sleek design, gloss black finish and music keys in the centre of the keypad.
But wait, the smart guys over at Engadget have spotted this 'new' phone before! Is it, as they suggest, in fact a re-branded Haier Elegance?

More here

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Samsung G600 is pretty in pink


Samsung have just released a pink version of the G600, which is sure to be a hit with the female market and is nicely timed with valentines day just around the corner.
The Samsung G600 features a 5 megapixel camera, 2.2 inch LCD display, Bluetooth and microSD compatibility and is available through most retailers now.

More here

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Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Kyocera now 6th largest mobile manufacturer


Electronics and household product pioneers Kyocera are to buy Sanyo's mobile handset manufacturing business for between $378m-$472m, in a move that will create the sixth largest mobile phone maker in the world.
To ensure a smooth transition in the market, Kyocera plans to offer both Kyocera- and SANYO-branded products in Japan and abroad for the foreseeable future.
Kyocera acquires a comprehensive set of assets from SANYO relating to the research, development, design, materials procurement, manufacture, sales and marketing of handsets, base stations and wireless communication systems.

More here

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Tuesday, 22 January 2008

fonez 2 U diRct

An interesting article sent out in the January newsletter from Phones2U Direct says that Brits currently send 1 billion text messages a week and that the abbreviations commonly seen in them are creeping in to everyday language.
This story might give some useful meaning to terms you don't understand or save you a few characters in your next message!

More here

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Nokia expand Classic range


Nokia released details of two new entry level phones today. The Nokia 2600 Classic is a dual band phone with VGA camera, colour screen, Bluetooth and an FM radio.
The Nokia 1209 is a low cost phone designed to be shared between a group. It allows up to five users to store contact lists of up to 200 numbers, is dust resistant and works in 80 languages.
Both devices run a new cost management application designed to help pre-pay customers keep track of their spending and avoid running out of credit.

More here

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Monday, 21 January 2008

New Sony Ericsson handsets on the way


News of a Sony Ericsson press event in India this week have lead to details of some new handsets appearing. The most interesting of which is the yet unnamed K-series Cybershot phone pictured. It contains a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, a screen with 16M colours and QVGA resolution, as well as 3G including video calling.

Other handsets are expected to be announced. These include the Sony Ericsson T270 and T280, both of which contain Bluetooth, an FM radio and an as yet unspecified camera. Both these phones are aimed at the lower end of the range.

More here

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Thursday, 17 January 2008

FastMac IV iPhone battery case


Added bulk aside this seems like a good idea for those who can't cope with the iPhone's standard battery performance. Watching videos, surfing the net and listening to music all play their part in affecting the standby and talktime of the iPhone, so if you're finding a desire for longer between charges then FastMac have the answer.
The iV iPhone battery case adds up to 24 hours of talk time or 72 hours of audio playback in a rubberised case that clips on the bottom of your iPhone. As well as protecting the back of the device it also adds a belt clip for carrying, plus a flash light for emergency use and low light photos. When it comes to re-charging the iV iPhone battery case plugs straight in to your docking unit and even offers a USB port for charging another device such as your Bluetooth headset.

More here

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Samsung i900


Sorry for the ridiculous image, it's meant to be a picture of the rumoured Samsung i900.
Looking like a close relative of the F490/F700 this particular touch screen phone runs the Windows Mobile 6 operating system and benefits from a 5 megapixel autofocus camera, 8GB memory and 7.2Mbps HSDPA.
We wait to see if it will be officially announced, with the Mobile World Congress coming up in February the stage could be set.

More here

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Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Hydrogen power for mobile phones


Canadian company Angstrom Power has demonstrated a significant step in the development of hydrogen-powered cell phones. Unlike previous attempts at hydrogen-powered phones, Angstrom Power´s prototype allows the fuel cell to fit comfortably inside the phone, and can last twice as long between refueling than phones powered with lithium-ion batteries.

Angstrom Power has hydrogen-powered Motoslvr cell phones currently in testing. The fuel cell version looks identical to the battery version, but another advantage of the new technology is that it can refuel in as little as 10 minutes.
There are some issues to overcome though, such as the methods refueling, availability of fuel and safety issues such as vulnerability to heat. Angstrom Power is working on various solutions and hopes to have the technology commercially available by 2010.

More here

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Tuesday, 15 January 2008

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery...


Then this is taking it to extremes. It's hard to imagine Apple's response to this Chinese imitation of the iPhone but contrary to our expectations some aspects actually improve on the iPhone's standards. Twin SIM holders, microSD card memory expansion and 2 megapixel camera make for an appealing package.
Now that plans to launch the Apple iPhone in China look to have hit problems amid rumours of China Mobile rejecting Apple's request for 20%-30% of user revenues, could this imitation fill a gap in the market for those wanting a slice of Apple shaped technology?

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Palm OS II devices expected for 2009


Palm is working on a new linux-based version of its operating system which it expects to be available in devices during 2009. Form factors for these new devices have not yet been revealed but it is believed Palm is looking at developing the Treo range. In the mean time Palm will continue to offer devices with the original OS and Windows Mobile while development of the Palm OS II, rumoured to be codenamed 'nova' continues.

More here

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Monday, 14 January 2008

UK iPhone sales figure cover up

A report in yesterdays Mail on Sunday says Apple are telling its UK partners O2 and The Carphone Warehouse to keep quite about iPhone sales, fueling rumours about the phones poor sales performance to date.
Mobile phone sales were up this Christmas, but the value of sales was down suggesting the £269 iPhone was positioned against the trend.
According to industry insiders Apple have instructed O2 and CPW not to tell investors the sales figures, and Steve Jobs' speech at Macworld Expo this week is expected to focus on pan-European sales rather than reporting on individual countries, which can be construed as avoiding highlighting market problems.

More here

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LG Prada now in silver


Following on from the success that saw LG sell 700,000 of its black Prada model worldwide in 2007, a silver version is now to be launched. Featuring updated software to improve the QWERTY keyboard the KE850 Prada launches in 18 European countries simultaneously including France, Germany, Spain and the UK.

More here

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Friday, 11 January 2008

Sony TransferJet wireless connection

Sony are working on a new wireless file transfer and device communication system that promises speeds of up to 560Mb/s over very short distances.
TransferJet relies on two devices being only 3cm apart to deliver its maximum speed, but if conditions for transmission deteriorate it will maintain the highest possible connectivity by automatically lowering the data transmission rate.
Sony sees TransferJet being ideal for exchanging photos and HD images between electronic devices including mobile phones, digital cameras, digital video cameras, computers and TVs. For example, just touching a TransferJet enabled TV with a digital camera will instantaneously display photos on the TV screen.

More here

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Thursday, 10 January 2008

Microsoft "Surface" with new ideas


Microsoft have had this up for a while now but many may not have seen it.

Surface is a completely new style of computer that uses a 30 inch display in a table top combined with a touch sensitive user interface and wireless device recognition.
Surface is easy for individuals or small groups to interact with and can simultaneously recognize dozens and dozens of movements. It promises to change the way we play, learn and interact as well as the way we manage media devices.
A video suggesting the capabilities of Surface is available on You Tube here
Further information explaining the concept can be found at the Microsoft mini site here

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Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Bluetrek launches new Bluetooth headset range


Bluetrek's 'Fashion for Heads' range features headsets for the sporty, fashionable and techie types. Two in particular stand out for their innovation.

Hot on the heels of the splash and shock resistant phones the BlueTrek X3 is aimed at the outdoor sports and services markets. It is a rugged Bluetooth earpiece that manages to be dust, shock and water resistant whilst remaining compact and easy to use.

The Bluetrek BIZZ is the first Bluetooth headset to include a flash memory drive, as well as a 2.0 USB connection that is compatible with microSD cards (up to 8GB). It promises to ensure those important files are always at hand.

All headsets in the Fashion for Heads range will be rolled out throughout Spring 2008, with the X3 costing £29.99, and the BIZZ £39.99.

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Bus tickets on your mobile phone

Go North East, operators of public transport buses in the North East of England, have introduced an SMS ticket service for 2008. Called "txt2go" it enables bus passengers to order a digital ticket for their journey which is then shown to the bus driver on boarding the bus. The cashless, paperless ticket can be ordered any time, anywhere by sending a text to 60060.
New tickets are locked to the handset it was ordered from and users must pre-register for the service at Go North East's website.

More here

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Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Nokia S60 Touch user interface


Details of a Nokia patent covering the rumoured Series 60 touch UI have appeared over at Unwired View. In it are ideas for an advanced interface seemingly capable of not just touch based operation but also 3D gesture recognition.
Both one and two finger commands have been developed for selecting and zooming functions or moving files, but to go beyond this and create a touchless 3D device control interface, Nokia suggest using Ultrasonic Transducers (USTs), positioned around the perimeter of the display.
Ultrasonic transducers emit ultrasonic sound waves through the air. When a finger gets into the path of these waves, the signal is reflected back and detected by the transducer. These movements can then be interpreted as various three dimensional gestures.

More here

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Special edition Sony Ericsson


If the concept of 'understated style' has escaped you and you simply want your phone to be as 'bling' as possible then Sony Ericsson seem to have the answer. They take a Rose Pink T650 and gold plate the top half to create a phone that is "like a piece of jewelry - glamorous, expensive and exquisite in quality" according to Elie Otaki, Marketing Manager of Sony Ericsson-Middle East and North Africa.
One thing is for sure, it is certain to get you noticed.

More here

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LG present watch phone concept


LG have demonstrated working examples of a mobile phone watch concept at CES in Las Vegas. The device uses a scroll navigation with two main soft keys and contains calling, messaging and Bluetooth options. Price, full specification and release date are still to be confirmed, but a video of the phone in action can be seen here

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Monday, 7 January 2008

Handset launches galore!

Over at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Sony Ericsson and Motorola have announced a brace of new mobile phones.

The first Sony Ericsson is a geometric fashion phone - the Z555i. This handset boasts gesture control, a hidden external OLED display and an optional range of four matching leather bags!
Next up is the W350i, harking back to the days of the 768 and T-series flip style handsets that Sony Ericsson used to be famous for, the W350i is an entry Walkman phone with 1.3 megapixel camera, FM radio and stereo Bluetooth. The W350i will be available in four colours from launch.
Lastly, but offering the best specification of this trio is the W760i. Offering HSDPA, a 3.2 megapixel camera, GPS and a full compliment of Walkman music features it promises to deliver a strong alternative to the popular Nokia N95.

Motorola formally announced the RIZR Z10 which we got wind of last September, but it appears to be taking a little longer to appear than we first thought. No matter, as the Z10 promises to be worth the wait with 30fps video capture from its 3.2 megapixel camera, HSDPA and a memory handling capability of 32GB once it becomes available!
Also leaked last year was the Motorola ROKR E8, this will be quite unique in having a morphing keypad and haptic vibration for the touch sensitive keys. More on that here.

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Yahoo unveils a development platform of its own

Yahoo has announced its own software developer platform for mobile internet applications to rival Google's android software previewed two months ago.
Yahoo says it's platform is aimed at developers and publishers who want their applications to run on many different handsets. Yahoo hope to make money from distributing advertising on some of the new applications that are developed on the platform and plans to offer the software free of charge to developers.

More here

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Friday, 4 January 2008

Samsung makes solid bid for tough phone market


Samsung and O2 have officially announced the launch of the Samsung Solid, Samsung's first ultra durable handset.
Using a thick rubber case, the Samsung Solid's water and dust resistancy is effective to an IP rating of 54, meaning it will survive water splashes or knocks and drops.
Features include a digital camera, Bluetooth, flash light, a long battery life and a unique SOS dialing feature.
Clearly aimed at tradesmen and outdoor pursuits markets, the Samsung Solid looks to be going head to head with the JCB Toughphone released before Christmas.

More here

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Voice activated V1 Bluetooth headset


Australian manufacturer BlueAnt have created a dual-mic Bluetooth headset called the V1 which promises almost complete voice control of its operation. It uses a "BlueGenie voice user interface" to operate a full compliment of functions with the added support of a single button.

More here

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Thursday, 3 January 2008

Ion-Mask may lead to a waterproof phone


P2i, a spin-off company of the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory in Porton Down, Wilts. are in talks with three mobile phone manufacturers regarding the use of their waterproof coating called Ion-Mask. It works by bonding a protective layer to the device using a plasma - a gas that has been electronically charged. The chemical properties of the layer allow it to repel water and oil. Developed for treating soldiers' uniforms so they would repel toxic vapours and liquids in a chemical or biological attack, Ion-Mask is due to make its first non-military appearance on a new range of Hi-Tec training shoes launching soon. It could be a solution to reducing the 1.2 million liquid damage related insurance claims made last year.

More here

Text messaging popularity still on the increase

Forecasts by analysts Gartner Inc. predict mobile phone text messaging is set to increase from last years worldwide total of 1.9 trillion messages sent to around 2.3 trillion, an increase of over 19%.
The Asia Pacific region are currently leading the way, accounting for 1.5 trillion messages sent in 2007.
Naturally revenue will increase alongside this from a 2007 total of $52 billion to an estimated $60.2 billion.
Interestingly Garner predict an eventual decline in mobile phone text messaging as instant messaging and push e-mail become the favoured way to communicate.

More here

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Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Samsung releases details of two new phones: P720 and F490


Samsung have two new handsets ready for release. The first is the P720 model which features a 3 megapixel camera and touch screen QVGA display. It looks very similar to the recent P520 Armani phone but in reality is thicker and slightly taller. This may be down to the fact that the P720 will be the second handset in the Duos range and features a dual SIM card slot.
The second handset is the Samsung F490, a slim touch screen mobile styled like the F700 and offering a 3.2 inch display with haptic touch feedback and a 5 megapixel camera.
The P720 may be destined for the Asian market but we hope to see the F490 over here in the early part of 2008.

More here

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