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Posts in category Mobile

Trade up program for Blackberry and other phones launched by TELUS

With the new Blackberry 10 just about to be launched, the demand is set to be great amongst loyal users of Blackberry phones, but despite this eagerness, many will fail to get their hands on this latest upgrade, it will not be possible for everyone to afford the retail cost of it, the minute it hits the shops. The good news for those who can’t wait for this latest addition to the range of Blackberry mobile phones on offer is that TELUS has started a scheme which may offer a solution to this problem for many mobile device enthusiasts.

Essentially TELUS say the program they are starting up is a trade-up scheme, whereby people hand over their existing smartphone, in return for which they will be given a credit which they can use towards their new one – and the scheme does not just apply to users of Blackberry phones, as you can hand over phones by TELUS, Rogers or Bell if you wish to take advantage of the opportunity. Given the present economic climate and the financial uncertainty that many are experiencing, this may offer a real practical alternative for those who are keen to upgrade their existing phone.

In order for your existing smartphone to be eligible for the program, it needs to fulfil some basic requirements, such as be in usable condition with a display that can power on. However, beyond this, even phones which are in less than pristine condition will still be acceptable for the program, as TELUS plans to refurbish those phones which people hand in, in order to resell them to people in developing countries. The company has also stated that it intends to plant a tree for every phone received that does not have a resale value. The other condition attached to the scheme is that there is a limit of three phones that any one person can trade in, but this could offer people a viable way of getting the latest in Blackberry phones that they need for their work, or any other phone of their choice.

Review: LG Quantum Windows Phone

I had the chance to test out the LG Quantum C900 for a week and I have to say I was impressed.

The Design:

This is one of the few Windows Phones with a full hardware keyboard (although not currently released in the UK) and feels fantastic to hold.

With a sleek rounded design and a good weight too it feels fantastic to hold and is a dream to type on and I was able to easily knock out a blog post or 2 on the go without any real hindrance over a desktop PC – something which I can’t say for any other smartphone I’ve used so far!

The phone design appears to be based on LG’s earlier Android based LG InTouch Max GW620 (aka Eve) which was my phone for over a year and was frankly was abysmal – I managed to get through 4 of them – however it seems they have really improved and fixed all the issues and this is a really great phone and a pleasure to use – particularly that it now uses the Windows Phone operating system.

The Screen:

With a 3.5″ 800×480 TFT LCD capacitive touch screen display it’s a nice responsive display, but nothing special when compared to newer phones on the market like the Nokia Lumia 800, but it’s more than acceptable and provides a nice crisp image.

The Camera:

An important part of any modern smartphone the LG Quantum includes a 5 mega-pixel AF camera with built-in flash which is a great little camera for taking quick snaps when out and about.

The Battery:

The phone boasts 4 hrs 22 minutes talk time and as with any other does drain quickly under heavy use, could be better but not unusable.

So, should I get it Dan?

It’s a great phone and I really do love its keyboard but it is getting on a bit in mobile years, it was released in October 2010 and there are now better handsets on the market for a reasonable price. However if you’re on a budget and want a sexy Windows Phone this is definitely a great option and I’d highly recommend it if you’re a fan of hardware keyboards.

Review: Nokia Lumia 800

The Nokia Lumia 800 is the first Nokia handset to use the awesome Windows Phone operating system with some impressive specs such as 16GB internal memory (a big improvement on 512MB on my android) and 512MB SDRAM it’s a big improvement on Nokia’s seen previously.

I’ve now been using the Nokia Lumia 800 for a few months of vigorous testing which any phone I own goes through on a daily basis, it’s proved to be the best one yet!

The Design:

The Nokia Lumia 800 has a smooth and sleek design with rounded sides which fit nicely in the palm.

The Nokia design team have also made some interesting, yet well thought out, design choices in button location; the power button for instance is located on the right hand side middle of the device. This position means you can very easily turn the device on with your middle finger when holding it. This small design choice has a noticeable impact on how you use the device on a day-to-day basis and makes the “pick-up-and-go” nature of modern smart phones just that little bit faster & easier – No more fiddling with a button at the top.

The phone comes with it’s own rubber case to help protect the phone from drops, with the curved poly-carbonate chassis protecting it from the heavier knocks, unfortunately this case does become somewhat slack if removed too many times.

Also the flap for the USB charger, while useful as it protects the socket may be a breakage risk depending on how you treat the phone (it’s been fine for me), this is something Nokia has removed from their Nokia Lumia 900.

The Screen:

The 3.7″ ClearBlack OLED WVGA display with strong Gorilla glass finish is simply, the best screen for a smart phone. Extremely strong and resilient to knocks and scratches and very easy to clean while still being a responsive and it’s impressively good when in bright light too.

The Camera:

The 8 MegaPixel Carl Zeiss Tessar camera is fantastic, with an awesome HD resolution (in both photo & video) it’s fantastic quality, coupled with the Windows Phone’s easy point and shoot functions you can quickly take snaps even while the phone is locked. Not to mention the quick sharing meaning you can snap, upload & share pics within in seconds. Great for social whores like myself who can’t resist sharing that I’m munching on a huge bowl of cereal.

The Battery:

The battery has had some bad press, and many I know with the Lumia do have some problems with the battery life and yes. It will eat the battery if used a lot there is simply no way around that, but things have improved somewhat with the release of updates and being aware of the features left on (bluetooth/wi-fi etc) coupled with battery saver mode I have no real problem as a heavy user, but you do need to remember to plug it in at night… and when you’re at your desk is always a good idea.

So, should I get it Dan?

If you’re looking for a great smart phone which lets you do what you need to do quickly and easily I highly recommend the Nokia Lumia 800, it’s simply a joy to use and I love it. You can pick up a Nokia Lumia 800 SIM free phone for under £450 from Argos


Top 4 reasons why you should recycle your old Mobile

Recycling mobile phones and electronic equipment or “e-waste” is just as important as recycling glass and plastic materials. This is a little known fact in many circles, as the environmental movement is still expanding and growing, and people are still becoming aware of the full range of benefits of recycling materials. However, as you can learn from various electronics providers, such as O2, there are numerous benefits of recycling electronic materials as well. This seems a bit complicated for some, but really, it is quite fortunate, as it merely expands the range of helpful outcomes of recycling. Here are the top 4 reasons for recycling old cell phones, many of which you may never have considered.

4.) Many – myself included – never even bother throwing out their mobile phones, which makes forgetting to recycle even worse. It would be one thing to throw away an old phone without realising that it could be recycled – it is still being disposed of. However, to simply leave it in a drawer, when it could still be put to good use, is silly. Why not dig out your old mobile phones from yesteryear, and put them to use via recycling!

3.) You may not realise but most mobile recycling & donation schemes actually do a lot more than simply extracting the useful raw elements and often re-use functioning, but merely outdated, phones in less fortunate 3rd world countries, reducing the need for additional production of newer products and helping a whole new wave of people get their teeth into the mobile age.

2.) Mobile phones, and in particular their batteries, can often contain various harmful materials, such as arsenic, lead, and mercury. Simply throwing your old phone away, usually means it ends up in landfill, where the harmful materials would be free to harm the environment and potentially cause serious dangers. This is senseless when simply recycling  your phone properly can have numerous benefits, with little to no-effort on your part.

1.) Along the same lines, mobile phones also contain a number of materials that can be beneficial to preserve. These materials can include gold, silver, copper, palladium, and a variety of plastics, all of which are valuable materials. Again, throwing your old mobile phones away will lose these materials and require the consumption of more of them in the future, rather than allowing them to be re-used through recycling.

And if those reasons aren’t enough to persuade you…. Did I mention many of these schemes will also give you cash for you’re old phones?

Dig those old phones out and make use of them, donate them, recycle them, sell them. Just do something with them! And now I’ve said it, I’ll go dig mine out…

EXCLUSIVE: Nokia Lumia 900 Hands On!

That’s right we have been seeing Lumia 900 results popping up. A Nokia source got me hands on with the device & answered a few questions on it.

So first things that you will notice with the device is the huge 4.3 AMOLED screen which is a personal favourite of mine & a 1.4GHz processor.  As with all the Windows Phones on the marketplace currently the HTC Titan is the only other device with a big enough screen with as I was told “a nicer camera to compliment the big screen”.

Regarding the design on the device itself it is just a bigger Lumia 800, keeping the same design and button layout out. The only current differences regarding design were the current Lumia 800 push & click for access to the device & Micro Sim have changed into a iPhone style pin push access to the Sim card and no cover to the Micro USB.

Finally a change which will only go ahead depending on the feedback on the Lumia 800 is the case finish which the current prototype has a gloss finish unlike the current Lumia’s matt finish.

As I only saw a prototype & the device has a while to go till final production we can see a few changes yet to happen but I will try to keep you as updated as possible.

Launch will be hard to really estimate, although some seem to think we’ll be seeing it in Q1 2012 (note the picture on that link is *NOT* the Lumia 900), but we can look at around Tango release because the current prototypes are only running on Tango.  Finally as Nokia are such great fans of NFC I also had confirmation that the Apollo (Next gen of Windows Phones) will bring support for NFC devices.


Everything Everywhere: Orange & T-mobile – The “big 3G switch-on”

A while back Orange and T-mobile (UK) merged into a new company, Everything Everywhere Ltd forming the UK’s largest communications company.

As part of this Orange and T-mobile customers gained massively from the ability to use the other network for their 2G (SMS & Voice mainly) signal helping all Orange and T-mobile customers (myself included) better coverage and quality of signal.

Until now though customers have been unable to benefit from using the 3G signal of the other network. As of next week customers will be able to take advantage of the both networks 3G capabilities thanks to the latest advancements in the mobile networks evolution plan. This will enable all 27 million T-mobile & Orange mobile customers to enjoy faster internet and data access, with wider coverage (woot!).

Since the merge customers from each brand have already been using the shared 2G network in their millions, with a huge 1.7 million days worth of calls (that’s almost 41 million hours!) made on the other brand’s network, as well as a whopping 5 billion additional SMS sent and received since October 2010.

The big 3G switch-on will begin rolling out next week region by region to all T-mobile and Orange customers over the next few months.

“This is a significant achievement and demonstrates the latest milestone in our network vision and customer promise – to provide more things, to more people in more places than any other company in Britain.

Customers are always on the move and demanding instant access to information wherever they are. Not only will customers be able to talk in more places they weren’t able to before, they’ll also now be able to access the internet, social networks or download emails at improved speeds, in more places.” – Olaf Swantee, Everything Everywhere CEO.

The best bit? It won’t cost you a penny more. This will be rolled-out seamlessly and pricing and plans will remain as-is meaning a better service, without you having to pay a penny more, and without having to lift a finger. I for one – as a T-Mobile customer – can’t wait!

The Second Coming of Symbian?

The now oft-forgotten mobile operating system of yesteryear, Symbian, seems to be getting an update. Nokia, who have a working relationship with the Symbian Foundation to develop the software, have just sent out invitations to an exclusive press event:

So, Windows Phone killer, iOS destroyer, Android murderer, or just a bit behind the times? Let us know what you think in the comments…

Coolest new apps


Image courtesy of Expansys

With the release of tablet computers for Android, along with the Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet operating system, the market for apps made with tablet PCs in mind is growing rapidly. Though a tablet PC will run standard apps built for mobiles, most of these are designed with phone interfaces and screens in mind so do not use the screen space effectively, often running in a low resolution covering only part of the screen. The greater screen size of a tablet computer means many dedicated tablet PC apps can shine; offering new and better user experiences. These are some of the latest tablet PC apps:

Pulse News is an RSS reader which arranges news stories for mailing list companies and social network updates in a novel manner by stacking them with relevant images to cover the screen in a grid and lets you scroll through them with a flick of a finger. This is a great use of the screen space on a tablet PC and makes the news easy to browse. It runs beautifully using some of Honeycomb’s new tricks for supporting animations which allow the smooth scrolling of text and images. Selecting any of the images by tapping on it instantly opens the news story, Facebook posts, Twitter feeds and even email creating a single, integrated experience. What’s more Pulse News is free. Surprisingly given the age of the desktop PC compared to tablet PCs interfaces like Pulse News are taking them far ahead of what came before for the desktop PC. It will be interesting to see how new ideas like this continue to develop.

CNN are one of the first major news organisations to create their own tablet computer app for news from their sites. It allows you to view news stories in a similar manner to Pulse with rows of images and headlines arranged in a grid and updated in real time. An interesting addition to the app is that it makes news a two way process by adding the iReport feature which lets users upload their own news stories to the iReport user submissions area. As this app is power-hungry it is only available for Honeycomb tablet PCs, older versions of Android will not be able to download it from the Android Market. CNN News is also a free app.

Fuze Meeting is aimed at businesses and anyone who needs to coordinate projects online, offering support for up to three people to video conference in high definition with a host of features to support the meeting. Files can be uploaded and shared easily via the Cloud while desktop contents can be streamed and highlighted with iPoint, the online equivalent of a laser pointer. It also supports chat through all of the major online chat clients. The basic version of the app is free and can be upgraded by registering and paying to allow meetings with more participants, beating even a desktop PC for meetings online.

One of Google’s own apps that benefits the most from tablets is Google Body, the 3D viewer that lets you examine every external and internal part of the human body from any angle. You can zoom in on individual features which are all fully labelled as well as select layers such as bones, muscles, organs or the skin to display. This app will be of educational and general interest to children all the way up to adults and those studying medical subjects. It is also free, making it ideal for teachers to use as an educational tool.

The advance of tablet PCs to the point where they are competing for market share with laptops and even desktop PC is very exciting for the future of apps as the tablet computer gains more processing and graphics power. Recently the investment bank Morgan Stanley estimated that tablet computer sales would increase at least six-fold in the near term, making tablets the place where new ideas will be tried out from many up and coming software companies.

This is a sponsored post.