Friday, January 2, 2009

iPhone Comes Out On Top For Photo Uploading!

It seems that when it comes to uploading your precious pictures, there’s one phone that’s head and shoulders above the rest. Social photo gallery site Flickr lets users upload there photos to share with friends and family wherever they are in the world and, as of November 2008, Flickr claimed to host more than 3 billion images. Along with capturing information such as picture size and GPS location, Flickr also tracks information on the camera used. So clicking on the “most popular cameras” page on Flickr will tell you alot about what cameras and camera phones people are using to upload their snaps, but what comes out on top for camera phones? The iPhone 3G of course.

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Top 3G Mobile Phones of 2008 reviewed its first 3G Phone in July 2004 which was the NEC e606. Of course things have moved on greatly since then and never has so much progress been made than in 2008. We exit 2008 awash with mobile phones having 8 megapixel cameras and 3G HSDPA speeds.

A number of mobile phones were launched focusing on target market areas e.g. the INQ1 facebook phone and the G1 Google mobile phone. This will become an increasing trend in 2009. undertook over 100 3G Phone Reviews in 2008 and our list of the Top 3G Phones ( below ) is based on the findings and conclusions of these reviews.

In preparing our top list of Top 3G Mobile Phones for 2008 we excluded any mobiles which are not actually 3G dataspeed as a minimum.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sony Ericsson C905 Review

Eight-megapixel camera phones are all the rage. Samsung and LG have their big hitters and now Sony Ericsson has jumped on the bandwagon. The Sony Ericsson C905 has been on our radar for some time now. We first got our hands on the super-savvy Cyber-shot device back in June, though only for a few minutes. It was not until October that it arrived in stores, by which point Samsung had unveiled the i8510 and the Pixon, and LG had launched the Renoir. So the gauntlet has been thrown down. Will the C905 rise to the challenge?

C905 - look and feel

While the Pixon and the Renoir battled it out for slimmest eight-megapixel device, the Sony Ericsson C905 has avoided any petty squabbling. The C905 is actually on the chunky side, partly due to its slider format. Slider phones have an annoying habit of accidentally springing open in your pocket, resulting in accidental key commands and wasting precious battery power. We were pleased to find the C905’s mechanism provides some resistance (and a satisfying snap) to ensure this isn’t a common occurrence.

Available in night black, ice silver (exclusive to O2) and copper gold (exclusive to Carphone Warehouse), the C905 sports curvaceous contours. The front fascia is adorned with a 2.4-inch screen that is so vibrant it belies its 240x320 pixel resolution. Below are the standard array of hard keys, a shortcut key and call and call end keys that Sony Ericsson users have become so accustomed to. Sandwiched between these is the navigation pad and confirm key. We found all these keys a little too cushioned and would have preferred a bit more of a click as found on the keypad. The keypad is roomy enough, though some users may bemoan the fact that definition is lacking between each individual key.

Talking of keypads, Sony Ericsson, once again, enables users to call contacts by typing in their name as you would when using T9 predictive text. For example, to call ‘Anna’, simply slide the phone open and press ‘2’ (A), ‘6’ (N), ‘6’ and ‘2’ and up will pop any Anna’s you have in your address book. It is a simple yet effective process.

C905 - camera credentials

The camera can be fired up by sliding open a protective lens shield found on the back of the device. The hinged system is not as smooth as the phone’s main slider mechanism, but it is reassuring to have your lens protected. Once in camera mode the phone’s navigation pad glows, revealing four icons that represent shortcuts to your flash, timer, focus and exposure levels.

While some may criticise the C905’s bulk, we felt that it actually gave the phone more of a dedicated camera feel, something that is only enhanced when its snapping credentials are laid bare. Not only does it have an eight-megapixel resolution, the C905 also sports face detection, auto-focus, image stabiliser and a truly remarkable Xenon flash. This type of flash is preferable to the more common LED flash found in most camera phones, as it provides a brighter burst of light that captures night time shots without losing detail. The C905 certainly achieves this and, if anything, the flash may be a little too bright.

When using the face detection mode, it was pleasing to find that it located more than one subject. However, we did find that you needed to be relatively near to be able to use the feature. Smart contrast was another useful addition, balancing the light and colour to ensure a better quality shot. It works much the same way as Photo fix, the difference being that Smart contrast is set before the picture is taken while Photo fix corrects the image after it has been snapped.

As demonstrated by our array of photos (see overleaf), the C905 is capable of achieving cracking picture quality and can proudly hold its own among the other eight-megapixel snappers. However, while the images looked fine on our phone, when we enlarged them on screen on our PC, shots where we used the zoom did appear pixelated.

Read full review here


Monday, December 15, 2008

Nokia N97 Demo Video

If a picture paints a thousand words, then what is a video worth? Well it’s priceless to Nokia’s PR team it would seem as they look to continue to build on the buzz surrounding the Nokia N97. So, to set the excitement level to boiling point Nokia have released a short demo video showing off the skills of the first ever touch screen Nseries mobile phone, the N97.

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Nokia N85 Review

It is a common gripe of younger siblings that they get overshadowed by their older brothers or sisters. Well, spare a thought for the Nokia N85. It is a handset with high specifications that could hold its own among some of this year’s very best smartphones, but has been overlooked as a result of the more publicised N96

Look and Feel

The Nokia N85 is almost a carbon copy of the N96 in terms of build. Both have a nifty dual slider action, and, despite being smaller and more pocket friendly, the N85 is in fact 3g heavier. Perhaps the Finnish manufacturer is feeling the credit crunch as much as the rest of us, but its preference for building handsets out of plastic, rather than metal, is bordering on obsessive. That is not to say that the N85 is poorly crafted. The back does feel a tad on the flimsy side, but it still maintains a robust feel. The back has an unusual truffle brown colour, in contrast to the jet black front-facing fascia. Now we are not style gurus, but we were always under the impression that brown with black was a fashion faux pas. Well, it shows what we know. The two shades complement each other excellently, leading to a rather eye-catching look.

At 2.6 inches, the N85’s OLED screen is 0.2 inches smaller than the N96, but the phone still displays up to 16 million colours with a resolution of 240x320 pixels, ensuring the quality is top notch. Beneath the screen Nokia has opted for a minimalist approach. The D-pad surrounds the command key, a thin green and red strip represents the call and call end keys and a shortcut key to your menu options is located on the handset’s right side. However, here is the clever bit. Fire up the N85 and, as if by magic, four other keys light up – two soft keys, a menu key and a cancel button. It is a simple yet effective approach that we were quite taken with. What is more, the D-pad can be turned into a touch-sensitive Navi wheel that enables you to scroll through menu icons, albums and pictures. It was not quite to our taste but it is great that Nokia has given us the option, on

Dual Slider

As we mentioned, the N85 is a dual slider. Slide it one way to reveal the standard alphanumeric keypad (if we were being ultra critical we did find these keys to be on the small side) and slide the other direction to unveil four media control keys. The keys provide a great way of starting your music player without having to go through your menu options

Music plays a big part in the N85. While it may lack the mammoth 16GB of storage capacity the N96 offers (the N85 has a measly 85MB of internal memory), Nokia does make amends by bundling in an 8GB microSD card, which should house around 8,000 tracks. There is also easy access to the Nokia Music Store. Users can choose from over 2.5 million tracks at a cost of 80p per song. Once downloaded, tracks can be transferred to a PC via a USB cable, as well as remaining on the phone.

Voice Commands

The sound quality is spot-on whether played through the loudspeaker or the accompanying headphones, though when we plugged in our Bose ones (Nokia has been kind enough to include a 3.5mm headset jack) we noticed a marked improvement. However, in using your own headphones you will miss out on being able to take and make handsfree calls, as well as a nifty voice command function. A control pad forms part of the handsfree kit, emblazoned with call, call end and volume keys. Press the call button when idle and after five seconds you will hear a tone. This is your signal to speak your command. For example, ‘call Amy’, or ‘music player’. A robotic sounding voice repeats the command and brings up a list of functions it thinks most relevant.

The idea is that a selection of options is preferable to activating the wrong command. It is not the polished article it could have been, with around a 60/40 success rate, but it is another string to the N85’s bow.

Read full review here


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sony Ericsson to Come Up with Android Handsets

Almost three months back,Sony Ericsson had shown its interest over getting Android on their recently launched range of high-end multimedia handsets, the XPERIA range. However for its first handset from the XPERIA range, the X1 Sony Ericsson stuck to Windows Mobile as the mobile phone's OS. It seems that, three months back Sony Ericsson was doing some serious thinking when it comes to the Android platform because the company has officially announced that it will be joining the Open Handset Alliance, consortium behind Android. Sony Ericsson has also said that, it is very much open to having Android on its forthcoming phones.

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AdWords Reaches iPhone and G1 Mobile Phones

AdWords has been available for mobile devices for quite some time, but now you can target iPhone and G1 users specifically with your ads.

To target ads for G1 and iPhone, go to your campaign settings tab in your AdWords account. Then for the “Device Platform” option under "Networks and Bidding," select "iPhones and other mobile devices with full internet browsers."

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