The Pre Palm Pre?

One of the coolest elements of Palm's highly anticipated Pre has arrived early: Contact synergy comes to the masses in the form of Virgin Mobile's Helio Ocean 2. This new feature merges address books from several different sources to let you c-mail, text, or instant message all of your friends quickly and easily. Synergy on the Ocean doesn't go as far as it does on the Pre, but it's here now, it's inexpensive, and it's a pretty cool device for messaging friends.

There's no getting around the fact that the Ocean is huge. At 5.9 ounces and 4.7 by 2.3 by 0.8 inches (FIWD), this is no slim-and-light handset. The phone opens two ways: You can slide the screen up to get a traditional phone keypad or slide it sideways to get a full QWERTY keyboard. Navigating is done by means of a fou•-way rocker with a trendy optical sensor in the middle. You also get a 2-megapixel camera and 2.6-inch, 320-by-240 LCD. Battery life came in at 6 hours 44 minutes of continuous talk time.

Sure, the Ocean 2 is a fine voice phone, but really, you're not buying a warship like this to talk on—it's all about the messaging. The phone lets you combine all your contacts from a free 100MB Ifelio webmail account, A01., Microsoft Exchange, and Yahoo into one master address book. E-mail and Ilv1 run in the background and aromatically push messages to you as soon as they arrive (except for messages from generic POP/IMAP accounts). The one bump in the road is that the Ocean 2's Web browser is painfully slow. Though it is not as sleek as the upcoming Palm Pre, the Ocean 2 is worth a look for heavy messagers who are willing to jump to Virgin Mobile.—Sascha Segan

PC Magazine April 2009

Siemens Gigaset 56851P


A multi-talented and stylish cordless Voice over IP phone

0ffering combined landline and Voice over IP (VoIP) connectivity, the Siemens Gigasct S6851P is a surprisingly powerful, yet affordable cordless Dect phone system for home users Its features and ease of use put more expensive products to shame.

Although it has been available for several months, the S6851P remains the flagship of Siemens' range of domestic VoIP phones, a range that's kept a low profile but which on this chewing deserves wider recognition.

Our review bundle comprised the Gigaset 56851P base station and an SE8H handset - but you can buy each separately, mixing and matching handsets from the range if you wish. The base station is a small plan black box with a single large blue-illuminated button used for registering handsets and showing Ethernet status. At the back of this wall-mountable box are the power and analogue landl ne phone connectors, while the Ethernet connector is at the side.

The base station has a well-designed browser-based interface for configuring the unit, although usefully you can also perform many CV11111011 Setup tasks via simple menus and wi2ards on the S68H handset itself, so you can get VoIP services up and running without a PC.

This ease of setup sets this phone apart from the obscure procedures found in many VoIP devices. For instance, there's a built-in database of settings for dozens of global VoIP providers (18 in the UK alone), which means that in most casts all you need to do is pick your VOIP provider's name from a list and enter your ID and password. Advanced setup is possible as well, but the ease of connection is a breath of fresh air.

The web interface gives you access to the more advanced features that are the highlight of this phone. You can register up to six VolP accounts and make three simultaneous cats (two VoIP, plus one fixed line) on different handsets You can also assign incoming and/or outgoing calls to different accounts on different handsets (up to six Gap-compatible handsets can be registered on up to four base stations each).

Dialling plans let you route particular calls over specific connections, such as routing emergency 999 or 112 calls over the fixed line, and different incoming and outgoing Ines can be assigned to each handset. The Gigaset S6851P lets you set up almost unlunted dialling plan entries (up to the base station's memory limit) for this purpose. One important feature missing is the ability to fail-over to the fixed line connection if the VoIP connections aren't working - Siemens told us that a firmware update will fix this in March 2009. Conditional call forwarding for each VoIP account is available, and you can also set up the system to access your VolP providers' answering services if required. Otherwise, you can use the built-in digital answering machine for incoming calls on any line.

The S68H handset is solidly bat and has a large, bright, 128x160 pixel, eight-line. 65,000 colour screen Its hands-free speaker is one of loudest and clearest we've heard on a cordless phone, and sound cuality is excellent. Buttons have a positive action, and the four-way navigation pad works well. There are two programmable function keys under the screen, with 13 preset functions to choose from.

The phone book uses the standard Ward ( vcf) address book format, so you can have three numbers, an email address. anniversary information and a picture for each cortact. Using the free Gigaset Quicksync utility (Windows only). you can synchronise your Windows Address Book (or Vista Contacts) with the phone over the built-in Bluetooth link. You can also add your own caller pictures and screensaver images.

Bluetooth can also be used for a headset or even to receive contacts from a mobile phone

Every Gigaset VoIP phone comes with a free Gigaset Volt-) account and phone number built in. This lets you call any other Gigaset user free of charge using your broadband connection, with no configuration needed. The Gigaset service also lets you configure your phone to display services such as a three-day local weather forecast, RSS feed headlines or even a daily horoscope when it's on standby.

Other ncvel features include SMS capabilities (if your phone provider supports it), a Jabber instant- messaging utility and the ability to check an email account for new messages - you can only see the From and Subject lines. though.

There's very little this phone system can't do and, combined with its excellent call quality, ease of setup and attractive design, its a great choice for those who want advanced VoIP capablities at home without the usual setup headaches. Kelvyn Taylor

Personal Computer World April 2009



Product summary
The good: The LG Wine is an attractive phone with a nice display, four dedicated shortcut keys, and a very roomy keypad.

The bad: The LG Wine's photo quality is mediocre and the call quality could be improved. We also would prefer more direct access to the Web browser and e-mail.

The bottom line: Despite a few problems, The LG Wine's spacious keypad and easy-to-use interface makes this a great low-end phone for U.S. Cellular customers.

For a regional carrier, U.S. Cellular has quite a number of phones that we sometimes wish were available on nationwide carriers, like the LG Rhythm and the Samsung Delve. Well, now we have another one to add to the list; the LG Wine. Though it has fairly ho-hum features, it has a great big keypad plus four physical shortcut keys underneath the display, both of which really help make this phone easy to use. We see this as an excellent everyday low-end phone that anyone can pick up and use without having to fiddle too much with the manual. The Wine is also quite affordable at only $29.95 with a two-year service agreement.

The LG Wine has a pretty standard flip phone design, with a simple rectangular shape and rather sharp corners. Still, we quite like the design, especially with the shiny spun metal look on the front surface. Measuring 3.89 inches long by 1.93 inches wide by 0.66 inch thick, the Wine comes in both red and white, which is indicative of its beverage-inspired name. The Wine feels good in the hand, and is quite lightweight at only 3.32 ounces.

On the front of the Wine is a 1.3-inch external screen, which shows the date, time, battery and signal strength, as well as incoming caller ID. It will also work as a self-portrait viewfinder for the camera. The camera lens is above the screen. On the left spine is the volume rocker and charger jack, while the headset jack and dedicated camera key are on the right.

Flip open the phone and you'll find a very nice 2.2-inch 262,000 color display with 240 x 320 pixels. The screen looks great and shows off bold graphic icons quite well. You can adjust the screen's backlight time, the menu style, the font settings for style, color, and size, and the color scheme.

Directly underneath the display are four dedicated shortcut keys. They are shortcuts to the messaging menu, the alarm clock, the images folder, and U.S. Cellular's EasyEdge online store. It's certainly nice to have dedicated shortcut keys like these, but since you can easily get to these functions from the existing navigation array, they seem a bit unnecessary. Still, if you don't want to remember what keys correspond to what function, these four keys are very helpful for quick access.

The navigation array consists of two soft keys, a four-way circular toggle with a middle Menu/OK key, a dedicated speakerphone key, a Back key, a Talk key, and the End/Power key. The four-way toggle doubles as shortcuts to the Bluetooth menu, the EasyEdge online store, a shortcuts menu with room for up to 12 shortcuts, and the calendar.

Both the navigation array and the number keypad are a joy to use. They're both very roomy, and all the keys are large and quite tactile. The number keys on the keypad are in very large text, which is great for those who don't have the best eyesight. It's very easy to dial and text by feel as well.

The LG Wine has a roomy 1,000-entry phone book with room in each entry for five phone numbers, two e-mail addresses, and a memo. You can then add your contacts to a caller group, pair them with a photo for caller ID, or pair them with one of 34 polyphonic tones to be either the ringtone or message alert tone. Other features include a vibrate mode, a speakerphone, text and multimedia messaging, a calendar, a memo pad, easy tip calculator, a calculator, an alarm clock, a world clock, a stopwatch, a unit converter, voice command support, Bluetooth, and support for location-based navigation.

There's also a mobile Web browser and mobile e-mail access. However, in order to access them, you have to go to the MyStuff tab in the EasyEdge interface. We would prefer a more direct way to access the browser and mobile e-mail.

The LG Wine takes mediocre photos.

The 1.3-megapixel camera can take pictures in five resolutions (1,280x960, 640x480, 320x240, 176x144, and 160x120), three quality settings, four color effects, and five white balance presets. Other settings include a self-timer, a night mode, multishot modes, brightness, zoom, and four shutter sounds plus a silent option. Photo quality was decent, but not great. Pictures had an orange tinge, and it was not as sharp as we would like. The Wine doesn't have a music player or a camcorder, which is good since it only has 48MB of internal memory.

You can personalize the Wine with wallpaper, themes, tones, and a banner. The Wine also comes with games like Pac-Man, but you can always get more from the EasyEdge Shop.

We tested the LG Wine in San Francisco, roaming outside U.S. Cellular's home network on Verizon Wireless. Call quality was good, but it was still clear that we were talking on a cell phone. Callers said our voice sounded tinny and rather robotic. On our side, we thought the same of their voices too. Still, we enjoyed very little static. Speakerphone calls went well, though there was a bit more static and audio sounded a little weak and muffled at times.

The LG Wine has a rated battery life of 4 hours talk time and 7 days standby time. According to the FCC, the Wine has a SAR rating of 1.3 watts per kilogram.




The Hi-Res Camera Phone Gets Affordable

Developed by Motorola and Kodak, MotoZINE ZN5 for T-Mobile succeeds admn ably at its two primary goals: to excel as both a camera phone and a voice phone This is the first 5-megapixel camera phone offered by a U.S. carrier, and with the contract price and mail-in rebate, it's a terrific deal. But to hit this price point, Motorola had to make some sacrifices, such as 3G capability and decent video recording. Still, if you just want to make calls, send text messages, and snap good pies, the ZN5 is the way to go.

From the front, the 4-ounce ZN5-4.65 by 2.0 by 0.6 inches (WD)—looks like your average high- class slab-style handset. It's got a large, bright, 2.4-inch, 320-by-240-pixel screen over a flat keypad with small tactile bumps on the number keys. Various parts of the keypad light up to activate special functions, such as photo reviewing or editing, when needed. With a combination of hard-and soft-touch plastic, the ZN5 feels comfortable. Call quality is excellent: Voices are clear even in extremely noisy locations. The speakerphone also sounds good. The phone's RF reception, on the other hand, didn't stand out from the crowd of 2G T-Mobile phones on my tests.

The ZN5's connected without a problem. As stated, the phone's camera is responsive and produces good shots, even in low light. You can store your photos in the 350MB of memory or on a microSD and download them via the included micro USB cable or over Bluetooth.

Overall, the Motorola MotoZINE ZN5 is a solid device, and its super-low price makes it an amazing value—the most affordable camera phone you'll find in the U.S , in fact. It fell just short of winning our Editors' Choice award; that prize still belongs to the Sony Ericsson TM506, which uses Jr-Mobile's new 3G network.—Sascha Segan

PC Magazine February 2009

This article is published on More Techs, Handphone Reviews, Fun Gadgets and Cellphones Info.



A Troubled Storm

Verizon's BlackBerry Storm 9530 is a radical new direction for BlackBerry, but it's imperiled by a difficult-to-use QWERTY keyboard and widespread reports of serious bugs.

The decidedly sexy 5.5-ounce Storm is a 4.4-by-2.4-by-0.5-inch (HWD) slab dominated by a 3.3-inch, 360-by-480-pixel touch screen. The screen is capacitive, meaning it detects the electricity from your fingers, thus requiring less effort to press. It is also transflective, so it's easy to view outdoors in bright light.

Below the display are Pick Up and End call buttons, a Back button, and the familiar BlackBerry menu key. On the sides of the handset, you'll find Camera, Volume, and a programmable multifunction button. RIM has again transformed keyboard design with the Storm's click screen, which you click by pressing down. Although this method gives you actual feedback, the learning process for the new interface is challenging. Furthermore, the keyboard had some serious accuracy problems.

The Storm showed zippy performance when it wasn't overcome by software bugs. It is a world phone, running on Verizon's EV-DO Rev A network here in the U.S. and on dual-band CDMA, quad-band EDGE, and 2,100-MHz HSDPA networks abroad. On our tests, the Storm registered fine reception, and earpiece and speakerphone volume are both very loud. In a straight-up talk time test, I got an excellent 7 hours 25 minutes.

Overall, the Storm is an exciting device Nonetheless, I can't recommend it strongly until the software bugs are fixed.—Sascha Segan

PC Magazine February 2009

This article is published on CellPhones Info, Handphone Reviews, Fun Gadgets, and More Techs.

Nokia N85


Good looks and an OLED screen in a small package

The N85 is the sleeker younger brother of the N96; it's similar in size to an N95 without the slider and its own slider feels positive and well built. The case is largely black. with menu, application. cancel and media keys lighting up when they're active and fading away the rest of the time, giving a very polished look. Push the slider down and the buttons will either light up in media player mode or N-Gage mode for gaming. The phone's a little heftier than the N95 and feels more solid, despite being smaller.

It has an OLED screen, rather than LCD, which helps with battery life and gives great, vivid colours - though as it's OLED, you'll find the scrcensavcr glows. It's also great for movie playback.

At first the keypad looked similar to the N96, which felt flat, but in use it's actually much closer to the N95, with good tactile feedback, so you can text quickly and accurately. The navigation pad can also double as a scroll wheel, though it takes a little getting used to. The software - S60 Third Edition Feature Pack 2 - is much the same as on the N96, with support for WebDav, and you can connect to services such as Apple's 'Disk and browse them in the file manager. There's Internet radio support (as long as it's MP3), as well as the standard FM, and you can even share your music in the car, thanks to a built-in FM transmitter .

We do have a few gripes - the usual Series 60 browser isn't up to par. USB charging is a welcome addition, but the micro USB port means another cable, and there's no socket for an ordinary Nokia charger. The camera is OK, but needs pretty good lighting for best results. And there's no edit button - if you want to copy and paste, you need to call up the menu.

But those are mostly minor issues; this is a nice phone - it's compact, has good battery life, good build, and a great screen. The N96 may have DVB-H, which is probably pointless in the UK, but it's the N85 that's really the flagship in our book - and arguably what the N95 should have been. Nigel Whitfield.

Price £405 SIM free;
free on contract
Contact Nokia
Specifications 50x16x103mm (wxdxh) • 128g • 2.6in QVGA OLED screen • Quad-band GSM & 3G • 802.11b/g Will • Bluetooth • FM transmitter • FM radio • USB2 • Micro USB connector • Micro SD slot (8GB card included) • 74MB memory • Five-megapixel camera with geotagging • Video capture up to VGA 30f ps • WMV, WMA, AAC, MP3 • Flash video, Real Video playback • Assisted GPS • Symbian S60 Third Edition Feature Pack 2

Personal Computer World February 2009

This article is published in More Techs, http://handphoneku.blogspot.com/2009/03/nokia-n85.html, Cellphones Info and Handphone News.


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