Gadget Freaks

Gadgets, Technology, Motor Sports, and Cool Stuff – Dissected, Put On Ice, and Served Back To You With Wasabi

Posts Tagged ‘mobile phones

2009 In Gadgets, Gadget Freaks Picks For 2009, Part 1

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The Olympics are over, the 3G iPhone, MacBook Air and first phone with a Google Android operating system has been released.

2008 is officially over.

It is time again for everyone to dust off their crystal balls and see if they can be as wrong about 2009 as they were about 2008.

Here at gadget freaks we firmly believe that you should never be afraid of a humbling experience (they build character we’re told) so we decided that we would try to make our picks for 2009.

So, without further ado…

High definition and high resolution gadgets will continue to gain in popularity

It wasn’t so long ago that, if you wanted a high definition TV or a HD camcorder you almost had to take out a second mortgage on your house to afford it.

With the latest developments in technology that has all changed.

sony-oled

HDTV technology like OLED is finally making some inroads with Sony’s OLED TV… oooh pretty (source Gizmag)

It is now completely reasonable to find a HDTV for under US$500 and a high definition camcorder for around US$200.

It goes without saying that more and more will be buying high definition 1080i TVs, HD camcorders and high resolution cameras in the coming months as even more mid-ranged products go high res.

Digital TV will take off

The world isn’t only in the middle of a perceived financial tightening it’s also going through a digital television revolution.

Much of the world is changing from analog to digital TV.

The DTV process started in 2003 and the first wave of countries converted is expected to finish the process between 2012 and 2013.

digital broadcasting standards

A map showing the spread of the first and second waves of digital TV standards in the <a href="Digital TV changeover(source Chinavasion)

US is going through a forced change in 2009 and many other countries in the developed world are proceeding swiftly through their transitions.

As a result, interest in digital TV (which has quickly been dubbed DTV) is constantly growing.

While many do not fully understand the division of digital TV standards (Chinavasion has put together a handy DTV FAQ) they are actively searching for the televisions Digital TV tuners and peripheral devices that enable them to continue to watch TV in the new millennium.

This trend towards digital DTV is going to continue into 2009.

Projectors will gain in popularity

The world appears to be nesting.

Not so long ago you would be hard pressed to find a projector designed for the home theater and even harder pressed to find a market for them.

Developments in technology and massive reductions in price have changed all that.

It is now possible to get a multimedia projector or a LCD projector for less than US$300 and there are several pico projectors on the market that can be put into peoples’ pockets.

Hell, Chinavasion has even brought out a cell phone with a projector tucked away inside, and it looks like some of the bigger phone companies are catching on with the display of the Samsung MBP200 and well known??? Logic Bolt.

Here’s the projector phone that we found in June

The growing popularity of the home projector and projector home theater is going to continue through 2009 as projector gets more coverage and consumers make their nests more comfortable.

Blue Ray will get closer towards the mainstream.

For 2008 much of the high definition home theater news focused around the battle between the two HD titans…HD and Blue Ray.

By CES 2008 blue ray was declared the winner by many of the film studios but not much happened after that.

That wasn’t strictly true.

More and more content started appearing on Blue Ray and some major players began offering blue ray equipped players at bargain basement prices.

2009 will be the year when almost everybody makes the shift to Blue Ray.

Cell Phones will continue to grow steadily in developing markets.

In the developed world there wasn’t too much going on in the cell phone world last year apart from big releases (the 3G iPhone and the HTC G1, the first phone with Google’s long-touted android OS)

HTC G1

The shape of things to come? the HTC G1, the first phone to feature a Google Android OS

This was perhaps reflected in sales with handset sales increasing by just 3% in Europe and the US last year.

It must almost be getting to the point where everyone in the western world has a mobile phone, really doesn’t want one, or is just going to the cell phones shop to get a replacement phone.

It’s quite a bit of a different story in developing nations though where cell phones are no where near as commonly seen. In China cell phones are one of the hot ticket items with no contract cell phones being the most popular.

The popularity of the prepaid phone and the unlocked phone will continue through 2009 and in the foreseeable future.

Most customers wanting to buy unlocked cell phones are looking for phones that give them high degrees of freedom and networks don’t tend to have the data support and features that companies like AT&T and Orange do.

The GSM phone and GSM in general is likely to reign supreme as a result.

There will be a new level of importance being placed on the international phone as well, largely because of the wider market. The quad band phone and quad band telecommunication device will be an almost essential item for anybody looking for a cell phone wholesale company because they want to start a mobile phone business.

Features like the cell phone camera, WAP and MMS will become increasingly common as the world moves from cellular technology 2.0 to cellular technology 3.0.

Don’t forget to check back for part two of this predictions blog

Why The IPhone Sucks, Here’re Some Phones That Are Better

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The 3G Apple iPhone has been released and fanboys and fangirls are all lined up round the block waiting for their very own model.

It must be time then to look at some of the very real shortcomings of the new 3G iPhone and which phones do a better job of each specific thing:

It won’t double as a laptop modem, even if you tether it.
While some netizens may beg to differ the simple truth is that you’re not able to tether a non-jailbreak phone to your laptop and use it as a 3G modem.

So, unless you’re planning a potentially expensive, waranty-voiding, jailbreak you’re stuck with a 3G phone that will work as a smart phone and nothing else.

Phones that do a better job: The Sony Ericsson K610, Nokia 6223 and Nokia E61 are all recommended as good phones to use as external modems.

It’s not a great phone for people sending text messages or emails
Responsive touchscreen? Check. Predictive texting? Check? Spell Checker? Nope. Copy and paste? Do you actually want that?
People using smart phones as a means of communication (sending emails sms etc) better be very good at spelling and very happy with the ‘drag and drop’ method of file transfer (something some fanboys have rabidly defended as being a security measure) otherwise they might be sorely dissapointed with the usabillity of their shiny, and expensive new toy.
Phones that do a better job:Blackberry Curve, Nokia N95, Helio Ocean.

You can’t choose your network provider
Yeah, sure Apple have whipped $100 or so off the price of the new phones, dragging them down to a price lower than the first generation iPhones. But have you seen the rates? $30 in the US for an AT&T ‘unlimited data’ (yeah right) contract and we won’t even get into what’s happening over in Canada
Phones that do a better job:Chinavasion’s big screen tv phone with dual sim, Nokia N95 (in the US at least)
big screen tv phone with dual sim
It’s definitely not a camera phone
With just two megapixels of resolution and no camcorder function you won’t be able to play citizen journalist with your iPhone any time soon
Phones that do a better job:Samsung U900 Soul, Sony Ericsson C902, LG Viewty KU990

So there it is, now bring the flame.

Written by gadgetfreaks

July 24, 2008 at 10:20 am

5 Gadgets That Will Survive A Nuclear Holocaust!

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After the carnage of the Australian F1 Grand Prix where millions of dollars of damage was inflicted in rather slight racing incidents and looking at our USB dongle graveyard we decided to look into indestructible gadgets. So we set to work to bring you the kind of gadgets that would survive a nuclear holocaust and be found in thousands of years by future archaeologists.

Of course following any nuclear destruction of our civilization you will be needing a communication device. You know, something to call around and see who’s left. The Sonim XP1 mobile phone is reported to be indestructible and has been tested by being shot by a 9mm Glock and a Swedish newspaper, Metro, shot it with a Remington Rifle. Hmmm we want one!

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As I mentioned before we here at Gadget Freaks have collected what amounts to a ‘Dongle Graveyard’. Old dongles that no longer work because they’ve been dropped or put through the wash or the dog got to them etc etc! When will someone make the unbreakable dongle? Ask no more! ‘From Russia with Love’ comes the Titan USB dongle that can withstand 2000LB of pressure. It is constructed of a space age graphite/aluminium then cased in titanium. Limited to a production run of 100 they come in 1 0r 2 GB models with the 2GB selling for around US$247. Yikes…not cheap but seemingly indestructible. Just don’t lose it!

titanium-usb.jpg

However, if you don’t want to fork out the big bucks or you are a DIY kinda gadgeteer you may want to check out this clever chap’s solution to the USB Dongle dilemma. Engineering student Russel Jones has come up with a very cool aluminium casing( that be aluminum for those over the big pond) that is fabricated around an existing USB disk. Very gadgety indeed!

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Another gadget that could possibly survive a nuke is this ‘Wireless Silicone Keyboard’. We’ve seen the wired version in pubs and they seem to take the punishment handed out by Lagerists ( people who specialize in drinking copious amounts of beer) without problem. You can roll it, you can fold it, you can stuff it, you can wash it, you can squash it!. It is strong and flexible and wireless and whoa look at that colour, we call it Atomic Blue.

wireless-silicone-keyboard-2.jpg

Ok so imagine this. You are sitting in your post-holocaust hovel with your indestructible gadgets and there is a cruel nuclear winter going on outside. However, we need to get food and water but it’s glowing green out there! Luckily for us we have a very smart beast of burden we can send out to gather what we need. Due to the ‘predicted’ fact that cockroaches will increase ten-fold in size and rule the post-nuked planet we innovative humans are already at work developing ways to exploit this future resource.

This Sci-Fi scenario is taking shape in Tokyo as scientists are removing the antennae from cockroaches and replacing them with PEE( Pulse-Emitting Electrodes) that can be controlled remotely via a miniature backpack carried by the roaches themselves. Researchers are even developing micro-cameras to equip the mighty roaches with. The range of applications for this technological marriage between Homo sapiens and Anastatus tenuipes is mind boggling. It sure has us here at Gadget Freaks a tad more boggly than normal! Read more………

robo-roach.jpg

Written by gadgetfreaks

March 19, 2008 at 8:35 am

Back to The Future – Retromania!

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Do you love gadgets but long for the style of old when things were made to last. Televisions made of wood and steel, bakelite radios? Remember when things were heavy, big and bulky? Well like all things everything old is new again. Retro gadgets are now bigtime. Some are way cool and functional but some just make you ask, “Why?” However,I must admit to being just a little more than fascinated with the genre as a whole.

It’s like talking to a kid about the days before the internet or explaining the intricate use of an old dial phone. If you equate technological advancement over time it all does seem like a long time ago. Just shy of the industrial revolution according to one young dude I recently spoke with. But never fear Retro Gadgets are here and it’s not just the old schoolers getting into them.

One set of Retro stuff that has caught the eye of we Gadget Freaks are these minature replicas of 1940’s style bakelite table radios. Although they only house an AM/FM radio (no MP3 here) they are still quite cool. A great gift for old and older school friends and family.

almost-vintage.jpg

As I mentioned before the idea of large phones has been a laughing point for many in the past few years. Looking at old movies and TV shows and seeing all that old technology is quite a trip. The old handset with a curly cord and the brick mobiles of the 80’s can bring a wry smile to many young Gadgeteers. Well smile at this junior!!

What can you say about the Phobile ? I’m putting this one in the ‘Why Bin’. The Phobile is and old style handset equiped with Bluetooth technology. Yup! That’s right, get a call on your new high-tech cell phone and you can take the call on this vintage handset. One word……..!

bluetooth_retro_handset_withphone.jpgHowever, not all retro-gadgets are as perplexing and seemingly useless as some.Take this Cassette style MP3 player. It slots into any old cassette player to play your MP3 files giving new life to an old car or portable cassette system.

All I can say is….” Let The Good Times Roll.”

post82508mp3tape.jpg

Written by gadgetfreaks

February 16, 2008 at 10:14 am