Today, I had a little surprise waiting for me when I turned on my T-Mobile G1 phone. Cupcake, vs. 1.5 of the Android firmware, had arrived and was installing! I couldn’t wait to try out the new features including the Android virtual keyboard, the automatic orientation feature and the new camcorder application.
This section of Coolest Reviews is dedicated to reviews of latest mobiles, cell phones and other telecommunication gadgets.
When I first got the Google Phone (the G1 through T-Mobile) I was rather impressed with it. Fitting in the palm of my hand, it made me think that if the iPhone was “Mac,” then the G1 is definitely PC. A little wider, a tad boxier. Clunky by comparison, but at first glance, it’s just as effective as a phone and even having some advantages over the sleeker iPhone. But as you use it, the picture begins to change.
The ASUS AiGuru SV1 offers full Skype video conferencing facilities with the need of a PC. You can use it for Skype-to-Skype video and voice calls (both free) and as with regular Skype you can call regular landlines and mobiles at discounted rates. You may also use it to make and receive conference calls (3 or more people), however in this mode there will be no video and purely voice.
For me the main use will be when I’m travelling abroad, I’ll leave the videophone at home and be able to have videophone conversations with my family from my laptop, with the only cost being the WiFi connection in the hotel, sweet!
Installing the AiGuru was a straightforward process. You’ll need an existing broadband Internet connection and you can either connect the videophone via the supplied network cable or wirelessly. The wireless connection is the most convenient but you’ll need to enter any WEP or WPA key via the cursor keys and onscreen keyboard which is a bit fiddly. I’ve noticed it seems to forget the WEP key on occassion and you need to re-enter it, hopefully this will be fixed in a software update.
You can also tweak the display settings (brightness, hue, saturation, etc.) but I found the picture and video quality to be absolutely fine straight out of the box.
You can run the AiGuru straight from the mains, however it does come with a re-chargable battery so you can move it around. The screen housing is adjustable and is both comfortable with placed on a desk or your lap.
I’ve found the Skype videophone to be a great piece of kit and will certainly make good use of it. It is on the heavy side but I don’t think it’s meant to be used on the move. You can buy the ASUS AiGuru SV1 from the official Skype Shop for £219.95
We got our hands on the latest LG mobile last week, the LG Secret. It’s the latest addition to the Black Label (not the popular lager) range and is the follow-up to the LG Shine: first impressions are it’s a worthy successor.
LG have taken notice of how the current mobile contracts last 18 to 24 months and have made the Secret a tough, long lasting phone. It has a carbonfibre back and tempered glass touch screen front (as found on Rolex watches), thus ensuring you can smack the screen with a set of keys without breakage (a cool trick for down the pub).
Read the rest of this entry »
The new LG’s KU990 is undeniably a slinky number in the world of mobiles phones. It’s a slim and good looking and doesn’t feel plasticky. In simple terms this is a camera that you can ring people on as well as watch TV, browse the web and listen to music. Its large 66 mm touch pad screen occupies most of the front making it look like a tiny plasma whilst on the reverse, a lens encircled by jog wheel used to control the zoom and navigate through menus and adjust volume, gives the familiar appearance of a camera!
Navigation is made straight forward and friendly by the large and sensible icon layout on the touch screen. Helpfully, you can also set the touchpad to vibrate when you touch it – confirming each selection. Although the icons and buttons on the touchpad are a good size, not having small fingers or long fingernails be a disadvantage, but if this is the case, the small extendable stylus on standby. The only slightly annoying thing is the storage of the stylus which dangles untidily from the top of the phone.
Read the rest of this entry »