Category Archives: Mobile Phones

Product Review – XMI X-mini II Mini Speaker

Let’s start with some background which led to the purchase of this speaker. Back in February when I bought a Nokia 5800 I used to listen to podcasts in the car with the phone’s speaker. However, when I changed to an iPhone 3GS I didn’t want to subject it to 3 hours of ‘almost maximum’ loud speaker usage a day – that and the loud speaker is not loud enough to be heard over motorway traffic. So, I decided to look at other options.

My car is 7 years old and doesn’t play MP3 CDs, nor does it have an AUX input to enable me to plug my iPhone to it. I went to Halfords this weekend just gone as they had a new fascia for my car which would allow me to get a new stereo fitted with both an AUX input and MP3 CD playing ability. All sounds good right? Wrong! The fascia was too small and after being contacted by Halfords yesterday I am told the manufacturer says that is the only fascia available for my car – FAIL!

So, this brought about another option – that of attaching a speaker to my phone. Only problem I found with most is that they would take their power from the iPhone and the sound was pretty poor, if reviews are to be believed.

Then I came across the XMI X-mini II Mini Speaker which is charged via USB, has 360 degree sound and reviews were very good. I ordered this from Amazon yesterday and it arrived this morning, courtesy of my 1 month free trial with Amazon Prime!

The XMI X-mini II Mini Speaker

The XMI X-mini II Mini Speaker

Don’t be fooled by the size – while it appears small in comparison to my iPod Touch the performance is very impressive. Apart from being very cute, the sound quality is superb, and the volume was more than enough to cope with motorway traffic when I used it for the first time this morning. With a simple twist the speaker expands to play mode and after being turned on a little blue LED glows from the underside.

A full charge took 2 hours and this should give me 11 hours of usage – I’ll report back to say whether that is the case. It comes with a dual lead that is USB at one end and then splits to mini USB and 3.5mm jack so that you can charge it, whilst having it connected to your audio input and playing simultaneously. All this can be housed in a little velvet pouch so it stays clean and safe.

At just £16.96, my first impressions are very favourable and it has met and exceeded my expectations and fulfills my requirements which is enabling me to get back on track with my podcast listening and fill those 3 hours in the car every day with something of interest.

As an aside, you can actually daisy chain these little speakers for enhanced sound – maybe one day I’ll try that, but for now just the one will suffice.

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Filed under Electronics, iPhone 3GS, iPod Touch, Mobile Phones, Podcasts

Skype for iPhone & Sim Free iPhone!

Let’s tackle the first one – it has been announced that Skype will indeed be available for the iPhone, and as a free application at that!

SkypePhone

SkypePhone

Though it has been possible to Skype on an iPhone via 3rd party tools, it’s quite a revelation that it will officially be available on the iPhone now. Along with the recent software upgrade announcement (iPhone OS 3.0), it seems like iPhone is finally acknowledging that they may have serious competition in the market.

For some such as myself who’s Mother lives in Spain, being able to Skype without using a laptop is fantastic news. The only setback is me having a 1st generation iPod Touch so I’ll have to use earphones, but still, that’s quite a revelation.

For those people with iPhones and 2nd generation iPod Touch devices it opens up a whole new world of cost free telecommunications, especially considering Play have just started selling the iPhone SIM FREE! This has been confirmed by Apple and is not just wishful thiking on Play’s part!

iPhone 'bargain'

iPhone 'bargain'

That’s right, for the bargain price of £599.99 you can go to Play.com and get yourself a sim free iPhone. Add that to official Skype functionality and you have quite the non-O2 proposition. Of course you need a Wi-Fi connection because one of the benefits of having an iPhone on O2 is the unlimited use of Wi-Fi hotspots and mobile internet. You could always make all your calls in McDonalds!

Those with mobile contracts from other networks that do include mobile internet could find this a very tempting offer and there is always the cheaper option of the 8GB model for just £549.99!

Of course the appearance of this version of the iPhone sim free on Play just adds fuel to the rumours that there will be a new iPhone by summer.

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Filed under Internet, iPhone, Mobile Phones, Skype

Google image search for Nokia N97 bringing traffic to this blog

The visitors to this blog has been increasing massively over the past few days and I have just found out why. For some reason an image I posted in a blog post on March 1st of the Nokia N97 on March 1st is the first image that comes up when you do a Google image search for Nokia N97.

The sharp increase in traffic to this blog

The sharp increase in traffic to this blog

For an off the radar blog like this I find that very bizarre. Word Press must be the most Google friendly website on the interweb, and if you do a search for the Nokia N97 on Word Press, the first two results are posts on this blog: see? Must be something in the way I write my blogs that search functionality likes! It’s part of my job to optimise SEO for our websites at work, maybe it’s a subconscious skill I have developed, ;o)

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Filed under Google, Internet, Mobile Phones, Nokia, SEO

O2 may offer the Nokia N97 after all

Pocket Link are reporting that O2 are not ruling out the Nokia N97. In an earlier blog I wrote about O2 and Orange not wanting to stock the Nokia N97 due to it being pre-loaded with Skype.

O2 backing down?

O2 backing down?

If I were a betting man I’d bet that O2 will most definitely be stocking the Nokia N97, after realising how customer unfriendly their previous stance was. Nothing from Orange yet, but they have to follow suit now, or stick out as the only operator resisting modern technology – not something customers will find endearing.

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Filed under Mobile Phones, Nokia, Skype

Make my Nokia 5800 into an iPhone!

Thanks to a superb blog over at Nokia5800.net I have been introduced to a magnificent looking application for Symbian OS phones, and most recently the Nokia 5800, which turns the interface into that of an iPhone!

It's an i5800Phone!

It's an i5800Phone!

I have an iPod Touch and I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I love the interface, and that as much as I love my Nokia 5800, the interface isn’t as nice as that of the iTouch / iPhone. Thanks to the wonderful people at MyPhone I can now turn my Nokia 5800 into an iPhone BUT have a decent camera, be able to send MMS and record video footage – all for the bargain price of $12.99 (£9.41).

It’s very gimmicky, but that’s kind of thing a geek thrives on and needless to say I will be purchasing this very soon and will report back on how well it works on what will become my Nokia i5800Phone!

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Filed under Applications, iPhone, iPod Touch, Mobile Phones, Nokia

The whole of Wikipedia, on your phone, for £10!

You read that title correctly, WikiPock are offering a download of the whole of Wikipedia for your mobile phone for just £9.99! What’s more, you can hook up to their website and get updates whenever they become available.

Anything about everything, in my pocket!

Anything about everything, in my pocket!

As long as you don’t need information which is correct to that moment in time, which most Wiki users don’t, then this could be perfect for anyone who doesn’t want to use their data connection for whatever reason. It’d be fantastic when travelling abroad where connecting to the internet on your phone could cost you a small fortune.

At the moment it is available for Windows Mobile and Blackberry, with iPhone and Android versions coming soon. As a Nokia 5800 owner, the lack of Symbian version is a bit disappointing. Maybe that will materialise when the Nokia Ovi Store launches in May.

While Wikipedia is free for people to distribute, is just a little bit immoral to charge for a service like this, even if 10% does go to the WikiMedia Foundation?

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Filed under Internet, Mobile Phones

Sales of Nokia 5800 stopped in America

Due to a fault with the 3G, the sales of the Nokia 5800 has been halted in North America after only 7 hours. Apparently the fault is only present in North American handsets and as I have had 3G turned off since I received the phone, to improve battery life, I can’t comment on whether the fault actually is isolated to North America.

Fallen at the first hurdle in North America

Fallen at the first hurdle in North America

This is terrible news for Nokia who are not the mobile giant in America that they are in the rest of the world. iPhones and Blackberrys rule the roost across the pond and for Nokia to have to recall their first touchscreen after just 7 hours is going to set them back significantly. The mobile phone industry is one of the most fiercely competitive industries in the world and there are plenty of manufacturers, such as LG, Sony Ericsson and Samsung, that will be delighted to hear of Nokia’s latest failing.

It’s a great shame because the Nokia 5800 is a great handset, but who is going to trust a phone that was recalled in less time than it would take you to watch the Lord of the Rings Trilogy?

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Filed under Mobile Phones, Nokia