First look at the Nokia N96

I recently got a good look at the Nokia N96 which brought my attention to the accelerometer in particular the moving ball and light sabre application which are cool novelties – my kids love swishing the light sabre around even though they have never seen Star Wars (come on – they are under 3!).

My current phones of choice are the Nokia E71 for business and the Nokia N95 8GB for personal use so it was interesting to look at this new device which is a mild step up from the N95 8GB.

One of the most striking differences is the cleaner, flatter interface and the more streamlined design of the device – it looks a lot more attractive and a step up from the N95 but still has some way to go to meet the solid feel of the E71. The keypad buttons are another major difference – this time following the flat clean design that is becoming popular in new devices. Internally the 16GB memory and the memory card slot are welcome additions but the Micro USB type B interface is a new replacement for the previous standard Micro USB connector.

Click the link to read more about my first impressions of the Nokia N96.

First impressions of the Nokia E71

Having been quite happy with the Nokia e61i in our organisation it was with a little trepidation that we approached its new sibling, the Nokia E71. We use these devices in our organization primarily for their email messaging abilities (using Mail for Exchange) though we are starting to see more interest in the application of mobile broadband technology.

From the brief information we received about the Nokia E71 from our supplier it seemed a small step up with some added refinements, so we pressed ahead, but when it arrived it turned out to be a little different from our expectations.

I have to say, to hold this phone, it is quite beautiful and feels really comfortable in the hand. It is physically smaller than the e61i and as a result the screen size has had to shrink to 2.4 inches from 2.8 inches which I really am in two minds about (as our preference is for emailing). In comparison, it is physically larger than the more commercial Nokia N95 but heavier and more substantial.

The display interface feels quite different from the e61i though it does feel a little more responsive (the problem with the e61i was at times it could feel a little sluggish). You can read more about our first impressions of the Nokia E71 here: Getting hands on with the Nokia E71: First impressions

Openmoko launches Neo, Open Source Linux Mobile Phone

If you’re in the market for a smartphone that you can extend with potentially unlimited applications, are intrigued by the iPhone, really want an Android phone, but can’t wait, then take a look at the Neo FreeRunner which hits the (virtual e-commerce) street this weekend.

The Neo is arguably the first open mobile computing platform that is based on Linux. The 6.5oz phone itself boasts GSM (805/900MHz) network connectivity, a 480×640 VGA touchscreen, 802.11b/g WiFi, GPRS 2.5, Bluetooth 2.0, 128MB RAM and 256MB Flash, along with a microSD slot.

Openmoko expects to launch a full suite of applications next month that will go along with the dialing & SMS capabilities that the phone will initially ship with.


More info from the manufacturer

Price: $399.99
(Please note prices are subject to change and the listed price is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of posting)

Kensington Portable Power Outlet with 3 Wall Outlets and 2 USB Power Ports

Here’s another very useful gadget from Kensington, particularly if you’re a road warrior that spends any amount of time in hotels. How many times have you gone hunting around the hotel room for those precious few open power outlets to plug in your laptop, cell phone charger, iPod charger and your 4th must-have gadget?

I know I’ve done it enough times to get to the point where I’m seriously wondering if I should unplug the TV or a lamp. Sometimes, I’ve brought a power strip along just in case.

This portable power outlet from Kensington saves you (and takes up way less space than a power strip). It has 3 AC outlets on it as well as 2 USB outlets. So now you can power up your iPod and/or Bluetooth headset without having to plug them into your laptop. This little gem even has some surge protection built in.


More info from the manufacturer

Price: $24.99
(Please note prices are subject to change and the listed price is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of posting)

Nokia E61 smartphone

If you’re one of the, yes, many people who aren’t necessarily in love with either a Blackberry or an iPhone, and are considering other cool phones, take a look at the Nokia E61.

This is a business-oriented smartphone with a full QWERTY keyboard and a huge 320×240 full-color screen. Apart from the touchscreen, this smartphone even has a mini joystick for navigation. No digital camera, but it has a miniSD memory card slot, a WiFi conn, not to mention UMTS, EDGE and Bluetooth support. Its browser even supports CSS and Javascript to make even the most broadband-centric website viewable.

Do yourself a favor and take a good look at this phone.


More info from the manufacturer
Price: $379.99 unlocked
(Please note prices are subject to change and the listed price is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of posting)

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