Posts Tagged ‘cell’

Droid ERIS Is The Cheaper Smart Phone With Expensive Features

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

On the heels of my DROID review Verizon brought me a Droid ERIS to review. As you may have guessed from the title of this review, I liked it a lot, and so did everyone I showed it to.

Droid ERIS

It’s Like DROID’s Little Sister

You’ve heard of the DROID, of course, and if you haven’t, click above to read the review. While DROID is a top phone choice for those in need of constant communication and all the bells and whistles, it can be overkill for others. The ERIS is like a smaller, curvier, little sister with a few of DROID’s key features missing. Since I’m comparing it to the DROID, I might as well point out what I couldn’t find on the ERIS.

The first is obvious. There’s no hardware keyboard. In iPhone user, I didn’t find this to be of much concern, especially since the software keyboard was pretty responsive and accurate. For some, this takes the ERIS out of the running when choosing a phone, though, so it’s important to note. The other main thing I found missing from the ERIS was voice control. DROID has it and I’ve gotten used to it in the iPhone. This is a software feature and I really don’t understand why it wasn’t included. It’s forgivable, but an unnecessary loss.

Otherwise, the ERIS runs on Android just like it’s big brother, so the environment was nearly the same.

In Its Own Class

As much as the ERIS makes me think of DROID, it really stands apart from a lot of the phones on the market. It embodies many of the features I find in the pricier smart phones but at around $100 less when bought from Verizon online (around $80 with a 2 year contract). That’s not a bad trade-off for the couple missing features previously mentioned.

Beyond having all the features that come with the Android OS, the ERIS is just really nice to look at. It’s not too flashy, but it has very smooth rounded corners and buttons that are pretty flush with the phone’s surface.

Droid ERIS

The front of the phone has Call and End Call/Power buttons that sit on either side of the combination roller ball/action button. This roller ball lights up when in use, which adds to the aesthetics of the phone, but I find myself not using this for navigation. It’s just not a natural feel for me, although it may make navigation a little easier. Above all this is a row of four navigation buttons. The buttons, which take you home, back, to a menu, or to a quick search are sensitive to the slightest touch and are completely flush for a smooth feel. Of course, there’s volume control buttons on the side and a standard headphone jack on the top.

Mass Appeal

The fact that I was a little more eager to take this phone with me to gatherings with friends says something, but what spoke volumes was how much other people wanted to play with it. At a friend’s birthday party, I think I spent a half hour talking about the phone and people were eager to play with it. These same people (one of them a DROID owner) noticed and made mention of the missing voice control and physical keyboard, but still had lots of good things to say about it as well.

Conclusions

I was excited before I ever put my hands on this phone and was more excited after I got to play with it. I was excited enough, in fact, to overlook the lack of headphones that I think every smart phone should include. Holding its own with some more expensive phones, this is a more affordable way to get your hands on a good-looking smart phone with all the benefits of the Android platform. Not only would I recommend this phone, but I tried to convince my wife to buy one (though it just wasn’t for her). This phone is an easy winner, provided you don’t need voice control or a physical keyboard.

Pantech Delivers With The Compact Impact

Friday, February 12th, 2010

When I was told a Pantech Impact was on its way to me for a review, I admit I didn’t have my hopes too high. Compared to their own Matrix, the Impact looked like a lesser phone and if there’s one thing this phone has reminded me of, it’s that looks can be deceiving.

Pantech Impact

To be fair, the Impact isn’t ugly, but when closed and off, it doesn’t really flaunt all it has to offer, either.

What the Impact Has to Offer

As I mentioned above, this phone didn’t stand right out of the pack to me. When I got the phone, I changed my opinion. It’s still not the sexiest phone I’ve reviewed, but it definitely has plenty of geek appeal, which became apparent once I turned it on. While off, the phone is dark and hides its front-facing external key pad. Once activated, however, the keys are all lit up, making the phone look like something a character in the movie Tron might have used. The whole face if the Impact is solid and smooth, so you wouldn’t know they keys are even there when they’re not lit up.

Conversely, when opened up, the internal keyboard is easily visible and physically well-defined. A good physical keyboard on a phone should always be easy to type on and that means feeling your way around. The Impact does a pretty good job of this with its raised keys and raised portions of the F and J keys to help you find your way around in the dark.

Pantech Impact Pantech Impact
Pantech Impact Pantech Impact
Pantech Impact Pantech Impact

Besides the Tron-like look, the front of the phone makes the Impact easy to navigate without ever opening it up. The navigation is slightly hindered by only showing two lines of menu items at a time, but still makes answering and making phone calls, sending texts, etc a one-handed possibility.

The Lithium-Ion battery offers 3-5 hours of talk time with up to a couple weeks of stand-by. Opened up, the Impact provides a colorful 2.6″ 400×240 display and a system that is pretty easy to navigate once you get the feel for it. The outside of the phone contains a microSD slot for up to 32GB of storage, volume and Hold buttons, and the ear/mic/charging jack. This phone also offers just about everything you might expect from your typical smart phone, including mobile access to email, navigation, etc.

What’s Lacking

After the initial shock of what it offers, I took a step back to look for what the Impact was missing. While 2.0 megapixel camera is nice, I see a lot of phones shipping with 3.0 or more megapixels, so I thought Pantech could have squeezed at least that into this phone. Additionally, I love to use my choice of headphones with a cell phone and the Impact doesn’t provide this option. Beyond these two drawbacks, I didn’t see much missing with the Impact.

Conclusions

The Impact isn’t the prettiest phone I’ve seen at first glance, but a single touch brings it to life with a redeeming blue glow and opened up, it looks and acts even more like a smart phone. Although it wouldn’t be my personal first choice for a smart phone, Pantech packed a lot of functionality into a small package for a fair price (after 2 year agreement and rebate).

Sell Your Mobile Phone With SellMyMobile

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of SellMyMobile.com. All opinions are 100% mine.

I’ve sold a number of cell phones on eBay and elsewhere over the years. I like to upgrade to the newest phone that suits all (or most) of my needs, so I often find myself with a phone to sell. I was asked, this week, to review SellMyMobile.com, a site dedicated you helping you sell mobile phone and get the most out of your used cell phone.

SellMyMobile.com

What SellMyMobile Does

In short, SellMyMobile.com is a site that helps people sell mobile phones for more money by showing the seller the current buying prices for used cell phones from (at the time of this writing) 21 different used phone buying sites. So how does it work? I registered for an account, but if you just want to find a the best price for your used phone, you don’t need to register. Just head to the site and search phones. As you type in your phone model, the search box brings back live suggestions and tries to anticipate your phone model to save you time.

SellMyMobile.com

I love anything that saves me time. I also love that the search suggestion includes the best sale price. So before I was even done searching, I had a good idea of what I can sell this phone for. I clicked the iPhone 3G S 16GB that I have and it took only about a second to come back with a full list of prices.

SellMyMobile.com

It’s important to note that although most people will go right to the top price, there was at least one option for my phone that included “up to £300 in vouchers”. Depending on your specific needs, an option like this could be much better than the top cash offer, so when you use SellMyMobile.com to find a buyer, make sure to look through the whole list. In my case, I clicked the button to sell it for the highest cash amount, which was about $415 US, and it dropped me right out to the buyer’s site to complete the process of selling and shipping out my phone.

The whole thing was pretty easy and took about a minute to get that far. The buyer I ended up with, (phonerecyclebank.com) seemed to have a pretty streamlined process for completing the sale, too. One thing I thing I thought was missing here is the currency conversion. Being from the United States, I’d like to see a US dollar amount, but couldn’t find that option in my settings. A quick visit to Google with a search for “260 pounds to dollars” got me the number I needed, though. Additionally, I hear those of us in the U.S. may have a site with U.S. currency some time soon.

Broken Phone? No Problem

Here’s something I hadn’t considered. Someone wants to buy my broken cell phone. When I went to my buyer in the example above, I found that they buy broken phones, too and would offer almost half as much for a broken iPhone. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a way to make the results include prices for my broken phone, so for now, I’d probably just go with the highest non-broken offer. This is another feature I’m told is in the pipeline.

Why register?

To be honest, I registered out of habit. Looking back, I may not have save for one reason:

Would you like to be alerted when you mobile phone contract is due for renewal?, Please set when you would like to recieve an alert from SellMyMobile.com

That’s a great idea. My contract is really the thing that might prevent me from upgrading again, so it would be nice to get a reminder. Of course, I might want more than that as a reason to register, but it is a nice feature.

Conclusions

I’m not even sure I have to say it at this point. The site is great and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to part with a used mobile phone. A couple small features would make this site perfect, but even without them, I’m definitely bookmarking it for my next cell phone sale and so should you.