Mobile Geeks of London IV

It’s MGoL IV tonight, I’m not able to make it as we’re travelling to Devon, but I wish Whatleydude all the best and I’m sure it’ll be a huge success. I’ve missed them all so far, but I’m determined to make it to the next one come hell or high water.

Truphone call quality

If you haven’t already noticed I’m off on vacation soon and were we are going there’s little GSM/3G coverage at the cottages, but it’s got wi-fi. So I’ve put Truphone back onto my N95 and I made a call this evening to test it out and the call quality as improved since the last time I used it.

I used Truphone before, but it was never retained on my phones as the call quality wasn’t that great. But I was very impressed with the call today and I may keep Truphone around for a little while longer this time. Plus I’ve 10 bucks of credit left that I need to use up to!

Ultra Mobile blogging

I picked up an Asus Eeepc a few days ago and today I picked up a 3 mobile broadband dongle for the 3 store in Chester. So now I’m fully equipped for our vacation and just about any eventuality.

I’m not going to write a huge review of the Asus as there’s a ton of those out there or the 3 broadband dongle either, but I’m very impressed with them both so far and can’t wait to actually take them on the road.

I’m traveling to Paris tomorrow with work and thought about leaving the work laptop behind and taking the Asus, I only need access to email and as we’ve now moved to Exchange we’ve now got OWA which is great. So there’s no need to lug a huge Dell. but being the corporate citizen I’ll leave the Asus behind, plus I don’t want to confuse the guys at the airport having two laptops.

Oh I nearly forgot the track pad on the Asus is awesome, you can use two fingers swiping down it to scroll down and there’s a few other tricks with it to, such as ‘pinching’ to zoom in and out…. it’s cool.

Proporta bought me a drink!

My Proporta Mobile USB charger just turned up and in the package was an Earl Grey Tea Bag!

The device is pretty neat too, it used mini usb to charge, so I can carry just one mini usb cable around (the same one as used to connect the Phone to the PC) and I can use my CA-100 mini USB charge to connect my N95 to the Proporta device as well as using it to connect to my PC. So the only bit of extra kit I have to carry is the white unit itself, great.

Oh and thanks for the drink Proporta!

3’s Mobile broadband

This is a bit tricky as I work for Orange, but I was checking out 3’s mobile broadband products and they look pretty neat. Why you looking at 3 you ask, well, I’ve got unlimited data on my Orange account, but there are places where it’s not great or there’s no coverage. Therefore having a different operator as a provider means I can cut down the number of places where I’m out of coverage.

The other reason I was looking was, that I’ve been thinking of picking up a 9" Asus EeePC, and pariing that with the mobile broadband dongle would provide a pretty awesome mobile too. Anyone else tried this or using this setup?…any pitfalls?

Now if only I could remember who 3 uses as it’s roaming partner when there’s no 3 service, it used to be O2?

Strange message beeps during calls

I’ve been using my E61i again for business and it’s been acting up today, probably because it’s been consigned to the drawer for two weeks whilst I’ve been using the E71. I’m not a huge fan of call waiting, as I’d rather deal with the call in hand quicker and then deal with the next item, a sort of refusal to ‘touch’ things twice.

Anyway, call waiting isn’t on, so therefore I don’t expect to hear beeps whilst on a call, unless, it s voicemail being left or an sms arriving. But today I’ve had a couple of the message arriving beeps during a call, only for me to check when the call has ended for the message to find nothing there, so it’s a bit of a phantom alert. I’ve no idea what’s going on, but if it continues, the device will get a hard reset *#7370# to wipe it clean and start again, it’s a tad annoying to say the least.

E71 Catch up

I haven’t mentioned it for a while, but I’ve still got an E71 from WOM world and it’s by far the best business phone out there. I use an E61i for business and the E71 knocks it for six. There are several reasons why the E71 is better, but take my word for it, it is better by a long way.

I wish I could keep it and use it as my business phone as the battery lasts longer than the E61i as well. I’ve managed 4 days with still some juice left when only using the E71 for voice and texts. It lasted for two days solid no problems with Mail for exchange and Jaiku S60 client running both with permanent Internet connections from 7am till 11pm, so the battery is pretty awesome

Could I use the E71 as my personal phone, no, I don’t think I could, for me my personal phone, should be a phone first and then a camera. The E71 is a communications device first and a phone second and a camera third. Don’t get me wrong the E71 is an amazing device, but it’s got the E-Series moniker for a reason, it’s a business device first and foremost.

There are a few things I’d like to see flow into other firmware versions, not just the E-Series and they are, in no order, the bluetooth key, holding down * is great, the new type and contacts appear on the screen functionality of the E71 and E66, and the better calendar and the better implementation of imap idle. What they can keep is the icon’s I didn’t mind them at first, but I grew to dislike them more recently, a very minor point of more to do with my taste that functionality or design.

The E71 will have to get packed up soon and I’ll miss it as the E61i will come back into service and I’ve noticed how slow that device is now, nevermind, maybe a reset and a fresh new BP-4L will give it a new lease of life!

Rebtel is amazing

I’ve been using various VOIP solutions over the years to try and cut the cost of calling my dad who lives in Spain. I’ve used Jajah, Skype, Truphone and now Rebtel. Rebtel is different to Jajah, Skype and Truphone in that it provides you with a local (International) number the other end to save the other person money calling you.

So how does this work for me, I register my mobile number with Rebtel and they provide me with a fairly local National number to call (I get a huge bundle of free national rate calls), they then also provide a, in my case, Spanish number for my Dad to call which routes back to my mobile.

So for me, it cost my just a few pence with Rebtel for the interconnect and Spanish local leg out. So I just call the 0151 number and it starts ringing in Spain. It works the same in reverse for my Dad, he’s been given a local Spanish number +34 for me. So he rings that number to call me as opposed to calling the UK (and a Mobile) directly. So his end he pays for a national rate call only. I pick up the cost as he’s using my number of the interconnect and the UK local leg to me, but again this is pence.

So the calls are dirt cheap that’s great, but the great thing about it, the next time I want to call my Dad I just dial his 0151 number, no need for Wi-Fi, no need for an Internet connection to initiate the call, no need to install anything,  just dial the number and you’re done.

So Rebtel ticks two boxes for me, hugely cheap calls to Spain and a massively simple means of actually setting up the call, amazing.