Monthly Archives: August 2009

Hey – where did all the posts go?!

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Visit unofficialmobileblog.co.uk for the latest posts

Don’t worry, all 200+ posts are still here, but this weekend I’m having a bit of a spring clean to freshen things up.

Over the last 12 months the way that I’ve been writing posts has been changing quite a bit and some of the older posts are a bit hard to read so I’m taking a few days out to tidy them up and get them back on here.

I’m also getting ready to move this blog to http://www.unofficialmobileblog.co.uk where it will be running on its own server, away from wordpress.com. The installation and template is nearly ready to go and I’ll be flicking the switch on Friday 28th August, the style of the site will change slightly because this theme isn’t available on a self hosted one, but other than that it should be the same to use.

Posts will start coming back in the next few days although most will only reappear on the new site. After the change things should be updated a little more often.

If there’s something you want me to cover regarding mobile phones or accessories leave a comment and I’ll get it scheduled in.

Thanks for bearing with me!

The Best Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headsets

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Visit unofficialmobileblog.co.uk for the latest posts


I’ve been working with mobile phones for years now, and I’ve noticed that people really seem to struggle when it comes to choosing a Bluetooth Headset. To someone who isn’t that clued up on mobile technology they all look the same, they all allow you to use your phone safely in the car and can answer & end calls, so why are there so many different ones to choose from and why the big differences in price?

Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headsets

Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headsets

Up until recently my answer would have been that the main differences were size, weight and battery life and that’s still true for most headsets, but advances in headset technology have meant that there is now something else to consider when choosing a Bluetooth Headset – Noise Cancellation.

If you’ve ever looked into bluetooth headsets in the past, you might be thinking that noise cancellation is nothing new and that it’s been around for years, and your right, it has. Over the years noise cancellation has seen many different forms, from simple design changes such as foam covers over the microphone to clever software that makes your voice clearer, but newer Bluetooth headsets go one step further and have 2 microphones built into them, one that picks up your voice and another that picks up background noise. Software in the headset then analyses the sound from both microphones and any sounds picked up by both microphones are removed so that your voice comes through clearly.

Not all Bluetooth Headsets currently have this feature, and trying to find the ones that do out of the hundreds that are available will take you quite some time, so to help you along I’ve listed below what I think are some of the best noise cancelling headsets available. All of these headsets have the dual microphone technology, and a couple of them have some extra clever technology make your voice even clearer.

Most of these headsets are available from mobile fun and I’ve provided a link to the relevant page on their site if you want to find out more about any particular headset.

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iPhone 3G & 3GS Battery Problem Solved

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As a proud owner of an iPhone, it hurts me to say something negative about it, but the battery life is definitely not the best. I was caught out by this little problem recently and I had no way to charge my dying iPhone.  I realised that I needed a way of charging my phone throughout the day, but without the hassle of constantly connecting a USB cable.

I looked through all of the iPhone 3GS desk stands available, and the iPhone 3GS / 3G Desktop Dual Charging Dock + Battery Charger caught my attention. Not only is it a standard desktop charger and sync stand, it also includes a portable battery pack that you can use to charge your iPhone when you’re out and about. The Dual Charging Dock has two charging ports so that you can charge both your phone and the battery pack at the same time, and when you leave the house, you simply pop the battery pack into your bag or pocket and off you go.

If and when your iPhone needs a charge, you simple slide your phone into the battery pack and it starts charging immediately.

Charge your iPhone and battery pack together

While I agree that the battery pack is not the smallest, there are other options available like the Mophie Juice Pack.  However, the advantage of this one is that you only need to attach it when you need to charge your iPhone, where as the Mophie products double up as a case for your iPhone, which means that it’s attached to your phone permanently and that your iPhone is more bulky. This isn’t really a problem if you want a case for your phone, but I prefer not to use one.

Battery Pack attaches easily

Seidio Cases for iPhone, BlackBerry Storm & Palm Pre

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Visit unofficialmobileblog.co.uk for the latest posts


Seidio specialise in making protective cases for smart phones such as the Apple iPhone 3G & 3GS, Palm Pre, Palm Treo Pro and BlackBerry Storm and I managed to get my hands on some last week to try them out.

Seidio Innocase Surface
Innocases are the most popular type of case that Seidio make. They are made from a tough, flexible material that is just 1mm thick and has a soft touch finish for better grip. The Innocase Surface consists of a front and back cover that snap together to keep your device protected. Innocase Surface doesn’t cover the screen of your phone though, so you’ll need to get yourself a screen protector to prevent it getting scratched.

Seidio Innocase Surface

Seidio Innocase Surface

The Innocase Surface has cut outs for all parts of the phone that you’ll need to access such as the charger port, headphone socket and volume controls.

Seidio Innocase II Surface
Innocase II are almost identical to the original Innocase, the only real difference being the way that they fit on to your phone. Instead of being a front and back cover that lock together, Innocase II is made of two sleeves that slide onto the top and bottom of your phone and lock together. While this might not seem like a big change, it almost eliminates the possibility of the cover coming off your phone when you drop it. Innocase II Surface doesn’t cover the screen of your phone though, so again, you’ll need a screen protector to prevent it getting scratched.

Seidio Innocase II

Seidio Innocase II

The Innocase II Surface has cut outs for all parts of the phone that you’ll need to access such as the charger port, headphone socket and volume controls.

Seidio Innocase 360
The Innocase 360 is quite different to the other 2 in the Innocase range as it builds in protection for your screen and you keypad too. They’re made from the same tough, flexible material, but have a silicone cover to protect your keypad and a built in screen protector to stop your screen getting scratched. The Innocase 360 clips on to your phone in the same way as the Innocase Surface.

Seidio Innocase 360

Seidio Innocase 360

The Innocase 360 also has cut outs for all parts of the phone that you’ll need to access such as the charger port, headphone socket, camera and volume controls.

Seidio FlexArmor
FlexArmor cases are heavy duty rubber skins that have a tight fit to your phone and protect it against bumps, scrapes and drops. There are two different designs, one with a patterened back and one that is plainer, but has finger grooves for better grip. as with most Seidio Cases, FlexArmor cases don’t cover the screen, so you’ll need to get a screen protector if you want to prevent it getting scratched.

Seidio FlexArmor

Seidio FlexArmor

The FlexArmor is moulded specifically for each phone and has cut outs for all parts of the phone that you’ll need to access such as the charger port, headphone socket, camera and volume controls.

Seidio Premium Skin
Premium Skins are high grade silicone cases that fit your phone and unlike some silicone cases are resistant to dust, stretching and tearing. Premium Skins are moulded specifically for each phone and have cut outs for all parts of the phone that you’ll need to access such as the charger port, headphone socket, camera and volume controls.

Seidio Premium Skin Case

Seidio Premium Skin Case

Again, these cases don’t cover the screen, so you’ll need to get a screen protector if you want to prevent it getting scratched.

Seidio Cases are currently only available for Apple iPhone 3G & 3GS, Palm Pre, Palm Treo Pro and BlackBerry Storm with Mobile Fun promising to expand their range soon. Personally I prefer the Innocase II, the locking top and bottom sleeve provide a much better fir than the original Innocase and from past experience with cheap crystal cases, any cover that has a front and back that clip together doesn’t normally last that long. FlexArmor are good too, although the one with the patterned back is a bit over the top – the plain one with finger grooves is a much more subtle case that won’t draw too much extra attention to your phone.

To see the full range of cases and to see what’s available for your phone, take a look at the full range of Seidio Cases on the Mobile Fun website

New BlackBerry HS500 Bluetooth Headset on it’s way?

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Visit unofficialmobileblog.co.uk for the latest posts


Although it hasn’t been confirmed yet, it looks as though there is a new Bluetooth headset on the way from BlackBerry. The current headset, the BlackBerry HS-655 was actually made by Plantronics and was a great headset in its day, but as time and technology have moved on, it is definitely in need of an update.

The BlackBerry HS-500 is made by Jabra this time and has the same brushed metal finish as some of the latest BlackBerry handsets. As the HS500 is based on the Jabra BT530, it shares the same noise cancelling dual microphone technology to make sure your calls are as clear as possible.

BlackBerry HS-500 Bluetooth Headset

BlackBerry HS-500 Bluetooth Headset

The HS-500 is essentially the same as the Jabra BT530, so in terms of features it will have:

  • Noise blackout technology with two noise cancellation microphones
  • Multipoint technology lets you connect 2 devices at the same time
  • Pair up to 8 devices – 2 at a time
  • Crystal clear sound by advanced DSP (digital signal processing) technology
  • Intelligent volume controls and audio shock protection
  • Dual wearing style ear gel or flexible ear hook
  • Dedicated on/off slide switch
  • Micro USB Charging
  • 6 Hours talk time
  • 120 Hours stand by time

The BlackBerry HS500 is expected to be released in the next few weeks and is available to pre order now.

As always, features, specification and release dates are subject to change.

Hands on with the Jabra Halo Bluetooth Headphones

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Visit unofficialmobileblog.co.uk for the latest posts

Stereo Bluetooth Headsets come in all shapes and sizes, from the incredibly tiny Sony Ericsson IS-800 to the rather large Nokia BH-604 – and most of them still involve cables, which to some extent takes away the point of having a Stereo Bluetooth headset in the first place.

Jabra have always made great Bluetooth headsets, but until recently their only Stereo Bluetooth Headset was the Jabra BT3030 – a great handsfree/headphone solution that hangs around your neck and allows you to connect any standard 3.5mm headphones to it. The ‘Dogtag’ style control unit gives you full control over your music playback and volume, but it’s unique styling might not appeal to everyone.

Earlier this month, Jabra released the Halo – a pair of stylish compact bluetooth headphones that are completely free of wires and have dual microphones to reduce background noise during calls. The Jabra Halo supports streaming music in stereo, playback controls (A2DP & AVRCP) and volume control. All sounds great on paper, so I decided to get a pair out and try them.

Jabra Halo

Jabra Halo

Continue reading

How not to use TomTom on your iPhone 3G

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Visit unofficialmobileblog.co.uk for the latest posts

OK, I’ve seen some pretty odd ways of using mobile phone’s over the years, but this one really made me chuckle. As you’ve probably heard, you can now get TomTom Sat Nav on your iPhone, and the whole world seem to be going crazy about it.

Quite a few bloggers are reviewing the new software and posting video’s of it being used – which is great, after all £60 is a lot to spend on a software download if it’s no good, but I really think some people need to plan ahead when it comes to creating a video review.

This morning I stumbled on this iPhone TomTom video review on YouTube which shows off how easy the software is to use.  They then take it for a spin in the car and demonstrate brilliantly how not to mount your iPhone in the car.

There are some things that sellotape shouldn't be used for!

There are some things that sellotape shouldn't be used for!

Sellotaping your iPhone to the dash might be a quick fix, but just think of the mess that’s going to be left on his phone and dashboard when he’s done. Silly really, when for less than £15 he could have got himself an iPhone Sat Nav Pack that includes a rotating windscreen holder and car charger.

On the subject of iPhone holders, I’ve noticed that people seem to think that you have to use sat nav on the iPhone in landscape mode. As most phone holders for the iPhone 3G and 3GS are portrait, I’m guessing this is why people are resorting to sellotaping their phones to the dashboard, but what you may not realise is that Sat Nav works perfectly well in portrait mode too – in fact I prefer it. It means you don’t have to keep rotating the phone if a call or text message comes through and I find that you get a clearer view of what’s coming up on the road ahead. Admittedly, there’s not much in it, but do you really need to see all the side roads that you’re not going to be driving down?

iPhone Sat Nav: Landscape Vs Portrait

CoPilot 8 on the iPhone: Landscape Vs Portrait

Easiest option of course is to just get yourself a rotating holder so that you can use your phone which ever way you want. The following iPhone car holders can all rotate for use in landscape or portrait mode. Personally I prefer to use a Brodit attached to a ProClip so that I don’t have to keep removing it from my windscreen and wiping away the tell tale ring on the glass that says you’ve got sat nav in the car.

Have you seen any other crazy ways of holding an iPhone in the car?  Share them with us using the comments form below!