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Mobile Phones

North American availability of the emporiaCLICK (left) and emporiaSOLIDplus (right) has be...

Although it can't be denied that smartphones are ... well, that they're really smart, the fact is that not everyone wants to play games, shoot and watch videos, surf the web or use apps every time they step out their door. For many people, the ability to make and receive phone calls is all that really matters. It was for minimalists like these that Austrian electronics company emporia designed its very basic, large-keyed mobile phones. While they were previously not available to North American consumers, that changed with an announcement last week at CES.  Read More

At 6.68 mm thick, the Huawei Ascend P1 S is (currently) the world's thinnest smartphone

When it comes to smartphones, people can argue about the relative merits of a bigger display that is easier on the eyes and fingers or a smaller display that results in a more pocket-friendly unit. But whatever the length and width, it seems that the desire for a thinner smartphone is pretty much universal. And - for the time being anyway - they don't come any thinner than the Huawei Ascend P1 S that made its debut at CES this week. Measuring just 6.68 mm (0.26 in) thick, Huawei says although the Ascend PS 1 is the world's slimmest smartphone, it doesn't scrimp on the features.  Read More

The Power2U AC/USB Wall Outlet lets you charge devices via a USB Cable, directly from the ...

While it’s certainly convenient that most mobile devices can be charged via one of your computer’s USB ports, what happens if all of the ports are in use? Even if they’re not, you don’t always want your devices and their cables cluttering up your desk. You can buy USB adapters for wall outlets, but then you end up needing to find an available outlet, and subsequently occupying it (in older homes especially, unused AC outlets are often something of a rarity). Now, there’s an alternative to using your computer or an adapter to charge your gizmos – it’s the Newer Technology Power2U AC/USB Wall Outlet.  Read More

ip.access' Advanced Femtocell Concept and base station (Photo: ip.access)

Femtocell and picocell manufacturer ip.access unveiled its fully functioning 'Advanced Femtocell Concept' (AFC) at the no doubt riotous Femtocells Americas 2011 conference in San Diego on Monday. A relatively new technology, femtocells essentially provide mobile phone network access via a local broadband connection. It's a technology that might interest homes and businesses in signal-blocking buildings, remote areas, or anywhere where cellular signals are patchy. But how is the AFC different? In a word: portability.  Read More

A new range of mobile phones from ENMAC are aimed at the Islamic market

Hong Kong-based electronics company ENMAC, which describes itself as the "world leader in digital Islamic Products" has announced the latest iterations in its range of digital color Qurans. Among them are a range of mobile phones which come preinstalled with 29 translations and seven recorded recitations of the religious text. The enterprise appears to be a relatively simple but potentially shrewd combination of aging mobile technology with readily-available recordings of the Quran. It's a notable development as an instance of electronics hardware (rather than merely an app) being tailored to an enormous religious market.  Read More

The demo lets iPhone and Android users test the Windows Phone 7 on their handsets

Now you don't need to have a Windows Mobile phone in order to test drive Windows Phone 7.5 Mango. To let prospective customers get a tastes of the mobile OS, Microsoft has created a HTML 5-based demonstration designed specifically to be viewed using the mobile browser on the iPhone and Android handsets.  Read More

SolLight has announced a portable charger that marries a lightweight carry pouch, a solar ...

The Solio may not have been the first solar charger, but its appealing design and useful interchangeable tip system gave portable power packs a much-needed popularity boost. Transferring the juice from a charger to a smartphone or media player can be a time-consuming affair, though ... time that could be spent listening to the music stored on the device. SolLight's solution is to combine a lightweight carry pouch, a solar charger and some stereo speakers into something called the SoliCharger-SP.  Read More

Honda Microcommuter Concept outsmarts the smart

Mercedes Benz iconic smart fortwo was several decades ahead of its time when it was first conceived by Swatch in the late eighties. Now Honda's Micro Commuter Concept looks like it will take the basic design and update it to the world of today, with social networking, heads-up display, advanced aerodynamics, seating for three (1+2) similar to Gordon Murray's T25 and T27 city cars, luggage capacity, a customizable exterior and last mile transport in the form of an ingenious fold-up electric two-wheeler known as the Motor Compo.  Read More

MobileMinder keeps tabs on your child while they're away

Realizing that the huge demand for parental monitoring programs for computers could also apply to phones, Dublin-based mobile web service company Associate Mobile has developed MobileMinder - a smartphone application running on a secure and encrypted network that allows parents to monitor their child's location, contacts, call history, photos, and web use.  Read More

SINTEF's Dag Wang, who is part of a team developing an autofocus lens that mimics the huma...

Mobile phone cameras generally aren't known for their fantastic image quality. One of the reasons for this is the fact that most of them have fixed-focus lenses, as opposed to the autofocus lenses on all but the cheapest stand-alone cameras. The phone cameras partially compensate by using a small aperture to maintain a good depth of field, but this limits their use in low-light situations. Of course, their lenses could automatically focus by moving in and out (like those on larger cameras), but this would draw considerable power from the phones' batteries. Now, however, Norwegian scientists have unveiled a low-power autofocus lens for mobile phone cameras, that works like the human eye.  Read More

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