Tag Archives: Mobile device
November 7, 2009

Solving the iPhone’s Biggest Problem

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

I've had an iPhone for the last few months.
Since Vodafone don't currently offer it I had to get it at a premium, but it was definitely worth it.
I'm able to manage email, calendaring, phone calls, twitter and a few other things all from a single handheld device.

It has two flaws:

  1. The camera is terrible.
  2. The battery life is pathetic

While the camera's weaknesses are annoying they aren't exactly "showstopping". I've got several cameras that I usually have with me if I want to take decent photos.

The battery life, however, is a serious issue.

On recent trips overseas I've landed at my destination to discover that the phone's battery has been almost drained entirely.

So what is the solution?

Personally I would hope that Apple invested in improving the battery, as it's such a basic component. Since that won't happen overnight the only solution is to use a "battery pack"

There are several iPhone battery packs on the market.

I opted for the Logic 3 Power Case.
It seemed to be a reasonably cost-effective solution to the problem (the battery pack costs about 45 euro).
It's basicaly a stylish black leather iPhone case with a builtin battery (a 1200mAh Li-Polymer Battery).
According the manufacturer the pack will boost the phone's battery life by about 3.5 hours, which should give you more than enough time to find a power source.
The aperture for the camera is nicely positioned and doesn't obstruct the lens.
I haven't had a chance to test it fully yet, but from what I've seen so far it seems to do what I need - or at least comes close enough.

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December 12, 2008

Phones To Avoid – Nokia N96

A couple of week's back we switched the company phones over to Three Ireland and were given Nokia N96 handsets:
Nokia N96It looks quite attractive, doesn't it?

Unfortunately it's also the single worst phone I can remember owning.

While it may look quite good at first glance try putting in the battery and you're hit by the first of many shortcomings. The plastic cover that Nokia used for the N96 feels cheap and nasty and I was almost afraid to apply pressure to it when closing the case, as I thought it might snap.

Of course you don't take out batteries that often, do you?

Well with the N96's terrible battery life you probably would, but even before you get to use the battery life you may, like me, end up having to remove the battery simply to get the phone to respond. Yes - it crashes a LOT!

While the N96 has one small saving grace - in that you can update the firmware "over the air" - the firmware is dire. Pity the new firmware doesn't make it any more usable ...

Even relatively simple operations are slow and the device seems to spend more time "thinking" than actually working.

I'd never claim to be a "power user" when it comes to mobile devices, but even I found the N96 to be a serious regression when compared to the N95 (damn fine phone!)

Nokia used to be a brand that produced good solid phones that were easy to use and reliable. I've been using them on and off for the last 9 years (give or take) and while some of them weren't exactly exciting I don't ever remember being this frustrated with a phone.

The Three network is 3G enabled, so disabling 3G is a bit silly, but it would appear to be about the only way to render the phone usable!

Fortunately the nice people in Three have swapped out the phones for us and I'm now the happy owner of a Nokia E71 (review to follow)

So if you're offered a N96 I'd recommend you politely refuse, unless you're just a sucker for punishment!

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