Cell Phones

I’d Like to Buy the World . . . a Cell Phone Battery?

Might the next front in the cola wars consist of advertising campaigns aimed at convincing the public to pour a particular brand of soft drink into their cell phones?

It will if Chinese designer Daizi Zheng and Finnish electronics giant Nokia have their way. The two have teamed up to develop a biodegradable cell phone that runs on Coca-Cola.

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Mobiles, the iPhone, Radiation and You

Thirty years from now will every adult have cell phone shaped cancerous tumors around their ears?

Disturbingly, the answer to that question is: maybe.

Some government agencies, such as America’s Food and Drug Administration, say risk from cell phone radiation is minimal. Others, such as the UN’s World Health Organization, say that alarm bells would make for an appropriate ringtone. France has gone so far as to ban children from using cell phones specifically because kids are most susceptible to radiation.

The wisdom of French lawmakers aside, the truth is that no one really knows with certainty the effects years of cell phone radiation can have. Only after long term studies can there be conclusive answers. At which point it might be too late.

So what’s one to do?

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MagicJack, Meet Cell Phone. Cell Phone, MagicJack

The makers of MagicJack have, for years now, implored you in late-night infomercials to ditch your telephone company landland and use their product instead. Their device, about the size of a deck of playing cards, connects to a computer on one end and to a regular telephone on the other. With a MackJack thusly installed a user can place any phone call over an internet connection; calls to or within the U.S. are completely free.

(Or course, what MagicJack doesn’t tell you in their infomercials is that theirs isn’t the only internet telephony service. See our comparison of MagicJack, Skype and Vonage. Ooma also has a VoIP product that’s more expensive but otherwise superior to MagicJack’s).

Starting in the spring of 2010 MagicJack will be expanding their competitive sights to the cell phone companies. A new MagicJack device will allow users to use their mobiles to make and receive free calls.

This new MagicJack has received a great deal of press. The AP even ran an article titled MagicJack’s next act: disappearing cell phone fees.

But will the new MagicJack really let you ditch your cell phone company?

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The Free Smartphone Made From Corn

Color us cynical, but when we first heard of the cell phone made out of corn-based materials we figured that the product would be little more than a green gimmick. (Perhaps we are still haunted by memories of drinking cheap corn-made beer—”beer” that literally cost less than bottled water—while in college in Iowa. But ANYWAY . . .)

. . . then we tried out the Samsung Reclaim. Turns out, the phone much cooler and less, well, corny, than we had imagined.

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The High Design, Highly Customizable, HTC Hero

Sleek-looking smartphones are multiplying like Tribbles these days. Yet, even through all the noise created by the likes of the iPhone 3GS and upcoming Palm Pre, the HTC Hero caught our attention. And not only because this phone journeyed from drawing board concept to availability on Amazon.co.uk in a remarkable short period of time. In terms of form and function, the HTC Hero is one of the best phones out there.

It’s features include:

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The Cloudy Future of the Clear Cell Phone

There’s been a clear design trend towards cell phones with screens that occupy an increasingly large percentage of a device’s surface area. (Just compare the screen size of the BlackBerry Storm, for example, with the similarly sized BlackBerry models from a few years ago).

Might this trend towards having more glass on the front of a cell phone lead to more glass on the back and sides too?

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The Best Reviewed Smartphone Never Built

Typically, smartphones are first designed by engineers, then marketed by electronics companies and then reviewed by magazines and by tech websites such as Spot Cool Stuff. The gadget blog T3 is striving to shuffle those steps around.

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1 Part Cell Phone, 1 Part Camera

The Samsung Memoir T929 might be the first device that is equal parts camera and cell phone.

The phone is due to be sold by T-Mobile USA, already the service provider to many of the best camera phones on the market. We especially like the excellent 5-megapixel camera on the Motorola Zine ZN5. Now T-Mobile is topping that, at least insofar as megapixels are concerned, with the 8 megapixel camera on the Memoir.

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