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5 years ago

Review: Mr. Handsfree Bluevision II Bluetooth Speakerphone

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As many are finding out the hard way, using your cell phone while driving without some type of handsfree device is illegal and can cost you a spendy little ticket. I know that starting July 1st this year in my state it will be illegal to use your cell phone without being handsfree. So now is the time that many are looking into different options so that they can use their cell phone without having to touch it while driving. For this very reason, the **Mr Handsfree Bluevision II speakerphone** ($129.95) caught my eye. I have found great success with bluetooth speakerphones in the past. And with WMExperts review of the original model of the Mr Handsfree Bluevision receiving 4 out of 5 stars, I wanted to see if Mr Handsfree had listened to us and made the wanted improvements we were looking for.

What is unique about the Mr Handsfree Bluevision II speakerphone, is that it has a remote control for your phone as well! Talk about making your phone truly handsfree... bluetooth speakerphone... and a remote control to answer calls and dial phone numbers with. But none of this is any good if the sound quality makes the device unusable. So, after at least 4 long road trips, I have come to a verdict...

Design / Build Quality

First of all, my first impression of the actual device sitting in the box was positive. The device seemed to be solid. There is a an arm that swings up to point to where ever you are in relation to the speakerphone. I was initially concerned about this arm possibly breaking, but for the most part after using the Bluevision II on the road for over a month, I have not seen any concerns to support this initial worry.

There are 6 buttons on the actual device. On the face of the speakerphone is the volume up button, volume down button, pairing / bluetooth connection button, end call / reject call / answer call waiting button, and talk / voice activated dialing / switching between calls button. On the backside is the on/off button. Other than wishing the on/off button was towards the front of the speaker phone, the layout is nicely thought out and easy to use while driving.

On the bottom are two magnets that hold the device in place on the visor clip.

The remote control is a stroke of genius. With it, I can manage my calls, dial any phone number with ease, control the volume of the speakerphone, mute a call, and use anyone of the 10 speed dial numbers that I have programmed into the Bluevision II speakerphone.

Pairing / Bluetooth Compatibility

Pairing my WM phone to the Mr Handsfree Bluevision II speakerphone was very easy and flawless. Once paired with my WM phone, all I have to do is hit the connection button on the actual speakerphone and I am talking handsfree.

I did find a unique challenge with my paired connection between the Mr Handsfree Bluevision II speakerphone and my WM PPC-6800 (Sprint Mogul) phone. After having established a bluetooth connection, and I just walk away from the speakerphone, I lose all sound on my WM phone once I am out of range. I then have to do a soft reset to get my sound back. But if I turn off the Bluevision II speakerphone or turn off the bluetooth on my WM phone before I leave the car, everything is okay. It is annoying, but with all the other positives the Bluevision II speakerphone has to offer, I have learned to live with it.

I was impressed to discover that the Bluevision II supports dual pairing with multiple mobile devices.

Sound Quality

This is the moment of truth. As far as bluetooth speakerphones go, I am fairly impressed with the sound quality. Mr Handsfree Bluevision II speakerphone has DSP (Digital Signal Processing) technology for echo cancellation and background noise reduction which actually seems to work pretty good. It does a decent job in reducing or totally eliminating road noise while driving. It is not perfect, as most people can tell I am on a cell phone, but many never guessed I was on speakerphone in the car.

The only exception is that there have been some occasions where the other side gets a feedback echo. If I call right back, it is gone. This is not a common occurrence, but has happened a few times out of a hundred or so calls.

Everyday Use

Overall I am happy with the **Mr Handsfree Bluevision II speakerphone** ($129.95). It is easy to move from car to car. Even though the other side experienced a feedback echo on rare occasions, overall the sound quality is better than would be expected from a bluetooth speakerphone. The only real annoyance I have found is that I have to kill the bluetooth connection before I walk away or it stops all sound on my WM device.

I am also very impressed with the battery life in the real world. It is rated with a 300 hour (that is 12 1/2 days) standby time and 24 hours talk time... and by all accounts, it has lived up to this claim with real world use.

Ratings (4 out of 5)

  • Design / Quality of Build: 5 stars
  • Pairing / Bluetooth Compatibility: 3 stars
  • Sound Quality: 4 stars
  • Every Day Use: 4 stars

Overall:

4 stars out of 5

Pros

  • Nice layout of the buttons on the face of the speakerphone
  • Includes a remote control to manage calls and dial numbers
  • Good background noise reduction
  • Great battery life with long 12.5 day standby time / 24 hour talk time.

Cons

  • Occasional feedback echo on other end of call
  • Must stop Bluetooth connection or it kills all sound on my WM device
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5 years ago

Telus' HTC S720 updated to Windows Mobile 6.1

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Not to forget our neighbors to the north, users of the HTC S720 (aka the Libra, and a CDMA version of the Vox to the rest of us) on Canadian carrier Telus have a bit to cheer about as an update to Windows Mobile 6.1 has been released [via].

What you'll get in the upgrade:

  • Adds EVDO Rev. A capability for faster download and upload speeds
  • Upgrades to Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
  • Improves overall device functionality and stability
  • Adds new shortcuts for easy access to TELUS mobile email, TELUS navigator, Pocket Express applications

The larger implication is that official Windows Mobile 6.1 upgrades are still rolling out, albeit not as quickly or on as many devices as we'd like. But that's as much (or likely more) of a carrier issue than anything else. So you'll excuse us for taking what we can get. And there are always those back channels for less, er, official upgrades.

Download: HTC S720 update

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5 years ago

Google Maps Mobile gets Street View - but you don't

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Ever have that rich cousin who always seemed to get the coolest toys before you? We're kind of feeling the same way right now. Our blogging brethren over at Crackberry.com were the first to get their hands on the BlackBerry Bold (and we're really hoping they're not the ones who ponied up the $17,000 on eBay for that Javelin).

Now they get to enjoy Street View and walking directions on their phones. (For that matter, so do Symbian users. Don't even get us started on that one.)

Yeah, yeah, it'll probably be available on Windows Mobile soon enough. And it's surprising that iPhone users haven't yet called for a Congressional hearing. The app version that appears in the video is 3.1.0; my just-updated WinMo version is 2.2.0.19.

So enjoy your fancy Street Views, CrackBerry users. Enjoy your walking directions. If you need us, we'll be wandering around aimlessly using Windows Live Search.

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5 years ago

French site gets hands-on with the HTC Touch HD

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French site Geek Inc. (translated site here) managed to get its hands on an HTC Touch HD and has blessed us with a bevy of pictures. And the overall impression is quite good.

By now you know the deets. Quad-band EDGE and HSPA (900/2100 only so far - boo). WinMo 6.1 Pro with TouchFlo 3D. A 3.8-inch, 480x800 WVGA touchscreen. Five-megapixel camera with autofocus, and front-facing VGA camera. 512 ROM/288 RAM. MicroSD card. Assisted GPS. WiFi. 1350 mAh battery. 528 MHz Qualcomm processor. Exactly the same dimensions as the iPhone.

Their conclusion is the same we often have and mirrors a conclusion Dieter briefly spoke about in the latest Treocast over on our sister site.

The greatest fault of this HTC Touch HD is … Windows Mobile 6.1 … I exaggerate and that is not so bad as that, but it's still anti ergonomic!

But I'll reiterate another point frequently mentioned: Higher resolution can make just about anything better (see also). So if you're dead-set against the iPhone and its mere 320x480 screen, this could be your answer. Stay tuned.

Via Engadget Mobile

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5 years ago

Canada's Rogers to get HTC Touch Diamond

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Canada's Rogers to get HTC Touch Diamond

Rogers already carries some nice Windows Mobile phones, including the Samsung Jack (presumably no Canadian company dare call a smartphone “Blackanything”) and we've confirmed that they'll be getting the HP 910c soon too.

The exciting news, however, is that we've received confirmation, based on the internal doc above, that Rogers is definitely going to be picking up the HTC Touch Diamond. That's the GSM version, friends (it being Rogers and all) and it's going to work with Rogers' 3G network. As in: it will have the same 3G bands that AT&T uses in the US of A. As in: you'll now be able to buy a Diamond from Best Buy and from Rogers, but there's still no word yet about AT&T.

Come on, you lovable blue globe, you know you don't want to let Rogers have a North American exclusive on this, right? Besides, you wouldn't want the HTC Fuze to get lonely.

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5 years ago

TouchFlo for the rest of us

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5 years ago

Verizon Likely to Carry the Treo 800w, Possibly in October?

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Let's be honest here: when the Verizon 700wx received an inexplicably late update to Windows Mobile 6 last week, you were likely filled with an unsettling admixture of glee and fear. The optimist in you said “There must have been some mega-corporation that uses the 700wx and needed this update.” The pessimist (when he got done wondering why it was WM6 instead of WM6.1) said “Verizon has to get the 700wx up to WM6 because they took a flier on the Treo 800w.” Despite Verizon sightings and leaked presentations, deep down you suspected that the big V might be willing to ignore the Treo 800w.

Well, stop that, stop it right now. Our new BFF Scott decided to quash that feeling and started chatting up Verizon reps. With the tenacity and rhetorical flair of a consummate debate king, he managed to get a rep to break from the standard script and admit that, yes, a new Treo is coming in the next month or so, and yes, it will be the 800w.

Scott, however, knows that your standard Verizon representative is a wily character, capable of guile and, yes, even lies. So he confirmed it twice more -- three separate reps verifying that it's due within “a few weeks” to “a month” and that it will definitely be the Treo 800w, not the rumored CDMA version of the Treo Pro.

If it were released next month, that would account for a 3 month (give or take) exclusive with Sprint, a time period that seems like the natural length for exclusivity.

So take all that for what it's worth, but we at WMExperts are firmly moving the Verizon Treo 800w into the “very probable” category. October should be a fun month. Meanwhile, big ups to Scott for doggedly pursuing the truth and to all three loose-lipped Verizon representatives, who showed that they can leak about everything, not just the BlackBerry Storm.

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5 years ago

Review: Remote Lock/Wipe Smackdown

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5 years ago

Sprint Touch Diamond: Video Hands On, Comparison, Walkthrough

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Here you go, folks, our unboxing, hands-on, comparison, TouchFlo 3D (redux), Opera Mobile 9.5 video extravaganza with the all new Sprint Touch Diamond. We're loading the device up now to bring you a full review in the coming weeks and also to give it the same definitive iPhone video smackdown treatment we gave to the original Touch and iPhone.

Impressions: Everything we liked about the original Touch Diamond is here, but slightly faster. Sprint's crap-apps are less in-the-way, the added thickness doesn't bother us nearly as much as we thought it might (it's barely noticeable), and we're loving the red paint.

Questions: give 'em to us in the comments.

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5 years ago

Review: MotionApps mSafe

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Review: MotionApps mSafe

This is part three in our remote lock/wipe smack down. In part 1 we looked at Sprite Terminator and in part 2 we reviewed Corsoft Warden Pro. Stay tuned for the comparison of all of the software that we

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5 years ago

Samsung Omnia Coming to AT&T as the Mirage?

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Finally some good news on the Omnia front for AT&T Users: Engadget is reporting that we might see it on the network next month with full US 3G support and an all-new name: the Mirage. The rumored date is October 7th.

We can't resist a Mirage joke, either: Samsung and AT&T are going to want to get it released as quickly as possible, because any possible buzz about the device is going to vanish as soon as the HTC Touch HD starts appearing in bloggers' hands.

You can check out our hands-on video with the Omnia here. We're hoping / guessing that when we see the Mirage, some of those User Interface hassles will be fixed up so tightly it will seem as if there were never even there to begin with.

Are you still holding out for the Omnia/Mirage, or has your desire for one disappeared (somebody stop us) in favor of another (one more) oasis?

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5 years ago

Weekly Software Wrangle 18

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Weekly Software Wrangle 18

It's hard to believe that September is already half over, and it's already time for another Software Wrangle. See what's new, what's been updated, and what's available for free for your Windows Mobile device. Let's get started!

This week, WM Standard new software is Sunnysoft Calling Card and StyleTap Platform for Smartphone. Updated software includes MemoryUp Professional - Mobile RAM Booster and TerraTrack Recorder. The free app this week is mDiamondz.

WM Professional new software are AudioBay Podcast Player and SMS Reports Eraser. Updated software includes phoneAlarm and VsNotepad 2. Freeware is Stopwatch v1.0.1.

WM Standard: New

First up this week for a WM Standard app is Sunnysoft Calling Card - Smartphone v1.1 from Sunnysoft. Do you travel much internationally? If so, you may look into using calling cards for your cell service if you aren't doing so already.

This application handles the whole process of using prepaid calling cards to make cheaper calls for you. All that without having to type in a single number.Just choose the destination number you want to call directly from your Contacts list.

Features: - Quick management of calls with ANY type of prepaid calling card. - Create profile for your prepaid calling card (define name, PIN number, your provider etc) and define call sequence (describe step by step how the call will be made). - Enables creating as many profiles and sequences for as many calling cards as you wish. - Supports any service provider or operator. - Automatically detects your location (where you are currently) to choose type of call you need to make (International or Local etc.). - and more.

Get Sunnysoft Calling Card for $18.00 here.

The next new WM Standard app is StyleTap Platform for Windows Mobile Smartphone v1.1 by StyleTap, Inc. Did you migrate from a Palm OS device into the Windows Mobile world? Do you miss some of your favorite Palm apps?

StyleTap Platform is a Windows Mobile application that creates a virtual runtime environment that enables you to run most applications for the Palm OS

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5 years ago

Touch Diamond spotted sporting white paint job

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Who says you can't wear white after Labor Day?

The HTC (them again!) Touch Diamond (you might have heard of it) reportedly will be available in white in October. (Translated here from Engadget Spain)

No word yet on whether Sprint would even consider offering it to go along with its current Touch Diamond offering. Same with Best Buy, which is selling the GSM variety unlocked.

Either way, it's good to see HTC branching out from the Black Slab form, and venturing into, er, white slab territory. (And, yes, we know there's a white Touch out there.)

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5 years ago

Another hands-on with the HTC S740

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Another hands-on with the HTC S740

And in even more HTC news this week ...

Engadget Mobile goes hands-on with the S740, the non-touchscreen slider that also includes a numeric keypad for good measure.

Their verdict?

Let's just put it this way: if there's a phone that could convince us Windows Mobile Standard was the way to roll, this would be it, no questions asked.

Coming from those guys, that's some serious love for a Windows Mobile device. It would be interesting to see the S740 put head to head with one of our favorite non-touchscreen devices, the venerable Motorola Q9h, even though the form factors aren't the same.

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5 years ago

Review: Corsoft Warden Professional

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