Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A bold imitation

The Blueberry-i from CSL makes a sweet case for those looking for a basic phone with high-end styling.

TAKING a leaf out of its more illustrious competitor’s book, CSL’s Blueberry-i mobile phone sports a black, shiny housing with a silver trim around its edges.

Even its Qwerty mini keyboard resembles RIM’s BlackBerry to a certain extent.

However the design similarities between CSL’s offering and the BlackBerry Bold 9000 handset is only skin deep — as at the end of the day, the Blueberry-i is definitely no BlackBerry.

As a matter of fact, take away the casing and what you would get is a basic mobile phone with a few surprises thrown in.

Looking closer

The phone, which sits firmly in the palm, has a shiny housing and display that attracts fingerprints and dust.

Apart from the mini USB port at the bottom, users will find no other buttons on the sides. The port is used to connect multiple accessories, including the charger, data cable as well as the included USB earphone.

Despite its avant-garde look, the Blueberry-i only offers pretty basic features that include dualband GSM, GPRS, VGA camera and Bluetooth connectivity with A2DP profile.

The extra surprises are dual SIM card slots, multiple language support (Chinese, English and Bahasa Malaysia) and a password-protected SMS inbox.

Also available are a list of Islamic features, including the Azan call to prayer, Kiblat directional finder and an optional Al-Quran reading ­application.

It offers a meagre 1MB of user memory but users can expand the storage capacity via the built-in microSD card slot. A 2GB card is included in the package.

The card slot is behind the battery so the memory card is not hotswappable.

TURN IT AROUND: At the back is where the VGA camera and the excellent built-in speakers are located.


The two SIM card slots can be used simultaneously but you can close one when it is not in use. Switching between the two numbers is easy thanks to the two dedicated buttons on the phone — each time you want to dial a number, just press the one associated with the SIM card to do so.

It was really simple and fuss free and that’s how we like it.

It is a great feature especially for those who travel a lot since you can easily slip a prepaid SIM card into the phone while keeping the ­original SIM active.

Moving on, we also noticed that the volume of the built-in speaker was extremely loud. It was so ­deafening that we kept it reduced to only the first level (there are seven levels altogether) most of the time.

The only time we pumped up the volume was when we wanted to listen to MP3 music with some friends. It was like having a portable mini hifi indeed. Even at the highest volume level, we didn’t detect any cracking in the audio.

The bundled headset provides a good listening experience but since the phone only has a mini USB port you can’t use your favourite ­standard 3.5mm-based headphone in its place.

But thanks to its Bluetooth with A2DP profile support, you can still replace the earphone with a Bluetooth headset instead.

Speed texter

Typing messages on the Qwerty keyboard is another reason — apart from the look or the excellent ­built-in speaker — why one would want to get this phone in the first place.

Feedback from the keyboard was good, with a distinct click for each key press. You can even type easily using one hand.

SPEED TEXTER: The built-in Qwerty keyboard is easy to operate even with one hand.

There is no predictive text input to help users but since one can type quite fast on it we were willing to forgive the omission.

The subtle white light that ­illuminates the keyboard makes it easier to read in areas with low light and it also adds a sense of class.

The Blueberry-i comes with a VGA camera and as such you should not expect much. There are some basic settings like white balance, scene mode and effects but they didn’t really add much.

Video recording is possible but the end result was almost always choppy.

The lens is protected by what looks like a hard clear glass cover. Users can clean the fingerprints, dust or grime off it easily but we don’t think that it is scratch-proof though.


Plenty of mobile phone users just want to make calls and do not want to bother with other features such as the camera or multimedia ­capabilities. That’s why basic phones are still sold in the market and are still popular despite all the fancy phones around.

Coupled with its low price tag, good looks and equally important, dual SIM card slots, the Blueberry-i certainly fits into that category.

Pros: Qwerty keyboard is great for texting; dual SIM card support; loud speakers; low price.

Cons: Bad picture quality; basic specifications.



Dual-band phone Camera: 0.3-megapixels (VGA)

Display: 2.2in QVGA 262,000 colours ( 220 x 176-pixels)

Messaging: MMS, SMS, e-mail

Connectivity: Bluetooth, GPRS

Phone memory: 1MB

Expansion slot: MicroSD

Battery type: 700mAh lithium-ion

Standby/talk time: 180/3 hours

Other features: Dual SIM card slots, Qwerty mini keyboard, FM radio, MP3 player, MPEG4 playback, video and sound recorder, e-book reader, Java applications

Weight: 103g

Dimensions (w x d x h): 110 x 50 x 16mm Price: RM438

Review unit courtesy of CSL Group of Companies, (03) 5569-3031.

About The Author


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ericsson wins auction for Nortel's wireless assets

TORONTO (Reuters) - Sweden's Ericsson has won an auction for the wireless assets of bankrupt Nortel Networks Corp in a deal valued at $1.13 billion, Nortel said on Saturday.

The proposed sale, announced by Nortel in a news release, means Ericsson will own the Canadian company's key CDMA and next-generation LTE wireless technologies, which it put on the block after filing for creditor protection in January.

Nortel said Ericsson will offer continued employment to a minimum of 2,500 Nortel employees. The statement did not say how many employees worked for the Nortel businesses that the company agreed to sell, and a spokesman was not immediately available for further comment.

Last month, Nortel announced a "stalking horse" bid for the assets from Nokia Siemens Networks for $650 million, setting a floor price for potential buyers.

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion also waded into the fray by announcing it was chasing a deal for the Nortel technology. But it complained that Nortel had effectively blocked an approach valued at $1.1 billion.

Nortel fired back by saying RIM was refusing to comply with common confidentiality provisions that other bidders had agreed to follow.

Toronto-based Nortel, once North America's biggest maker of telephone gear, filed for bankruptcy protection early this year, blaming the economic crisis for derailing a turnaround effort that began in 2005.

Even before the economy hit the skids, Nortel had posted billions in losses and was forced to cut tens of thousands of jobs in hopes of reversing its moribund fortunes.

However, these measures were not enough to offset a plunge in demand for its products from corporate clients and from wireless carriers that use its technology to operate their networks.

Rivals like Alcatel and Lucent consolidated as Nortel sat on the sidelines, while Asian competitors captured market share with their lower-cost offerings.

Nortel now employs roughly 25,000 people, down from 90,000 at the height of the technology boom at the start of the decade.

Nortel now appears sure to sell itself in pieces rather than restructure under creditor protection to emerge as a scaled-down version of its former self.

The company was once the poster child in Canada for high tech success and was the most heavily weighted stock on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Its shares on a consolidation-adjusted basis were worth more than C$1,100 each in mid-2000.

Today, the stock has been delisted from the major exchanges and are changing hands at less than 10 Canadian cents each.

The proposed sale is subject to joint of approval of U.S. and Canadian courts, scheduled for July 28.

(Reporting by Frank McGurty; Editing by Will Dunham)

Tiga pemegang lesen WiMAX belum capai standard dijanjikan: Joseph

PETALING JAYA: Tiga daripada empat pemegang lesen WiMAX (Gelombang Mikro yang boleh saling dikendali ke seluruh dunia) masih belum mencapai standard yang dijanjikan mengikut model perniagaan yang dibentangkan dulu, kata Timbalan Menteri Penerangan, Komunikasi dan Kebudayaan, Datuk Joseph Salang.

Setakat ini, hanya satu syarikat saja yang sudah menunjukkan prestasi yang memuaskan, katanya selepas melancarkan produk terbaru REDtone International Bhd dekat sini, hari ini.

Beliau berkata demikian ketika mengulas prestasi syarikat pemegang lesen WiMAX dalam menyediakan perkhidmatan jalur lebar sejak menerima lesen itu pada 2007.
Kita tidak pasti sama ada infrastruktur mereka masih berjalan atau masih lagi dalam perancangan. Ada dua pemberi perkhidmatan masih belum memulakan perkhidmatan sepenuhnya, masih jauh daripada pelan perniagaan yang mereka sediakan untuk mendapatkan lesen dulu," katanya tanpa menyebut nama syarikat yang terbabit.

Kerajaan sudah memberikan lesen WiMAX setiap satu kepada Green Packet, REDtone International, YTL e-Solutions dan Asiaspace Dotcom.

Sehubungan itu, kementerian sudah mengarahkan supaya Suruhanjaya Komunikasi dan Multimedia Malaysia (SKMM) supaya memantau perkembangan pembekal perkhidmatan tersebut, katanya.

"SKMM sudah diarahkan supaya mengikuti perkembangan yang dicapai dan sekiranya didapati tidak memuaskan, maka SKMM harus menegur dan menasihatkan mereka.

"Kalau mereka tidak mahu menjalankan perniagaan tersebut, mungkin ada pihak lain yang hendakkan lesen dan spektrum yang sudah diagihkan kepada mereka," katanya. - Bernama

Ericsson 3G network

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Location: Nigeria

Duration: 1 year

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Tel: +86 (0)10 5822 1362

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Nokia Siemens Networks Wins 3G Contract in Vietnam

­Nokia Siemens Networks says that it has won a 3G radio network supply contract from Vietnamese operator, Viettel. Product deliveries begin this month. Under the contract, Nokia Siemens Networks will provide the hardware, software and services required to build and manage the network, including skills training for Viettel's team.

No other details were provided.

In June, ZTE said that it had won 20% of a 3G supply contract with Viettel, and earlier this month, Huawei was reported to have won a contract for 3,000 3G base stations.

Estimates from the Mobile World shows that Viettel ended Q1 '09 with 21.7 million customers, representing a market share of just under 30%

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