Time to Consider the Environment

At Fonebank we, like some others in the phone recycling industry, aim for zero landfill. It may be harder than you think to make sure that happens right through the chain but you’ve got to keep the pressure on.

Why bother recycling your phone? Well, it’s one of the major landfill polluters if that’s where it ends up. The US has a major problem. Greg Voakes blogs for Forbes and The Huffington Post. As he points out in his Business Insider role  – Most people use a cell phone for less than a year, and if those of us planning on buying a shiny new iPhone or Galaxy S3 can be convinced to recycle our old phones, the better off we’ll all be .The Lesser-Known Facts About E-Waste Recycling – Business Insider  news.google.com

Often a barrier to recycling is data security. This is particularly so if you’re wanting to sell your phone so that a refurbisher can re-purpose the phone, say for sale to a needy person in a less fortunate country; there’s that concern about where your data or company’s data may end up.

Factory reset doesn’t really do it. Very often that process does not remove all your own data. At Fonebank Australia you can request that Fonebank erase your data securely, which is done with a very special software set. A certificate of erasure is issued and the process is very safe, an important factor for companies in the finance or insurance sectors or where companies are liable if client personal data is publicly released.

There’s a lot of merit in your old phones being redeployed as aids to business and personal life in third world countries. Secure erasure makes that possibility more readily available.

Windows Phone 8. It’s Really Nearly Here

HTC MIcrosoft Windows Phone 8

HTC Phone 8


Microsoft has sent an invite saying that they will release more details about Windows Phone 8 on October 30 in Sydney. So, what do we know already?

Taking account of the dateline, the US appears to be getting the details around the same time as Australia. If you’re willing to bear with the US context, Christina DesMarais of TechHive has some interesting cross manufacture information.


For an Australian commercial perspective it’s interesting to hear that food manufacturer, Sara Lee has chosen Windows Phone 8 over Blackberry, iPhone or Android. Quite a few companies (Woolworths, Qantas among them) have abandoned Blackberry and may well, like, Sara Lee, find the solution in Phone 8. Good for the phone recycle industry (yes, such as www.fonebank.com.au).

PC Advisor had this observation about the Sara Lee story, a key part being the more ready integration of mobile services with core, Microsoft systems. Windows is Sara Lee’s favourite mobile OS flavour – PC Advisor news.google.com

You can be there’ll be a wide range of Phone 8 phones coming along very soon. Mobicity has been quick off the mark with an opportunity to pre-order its first offering. Samsung’s first Windows Phone 8 powered smartphone. Samsung ATIV S 16GB – Windows Phone 8 Powered Smartphone with 4.8-inch … – PRWire news.google.com

Before you choose what your phone upgrade system will be, another view of the current offering comes from that long standing pool of expertise ZDNet. Mathew Miller writes that it’s Windows Phone 8 decision time: Samsung, HTC, or Nokia. Next Monday we will see the official Microsoft Windows Phone 8 full reveal and at this time I am planning on making the day trip down to San Francisco to see everything in person and get some …Windows Phone 8 decision time: Samsung, HTC, or Nokia – ZDNet news.google.com

Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 could be real game changers. Certainly that’s what Microsoft is hoping. In 12 months or so, we’ll all know the answer.


Phones, Tablets & Phablets.

iPad Mini, Surface, other Windows 8 devices, so much that’s new on the tablet and phone front. But what about a star (at least in the eyes of many) that’s already out there and now in it’s second and, quite stunning, next iteration.

Galaxy Note 2

Of course I refer to the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and perhaps it’s time for  reflection on what it has to offer. Fonebank has collected a few review that might help put the Note 2 in context with all the new stuff that’s on the market.


A detailed analysis of what the Note 2 has to offer was placed on Youtube by The Androidizen. If you’ve got 41 minutes to spare this is worth the time. [youtube]http://youtu.be/gVi0f3E8dnQ[/youtube]

If you’d rather read about it, then Ubergizmo takes a good look at the capability of the Samsung Note 2 and discusses the “fit” with need (and size of hands).

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Review – Ubergizmonews.google.com

UbergizmoSamsung Galaxy Note 2 ReviewUbergizmoI personally love the device (version 1 and 2) and, to challenge the size argument, Hubert did carry it regularly in his jeans’ front pockets and he was fine. In this review, will cover how it feels to us …

For a briefer look at the Note 2 features, Business Insider has a perspective, perhaps less enthusiastic than some others but there’s value in contrary views when considering a phone upgrade.

Hands-On Photos Of Samsung’s New Super Phone, The Galaxy Note II – Business Insider  news.google.com

Business InsiderHands-On Photos Of Samsung’s New Super Phone, The Galaxy Note IIBusiness Insider… that launched earlier this year. You can check out the full review here, but we also have a guided photo tour of the device for you in the gallery.

YouTube, obviously carries quite a few Galaxy Note 2 reviews but for one of the more medium length video reviews this one from Android Authority is packed with information. [youtube]http://youtu.be/MKQwa17mkY0[/youtube]

Would I get a Note 2? Frankly I’m not sure. It’s attractive in many ways, but that size. It would mean a move from iPhone, do I really want to do that? On the other hand there’s those other offerings coming up outside of Android and iOS6.

It’s possible to wait for ever when considering a phone upgrade or tablet change. Personally, I now will wait until Windows 8 phones are a reality, so that I can determine whether or not that system creates device interopability that matches that of Apple’s.


New Mobile Phone Launches

Two fresh options to choose from to upgrade your phone.

Word on the street has it that Google’s Android-themed event that is happening in New York City this coming October 29th would also be the platform where the LG Nexus 4 (E960) is announced officially, more ……..LG Nexus 4 (E960) announcement this October 29th? | Ubergizmo www.ubergizmo.com10/19/12

Then there’s the HTC Butterfly.

Don’t know when it will reach Australia but HTC is to launch its first full-HD smartphone with 440 ppi display in Japan.  CIO MagazineAu, one of Japan’s main three mobile operators, announced the HTC J Butterfly as part of its winter collection at a press conference in Tokyo. HTC to launch first full-HD smartphone with 440 ppi display in Japan – CIO Magazinenews.google.com

A footnote: Whichever phone we end up choosing, it’s important to remember to make sure that the old one doesn’t just end up in landfill. Responsible recycling of mobile phones is an environmental essential.


Will Blackberry Stay the Course

Back in September, RIM said yes.

RIM Shows Off New BlackBerry 10 Phones, but Gives No Firm bits.blogs.nytimes.com9/25/12

A new prototype of RIM’s BlackBerry 10 phones includes more refined software than a previous version. But in displaying the new phones, the company’s chief executive, Thorsten Heins, did not say exactly when they would land 

BlackBerry 10 L-Series phone leaked again in new video | The Vergewww.theverge.com10/12/12

RIM’s new generation of phones is still under wraps, but a laissez-faire video policy has given us another look at one of them. At an event in Mexico, Hola Telcel captured footage of a RIM employee…

In October, the new Blackberry series is lurking but not showing itself in any official detail.If you’re a RIM devotee this approach makes it hard to decide just when to upgrade your phone. Will you be tempted to change to iOS or Android, just because of the wait? If you’re selling your existing Blackberry to a refurbisher, what will it be worth with RIM so much on the back foot?

Nicole Perlroth reports in Tuesday’s New York Times, those who still hold one today say the device has become a magnet for mockery and derision from those with iPhones and the latest Android phones. Read more..Daily Report: The Stigma of the BlackBerry User – NYTimes.com bits.blogs.nytimes.com10/16/12

RIM have too much to lose by not staying in the game. It’s hard to imagine that they won’t pull something pretty good out of the hat so maybe, if you want to upgrade your Blackberry, being a very patient RIM enthusiast is what’s required.



Update your Mobile Phone to a Galaxy Note 2 – or stay small?

There are so many attractions in a screen that’s just a bit bigger than the average phone screen but not the size and weight of a tablet. Now the Galaxy Note 2 is just around the corner and for many of us, it’s make your mind up time.

Samsung Galaxy Note II: Preview | Delimiter delimiter.com.au10/16/12

Samsung’s latest attempt to merge stylus computing with a smartphone comes across as a marriage between the original Galaxy Note and its extremely popular Galaxy S III. But does this ‘phablet’ device bridge the gap

Of course no new entry into the crowded mobile phone market is going to have a completely free ride and it’s important to listen to the naysayers as much as it is to the enthusiastic supporters.

Five things we hate about the Samsung Galaxy Note II – TouchWiz www.pcworld.idg.com.au10/11/12

Here’s five things we don’t like about the Galaxy Note II so far. unboxing and first look. Thanks to Australian online store MobiCity, we’ve been using the Galaxy Note II for a few days.  

And now, with Windows 8 products coming to Australia, we luxuriate in choice.

Let’s face it, if Windows 8 phones and tablets work really well then the Apple attraction of seamless interface between phone, computer and table products may be watered down. What Microsoft devotee wouldn’t have his/her tongue hanging out for the gadget interface smoothness that only Apple presently provides.

October heating up: iPad Mini, Galaxy Note II and Windows 8 whatsyourtech.ca10/13/12

The stage is seemingly set for a busy lead-in to Halloween with Apple’s phantom iPad Mini, Samsung’s Galaxy Note II and Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system.

So, how much will the Galaxy Note 2 cost in Australia? At the equivalent of around A$750 in India and Germany we can maybe expect it to be a tad higher when it reaches our shores. Will this be a turn off – not if you want it badly enough. This phone fills a big hole in the market for those who want that bridge between phone and tablet.

It will be interesting to see what impact Apple’s new mini-pad has on the Note II.

Which Phone Operating System to Choose when Upgrading your Phone?

This choice between mobile phone operating systems can be a real dilemma. It is, of course, easy for those who have either already blindly committed to a system or manufacturer or already carefully analysed which way to go. But there are plenty of us out there still deliberating

So, two ways to make select. Look at it, love it and just go for it, or match  your wants to your needs and research to find the phone that best suit you for business or private or both.

We’re going to focus on phone operating system choice over the next few weeks by finding and presenting opinion that might be helpful.

Cellular Chloe seems to take the view that each OS has it’s niche and that one, at least, will be closer you your needs than others. Makes sense, take a look at what she says.

iOS v. Android v. WindowsPhone blog.wirelesszone.com10/1/12

James Anderson’s makes the point that “trying to convince an Android User to switch to Apple or vice versa is comparable to convincing a Republican to vote Democrat” (do your own translation for Australia) but nevertheless lays out some comparisons……

Micro Center Blog | Apple’s IOS 6 VS. Android’s 4.1 Jelly Bean www.microcenterblog.com10/5/12

The UIE Tips blog by Jared Spool is a little deeper in approach.Using data from Akamai, Jason looks at the web traffic between Android and iOS browsers and ponders the differences in web browsing. Here’s an excerpt from his article:

UIEtips: Explaining the iOS and Android Mobile Browser Usage www.uie.com8/29/12

If your upgrading your mobile phone there’s certainly plenty of choice.

Nokia & Windows 8: Time to Change from iPhone?

Have Nokia and Microsoft now got it right. In the US pre-orders seem to be staring in October. In Australia, what are going to be the options? The info below may illuminate a little.

Report: US Windows Phone 8 Pre-orders To Begin On Oct-21st .

According to The Verge, Pre-orders for the first range of Windows Phone 8 devices including Nokia Lumia 920, HTC 8X will begin in the US on October 21st. AT&T will take pre-orders and deliver the devices in the following weeks. Also the AT&T Windows 8 tablets

Australian Windows Phone handsets to hit stores on the 28th ....

Australian website AusWinPhone has explored a rumour suggesting Nokia Lumia 920 phones will be available at retailers on the 28th October.

Nokia announces Australian carriers: Telstra gets the 920, Vodafone www.engadget.com9/27/12

Nokia’s started its world tour of local announcements in Australia, letting slip that the Lumia 920 is coming to Telstra’s LTE network down. “So many consumers and businesses have already made the switch to Nokia Lumia and with the new range, we believe many more will follow suit. “The industry tide is turning and that’s good news for us, Microsoft and our partners,” he said. The Nokia Lumia 920 is the first Nokia smartphone that supports Telstra’s ultra-fast 4G

Nokia Lumia 920 and 820 for Aussies | WhistleOut Blog www.whistleout.com.au9/27/12

Nokia today confirmed that its new Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 smartphones will be coming to Australian providers with availability, pricing and colours to be announced at the end of October. Both phones are part of Nokia’s Windows Phone 8 launch. The 820 is more of a mid-range device with an 8MP non-PureView camera, 4.3 inch 480×800 WVGA display and the same dual-core 1.5GHz processor. Both the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 have 4G LTE support and will

The smartphone options just keep on increasing and to change a mobile phone is becoming a major decision. Part of that decision is how to recycle or re-purpose your old phone. Whatever way you choose it’s great to pick the path that gets a useful phone into the hands of someone who needs it.


20 Best iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows Phone games this week

From the Guardian, the 20 Best iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows Phone games for the week just past.

20 Best iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows Phone games this week – The Guardian (blog) news.google.com

Project Outbreak won plenty of praise on iOS, but now it’s available on Windows Phone too. Publisher Chillingo has kept its …


Maybe you don’t need to update your phone right now, satisfy the urge to have something new by selecting a few new, fun apps.