Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Cool Frame and Phone from T-Mobile

So several weeks, okay maybe more, ago, I got an offer to review a couple techie gadgets. Seems T-Mobile took a survey at Blogher about kids and cell phones, and were asking some moms to review them. I at first was not interested in the cell phone, since it was T-Mobile and I'm pretty set with AT&T, what with the contract and my company paying and all, but the 2nd thing, that sounded really, really awesome. Essentially you can send pictures to a digital frame, from a cell phone, any cell phone. So let me get into a few more details.

First, the phone, camera phone call the MOTOZINE (Motorola ZINE) which has a 5 megapixel camera. I have to admit, the camera took better pictures than my own digital camera, not that that's (my cheap one) anything to write home about. So I have to say, I did love the phone, particularly the camera part. I am not one to read directions (I know I'm not alone here) so it took a few days for me to figure some of it out, and I did have to crack open the manual on more than one occasion, but it wasn't so bad, and my 6YO son even managed to add grandpa to my faves list with no help at all.

I'm going to focus (ha, get it?) on the camera part, just for the record. The first photo of my lovely Christmas tree is from my camera, and the two below are from the MOTOZINE. Yes, we went for the pipe-cleaner candy-cane/painted porcelain pig tree this year, it's all the rage, don't ya know? And I couldn't resist throwing in a family photo, taken in the practically pitch dark, btw.

Another great feature was the photo upload ability. I loved my first camera phone, but went the phone broke (okay, I dropped it for the umpteenth time) my pictures were pretty much stuck, since I had no desire to put the time and money in getting software and hardware to get the photos from the camera to the computer. Sure, it's easier with the iPhone, but you can actually upload all your photos to a kodakgallery album with just a few easy steps. You can still email as well, but not very many at a time, and I didn't try the connection to the computer as the upload was so cool. The phone also takes some pretty good video, and I have to say if I had this phone I would not bother with a digital camera unless I could afford an SLR one.

Next up is the Cameo, which definitely lived up to its description. That link takes you to a brief review, by the way. It looks like a regular digital frame with one really cool feature. Imagine giving perhaps technically challenged grandma a digital frame for Christmas loaded (on a flash memory card) with some adorable photos of her grandsons building a snowman and her great-granddaughter on her first snowboard run. Then the holiday vacation ends, and suddenly pictures of post-Christmas unpacking arrives on said frame from the distant relatives, along with camping photos and a birthday party. For a mere $100 and $10 a month, the whole family can send grandma photos. The frame has it's own phone number, and you can send photos with messages right to the frame, from any cell phone, not just T-mobile (even the iPhone using this little trick). Once you give the frame permission, which just happens the first time, the photos are automatically uploaded.

I didn't get to keep these, just for the record, whatever record that is.