Blast bugs, add colour to your cellphone and
perk up your power pack, just some of this month’s accessory ideas
Sorry if you’re just about to eat, but just
inside the microphone hole on your mobile telephone there lurks a seething mass
of filth, made up of spittle and mucus swarming with highly infectious
microscopic viral parasites. Okay, so
they’re mostly your bugs, and you’re probably immune to them by now, but what
happens when you lend your phone to someone else? Their germs get added to the
mixture, they conjoin and mutate in all kinds of disgusting ways, then you go
and put your mouth next to it...
If that sort of thing worries you then get
hold of a can of Radio Shack Telephone Sanitizer. It’s a dual-purpose spray,
that zaps germs living in the mouthpiece and earphone, and it cleans plastic.
It smells quite nice too, sort of lemony with a hint of Domestos. It’s a good
idea to sterilise you phone at this time of year, with so many lurgies floating
around. It is also an excuse to give the phone and keyboard a wipe-over, to
remove the accumulated crud, skin debris, grease, need we say more? Don’t
forget to give the carry-case a quick squirt as well, we can’t be to careful
with that Asian super-bug on the loose.
Typical Price £1.49
sanitizer spray and deodoriser
To fit any microbe-ridden cell-phone
local Tandy store
WHAT CELLPHONE VERDICT 88%
FONE RANGE CLICK SYSTEM CASES, £15
It’s not often we see the words ‘Made in
England’ on a cellphone carry case but if these new Fone Range cases are
anything to go by, it’s clearly something we can do as well as anyone else. The
case we’ve been looking at uses the ‘Click System’ detachable belt clip.
It’s a new design, and a good deal more
compact that some of its rivals. The actual belt holder is quite discrete. A round plastic lug on the back of the case
slides down a U-shaped groove on the back of the belt clip, until it locks securely
into place. When in position the case is free to rotate through 360 degrees,
and it won’t come out until the release button on the top is pressed.
The actual case is available in a range of
styles, from black leather through to mock reptile and animal skins. They’re
well made, with neat stitching and accurately positioned holes and cut-aways.
The insides are lined, to protect the phone, and sides are elasticated, to accommodate
larger, high capacity batteries.
Typical Price £15
cellphone case with removable belt clip
To fit most makes and models
Range, telephone 0181-838 8888
WHAT CELLPHONE VERDICT 85%
MICROSTUB REPLACEMENT ANTENNA £15
If you’ve got an Ericsson phone you’ve
probably discovered that the stub aerial pulls out, you may even have lost the
original. Digital images have come up with a range of replacement stubbies,
around half the size of the standard item, and available in a range of colours
(black, blue, yellow, red, green or orange).
The manufacturers claim they work just as
well as the one Ericsson fit, even though they are so small. It uses a patented
manufacturing technique called brass bracket compressed coil or ‘BBCC’
technology. No we’ve not come across that one before either. so curious to find
out what it all means, we opened one up. Inside there is indeed a small coil,
almost certainly made of brass, though don’t ask us what the compressed bracket
So does it work as well as the real thing? We
spent a couple of days making and taking calls on a couple of Ericsson phones, swapping
between the Ericsson and Microstub antennas, in a variety of locations. We are
pleased to report that we couldn’t detect any difference, so well-done
Microstub. It fits as well as the standard antenna, and the coloured models are
certainly eye-catching. That just leaves the price. We reckon £15 is a bit
steep for what it is, but as with all cellphone accessories, shop around. Worth considering if you want to add a touch
of colour to your Ericsson mobile, or the original has been lost or chewed.
Incidentally, coloured Microstubs will shortly be available for Nokia and
Typical Price £15
of black or coloured stub antennas using a brass-bracketed compressed coil
To fit Ericsson ER100/500, PH337,
GH337,338/688, GA318/628 & GF788 (black only). Available soon for Nokia and
Images, telephone 0171-636 7127
WHAT CELLPHONE VERDICT 78%
DESKTOP TWIN CHARGER, £22
Whilst many new phones now come with the
latest highly efficient lithium-ion batteries, most of us are still using 100
year-old technology to power our mobiles. To be fair to nickel cadmium
batteries, they’re cheap, and if looked after properly, they can last quite a
long time. The trouble is that’s not how it works in the real world. Repeatedly
fast-charging a nicad pack, whilst it still retains a residual charge, quickly
reduces its capacity.
Fortunately the so-called ‘memory’ effect is
reversible, if caught early enough. Accessory market chargers, like this one
from Kondor have a built-in conditioner circuit, that safely discharges the
pack, then gives it a gentle slow-charge, thus eliminating any memory. Nicads
treated in this way can easily reach their full potential of 1000 or more
charge/discharge cycles, compared to the 500 or so cycles most un-loved nicad
packs can look forward to.
The Kondor charger has two slots; the one at
the back is for solo packs, and it has a switchable conditioner and fast or
slow charge mode. The slot at the front is for a phone and battery together.
LED indicators at the front show power on, charge/discharge in progress, slow/quick
charge and charging complete, it also bleeps, to let you know that the battery
has reached full charge. Power comes from a plug-in mains adaptor or a car
power lad, both are included in the kit.
Charge and discharge currents are well with
the safe range for nicad batteries and our sample, designed for Nokia 2110, took
just under 50 minutes to charge a standard pack from flat. We’re not so sure
about the rather garish wood-grain finish (other styles are available) but it
does the job. If it can revive just one well used pack then it will have paid
Typical Price £22
for charging phone with battery, and second battery pack, fast and slow charge
rates, battery refresh mode, audible warning
To fit most popular makes and models
Ltd., telephone 01425 474444
WHAT CELLPHONE VERDICT 80%
PHONEY OF THE MONTH
‘Mobile phones must be switched off for the
duration of the flight’. It’s slightly ironic then, that this Motorola MicroTAC
shaped hand-held game was brought from Air UK’s in-flight duty-free trolley.
There are nine basic games, mostly variants on the Tetris and brick and wall
themes, plus a devilishly difficult motor-racing game. It makes a lot of noise
and plays irritating tunes too. A good way of shutting up the kids on a short
holiday flight, and guaranteed to annoy fellow passengers...
Typical Price £10
LCD screen with 9 games with dozens of variations
To suit kids and bored travellers
UK in-flight sales
WHAT CELLPHONE VERDICT 85%
Ó R. Maybury 1997 1410