Gadgets: Motorola A380, Sony DSC-U20, Siemens C55, Nike PSA [FM]

Charlotte Ricca
Monday 28 October 2002 01:00

Motorola A380, Price to be announced

Dexter 08000 151151;

It feels like years since the much-hyped 3G technology was brought on to the mobile scene – probably because it has been. But, at last, Motorola has announced its first 3G phone, to be available at the end of the year. The first thing you'll notice about the A380 is its looks. Gone is the trademark flip (or, with the V70, swivel) cover. This is a chunkier phone, with a large screen that has more than 4,000 colours – perfect for viewing the photos and movies you'll take and make with its video-camera attachment. To share your art, send them as Multi Media Service (MMS) messages or e-mail attachments. Alternatively, you can download short films and watch them on the go, and if that doesn't keep you entertained, what about its MP3 player?

The phone is GPRS compatible, and with Multi-Call you can chat on the phone while surfing the net. The A380 looks to be a phone for all seasons, and one that is well overdue.

Sony DSC-U20, £250

Sony 08705 11199;

Sony's latest digital camera is a miniature that thinks like one of the big guys. The LCD screen also acts as the viewfinder, and with 2.1 megapixels you get great quality images. It only takes one second to power up, and on Burst Mode you can take five consecutive photos – perfect for fast-action shots – and shoot short MPEG films, albeit without sound.

It's also easy to use. To download images, connect the camera to your computer via its USB cable, or use its Memory Stick – but only if you've got another Sony gadget in the home. Its two AAA batteries are rechargeable, which is helpful, as every time the camera was taken out of my bag the lens cover had slid across, turning it on. This quibble aside, the DSC-U10 is a winner. It's small and light enough for any occasion, but of sufficient quality to rise to them every time.

Siemens C55, £99 with contract

I'm not one of Siemens' greatest fans, so I wasn't jumping up and down at the prospect of test-driving its new C55. My husband, however, is a Siemens devotee, so for the sake of a peaceful marriage, I thought I'd give it a go. First impressions aren't bad. It's very dinky and light, although it doesn't feel like it could take the kind of bashings I subject my mobiles to.

Admittedly, once I'd got used to the different interface it was straightforward to navigate. But for me, the killer is its ring tones – not its polyphonic sound, but the fact that it can sound like a horse. Forget the Enhanced Messaging Service (EMS), which enables you to insert images and sound into your text messages; or the Siemens website, where you can upload pictures into your phone book – this phone neighs. And that's all a pony-mad girl like me could ask for.

Nike PSA [FM], £39

Not content with clothing some of the world's greatest athletes, and most of west London, Nike have teamed up with Philips and launched a range of portable digital audio players. The line-up includes MP3 players, MP3-CD players and a FM radio, designed with the active consumer in mind.

But you don't need to be a sports fanatic to appreciate the cool design and compact dimensions of the PSA range. The first one I played with was the PSA[FM radio (no, that's not a mistake). It has 10 presets and automatic tuning, so changing channels simply means hitting a button. It's lightweight, and if you don't want to hold your tunes you can attach it to your arm, or clip it to your clothing. Quality is impressive and the headphones fit neatly into your ears, so there is no danger of them falling out while you leap about or snooze. Great product, great price.

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