Verizon has made traveling around the world a little easier with the Ozone, a Windows Mobile smartphone that works in the United States as well as in destinations around the world. Best of all, while this phone will have you feeling like a jetsetter flying first class, after rebate it will set you back only around $50.
The Ozone works on the American 3G network as well as GSM-based networks overseas. It has EVDO Rev. A 3G and quad-based GSM/EDGE technology inside, so you should be covered for making calls just about anywhere. The handset also includes GPS, Wi-Fi and stereo Bluetooth.
Other key features:
- Windows 6.1 Standard
- QWERTY keyboard
- 2 megapixel camera with auto focus and video capture
- microSD card slot
- Support for Microsoft Exchange, and it comes with Microsoft Office Mobile
This might not be the final word in international mobile phones, but at the price, it is a good value that offers a whole lot more than a disposable handset.
Universal Chargers Being Standardized
One thing that frequent world travelers often bemoan is the fact that outlets around the world are so vastly different by nation. While the U.S. suffered through competing electrical technologies at the turn of the last century – between DC and AC power of course – at least we came out with a nice standard two-prong outlet, which eventually became a three-prong outlet. But getting a ground lift is easy enough, having adapters for all the different plugs around the world is another story.
And while that won’t likely change soon, at least things are getting better when it comes to the power cord and charger. While many consumer electronic products have finally gone to standardized power cables in recent years, mobile phone makers have continued the trend toward proprietary chargers specific to individual phones. While BlackBerry and Motorolla were at least consistent, many mobile phone makers had specific chargers for each handset. This was no doubt a way of squeezing money from consumers who misplaced those chargers.
But now, the Europeans are forcing mobile makers to change their tune, and the European Commission has pushed for a move to standardize mobile handset chargers. While this won’t result in a single cord for all mobile devices, it is a step in the right direction. An agreement was signed by 10 phone makers, which combined account for 90 percent of all European mobile phone sales. These companies include Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Apple, Motorola, Research in Motion and Samsung.
And while the original plan was for a universal charger for all devices, this is being seen as a first step. Some manufacturers, including Nokia, believe that it won’t be possible for a single power charger for all devices, especially given that some devices – namely laptops – use far more power than a mobile phone. But for now, let us hope this eventually leads to a world wide universal standard for mobile power cables.
Mobile App of the Week:
iTriage – This iPhone app, which is now available for free download from the Apple App Store, is one you should certainly load on your handset before heading out for your summer vacation or next business trip. iTriage from Healthagen can help users diagnose a medical condition through symptom sets and even identify the most suitable health care options in the area. The app offers information from more than 300 symptoms, 1000 diseases and 350 medical procedures. And because the information is stored on the handset, you won’t need a Wi-Fi or other phone connection to use the app.
The makers further promise to update the app to include cost estimates for treating the problem and guidance on insurance benefits and claims. And while this shouldn’t be used in place of a visit to the ER, if you’re in a remote area it could help you determine what you’re facing should something bad happen.