Archive for 5 June 2009

Moto W233 Renew

5 June 2009

w233Honestly when I found the Moto W233 Renew I was just looking for a cheap phone. The phone listed on Fido’s website at $65 and I found it at Future Shop for $59.99, which was apparently a mistake but they honoured the price on the display (after peeling it off so don’t bother rushing down there). Only after I had the phone did I start to look at “renew”.

The phone housing is made with 25% post-consumer recycled plastics, water bottles according to Motorola’s website. The housing is of course recyclable itself. Phone innards do not use lead solder and the Getting Started Guide is printed on 100% recycled paper using vegetable-based inks. Included with the phone was a postage paid envelope for recycling your old phone via the Phones for Food project of the Canadian Association of Food Banks. Motorola promotes this phone as the world’s first carbon neutral phone. It is certified CarbonFree┬« by carbonfund.org through use of offsets for the manufacturing, distribution and lifetime use of the phone. The external packaging of the phone seemed excessive to me, but at least it is composed of paper and recyclable plastic.

All in all it seems this is a sincere effort by Motorola and Fido to make a more environmentally responsible device. For people looking for a cell phone and who weight environmental impact into their product choices or even for people who are just looking for good value in a basic GSM phone, the Moto W233 Renew is worth a look. I’ll post on the function of the phone once I’ve had a chance to use it a bit. Right now I am waiting for a call back from Motorola on how to make voice memos on it. Both Fido and Motorola say it has that feature, but so far I can’t find it and neither can they.

lynx

lynx


Motorola Fact Sheet
Canadian Association of Food Banks
carbonfund.org

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Android on Freerunner: Third Impressions

5 June 2009

Well, they don’t call it beta for nothing. Having the DTMF problem fixed helped, but I had to give up on Android on my Freerunner for daily use. The audio buzz that was occasionally a nuisance under other distros on the Freerunner was usually a nuisance under Android. I was stubbornly working with that, but then I got a call from a customer wondering where I was. They had left a message on my cell number and I had not seen any message notification on the Freerunner. Turned out I had missed a bunch of messages. That’s a show stopper for me.

I decided that I needed something that would just work for work. I can play with the Freerunner outside of work. So I looked for something basic and inexpensive and found it in the Motorola W233 (post to follow). With a bit of sadness I transferred the SIM card from the Freerunner to the W233.

Disappointment over Freerunner troubles was short lived as this became another one of those times where things seem to happen for a reason. I picked up the W233 yesterday afternoon and in this morning’s email I find that SDG Systems is offering the Freerunner buzz fix in North America! The customer pays shipping but receives a Freerunner battery in return and the buzz fix, not a trivial procedure, is free. Thank you SDG Systems and Openmoko!

So, with temp phone in hand (and the Bush regime gone) I can send my Freerunner to the States for surgical enhancement. I’m looking forward to a buzz-free Freerunner. While I wait I’ll pick up a couple of microSD cards to make swapping distros easier. Maybe by the time the Freerunner returns, Android on Freerunner might reach 1.0?!

lynx

lynx


SDG Systems
Freerunner buzz fix
Openmoko