Archive for the ‘Accessories’ Category

Product Name:  Mugen Extended and Standard Batteries

Supplied by: Eten Workshop  http://shop.eten.hu

Price: Various, dependant on size and phone

Reviewer: Gavin Fabiani-Laymond

Packaging– The battery. New phone back for extended battery.   Charging instructions. Clear Packaging.

First Impressions– Well designed and solid feel.
Hardware Highlights– A range of longer life standard size replacement batteries and extended batteries offering superior run time.

Firstly, I would like to thank Eten Workshops for sending 2 Mugen batteries; a Mugen Standard Battery for the HP 214 and the extended battery for the Samsung i780. Eten Workshop sells a wide range of batteries for most popular devices.

I have now had the chance to test both these batteries for over one month and I first tried the Mugen extended battery for the Samsung i780. The picture above is the extended battery with larger battery cover and this battery is nearly 3 times more powerful than the standard Samsung battery. Whilst the rear cover is larger, it actually makes gripping and using the i780 a lot easier. Also, the run time of the phone is enhanced by nearly 3 times that of the standard battery which makes the added size a small price to pay.

I am a very heavy use; wifi, gaming, calls, Bluetooth, internet, push email etc. and using my i780 constantly, it still managed to last for 3 days (one week, in a 2G area). The only downside is that none of my custom cases fit the phone now, so I am using a universal case instead.

I also had the option of testing the Mugen standard fit battery for the HP 214 which is 10% more powerful than the standard HP battery. Consequently, I was able to achieve that little extra run time which equated to an extra 30 mins on average (1 hour over the stock HP battery).

Conclusion– I have been more than impressed by the Mugen batteries. The extended battery really has proven its weight in gold and actually made my Samsung i780 more useable in terms of on-time and the better grip. HIGHLY recommended.

Build Quality-  10/10
Ease of use-     10/10
Value for money- 9/10
Total score- 92%


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From Gavin- The beyzacase I had reviewed for the i780 also turns out to be the slip case for the iphone! A bit of invesitgation reveals that several cases might fit the i780 that were designed for the iphone. And there are some swanky iphone cases. Investigating further 🙂

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Date of Review – 25th June 2008

Available from – http://4ustuff.com

Prices – $25-28

4ustuff manufacture cases and accessories for a range of devices. They kindly sent me a selection of their cases for the Samsung i780.

Leather Hang Case with Cover and Belt Clip

First up is the Leather Hang case with screen cover. The design is different to any case I have reviewed but actually is a wonderful and simple idea. The leather cover has room for one micro sd card and an sd memory card. It has a magnetic enclosure built into the end of the cover so it simply attaches with ease to the side of the case and doesn’t bounce off either.

The leather is of good quality and the overall leather depth of the case adds minimal profile to the overall size compared to other i780 cases reviewed previously. Also the camera side button is protected inside the case. There is a marking on the side of the case so you know where to press. The case also comes with a belt clip which attaches to the rear of the case if required.


All cutouts for all the bespoke functions of the i780 are included. An unusual design, but one which I like a lot.

Horizontal Leather Case

Another well designed, good quality case. Room for memory cards, credit cards and a spare stylus, this is another excellent case from 4ustuff.

The bottom of the case includes cutouts for the mic and allows you to easily remove the phone from the case if desired. The top of the case is open.

The other sides of the case are equally as impressive.

This is another excellent case design, with the ability to hold credit and memory cards and a stylus.

Vertical Leather Case with Belt Clip

Similar to the horizontal case, this has storage for memory and credit cards, but not for a spare stylus. The case has a cutout for the front camera, and once again the side camera button is under the case with a marking on the outer side of the case to show you where to press.  This case also comes with a belt clip if required.

All in all, another well designed case.


I liked all the cases by 4ustuff, but my personal favourite is the Vertical case.

Review by Gavin Fabiani-Laymond

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The Jabra BT3030 is a curious mix of high fashion, low price and high specifications which is not something you see every day. It retails for between £35-£40 so is no way near the high-end Bluetooth headsets, yet it comes with A2DP stereo, AVRCP remote control and is compatible with Bluetooth 1.1 and Bluetooth 2.0 devices. All in all the amount of ‘stuff’ you get offers a positive initial experience-

In the box

The BT3030 itself
Stereo headphones (in-ear style)
Clothing clip
AC adaptor and charger
Quick start guide
User manual on mini CD

The packaging is typical Jabra and is very yellow. Not a great start, but I can forgive that if everything else works OK. The BT3030 and related accessories all give an air of consistency and make up a package that is neither over the top or too restrained. For people who have an aversion to wearing dog tag style headsets, this one may change their minds.

In use

To date, I have been using the BT3030 with my Samsung i780 and the initial set up was a complete breeze. Within a minute I had both devices paired and I was up and running. Once set up the Jabra will automatically connect to the smartphone when a call is received or initiated and I found the sound quality to be of a higher standard than most of the Bluetooth headsets I have used in the past. The illuminated main part of the unit is not the smallest in the world, but has elegance to it that most do not. The matt silver finish mixes well with the blue icons and if you cannot bear the thought of hanging it around your neck a plastic pocket clip in included for more obscure usage.

Over the past three days I have used the Jabra on more than 50 calls which have lasted more than 3 hours and I have not had to recharge it. This should be expected I guess, but it is nice to know that charging will not be a daily occurrence.

Now, let’s move onto the A2DP side which proved just as impressive as the voice side. Music quality is excellent through the i780 and the included headphones, but does get better with a decent pair of Sennheisers or even the standard iPod / iPhone earphones. The inclusion of a standard 3.5mm jack offers a great deal of flexibility to the package and so you can use any headphones you wish with this set up. Curiously, the music volume was very low when using the new Pocket Tunes for Windows Mobile, but more than loud enough using the built in media player on the i780. This is obviously software related, but is a warning not to be put off if your own software struggles.


In conclusion, the Jabra BT3030 is the best Bluetooth headset I have used to date and the ability to play music wirelessly is an added bonus. It looks great, sounds great and is as reliable as the working day is long. It is also excellent value for money. I desperately wanted to find a fault worth mentioning, but came up short.

Available from most mobile phone stockists and from Jabra direct.

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Finally we have an option for much longer battery life, albeit at a much larger size. Mugen Power Extra Strong Extended Replacement battery. Free Shipping Worldwide!

Mugen Power is the worldwide leading brand of high performance batteries for portable electronic devices. Mugen Power means Performance and Quality.

Mugen Power batteries have better performance (higher capacity) and reliability (longevity & safety) than other brands. The superior performance improves run time, often doubling that provided by the original brand replacement. The superior quality results in longer battery life and better protection of the powered device.

All Mugen Power batteries also undergo vigorous QA procedure, resulting in Mugen Power achieving the lowest return rate in the industry. All Mugen Power batteries are CE approved.

Mugen Power batteries are premuim product and designed for experienced users, who understand importance of quality for long battery life and safeity of everyday use. Thanks to Gavin for the tip.

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Screen protectors are boring and just about impossible to write about, but a screen protector is the very first accessory I add to any new smartphone or PDA. It need to reduce glare, protector the screen and allow finger taps and stylus taps to be recognised as precisely as if it were not installed. Ideally, it also needs to be easy to install and come with the correct extras to make the installation process as painless as possible.

I have just received the Advanced Screen Protector from Proporta for my Samsung i780 and decided to install it as soon as I received it. My previous protector had one small speck of dust under it and it is strange how much it annoyed me when reading eBooks. When you stare at a smartphone screen as much as I do, you need to make a perfect job of the installation. Fortunately the Proporta protector comes with a cloth and card to ease the installation process- you may still need some moisture to clean the screen fully before you install it, but I found the process to be remarkably easy. Within a couple of minutes, I had a perfectly installed screen protector that was not even noticeable once on.

The crucial test for me is driving and on a very sunny day, which we have occasionally in the UK, and this protector really did help with GPS on my i780. The i780 is not great in the sun and so an anti-glare protector is a must have item for an owner.

Another attraction of this particular protector is the way it is designed to not only cover the screen, but the surrounding area on the i780. It makes way for the navigation keys, top speaker and front camera perfectly and if you take the time to install it properly you will be rewarded with screen protection that is almost impossible to see.


Hard wearing, anti-reflective, easy to install, good value.

Available from www.proporta.com for £5.95.

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Multi Case Review for Samsung i780 by Gavin Fabiani-Laymond

Date of Review – 30th May 2008

Today, I have 4 cases for review from the following companies ; Beyzcases, Noreve, Pdair and Proporta. Each case is totally different in its design and solution.

Beyzacases Slim Tan case


Available from – www.beyzacases.com

Price – $33.50

Weight – 23g

The Beyzacase is made from high quality leather. It is the simplest of designs in that you simply slide your phone into the case and to use, grab from the partially open top sides or push from the bottom. This case adds the smallest increase to the overall size and weight of the Samsung i780. It fits inside pockets with ease, and even my shirt pockets. Beyzacases have just added a new leather case for the Samsung i780 (available for  other devices too).

Some additional shots below :-

And a side view with the phone inside.


A simple case, but very effective.

Pdair Black Leather Sleeve Case


Available from – www.pdair.com

Price – $28.00

Weight – 28g

Pdair have a large range of cases for the Samsung i780, with different colours, designs and materials. I decided to look at the Sleeve Black Leather. This case is slightly heavier than the Beyzacases Slim case but it does include the ability to attach the belt clip if needed. And it is still light. It is only slightly deeper in profile than the Beyzacase. In use I found the leather bar going across the screen occasionally interfering with the 4 way nav. Other than that it has all the cutouts.


The Pdair case is reinforced at the bottom. 

On the rear of the case, you can see the cutout for the camera and screw belt attachment hole. Another good quality case.


Proporta Black Alu-Leather Case

Available from – www.proporta.com

Price – £22.94 + VAT

Weight – 59g

Once again another design solution. The Proporta Alu Leather case is made from high quality leather, with neat white stitching. Proporta insert a piece of aircraft grade aluminium to provide increased protection for the front of the device. Also, all of their Alu Leather cases work in conjunction with their GPS mounting system. The Samsung i780 is held in place with two support bars. This design means the keyboard is not restricted by any case edges and works very well in use.


It also means the sides are open. See photos below.

And the other side.


As you can see the support bars do not interfere with any of the buttons or slots on the i780. The only minor gripe is the closing clasp. This does stick out a bit, but in time as the leather softens this will adjust downwards a little.

Last up.

Noreve Tradition Case – Sandy Vintage Leather Finish


Available from – www.noreve.com

Price – 39.99 euros

Weight – 61g

Noreve provide a multitude of different finishes and colours for this case. The Sandy Vintage finish is IMO is their best finish although it will mark but that is how it is meant to work. Over time, it provides a aged look. The Noreve case is finished to the highest standards. It is a precision fit. It also is the heaviest case. In terms of profile it is identical to the Proporta, which are both slightly deeper than the Pdair. The belt clip is attached using a metal screw system that is excellent. Noreve even include a screwdriver.


If you look at the leather bar under the screen, you will see if curves around the 4 way nav of the i780. This allows for easier use of this device’s 4 way nav and is excellent attention to detail. Also, 2 microsd slots are include of the inside of the flip.


With the case closed as shown above, the camera is protected. To use the camera, you open the case and fold back the flap, as shown below.

Another excellent case, finish and design.


Each case reviewed offers something different. A different design and finish. My recommendation is difficult as I like them all. Noreve just pips the post as my favourite for offering the most tailored case. If you have any additional questions, please ask.

Review by Gavin Fabiani-Laymond

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