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Review: Lobster 700TV mobile phone

Virgin Lobster phone

We had this phone for a long term review over the last couple of months
(on loan from a friend who has another phone that he uses regularly).
And while TV on your mobile has been around for a while, the Lobster is
the first to receive TV signals via its DAB tuner.

 Now hold, you say dear reader, a DAB tuner! There for picking up radio
signals. Well it appears that some of the frequencies for digital radio have been set aside for TV. And as we found out, it doesn’t look like
they saved a lot of space for telly.

First of all, let’s look at the phone’s appearance. It is larger than a lot of phones (around 140g), mainly we would think to squeeze in a DAB tuner, a TV decoder and let’s face it phones with Windows Mobile install seem to be larger than other phones (although this is probably one of the smaller phones
for feature Microsoft’s mobile operating system).

The screen is very good and quite detailed and easy on the eye. In fact one thing that Windows Mobile phones seem to be good at is the screen and the user interface. As expected, it syncs well with your Windows Desktop (natch!). And no doubt if your firm has its Exchange email server configured for push email, then you will have BlackBerry like email functionality on the phone.

The call quality is quite good, it is a tri-band phone and managed to maintain call quality. There is also a camera which takes decent shots.

But the main reason that you would be tempted to buy this phone is for the TV. This service is free for customers on tariffs or three months on
Pay-as-you-go users.

To be honest, I’d want it to be free as when we tested the phone at the offices, the audio quality on the radio was bad (which could be argued that we are in a bad reception area but as our DAB tuner seems to be OK with the signal it gets, this may be due to something else). We set up the radio and walked around the house trying to get a decent reception, we found one, it was outside. Outside was quite cold and so we came back inside.

Next we tried the TV function. As said the phone receives telly signals over the DAB
frequencies. As the screen looked very good we were rather disappointed
that the TV picture was not particularly great and prone to losing the
picture altogether or stuttering, making “Waking the Dead” harder to
follow than normal.

That said the battery lasts a long time so
at least you can talk for a long time having given up on the telly. The
Lobster can be bought here for £99 (pay-as-you-go).