Remember the PeekFON?

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

At the back of last year, FON talked about launching a €99 Peek to the European market (via a deal with Spotnik, a new Europe wide mobile network), which we covered here.  Except everything then went very quiet.  Then, when discussing it with Ben Smith of The Really Mobile Project a few weeks back, we realised it was no longer on the FON website anymore.

Well, Peek and Spotnik have announced it’s finally available, and still at that €99 initial price.  This includes 6-months of European wide GSM roaming (ie no roaming data fees for anywhere in Europe), and will then cost €19.99 per month (or €49.99 if you pay per quarter, or best value €159.99 per year if you pay annually).  You’ll be able to link it to 5 email accounts and it’s available now in either Charcoal (Grey) or Pink (Red).

The website says “Buy Now”, although we should point out that the original plan was to charge around €12.90 a month for the service, but this appears to now be €19.99.

Please note although there may be some similar investments / directors behind Spotnik and FON, it appears that at this stage, it’s only available from Spotnik, and not from FON themselves.

For an email only device, but with the ability to handle 5 email accounts, and have no additional costs over the initial 6 month period, I still think that the €99 device is an interesting one.  As I said before; hand one to your child about to go travelling for the summer and you can keep in touch without costing them anything; use it on business to keep up with your email without incurring massive mobile roaming data bills (in fact, if you use the Pibbix voicemail service, you could leave your “normal” phone turned off, and receive your voicemails on this device for free whilst travelling…)

For (some) more information, head to the Spotnik Peek website, and see here for our article on Pibbix.


If not SpinVox, then Pibbix

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

For a while now, I have been a big fan of SpinVox, who offer a voicemail to text conversion service and then SMS you the message.  This functionality allows me to not take calls when in meetings / busy, but still see very quickly the details of the message (and without the time and hassle factor of dialling into the voicemail).  In fact, with little things like not having to write down numbers (which are transcribed into the SMS and accessible directly from the phone), it’s very useful, and a service that once you’ve tried is often worth the small monthly outlay.

However, SpinVox is slowly cancelling all personal subscriptions, so for many people SpinVox is no longer an option open to them.  Well, in the UK, Pibbix have stepped into this market, and are now offering their service along similar lines.

Pibbix have 3 charging rates, which are:

  • £7.50 for 20 messages converted to text
  • £16 for 50 messages converted to text
  • £30 for 100 messages converted to text

These are good rates, and depending on how many voicemail messages you get a month will determine which tariff will suit you best; for many the lowest tariff will suffice.

There are nice little touches with Pibbix which is why I’m even keener to promote them; if the message goes beyond 1 SMS message, you aren’t charged more; the cost is per message converted, not per SMS sent to you.  You can choose whether to be notified by SMS and/or email, and the email can also have an mp3 attachment of the original message.  If you need to change your mobile number where the messages are sent, that’s easily changed too (something that required a chat with SpinVox Customer Services).  Even better, as part of the web management interface they offer, you can elect to not have messages from withheld / blocked caller ID numbers transcribed; this means although you’ll still get an email with the attachment, but you won’t be disturbed with an SMS (and because the message is not converted, it does not come out of your conversion allowance either).

The number you are allocated to divert your mobile to works can be used on multiple phones (and even landlines) to being all of your voicemails into one single location.

You can also configure a custom greeting, and you can control what greeting is used via the web interface too.

Payment is via PayPal, and you can cancel at any time.

I’ve been using the service for over a month now, and have had no problems with the service; I’ve had one voicemail where the transcription was not good, but given the amount of background noise, I struggled to understand parts of the message, and I knew what the caller was talking about!  SpinVox suffers from similar problems, so this is not unique, but on other messages the message has been spot on, and at times more accurate than I would have expected from SpinVox.

If you go to the Pibbix website, you can request an invite; the service is still in beta at the moment, so you may have to wait a small while to get into the service, although generally people aren’t having to wait too long.



Tuesday, December 4th, 2007

This page links to any reviews we have written. We will try to keep this page up to date, but we will always announce any new reviews on the homepage first.

Reviews in 2007

3 SkypePhone

Pocket Surfer 2

Reviews in 2008

3 USB Modem

Dell Mini 9 / Vodafone Netbook

LG KF600

LG Viewty

LG Secret

Reviews in 2009

Android Application: Locale

Android Application: My Tracks

3 Mobile Wi-Fi unit (3UK MiFi)

IDAPT I3 Charging Station

INQ Mini 3G – First Looks & Full Review

LG Arena

LG GD900 Crystal

LG Chocolate BL40 – First Looks & Final Review

LG SL9000 LED-Backlit LCD TV

Novatel Intelligent Mobile Wireless Hotspot 2352 (MiFi) – First Looks

orbitsound T3 Speaker

Sony Ericsson T715

Reviews in 2010

Android Application: Tasker

3UK MiFi 2 – First Looks & First Review

Dell Streak (Quick Hands On)

HTC Hero

INQ Chat 3G

Location Based Services & Privacy

Nokia Booklet 3G

Novatel Intelligent Mobile Wireless Hotspot 2352 (MiFi) – Update & Full Review (Coming Soon)

Pibbix Voicemail

SanDisk Mobile MicroSDHC Memory Card

Symbian Application: Maps Booster

Symbian Application: Socially

Reviews in 2011

Humax HDR-Fox T2