Feeds
70%
virgin_lobster_700TV_tn

Virgin Mobile Lobster 700TV

Pocket TV over digital radio

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Apart from the TV and radio application, there are no Virgin-specific applications on the handset, but it comes with the standard set of Windows Mobile 5 utilities. However, a CD in the box adds ClearVue, which is a file viewing package for various Office file formats as well as modem drivers so the phone can act as a dial-up modem for a laptop over Bluetooth.

virgin_lobster_700TV_epg

Which takes us on to the connectivity part of the Lobster 700TV. This is not a 3G handset, so you'll have to rely on GPRS for data connectivity. Nor does it have Wi-Fi. It supports Bluetooth 1.2, but there's no mention of stereo headset support. If you travel abroad a lot you'll be glad to know that the Lobster 700TV is a tri-band GSM handset and works on 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz.

So what about the TV functionality? Well, having showed the Lobster 700TV to various colleagues and friends, most though it was OK, but no one would rush out to buy one. To be fair, for watching the news it works quite well, but it's not great for any serious TV watching due to the limited bandwidth available per channel. The biggest problem is fast moving or dark scenes, as you loose a lot of what's going on due to the high level of picture compression used. It's also nigh on impossible to get good reception on the train, and this goes both for TV and Radio.

The DAB radio is excellent though and it's easy to navigate, but again suffered from poor maintained reception on the train.

So far this is more of a novel idea than something with mass-market appeal, however, the solution behind the service is sound and once the L band becomes available, allowing for more bandwidth per channel, then this might just be the way to for mobile TV.

Cost-wise you have to fork out £199 for the Lobster 700TV on pre-pay and that gives you three months of TV viewing for free and after that all channels other than the Beeb's will cost £5 a month. It's free if you get it on a contract for £25 or more a month and then the TV viewing is free for the life of the contract.

Verdict

The Virgin Lobster 700TV is a novel idea which will appeal to some. But the quality of the TV broadcasts just aren't quite good enough. As a phone the Lobster 700TV is comparable to many other Windows Mobile 5 devices, but it doesn't really stand out from the crowd. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

70%
virgin_lobster_700TV_tn

Virgin Mobile Lobster 700TV

Real TV on your mobile, anywhere... as long as you can get reception, of course...
Price: From free on contract or £200 pay as you go RRP

More from The Register

next story
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.