Power Travel

The Cell Phone & Blackberry

Mar 1, 2006
Outside Magazine
Nokia N90 & Blackberry 7100i

Nokia N90 & Blackberry 7100i

Spy Phone // Nokia N90
Unlike previous camera phones, which tried to sneak in optics without losing sleekness, this smart (if slightly clunky) unit can produce fairly high-quality pictures. The Transformer-like marvel twists and mutates from clamshell phone to handheld camcorder. With two megapixels, a 20x digital zoom, a Carl Zeiss lens, and manual exposure controls ranging from white balance to exposure value, the N90 takes sharper, brighter photos than most point-and-shoots in its range. The video recorder is also a marvel of clarity, and all the images you take, as well as movie files, are watchable on the two-inch color display. Oh, and Nokia throws in an MP3 player for good measure (31MB internal memory plus a 64MB MultiMediaCard sold separately). Reality Check The camera is great for trip snapshots, but two megapixels is the bare minimum for a camera today. But It If You're more Bill Gates than Ansel Adams. $399; www.ritzcamera.com

The Great Communicator // Blackberry 7100i
If you haven't become a BlackBerry addict yet, the 7100i may be your gateway gadget. The phone, e-mail, and Web access that have already hooked others are all here, plus you get a built-in GPS and slick aftermarket software like TeleNav ($10 per month) that enables the 7100i to deliver everything from turn-by-turn directions to restaurant recommendations—all streaming over the wireless connection. The boxy design allows space for a color screen that's both sharp and big enough for navigation. And while the SureType keyboard has to bunch two letters on most keys, it saves time by predicting which word you are typing. Reality Check For domestic travelers only. The navigation function relies on a strong cell signal to download maps in real time, and the network is only available in the U.S. But It If E-mail access frees you to travel, and you want a city guide in your pocket en route. $199 (with service plan); www.nextel.com

Protect, improve, and power up with these accessories.
Before embarking on that float trip down the Amazon, safeguard electronics in a watertight case from Pelican (www.pelican.com).
Add GPS software from Trimble Outdoors (www.trimbleoutdoors.com) and Garmin (www.garmin.com) to run topo maps on PDAs and cell phones equipped with a GPS receiver.
Sync a wireless foldout keyboard (www.belkin.com) with most PDAs for virtual desktop typing.
Jettison that suitcase full of chargers and batteries. Get a single universal power adapter from iGo (www.mobilityelectronics.com) and a solar charger from Brunton (www.brunton.com).

More at Outside

Elsewhere on the Web

Not Now

Need a Gear Fix?

Open email. Get latest gear. Repeat.

Thank you!