Sunday, February 24, 2013

3D Printed StarTrek Style Flip Phone Case

Motorola A760Kogan have announced their low cost "Agora 5 Inch Screen Smartphone". I have suggested they provide the phone dimensions in a CAD file, so we can 3D print our own cases. What I would like is a hard hinged cover to turn it into a StarTrek style flip phone, like the Motorola A760.

The Motorola A760, had a cover over its touch screen which hinged up to provide the ear-piece. There were no electronics built into the cover, it simply had a hollow channel to carry the sound from the body of the phone to the top of the cover. This same design should be able to be applied to any slab style phone. It would allow the ear-piece to be molded to more comfortably fit the ear, reducing background noise. It also positions the phone's antenna further from the user's head, improving signal strength and reducing radiation hazard.

The Kopgan Agora Dual Core Smartphone specifications indicate that it has some interesting features. It has an unusually large 5 inch screen, but only 480 x 800 pixel resolution, much lower than other large screen phones. But this may not be a problem as I have trouble seeing the text, let along the pixels, on the average phone.

Also there are two Mini SIM sockets allowing the phone to be used on two mobile phone networks at the same time (one 2G connection and one 3G). Previously I tried a dual SIM phone, the idea being that I could use a 2G SIM for voice calls and the 3G SIM for data (separate data plans being cheaper than those bundled with voice plans). This did not work well in practice as I found that each time I made a voice call, the data service was cut off. It was not clear if this was a problem with this phone or a limitation of all such dial SIM devices. The phone I purchased  (a Huawei Deuce U8520 Dual SIM Android Smart Phone) also has a battery which lasted only an hour and the phone would lock up and randomly reboot. I returned the phone to Allphones at Belconnen (Canberra) in 2011 for repair, but have heard nothing since (no repair and no refund). As a result I am wary about the dual SIM devices, however I found Kogan's after sales support to be excellent with the two Kogan Agora Laptops I have purchased previously.

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