I love Wi-Fi. When I heard that radios exist that can utilize Wi-Fi, I wanted to immediately get some…
According to a press release, the PURE EVOKE Flow: “…was the first truly connected portable radio. Made of the same polished and lacquered wood as a grand piano with a three-inch speaker, the EVOKE Flow delivers stunning sound quality. The optional ChargePAK battery makes this device eminently portable…”
After opening the box I found the radio enclosed in a soft, drawstring bag. That’s a great idea: the body of the radio is very shiny and reflective, and you’ll want to protect it from scratches.
There’s too much to tell about this radio, and too many features to comment on, so I won’t be able to cover everything.
On the top is a touch-sensitive “SnoozeHandle”. On the front are “Volume/Mute” and “Select/Pause” knobs. They are a little to small and slippery for my hands and fingers.
An antenna is on the back. Below it is a door for the optional rechargeable battery pack (ChargePAK E1, $49.95) which was not provided with the radio.
It can receive FM broadcasts, and supports the Radio Broadcast Data System. RBDS is the service that allows for text information to be displayed about the station you are listening to, the song playing, etcetera. Ten FM radio stations can be preset.
The “PURE Lounge” is an internet portal accessible through a browser that enhances use of the EVOKE Flow. It can help with choosing and marking services to be access via the interface of the EVOKE Flow, as well as the PURE Sounds (which will be explained later). If I manually tune and listen to a “station” on the unit, the website will log the stations I have listened to. I use the website to find and preview stations, and then add some to “My Favourites”. (Or, you can just surf via the EVOKE Flow.)
An unlimited amount of internet streaming audio services can be selected as “favorites”. The last time I checked there were:
16,092 “Stations” available…
1,399 “Listen Again Programmes” all from BBC radio stations that can be listened to on demand…
and 5,563 “Podcasts” that can be streamed.
The EVOKE Flow has a “Media Player” mode that allows for music to be accessed from a computer or network attached storage (NAS) device. More information about that can be found in the support section of their website.
There are 83 “PURE Sounds”, mainly intended to allow for an ambiance to be set:
“Urban – City traffic and pedestrians”
“Lake with lapping waves”
“Large ocean waves”
various bird sound options
“Rain, thunder, and lightning”
Also available are “Pink noise” and “White noise”, “Acoustic guitar (E, A, D, G, B, E)” (for tuning), “Harley Davidson Shovelhead 1340 (1981)”, and “Snoring man”…which is very neat. I hope they expand their choices to more that are non-standard (like “Couple Arguing”, so people will consider staying away for fear of becoming involved in a situation).
The two alarms can be set to wake to DAB, FM, or a tone alarm. After a set number of minutes has elapsed, a sleep timer will switch the radio into standby (or off if powered by a ChargePAK). The kitchen timer will beep after countingd-down from a set time period.
The menus are not as easy to navigate as I desire. I suggest you keep the (6 x 3.5 inch) Quickstart Guide with the radio for reference purposes. I did notice that the more time I spend with the radio, the more a few things seem to become easier to access by manuvering around.
The EVOKE Flow can be upgraded via Wi-Fi (or USB). After the latest update, version 3.5, was downloaded and installed…the radio rebooted…and I needed to reconfigure my wifi settings.
For those of us that love our iPod Touch but dislike the task of not having a Wi-Fi hotspot always available or wanting to use the features while traveling, Sprint has unveiled today a solution for your tethering woes. The new ZTE Peel gives users the ability to put the iPod Touch in a cradle and connect with the Sprint 3G service over Wireless Broadband.
The idea is really a nice one as we may already have Cell service with Sprint but also enjoy our iPod Touch. Now, with the Peel, we can have it all. The device specs state that the cradle will work with second or third generation iPod Touch devices and will also be able to connect to another device while cradling the Apple iPod Touch to provide another Wi-Fi Connection. Have a laptop that needs your own hotspot? You’ll be able to provide you own. This is extremely handy for businesses that don’t have Wi-Fi Hotspots. If the user is in a Hotspot area, Wi-Fi Compatibility can also be handled with the 802.11B and 802.11G Standard without having to uncradle the iPod Touch.
The Peel features a 900 mAH Li-Ion Battery which will give the user about 3 hours of active use time. The product is not officially endorsed by Apple but is compatible with Wi-Fi services for Windows 7, Vista, XP and Mac OS 10.5 and 10.6. The service plan for the broadband which is up to 1GB transfer on the 3G network with no contract, $29 bucks and the ZTE Peel itself will be available for around $79 dollars. Sprint stores should be carrying the Peel starting the 14th of November.
We also like the fact that owners of iPod Touch device may also be able to utilize third party apps from just about anywhere a broadband connection is available which could include voice type apps!