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The 411: Envious of Europe

Every week, CNET editor Nicole Lee answers your questions about cell phones and their accessories.

Welcome to the 411, my new Q&A column answering all your questions about cell phones and cell phone accessories. I receive plenty of questions about these subjects via e-mail, so I figured many of you might have the same questions, too. At times, I might solicit answers from readers if I'm stumped. Send your questions and comments to me at nicole.lee@cnet.com. If you prefer to remain anonymous, let me know in the e-mail.

I notice that the Sony Cybershot C905i has built-in Wi-Fi, but the Cybershot C905a does not. Is this a mistake? If it isn't, why does one have Wi-Fi and not the other one? Thanks! -- Marcus, via e-mail

You're right, Marcus. When we first wrote about the Sony CyberShot C905 back in CES 2009, we reported that it had built-in Wi-Fi. In fact, the Sony Ericsson C905i, which is available in Europe, does indeed have Wi-Fi (here's a link to the Sony Ericsson C905 review on CNET UK). But our review of the Sony CyberShot C905a does not have mention of Wi-Fi. This is because, perhaps due to a deal brokered between AT&T and Sony Ericsson, the C905a had its Wi-Fi capabilities stripped out. In every other way, however, the hardware is practically identical. We're as upset about it as you are, but we think it's probably because AT&T wanted people to use its 3G network instead. This is just speculation, of course, but what other reason could there be? Let us know what you think.

I have a question about the iPhone. Currently, I have about 14 months left on contract with T-Mobile. Will an iPhone work with T-Mobile service correctly or do you know if T-Mobile will ever offer the iPhone in the U.S.? I know they offer it in Europe. -- Mark, via email

As far as I know, T-Mobile will probably never offer the iPhone in the U.S. The 3G band for T-Mobile USA is completely different from AT&T's 3G, so Apple will have to manufacture a whole different chipset for it to work with T-Mobile's 3G network. If you don't mind not having 3G, you could try unlocking the phone yourself (various techniques are easily found with a Google search), but you would be voiding the warranty and risking bricking the phone. Also, if you use an unlocked iPhone with T-Mobile, you won't have access to Visual VoiceMail. As for Europe, T-Mobile in Europe is operated separately from T-Mobile USA, so you can't really compare the two.

I have seen your review of the Plantronics Voyager Pro, and I decided to buy it because of the sound quality. Now, it appears the Discovery 975, with similar (or equal?) technology to the Voyager PRO, has a slimmer design. I am looking for best sound quality for business conversations at any environment (airport, street, restaurants, etc). Which do you recommend for me? -- Piero, via e-mail

I actually think either the Voyager Pro or the Discovery 975 will do just fine for you. Both have great noise-canceling capabilities and excellent audio quality. The Voyager Pro is meant to be worn for longer periods of time and is a bit cheaper than the Discovery 975. On the other hand, the Discovery 975 is a little more stylish and has a charging case that extends its battery life three-fold. So, it's up to you on which factors are more important. I would probably prefer the Discovery 975 if I had more cash to spare.