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CNET Tech Review
I like to move it, Muve itThis week on the CNET Tech Review: five green cars that still run on gas; how to make your mobile photos less stalker-friendly; PlayStation Move vs. Xbox 360 Kinect Prizefight it out; and Muve to the music on the Samsung Suede.
-This week on the CNET Tech Review, keep the creeps from finding you based on your photo habits; get off the couch for this week's gaming Prizefight; we'll count down our Top 5 greenest non-hybrid cars; and Cricket's new music service will get you moving. It's all coming up right now. Hi everyone, I'm Molly Wood, and welcome to the CNET Tech Review, where we collect our hottest videos of the week and tell you what's good and what's bad in the world of tech. Plus, we offer some unique tech wisdom in the form of The Bottom Line. Let's get started with the good. Brian Cooley returned home from the Geneva Auto Show to find US gas prices approaching record highs. So, what better time than now to count down the top 5 greenest cars that are not hybrids. -Hybrid, schmybrid. Are you not real sold in this whole hybrid thing? Do they pay off? Is something much better just around the corner? And what do we do with all those big toxic batteries? I'm Brian Cooley with Top 5 greenest cars that aren't hybrids. Just good old gas engine rides that do it lean and green. Okay, I'm gonna give them to you here with your city, your highway, and your average MPG. At number 5 is the Mini, 29/37, average of 32. This is a car that often gets overlooked as a green ride because it's known mostly for great style, fun handling, and all those cookie paint schemes. Base price? Just over 20-grand. Number 4 is the Mazda 2, 29 city, 35 highway, 32 average. Here's the little cousin to the Ford Fiesta with a slightly smaller engine but, oddly enough, slightly higher fuel consumption, and slightly goofier looks. But if you like a car that has a permanent smile etched on its face, and starts at just $14,100, this could be the one for you. Number 3 is the Ford Fiesta, the SFE trim level, with 29 city, 40 highway, 33 average. This is the new Fiesta, not the one you're thinking of from back in the day, and SFE is a special fuel-sipping option package. Fiestas are kinda dirt cheap by the way, starting as low as $13,300 for the sedan, though the hatchback looks a lot better. Number 2, deep breath on this one, it's the VW Golf/Jetta/Jetta Sport Wagon and Audi A3 TDI models. Here's a whole slew of German cars that right up near the top of the list because all of them use a very cool 4-cylinder turbo diesel Volkswagen family powertrain, and that delivers 30 in the city, 42 on the highway, 34 average. And the best part about these cars is, believe it or not, performance. You heard me. These are TDIs. If you haven't driven a small, modern, turbo diesel, you're in for a treat, a treat called torque, which is really what you want more than horsepower for everyday driving. The cheapest way into this club is a Jetta TDI Sedan, about $23,000 base. Now, before we get to our number 1 fuel sipping, non-hybrid, for comparison, the cleanest of them all is the Prius. You knew this, 51 city, 48 highway, 50 overall. No gas engine car quite gets near that, and a base price of 23-grand. So, it's got a price premium built in there, no doubt about it. The only hybrid that doesn't cost more than its gas engine version is the Lincoln MKZ at $34,600. Okay. The number 1 fuel-miserly car that isn't a hybrid is the Smart ForTwo. I know, it's not for everyone. But at 33 city, 41 highway, 36 overall, it's the fuel-sippinest little ride that ever got a funny look. Hard to make it your only car though, unless you live in a shoe, and with the jankiest transmission since Grizzly Adams spurred his horse a little too sharply, I gotta say though, it still has an odd appeal to me. Well, that's it for this Top 5. Keep your eye out for our Top 5 hybrids episode. That's coming up soon. And see all of our CNET Top 5s at top5.cnet.com. I'm Brian Cooley. Thanks for watching. -Brian really is as fan of the Smart ForTwo. In fact, you can see his full review of that car over at cnettv.com and watch him squeeze himself into that tiny little two-seater. It's pretty funny. Turning our attention to tutorials, this week, Sharon Vaknin has a handy tip about turning off the GPS or location services features on your phone. If you've ever taken a photo with your mobile phone and then uploaded it to Twitter or Facebook, you wanna pay attention. -Almost everyone with a smartphone has a built-in camera, or two, with them wherever they go. But when you take a photo with that camera, you're actually capturing more than you think. I'm Sharon Vaknin and today, I'll show you how to disable GeoTagging on your mobile phone. Your camera's GeoTagging feature embeds latitude and longitude coordinates in your photos. So, whenever you take a snapshot, you can see the exact location of where it was taken. But, you're not the only one who can see this location data. If you take a photo of your cat and post it on Twitter, your secret admirer could pick out your house within 15 feet. That's pretty accurate. So, if you don't want to share your coordinates with the world, or you wanna save a lot of battery life, the next logical step would be to disable GeoTagging on your phone. If you have an Android device, start the camera app and select store location and set it to off. If you don't see this icon, try opening the menu instead. You can also completely disable the GPS on your Android. Go to settings, location and security, and un-check use GPS satellites. Of course, this will keep any app from recording your location. So, if the app is location-based, like Foursquare or Google Maps, it won't work. Apps that find nearby venues like a movie theater won't work either. Now, for all you iPhone users out there, you can find these options under settings, general, then location services. Make sure it's off for your camera app and any other app you don't want tracking you. Here, you can also completely disable your GPS by turning location services off. Finally, if you're on a Blackberry, open the camera app and head to options. Set GeoTagging to disabled. On some Blackberry models, once you open the camera app, you'll need to click the GPS icon instead. The cross here without the signal bar means GeoTagging is off. To disable GPS tracking entirely, go to settings, options, then head to advanced options. Click GPS and turn GPS services off. Disabling GPS will also give you longer battery life and speed up some applications. Of course, if you're really worried about your privacy and you've been posting GeoTagged photos all over the place, the best thing to do now is go delete them. For CNET.com, I'm Sharon Vaknin and I'll see you on the intrawebs. -Location services can definitely be a blessing and a curse: handy if you're trying to be the mayor of your favorite watering hole; but less handy if you wanna keep your crazy stalker from finding you there. Creepy! The console wars are heating up again and this time, it's more about how you control the games than the gaming units themselves. So, get up off your tush for this week's Prizefight between the Play Station Move and the Microsoft Kinect. -What's up, Prizefight fans? I'm Brian Tong and this is another Prizefight that you, the people, have been asking for. Gamers, get ready. It's a Prizefight punch out between the Play Station Move and Microsoft Kinect. Our judges for this fight are Associate Editor Jeff "Back That Thing Up" Bakalar, Senior Associate Editor Scott "The Bottom Line" Stein, and myself, Brian "Hong Kong" Tong. Now, we'll take all 3 judges' scores and average out to the nearest tenth each round. The final Prizefight score will be an average of all rounds using the same decimal system. Who will be the motion control master? First round is design. The Play Station Move is a multi-p system. Its Play Station Eye Camera has remained the same since 2007 and it could really be sleeker. The Move controller is sleek and sturdy, but it could either be a wand with a glowing ping pong ball or an adult toy, not that I know. Its navigation controller isn't required but there are a lot of pieces to the puzzle here. Now, the Kinect sensor is a one and done. It's not the smallest piece of hardware and it might be difficult to find a convenient flat space to position it, but it wins style points for its sleek design that reminds us a little of Wall-E. -Wall-E. -Microsoft's Kinect takes round 1 with a 4, and Sony's Move gets a 3. Next round is setup. If you think these systems are just plug-and-play, it's not that easy. With the Play Station Move, you just have to plug in the camera and synch the controllers to the systems. It's actually relatively easy to setup. But calibrating the controllers in between games can be annoying. Lighting will be important here but space isn't that big of an issue. Now, the Kinect's initial setup can be tedious and take almost up to 10 minutes. But once calibrated, it's good to go. You also need decent lighting, but the biggest challenge here is space, so get ready to move some furniture. If you don't have at least 6 to 10 feet of playing space, well, this might not be worth getting. The Move takes round 2 with a 3.7 and the Kinect gets a 3. So, after averaging 2 rounds, Microsoft leads by just 1/10 of a point. Round 3 is interface and control. These are 2 totally different experiences. The Move is really like Wii HD. It's a motion controller with a high level of accuracy and the navigation controller has analog sticks that cater to a more hardcore audience. What you'll notice here the most is its precision especially with shooters. The Kinect is unlike any gaming experience we've seen. You can use your hand to navigate menus like "Minority Report", or control functions with your voice. With Kinect, your hands, arms, and legs, and even your booty, are part of the game play. But there can be a subtle delay from your movements and what's translated on screen. It all depends on what you're looking for. But between our 3 judges, Kinect gets the edge with a 4 and the Move gets a 3.7. Next round is software support. We're still waiting for more Move titles that showcase what the technology is capable of. Killzone 3 is the first evidence that motion and precision can go together. But many other games just have Move support tacked on. The current batch of dedicated Move exclusive games feels like the same things we've seen on the Wii, only with better graphics. Now, Microsoft's Kinect has games that are made just for the platform and there are several that really make the technology shine. Kinect Adventures is a great party game. You can't deny the cuteness and interactivity of Kinectimals, and Dance Central is the killer app. You'll be getting friends who never danced to shake their groove thing even if you don't want them to. Microsoft takes another round with a 4 and Sony gets a 3. So, after averaging 4 rounds, the Kinect leads by 4/10 of a point. The final that decides it all is value. All right, let's break down the Move cost. The Play Station Eye is $40. The Move controller is $50. And for advanced games, the navigation controller is an additional $30. Sony offers a $99 bundle with the Eye, a Move controller, and a game. But for 2 people, you'll still need an extra controller. So, you're really talking about $150 minimum for a setup with 2 people. Now, the Kinect is $150. It's about half the price of a console, but it's still pretty much around the same price as a Move setup and you don't need any additional hardware--just the Kinect sensor. The final round ends in a tie at 3.3 points a piece. So, let's average out all 5 rounds. And in a battle that was close early, the Kinect started to pull away taking this battle 3.7 to 3.3 and is your Prizefight winner. Now, the winner for you might depend on what kind of gamer you are. But ultimately, it's up to the software developers to showcase both of these technologies. But you know what I can't wait to get home and play? Kinectimals. I'm Brian Tong. Thanks for watching. We'll catch you guys next time on another Prizefight. -This video definitely wins this week's award for best choreography. And the best thing about the Play Station Move? No batteries for the controller. Just add Red Bull. Okay gang, it's time for us to take a break but we will be right back with more Tech Review right after this. Welcome back to the CNET Tech Review, our weekly video digest of all things good and bad we've seen here at CNET TV. Continuing on in the good, or should I say the just so-so. Nicole Lee and Justin Yu tried out a couple of pairs of earbuds this week with decidedly mixed results. -I'm Nicole Lee, senior associate editor for CNET.com and this is a first look at the LG HBS-700 stereo Bluetooth headset. At first glance, the headset looks kind of messy with all these wires hanging about here, but it's actually a very comfortable design. What you do is you put the neck band behind your neck. You take the earbuds outside of the metal magnetic pockets at the bottom here, and you pop the earbud in your ear. You wear the headset so that these 2 pods hang around your neck like 2 ends of a scarf. Each pod houses different controls. The one on the right houses the play/pause button and the track shuttle keys. The one on the left has the call button as well as the volume rocker. Also on the side of the left pod is the charger jack. Overall, the HBS-700 has really good audio quality. It even has an equalizer setting to change from normal mode to bass mode. You can also answer, end, and reject calls. With such a comfortable and lightweight setup, the HBS-700 is perfect for commuters or those in the gym. The LG HBS-700 is only $80 retail. I'm Nicole Lee. This has been a first look at the LG HBS-700 stereo Bluetooh headset. -Hey, I'm Justin Yu with CNET.com and these are the Jays a-Jays Four stereo headphones. At $70, they're an affordable replacement for the stock headphones that came with your iOS device and there's also a few upgrades that make it worth the price as well. So, let's check them out. So, there are a lot of headphones out there to choose from, and it seems like the trend nowadays is for companies to offer a handful of bright-colored choices that turn the purchase into a fashion choice. But the a-Jays Four have a subtle design that matches your iPhone 4 and doesn't attract much attention. Instead, they focus more on your utility. The headphone cord you could see here is flat and it's coated in rubber, so that makes it nearly impossible to tangle. That's really convenient when you're pulling it in and out of your pocket or your purse. You also get a remote control about 6 inches down from the earbud here. It has 3 buttons that you can use to control your music. You can skip and pause tracks on an iPhone 4, and it works on a 3G and 3Gs iPhone as well, but you won't be able to manipulate the volume with those phones. As usual, the back of the remote has a small pinhole for the microphone that isolates your voice when you're outside in loud areas and making a call. That said, we do have a few complaints about the earbud covers. They're not supposed to be shoved all the way in your ears like in-ear canal headphones. But we still did struggle to find a comfortable fit even with the 5 earbud covers Jays includes in the hard case here. The earbuds themselves aren't very wide and they sit almost flush with your outer ear flange, which got uncomfortable for us after just half an hour of listening. As with all headphones, these buds may fit differently in your ear, so you should see if you can try them before you drop the cash. Once you have them in though, you will be satisfied with their sound quality. They're a big improvement from the stock Apple earbuds, but their fidelity isn't quite on par with our favorite headphones. Those are the Klipsch S4i. On the other hand, those will run you double the price, so we're happy with the Jays at the $70 range. That said, you can read more about these headphones and our full review on CNET.com, and you could check out its competition as well. But that's gonna do it for me. I'm Justin Yu. These are the Jays a-Jays Four stereo earphones, and that sounds good to me. -Yeah. When it comes to headphones, if they're not comfortable, I don't care how good they sound. And having that LG Bluetooth earbud collar thing hanging around my neck does not look comfortable. And while Justin came down basically in favor of the Jays a-Jays earphones, there's no confusion about the verdict he handed down on this week's entry in the bad. -Hey, I'm Justin Yu, associate editor for CNET.com, and this is your first look at the Kodak ESP C310 All-in-One Printer. Now, $100 seems to be the sweet spot for multifunction printers these days. But this combination printer, scanner, and copy machine falls well below the mark we would expect in this range. We're underwhelmed by its cheap build quality most of all. The compact footprint means it'll fit almost anywhere, but the light plastic exterior is flimsy and actually reminds us of a play stool toy. The top of the printer has a small LCD that walks you through the installation process and wireless setup, but we still prefer a competing printer by Canon, that's the Pixma MX410, because with that one, you get an automatic document feeder on top for the same price as the Kodak, which makes it much easier to print and scan multiple photos at once. Not that you want to do that on this Kodak anyway since the C310 only has a dual ink cartridge bay. If you're printing a lot of photos, you should at least be using a 5-ink bay printer. That'll give you the best quality and price. So overall, we recommend staying away from this printer, the Kodak C310. You can stretch your dollar much further with other all-in-one printers of the same price that we review on CNET.com, that's including the Canon Pixma MX410. But that's gonna do it for me. I'm Justin Yu. This is the Kodak ESP C310 All-in-One Printer. See you online. -Ooh, I hope there's an electronics recycling center near the New York office because I have a feeling that's where that printer is gonna end up. Okay, let's go ahead and check out this week's Bottom Line. As Jessice Dolcourt is about to tell you, the Muve Music Service was one of the finalist for CNET's Best of CES Awards this year. While the music subscription service is an interesting idea, it does sound like they could've picked a better phone for its debut. -Hi, I'm Jessica Dolcourt from CNET taking a second look at the Samsung Suede. This is a new phone for Cricket Wireless and I first checked out the Suede at CES, which CNET was so impressed with that it nominated it for the Best of CES Award in the Service Category, and that was for one particular feature. That feature is Muve Music. This is a combination of music software and a special monthly plan. For $55 a month, you get unlimited talk, text, web, and e-mail. That's pretty standard with Cricket. But you also get unlimited music downloads, ring tones, ringback tones, and a song identification app with Shazam. There's this music button right here, and this is the button that opens the Muve Music home screen. That's where you see all of your tunes that you can play. You'll find more hits or playlists by genre. The library on Muve Music is fairly well stocked, thanks to all these deals that Cricket made with US music labels, but note that you won't find every title under the sun. There's also a social aspect to Muve as well, and if you feel like sharing your zeal or maybe even your hatred for a certain song, then you can. Since the songs are all downloads and they're not music streams, they basically live on a specially configured Muve Music micro SD card. There's a 4-gigabyte version that comes with the phone and it reserves 1 gigabyte for your own personal use. Cricket does plan to sell an 8-gigabyte version as well if that's just not enough space for you. But be forewarned that the Muve Music System will not work if you've got a standard mirco SD card in. And also, song and file types aren't MP3s, and that keeps you from transferring the songs to your computer or to other MP3 players because you don't really own the songs. What you do is you rent them as long as you pay your phone bill. The Muve Music interface itself is pretty easy to get around, but I did have some complaints with usability. There are several functions that take too many steps to get to. The playlist could be a lot easier to manage. Also, the whole thing is a little bit slow and there is an annoying beep when you transition between songs. As for the rest of the phone, I find the design fairly unremarkable. There's this 3-inch capacitive touchscreen, but it's really too small for comfortably typing and moving around. I really wish also that Samsung would just go ahead and kill TouchWiz 2.0 because that interface is slow, it's clunky, and the widget trays are, frankly, outdated. The 3-megapixel camera however was pretty good and there were some nice on-screen controls. Call quality was pretty good on this phone as well. It was very strong and the Suede surprised me with one of the best speaker phones that I've ever heard. Muve Music though is what really shines on this phone. There are some growing pains ahead, but it's still a really unique and compelling feature. I do wish that it was shipping on a better and more interesting phone, but I really can't complain about the call quality. The Suede is priced at $199 retail but without a contract, and you can get it for $99 for a limited time. Muve Music costs a very reasonable $55 a month. I'm Jessica Dolcourt. If you have this phone, tell me what you think about the Samsung Suede with Muve Music for Cricket Wireless. -The Bottom Line this week? Those are some smooth moves. Slay me. All right, but once again to clarify, the Muve Music service for the Suede is $55 a month total. So, the unlimited talk, the text, and the music downloads are all included, not just the music feature. So, the phone might be a bummer but that's a hell of a service plan. And folks, that is our show for today. We'll be back next week with a brand new edition of the CNET Tech Review. Until then, there are tons of great videos available everyday at cnettv.com. See you next time and thank you for watching.