Video: ‘No Kitchen Required’ In New Zealand, ‘When Maori Attack’

Here at Gadling, we’ve been keeping tabs on the new BBC America reality show “No Kitchen Required,” which is taking cooking competitions to new highs (and lows). Battling for fame and glory are award-winning chef Michael Psilakis of New York’s Fish Tag and Kefi; private executive chef Kayne Raymond; and former “Chopped” champ Madison Cowan.

The chefs hunt and gather ingredients to prepare regional cuisine in various locations, including Dominica, Belize, Fiji, Thailand, South Africa, Hawaii, New Mexico and Louisiana. The show is a cross between “Survivor” and “Top Chef,” with a dash of over-the-top, Bear Grylls-style drama thrown in, but it’s all in good fun and provides a fascinating cultural and culinary tour of little known destinations and cuisines.

Here, we have a teaser clip from New Zealand that features the chefs watching a haka, or traditional Maori warrior dance, prior to having the local community judge their respective meals. Here’s hoping they didn’t give anyone food poisoning.

Video of the Day: Splitscreen: A Love Story

Whether you love or hate Valentine’s Day, there’s no escaping the amorous feelings in the air today. We might as well make a contribution with today’s Video of the Day. This short film, released last summer, celebrates transcontinental love: two sets of eyes, one in New York and one in Paris, passing days with similar experiences until the moment the eyes unite (reunite?) on London‘s Golden Jubilee Bridge. Cue single tear. The video will undoubtedly tug on the heartstrings of anyone who has ever attempted a long distance relationship… or at the very least make you want to visit the three cities.

Splitscreen earned the top spot in last year’s Nokia Shorts 2011 competition, which armed a select group of filmmakers with the Nokia N8 phone and a $5,000 budget. The film was shot entirely on the N8 by a team led by filmmaker James W. Griffiths, beating out seven competitors for the top prize. They do say that love conquers all.

TripAdvisor mobile app lands in the Nokia Ovi app store

TripAdvisor just announced the availability of a new app for Nokia touchscreen phones. The new app provides a familiar interface for mobile access to TripAdvisor reviews.

In the app, you’ll find reviews for hotels, restaurants, attractions and more, and just like in the iPhone version, you also get easy access to cheap airfares.

The app can be found in the Nokia Ovi app store, accessible on your device or though the Ovi web storefront. The app is free of charge, but obviously requires a data connection.

In addition to a dedicated Ovi app, TripAdvisor also announced integration with Ovi maps, making it easier to get walking and driving directions to any of the content provided by TripAdvisor. This new feature is being rolled out globally, and should be available within a month.

This new Nokia app marks the fourth platform supported by TripAdvisor – previous versions were available for the iPhone, Palm Pre and Android.

To learn more about the new Nokia TripAdvisor app, check out the brilliant TripAdvisor blog.

How to pick the perfect travel smartphone

Picking the right smartphone for travel can be a major hassle – with so many choices of mobile operators, different phones, different network technologies and different budgets, finding the right one is like finding a needle in a hay stack. Worst of all – with mobile contracts, picking the wrong phone could mean you are stuck with a dud for two years.

In finding the right smartphone, you need to determine your budget, your traveling destinations, application needs, security requirements, current contract obligations and more.

But as always – we are here to help. I’ll stop short of calling myself an expert on mobile phones, but I’m on my 18th year of traveling with a cellular phone, and after over 400 different phones, I’ve seen enough of the mobile world to know a thing or two about what you need in a travel friendly phone.One of the best places to start, is to determine where your trips will be taking you – in the US, we currently have four large operators – AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. Of these four, two use the GSM system for their phones, and the other two use CDMA. Why does this matter? Well, one of those systems is not used that much outside the United States, which means you could pick a phone that won’t work where your trips take you.

Picking the right network

Your first choice is going to be how to pick the best network. Don’t fall for the ads showing the “amazing new phone with the magical features” – it could very well be that “amazing” only applies to “within the United States”, making it a poor choice for international travel. A good example of this is the new Sprint EVO 4G – an amazing phone, but virtually useless for phone calls outside the United States.

AT&T and T-Mobile are GSM operators – their network and phones are by far the easiest option for international travelers. On their (postpaid/contract) plans, you can simply bring your phone abroad, and use almost any other GSM network. But beware – there is a high cost involved with this (more on that later).

Sprint and Verizon use CDMA (along with a bunch of other operators like Cricket and Virgin Mobile). There is absolutely nothing wrong with CDMA (despite what some TV commercials try to tell you). In fact, if you know in advance that you’ll be staying in the United States or Canada, CDMA networks provide by far the best coverage.

Sadly, when it comes to Europe, Asia and most of South America, CDMA is pretty much non-existent. This means you’ll arrive in France, and your Verizon phone will do absolutely nothing (unless you find some Wi-Fi).

Now, since this stuff isn’t complicated enough already, there are CDMA phones that are sold as “Global Phone” – these devices are half CDMA and half GSM. With a global phone, you use the CDMA network when available, and switch to GSM when you are outside a CDMA country. These phones use the SIM cards found on GSM phones. Confused yet?

Picking the right features

Oh my – this is a tough one, 3G, 4G, Skype, Google Voice, GSM, multi-touch, tethering, 3.2MP, 5MP, 8MP, HD video, Qik, HDMI…

The list of features on current generation phones is worth a story on its own. Bottom line is this – pick the four or five features you can’t do without – then determine your budget, then go shopping.

Things I feel you need on any travel phone are: reliable data/voice, GPS, Wi-Fi and great battery life. Things that are nice to have include a good camera, decent storage for music/photos and videos and an easy way to enter text.

Everything extra is just that – a bonus. Don’t fall for looks – a good looking phone may make you feel important, but a good looking phone with a dead battery won’t help you navigate back to your hotel.

Applications are another important factor – are you looking for a phone that does nothing more than make phone calls, or are you going to be ambitious and find something that can do Internet voice calls, mobile travel blogging and more?

If applications are important to you, you’ll want to focus on the top three platforms – iPhone, Android and Blackberry (I’m excluding Windows Mobile at the moment, because it is transitioning to a brand new version that does not work with older apps).

The world of mobile applications is dominated by the iPhone – plain and simple. The best apps are currently all there – but Android powered phones are catching up very quickly. In fact, the Android platform has several applications you won’t find on the iPhone (Google Voice, Google maps with navigation).

So – determine your needs, then check out the app stores of each platform. If you have favorites on your desktop or laptop, check to see whether those apps are available as mobile versions for your upcoming phone.

With 100’s of phones on the market, you’ll need an easy way to narrow down the available options. The Phone Scoop phone finder is a great tool for this – their database can pinpoint the perfect phone, based off almost 50 different features and requirements.

The Gadling top picks for travel phones

As of this month (June 2010), the phones I’d recommend for travelers are:

Best pick for US only**
Best pick for international travel (CDMA/GSM)**
Best pick full feature smartphone
Best budget pick smartphone
AT&T N/A N/A iPhone 3GS
(or iPhone 4 on 6/23)
Nokia E71x
T-Mobile N/A N/A Garminfone or Google Nexus One Nokia E73 Mode
Sprint EVO 4G Blackberry Bold 9650 EVO 4G* Palm Pre or Palm Pixi
Verizon Droid Incredible* Blackberry Bold 9650 Droid Incredible* Palm Pixi Plus*

* Droid Incredible, EVO 4G, Palm Pixi (plus) and Palm Pre are CDMA only – for use in Europe and other GSM countries, pick a Global Phone

** All AT&T and T-Mobile phones will work around the world on almost any GSM network

Some unexpected choices?

When it comes to travel phones, a lot of folks instantly reach for the iPhone – and while it does indeed provide pretty much everything travelers need, there are some other often overlooked options out there:

Nokia Symbian S60 powered phones
– Nokia phones are a great choice, because of their great variety in hardware and availability of Nokia Ovi maps. This means almost all Nokia smartphones can be turned into a full navigation system with worldwide maps. And best of all, the maps are loaded “locally”, which means you don’t incur data charges when you travel.

Android powered phones – It is no secret that I’m a huge Android fan, but travelers can benefit from the power of these phones thanks to Google maps with navigation. One downside is that these maps rely on a data connection, making them less of an option when you are abroad.

Blackberry devices on T-Mobile (with Wi-Fi)
– T-Mobile Blackberry devices with Wi-Fi have one very special trick up their sleeves – when abroad, you can connect to a Wi-Fi network, and get the same connectivity as on a cellular network. The technology is called UMA, and we covered it back in 2008. With UMA, you can make and receive phone calls, send and receive text messages all without paying for international data. This means you can check into your hotel in Tokyo, get your Blackberry online, and use it just like at home. Minutes come out of your regular pool, or can be unlimited when you add the $9.99/month Hotspot plan. The best part is that you don’t need to configure anything – as soon as the phone gets online, it can use the service.

Things to look out for when you travel

There are some important things to keep in mind when you travel with your new mobile phone. The first, is making sure you are actually able to use it abroad – before you leave, check with your provider whether your account is provisioned for international use. In many cases, a brand new mobile account may be barred from international “roaming”, and you wouldn’t be the first person to arrive abroad and discover that your phone won’t work.

The next important issue is the cost of international data. If you freak out at the prospect of $2/minute phone calls, you’ll probably get a heart attack when you realize that international data costs around $20 per megabyte. To put that in perspective – downloading a one hour movie when you are abroad could end up costing about $14,000. Yes – 14 THOUSAND dollars.

There are plenty of ways to stay away from cellular data when you travel, but the most important thing you can do is disable it entirely – so before you leave, check your user manual or browse support sites. If you try to figure out how to do this when you arrive abroad, you could have racked up a $500 bill before you even find the “off” button.

One final word of advice – when you shop for a phone, consider paying for an unlocked phone. The process of “locking” a phone means your mobile operator has altered its software to only allow subscriptions from their own network to use it. This makes it impossible to walk into a phone store abroad, and buy a prepaid subscription. We’ll discuss the advantages of prepaid phones in an upcoming article.

The Nokia Booklet 3G – Sexy and well connected – the Gadling review

Yes – Gadling may be a little late to the party (Engadget reviewed this machine last year), but the Nokia Booklet is still important enough to warrant its own review here on Gadling.

For those that missed all the other reviews – the Nokia Booklet 3G is the first netbook designed by Nokia – the world’s largest producer of mobile phones. Needless to say, when a company like Nokia sits down to develop a netbook, the end result has to be pretty damn good.

On paper, the Nokia Booklet 3G is like most machines on the market – a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor, 1GB of memory, a 120GB hard drive and a 10″ screen. Thankfully, that is where the similarities with other machines ends. The Booklet 3G has a glass frame high-definition screen (running at 1280×768, unlike the weak 1024×600 pixels on most other machines), GPS, Bluetooth, worldwide 3G support and a battery capable of keeping the machine running for up to 12 hours.

The design is also unlike any other netbook on the market – forget cheap flimsy plastic, the Booklet 3G is designed around a single aluminum frame, and the end result is quite simply stunning. The one poor design choice is in the lid – instead of making that in the same finish as the rest, Nokia picked a glossy plastic cover – making the machine one big fingerprint magnet. I tried keeping it clean for the first couple of days, then just gave up.


This one is simple – the Booklet 3G performs like any other Atom powered netbook. Don’t purchase one of these if you plan to do any heavy lifting in your applications.

The combination of the slow processor, 1GB of memory and a sluggish 4200RPM hard drive makes the machine feel a bit underpowered. Web and email work won’t scare it, but you won’t be watching any HD videos on the Booklet 3G.

Thankfully, gaming and videos are not something its target audience wants anyway – the Booklet 3G is the perfect business machine. All work and no play. But thankfully, the work portion is something it excels at.

Keyboard / trackpad

I could keep this portion really short – the keyboard and trackpad are just right. Normally, most computers I review have something I hate. But Nokia got this just right.

The Booklet 3G keyboard is “chiclet style”, with a bit of spacing between the keys. Typing is a pleasure on it, obviously helped by its bright hi-res screen. The trackpad is just the right size, and its buttons are easy to press, unlike some others on the market.


The real “unique selling point” of the Booklet 3G is of course the “3G” part of its name. Inside the Booklet 3G is a 3G HSDPA modem capable of working on 850/1900/2100 bands. This makes it compatible with AT&T in the US, and most foreign operators.

The lack of AWS/1700MHz support rules out using it on the T-Mobile 3G network, and in my tests, I could not get it to find the T-Mobile EDGE network. This is either because the machine is SIM-locked to AT&T, or because the EDGE frequencies are locked out of the modem.

Other connectivity options inside the machine include Bluetooth, 802.11a/b/n Wi-Fi and GPS.

Connectivity through ports is somewhat limited – you get an SD memory card slot, 3 USB ports, HDMI and a combined audio in/out jack. Hidden behind the SD card panel is the SIM card slot. Above the screen is a bog standard 1.3 megapixel webcam.

The lack of Ethernet is a tricky one – not everyone will still need Ethernet, but some hotels insist on offering their Internet service wired only, so you may need to invest in a small USB to Ethernet adapter. Slightly trickier is the choice to offer an HDMI port. Even though HDMI is becoming more popular, picking HDMI instead of VGA means you may need to invest in another adapter if you plan to use the Booklet 3G on a projector.

Thankfully, the Nokia assortment of accessories for their Booklet 3G includes a USB Ethernet adapter and an HDMI to DVI plug (though no HDMI to VGA).

Included software

The Booklet 3G comes with Windows 7 starter, a much better choice than the old XP installations on most netbooks. Windows 7 feels at home on the Nokia, and things run quit smooth (unless you open too many applications).

Nokia also pre-installs applications from their Ovi suite – including Ovi maps and a social networking application that supports Twitter. The desktop software also lets you send and receive text messages, but you’ll need to be sure that text messaging is bundled in your plan, or these messages could cost a fortune.

To make using the Booklet 3G easier with a Nokia smartphone, the box also includes a special dual USB charge/sync cable (because Nokia still doesn’t believe in charging over USB).

Purchase options

The Nokia Booklet 3G is only available from or your local Best Buy retail store. Out the door from Nokia, you’ll pay $599.99 for the Booklet – which is about $200 more than a similarly spec’d machine from other brands. Thankfully, a cheaper option is to order one combined with a 2 year AT&T wireless mobile broadband subscription.

This 2 year contract drops the price of the machine down to a more manageable $199.99. $149.99. Service is $59.99/month, so you’ll need to do some math to determine whether this makes sense for your specific connectivity needs.

Update: I noticed that Best Buy is now selling these for $149.99 when purchased on a two year AT&T plan.

The Nokia Booklet 3G for travelers

On paper, the Nokia Booklet 3G looks like the perfect netbook for travelers – you get fantastic battery life, a hi-res screen, decent keyboard and mouse, 3G, Bluetooth and GPS all in a gorgeous machine that weighs a little over 2 lbs, 10 ounces.

And to be honest, it really is the perfect machine for the roadwarrior – the only downside to the Booklet 3G is its price – unless you already have a need for an AT&T mobile data subscription, that $600 price tag is going to hurt a lot. Especially when a more powerful machine can be found for at least $100 less.

That said – there is something awesome about a machine this well built. I hate to draw comparisons with Apple, but if you don’t mind paying a premium for a machine that isn’t carved out of 20 pieces of plastic, you will love the Nokia Booklet 3G.

Final thoughts

Pricing aside, the Nokia Booklet 3G is a brilliant little machine – though a lot of that brilliance is in its design, the connectivity options, great display and long battery life do help complete the package.

PROS: design, connectivity, long battery life, great screen

CONS: price, slow hard drive, non-upgradeable memory

It is hard for me to tell someone that this is a “must buy”, because that price tag is a tough one – but if you are already budgeting for 3G access, then the investment in the Booklet 3G suddenly becomes much easier to justify.

$200 for a netbook is a no-brainer when you already need 3G access. Best of all, you are not stuck with the 3G inside the Booklet 3G – you could always buy a (used) AT&T 3G modem, and swap the sim around when you need it, especially if you need your mobile broadband on more than one computer.

The Nokia Booklet 3G is available directly from Nokia, or from your local Best Buy. Call your store for availability, only Best Buy stores with an in-store Mobile department stock the Booklet 3G.