Weekly Review 25 June

As we entered the week, it was obvious Apple would dominate the headlines with the release of the iPhone 4 on Thursday, with column inches being gained each and every day by various networks baying for the public's attention from Monday onwards.

Orange announced via Twitter on Monday it will be providing a SIM adaptor for its network enabled iPhone 4, allowing the smaller micro-SIM card that now accompanies the iPhone 4 to be used elsewhere. This effectively means if the iPhone 4 has been damaged, or if contacts on existing phones are needed, they can be easily copied over to the SIM card effortlessly as the smaller SIM can now be used in other phones.

Still on Monday, Apple made public the same version of the Apple iPhone 4 operating system, known as iOS 4, could be downloaded from iTunes and installed on older models of their phones, in addition to iPod Touch devices. This new version replaces 3.1.3 on current devices and brought a whole new set of features to the iPhone 3G and 3GS, along with iPod Touch 2nd and 3rd generation of devices.

These features ranged from the much awaited multitasking ability, new camera enhancements, better spell checking and a unified inbox - where one single inbox can hold multiple email addresses that simplify many aspects of emailing.

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Two networks finally announced their iPhone 4 tariffs on Wednesday and Thursday, with those respectively being Tesco and Three with some surprising choices. Tesco notably came along with the phone costing just £19, albeit on a £45 per month contract and Three tariffs were on par with the others, but also offered a pay as you go version.

Three aired their micro-SIM card ‘only' offering where £15 provides - 300 minutes to any network, 3000 texts along with 1GB of internet allowance. This also includes 2000 minutes worth of calls to any Three phone numbers and free voicemail, but the iPhone 4 still has to be brought on top of that.

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Thursday saw the new Apple iPhone 4 go on sale, both in shops, via various networks or they arrived by post that day if pre-ordered. The new mobile came with a brand new design unseen before in the series, along with new features such as WIFI based video calling called FaceTime. The iPhone 4 also boasts a new 3.5-inch 960x640 multi-touch retina display, a 5-megapixel camera with an LED flash capable of HD video recording - all of which is driven by Apple's A4 processor and running from the new iOS 4.

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Review of the week - HTC Desire

The HTC Desire runs the current version of Google's Android OS, with 2.2 on its way very soon. Desire has a very fast 1Ghz processor, with a large 3.7-inch 480x800 AMOLED capacitive touch screen which is very responsive and great to use.

HTC runs its own UI on top of Android called HTC Sense, which first appeared on the Hero handset and now battles with Motorola's MotoBlur and Sony Ericsson's User Experience on features. It's a decent overlay to Android, but those other mobile manufactures offer more functionality than HTC, where after a year not much really has changed since the Hero's version.

Sense comes with HTC Friend Stream, which rolls up all the Twitter and Facebook updates into one column. The Motorola MotoBlur with its Happenings and TimeScape by Sony Ericsson has the same social networking abilities, only they are much better worked into Android and therefore come across much more thoroughly integrated.

The address book on the HTC Desire is one of its better features, as it pulls in all the contact information automatically from the likes of Facebook, Gmail, Hotmail and Twitter then thoroughly integrates them all together in an intelligent way. This is both thanks to Android and HTC Sense, working in partnership to achieve this integration that works really well.

Battery life isn't the strongest feature of the Desire, where the phone doesn't really make it through a normal 8 hour day with all the social networking features enabled.

Bottom line

The HTC Desire is a name-worthy mobile phone with a very responsive touch screen that is both large and bright, although viewing in direct sunlight lets it down. Also letting it down is that HTC Sense is now looking a little dated, as compared to MotoBlur and the battery life can be bothersome too - although you can limit the features, allowing the phone to last to the end of the day. The new Android 2.2 version is arriving on the phone soon, which hopefully could bring better features to HTC Sense.

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Android had an interesting week, with new models arriving on a network and a new Flash player being made available for the OS.

On Tuesday, Adobe announced Flash player 10.1 arriving on Android, although for the upcoming new version of the Google Mobile OS known as ‘Froyo' or version 2.2. Adobe has stated they'll be better support for landscape and portrait modes, better CPU utilisation and better zooming and scaling of content to full screen.

Vodafone confirmed on Wednesday that three new Android handsets are available on their network, from that very day. These were the Samsung's Galaxy S 16GB on a £35 per month, HTC's budget Wildfire mobile phone on £20 per month and the Vodafone 845 handset, on a £15 per month contract.

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Finally, after the dust had settled on Apple's iPhone 4 day in the sun many were reporting problems with a lack of signal - but only if they were left handed. Gripping the phone in the left hand was reported to unintentionally block or limit the phone's signal, where people saw the signal bars dropping or it was killed off altogether. Around the side of the phone is its antenna that is used for receiving the network signal, where holding it in the left hand affects the antenna or so it's been widely reported in the media.

Originally published at OneMobileRing.com

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