Weekly Review - 11th February

The week began with One Mobile Ring reporting that an update has arrived on the new Nokia handsets, where Carphone Warehouse launched two cheap Alcatel handsets and the Google Nexus S is said to be coming to Vodafone.

Earlier on in the week the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play became official and the Nokia Communicator E7 began to ship. Midweek, O2, Orange, Three and Vodafone all announced they will be getting the Xperia Play, whilst the BBC iPlayer was unveiled to be arriving on Android this week and a Nokia 32GB N8 version went on sale.

Towards the end of the week One Mobile Ring published a Samsung Galaxy Ace hands-on walk-through, whilst HP brought Palm's webOS to new mobile phones and a tablet and INQ Mobile announced two new social networking phones. At the end of the week Everything Everywhere started opening up shops, where One Mobile Ring published an analysis surrounding Nokia and Microsoft Nokia teaming up.

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The biggest news story of the week has to undoubtedly come from Microsoft and Nokia jointly unveiling a new partnership, with an aim to start deploying Windows Phone 7 on Nokia handsets.

The joining of forces between the two companies is in order to bring a new global ecosystem to the mobile phone market, with a view to develop mobile products on an unprecedented scale - according to Nokia and Microsoft.

Nokia and Microsoft plan is to use Windows Phone 7 as the main smartphone operating system on the Finnish company's phones, which builds upon Nokia's foothold in the market as a once leader in the phone world. This is backed by the Seattle outfits established presence in the mobile OS world, with their latest platform and history of phone operating systems dating back to the mid-nineties.

There are some Quid pro quos between the dynamic duo, such as Bing would be the Nokia default search engine on their devices and services with Microsoft's adCentre being at the heart of the Nokia advertising from now on. Nokia Ovi Maps will be a fundamental part of Microsoft's mapping services, which could even mean the preloaded maps could still remain a part of the Nokia handsets.

One Mobile Ring believes the partnership between Nokia and Microsoft will aid in resurrecting the fortunes of one company, whilst offering a more diverse portfolio to another and have them appear on more than a handful of top tier mobile phones in over a year.

Nokia will be able to use Microsoft's name along with their operating system to run their phones, which will aid in global sales and more importantly, in America - where they have lacked in presence and not through the lack of trying.

Microsoft will finally have a strategic partner in the mobile phone hardware space, instead of just trying to be all things to all people and missing the margin by not having the expertise to tailor a platform to a specific piece of hardware that sets that phone apart from the others.

Windows Phone 7 didn't have the big impact that the company had once hoped for, as each phone looked the same and operated in the same way where there was little innovation brought to the each mobile by Samsung, HTC and LG.

The teaming up of Nokia and Microsoft will potentially deliver new and exciting phones, with a better more tailored mobile OS that could exemplify the underlying hardware. This could finally highlight what Nokia can really achieve with their hardware and what Microsoft should really be doing by now, where both companies have a long history in the mobile world with nearly a combined 45 years within mobile phones.

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The second most significant news item was Sony Ericsson officially confirming the existence of the Sony PlayStation mobile phone, via their own Facebook page.

SE has both confirmed the mobile phone does actually exist along with ratifying its name, as the Xperia Play. This was all in news relating to the press event being held at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, on Sunday 13th February at 6pm.

No further details have been furnished by SE as to what the phone might deliver, although it's reportedly arriving with a 4.2-inch capacitive touch screen, a 1Ghz processor and a 5 megapixal camera.

This is in addition to running from the newest version of Android, ‘Gingerbread' 2.3 and the ability to run PlayStation games with built-in physical controls that mimic the PlayStation console.

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The third largest story of the week came from Hewlett-Packard launching a few new devices, the HP Veer, HP Pre 3 and the HP TouchPad tablet.

The new HP products run from their webOS platform, which came from the company's recent acquisition of Palm and appeared on handsets such as the Palm Pre and Pixi.

HP's Veer is a small handset, measuring the same size as a credit card in height alone. The mobile phone has a 2.57-inch screen and runs from a 800Mhz Qualcomm Snapdragon 7230 processor, with 8GB of internal storage and HSPA+ capabilities.

The Pre 3 arrives with one of the largest Qwerty keyboards seen on a Pre device, with a familiar gesture area that accompanied the older Palm devices. The phone has a 3.58-inch 480×800 WVGA touch screen, with a 8 or 16GB of storage, a 1.4Ghz Snapgragon CPU and 5 megapixel camera that's capable of HD video recording.

HP also announced a tablet device, running from the same fast webOS. The TouchPad has a 9.7-inch 1024×786 touch screen display, with 16 or 32GB of storage, with a dual-core 1.2Ghz processor, a 1.3 MP camera, whilst weighing in at 740grams and measuring only 13.7mm in thickness.

The webOS on the HP TouchPad still has a similar look to the past Palm mobile phones, with a fast multitasking OS that effortlessly displays multiple running application with the ability to switch between over 200 apps running at once with no lag on the phone.

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The fourth significant news item came when Sony Ericsson had its upcoming PlayStation Xperia Play handset confirmed to be available on Vodafone, Three, Orange and O2.

All of those carriers have now unveiled they will be carrying the Sony Ericsson Xperia Xplay, in a response to SE themselves making public earlier in the week that the phone actually exists - along with the launch time and date.

Mobile phone network O2 announced from their twitter account @O2; "Awesome news - the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play is coming to O2. Loving their ad too!". The once member of British Telecom also added a link to the official Xperia Play advert.

Orange's PR manager confirmed via Twitter that one part of EverythingEverywhere will be taking up the Sony Ericsson PlayStation mobile phone, when it arrives during the next month or so.

Vodafone confirmed in an email to One Mobile Ring that they too will be carrying the handset, although no other details were forthcoming at this stage.

The mobile phone network Three were the last to unveil that it will be carrying the Xperia Play, in a tweet that reads: "We can confirm that we'll be ranging the XPERIA play. Our video will be on the blog soon, in the meantime enjoy this .... ", with a link to the advert.

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The fifth biggest story was Vodafone announcing it will be carrying the Google Nexus S handset, which was exclusively sold by Carphone Warehouse.

The Nexus S is the Google branded flagship mobile phone from the Internet search engine giant, although the handset was made for them by Samsung - in the same way as the previous Google Nexus One model was manufactured by HTC.

Google's Nexus S is the first mobile phone to arrive running the very latest Android ‘Gingerbread' 2.3 OS, with a contoured Super AMOLED 4-inch touch screen, a fast 1Ghz processor and 16GB of internal storage with NFC abilities.

Vodafone hasn't released any prices yet for the Google Nexus S, or confirmed any specific arrival dates. One Mobile Ring believes a similar tariff cost to Carphone Warehouse's O2 offering will accompany the Samsung manufactured mobile, with a generous data allowance by Vodafone.

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INQ Mobile unveiled two Android based handsets this week, aimed at social networkers - the INQ Cloud Touch and INQ Cloud Q.

The new phones are the successors to the very first budget INQ 1 social networking mobile from 2008, along with the follow-up handsets; the INQ Mini 3G and Chat 3G from late 2009.

These latest mobiles are all running from the Google Android OS, unlike their previous phones that were based around the Qualcomm Brew platform.

Facebook is being touted as key to these handsets, whilst being geared up for people that use that particular social networking site as a primary source of communication.

The Cloud Touch is the company's first ever touch screen mobile, which arrives with a 3.5-inch HGVA display, a 600Mhz processor, with a 5 megapixel camera and runs from the Android ‘Froyo' 2.2 OS - where Gingerbread could be run on the handset, at a later date.

INQ's Cloud Q is a direct successor to their Chat 3G phone, which was their first Qwerty keyboard based mobile. The phone arrives with a 2.6-inch screen and is accompanied by a large keyboard, whilst also running from Android ‘Froyo' 2.2.

The INQ Cloud Touch and INQ Cloud Q won't solely be appearing on the mobile phone network Three, just as all of the previous handset have. INQ's Cloud Touch will be available from the Carphone Warehouse in April, with a view to expand INQ Mobile's potential user base from there.

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The BBC made public this week that a version of their iPlayer software is coming to the Google mobile OS platform, along with the Apple iPad.

The BBC announced in a blog post the news of those mobile platforms gaining access to BBC content, where both applications will be available this week from their respective software repositories.

The BBC has stated the use of the existing mobile BBC iPlayer app, on devices such as the BlackBerry Torch 9800 was double that of a computer iPlayer usage this Christmas time - which just highlights the widespread use of the mobile versions.

Both the Android and iPad iPlayer versions will be able to stream live TV and radio, which previously wasn't possible on those devices. The app will also be able to access the past seven days of TV and radio programs, in much the same way as the desktop edition can currently.

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Nokia began rolling out an update to their latest range of mobile phones, in version 1.1 of the Symbian^3 OS.

The devices that are eligible for the new iteration of the operating system are the Nokia N8, C7 and C6-01 phones; along with the upcoming Nokia Communicator E7.

Symbian^3 1.1 is said to deliver an overall performance enhancement to these handsets, whilst also bringing in new features where it's smoother to run as a result. Not all of the updates will be entirely noticeable, but they do provide improvements to the OS with increased stability.

Some of the more evident features are accepting meeting requests directly from an email invitation, to Ovi maps being integrated inside of emails and just from using the address in the location field of the invite.

Nokia N8 users will see a new Quick Office 6.4 editor, which now allows for zooming in and out of Word documents where three high quality games will also be preloaded on the devices. These bundled-in games are the Need for Speed Shift, Real Golf and Galaxy on Fire.

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Nokia was also in the news earlier on in the week, with the Communicator E7 starting to ship, in various markets around the world.

The mobile phone that's said to be the corporate world equivalent of the consumer Nokia N8 became available to be pre-ordered towards the end of January, where now those devices are arriving with the end user.

Nokia's homeland of Finland now has the Communicator E7 mobile phone in stock on their website, with a cost of 599 Euros attached - which also confirms the handset is ready for market.

The Nokia E7 arrives with a 4-inch AMOLED capacitive touch screen, with their own ClearBlack display technology for improved outdoor visibility. Nokia's newest Communicator also has a slide-out Qwerty keyboard, along with a 16GB of internal storage and runs from their latest Symbian^3 OS.

The software on board of the E7 is aimed at more of the business world than the consumer one, with preloaded applications that consist of Mail for Exchange, Quickoffice dynamic premium and F-Secure Anti-theft for Mobile.

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One Mobile Ring took stock this week of the Samsung Galaxy Ace, where we published a hands-on walk-through of the recently announced handset that will be first seen at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week. This mobile phone was only officially made public two weeks ago by Samsung, where it's said to be the replacement model to their midrange Galaxy Portal handset from early last year.

Originally published at OneMobileRing.com

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