Monthly Review - February 2011

The month began with One Mobile Ring reporting that O2 is to carry the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc mobile phone, whilst Facebook check-in has started to offer UK high street deals. Early on in the week, the business side of the BlackBerry Playbook was caught on video, whilst LG announced it is to bring out a 3D phone and the Samsung Wave II went on sale.

Mid week, we brought news of Android leading the way as the bestselling mobile OS and Vodafone is offering 1000 minutes to pay as you go customers and Three is to get the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc.

Towards the end of the week, the Nokia mobile phone bike charger arrived in the UK and Virgin Media received more pay as you go BlackBerry handsets whilst Google maps checked in, where T-Mobile made public it is to carry the LG Optimus Black.

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The second week of the month started 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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Mobile world congress in Barcelona dominated the headlines of the third week, where a fair majority of this year's new mobile phones were announced. One Mobile Ring attended the event and published a wide range of items, from news stories to a hands-on walk throughs to detailed video demonstrations of those very handsets.

One Mobile Ring started the week with publishing a hands on walk through of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, in which we had taken stock of during the previous week. Sony Ericsson unveiled at MWC a trio of new Android phones, where we published hands on images of the Sony Ericsson neo and Sony Ericsson pro. At the Sony Ericsson press event we captured on video the SE Xperia Play and Xperia Arc in video demonstrations solely for OMR. Samsung also delivered three new mobile devices at MWC, where Nokia brought out their Windows Phone 7 handset concept photos and we published and hands on walk through of the Samsung Galaxy S II, first in pictures and then in video. LG announced two mobile devices at Mobile World Congress, with One Mobile Ring delivering the LG Optimus 3D in a walk through in pictures, along with the LG Optimus Pad in a hands on video through.

Earlier on in the week, we published a hands on walk through of the HTC Desire S, which we took stock of during the previous week whilst we also produced a video walk through of the LG Optimus 3D. INQ Cloud Touch received the hands on treatment in pictures and on video, where HTC launched six new devices. We aired hands on pictures of the HTC Incredible S and tablet Flyer, along with a walk through video and images of the Acer Iconia Smart handset.

Midweek, One Mobile Ring brought out a hands on video walk through of the HTC Incredible S, whilst Windows Phone 7 is now being updated next month and the Motorola Xoom tablet received a hands on walk through, on video. ZTE unveiled their flagship mobile phone and the HTC Flyer was seen in a hands on walk through on film.

Towards the end of the week, Qualcomm's Quad core CPUs are coming to mobile phones whilst the HTC Desire S was caught on film by OMR. Huawei's new range of products tipped up in Barcelona, where the Motorola Atrix was captured in a video walk through and the HP Pre 3 saw a hands on walk through in pictures.

At the end of the week, Google got its just desserts, whilst we published the HP TouchPad hands on walk through in images and video. Motorola announced they are bringing the American Droid Pro to England, whilst the BlackBerry Playbook was caught on video by OMR. Alcatel launched new range of phones and we published our initial thoughts review of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play.

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The last week of the month began with One Mobile Ring compiled a list of which networks will be receiving exactly what mobile phones, from the announcements at Mobile World Congress and we also published an initial thoughts review of the HTC Desire S.

Earlier on in the week, HTC's Android tablet showed up on Amazon and the First Windows Phone 7 update arrived, where America's HTC Incredible phone came to the Carphone Warehouse.

Midweek, Sony Ericsson Xperia Play received a price and arrival date, where Google rolled out an update to the Nexus and the HTC 'Facebook' phones arrival date was announced.

Towards the end of the week, the iPad 2 was rumoured to be arriving on March 2nd and Windows Phone 7 problematic update saw some answers whilst the White iPhone is set to cost over £900.

At the end of the week, the Incredible S came to Vodafone and Angry Birds was unveiled for the Windows Phone 7 platform.

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The biggest story of the first week had to come from LG, who will be unveiling at Mobile World Congress in the next few weeks the world's first 3D mobile phone - the Optimus 3D.

LG's Optimus 3D will contain a 3D viewable 4.3-inch 480×800 touch screen, where the newest addition to the Optimus range will also have a dual-lens camera, for 3D video recording. This gets around the issue of the lack of 3D content available, as the handset's owner will be able to create their own media.

The Optimus 3D will be the first of its kind, by offering up a full 3D experience and in much the same way as LG was first with a dual-core handset in the Optimus 2X, where others have now followed suit.

LG has stated the phone will be viewable without the 3D glasses necessary for their TV screens and also other manufacturers' displays, where the mobile will also contain DLNA for content sharing along with a miniHDMI port.

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The second most significant story of the month undoubtedly came 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 third biggest news item came from Sony Ericsson unveiling their PlayStation 'Xperia Play' mobile phone, along with the Xperia neo and pro.

The Xperia Play is the world's first PlayStation certified smartphone, with a fast processor and dedicated slide-out game controls which will be backed by leading game publishers with a number of top titles being available at launch.

SE's Play hardware specifications have been officially confirmed after much speculation and rumour. The phone will arrive with a 4-inch 480×853 FWVGA capacitive touch screen, whilst being powered by a 1Ghz CPU with an embedded Adreno GPU graphics processor that's capable of 60 frames per second. The mobile also has a 5.1 megapixel camera with flash, whilst running from Android 'Gingerbread' 2.3 with just over five and a half hours of game play from a single charge.

SE's Xperia Play unique gaming ability comes from the gaming controls, which slides-out vertically from the phone and in much the same way as many handsets have their Qwerty keyboard's slide-out; such as the Xperia X10 Mini Pro. These controls are a digital D pad, with two analogue touch pads, two shoulder buttons and the four familiar PlayStation icons which all provide the gaming functionality.

The other two handsets that were announced by Sony Ericsson are the Xperia pro, with its slide out Qwerty keyboard and Xperia neo - both of which are mid-range handsets and arrive at the end of Q1 and Q2, respectively.

The Xperia neo will tip up running Android 2.3 with a 3.7-inch 854×480 FWVGA capacitive touchscreen, with the same reality display and mobile BRAVIA engine as their Arc phone that was announced at Las Vegas' CES event. The mobile comes with an 8.1 megapixel camera, which is backed by the Exmor R mobile sensor for better image capture in poor light, with a miniHDMI port for playback on a compatible screen.

Sony Ericsson's Xperia pro arrives with all of the same features and abilities as the neo, only with a slide-out Qwerty keyboard and appears to be the X10 Mini Pro's bigger brother. There is a new feature under the guise of Type & Send, which eliminates the need to open a dedicated app for each type of message and the smart keyboard triggers predictive messaging when opened up for use.

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The last biggest story of the month came when Apple announced to the press it is holding a media event, where it's reported the iPad successor will be unveiled.

The invite to the press contained an image from a date book calendar, which has been pealed back to reveal the corner of a large screen where the speculation is rife that this is the first look of the upcoming iPad 2.

Many called 2010 'the year of the iPad', where this could be the very reason why the wording in the invite is - 'Come see what 2011 will be the year of' - where Apple is hoping to replicate the success of 2010 - with a view that many will crown 2011 as 'the year of the iPad2'.

Not a great deal is known at this stage of what the iPad 2 might contain, although it's been rumoured for some time the device will contain a rear and front facing camera that was sadly missing from the first model.

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Originally published at OneMobileRing.com

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