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Weekly Review - 5th November

This week began with One Mobile Ring reporting that Acer had unveiled a new Liquid Android mobile, where WIFI has come to the London Underground. Orange also announced their Samsung Galaxy Tab prices and we published exclusive pictures of the BlackBerry Bold 9780.

Earlier in the week Vodafone also unveiled their Samsung Galaxy Tab costs, where we reported that Sony Ericsson has updated their Android handsets and Vodafone revamped their pay as you go rewards.

Midweek we noted the details of the launch of the JCB new tough phones, the Tradesman, Sitemaster, Pro and Pro-Talk. Towards the end of the week, Vodafone updated their BlackBerry pay as you go range and LG launched their Android budget ‘Froyo' handset - where we published a walk-through in both images and video.


Vodafone appeared in the news three times this week, where at the start of the week the mobile phone network unveiled their cost of the Samsung Galaxy Tab at £499.

Vodafone was the first network to announce they will be carrying the Samsung Galaxy Tab, in which they did from the device's launched event at Berlin's IFA consumer electronics show in September this year.

Vodafone's Galaxy Tab arrives on monthly tariffs that range from £3, with £2 a day for a 500MB data allowance. This escalates to £10 a month, which is accompanied by 1GB of internet usage, this in turn increases to a £15 a month tariff for 3GB which culminates on 5GB for £25.

Samsung‘s Galaxy Tab is a 7-inch TFT LCD touch screen display, running the latest version of Google's mobile OS with the Samsung TouchWIZ UI.

Vodafone updated their pay as you go rewards earlier on in the week, with free text message and data allowances along with extra international calling minutes.

Adding £10 a month to the Get Text and Web pay as you go plans now deliver 300 text messages, along with a 500MB data allowance in addition to the £10 credit.

The data allowance remains constant for further top ups of £15 and £30, but the amount of possible text messages increase to 500 and 3000, respectively.

The TopUp and Get International pay and you go deal is aimed at those who call friends and family overseas, where now £10, £15 and £30 monthly top ups provide and 60, 100 and 240 minutes - along with the credit already added to the phone.

Towards the end of the week news arrived that Vodafone updated their BlackBerry pay as you go range, in the form of the Curve 9300, the older 8520 and the Pearl 9105.

These new models ship with free access to the Internet, email and BlackBerry messenger until June 2011, as a part of the initial purchase price.

The BlackBerry Curve 9300, 8520 and Pearl 9105 are all available in black and the separate colours of Ruby, violet and Pink - respectively.

The older 8520 model has an attached price of £160, whilst the 3G variants of the 9300 and 9105 both cost £230.


Orange was in the news a few times this week, where they announced their Samsung Galaxy Tab prices on Monday.

Samsung's Galaxy Tab will be available on both a 30 day and 12 month price plans, from today onwards - on-line and in-store.

The lowest cost for the Galaxy Tab with Orange is £499, on a £15 a month Dolphin tariff that's accompanied by a 1GB data allowance which can be used at any time. There is also another 1GB data bundle included, which can only be used between 12am and 4pm - this package has unbundled BT Openzone access too.

The highest cost of the Galaxy Tab on Orange is £529, on the Orange Racoon 30 day contract with a 500MB data allowance for just £5 a month.

Towards the end of the week, One Mobile Ring reported that Orange has launched a portable mobile WIFI device

The Orange portable WIFI unit provides Internet access in much the same way as Three's MIFI devices, to 5 WIFI enabled products over the network's 3G connection.

Novatel's Wireless 3352 has a built in operating system, which delivers applications and widgets inside of the connected device's browser over WIFI. These apps and widgets are data usage, SMS, GeoSearch and GeoWeather using the GPS capabilities of the Novatel 3352.

Orange's mobile hotspot proposition starts with a one of charge of £49, escalating to £89, depending on tariffs and top-up fees.

The highest cost of the Novatel Wireless 3352 for a one month contract is on the Racoon plan, where a £5 top up offers a 500MB data allowance with the cost of the device reduced to £59 on a 12 month contract.

The lowest cost of the Orange mobile WIFI offering is on a year's contract, with a £15 a month fee that includes a 1GB data allowance and an additional 1GB to be used only between midnight and 4pm - with unlimited access to BT Openzone.


Earlier on in the week JCB launched their new range of tough phones. The new durable handsets are the Tradesman, Sitemaster, Pro and Pro-Talk. These phones effectively replace the original JCB Toughphone from a few years back.

The JCB Toughphone Tradesman TP121 is the world's first floating phone, which is ideal for seafarers and arrives with an IP-67 rating that means it's both completely dust proof and entirely waterproof with a military spec certification.

The phone is accompanied by a predominately black case with distinctive JCB markings, a 1.44-inch colour screen, with a built-in torch, Bluetooth, FM radio, Tri-band functionality, with 180minutes talktime and 130hours standby, a 1-year warranty with a cost attached of £69.99.

JCB's Sitemaster TP802 is the toughest phone in the series and has been designed to handle one tone of pressure, whilst also drop tested to 2-metres with an IP-57 rating that means its dust proof and water resistant whilst also achieving a military certification too.

This phone arrives in yellow JCB designed case, with a 2-inch TFT colour screen, with a built-in laser point and a built-in torch, with a free a wind-up charger, Bluetooth, FM radio, Tri-band functionality, 270minutes talktime and 450hours standby, a 2-year warranty and with a purchase price of £109.00.

The JCB Pro TP850 isn't just a basic rigorous, solid handset like the Tradesmen - it's actually a functional smartphone, only with an inherent toughness throughout. The Pro arrives with a 2.2-inch touch screen, with both GPS and a 2 megapixel camera, whilst also allowing two SIM cards to be used inside of the phone.

The TP850 has the same IP-67 rating as the Tradesman, which means it's completely dust proof and entirely waterproof with a military spec certification. There isn't the built-in torch that accompanies the Tradesman and Sitemaster, but the Pro does have the wind-up charger, Quad-band capabilities and can access an 8GB microSD card, with a 3 year warranty for £239.99.

JCB's Pro-Talk TP851 arrives with the same specifications as the Pro, only minus the possibilities of memory expansion and with the addition of a built-in 8 channel two-way radio - for communicating with other radios, along with Pro-Talk handsets. The price of the JCB Toughphone Pro-Talk is £249.99, with the same 3-year warranty.


At the start of the week One Mobile Ring reported that Acer has announced their latest budget Android handset, the Liquid Metal.

The 3.6-inch multi-touch display mobile builds on from their other Google mobile OS driven Liquid phones, only with a higher-powered Qualcomm 7230 800MHz chipset than seen in previous models.

The Liquid Metal phone is the first Acer handset to arrive running Android ‘Froyo' 2.2, which features flash support, WIFI tethering and provides HD video recording from the accompanying 5 megapixel camera.

Acer has brought in a new UI to the Metal known as Breeze, which is said to manage the mobiles' applications much more easily than beforehand where there's a new social networking app called SocialJogger that aggregates feeds to the home screen.

The Acer Liquid Metal arrives in two colours, with the brown model arriving mid-November and the silver version tips up early December - both have the retail value of £229


Midweek, LG launched their Android budget Optimus One ‘Froyo' handset, where we published a walk-through in images and on video.

The latest LG Android phone arrives running version 2.2 of the platform, with a 3.2-inch HVGA capacitive touch screen, a 600Mhz chipset and the regular additions of Froyo along with some LG customisation to the OS.

These additions are in the realm of an LG overlay to Google Maps, for easy access to the sat nav functions whilst driving, the LG App Advisor for the recommendation of applications and a menu divider to highlight downloaded software.

LG's Optimus One is now available on £20 a month tariffs from Carphone Warehouse, Orange, T-Mobile and Three, where those mobile phone networks are bundling in a car cradle for the handset.


At the start of the week, we reported that Transport for London is trialing out WIFI on the London tube system, starting with the Charing Cross underground station.

The six-month program is in conjunction with BT Openzone, who are the actual infrastructure providers where many who already use that the service will now have Internet access from inside of that very station.

Access to the service will be free for the five million BT broadband customers, with unlimited BT FON WIFI minutes and also for BT Openzone customers too where vouchers for using the service can also be bought online.

This now adds to the already 1.6million strong BT Openzone hotspots in the UK, where the ticket hall, Northern and Bakerloo line platforms that see 68,000 people daily will have net access.


Sony Ericsson has began to roll out Android version 2.1 to the Xperia X10 mobile phone, the X10 mini and its keyboard counterpart the X10 mini pro.

This update brings to the Xperia X10 HD video recording in the form of 720p capture, along with continuous auto focus. There are now five home screens on the X10, which can be populated by widgets, shortcuts and folders where previously there were only three screens available to customise.

The Xperia X10 mini pro and cut down mini version has better Bluetooth functionality in the update, for sending contacts and pictures, along with receiving them too. There has also been an improvement around the handling of pictures, audio and text within messages.

On board the new deployed version of the OS for all the handsets is a new data back-up and restore program, with a social phonebook that automatically syncs Facebook contacts.

These updates will be delivered from the accompanying PC software, with a notification that it's available being delivered straight to the handset.

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