Weekly Review - 4th February

The week 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.


The biggest story of the week has 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 480x800 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.


The second most significant news item of week came when O2 unveiled it will be carrying the new Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, in April this year.

O2 is the first UK network to announce it will be stocking the SE flagship Xperia Arc, from the ‘Coming Soon' page on their own website.

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc is seen as the replacement to their current flagship Xperia X10 handset, which will arrive with a 4.2-inch Reality capacitive touch display, backed by a mobile Bravia engine for better image quality whilst running from the Android ‘Gingerbread' 2.3 OS.

O2 currently retails the X10 gratis on a £35.75 a month tariff, which is accompanied by 300 minutes, an unlimited text message bundle and a 500MB data allowance.

One Mobile Ring believes the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc will be sold with the same contract, as this appears to be the standard offering as this mobile phone network's smart phone tariff.


The next important story was Facebook enabling its mobile phone Deals feature that works in conjunction with Facebook Places, which will now display offers from business all over the country.

Facebook Deals was launched in November in the USA, where FB users that ‘check-in' to various locations from Facebook on a mobile device are shown deals and offers from local attractions and shops relating to that very location.

This week Starbucks offered a free filter coffee, if checked in on Facebook Places, whilst on Valentine's Day Debenhams will offer a free Benefit mascara & makeover.

Over the next few weeks there will be Facebook Deals from Argos, Alton Towers Resort, Benetton, Mazda, O2, and YO! Sushi - with many more being planned.


The fourth significant news item came when market analyst company Canalys published details from a report stating devices running the Google Android mobile operating system overtook Symbian, as the most widely used platform around.

The Canalys report relates to Q4 of 2010 with the global sales of smart phones, which has revealed that Android shipments reached 32.9 million where Nokia's Symbian based devices only reached 31.0 million on a worldwide level.

During November to December the smart phone sales on the whole hit 101.2 million units, a rise of 89% compared to the previous year. The final total for the whole year was just below 300 million, with a rise of 80% over 2009.

These results came from companies such as LG, Samsung, Acer and HTC who all produced new handsets to aid this growth, where HTC and Samsung together accounted for nearly 45% of all the Android handset shipments.


Another big story was Vodafone announcing it's now giving 1000 minutes to prepaid customers, to call other Vodafone phone numbers every month.

Vodafone's TopUp and Get Talk now offers the new minute allowances at complete freebie, just as long as £10 is added a month.

The 1000 minutes last for 30 days after the top up has been credited to the account, this is in addition to whatever else the amount of money offers.

Topping up by an additional £10 during the month adds another 1000 minutes to be used to call any Vodafone based phone numbers - for the following month.

This now allows for Vodafone prepaid users on this tariff to amass a massive 16 hours and 40 minutes worth of free calls, to any of their friends, colleagues and compatriots each and every month.


Samsung announced this week the much awaited Bada OS based Wave II has arrived in the UK, with O2 and Phones 4U.

The Samsung Wave II is the flagship successor to the original Wave handset from mid-last year, which was the first phone to feature Samsung's new mobile Bada operating system - where the Wave II runs from 1.2 of that platform.

Samsung's GT-S8530 Wave II arrives with a 3.7-inch 480×800 Super Clear LCD touch screen with improved visibility outdoors, whilst also containing anti-scratch, anti-smudge and anti-reflective capabilities.

The handset tips up with a 5 megapixel camera with a flash and HD front-facing video capture, along with better social networking integration from the TouchWiz 3.0 UI.

Samsung's Wave II is powered by a 1Ghz processor, in a chassis that's only 11.8mm thin where its just a tad larger than the Sony Ericsson Xperia 8.7mm Arc.


Three also made public it will be carrying the flagship SE Xperia Arc handset, when the phone arrives in April this year.

Three will be stocking the Android ‘Gingerbread' 2.3 based handset, with a large 4.2-inch Reality display which is backed by the Sony mobile Bravia engine for an improved and sharper picture.

There's been no news of pricing or what tariff the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc will be carried upon, although Three no longer stocks the original SE X10 model that this phone is replacing where no direct pricing comparison can be made.

One Mobile Ring expects the Xperia Arc will be retailed with the Three One Plan for around £35 a month, with 2,000 minutes, 5,000 minutes to any Three phone numbers, a 5,000 text message bundle and a truly unlimited data allowance.


T-Mobile unveiled towards the end of the week it will take stock of the latest LG handset, when the phone arrives in March.

T-Mobile is the first network to make public it will be carrying the LG Optimus Black mobile phone, which will arrive running Android ‘Froyo' 2.2, although the phone is capable of supporting Android ‘Gingerbread' 2.3.

LG's Optimus Black tips up with a slim 9.2mm chassis, a tad thinner than the 9.3mm dimensions of the iPhone 4. It has a much larger 4-inch screen, which is based around the bright Nova display technology that delivers a crisp and clear image.

LG's Optimus Black's screen also uses twice as less power as AMOLED screens and half as much as the traditional LCD screens, which in turn aids the longevity of the battery life of the handset.

No tariff details or prices have been announced by T-Mobile relating to the LG Optimus Black, although One Mobile Ring expects the handset will arrive with them at around £35.75 a month.


Virgin Media has added a number of Research In Motion mobile phones to their prepay tariffs this week, with four models arriving.

Virgin Media has brought to their pay as you go price plans the BlackBerry Curve 3G, Pearl 3G, Bold 9780 and BlackBerry Torch 9800 - all of which now joins the Curve 8520, their first prepay RIM device.

RIM handsets represent a third of all mobile phones sold on the network, where they retailed close to 200,000 devices inside of 2010 alone.

Virgin Media customers will be able to take advantage of the unlimited BlackBerry services, without paying for a monthly contract with these new handsets.

To activate the full range of BlackBerry data services customers can either buy £2 weekly or £5 monthly passes, all of which supports up to 10 email accounts, Internet browsing and BlackBerry Messenger access.


Google now allows for checking in to actual locations from their mobile Mapping software, in much the same way as Facebook Places only with automatic check-ins instead of manual ones.

Google latitude inside of Google maps is used by 10 million people each month, where the new Android version can now check in to an actual location for the first time. Previously, just a general location could only be added and specifics to the location can now be used.

Once checked into that location Google latitude recognises the location and the next time the place is visited, the software automatically checks in - without any manual location resolution needed, unlike Facebook Places and Four Square.

Besides just automatically updating and sharing locations on an opt-in basis, user generated content can also be added such as a picture taken, with a caption.

These new abilities will be available for Android 1.6 onwards, with plans to bring the automatic check-in function to the iPhone version soon.

Originally published at OneMobileRing.com