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Weekly Review – 6th May

The week started with One Mobile Ring reporting Vodafone is now carrying the Nokia E7, where video chat comes to Gmail on mobile phones and the LG Optimus Pad arrived at Carphone Warehouse.

Earlier on in the week, RIM announced a new BlackBerry Bold handset and Vodafone opened up taxi payments by SMS whilst Nokia released a new colour for the N8 handset.

Midweek, the Motorola Atrix handset arrived on Orange, Vodafone is to get the new BlackBerry Bold and Samsung Galaxy S II is now available on Three, where the HTC Sensation is arriving on 19th May on Vodafone.

Later on in the week, Three unveiled they are getting the BlackBerry Bold and HTC handsets gained a Gingerbread update, Three’s One Plan became available on PAYG, whilst we published a hands-on walkthrough in pictures of the upcoming Nokia X7 and Sony Ericsson updated Xperia mini range.


The biggest story of the week came from Research In Motion, who unveiled a new mobile phone in the BlackBerry Bold 9900, with a design that is similar to the original Bold along with being their thinnest and fastest handset to date.

Research in Motion’s new Bold 9900 will be the model arriving in the UK, with a traditional RIM keyboard, a touch screen, the new BlackBerry 7 OS and the look of the first ever Bold device from 2008.

BlackBerry Bold 9900 arrives with a 2.8-inch 640×480 287 dpi capacitive touch screen display, a full QWERTY keyboard, with an optical trackpad, whilst running from a 1.2 GHz processor, with 8GB of on-board memory, built in NFC technology and a 5megapixel camera that supports 720p HD video recording.

Research In Motion hasn’t announced any prices or carriers for the new BlackBerry Bold 9900, although the company expects the phone to be available from the beginning of this summer.


The next most significant piece was Carphone Warehouse taking stock of the 3D enabled LG Optimus Pad tablet, with a cost attached of £799.

The LG Optimus Pad was first announced at Las Vegas’ CES, under the guise of the American branded T-Mobile G Tablet where this 8.9-inch touch screen device is now available SIM free and unlocked.

LG’s Optimus Pad is powered by dual core 1Ghz Nvida Tegra 2 processor, whilst running from the Android ‘Honeycomb’ 3.0 OS – a platform specifically geared up for tablet devices.

The 8.9-inch screen has a 1280×768 resolution and 15:9 aspect ratio for displaying video, whilst the Optimus Pad has full 1080p video decoding for decent HD movie playback.

On the back of the device is a dual lens camera, which operates in the same way the LG Optimus 3D mobile for 3D capture – only the Pad can’t display those images or footage natively, but can directly export them to a 3D TV screen.


The third largest news item came from Orange, who is exclusive dual-core 1Ghz Motorola Atrix mobile phone this week – on a £35 a month contract.

Motorola’s Atrix tips up as the world’s first 4.0-inch qHD Quarter High Definition 960×540 touch screen, with 1GB of RAM, a 5 megapixel camera - capable of HD video capture, with storage in the form of 16GB that’s expandable by the microSD card.

The mobile phone is runs from the Android ‘Froyo’ 2.2 OS, with a new Moto application called webtop which is able to run a full version of Firefox - complete with Flash support.

The new Motorola mobile has been designed with a view to be used to create and edit media and documents, with an optional multimedia and laptop dock that enables access to a larger 11.6-inch screen, keyboard and keypad.

One part of Everything Everywhere is carrying the Atrix for £35 a month, on a 24 month tariff, which is accompanied by 600 minutes, an unlimited text message bundle and a 750MB data allowance with unlimited access to Orange WIFI.


The following most significant story was Vodafone announcing the shipping date of the first dual-core Android HTC Sensation handset as May 19th, along with the tariff price of £35 a month.

HTC’s Sensation arrives with a Gorilla glass 4.3-inch qHD 540×960 Super LCD touch screen, whilst being powered by a Qualcomm MSM 8260 1.2 GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor.

On-board is 1GB of storage and a dual flash LED 8 megapixel camera that is capable of 1080p HD video recording, whilst the handsets runs from Android ‘Gingerbread’ 2.3 with the new HTC Sense 3.0 overlay.

Vodafone is carrying the HTC dual-core Sensation on a contract for £35 a month, over a 24-month period that is accompanied by 900 minutes, an unlimited text message bundle and a 750MB data allowance.


The fifth biggest piece was when Three created a pay as you go version of its infamous ‘One Plan’ tariff, with all the same features only on a 30-day contract and with no ties.

Three’s new prepay ‘One Plan’ SIM only deal delivers 2,000 minutes, 5,000 text messages, 5,000 minutes to any Three based mobile phone numbers, free voicemail access, a second free pay as you go SIM and a truly unlimited data allowance – with no limits whatsoever, all for £25 a month.

This exactly mirrors Three’s monthly ‘One Plan’ offering, even down to the same cost and abilities without a lengthy commitment to a long contract for many years.

This news comes just 10 months after the renowned price plan was launched by Three, which beats other mobile phone networks hands-down on their own £25 offerings.


The next most significant news came when Vodafone unveiled it will be carrying the recently announced BlackBerry Bold 9900, when the mobile phone arrives this summer.

Vodafone made public the news over Twitter and from their @VodafoneUK account, in a tweet that reads; ‘#BlackBerry Bold 9900 was unveiled yesterday and is coming to Vodafone! Keep your eyes peeled for more info on our site soon #os7 ^KD’

The BlackBerry Bold 9900 was launched at RIM’s BlackBerry World event in Florida, with a design that is similar to the original Bold along with being their thinnest and fastest handset to date.

Vodafone hasn’t released any prices as yet, although they are currently retailing the BlackBerry 9800 Torch for £30 a month, which is accompanied by 600 minutes, an unlimited text message bundle, a 500MB data allowance and free BlackBerry email service.

One Mobile Ring expects a similar tariff will be available for the BlackBerry Bold 9900, if not the exact price plan.


The seventh largest story was Three announcing the Samsung Galaxy S II mobile phone is available with them, both on-line and in store from today.

The 10 million plus best-selling Galaxy S replacement runs from a dual-core processor, with Android ‘Gingerbread’ 2.3 and a 4.27-inch 480×800 WVGA Super AMOLED Plus screen.

The Samsung GT-I9100 Galaxy S II has a similar look to the original phone, only with a larger screen and thinner 8.9mm body with a great deal more under the hood than just different aesthetics.

The 1.2Ghz dual-core beefiness of the handset also comes with access to an advanced HSPA+ 21 wireless network, with the individual cores being powerful enough to deliver good multi-tasking and 3D hardware abilities.

On-board is an 8 megapixel camera that’s capable of 1080p video recording and playback, a significant increase from the 5megapixel variant on the first handset that only featured 720p video capture with Froyo.

Three is carrying the Samsung Galaxy S II from £35 a month or on their ‘One Plan’ contract with 2,000 minutes, a 5,000 text message bundle and a truly unlimited data allowance for £40 a month.

The mobile phone is also around on pay as you go deals, with the handset costing £499.99 and on £15 or £25 price plans with 300 and 500 minutes, a 3,000 text message allowance and the same no-limits whatsoever data plan as the One Plan.


The following most significant piece came from Sony Ericsson announcing two new budget handsets, the Xperia mini and mini Pro – both of which are successors to the original Xperia X10 Mini and X10 Mini Pro.

The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini series were born from the Xperia X10 flagship mobile phone from early last year, where the X10 small screened mini arrived a few months later and the slide-out keyboard version tipped up early summer time.

Sony Ericsson’s new Xperia mini replacement handset will arrive with a much better 3-inch 320×480 LED-backlit LCD capacitive touch screen, whilst running from the faster 1GHz Scorpion Qualcomm QSD8255 Snapdragon chipset, with 512MB RAM and support for the larger 32GB microSD cards. The updated handset runs from Android ‘Gingerbread’ 2.3 OS straight from the box, along with an improved TimeScape UI.

The Xperia mini also has a multi-touch screen reality display and the Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine, which was both missing from the original device and has recently been seen in their Xperia Arc handset. Both the Xperia X10 mini and Xperia mini have 5megapixel cameras, although the newer model now has HD video recording capabilities in 720p.

Sony Ericsson’s X10 mini pro was the same model as the X10 mini, only with a slide-out keyboard where the overall improvements between the X10 mini and Xperia mini have been exactly mirrored in the Xperia mini pro.

The two new handsets also arrive with ‘Facebook inside Xperia’ that integrates the social media site throughout the phone, with access from almost anywhere on the mobile itself.

Sony Ericsson’s Xperia mini pro and Xperia mini will be available during the summertime, with a cost that possibly matches the existing models at launch.


The penultimate piece of news was HTC making public two of their latest mobile phones can now be upgraded to Android ‘Gingerbread’ 2.3, in the HTC Desire HD and Incredible S.

The news of the upgrades being available came from the company’s support pages, where both of the handsets will receive a Firmware Over The Air (FOTA) update message.

HTC’s Desire HD will receive a notification of the FOTA update, when Android ‘Gingerbread’ 2.3 is available. The upgrade is best downloaded over WIFI, where the new build number is 2.36.405.5 after installation.

HTC’s Incredible S has only recently arrived in the last few months, with a 4-inch 480×800 touch screen mobile phone, a 1GHz CPU, 1.1GB of storage and an 8 MP camera with a dual flash LED, whilst running from Android ‘Froyo’ 2.2 along with the HTC Sense UI on top of that platform.

HTC’s Desire HD will also receive the same notification of FOTA message, with the new build number being 2.12.405.7 after it has been installed.


Lastly, Google has brought out video chat to Google Talk, on Android run mobile phones.

Google mobile OS driven handsets have now gained software enabled video chat, from inside of Gmail. This effectively means users of Android handsets can video call someone running Gmail on an actual computer, for a two-way video chat – without running or installing any additional third-party software.

Google Talk with video and voice chat works either over 3G, 4G or WIFI and from a Google mobile OS phone or tablet – free of charge, although the handsets accompanying data allowance will be impacted from non-WIFI use.

The Google Talk friends list highlights whether that person is on a voice or video enabled device, by the video camera icon appearing next to the contact’s name where a video call can then commence with just a simple touch of the screen.

Google Talk with video and voice chat is being rolled out to the Samsung made Nexus S handset over the next few weeks, as part of the Android 2.3.4 over-the-air update and will launch on other Android ‘Gingerbread’ 2.3 devices in the near future.


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