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Weekly Review – 26th May

The week began with One Mobile Ring reporting the Samsung Galaxy S II is available on Vodafone, where the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play has a £200 price cut, Orange and Vouchercloud teamed up and we published a review of the LG Optimus 3D.

Earlier on in the week, INQ bundled Foursquare onto handsets, we published a chance to win a JCB clock, two Nokia dual SIM mobile phones arrived and we ran a live blog from the Windows Phone 7 ‘Mango’ VIP Preview event.

Midweek, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 appeared on Amazon, Microsoft previewed the next version of Windows Phone 7,One Mobile Ring published pictures from the Windows Phone VIP ‘Mango’ Preview event and we brought out a hands-on walkthrough on video of Windows Phone 7 ‘Mango’.

Later on in the week, the HTC ‘Facebook’ phone arrived at Carphone Warehouse, Vodafone saw red at HTC, a 4G mobile phone network is set to come to the UK and Nokia unveils the Oro – their most expensive phone to date.


The biggest story of the week came from Microsoft, who previewed the upcoming update to Windows Phone 7, known as ‘Mango’ - which brings with it 500 new features.

One Mobile Ring attended the London version of the global event, where we live blogged the press preview here, published images of Windows Phone 7 ‘Mango’ here and produced a hands-on video walkthrough here.

Windows Phone ‘Mango’ has improvements around the areas of communications, apps and the web; with multitasking being the core enhancement and brings the OS in line with other mobile phone platforms.

The communications aspects of the ‘Mango’ update relates to Twitter and Linkedin being brought in for the first time. This is along with threaded messages inside of text messaging, Facebook chat and Windows Live Messenger - all within in the same conversation too.

Grouping contacts together is also new, in order to follow their updates and communicate with them as a collective, through various means and even adding the group as a live tile onto the home screen.

There is deeper social network integration with Twitter and Linkedin, which is now a part of the People Hub with Windows Phone ‘Mango’ allowing Facebook check-ins and new face detection features.

Hands-free messaging will be a part of the upcoming update, with a built-in voice-to-text and text-to-voice support for hands-free texting or chatting.

The new features surrounding the application area are multitasking, with better live tiles and an improvement on delivering real-time information onto the screen without the need to open the app, plus a more thorough integration under the hood with App Connect for music, video and pictures.

Internet Explorer version 9 will be a part of the Windows Phone 7 ‘Mango’ release, with the same code base as the desktop version and support for HTML5 and full hardware acceleration. There is now access to the camera, for a Google Goggles type experience, plus a local scout ability that provides search results relating to the surrounding area for restaurants, shopping and other local businesses.


The next most significant piece was when One Mobile Ring published the world’s first review of the LG Optimus 3D handset, which can be seen here.


The third largest news item came from Everything Everywhere and BT Wholesale, who unveiled a partnership to bring the first ever 4G LTE network to the UK and in Cornwall.

The two companies are sharing their telecommunications and mobile technology, in order to provide a trial service for 100 mobile and 100 fixed line customers in the St Newlyn East area of South Newquay.

This proof of concept trial starts this September and will run for an entire year, where Everything Everywhere and BT Wholesale are aiming to show the benefits of 4G LTE mobile technology with this venture that could deliver up 100 megabits per second downloading.

The field trial will utilise 2 x 10MHz of test 800MHz spectrum, to test its capability as a long-term solution to fixed broadband technology with equipment by Nokia Siemens Networks and Huawei.


The following most significant story was when ebuyer listed the Sony Ericsson ‘PlayStation’ Xperia play, for just £399 SIM free and unlocked.

Expansys carries the Xperia Play handset for £474.99, whilst has priced the mobile up at £469.99 and Carphone Warehouse lists the phone at £469.95.

The Xperia Play arrives with a 4-inch 480×853 FWVGA capacitive touch screen and is 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 slide-out vertically from the phone. These controls are a digital D pad, with two analogue touch pads, two shoulder buttons and the four familiar PlayStation icons - all of which provide the gaming functionality.


The fifth biggest piece was Nokia announcing two handsets that can handle two different SIM cards, in the Nokia X1-01 and C2-00.

The two mobile phones can take dual SIMs, along with offering the ability to choose which card to use for calls, messaging or other functions with easy switching between the SIM cards – without compromising the battery life or messaging in anyway.

These Nokia handsets are also able to remember five different SIM cards and all of their settings, along with offering up dual standby features where a notification of calls and messages are possible on each account, even in standby.

Nokia‘ s X1-01 is a music mobile, with a large external speaker, built-in FM radio and support for a 16GB SD card slot with a flashlight. The C2-00 has a VGA camera and an easy swap method for SIM management, without the need to remove the case and runs from the Series 40 OS, where the X1-01 has the Series 30 Symbian platform.

The Nokia X1-01 and Nokia C2-00 will ship this quarter with a cost of 34 Euros and 45 Euros, respectively.


The next most significant news came when Carphone Warehouse opened up pre-ordering of the HTC social networking ChaCha handset, on contracts starting from £20 a month.

The ChaCha is geared up for social networking with ‘one touch’ access to Facebook, where there’s a dedicated hardware button provided on the phone to launch the app.

The mobile phone has the appearance ofa budget Qwerty BlackBerry–esque device, with a 2.6-inch 480×320 touch screen, a 600MHz processor, 512MB of internal storage, a 5 Megapixel camera and Android ‘Gingerbread’ 2.3 with the HTC Sense overlay.

Carphone Warehouse is expecting to deliver the handset at the start of June, on Orange contracts that began at £20 a month, accompanied by 300 minutes and an unlimited text message bundle. The same tariff cost is also available with 200 minutes, an unlimited text message allowance and a 250MB data bundle too.


The seventh largest story was Amazon listing the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 on sale in Germany, for 606.50 Euros or for around £529.

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 8.9 arrives with an 8.9-inch 1280×800 WXGA touch screen, in a 8.6mm thin case whilst being powered by a 1Ghz dual-core processor, with HSPA+ functionality and weighing in at 470grams.

Samsung’s Touchwiz UX has live panels, with customisable home screens that can be populated with social networking feeds, websites and digital pictures. There is also a mini app tray, which offers up quick access to frequently used applications that can be launched at any time no matter what is currently running.

No details were listed on the UK version of Amazon’s website, nor have any of the UK mobile phone networks mentioned any interest but One Mobile Ring expects we will be hearing from them soon.


The following most significant item came Orange and discount service Vouchercloud, who have formed a partnership, in order to offer deals to one part of Everything Everywhere’s customers every month.

Orange users on both pay as you go and pay monthly contracts will be offered eight exclusive deals each and every month, for use when out and about.

Orange mobile customers can access these discounts through the Vouchercloud iPhone app, or from the Vouchercloud website itself.

Orange users will be offered a minimum of eight exclusive special offers at any given time, with these deals being updated monthly to guarantee there’s always something new with broadband and mobile broadband customers being able to access this service soon.

Vouchercloud is already used in over 5,000 retail chains and leisure outlets across the country; the May offers for Orange customers include Habitat, Malmaison, Headmasters and Fitness First.


The penultimate piece of news was INQ Mobile unveiling it has teamed up with location based social networking site Foursquare, by including its application on their own latest budget mobile phones.

INQ is bundling the Foursquare app on their handsets such as the Cloud Touch, to offer up deep home screen integration on their handsets.

Foursquare is a location-based social networking service, which runs from an app on a mobile phone that allows for users with GPS-enabled mobile devices to ‘check-in’ at venues with each check-in awarding user points and sometimes ‘badges’.

The service reportedly has 8 million registered users and runs a similar feature set to Facebook Places, only without those rewards on offer.

The new integration uses the foursquare API to recommend nearby places to eat, drink and shop based on your location and past check-ins, along with seeing check-ins from friends and other members of the foursquare community.


Lastly, Nokia announced the Oro handset, a mobile phone that boasts a leather back from one of Scotland’s finest Caledonian herds, 18 carat gold plating, a sapphire crystal and a suitable cost to match.

Nokia’s Oro is made up from premium materials, with a 3.5-inch AMOLED reinforced glass display that is scratch resistant and five times tougher than other screens. There is also an 8megapixel camera capable of 720p HD video recording backing the device, with the Nokia J Bluetooth headset – also, 18 carat gold plated.

Oro goes beyond tri and quad band connectivity with a pentaband radio, plus access to HSDPA 3G and WIFI networks, whilst running from the upcoming Symbian^3 ‘Anna’ OS Supdate.

The Oro is arriving in selected markets around the world, such as Europe, Eastern Europe, China and the Middle East sometime after June with a cost attached of over 800 Euros.


Originally published at

Rob Kerr
Rob Kerr

Rob has worked in the affiliate industry for many years with large publishers, and previously worked as a journalist on titles such as Wired, PC Magazine, ITProPortal, The Register, The Inquirer, Pocket-Lint, Mobile Industry Review, Know Your Mobile and The Gadget Show.