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Weekly Review – 4th August

The week began with One Mobile Ring reporting the sub £100 Android tablet has arrived, Three is to get a new Samsung Galaxy S II model, unlimited international PAYG minutes is now available from a new mobile phone network and a low cost Android eBook reader was launched.

Earlier on in the week, Nokia launched its fastest ever Symbian mobile phone, HTC released a Gingerbread update for the Desire, dual PAYG and monthly contracts came to T-Mobile and we published a hands-on walkthrough in pictures of the BlackBerry Bold 9900.

Midweek, Virgin Media revamped its tariffs, One Mobile Ring live blogged from the BlackBerry Media Event, RIM launched five new BlackBerrys and we published a hands-on walkthrough in pictures of the BlackBerry Curve 9360, BlackBerry Torch 9810, BlackBerry 9850/9860 and hands-on walkthrough on videos too.

Later on in the week, the Nokia N9 was available for pre-order, Huawei announced their 3D mobile phone, Three is to get the BlackBerry Torch 2 and we published the last of our launch event pictures of all the BlackBerry handsets.


The biggest story of the week came from Research In Motion, who announced five BlackBerry handsets, with three of them coming to the UK in the BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930, the Torch 9810 and the All-Touch BlackBerry Torch 9850/9860.

This is the largest global launch in RIM’s history, with the amount of mobile phones being unveiled at once and with 225 worldwide partners and a new platform – BlackBerry 7 OS.

The BlackBerry Bold 9900 arrives with a similar look and feel to the original Bold 9000, from 2008 and in the thinnest 10.8mm case on a BlackBerry phone to date. The handset ships with a Qwerty keyboard and a 287 DPI capacitive touch screen, a 1.2Ghz processor, 768MB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, a 5 megapixel camera capable of 720p HD video recording, with NFC built-in features and running from the new BlackBerry 7 OS.

RIM’s BlackBerry Torch 9810 builds on from last year’s Torch, with the same side-out Qwerty keyboard and a large touch screen – in the best of both worlds. The mobile phone arrives with 3.2-inch 253 DPI capacitive touch screen, the same 1.2Ghz CPU, memory setup and camera to be found in the Bold 9900 with the new BB7OS.

The last handset from Research In Motion falls under the Torch range only without a keyboard, in the BlackBerry Torch 9850 – with a 3.7-inch 253 DPI capacitive touch screen, the largest display deployed by RIM in a handset to date. The phone arrives with the same processor, memory, camera and platform as the other devices unveiled today.

All the new RIM handsets are due out over the next coming months, although no prices have been announced as yet - OMR believes we will be hearing from various networks soon.


The next most significant piece was when One Mobile Ring exclusively published hands-on images of the BlackBerry Curve 9360 here, which is the successor to the Curve 3G 9300 from 2010.


The third largest news item came from Alpha Telecom, who has launched Alpha Mobile, which is offering unlimited calling to outside of the UK on a pay as you go SIM for just £30 a month.

Alpha Mobile has just started up with the backing of Vodafone, where it is aiming to be in 90,000 stores in the UK by the end of the year and provide affordable call rates to all corners of the world.

The unlimited international pre-paid calling package is reportedly the first of its kind, whilst offering up access to 78 different countries’ landlines and in 19 of them, mobile phone numbers too.

This deal is built upon Alpha Telecom’s 16-year heritage in the landline arena, where it has launched Alpha Mobile to deliver the same quality and low-cost services to the mobile phone market.


The following most significant story was when HTC announced that Android ‘Gingerbread’ 2.3 is now available, for their former flagship HTC Desire handset from last year.

HTC has made public this news over Facebook, from their HTC UK account and in a message that reads – ‘ Hey guys, we’re happy to announce that Gingerbread for Desire is here! Please visit our Developer website to access the download.’

The post goes on to state, ‘As we’ve mentioned, this upgrade will remove some important functionality and experiences in your HTC Desire. For that reason, we only recommend upgrading if you’re an expert user or developer. Please make sure to read the full disclaimer about the changes if you do decide to upgrade.’

Implementing this update isn’t performed in the usual way from the Over The Air (OTA) method, as the 161MB file for upgrading has to downloaded to a computer and then installed via a USB cable – in a much older methodology, that hasn’t been used for some time by HTC.


The fifth biggest piece was Nokia announced the Nokia 500, a handset with a 1Ghz processor and running from the latest Symbian ‘Anna’ OS.

Nokia’s 500 heralds in a new era for the mobile phone manufacturer with a new naming convention for the company, in dropping the prefix letter and just relying solely on numbers instead.

The 500 boasts the fastest processor found in a Symbian run mobile phone with a 1Ghz CPU, where even the flagship N8 and E7 only arrived with a 680Mhz chipset.

The Nokia 500 isn’t even a top tier handset, as the phone is branded as an entry level mobile by the Finnish fone maker – despite arriving with a 3.2-inch 640x360 capacitive touch screen, a 5 megapixel camera, 2GB of internal memory and support for 32GB microSD cards.

Nokia’s 500 will ship with three different colour backs in the retail box, with a cost attached of 150 Euros or £130 when the mobile phone arrives in Q3 of this year.


The next most significant news came when Binatone launched an update to their HomeSurf Android tablet, in the HomeSurf 705 – priced at only £99.95.

Binatone are well-known for developing quality and low-cost consumer technology, where the HomeSurf 705 tablet arrives with a decent set features and the ability to surfing the web, checking emails, connecting with friends on Facebook, watch movies, listening to music or read a book and with a very affordable cost attached.

Binatone’s HomeSurf 705 tips up with a 7-inch TFT 800x480 resistive touch screen, 2GB of internal memory and a microSD card slot, WIFI ‘N’ and running from Android ‘Éclair’ 2.1.

HomeSurf 705 has a built-in G-Sensor, screen auto rotation, stereo speakers, with 10 hours of audio playback, 4 hour video playback, 6 hour eBook reading time or 5 hour internet browsing time from its battery.


The seventh largest story was T-Mobile launching the You Fix contract, which is a new low-cost monthly tariff that includes elements from pay as you go price plans.

T-Mobile’s new You Fix contract allows the user to actually top up the monthly tariff with more minutes and text messages, in the same way that a prepaid price plan operates.

This combination of a pay as you go and monthly tariff is a unique proposition to T-Mobile, where You Fix offers up the best of both worlds and on a short affordable 12-month contract.

You Fix is offered in three flexible deals, where £15.50 per month provides 75 minutes and 75 text message bundle; £20.50 a month delivers 100 minutes and a 100 text message allowance, where £26 per month is accompanied by 300 minutes and a 300 text message bundle.

There are also bundled in T-Mobile Flexible Boosters, where any one of seven free regular bolt-ons can be included, such as internet access, unlimited landline and international calling.


The following most significant item came from Expansys, who has opened up the pre-ordering of the world’s first MeeGo handset, from Nokia.

MeeGo is a joint mobile device operating system venture between the CPU manufacturer Intel and the Finnish fone company Nokia, after Intel’s Moblin and Nokia’s Maemo projects were merged together in 2010.

MeeGo is an open source Linux-based platform, in much the same way as Android was borne and could be used for a wide range of devices such as tablets and not just mobile phones.

The N9 was announced back in June and as the first MeeGo mobile phone to ever ship. The handset arrives with a 3.9-inch AMOLED 854x480 capacitive touch screen and the fastest processor seen in a Nokia device, which has been matched of late by the Nokia entry-level Symbian ‘Anna’ 500 phone.

Nokia’s N9 tips up with an 8 megapixal dual LED flash camera, with 16GB of internal memory, NFC capabilities and version 1.2 of MeeGo.


The penultimate piece of news was when Huawei unveiled a new flagship handset in the Vision, which arrives with a 3D user interface and in a similar ilk to LG’s Optimus 3D phone.

The Huawei Vision is said to be the most stylish and advanced smartphone in their arsenal handsets to date, which features a 3D animated carousel user-interface and home screen panels, with a fast processor and OS.

Huawei’s Vision handset arrives with an aluminium unibody design, measuring just 9.9mm at its thinnest point and weighing in at around 121g.

The mobile phone has a 3.7-inch capacitive multi-touch screen, whilst being powered by a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM 8255 processor, a 5 megapixel camera that is capable of HD 720p video recording, with a 512M RAM and 2GB of storage memory.

Vision will ship running from the Android ‘Gingerbread’ 2.3 OS, with a 3D UI and preloaded with 3D games that include Angry Birds, Asphalt 6: Adrenaline, Order & Chaos and Guerilla Bob HD.


Lastly, OMR caught up with Research In Motion at the launch event of the new all-touch BlackBerry Torch 9850/9860 for this hands-on video seen here, which is the first full touch screen BlackBerry since the Storm 2 came out in 2009.

The Torch 9850/9860 has the largest screen seen in a RIM handset, in 3.7-inch inches, with a 1.2Ghz processor, 768MB of RAM, 8GB of internal memory whilst running from the BB7OS platform.


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