Omio News Blog

Monthly Archives: March 2009

ZTE Gunning For Top 5 Mobile Maker Spot

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The top of the mobile manufacturer tree has been a bit of a boys club for many years, with the usual suspects jostling for podium positions.

Nokia, LG, Motorola, Sony Ericsson and Samsung phones have ruled the roost for far too long according to Chinese maker ZTE, and they are very close to doing something about it!

Never heard of them? Well, they produce handsets on behalf of some of the biggest names including Vodafone, T-Mobile, Australia’s Telstra and Hutchinson/3, and with 45 million handsets shipped in 2008, they are gaining ground whilst some of the biggest players flounder in the face of the economic downturn.

With all segments from high-end Windows smartphones to the grass roots handset catered for, it seems that ZTE have all bases covered and are on track for their prediction of shipping 60 million handsets in 2009. To put it in perspective, Sony Ericsson shipped 93.4 million phones in 2008, so it isn’t impossible to achieve!

History has plenty of examples showing the market penetration a great handset can get you. HTC struck gold with another precious mineral in the Touch Diamond, and the HTC Touch HD continues to be a huge seller…it shows that David can sometimes beat the Goliaths of the mobile industry!

Source: Cellular News

Samsung Instinct Mini Officially Revealed

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Samsung have officially revealed their Instinct Mini, otherwise known as the S30. The phone is the follow-up to the original Sprint Instinct.

The announcement was first made on Samsung’s Korean site.

The big official unveiling is expected to take place at the International CTIA  2009 Wireless Convention in the next couple of weeks.

The Instinct S30 was first spotted in the wild way back at the beginning of March, but it took until the end of the month for Samsung to confirm that the S30 was a replacement, not simply a compact version of the original.

Along with the touch screen there will be the same GPS, EVDO Rev.A and Bluetooth of its predecessor.

Source: SlashGear

LG Arena KM900 Tips And Tricks!

Mobile Choice offers a few nifty tricks and tips for the brand spanking new LG Arena. True story, they call them nifty and nifty they are!

Ways shown to get the most out of your Arena include setting alarms, editing your favourite contacts, and music library syncing. They are all covered in detail by Natasha Stokes, Editor of Mobile Choice. Check it out!

Not fallen in love already? Then check out our LG Arena reviews to see what we thought!

Earth Secrets iPhone App: Share Your Most Intimate Thoughts With The Planet!

earth secrets

If you are a nosey person or if you have a secret weighing heavy on your heart that needs to be told, Earth Secrets is possibly the best iPhone app ever!

The app allows you to fly all over the world and read other peoples’ most personal secrets. You can:

* Fly over the planet and discover other people secrets
* Touch the globe to reveal the secrets
* Post your secrets ‘anonymously’
* Hug people to express your compassion and sympathy
* See how many people have read your secret and how many times you have been hugged
* Keep track of the most beautiful and touching secrets in the ‘my hugs’ section
* Discover wonderful earth animations
* Browse the top 10 secrets

If you want to virtually hug secret-blabbing strangers, this is the app to do it, for free!

Download Earth Secrets here.

Orange Vegas Touchscreen Phone

Orange are getting ready to sell one of the world’s most affordable touch screen smart phones, the Orange Vegas.

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The handset is dual band GSM/GPRS and features a 2.4 inch TFT touchscreen display. The phone is retailing for only €69 on Pay As You Go, making it one of the cheapest touch-screen phones you can buy.

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The phone also has:

  • Bluetooth
  • MP3 Player
  • FM radio
  • 1.3MP camera
  • 64MB of internal memory
  • 1GB MicroSD card
  • Talk time: up to 3 hours
  • Stand by time: up to 7 days
  • 84 grams

The Orange Vegas is already available in black and pink on Orange’s UK website but isn’t available to buy quite yet. It’s expected to go on sale in European markets first of all.


Motorola Hint QA30: Rubbish Name For A Rubbish Phone?

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Is the branding department of Motorola so lazy that now all they do to decide on a name for their new handset, is just to flick through a dictionary and choose a random page and use the first word they look at it. In the old days Motorola phones had good names: the RAZR for instance.

I’m not a fan of the name and Boy Genius certainly aren’t fans of the phone, pointing towards its clunkiness and low-spec features (2 megapixel camera, might as well just do a charcol sketch if you want to capture an image). However they do make a concession, saying it is the next best thing to a smartphone and would be suitable for those who haven’t got the money to splash out on a fancy touchscreen, device.

Boy Genius Report

Windows Mobile Marketplace Screenshots Revealed!

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Plenty of the products and innovations hinted at during this year’s Mobile World Congress are much closer to become a reality, and the players at this year’s CTIA Wireless Expo in Vegas are already offering up loads of new information!

These are the first images showing what the Windows Marketplace will look like, giving Windows Mobile owners a quick and easy download portal on their phones.

There is a screen reminiscent of the App Store’s ‘Best Of’, showing links to a showcase of apps, as well as new releases and a chance to see them broken down by category.

microsoft-ctia-09-0061

Following on from that is a shop front which seems to be an amalgam of the Android Market five-star rating system, and the chance to see the number of people who have rated an app. The prices are clear to see, a mixture of paid and free apps are available but we are yet to see how transactions will actually take place.

Nevertheless, it is interesting to see Microsoft fighting back with an impressive interface in WinMo 6.5, and attempting to make their phones more accessible to everyone.

Source: PocketNow

HTC Magic Released On Vodafone May 1

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Vodafone’s exclusive Android phone, the HTC Magic, will be available to UK customers from 1 May.

It’s the second phone from Google’s open source Android platform; the first of which was the G1 phone.

Along with the new release date, the Magic has been given a new name – the HTC Magic Pioneer. Quite why the name has changed is anyone’s guess.

Vodafone will be offering the phone for free on £25 a month contracts.


Pigeons Fly Mobile Phones To Prisoners

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Brazilian prisoners have turned to carrier pigeons to handle their communications.

Prison guards have intercepted two carrier pigeons from detainees at a Prison in Sorocaba, 62 miles from Sao Paolo, a spokesman for the state penitentiary system said.

The pigeons were found by guards outside the prison walls. They hadn’t had quite enough time to make it into the prison building. When the pigeons were caught, each bird was found to be carrying a small bag containing a phone and a charger.

Carrier pigeons are often used in Brazil to smuggle contraband inside prisons where the goods are then traded to win favours inside.

But what I really want to know is how the conversion rate works. What’s the going rate for a Bold?

What phone makes you top dog in the clink?

A Nokia N96? A Tocco Ultra? A “jailbreaked” iPhone, perhaps?

Samsung Tocco Ultra vs. Samsung Lucido: The Italian Duo

samsung_lucido_300With their first phone to embrace a bit of the Mediterranean going down so well, the new Samsung Tocco Ultra and Samsung Lucido continue the theme by being linguistic translations of ‘touch’ and ‘sleek’ respectively.

Do they have the red-blooded fire to earn their Italian names, or are they just dressed-up Eurotrash?

The Samsung Tocco Ultra and Lucido definitely have the Italian sense of fashion, both gorgeous handsets from a technical as well as a design perspective. The Tocco Ultra goes for the slider form factor whilst the Lucido is a candy bar, but they both have a common angular look with coloured accenting.

The Samsung Lucido is a Gallardo to the Tocco Ultra’s Lamborghini Murcielago, cheaper and less powerful yet still very much a refined and desirable machine. A quad-band GSM device, the S7220 Lucido is as sleek as the name suggests, an 11.8mm thin handset with a 2.2″ QVGA AMOLED display, a 5 megapixel autofocus camera, stereo FM radio and a robust media player, as well as GPS navigation with Google Maps.

An SD card slot allows you to rev up your memory, whilst Bluetooth 2.1 and USB 2.0 mean your accessories will have a good home here.

To manage to contain all of that horsepower in such a beautiful shell maintains the analogy, and when it starts off the line in UK stores (S7220 Lucido deals in today on Omio!), we will see if it has what it takes to reach the chequered flag!

tocco-ultraThe Samsung Tocco Ultra is a far more intimate affair, buoyed by the original handset’s touch credentials this phone goes a lot further towards making an impact in the high end market.

The engine is a lot bigger in this one with a 2.8″ AMOLED touchscreen display, a slide-out numerical keypad, an 8 megapixel autofocus camera with dual LED flash and geotagging, VGA video recording at 30fps, a media player + an RDS equipped FM radio and Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP.

Shortcomings lie in the slightly weedy 80MB of internal memory. They are certainly to throw some more memory at it via an SD card, but it will need to be at least 8GB to turn heads these days. Luckily it does have support for the bulkier SDHC format,  handling cards up to 16GB!

Let’s not overlook the amazing touch interface pioneered on the original Tocco, with widgets and a very responsive set of menus.

The ability to choose between using a touchscreen or a traditional keypad makes the Tocco Ultra a perfect ‘gateway’ handset for those looking to make the move into finger-based territory.

Both are great phones, but which has the flair to be numero uno? Well, it depends entirely on whether you prefer day-to-day functionality or a bit more of a unique experience…. The Lucido is a great handset, but the Tocco Ultra edges ahead with that little bit extra to make it feel special – certainly a weekend drive rather than a regular runabout.