Omio News Blog

Monthly Archives: October 2009

Sony Ericsson Xperia X5 Pureness Unboxing: Transparent Concept Phone Revealed

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The ‘Xperia’ brand is about all about head-turning looks for Sony Ericsson, and the new Pureness takes that luxurious sense of style to a mid-range handset for the first time.

Exuding cool through a lens of Dynasty-level opulence, the Xperia Purness is certainly…unique looking, as this unboxing from MobileBurn will attest.

Coming in a box that looks like your dad’s best aftershave, the Xperia Pureness (repeatedly referred to as the X5 in the video) is boxy, brazen and bold, the black monolith posing as a monument to bleeding edge fashion.

The retro monochrome display projected onto frosted glass, irremovable battery and lack of high end features might cause the masses to steer clear of the Pureness, if not then the £530 SIM-free price tag certainly will.

To all intents and purposes a PAYG Sony Ericsson handset in a Vivienne Westwood gown, the Sony Ericsson X5 Pureness definitely continues the Xperia tradition of high-end innovation in a market of ‘me-too’ phones.

A UK release date is yet to be announced.

BREAKING NEWS: iTunes 9.0.2 Update Disables Palm Pre Sync…Again.

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In a shocking twist to this seemingly endless game of cat-and-mouse, the latest update to Apple’s iTunes software (9.0.2) disables the ability of the Palm Pre to sync music and movies using the platform.

Whilst this latest update is said to offer all sorts of whizzy new features to iTunes 9 and improved support for Apple TV, an unfortunate side effect (if you are Palm) is that it has severed their connection once again…

Despite the diminutive handset having basic synching software of its own, Palm’s device has piggybacked off the popular iTunes service since launch, even making it a selling point to convince customers to defect from iPhone 3G and the House of Jobs.

At every turn Apple has attempted to thwart this, claiming that the Pre’s method of masquerading as an iPod to gain access was a violation of the use of the USB format.

Almost every iTunes update since has locked out the Pre from their digital download party, only for Palm to find a new way in with their own ‘Web OS’ software upgrades.

It is very likely that Palm will yet again try to restore the popular feature, as Apple’s big 9.0 update took their elite squad of ninjas mere hours to unravel.

Alternative apps for Pre synching do exist, but the robust nature and ease of use that iTunes offers for purchasing and transferring media is something even the most staunch Pre supporters find it tough to deny.

The strange dance continues…

VIDEO: Android 2.0 Installed On T-Mobile G1!

Just as we thought the plucky T-Mobile G1 was being left to languish in the ‘old phone’ drawer as the Motorola DROID grabs the world’s attention with Google Maps, a man named Akira Harada has given us all hope by porting the latest Android 2.0 update across to the original Google phone!

Whilst the update isn’t fully optimised, and the G1 does need to be “rooted” for this to work (instructions here), the video proof shows that it is a risk many will be willing to take for Android awesomeness.

Expect to see it on XDA Developers any time from now, and links to it from all over the internet about 3 minutes later.

Motorola DROID Instruction Manual Now Online!

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Eager to find out exactly what Motorola DROID and Android 2.0 has in store for lucky Americans on the 6th of November?

Well, someone has been kind enough to leak the entire instruction manual for our geeky perusal! Marvel at the location of the 3.5mm headset jack (on the top, surprisingly), gaze in wonder at the home screen and slide-out keyboard, and wonder longingly if it will see a UK release…

Eagle-eyed folk can spot little enhancements like Google voice search in the one-touch box, Google Maps Navigation, and the improved calendar and events functionality…we just saw an extensive PDF for an Android phone we desperately want, but can’t have…

View full Motorola DROID features.

Download the Motorola Droid User Guide here.

LG GW620 Android Phone Video Demo Shows Social Networking Done Right

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We know that Google Maps Navigation is to turn the smart phone (and GPS) market on its head, but what of mass market devices running Android?

Well, this video shows off the recently revealed LG GW620, Google’s operating system married to a spacious 5 row QWERTY keyboard, 3-inch touch screen and truly inspired social networking features in a cute device.

The merging of contact details to status streams from Facebook and Twitter is presented cleanly and simply with the SNS (Social Networking Service) manager, and the keyboard makes threaded messaging a breeze and smart phone level connectivity is offered in the form of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support..

Another cute feature is the facial recognition which notices people in photos and automatically creates a link between pics recounting nights of debauchery and their contact information. It may not be sporting the lastest Android 2.0 software, but it is still more than a match for mid-range mobile competition in terms of both features and flexibility…

Set for a UK launch in Q4, check out the LG GW620 features that have been revealed so far…details to follow.

Via Slashgear

LG GD510 Pop: Eco-Friendly Phone Now Available On Pay Monthly

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LG’s GD510 Pop, the cool handset that also boasts green credentials, is now available to purchase on pay monthly deals.

A mashup of the LG Arena‘s appealing looks and the entry-level pleasures offered by the KP501 Cookie, the LG GD510 Pop is geared entirely towards courting the normal consumer. With a simple design, 3-inch touch display and 3.15 megapixel camera, the Pop might be overlooked by tech geeks only to be taken to the bosom of those looking for an affordable, yet sexy device.

Bear in mind that this phone opts out of both wi-fi and 3G connectivity to keep costs at ground level, so don’t let the gorgeous form factor and slick S-Class user interface fool you into thinking the Pop is a fully-fledged smartphone.

The eco-friendly feature of the LG GD510 Pop comes in the form of an optional solar panel battery cover, affording a couple of minutes talktime from just ten minutes of charging in direct sunlight.

How much use that is to us with Blighty’s gloomy skies is doubtful, but other ideas like recycled packaging and a charger that saves energy by shutting down once the phone is juiced are practical wherever you are.

The deals curently available on Mobiles.co.uk are very impressive, full of free gift offers and half price line rental means that the Pop is as committed to saving your pennies as it is the planet.

A great offer is a free LG GD510 with 400 minutes and unlimited texts on an 18 month tariff for only £19.57 per month. The best part is that this offer also includes 9 months of half price line rental (by redemption), shaving the cost to under a tenner per month for part of the contract.

Check out the range of GD910 Pop offers on all networks here.

Sony Ericsson Satio On 3: 12MP Camera Phone Gets First PAYG Deals

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The popular Sony Ericsson Satio is now available on the 3 mobile network, following up a high profile release on the big four operators earlier in the month.

Sporting a 12 megapixel camera and a 3.5″ touchscreen form factor, the multimedia-savvy Satio is the perfect phone for budding paparazzi this winter.

The Sony Ericsson Satio deals on pay monthly are competitive 3 fare, costing £30 per month on a Mix-and-Match 18 month contract with a free handset.

That’s a combination of 300 minutes or texts, 300 minutes of calls to other 3 members, whilst an extra fiver a month nets you unlimited mail and web browsing on top.

Those with deeper pockets and a sense of Christmas cheer can also buy the Sony Ericsson Satio on Pay As You Go for the first time, at a cost of £399.99.

Both prepay and pay monthly offer 3′s Skype calling and Windows Live Messenger functionality, and PAYG perks include a bundle of free texts, web allowances and 90 days of free voicemail.

The Satio is officially available on 3 from the 30th of October, but Omio deals seem to be in already so feel free to check them out.

Left 4 Dead 2 Viral Informs And Educates On Zombie Survival

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Frequent readers may know that one of my favourite pastimes is zombies, particularly the viewing of movies where zombies are contained therein.

This great viral short shows off numerous ways of handling the impending onslaught with a stiff upper lip, whilst also advertising PC/360 zombie survival ‘em up Left 4 Dead 2.

Going for the clever humour of Shaun of the Dead rather than the ultra-stylised comic violence of Zombieland, this video shows that us Brits will always have time for a spot of tea…as long as there’s milk.

Want to start swinging your frying pan down in the bayous of Louisiana? The demo for PC owners is available on Steam, whilst clever pre-ordering 360 folk should be getting their Left 4 Dead 2 demo fix right about…now.

The full game is out on the 20th of November.

Google Maps Navigation Brings Turn-By-Turn To Android Phones

In a brilliant move by Google which has seen share prices in GPS rivals Garmin and TomTom plummet, the search company has unveiled a new turn-by-turn navigation solution which integrates Street View, satellite imagery and even voice commands in one seamless service.

Oh, and it is coming for free to Android phones running the new 2.0 ‘Eclair’ software.

Demonstrated here on the gorgeous new Motorola DROID, Google Maps Navigation attempts to erase all of the frustrations leveled at current GPS systems in one fell swoop. See it in motion below!

Searches for destinations in plain English, 3-D satellite imagery that shifts into Street View for a real representation when nearing a location, even constantly updated points of interest and local traffic conditions show that Google are truly utilising the connectivity of mobile phones with Maps Navigation.

Users are even able to place their phone into a car dock, which fires up a simplified landscape user interface for use on the go.

The question is, when will Google be making all our journeys easier? Well, Google have said Maps Navigation will come for free with Android 2.0, which we know to be installed on the Motorola DROID (arriving on US network Verizon on November 6th)…as for when the UK will see it is still unclear.

Word has it that the HTC Hero is one phone which will be making the leap to Android 2.0, let’s hope that the new iteration of Maps makes it along for the ride!

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The second point is will this remain an Android exclusive? Whilst iPhone owners shell out for GPS apps that do a lot less yet charge a lot more money, does Google finally have a stand-out ‘killer’ feature for their mobile platform over Apple’s OS?

The iPhone 3GS could certain handle this on a technical level, but no beans have been spilled regarding porting the service across at this time.

“Apple is a close partner, and millions of users experience Google Maps on the iPhone,” said a Google spokesperson in a suitably cryptic e-mailed statement.

What is for certain is that Google Maps Navigation will soon providing a free service – without ads – that puts many competitors to shame. Those charging a monthly fee for the ‘privilege’ of us using GPS navigation on our phones will soon have to justify that against Google’s impressive yet data-hungry solution.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt said the update to Google Mobile Maps was not about devouring existing paid navigation services, but rather about fulfilling consumer needs.

“Anywhere we can provide a customer benefit, we’ll go after it,” Schmidt said.

We’ll see if that comment bears out by how long it takes to port Google Maps Navigation to other handsets, we think that this feature in Android’s Eclair update might be a little too tasty to share…

HTC HD2: UK Pricing And Availability Revealed

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Pricing and network details of HTC’s HD2 – the Taiwanese manufacturer’s flagship Windows phone with a massive 4.3″ touch display and superfast Snapdragon processor – has finally been made available.

The first pre-order HTC HD2 deals are now on Mobiles.co.uk, and it seems that the cutting edge handset will be coming to O2 at a range of price points.

A free HD2 is up for grabs provided you plump for a £40 per month, 2 year contract, whilst a shorter commitment lands you a heavier price tag…

On an 18-month tariff, you can pick up the HTC HD2 with 600 minutes and unlimited texts for a shade under £35 per month, with the handset costing a reasonable £79.99.

Whilst we’d been expecting the handset to appear a little earlier than this on O2, the svelte smartphone is said to be going through a few last minute testing phase before release.

Bringing a smooth, refined ease of use with the Sense user interface as well as the first phone to offer multi-touch with a capacitive display on Window Mobile 6.5, the HD2 will be a welcome arrival whatever the date.