Omio News Blog

Monthly Archives: December 2009

Sony Ericsson Satio Deals now available on PAYG

Want a feature packed super-phone, but don’t want to enter into any onerous contractual obligations? If so, you’ll be glad to hear that the Sony Ericsson Satio (formerly the Idou) is now available on PAYG.

Screen shot 2009-12-23 at 17.25.12

In a recent audit of Omio’s search traffic we found that the Satio was our third most popular phone -  attracting more clicks than the iPhone 3GS and only marginally less than the top two – the HTC HD2 & Hero.

Feature phones don’t come much more feature laden than the Sony Ericsson Satio, the centre-piece of which is a peerless 12.1 MP camera. Around that you’ve got 8GB of on board memory (upgradeable to 32GB), a massive 3.5 touchscreen, HSDPA-enable 3G, WiFi and Bluetooth, so you’re able to share with ease all the photos you take with all your social networks.

Suffice to say that when we first got our hands on the Satio last month we were mightily impressed.

New Nokia N900 Deals Ship Before Xmas!

Christmas is coming early for anyone keen to get their hands on Nokia’s flagship mobile device as we can now report that:

- the Nokia N900 is to ship tomorrow from retailers e2save & -

- Orders placed tomorrow should be with you by Tuesday 29th December -

With its Linux-based Maemo platform delivering a near desktop browsing experience, the N900 has had us salivating for a while now and it’s been an emotional roller coaster with release dates rolled back a number of times due to overwhelming demand.  However, with these latest Nokia N900 deals you could have one in your pocket in good time for NYE.

Going into 2010, the Nokia N900 is the must-have smartphone – pick it up NOW on either T-Mobile and Vodafone!

iPhone killing feature revealed…

You can bet that iPhone won’t have an app to match this:

Beckham Razor Phone

After spending the last couple of weeks scurrying around for gift ideas, I am kicking myself I didn’t see this gadget earlier, as reviewed by CNET Japan, in Japanese. Skip to page 4 for a video demonstration.

Just look at that finish! What more could a man want? Bizarrely, everyone featured in the advertising seem to have had their eyes blocked out, as if to protect their identity. Sorry, but if I had this sort of functionality at my fingertips I’d be shouting about it from the rooftops.

Screen shot 2009-12-23 at 11.20.57

Dvice via Wireless Watch Japan

Top 10 Mobile Phone Stories Of 2009 – Omio Round Up

As journalists run out of steam across the land, it’s time for top 10 lists of everything!

Whilst we have stopped short of doing a top 10 list of the best top 10s from other sites (although it’s still top of our ‘ideas’ pile), we have rather decided to round up some of the best mobile phone tales from the last twelve months.

Some are funny, others heartwarming, but all are quite literally mobile phone related in some way, shape or form. Hold on for an exciting ride!

1. Nokia N97 mini leaked early…by Vodafone forum?!


We loves us some mobile phone leakage here on Omio, where grainy pictures of unannounced phones and whispers from anonymous tipsters get our hearts racing on a daily basis.

However, when the diminutive pseudo-sequel to the Nokia N97 was unwittingly revealed by a Vodafone Ireland forum moderator of all people, we were beside ourselves!

Loose-lipped ‘Ev from Vodafone’ claimed that the network was holding off on snapping up the N97, instead opting for the attractively priced Nokia N97 Mini…which was unannounced at the time. Uh-oh!

Not only that, but he also revealed that Vodafone was not getting the Palm Pre (which ended up an O2 exclusive), and the arrival of the equally nebulous (at the time) BlackBerry Storm 2. This was back in June, months before either handset had seen the light of day…

Overzealous official mouthpieces privy to sensitive information – more of them please!


2. Palm Pre released in US and UK.

palm-pre1What many believed to be the first legitimate competition for the iPhone launched this year, with smart phone manufacturer Palm planning an ascension into the ranks with the sleek and sexy Pre, which went into stores this June.

Network spokesman Mark Elliott told The New York Times that neither Sprint nor Palm not only didn’t expect long lines for the Pre at its 1,100 stores, neither did they want them.

There may not have been queues round the block or tech geeks whipped into a frenzy by the Pre’s relatively muted launch, but critical acclaim was significant.

The Palm Pre sold steadily thanks to its appealing form factor, an intuitive user interface, and the addition of a full QWERTY keyboard offering the choice of touch and physical typing – one over the iPhone!

Arriving as an O2 exclusive in the UK might have done the curvaceous device as much harm and good, jostling for shelf space in the same shop that Apple’s iPhone was dominating made it a tough choice for consumers…

Still, it was a great phone, and a sign that iPhone’s lead was not unassailable. Sure, if you look at the facts then the Pre sold a mere 50,000 on it’s launch weekend against the 3GS’ one million plus – but what are you, the FBI?


3. Google Phone becomes a reality.

google-phone-coryobrien-twitterRumour has it that every time a mega-corporation does the exact opposite of what they state in official channels, a PR executive gets their wings.

With almost two years of constant chatter reinforcing the fact that Google would not be making a handset (given so many other manufacturers are on board with Android and are members of the Open Handset Alliance), the last thing we expected was a phone completely of their own.

Which they promptly went and did.

The Google Nexus One takes the Android name to a new level with a clever Blade Runner reference, tapping up HTC’s extensive mobile knowledge to build a handset that will showcase their operating system to its fullest.

Features are rumoured to include a super-fast processor, 3.7-inch AMOLED touchscreen display, 3D-graphics chip, Wi-Fi and a 5-megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash.

One thing is clear – this iPhone botherer means business.

What of the other companies that adopted Android to their bosom? A freshly resurrected Motorola will be shaken when Google gets into the hardware game, as they are staunch supporters relying on the Android technology for the DEXT and Droid/Milestone.

If Google’s Nexus One outspecs and undercuts offerings from phone manufacturers that were friends just five minutes ago, the Android landscape in 2010 might not be as lush and verdant for everyone as first thought…

Still, we’re waiting on Google for an official word (apparently a January launch is likely) and the Nexus One looks pretty awesome, so let battle commence!


4. Apple iPhone 3GS.


Apparently a new iPhone came out at some point this year. July, we think. It was pretty good.

It also sold a million units in three days.

Apple have changed the mobile phone hardware, software and developer landscape forever with the iPhone, and the 3GS simply continues to stretch the lead.

With more powerful performance, an improved camera, video recording capabilities and voice control, Apple got away with simply tweaking brilliance rather than reinventing the wheel.

If you think apps are silly and pointless, you may be right. But this advert for some of the winter warmers in the App Store will make non-iPhone owners mistletoe green with envy.

2009 also marked the end of 18 months of O2 exclusivity enabling Orange, Vodafone and Tesco Mobile owners to get in on the iPhone action. Even more customers than ever will get their chance to bow down at the Altar of Apple come January…


5. Nokia N900 changes the game.

Nokia_N900_38_lowresThis device almost slipped by us due to the choice of an entirely different operating system – Linux-based Maemo as opposed to the stalwart Symbian platform – as well as frequent protestations from Nokia that it was a computer rather than a mobile phone, which is (sort of) true.

Nevertheless, the Nokia N900 is the most exciting device to come out of Espoo for years.

Leaving S60 behind and opting for Maemo for their flagship phones makes the N900 a marked departure, finally offering a real contender to the swipe-happy mobiles other manufacturers have been wheeling out for some time.

The Nokia N900′s design credentials are far more in line with their internet tablet range, an solidly built slider with a 3-row QWERTY keyboard and little by way of flash and glamour…at least on the surface.

The mechanism is simple, and the 5-megapixel camera is almost identical in both feature and form to their current offering on the Nokia N97, but a lot of the N900′s grunt is below the surface…

The N900 bears all of the hallmarks of a Nokia device dragged willingly into the 21st Century with a cool minimalist interface, and awesome visual flourishes like overlaying current menu options whilst ‘frosting’ the screen behind.

Eschewing the shortcomings whilst evoking the spirit of S60, Maemo offers menu options in a structured fashion without the need for scrolling through a myriad of options, all selections are visible in a clear and concise fashion.

The ‘secret’ weapon in the N900′s armoury, however, is the Mozilla browser. For the those unfamiliar with the sub-category of internet tablets, the slickest mobile browsing experience they would have had is likely to be Safari on the iPhone. We certainly can’t knock it as the kinetic scrolling, the functionality and rendering speed on Apple’s device are all top notch.

This, however, is on another level. The size of the screen and speed of connectivity thanks to both Wi-Fi and HSDPA 3G means the Nokia N900 deals with this capably, but the full Flash 9.4 support and smooth scrolling on that native landscape display quickly reminds that you have never seen desktop-quality browsing on a mobile, until now.

If the Nokia N900 is any indication of the Finnish manufacturer’s intentions to recapture market share in 2010, we are on board.


6. March of the Androids.

androidAndroid completed its transition from smart phone operating system to, well, any phone operating system this year, with a bevy of low-cost handsets that made the most of the online connectivity Google’s platform has to offer.

The HTC Tattoo went all old-school Nokia with changeable covers and extreme customisation, whilst the T-Mobile Pulse gave Android a once-over and came up with a novel user interface.

The Samsung Galaxy proved the Korean manufacturer was making its first tentative steps into the fray, whilst Motorola (see below) jumped in with both feet into Android’s open (source) waters.

With Sony Ericsson pinning their smartphone hopes on the XPERIA X10 next year, a host of new handsets from favourite son HTC and Google throwing their own hat into the ring with the Nexus One, it’s safe to say that Android has forced the competition to up their operating system game.

Thankfully they are doing, as Nokia promises a revamped Symbian interface and Samsung are showing off their new app-friendly ‘bada’ platform. As consumers expect more from their phones at every price point, manufacturers are being forced to meet those demands.

Arguably, it was Android’s availablility in the prepay sector and in the sub-£100 mobile phone category that has forced this.

Kudos to Google, but we are yet to see what their end-game is…sink Windows Mobile, perhaps?


7. Hello again, Moto!

motorola_milestone1Just as we thought we’d seen the end of the American phone maker, Motorola bounces back with two great handsets powered by Google’s Android operating system.

Flying headlong into this new platform with great aplomb paid off handsomely as the Motorola Dext became part of the social networking zeitgeist, with the ability to tweet and update to your heart’s content, directly from the phone’s home screen.

The DROID (known to answer to ‘Milestone‘ in Europe, depending on who’s asking…) was the heavy hitter in Moto’s ’09 arsenal, a hulking monolith of black, gold and touchscreen testosterone.

Combined with a refreshingly aggressive anti-iPhone stance and the latest build of Google’s OS under the hood, the DROID turned heads, was well received by the press and sold pretty handsomely.

As an aside, check out the difference in adverts for the DROID in the US compared to those for our refined European sensibilities…

Whilst currently available SIM-free in the UK from eXpansys, we wait with baited breath to see what the carriers make of Moto’s phone with a cardiac muscle hewn from Fort Knox bullion…


8. T-Mobile merges with Orange to create mobile network super group.

A few months on, and we still cannot fathom the enormity of the merger between T-Mobile and Orange.

With German firm Deutsche Telekom effectively offloading their UK arm to Orange’s owner France Telecom, this is set to create a carrier with almost 29 million customers and generating over £8 billion in sales.

This is a big deal.

Imagine Nintendo buying Sega (well, the old Sega), and you get some idea of the scale of what’s going on between the two corporations. Although, seeing Mario and Sonic on the same game box today still turns my stomach.

With changes remaining superficial at present, the ramifications of the shift will become apparent when the merger’s ‘efficiencies’ come into play…

More Orange stores popping up, price changes due to decreased competition – the UK mobile phone landscape is bound to change significantly as time goes on.

How it affects consumers currently residing on these networks remains to be seen.


9. HTC Hero takes home the silverware.

htc_hero_3Winner of Phone of the Year awards from both Mobile Choice and Pocket-Lint, Gadget of the Year according to Stuff Magazine and an Editor’s Choice plaudit from CNET UK.

The HTC Hero took the Android operating system, buffed it up to a sheen, performing hardware miracles all the while.

Presenting itself as a customisable, connected and indie alternative to the white earbud brigade, the HTC Hero was the perfect handset to epitomise the iPhone backlash.

Distinctive without aping Apple’s operating system at every turn, fun and functional with both Microsoft Exchange and Twitter support, and with a host of applications to download from the Android Market, the Hero was the perfect antidote to the touchscreen ennui that was beginning to pervade the market.

Unique in terms of design too, the Hero managed to be cool, and build its own niche in HTC’s soon-to-be burgeoning range of successful handsets.

All eyes are now on the ‘HTC Bravo,’ a smartphone sequel rumoured for a Q2 2010 launch, said to continue the Hero’s Google alliance but married to the HD2′s expansive display and minimalist looks.

A recipe for a winner we say. Time to clear the mantlepiece for some ’10 awards, perhaps?


10. Omio tariff comparison.

Had to sneak in some Omio product placement somewhere!

If you haven’t noticed, Omio now has tariff data for all 500,000 + deals, meaning if you’re looking for unlimited data, text deals or some decent cross-network minute offers, you’re now able to sort through and find them easier than ever before.

It’s small, but significant changes like these that make us the number one mobile phone comparison website!

iPhone On Vodafone: Release Date and Pricing Revealed

iPhone Vodafone

Everyone expecting Vodafone to be throwing free iPhone 3Gs from the rooftops can calm down…

The fourth network to garner rights to sell the iPhone has just announced a release date, with Vodafone to start selling the handset from 14th January 2010, albeit at some pretty familiar prices.

The original iPhone 3G is available for free from £35 on a 24-month plan (and £40 on an 18 month deal), whilst the 16GB 3GS’ pricing is the usual affair of being free on a 24-month £45 tariff, and gratis if you shell out £50 on an 18 month offering.

12 month and pay-as-you-go iPhone deals are currently off the menu, but the side orders of 1GB of mobile internet, unlimited wi-fi and unlimited Vodafone-to-Vodafone calls are still pretty appetising. With Orange offering a fair usage limit of 750MB, Vodafone come off as almost generous.

Pre-orders are open now on the Vodafone site, and compare pretty favorably with deals currently available from Orange and O2. Check back on our iPhone deals page very soon to compare Apple offerings from all the big networks!

Perhaps the iPhone arriving on Tesco Mobile might finally throw the price point cat amongst the pigeons… Oh. It didn’t.

Mobile Phones | Best Mobile Phone Deals Compared | Omio UK

As 2009 comes to a close, we thought it a good time to pore over some of the best mobile phones to be released over the past year.

From super-hot smartphones to fashionable feature handsets, join us as we select the few that stood head and shoulders above the rest!

Picture 2

HTC Hero

The strong design, slick social networking skills and beautiful implementation of the Android operating system with the ‘Sense’ UI has seen the HTC Hero snag an armful of ‘Best Phone’ awards this year, and rightly so.

Packing a 5-megapixel autofocus camera, 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen and GPS in a unique, angular form factor, the Hero is possibly the best phone to demonstrate what Google’s new operating system is really capable of.

Winning the hearts and minds of those not swayed by the iPhone, the Hero is easily the next best thing.

Check out the latest HTC Hero deals!




Representing Windows Mobile as the Hero has for Android, the ‘wow’ factor of the HTC HD2 is definitely marrying Microsoft’s mobile operating system to that mammoth 4.3-inch touchscreen display.

Bringing the smooth, refined Sense user interface as well as the first phone to offer multi-touch on Windows Mobile 6.5, the HTC HD2 is equally at home being a business device as it is a multimedia powerhouse.

With a 5-megapixel lens and dual-LED flash, GPS and support for apps thanks to Marketplace for Mobile, the HD2 is the perfect poster boy for the next generation of Windows phones.

Check out the latest HTC HD2 deals here!



Apple iPhone 3GS

Getting the design so right first time has given Apple the ability to reiterate rather than revolutionise, and the iPhone 3GS is the second update to the groundbreaking formula.

Expanding on the iconic device with a 3 megapixel camera, video recording, voice controls and up to 32GB of storage, the Apple iPhone 3GS is able to do it all, faster.

View the latest iPhone deals here!


Picture 1

Samsung Genio Touch

The Samsung Genio Touch continues the popular range with a cheap and cheerful handset that brings touch screen joy without the price tag.

The 2.8-inch display offers the same TouchWiz user interface spotted on higher end devices, and with customizable covers as well as a 2 megapixel camera, the Genio Touch punches above its weight in terms of both looks and specs and has customers snapping it up in droves.

Check out the cheapest Samsung Genio Touch deals here!



Sony Ericsson Satio

A 12.1 megapixel wielding device that combines the strongest features of the Cybershot range, the Sony Ericsson Satio compliments them with the latest Walkman functionality, wrapping them together with a slick full touch Symbian powered user interface.

The 3.5″ display is clear, crisp and responsive to the touch, and the built-in 3G connectivity and GPS set it amongst the strongest smartphone contenders.

Strong advertising and an arresting form factor have seen the Satio fly off the shelves in the last few weeks, and showing little sign of slowing down.

Check out the latest Satio deals here!



Palm Pre

Already a million-seller in the United States, the Palm Pre is a well-kitted device with a 3.1-inch touchscreen and 3.1 megapixel camera, a socially savvy handset that pulls contact information to be automatically from networking sites including Facebook.

The combination of cute pebble-shaped design, slide-out QWERTY keyboard and the debut of their smooth new ‘Web OS’ user interface has been snapped by many shoppers looking for a worthy alternative to Apple’s iPhone.

View the best Palm Pre deals here!



Nokia 5800 XpressMusic

The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic is the epitome of cool by committee. With a plectrum for a stylus, endorsement from today’s fashionable young things and a full touch interface, the 5800 was bound to be a hit.

A music phone at heart, the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic ticks all the specs boxes with 3G connectivity, Wi-Fi support, a 3.2 megapixel camera and a hefty 3.2-inch high resolution touch display.

Your music selection is handled by an 8GB memory card, and a 3.5mm audio jack means that your favourite headphones can be plugged in with little trouble.

Outselling the iPod at one point as the UK’s biggest music player, the 5800 is one hot handset.

Check out the latest Nokia 5800 XpressMusic deals here!



Nokia N900

A late entry for the new flagship phone from Nokia, as the N900 just makes it to stores in time to be a late Xmas present.

Taking cues from Nokia’s range of internet tablets, the N900 delivers a close-to-desktop browsing experience, as well as offering cutting edge smart phone functionality.

The N900’s gorgeous 3.5″ touchscreen, slide-out QWERTY keyboard and 5 megapixel Carl Zeiss lens all impress, but it is the brand new experience that Nokia’s Linux-based Maemo platform offers that has early adopters in a frenzy.

Take a look at the latest Nokia N900 deals here!



LG Chocolate BL40

The latest in LG’s exclusive Black Label series, the BL40 boasts a 4″ LED touch screen, a 5-megapixel autofocus camera and an exciting new user interface.

Watch movies without the borders and browse web pages in all their horizontal glory, thanks to the screen’s unique 21:9 widescreen ratio, also giving the Chocolate BL40 an tasty form factor.

The quirky shape and multimedia credentials have definitely given shoppers a sweet tooth in recent months, with the Chocolate selling strongly since its September release.

Check out the latest LG Chocolate BL40 deals here!



Blackberry Curve 8520

Courting the casual user and breaking taboos seem to be the primary aims of the Curve 8520, getting rid of the famous trackball and replacing it with optical pad, and also becoming the first to have BlackBerry dedicated media buttons.

The Curve 8520 is still very much a messaging device, sporting the familiar QWERTY keyboard and e-mail functionality that the Blackberry brand has become famous for.

With additions like BlackBerry App World and a headphone jack to appeal to feature phone fans, the Curve 8520 strikes the perfect balance of fashion accessory and connected device.

Check out our BlackBerry Curve 8520 deals!

Nokia 5235: Comes With Music Comes On The Cheap


The Nokia 5235 Comes With Music takes the Finnish manufacturer back into familiar territory, a bargain touchscreen smartphone with plenty of musical clout.

Echoing the form factor of the popular 5230 and 5800 XpressMusic phones whilst sharing software seen on the high-end Nokia X6, the Nokia 5235 is equipped with the all-you-can-eat Comes With Music download service, which offers 12 months of unlimited downloads.

The Nokia 5235 is a 3G device that packs a 3.2″ resistive display, a 2 megapixel camera, FM radio, Bluetooth support (although no Wi-Fi), a 3.5mm audio jack and support for the Ovi Store. Memory comes in the form of microSD card support for up to 16GB, plenty of space for music and movies but none is supplied with the device.

The price is the most appealing factor about this device, an RRP of £129 (€145) is great value for a impressive touchscreen handset and tons of tunes on your mobile from Comes With Music.

Arriving in both black and silver colourways, the Nokia 5235 is earmarked for a Q1 2010 release date.

Sony Ericsson Elm, Hazel: Impressive Feature Phones With A Greenheart

Proving that their eco-initiative was more than a bandwagon jumping exercise, Sony Ericsson have announced two more phones under the Greenheart banner, the decidedly wooden Elm and Hazel.

Sony Ericsson GreenHeart phones, as the name implies, are intended to be more environmentally friendly, reducing emissions in both their production and transportation onto shop shelves.

Thankfully, the Elm and Hazel haven’t skimped on specs in order to earn their green credentials, both boasting strong multimedia features and functionality.

Picture 10

The Sony Ericsson Hazel inherits many features that debuted in the Aino, and is an impressive convergent device that offers the best in both camera functionality and connectivity.

A 5 megapixel camera with LED flash makes short work of photo opportunities, and connectivity comes in the form of custom apps that bring Facebook, Twitter and YouTube directly to your homescreen.

Wi-Fi connectivity and GPS are impressive aditions, with Google Maps and Wisepilot navigation software included out of the eco-friendly box.

Microsoft Exchange support for mail means that the Hazel brings some green to your work inbox, and well as syncing to your contacts and calendar with ActiveSync.

Made from recycled plastics and built without hazardous chemicals, the Sony Ericsson Hazel still makes call quality take centre stage with Noise Shield technology, filtering out ambient sound around you.

The Sony Ericssson Elm looks similar to the Hazel albeit with a candybar rather than a slider form factor, sharing many of the head-turning and planet-saving features.sony_ericsson_elm_front40_metalblack_latin

Continuing clever Greenheart touches such as an e-manual and smaller packaging, the Elm also bundled with a charger than uses less electricity and powers down once done charging.

The Walk Mate eco application works out how much CO2 you’re saving by walking instead of taking the wheels to work, and enables you to work out your contribution to the global crusade.

The Sony Ericsson Hazel and Elm will be available in Q2 2010, with prices yet to be confirmed.

Get The Most From Your iPhone: Know Your Mobile Releases Tips Application


So, you’re one of the lucky few to get an iPhone in your Xmas stocking, how do you get the hang of the swipes, pokes and flicks that turn it from just another mobile into a must-have accessory?

Thankfully, as the incessant adverts state, there’s an app for that.

Broken up into tips, tricks, reviews and news, the Know Your Mobile iPhone App is an exhaustive resource that can teach something to any Apple convert from mobile phone novice to touchscreen veteran.

From using the camera to enabling photo messaging, customising the home screen and finding your way with Google Maps, the £1.19 application offers tons of insider information on how to really make your brand new iPhone 3G (or iPhone 3GS) sing!

Once you’ve earned your stripes, explore over 400 reviews of the latest and greatest iPhone applications, each with links directly to the App Store if any take your fancy.

With regular updates directly from the Know Your Mobile website, the Tips application will grow and develop with you, giving you access to the freshest iPhone news for a bargain price!

If you haven’t yet bought an iPhone for a loved one, check out our latest Apple iPhone deals!

Mobile Tips - iPhone Tips, Tricks, Reviews and News from Know Your Mobile

INQ Chat 3G On Sale Now: QWERTY Messaging Mobile Released On 3UK


The INQ Chat 3G, a social networking sidekick which aims to take instant messaging mobile, is now available on the 3 network.

Exclusive to the web-savvy carrier, the Chat 3G brings a full QWERTY keyboard and the suite of online functionality that INQ phones are now famous for – Windows Live Messenger, Skype and Facebook are ready out of the box, but the cute handset keeps you even more connected with added Twitter support and push mail.

Available on pay monthly from £15, the sweetest of the INQ Chat 3G deals are on pay-as-you-go, coming in at only £99.99.

With customisable covers, widget homescreen and support for iTunes, the Chat 3G is the ideal stocking filler for the chatterbox in your family!