Omio News Blog

Monthly Archives: March 2010

LG Cookie Fresh Gets Pricing And Release Date, Oh So Colourful

LG are about to drop another handset for their ‘Cookie’ series, the LG GS290 Cookie Fresh.

The Cookie Fresh is a cheaper alternative to the already announced LG GS500 Cookie Plus and looks set to give Samsung’s popular Genio range a run for their money, with an unlocked price of £109.99 and a May 17th release date.

The Cookie Fresh offers some decent entry-level specs of a 2 megapixel camera, 3.2-inch 240×400 pixel touchscreen and a 3.5mm headphone jack. On the outside it comes in a range of colourways – 16 in total – so you can pick whatever scheme suits your fancy!

Other features include Bluetooth 2.0 technology, 2G EDGE network connectivity, and support for up to 16GB of SD card memory.

Plenty of lovely and affordable pay monthly LG Cookie Fresh deals should follow soon after.


UPDATE: HTC Legend Now In Stock – Also Available On Orange And O2

UPDATE: The normally elusive HTC Legend is now also available on O2 and Orange, thanks to BuyMobilePhones combining an unlocked handset with some attractive SIM-only deals. So if the Vodafone exclusivity was steering you clear from snapping up the Android wonder, fret no more!

The HTC Legend is now available to purchase from the major retailers, with stock now available to purchase on DialAPhone, Phones4U and BuyMobilePhones.

Whilst easily the most attractive handset available this quarter, the gorgeous Legend has Google’s Android operating system on board, and a nice line in user interfaces with HTC’s own Sense UI.

Much of the features remain similar to the Desire, HTC’s other Android beauty, albeit this time with a little less grunt under the hood as a 600MHz as opposed to 1GHz processor handles events in the Legend.

The 3.2-inch AMOLED touch screen is vivid as ever, the camera is a 5-megapixel affair with autofocus and flash and the holy trinity of Wi-FI, GPS and Bluetooth are catered for, making the Legend a solid all-rounder.

Phones4U have the slick device available from £25 per month, with a free handset, 300 minutes and 3000 texts into the bargain. Those looking to shave a little of their monthly fees would do well to check out BuymobilePhones, who also have stock ready to go as well as automatic cashback offers.

Compare all the HTC Legend deals here, and read how much we enjoyed it in our HTC Legend review.

iPhone HD Rumours Begin To Take Shape – Near High-Def Screen, Front Facing Camera, June 22nd Announcement?

The iPhone rumour mill is ramping up a gear thanks to a Wall Street Journal report that claims Apple will produce a new handset this year and that it will be available on networks other than AT&T, a carrier that has had a stranglehold on the device in the US since its first iteration.

The article also states that Apple “appears to be working on a model for U.S. mobile phone operator Verizon Wireless,” one of many points that John Gruber of Daring Fireball takes umbrage with, in turn releasing a flurry of supposed iPhone hardware specs.

“And they have no actual details of the next-generation iPhone. Nothing. Not the A4-family CPU system-on-a-chip. Not the 960 × 640 double-resolution display. Not the second front-facing camera. Not even the third-party multitasking in iPhone OS 4. All they have is that there’s going to be a new iPhone this summer, period. Thanks for the scoop, Yukari Iwatani Kane.”

Ok, so he mentions an A4-family CPU, that’s the stuff that’s powering the new iPad, meaning a faster processor and in turn perhaps a leaner frame…exciting news all around, and an interesting development as far as gaming is concerned.

The 960 x 640 double resolution display would mean a screen twice as nice as on the existing iPhone, leapfrogging ahead of current gorgeousness on phones like the HTC Desire and Nexus One.

A second front facing camera, also new to us! This would mean that famed video instant messaging client iChat could be an addition to the new iPhone, and another step toward people not answering the phone unless fully dressed and/or wearing make-up.

The icing on the cake is word of third-party multitasking, which would see the new iPhone able to run multiple applications in tandem. For example, streaming music from Spotify in the background whilst playing a game. Or sending an text. Or anything, for that matter.

An annoying shortcoming of the current generation of devices, and something many (well, a vocal few) are clamouring should change in the next iteration of iPhone.

Finally, there’s the name. Not iPhone 4G, not iPhoNext. Engadget has apparently been informed that the new device would be unveiled on Tuesday June 22nd, and be called the iPhone HD. Finicky folk are already noting that a 960 x 640 resolution doesn’t actually constitute high definition, so what could it be? High-def camera? The 720p video capture credentials were certain enough for the Samsung i8910HD to wear the monicker proudly…

I guess we’re no nearer to actually knowing anything about the device yet, so we’ll all have to sit tight until the invites get sent out…

Nokia’s Ovi Store Gets Redesign – Five Star Ratings, Improved Reviews

Nokia’s Ovi Store has been given a spring clean, bringing a fresh new look and raft of new features to the application portal on both mobiles and the desktop.

The refurbished layout is far more spacious and appealing to the eye, with an improved search function making it easier to separate the wheat from the fart apps.

Choosing a handset still tailors the applications available to you, and this has been made easier with a refurbished device selector that can be accessed without logging into the service.

Application ratings have changed from the constricting three to the more commonly used five star system, whilst submission times and handset information have been added to reviews, giving a clearer idea of whether an app is worth your cash.

Ovi Store has constantly been in a state of flux since it was unveiled with much fanfare (and a few hiccups) back in May last year, the Finnish phone maker constantly making nips and tucks to improve their application store’s service.

We’re finding these refinements all welcome changes, and in addition to Ovi Maps and the recently launched digital Ovi magazine, they are finally presenting a suite of services that are genuinely an impressive alternative to Apple’s offering.

To see the Ovi Store changes for yourself on a computron, check out A software update prompt should pop up when attempting to access the site on your Nokia phone, simply accept it to sample the new store on mobiles.

Source: Nokia Conversations

T-Mobile UK Partners With Blockbuster, Launches ‘Night In’ Movie Offer

T-Mobile is challenging Orange’s popular ‘Orange Wednesdays’ cinema offer with a deal of their own, in association with rental chain Blockbuster.

The ‘Night In’ offer enables T-Mobile customers to rent either a movie and a game (or two movies) for two nights from Blockbuster, as well as get a selection of snacks and drinks for £5.

To redeem, T-Mobile customers simply text the phrase ‘Night In’ to a short code, then present the reply to the cashier in order to get their cheap deal. The order is available from Monday to Thursday, and can only be redeemed once a week.

T-Mobile Lysa Hardy head of brand and communications Lysa Hardy said: “Customers tell us that more than anything else, they love spending time with family and friends. And with the ongoing trend of staying in rather than going out, Night In is our way of saying thank you to them for their loyalty.”

“This Night In offer with Blockbuster is a great value deal that gives our customers everything they need for a perfect night in, and is a great excuse for people to pile in front of the TV and enjoy the latest movie release or computer game.”

BlockBuster has been in the press in recent weeks, amid talk of store closures, the company’s impending bankruptcy and threat of New York Stock Exchange delisting. The challenge from alternative rental companies like Netflix in the US and LOVEFiLM in the UK have also cut deeply into their revenues, whilst the trend of direct downloads from services like XBOX Live eliminated the need to leave the house to have a movie night in.

Hopefully this deal will be both the first of many offers for loyal T-Mobile customers, and go a little way towards reversing the fortunes of the troubled retail chain.

Source: Mobile News

Ofcom To Make Rulings On Number Porting And Mobile Termination Rates, Could Save UK Consumers £1.5bn Per Year

Communications regulator Ofcom are due to rule on the issue of mobile phone number porting this week, deciding whether networks have to complete the process for consumers within one day.

Shoppers eager to look for a better deal are often hamstrung by the protracted process of number porting, and research conducted by comparison site uSwitch has discovered that 18 million mobile users have never bothered to switch, costing them a potential £1.5bn of savings.

On the other hand, uSwitch claims that more than 11 million savvy consumers have managed to port their number in the last 12 months, netting savings in excess of £895 million - £81 each per year – from moving networks in search of a better deal.

Porting a mobile number usually requires the consumer to request a ‘PAC’ – porting authorisation code – from their current provider to release their mobile number for use on a new network. It is the process of receiving this code which seems the most drawn out, causing a protracted period where users are often stuck between networks on a temporary number for as long as 48 hours.

3 has been the only network to champion speeding up the process, as well as shifting the number porting duties from the donor operator to the recipient. The UK is currently the only country where the network you are moving from is in control of releasing the mobile number, not necessarily the carrier interested in an expedient transition…

Ofcom claimed that the porting process could occur in as little as two hours, as is the case in countries including Ireland, Australia and the United States. Vodafone claimed that it would cost operators as much as £37 million in revenue to change the current porting process, with the other major networks supporting this opinion. If passed, the networks will be expected to make these changes by the middle of next year.

IN RELATED NEWS – Ofcom are also looking into reducing charges for connecting calls across networks, in a move which could save consumers an additional £1 billion per year.

At present, mobile charges are approximately 4.7p per minute to connect calls from landlines or a mobile network other than your own. Ofcom is touted to recommend that this charge be capped at 2p, meaning carriers can charge each other – and in turn the consumer – less for phone calls.

Once again, the major networks claim that this will not necessarily be in their best interest, claiming that the revenue lost will be offset by raising monthly line rental, increased pricing for subsidised handsets or even removing their most competitive prepay deals. Both BT and 3 welcome the move, with the former pledging to pass the saving on landline calls to their millions of subscribers, whilst the latter claims their revenues have been lean due to big mobile termination rate fees.

We think that moves to put the humble consumer in a far greater position to both move networks freely, and pay better rates when they get there have to be a good thing. More details on Ofcom’s decisions – and the effect on your bills – when we get them.

If you need help on porting your mobile number, check out this comprehensive number porting guide, courtesy of uSwitch.

Source: Domain-b, Mobile News

UK Leads the World in Mobile Phone Recycling

Around 8 million mobile phones were recycled in the UK in 2009 according to a Ovum, which is double the number that was recycled two years ago.

According to the report the UK is the most developed and competitive handset recycling market in the world, with over a quarter of recycled phones in Eurpoe coming from the UK (Ovum).

The report also says that while UK consumers are increasingly aware of the opportunities to recycle phones, the focus tends to be on financial rewards, rather than environmental benefits.

Nevertheless, phones chucked in the rubbish not only add to landfill – they contain many harmful substances and complex parts that make them hazardous if not disposed of properly.

Whatever your reason for getting rid of your old phone though – be sure to check out Omio’s section dedicated to recycling your mobile phone, which lists the different services available to you.

Course: Mobile Business

HTC HD mini Makes Debut in O2 April Catalogue

Whilst we knew that every network and retailer had the hots for the HTC Desire, O2′s freshly printed April catalogue has a surprise in the form of the cutesy HTC HD mini posing beside its bigger brother, the HD2.

The HD mini is another member of the ‘big phone’ backlash brigade (which includes the X10 mini and X10 mini pro), condensing almost all of the HTC HD2‘s Windows-powered wonder into a pint-sized form factor.

Currently wowing the lucky few that managed to snag one in the US, the HTC HD2′s immense 4.3-inch display and responsive touchscreen have made it a smartphone to be reckoned with.

The HD mini takes all of that, including the 5-megapixel camera and intuitive HTC Sense customisation, presenting it in a handset that measures a mere 103 x 57.7 x 11.7mm.

Both the Desire and the diminutive HD mini are daubed with a vague ‘ask in store’ where a price tag or release date ought to be, but we predict the former will skirt around the £35 per month upon its April release, whilst HTC HD mini deals will come in a shade cheaper at around the £30 p/m mark.

Thanks, CoolSmartPhone.

LG GT540 Swift: Android Phone Gets UK Pricing And Release Date

The LG Swift Android phone has just been priced and dated on – where else? –, with the retailer touting a unlocked price tag a penny shy of £200, and a release of the 30th of April.

The LG GT540 Swift is a handset with more than a hint of the Viewty Lite in its stature, and their second bite at Google’s open source platform aims to offer a ‘specialized social networking smartphone.’

Those who thought that the cutesy Android charms of the XPERIA X10 Mini and X10 Mini Pro were a little too small, too pricey or too far away from release (May and June respectively) could do a lot worse than opt for this little wonder.

With a 3.15 megapixel camera, Wi-Fi support and support for up to 32GB of memory, the LG Swift has the features at a bargain price whilst being a bit of a looker at the same time. Android on board also means the full suite of Google apps, with Maps, Search, YouTube and the Android Market all present and correct.

Available in a range of colours including pink and white and aimed at the younger market (and hopefully with a price point to match), expect to see pay monthly LG Swift deals follow hot on the heels of this SIM-only delight.

Cheers, Eurodroid.

HTC Desire Black Edition – Orange Get An Exclusive

Confirmation came today from Orange that they will have an exclusive edition of the HTC Desire in a more dusky hue… See below for the proof!

HTC’s new flagship Android handset was originally only seen in metallic brown, with a recent spate of leaky photos showing it also appearing in a fetching silver.

It’s the second exclusive colourway that Orange have announced in as many weeks, the other being the “Luster White” version of the forthcoming Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10.

Conor, Orange’s awesome PR representative, states that the HTC Desire Black Edition will be available from the end of April.