Omio News Blog

Monthly Archives: April 2010

Palm Releases New Ads, Unfortunately No Longer Super Creepy

Looks like Palm and BlackBerry have been tapping up the same ad agency for their new line of commercials…

Rather than director Tarsem Singh’s delightfully unhinged (and thoroughly mocked) ‘Palm lady’ ads, this 30-second short shows off the strengths of WebOS as well as being mercifully free of cringe-worthy moments.

The user interface reveal for BlackBerry’s 6.0 update was equally Minority Report inspired, although it was a little heavy on the ‘Boom Boom Pow’ when it came to the soundtrack.

With HP at the helm of their new purchase, perhaps the innovative operating system that debuted on the sadly overlooked Palm Pre and Pixi will finally get the mainstream audience it deserves…

Source: Gadgetell

Try Out XPERIA X10′s TimeScape And MediaScape With Interactive Demo

One of the most interesting things about the new Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 is the crazy customisation of Google’s Android operating system, with apps like TimeScape and MediaScape offering a user experience quite unlike any other mobile.

Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most difficult things to describe in words, so it’s great that Sony Ericsson have an interactive demo up on the internets to play and get to grips with.

Simply go here to swipe and stab at your very own (virtual) XPERIA X10. Choose between a black and white model (the latter currently exclusive to Orange), and select from an array of scenarios to discover just how the super fast processor and huge touchscreen of the new Sony handset handles things.

From using the camera and sending a text to browsing through contacts and even setting up Wi-Fi connections, the simulator goes into some pretty graphic detail about Sony’s latest smartphone.

Try it out, let us know what you think!

Source: Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 Device Simulator

iPhone App Chocolates: There’s A Snack For That…

Seen on Etsy (via LikeCool), from the conveniently named seller iChocolates.

iChocolates are a 20-piece gourmet chocolates assortment resembling iPhone and iPad app icons, boxed in a luxury iPhone-like package. Including 4 different flavours.”

Tasty. I wonder what Stocks tastes like? At $46 a box, it looks like I’ll never find out…

Nokia Stretches Lead Over Samsung In UK Market, LG Trails After 20% Drop In Revenue

Finnish phone manufacturer Nokia has extended their lead over Korean competitor Samsung in the UK mobile industry, with a combination of strong high-end sales bolstered by a bedrock of entry level devices giving them a 4% larger share as of the end of March.

Despite Samsung’s best efforts to retain their brief spell at the top spot around the Holiday season (thanks in large part to the barebones E1120 selling at £4.99 on prepay at selected supermarkets), a melange of music phones including the 5530 XpressMusic, 5330 XpressMusic and flagship X6 saw Nokia’s fortunes improve massively.

With forthcoming Nokia C-series phones like the cute C5 and QWERTY-capable C3 targeting the lucrative mid-range heartland and an optimistic (yet short of estimations) first quarter earnings report, trust in the manufacturer has been buoyed whilst many believe Samsung could stand to lose yet more ground.

A protracted journey to market for the Samsung Wave – the manufacturer’s first device to be powered by their ‘bada’ operating system – has disappointed expectant retailers, whilst the Galaxy Portal has been somewhat overshadowed by the furore surrounding the Android ‘superphone’ duo of the HTC Desire and Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10.

High end plans were cemented with the wrappers coming off the new flagship Nokia N8 recently, impressing many with an impressively low €370 price point as well as marking the advent of the new Symbian^3 operating system, touted to offer a user experience more on a par with that of its smartphone rivals.

Time will tell in Nokia can capitalise on this position by targeting both ends of the spectrum, but it is certainly proving a successful strategy thus far.

Less successful is Korean manufacturer LG, posting a disappointing quarter which saw sales drop across the board by almost 20%.

Citing investment and marketing expenses as well as handset prices as contributing factors, LG posted a 0.9% fall in year-on-year profits despite shipping over 27 million phones in the quarter.

Plans to improve fortunes by boosting LG’s smartphone offerings and expanding the range are said to be on the cards, despite a recent decision to leave the exciting Moorestown-powered GW990 on the concept drawing board

With BlackBerry continuing to deliver new (yet somewhat iterative) handsets like the Pearl 3G and the promise of a fourth generation iPhone due to launch in a slightly more…official capacity, the mobile phone market has every indication of hotting up this Summer…

Source: Mobile Today

Video: Nokia N8 In Hand Acrobatics

On the same day that Nokia officially announced their new flagship phone, the N8, we’ve come across a video of the handset in action. Not perhaps the usually UI, run-through, mind… this clip shows the Nokia N8 being tossed about in an artistic fashion by “hand freestyler” Max Vlassenko.

We guess that Nokia were none too pleased with yesterday’s leak from Mobile Review that wasn’t too complimentary to their latest creation, so Espoo decided to bring forward their announcement.

If you can forgive the N8′s user interface for looking a little too similar to the N97 Mini’s though, you’ll be dazzled by the N8′s whopping 12 Megapixel camera and other multi-media abilities (we hear you can even edit video on the handset!)

You’ve still got a few months yet to see the Nokia N8 in the flesh as the smartphone is available in the UK at the begiinning of Q3 / August 2010, but in the meantime enjoy the following clip:

LG Optimus GT540 Unveiled: Gateway Handset For Smartphone Newbies

Korean manufacturer LG has finally taken the wraps off their entry level Android handset, officially revealing their latest smartphone to be the LG Optimus.

The LG Optimus GT540 is very much geared as an initiation for smartphone virgins, the clean lines, bevelled rear and cute form factor (not to mention the obligatory pink model) make this handset equally stylish as it is web savvy.

In addition to the rogue’s gallery of Google-enabled goodness – search, mail and over 50,000 apps in the Android Market – the Optimus is running Android version 1.6, meaning access to the turn-by-turn directional loveliness of Google Maps Navigation is just a touch away.

Keeping socialites in the loop is LG’s own SN Manager, aggregating access to multiple social networking sites at the prod of a digit. From Twitter to Facebook and even Bebo, users can keep abreast of current event thanks to SNS messages uploading the latest tweets and status updates directly to the homescreen.

The features are suprisingly strong for an entry-level device, with the Optimus offering a 3.15 megapixel camera, Wi-Fi support and support for up to 32GB of memory to play with.

With younger users directly in its sights and full customisation sure to appeal, the LG Optimus could be the handset to hook people into Android at an earlier age – and a more affordable price point – than ever before. Expect to see pay monthly LG Optimus deals in May.

Check out some fine LG Optimus promotional visuals below, complete with K-Pop soundtrack! If you were in any doubt that this phone was one for the ladies, let this allay your fears…


Nokia N8 Goes Official: 12MP Camera, Symbian^3, Due Q3 2010

The Nokia N8 is go! Letting the pretenders to the megapixel throne like the Sony Ericsson Satio and Samsung Pixon12 slug it out for the best part of a year, the Finnish manufacturer has finally weighed in with their bid for smartphone supremacy…and it’s looking good.

First things first, this phone is packed with new features from the ground up. The Nokia N8 is one of their first handsets to boast the the all-new Symbian^3 platform, introducing a host of features and functionality that Nokia’s handsets have been sorely lacking for some time. Multi-touch and gesture support for pinch-to-zoom makes the N8 more finger friendly than ever before, with a 3.5-inch capacitive display proving the perfect home to prodding and poking.

Proving that the abbreviation ‘HD’ now has no meaning (thanks, iPad!), the N8 is touted to have a high definition display (despite it actually having one of with a resolution of 640 x 360 pixels), whilst the customisable homescreens smack of old Symbian, but Nokia promises tmore freedom to arrange apps and icons as well as improved responsiveness.

The camera is where the grunt of the Nokia N8 lies, boasting the manufacturer’s first ever 12-megapixel lens, equipped with Carl Zeiss optics and a xenon flash for a world class photo-taking experience. The moving image is just as easily captured, with the ability to record in HD and edit on the fly thanks to an on-board editing suite. Whilst your mobile masterpiece might not be ready for Cannes, it’s easy to show on the telly at home thanks to an HDMI port on the device.

An FM transmitter and Dolby Digital Plus surround sound support means that the N8 can act just as easily as an entertainment viewer, with a Web TV app giving access to streaming news and video content.

The angular edges and form factor of the N8 evokes E-series devices whilst remaining a slender 113.5 x 59.12 x 12.9mm, with the 135g weight due largely to the N8′s sturdy aluminium frame. 5 colours are promised, with the accompanying press kit showing off a lime green N8 flanked by a silver and black model. Blue and orange variants are confirmed to round out the selection, making it perfect for those needing a phone to co-ordinate with their ensemble.

As a phone (yes, the N8 does still manage calls and messaging), the handset inherits the must-have du jour -namely Twitter and Facebook integration with alerts and updates appearing directly on the homescreen. Replies can be easily hashed out from the same place, with comments and replies handled with a simple and clean interface. Applications and fun distractions can still be obtained from the Ovi Store.

Nokia’s latest bullet point to impress is free turn-by-turn navigation thanks to Ovi Maps, enabling the N8 to act as a satellite navigation device whether on foot or in the car, as well as pointing out places of interest.

One smaller point of note is that the Nokia N8 is intergrated with their new development environment Qt, enabling budding bedroom developers to get to grips with the new Symbian platform and develop their own applications for the operating system with relative ease.

Memory isn’t much of an issue, with 16GB of on-board memory (and the opportunity to add as much as 32GB more thanks to an SD card slot) meaning that many a high resolution image can be stored on the N8.

As much as we’d love to believe this unveiling all was meticulously planned by the bods at Nokia, we can’t help but feel that yesterday’s leak by Eldar Murtazin slating the handset’s new interface had something to do with it…

Either way, the N8 is due for a Q3 release at a price of €370. With regards to Nokia N8 deals on pay monthly, we’re reckoning that this one will float around at that magical £35 per month price point. More details when we get them!

Blackberry Pearl 3G – RIM’s Most Powerful Phone Yet!

Today RIM has unveiled their most powerful 3G smartphone to date – the BlackBerry Pearl 3G, which has a 624Mhz processor. It’s the first time a BlackBerry Pearl has featured 3G connectivity, with previous models relying on the slower EDGE and GPRS data speeds to access the internet.

Two variants of the Blackberry Pearl 3G will be available. The Blackberry Pearl 9105 features a traditional phone keyboard with three characters on each key, as was the case with the original Pearl models. However the Blackberry Pearl 9100 has a condensed 20-key QWERTY keyboard with just 2 letters per number-key. SureType software ensures that despite the lack of a full QWERTY, you can still hammer out emails with relative ease.

Both models will have on board Wi-Fi a 3.2-megapixel camera and support microSD cards of up to 32GB.

Some might say that without the original trackball, the Pearl has lost some of it’s character, but bearing in mind the trouble associated with having to replace worn-out trackballs, the addition of a slicker optical trackpad is a bonus is our book.

The BlackBerry Pearl 3G is expected to arrive at the beginning of May.

Dell Gets Leaky With Deluge Of New Smartphones: Thunder, Smoke, Flash, Lightning, Aero

Desktop PC and netbook maker Dell have taken the leap into the smartphone game in a big way, with no less than 5 new handsets recently being uncovered by Engadget.

The handsets lean heavily towards Android, with four of them powered by Google’s mobile operating system whilst the fifth – and arguably most exciting – will be arriving in a fine Windows Phone 7 sheen.

First up to bat is the Dell Thunder, an epic Android smartphone with a 4.1-inch touchscreen and an 8 megapixel camera leading the way in terms of hardware. A Dell-built custom interface apparently going by the name of ‘Stage’ is overlaid on the latest version of Android platform, making for a fully customisable experience.

With support for the latest version of Adobe’s Flash 10 and multi-touch for top notch browsing, the Dell Thunder is tentatively pencilled in for the fourth quarter of 2010.

Next up is the Dell Flash, a handset that fashionistas will flock to on looks alone. Running on the new 2.2 ‘Froyo’ version of Android, the Flash’s 3.5″ display is beautifully framed in white with metallic accents, and rumoured to be made from curved glass. Fancy…

The Flash is a strong Android device as multimedia goes, packing a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash, 3.5mm audio jack, TV-out, Bluetooth 3.0 and Wi-Fi. The Flash also has Flash support, meaning those video and animation-heavy sites which the iPhone has spurned will run happily on the device.

Unfortunately we will have to wait until Q1 2011 for this funky piece of futuristic hardware, but will be welcome when it arrives!

The third phone to drip out of Dell’s leaky faucet is the Aero, a far more sedate entry to their smartphone lineup but no less interesting. With a 5-megapixel autofocus camera, a slender candybar form factor and a simplistic icon driven interface reminiscent of the iPhone, the Dell Aero is a no-nonsense handset which could move some units in the mid-range sector.

Earmarked for between the third and fourth quarters of 2010, the Dell Aero may not be rocking our world just yet, but it may still be one to watch…

The final Android powered handset is the Dell Smoke, a candybar handset which manages to smuggle a tiny keyboard onto its slender frame, just beneath a 2.8-inch touch display.

The most business-like of the phones on early display, the Smoke boasts Froyo as well as a 5-megapixel camera and all manner of messaging support, including Microsoft Exchange and ActiveSync. The Smoke also handles the web with ease, showing the whole internet with HTML and Flash 10 support.

With 6 hours of talktime and and impressive 576 hours of standby, expect to see the Dell Smoke grace more than a few office desks in Q2 of Space Year 2011.

Last and most definitely not least is the Dell Lightning, a true glimpse at what Windows Phone 7 handsets will be bringing to the smartphone table. A stylish slider handset boasting a mammoth 4.1-inch OLED screen and a super fast processor, the Lightning also stuffs in a 5 megapixel camera, as well as support for DivX video playback as well as the web with Adobe Flash.

Windows Phone 7 trappings will include search powered by Bing, multi-touch pinching to zoom and integration of Zune Marketplace and Xbox Live, delivering a fully fledged music player as well as gaming to the mobile.

This quintet of gorgeous Dell phones seem like a confident first stride into a very competitive market, currently populated by impressive offerings from very established players. Whether Dell can recreate their home computer success in the battle for our pockets remains to be seen, but these five are certain to shake things up!

Sony Ericsson and 3UK Offers Free Spotify With XPERIA X10 and Vivaz, ‘Journey Inspired’ Playlists

Eight of the UK’s brightest young things in music have been brought together by Sony Ericsson and 3UK to create custom Spotify playlists based on their recent travels.

The newly-launched Music Everywhere site enables you to listen to soundtracks inspired by the journeys of artists as varied as The Stereophonics, Keane and dance quartet Delphic.

Created in honour of the new Android-powered Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 and Sony Ericsson Vivaz being bundled with two months of free Spotify Premium on 3, you can join The Courteeners as they trek from Lincoln to Liverpool to the driving beats of Kasabian, or follow Amy MacDonald as she flies over Copenhagen to the lilting melodies of Beach House.

For 2 months access to the music streaming site, new phone owners should simply text “Spotify” to 39000. After the two months are up, Spotify reverts to a cost of £9.99 per month, added to your bill.