Omio News Blog

Monthly Archives: May 2011

Windows Phone 7 ‘Must Have Games’ Line Up Arrives, Launches With Hydro Thunder Go

Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7 platform certainly has the looks with a sleek user interface and it’ll have the features once the ‘Mango’ update arrives in Autumn, but one area that has been sorely lacking (despite the cool Xbox Live support) has been the digital distractions…

Games on the service are pricey, and the quality of them has been ropey to say the least…however aping the Xbox 360′s ‘Summer of Arcade’ promotion with a line-up of must-have titles could really turn fortunes around for Windows Phone’s gaming credentials.

Check out the full selection in this video:

 

The first of these six titles is Hydro Thunder Go, which launched on the 25th of May and is a port of the popular arcade series.

Pitting powerboats against each other in a variety of hyper-real environments, Hydro Thunder definitely proves the graphical chops of Windows Phone 7, and is a genuine slice of action rather than a mini-game collection or 5-minute timefiller.

For £3.99, 9 levels and 12 sleek vehicles are available to play, with lush 3D graphics and even gyroscope support that enables gamers to twist and turn around the courses by tilting the handset.

Don’t forget that just like the console counterpart, all of the Windows Phone 7 games have free trials to test out the titles before you buy!

With seminal titles like Doodle Jump, Plants vs. Zombies and the paragon of mobile gaming that is physics puzzler Angry Birds set to arrive in the next few weeks, Windows Phone 7 will definitely plug a ton of gaps in its gaming roster in the coming month (and a half)…

Below is the full list of Windows Phone games, prices and dates…a little more than we can expect to pay for their iOS counterparts (geoDefense is free this weekend on the iPhone, for example), but still great!

Hydro Thunder Go on 25 May, £3.99
Doodle Jump on 1 June, £2.49
geoDefense on 8 June, £2.49
Sonic the Hedgehog 4, Episode 1 on 15 June, £5.49
Plants v Zombies on 22 June, £3.99
Angry Birds on 29 June, £2.49

Android Gaming Arrives On The Big Screen With EVO 2 Console

The latest Android games on your telly could quite possibly become a reality, thanks to the new EVO 2 console from hardware maker Envizions. At a cost of $250 the device will be pretty meaty, including a TV remote, EVO game controller and an HDMI cable for high-def support.

Specifications include a Samsung 1.2 GHz processor, 512MB of RAM and a modified version of the Android 2.2 operating system, and is scheduled for an Autumn 2011 launch.

Whilst doubling as a media centre and data storage system, the EVO 2 tries to one-up the 360′s ‘Live’ service by giving players the chance to earn actual points to purchase free Android games with ‘EVO tokens’, whilst save storage will the handled in the infamous cloud.

Despite a pledge to jump on the motion-controlling bandwagon with waggle support in the fourth quarter of this year, the Android-equipped device will also be open source, with developers already able to both create new titles on a Software Development Kit (subject to an annual fee of $149), as well as the ability to port over their existing lineup to the fledgling platform.

As if the EVO 2 didn’t have enough buzzword bullet points in its press release, the console will be the first to have major decisions surrounding its creation ‘crowd sourced’, enabling people to assist in the trajectory of development from hardware colourways to package designs, and even launch territories via the usual social networking portals.

Fair enough, why spend millions of dollars on research and development strategies for your new console when excitable children will do it all for free?

Nevertheless, the absence of touchscreen support in the above mockup (currently a mobile gaming mainstay), and the lack of must-play titles at launch and a hefty price point ($50 less than an Xbox 360 and $100 more than Nintendo’s Wii) could work against the EVO 2 at this point…but perhaps the desire to play Android favourites and access media on the big screen could be too strong to turn down.

Source: Joystiq

O2 PAYG Flash Sale – LG Town for £39.99, HTC Smart for Under 50 Quid!

Some great news to see you off into the long weekend, network O2 has announced a selection of Pay-As-You-Go handsets that have had prices slashed until the 31st of May!

From the Android-powered LG Optimus to the cutesy HTC Smart, prices of five of the most popular O2 handsets have been reduced for the next couple of days…details below!

Note that all of these costs include the prepay tariff, so the numbers in bold are what you’ll pay! To the left is the usual price, to the far right is the saving…not too shabby!

Nokia 6700 Slide Pink & Nokia 6700 Slide Silver, Refurbished) £99.99 £69.99 < £30
Alcatel 355 £24.99 £14.99 < £10
HTC Smart (Black & Pink) £79.99 £49.99 < £30
LG Optimus GT540 £129.99 £99.99 < £30
LG Town £59.99 £39.99 < £20

Overall, a decent selection of affordable smartphones and the fashion handset elite…just click on the phone’s name to go to the deal!

Be quick, save a packet!

O2 Exclusive White Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play Arrives On UK Shores, With Three Free Games!

After numerous delays, Apple finally released the white iPhone 4 at the end of April, 11 months after the phone’s lighter hue was initially announced.

Luckily a certain Japanese/Swedish phone maker hasn’t had nearly as many problems with the white version of the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play, and it is now available to order from O2 Direct a mere 2 months after the phone was let loose on the Great British public.

The phone is available for free on a 24 month contract for £34 per month and comes with 900 minutes, unlimited texts and 100MB data, with O2 is also throwing in 3 bonus games and a multimedia dock worth £29.99.

The dock charges the phone and can also be used to connect the handset to a home stereo system.

To claim the free games, players should visit www.sonyericsson.com/O2bonusgames and enter their mobile number, followed by their IMEI code (located on the label under the battery) to choose their 3 bonus games – courtesy of O2 and Gameloft – until the 31st of July.

With the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play getting an Android update to 2.3.3 earlier this week, now is the perfect time to pick up the definitive gaming handset.

Samsung E2121B: Spend A Penny On A Brand New Mobile Phone!

There isn’t much you can buy for a penny these days.

Gone are the days when you could take your pick from Flumps and Fried Eggs down at Woolworths, only having to hand over mere shrapnel for the delights you had chosen.

However for those with copper coins burning a hole in their pocket and are also on the look out for a budget mobile phone, One Stop Phone Shop have come to your rescue!

They are offering the Samsung E2121B for just 1p on Pay As You Go (so long as you snag £10 of Talk Mobile credit upon purchase), which seems like a great deal to us.

Admittedly the E2121 isn’t going to compete with the Samsung Galaxy S II for the affections of ardent smartphone lovers, but weighing in at a mere 74g and with the ability to both make calls and send text messages (that’s what some people allegedly use phones for these days), we might opt for a couple ourselves…

Check it out on the One Stop Phone Shop site here.

Samsung Galaxy S II – FREE on T-Mobile from £25 Per Month

Deal hunters rejoice!  Samsung’s newest flagship smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S II, is now available on T-Mobile for absolutely free from £25 per month.

That will get you 600 cross network minutes, 500 texts and 500MB data each month.   Those unwilling to sign on for a 24 month contract can get the same package on an 18 month contract for £19.99 upfront, and £30 per month.

The Galaxy S II is quite simply one of the most powerful and thinnest smartphones on the market… We mean, like stick-insect thin, being a paltry 8.49mm at the narrowest point.

Its diminutive waistline belies the power in the belly of this sexy beast; The Galaxy S II is rocking a top of the line 1.2GHz Dual core processor and 1GB of RAM.

This combined with the latest Android 2.3 software, means the phone is SNAPPY, handling anything that you care to throw at it with ease, including flash browsing unlike some of its other notable rivals, and full 1080p video playback and recording.

The icing on the cake though is the generous 4.3-inch ‘Super AMOLED +’ touchscreen, which put simply is big, bright and colorful and has been universally praised for reproducing images that pop right out at you.

Samsung have come under fire from Apple in recent months over alleged copyright issues regarding the uncanny likeness to iOS, we won’t lie, its a fairly obvious reference to Apple’s layout.

However whilst they pit their best lawyers against each other in a legal bloodbath, for everyone else its something of a win/win. Previous iPhone users who may be wanting to dip their toes into the cool free waters of Android will find themselves at home here, with the added advantage of interface customization, free file handling, and expandable memory upto 32GB.

Alongside the iPhone 4 and HTC Desire HD, this really is one of the top three best smartphones on the market today. So if you fancy treating yourself to something special for less, check out all the deals for the wonderful Galaxy S II on Omio’s deals page.

Nokia Comes Top In O2 Eco Survey, Saving The Planet One Phone At a Time

Mobile network O2 revealed the latest scores in their planet-loving Eco rating scheme today and manufacturer Nokia has taken the top two spots, with the Nokia C6-01 and Nokia E7-00 both scoring 4.1 out of 5 (stars? wedges? rainbow wedges?).

The Nokia C7-02 scored came joint second with a respectable score of 4 and the Samsung Galaxy Mini, Samsung Galaxy Ace and Sony Ericsson X8 round out the selection, meaning three of the top six phones come from the Finnish manufacturer’s stable.

This will be welcome news for the handset giant who has dominated the headlines after shacking up with Microsoft for their future smartphones, has seen a slight slump in their share of the smartphone market, as well as recently announcing that their Symbian operating system will be no more come 2012.

O2 launched their Eco rating scheme in Aug 2010 and it currently covers 90% of the handsets ranged by the provider. It covers 3 broad areas including ‘the overall environmental impact of the device over its lifespan’, ‘;the functionality of handsets, highlighting devices which help people live more sustainable lives’, as well as ‘the ethical performance of manufacturers’.

With Nokia keeping costs low and quality high, as well as selling resilient mobiles to the furthest flung corners of the globe (where the brand name is still synonymous with the term ‘mobile phone’), it is all the more impressive that the Finnish phone maker is still great good at making devices in huge volumes, whilst still maintaining a relatively small impact on the planet at large.

 

Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc, XPERIA Play Get Boost To Android Gingerbread 2.3.3

Sony Ericsson are certainly showing their support for the Android platform, bringing the latest iteration of Google’s burgeoning OS to the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc and the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play in the coming days.

Both the snap-happy Arc and the gamer’s delight that is the XPERIA Play are set to receive a raft of new features including better battery performance, increased stability for wi-fi, improved software performance on Sony Ericsson’s elaborate Android overhaul as well as increased responsiveness on the touch interface.

As for XPERIA Arc-exclusive upgrades, a boost to the quality of high-definition video recording is a real boon, whilst both now have a new bit of functionality called ‘Facebook Inside XPERIA’.

What’s that? Well, let this handy video explain!

Cool, right? This update should be available both over-the-air and to those that hook up their phones to PCs in the imminent future.

The real question that fanboys are asking is when will the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 get some Gingerbread love?

Well, the stock response to that is “work is progressing well.” So not soon, then. Good news? You too will be able to savour improved access to your favourite social networking site in the near future! Watch this space!

Tesco Mobile Crowned Best Network For Contract And Pay-As-You-Go Users

There is a lot to be said for the ‘psychic income‘ of mobile networks, as JD Power’s latest survey of over 3,000 customers saw virtual operator Tesco Mobile come out on top for both contract and pay-as-you-go in terms of satisfaction.

The newbie network bested the established providers in the four of JD Powers’ six categories of ‘wireless ratings’, which included call quality, billing issues, customer service and promotional offers.

In terms of general customer satisfaction, smartphone users seem to be pleased with themselves as 86% of those surveyed were rocking the app-happy mobiles, whilst 40% of those on prepay had stepped their game up.

Compared to a mere 28% of those on prepay and 58% of contract consumers in the previous year, the rise of the smartphone appears to continue unabated.

Despite the perceived increase in mobile phone complexity, customer service queries have been on the wane, with 14% of prepay consumers and 39% of contract folks have gotten in touch with helplines, down from 39% and 55% respectively in 2010.

Check out the range of Omio’s deals from the also-great Tesco Phone Shop here (offers from award-winning network Tesco Mobile are certainly on the way), containing mobile phone deals from all the major runners and riders.

Source: CNET

LG Optimus 3D Now Available To Pre-Order, Free From £25 Per Month

At Mobile World Congress we were told that we would be able to get our hands on the Korean manufacturer’s glasses-free masterpiece, the LG Optimus 3D in late April.

Since then we have been sitting waiting patiently for our chance to own the world’s first 3D phone (sort of, well Japan always gets cool tech first) and our wait could be over as BuyMobilePhones are now listing the Optimus 3D as available to pre-order on T-Mobile, Orange, O2 and Vodafone.

The deal that catches our attention is a 24-month offer on T-Mobile and includes a free handset, 600 minutes, 500 texts and 500MB of data for just £25.54/month.

With popular Taiwanese phone maker HTC also coming out with their own glasses-free 3D mobile, the Evo 3D, it seems that this could be the summer when portable depth-faking technology really takes off.

If an ‘eye-popping’ 3D phone doesn’t take your fancy, then there are literally millions of other mobile phone deals available to compare on Omio.