Omio News Blog

Monthly Archives: July 2011

Mobile Phone Review Round Up: Samsung Galaxy Pro, Nokia X7, Samsung Tocco Icon, Sony Ericsson XPERIA neo and HTC Salsa

TechRadar

Samsung Galaxy Pro review

GalaxyPro

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Pro is a slippery little fish. We want to praise it for its keyboard, but berate it for its screen. Samsung could have helped matters by offering a higher resolution on the screen.

If you want a handset of this design, take a look at the HTC ChaCha or Nokia E6. But don’t forget the Sony Ericsson Xperia 10 Mini Pro which, while it is a side-slider, is teeny – or, indeed, any of the larger side-sliders that offer a more desirable, larger screen.

- Check out all the Samsung Galaxy Pro deals at OMIO today!

Nokia X7 review

NokiaX7

Verdict

There are nice things we can say about the Nokia X7. It has good hardware design, a basically pleasing screen and good battery life. And Symbian Anna is a step in the right direction.

But we just aren’t sure where Anna is headed in the long term, and that alone could make the Nokia X7 a blind alley. And it doesn’t do anything supremely well.

If you are a Nokia fan and want a top quality camera you should be looking at the Nokia N8.

If you want a superb physical keyboard, then the Nokia E7 is worth your attention.

Great social networking integration? Go Android instead, with something such as the HTC Sensation.

With those bases covered, it’s tricky to see precisely where the Nokia X7 fits in.

- Check out all the Nokia X7 deals at OMIO today!

Cnet.co.uk

LG Optimus Me P350 review

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Conclusion
You might have expected LG to better the Optimus One with the LG Optimus Me. Sadly, the Me is inferior in all but a few areas. The screen is smaller, the processor isn’t any faster and the camera’s still mediocre. Check out the Samsung Galaxy Fit, HTC Wildfire S and Optimus One before laying down your moolah.

- Check out all the LG Optimus Me deals at OMIO today!

Orange Rio II review

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Conclusion
The Orange Rio II improves over its predecessor with a neater design, 3G and an updated operating system. Issues such as poor battery life, no Wi-Fi, unresponsive touchscreen and a generally slow processor take the edge off its performance, but you have to remember it’s costing you well under £100.

If you’re considering a BlackBerry 8520, but begrudge spending over £100 for a phone that lacks 3G, we’d recommend you seriously consider the Rio II. It’s cheaper and in many ways provides a superior experience.

- Check out all the Orange RIO II deals at OMIO today!

Pocket Lint

Samsung Tocco Icon review

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Verdict
Overall, the Samsung Tocco Icon isn’t a massive step up from the Tocco Lite, but the inclusion of a capacitive touchscreen is certainly a compelling reason to buy if you liked the original phone. The compact chassis, slick design and ease of use also add to the package, while the features such as the straightforward audio player and the sneaky fake call function may appeal to some.

While the screen is large, the resolution isn’t great and that combined with the fact that there’s no 3G connectivity means that web browsing isn’t brilliant, although it is just about usable. Likewise, the social networking offering is very basic. What you really miss out on, however, is all the fun that you’d get opting for an entry-level Android phone with much more potential.

If your budget is tight, then the Samsung Tocco Icon offers you a reasonable touchscreen experience for your cash.

- Check out all the Samsung Tocco Icon deals at OMIO today!

 

Trusted Reviews

LG Optimus 3D review

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Verdict

There’s plenty to like about the Optimus 3D, including its fun 3D features, fast processor and beautifully bright and vivid screen. However, problems with displaying 3D images on the screen and the phone’s short battery life mean that it’s not the must-buy handset that many were expecting.

- Check out all the LG Optimus 3D deals at OMIO today!

Reghardware

Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo Android smartphone review

sony_ericsson_xperia_neo_1

Verdict
The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Neo has much of the cool technology sported by Sony Ericsson’s top-notch Xperia Arc but at a fraction of the price. It’s not as slim, but if you can put up with the bulk, it’s really a bit of a bargain.

- Check out all the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Neo deals at OMIO today!

 

Vodafone Smart Android smartphone review

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Verdict
Though it runs Froyo and has a capacitive screen, the Vodafone Smart has been ruthlessly built down to a price. Despite that, for talking, e-mailing, texting, navigating and social networking it’s up to the job. Yes it falls down when faced with more demanding tasks, but a £75 mobile will never be the gaming or multi-media platform that a £400 1GHz Snapdragon handset is. The Orange SF is a better phone but then it’s twice the price and still doesn’t support Adobe’s Flash player

- Check out all the Vodafone Smart deals at OMIO today!

 

HTC Salsa Android smartphone review

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Verdict
The HTC Salsa is a solidly built smartphone with a good screen, reasonable camera, fine UI and an emphasis on social networking, thanks largely to its clever Facebook button. This latter will endear it to ’bookers, but otherwise it doesn’t stand out strongly from HTC’s ever-expanding range of handsets.

- Check out all the HTC Salsa deals at OMIO today!

Three Lowers Barrier To Smartphone Entry, Free Handsets With 500MB Data From £15 Per Month

Data-hungry network Three continues to lead from the front, slashing the price of getting onto the smartphone ladder with a selection of leading handsets and bargain prices.

Five strong Android handsets – including big names like the HTC Desire S and HTC Sensation – are now available in packages with a free handset and minimum of 500MB of data, starting from as low as £15 per month.

The full list of phones are the Samsung Galaxy Ace, HTC Desire S, Samsung Galaxy S, HTC Sensation and the Samsung Galaxy S II, with the topmost free handset offering 500 minutes, 5000 texts and 1GB of data for £30 per month.

William Ripley, director of voice at Three says: “At Three we always try to help our customers choose the best smartphones and give them the best deals. Our emphasis is not just on voice and text, but also a generous internet allowance, which is ideal for new smartphone users.

“Smartphone adoption is increasing at a rapid rate and Android is proving popular due to the great value, variety of manufacturers and choice of form and function it offers. As such these excellent new deals aim to cut the cost of entry to the many benefits of mobile internet.”

Check the new deals out as soon as they arrive on Omio!

 

Update: White Samsung Galaxy S II Now Available On Pay Monthly, Free From £30 Per Month

UPDATE: Apparently this deal has been torpedoed at Samsung’s behest…hopefully it will be available to purchase in a snazzy white refresh soon.

ORIGINAL STORY: Not content with ruling the smartphone roost for the past couple of months, the hugely popular Samsung Galaxy S II has been revamped in a new white colourway, and is available now from Dial A Phone.

Free from £30 per month, the white Samsung Galaxy S II is arriving on a contract ahead of its 15th August arrival in SIM-free circles, enabling savvy folks to get 700 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of data into the bargain.

Already one of the best-selling Android smarties of 2011, the super slender Galaxy S II is powered by Android 2.3 and toting an impressive 1.2GHz dual-core CPU, also packing an 8 megapixel camera with LED flash that can record video on a device that can and play it back in full 1080p at 30 frames per second.

uSwitch’s Mobile Tracker has seen the Galaxy S II lead the way in terms of popularity for both May and June, with the handset looking to snag the hat-trick as the month of July also looks to be in the bag…

White Galaxy S II deals should be up on Omio any minute!

 

LG Optimus 3D Video Review…In 3D!

Now we know that this review of the LG Optimus 3D might cause a rift in the space-time continuum or have us all lose our minds with the awesomeness, but the industrious minds at OneMobileRing have managed to make a cool walkthrough video of the UK’s first glasses-free 3D handset, in 3D!

Now to actually get the full effect, there are a couple of options… You may need a 3D-capable screen to view it in its glory, or you can also PUT YOUR 3D GLASSES ON NOW (we’re talking the old-school red and greens here) and enjoy!

Uploaded to YouTube’s new 3D section, the LG Optimus 3D enables users to quickly and easily send video footage – all with added depth – straight onto the web!

A quick tap of that ’3D’ button gives one touch access to all the retina-scorching content on the device, whilst there is also a great feature that enables conversion from 2D to 3D of videos, games and media on the fly!

Whilst the LG Optimus 3D hasn’t quite set the world alight in terms of sales just yet, many (us included) think that the arrival of HTC’s forthcoming EVO 3D handset will cause a bit of competition amongst these new smartphones, hopefully getting folks a tad more excited about the 3D mobile revolution…

Mobile Phone Review Round Up: LG Optimus 3D, Nokia E6, LG Optimus Chat, Motorola ATRIX, Nokia X7

TechRadar

LG Optimus 3D review


Verdict

If you’re happy to take a punt on glasses-free 3D being here to stay, the 3D features of the LG Optimus 3D are certainly enough to warrant its high price. The 3D video’s great, with a genuine sense of depth coming across in the footage.

The worry is, if you take a load of 3D photos and videos now, are they going to be viewable five or 10 years down the line? Or will you be left with a big, undocumented gap in your life, where all your photos and videos were taken in a format that no new devices support?

Also, for those looking for a high-quality smartphone as well as a 3D conversation piece, there are many better, faster, longer-lasting options out there – for less money.

The success of the LG Optimus 3D boils down to how willing people are to pay a premium for its nice 3D features – and whether they are happy to sacrifice style and battery life in return.

- Check out all the LG Optimus 3D deals at OMIO today!

 

Nokia E6 review


Verdict

The Nokia E6 is a well-built, very capable business phone with plenty of apps and features to suit business users. It’s built for text heavy users, with a powerful camera for good light photography.

However, while Symbian Anna is a step forward, it still feels like it’s hamstrung by previous iterations with a slightly clunky feel and long time to open some applications still present.

With MeeGo, Nokia has proven it can make a more modern smartphone interface, and while the thumb-friendly touchscreen is an ace move, we still can’t recommend the Nokia E6 if you’re looking for a next-gen smartphone rather than just an above-average communication device with decent camera

- Check out all the Nokia E6 deals at OMIO today!

Cnet.co.uk

Samsung Tocco Icon review


Conclusion
The distinction between smart phones and feature phones is usually quite clear, but the Samsung Tocco Icon certainly blurs the line somewhat. Samsung has been able to factor in a considerable number of smart phone hallmarks into this cheap device, including a slick and customisable UI, powerful email options and live widgets.

For the price, the Tocco Icon stands head and shoulders over fellow feature phones, but when placed alongside the new breed of sub-£100 Android handsets — such as the Samsung Galaxy Fit and Mini — it makes less sense.

You may wonder why you should settle for a smart phone impostor when you can have the real thing, but it would be unfair to totally dismiss this likeable handset. Like the Tocco Lite before it, the Icon could well provide younger mobile users with the experience they need before they graduate to a fully-fledged smartphone.

- Check out all the Samsung Tocco Icon deals at OMIO today!

 

LG Optimus Chat review


Conclusion

The LG Optimus Chat stands out from other budget Android phones, such as the Samsung Galaxy Fit and Vodafone Smart, thanks to its QWERTY keyboard. If you’ve struggled with touchscreen typing in the past and hanker for the feel of proper, physical buttons, then it’s well worth a look. Just don’t expect cutting-edge hardware and software.

- Check out all the LG Optimus Chat deals at OMIO today!

 

Samsung Galaxy Fit review


Conclusion
The Samsung Galaxy Fit manages to outclass the Galaxy Mini with a larger screen, better camera and more attractive appearance. In terms of raw power, though, the two phones are practically identical.

The market in cheap Android phones is becoming increasingly crowded, but the Fit’s solid design and excellent camera make it a viable choice if you’re shopping on a shoestring.

- Check out all the Samsung Galaxy Fit deals at OMIO today!

 

Nokia E6 review


Conclusion
The Nokia E6 is most definitely an improvement over the E5, offering a touch-screen interface, improved Symbian^3 ‘Anna’ OS and a more robust and aesthetically-pleasing design. It’s just a shame that Nokia didn’t see fit to bolster the anaemic processor and add in an auto-focus camera.

The E6′s natural rivals are the ageing (yet still popular) BlackBerry 8520 and the BlackBerry 8900, but the presence of a QWERTY keyboard puts it in direct competition with similar phones, such as the Android-powered Acer beTouch E210.

Compared to all of those devices, the E6 fares extremely well, and if you can put up with its faults you’ll come away reasonably contented with your purchase.

- Check out all the Nokia E6 deals at OMIO today!

 

LG Optimus 3D review

Conclusion
The LG Optimus 3D can stand tall as the first phone in Britain to deliver glasses-free 3D. If you’re planning to invest in a 3D camcorder anyway, or you’re a 3D addict with a telly to match, the Optimus 3D does a solid job creating and displaying 3D on the move. But if you’re not that bothered about 3D — or the paltry content that’s currently available — the Optimus 3D isn’t much to get excited about. It’s a powerful, zippy Android smart phone, but it’s on the chunky side and it lacks stylishness inside and out.

We’ll have to wait until the autumn before the Optimus 3D’s main competitor, the HTC Evo 3D, shows up on shelves. In the meantime, we prefer the slicker, lighter, 2D-only Samsung Galaxy SII or HTC Sensation to the Optimus 3D.

- Check out all the LG Optimus 3D deals at OMIO today!

Trusted Reviews

Motorola Atrix review

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Verdict

As a standalone phone, the Motorola Atrix competes well against the dual-core Android competition due to its high res screen, unique fingerprint scanner, great battery life and comfortable form factor, though is let down by a mediocre camera, some unnecessary interface tweaks and limited video support. As such, it rather depends which you prioritise. Add in its dock accessories, though, and it shines out brightly. There is something undeniably cool about having one device perform so many of your daily functions. Unfortunately these docks don’t come for free and the lapdock in particular simply can’t compete for functionality with a laptop, netbook or even tablet. If and when Android updates come that more comprehensively support it then it could be amazing but as it stands, it’s a nice to have, not a must have

- Check out all the Motorola Atrix deals at OMIO today!

Reghardware

HTC ChaCha review

chacha

Verdict
The HTC ChaCha is a sturdy little smartphone with a fine QWERTY keyboard and a good-looking, if rather squished screen. The Facebook facility is well integrated and though it doesn’t offer anything really different, it does make posting simpler and quicker. The small display means it’s a bit of a jump from a standard smartphone, but BlackBerry users will certainly want to take a look

- Check out all the HTC ChaCha deals at OMIO today!

 

Nokia X7 Symbian Anna smartphone

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Verdict
There’s no denying it, Nokia is a class act, capable of delivering some of the best-looking handsets around. This metal-cased phone is well-designed and has great build quality. There are lots of features, all handled well and Nokia’s ability to make a smartphone run for a decent length of time should not be underestimated. In many ways, the Nokia X7 is a simply terrific phone, if a bit on the large side.

But it’s powered by Symbian and although this is the best version of the operating system yet, and the version which should have been on the N8, it feels creaky. In the autumn, when Nokia releases its first Windows Phone handset, expect the world to change.

- Check out all the Nokia X7 deals at OMIO today!

LG Optimus Pro, Optimus Net Expand Manufacturer’s Affordable Android Lineup

Despite doing the dual-core business with the Optimus Black and Optimus 2X, then blazing a trail in the glasses-free handset game with the Optimus 3D, Korean manufacturer LG aren’t done with their Android phone invasion, introducing a duo of Gingerbread-powered devices in the Optimus Net and Optimus Pro.

The LG Optimus Net is another one of those social networking mobiles that everyone seems so eager to create (yet consumers are slightly less inclined to purchase…) bringing all of your favourite sites like Bebo, MySpace and Hi5 (okay, more like Facebook and Twitter) onto the home screen.

One-touch photo uploading redeems it somewhat, making it a pretty cool phone to keep everyone abreast of your latest misadventures. Add that to SmartShare functionality allowing for easy sharing of content with other gadgets equipped with DLNA, and the Optimus Net comes pretty close to LG’s ‘Androids for Everyone’ mantra…provided the price is right.

With a 3.2-inch HVGA touchscreen display, 3.15-megapixel camera, 800Mhz CPU, Wi-Fi connectivity and Near Field Communication (NFC) support for micro-transactions in some launch territories, the Optimus Net actually sounds like a highly capable Android handset.

The LG Optimus Pro is the phone maker’s first stab at an Android handset with a BlackBerry-style QWERTY keyboard, but that’s not to say the 2.8-inch screen isn’t touch-ready too, because it is.

The offer of a ‘best of both worlds’ device could muscle in on the lucrative entry level smartphone market currently dominated by RIM, and the selection of colours as well as dedicated buttons for e-mail and calendars make for a strong handset when it comes to productivity.

Both handsets are equipped with a hefty 1500mAh battery to enable users to liveblog to their heart’s content, and are due for a ‘Summer’ launch.

Despite LG recently scaling back their sales forecasts, these handsets just how eager they are to contend within both the flagship and affordable sectors of the mobile market.

Orange Introduces New Web Browsing Bundles For EU Travellers

 

With mobile roaming a hot button topic after the European Commission revised pricing limits, Orange has seen fit to offer European travellers that on Pay Monthly, Small Business and broadband dongle tariffs 30MB of internet data for just £3 per day.

This move follows revamped browsing bundles from the network, giving pay monthly consumers an option of 30MB, 150MB and 500MB data packages for between £15 and £150, each eligible for 30 days from purchase.

Considering that out-of-bundle data charges are a whopping £3.07 per MB, these packages are certainly a necessity for those looking to take their mobiles with them when going away on a European holiday.

To purchase one of these mobile internet bundles, Orange Pay Monthly users can call customer services by dialling 150…whilst Pay As You Go folk would do well to bury their mobile in a sandcastle or just leave it at home…

Whilst new EU rulings mean that data roaming charges will cost no more than 81p per MB on 1st July 2012 and fall to around 40p by 2014, this is one more affordable way for Orange subscribers to browse when abroad in the meantime.

Symbian Anna OS Shown Off In Slick Nokia Video

Still not sure that the Symbian Anna OS update will give the brand new Nokia E6 and Nokia X7 or your existing Nokia N8, C7, E7 or C6-01 handset shiny teeth and a glossy coat when it arrives in Q3?

Well, this impressive video courtesy of Nokia Australia might convince you otherwise.

From the new keyboard and updated Ovi Maps to the improved Ovi Store, this video takes you on a whistle-stop tour of the revamped operating system in just two minutes and twenty seven seconds.

Don’t worry if the music proves a tad familiar…it’s Adam and Joe’s Text The Nation remix! Gawd bless you, GarageBand.

 

O2 Priority Offers Get Location-Based Revamp, High Street Discounts

O2 has decided to embrace the coupon culture of the UK by expanding its ‘Priority’ service to turn the nation’s mobiles into bargain-scoring devices.

Partnering with 30 high street stalwarts at launch including WH Smith and Odeon Cinemas, O2 Priority Moments aim to introduce location-based offers in a very similar vein to popular sites like Groupon, enabling money-saving deals to be piped directly into phones and with the chance to save customers as much as £105 each month.

In addition, the ‘Priority’ nature of O2′s Moments service (previously giving early access to concerts at the O2 and the like) enables value adds to these virtual coupons like free delivery or a complimentary glass of wine with a discount meal at Zizzi’s.

Bargains at launch include 50% off tickets at ODEON Cinemas (on Sunday to Thursday, take that Orange Wednesdays!); an exclusive – and more importantly free – Harvey Nichols canvas tote bag with every fashion or beauty purchase of over £25; half off WH Smith’s current ‘read of the week’, as well as a starter and main course for a tenner or a free glass of wine and dough sticks (nice) at Zizzi.

Other brands involved include hair landscapers Toni & Guy, speedy eaterie Yo! Sushi, stylish garment outlet French Connection, and the anniversary-saviour that is Hotel Chocolat.

With around £22m earmarked to push this campaign, O2 will certainly see its profile as the money-saving network as it begins to roll out the service, as well as being great for high-profile brands to align themselves with. Will savvy shoppers see O2 as the provider to be with for making substantial savings on the high street?

We’ll soon see, as the service launches right now, simply requiring current O2 customers to text the word ‘moments’ to 2020

 

 

Artist Showcases 12 Years Of Saved Text Messages In Book, Art Exhibition

 

Artist Tracy Moberly has managed to chronicle the history of the mobile phone, the end of ‘Madchester’ and intimate looks at her closest friends – including Pete Docherty and Banksy – within over 60,000 text massages that she has received and stored since 1999.

Showing these messages in both a book named TEXT-ME-UP! and an exhibition weaving these messages into art (currently showing in Manchester’s Castlefield Gallery), the 47-year old has managed to document her tumultuous adventures in terms of love, life and loss – an unsent message from her dead father occupies the preface – making for a deep and coherent portrait of a fascinating person.

Take a look at the below video for an explanation of her motivations and cathartic nature of a work that was twelve years in the making.

Source: Textually