Omio News Blog

Monthly Archives: August 2011

Mobile Phone Review Round Up: Vodafone 555 Blue, Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini, HTC Evo 3D, BlackBerry Bold 9900, Samsung Galaxy Pro, Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro


Vodafone 555 Blue review



Perfect for those who want a nice-looking handset and minimal networking capabilities without any contract commitment – plus love to spend as much time as possible on Facebook. For those looking for a more media-based experience, however, you won’t find it with the Vodafone 555 Blue.

In today’s smartphone-enlightened times, we’re expecting more even for the price. Unless your three favourite things are Facebook, phoning and texting, you’ll want more from your handset.

- Check out all Vodafone 555 Blue deals at OMIO today!

Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini review



We’re pleasantly surprised at how usable and responsive the Xperia Mini is. The 1GHz processor means web pages are drawn and scrolled pretty quickly, while gaming and app performance is also good.

The user interface customisations are really nice as well, with Sony Ericsson’s sweeping visual changes bringing the best out of Android – and adding in plenty of new usability and social options.

In terms of value for money, it’s a decent option. The 3" screen is a little limiting if you’re into mobile media and gaming, but the phone itself is a glitch-free, user-friendly little marvel you won’t end up hating.

There are more capable Android phones available for less money, but none that are as pocketable and enjoyable to use as the Xperia Mini.

- Check out all Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini deals at OMIO today!


HTC Evo 3D review



It depends how you look at the HTC Evo 3G when deciding on a rating; in a vacuum it’s a tremendous phone with a cool extra 3D element. It’s pricey, sure, but it’s only the same price as the iPhone 4, and on some contracts, a bit cheaper than that.

But then you notice the HTC Sensation, which in every way is its superior (except for maybe battery life) – thinner, lighter, more stylish, brighter screen… the list goes on.

With that in mind, and HTC’s reticence to give us any indication of how to use the 3D for gaming or movies, plus the higher cost, we’ll have to say we’re hugely disappointed with the Evo 3D. If HTC decides to bless us with decent content via Watch or a download 3D games, we’ll bump it up a star or so – but if that never happens, this phone will fall quickly into the ‘cool, but not much point’ category.

If you’re desperate for a 3D phone, check out the LG Optimus 3D – and it’s been a long time since we’ve recommended an LG over an HTC phone.

- Check out all the HTC Evo 3D deals at OMIO today!

BlackBerry Bold 9900 review


The Bold 9900 is likely to have plenty of appeal among existing BlackBerry fans. It’s undoubtedly one of the best phones RIM has made, thanks to its robust design, speedy processor and fast OS. Essentially, it’s a quicker and more refined version of what has gone before and, for many BlackBerry fans, that will be enough.

But the 9900 just isn’t that exciting compared to similarly priced Android handsets or the iPhone 4. Its text-heavy menus are likely to be a turn-off for those not used to the BlackBerry OS, and its so-so camera and small screen mean it’s no multimedia star. The lack of compelling content in the app store is also a downer. Overall, you get the sense that RIM is preaching to the converted with the Bold 9900.

- Check out all the BlackBerry Bold 9900 deals at OMIO today!


Samsung Galaxy Pro review


While the Samsung Galaxy Pro’s keyboard is a joy to use, the rest of the phone feels like an exercise in compromise. The low-resolution screen makes small text almost unreadable, and the handset’s overall performance is anything but sprightly.

Arguably, the most successful Android Qwerty phone is the Facebook-focused HTC ChaCha. The ChaCha offers better software, looks and build quality than the Galaxy Pro. It’s also more expensive, but the additional cash is worth it if you’re absolutely hell-bent on having the BlackBerry feel with your Android phone.

If you’re shopping on a budget and still crave those lovely buttons, then the Galaxy Pro is one of your best options, but we’d recommend you seriously consider jumping fully into the realm of the touchscreen. Even physical buttons aren’t enough to justify the concessions you’re forced to make with a phone like the Galaxy Pro.

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



Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro review


Sony Ericsson has done a good job with the Mini Pro. The company has clearly gone and learnt some pretty serious lessons from mistakes made with prior hardware releases. Just about every single niggle and problem the old Xperia range had has now been cleared up and Sony Ericsson now finally has a few decent handsets to be proud of.

Those in the market for something affordable, fun and QWERTY-packing can’t go wrong with the Mini Pro, it performed admirably in day-to-day Android tasks. We can’t help but feel, however, that Sony Ericsson now has too many value-orientated handsets in its lineup. Short of wanting a physical keyboard, it is difficult to know why exactly you would choose the Xperia Mini Pro over any of the other similarly performing and priced Android offerings. The handset feels slightly like part of a larger, feature phone family rather than something unique. We think that if Sony Ericsson had really devoted lots of time to the Mini, it could have been a really brilliant and affordable piece of hardware.

The Mini Pro comes so close to being one of the best affordable Android phones out there. It’s a shame then that it falls short in the materials and design department. Things are just the wrong side of plasticky and the handset itself needs to go on a bit of a diet in order to feel like it is truly mini.

Faults aside though, the keyboard is great and those in need of a device with a proper physical input could do a lot worse than the Xperia Mini Pro.

- Check out all Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro deals at OMIO today!


BlackBerry Bold 9900 review


The best BlackBerry Bold ever? Perhaps it is. The core features of BlackBerry are still compelling, the keyboard will let you skip over keys rattling out messages, with a rock of the thumb here and a glancing prod there, in ways that only BlackBerry users understand.

The addition of a touchscreen does make a difference, but the overall experience isn’t a huge evolution from BB6. Whilst BB7 is familiar, there isn’t much here that really drives things forward into the competitive arena. The camera results are behind the rivals, the app offering still has holes in it and sometimes the touch response slopes off. It isn’t a multimedia timewaster in the way that the latest phone from Samsung or HTC is, it’s core offering is communication, in which it mostly excels, but it’s in the extras where it doesn’t make huge progress.

The BlackBerry Bold 9900 is a device that will appeal greatly to die hard BlackBerry fans, returning the Bold to a premium look and a size that makes a little more sense than the 9700 models. Business users will find themselves with a more interactive device and a better browsing experience, but outside of keyboard and email experience, consumers may find they get a lot more smartphone for their money elsewhere.

- Check out all the BlackBerry Bold 9900 deals at OMIO today!



RIM BlackBerry Bold 9900

9900Bold_blk_side angle

The Bold 9900 is a very fast, very capable BlackBerry, but it’s essentially still the same device that RIM has been selling for years, with a few improvements to keep it up to date. If you like BlackBerry handsets, you’ll love it, but it’s unlikely to win over many new fans.

- Check out all the BlackBerry Bold 9900 deals at OMIO today!



BlackBerry Bold 9900 Review



Powerful, slim and great to use, the Bold 9900 is outstanding, with touchscreen and QWERTY working together well

- Check out all the BlackBerry Bold 9900 deals at OMIO today!

Mobile Phone Review Round Up: HTC Evo 3D, Blackberry Bold 9900, Samsung Galaxy SII, Orange Stockholm, LG Ego WiFi, Samsung Tocco Icon


HTC Evo 3D review



A decent contender for the best 3D phone crown, but this can’t quite make it to the top spot. The idea has potential, but it’s not as good for overall smartphone use as the Samsung Galaxy S2.

- Check out all the HTC Evo 3D deals at OMIO today!


Blackberry Bold 9900



It’s hard not to recommend the Bold 9900, because here we have a fantastic piece of kit that we can confidently describe as RIM’s best BlackBerry to date. That’s saying something, because the manufacturer has pumped out some cracking handsets over the years.

Yes, we’re dismayed by the lack of a decent camera and slightly disappointed about the web browsing experience, but all of this is irrelevant if you’re just buying this as a messaging device, which many people will. And if email is your bag, you can’t do any better.

If you want this as a media player, it’s definitely adequate and performs well – but given the smaller screen size, it’s only really going to be used for music over video.

The Bold 9900 is certainly bold in its ambition. It may fail in some places, but in the most part, it really impresses. We can see this one shipping by the bucketload, especially compared to the keyboard-less Torch 9860, as it ticks all the normal boxes and adds in a premium chassis to boot.

- Check out all the BlackBerry Bold 9900 deals at OMIO today!

Samsung Galaxy S2 review


The Samsung Galaxy S2 crams a gorgeous display, lightning-fast processor and powerful camera into one of the slimmest, lightest smart phones we’ve ever had the pleasure to hold. The Android operating system could be more user-friendly, but it’s never felt faster.

- Check out all the Samsung Galaxy S2 deals at OMIO today!


Orange Stockholm review


The Orange Stockholm is pretty standard fare as budget Android smart phones go. Its specs are nothing to get excited about and some of the Orange apps are lamentable, but you probably won’t be overly concerned with such criticisms if you’re seeking an Android handset for less than £100.

Although the Stockholm offers a solid route into Android, we’d still advise you to consider the likes of the Vodafone Smart and Samsung Galaxy Mini before handing over your cash. If you’re not fussed about Android, then you may also wish to consider the Stockholm’s Qwerty-packing sibling, the Orange Rio 2.

- Check out all the Orange Stockholm deals at OMIO today!


Mojo Chat review


The Mojo Chat is clearly aimed at younger users. But, while it’s fine for texting and making calls, the rest of the phone’s functionality is so half-baked that most kids will want to happy slap it into oblivion. When you consider that there are proper Android smart phones out there for around £50 to £80, the Mojo Chat seems even more pointless.

If you really crave a Qwerty keyboard on a budget, we recommend you save up a little longer and opt for something better, like the Orange Rio 2 or LG Optimus Chat.

- Check out all the Mojo Chat deals at OMIO today!

LG S310 review


It’s testament to how good the LG S310 looks that we had colleagues passing by our desk and assuming it was a new and expensive smart phone. Despite the low price point, LG has crafted a seriously attractive handset. Its thin and elegant frame is likely to turn heads.

Slightly less appealing are the average screen, low internal memor, and lack of 3G connectivity. Even these faults, however, are balanced out somewhat by the solid battery life and easy to understand menu system — not to mention the bargain price tag.

As a phone for a youngster or an elderly family member who is new to all this mobile malarkey, the LG S310 is highly recommended. It leapfrogs over other budget phones like the Nokia 2220 Slide and Motorola Moto WX295 to become one of the best (and most attractive) phones you can buy for under £50.

- Check out all the LG S310 deals at OMIO today!

Trusted Reviews

LG Ego WiFi review



With 3G, Wi-Fi and a touchscreen, the LG Ego appears to have everything more expensive smartphones offer. But it doesn’t. The small resistive touchscreen makes navigation frustrating and the feature phone operating system rules-out the additional levels of customisation and app-based exploits available to Android smartphone users. A year or two ago, the LG Ego would have made a lot of sense, but now it’s way behind the pack.

- Check out all the LG Ego deals at OMIO today!


Samsung Galaxy Pro GT-B7510


Despite some plus points, such as its relatively low price tag, we couldn’t help feeling that the Samsung Galaxy Pro is a bit of a disappointment. The screen and keyboard are the two areas you need to get right on a messaging device and Samsung just hasn’t managed to do that here. Also, Android just feels awkward to use on a landscape device such as this. Still, if you’re determined to get a messaging phone that runs Android, we’d advise you to check out the HTC ChaCha instead.

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

Samsung Tocco Icon



The Samsung Tocco Icon looks better than many of its price rivals, but in spite of pumping Wi-Fi into this latest model, the Tocco series is in danger of becoming irrelevant. Its price is perilously close to that of perfectly good low-end smartphones, and when the capacitive touchscreen isn’t much fun to use in operation here, we suggest you seriously consider one of those models. Unless the Tocco’s shiny black ‘n’ silver look already has you transfixed.

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


Samsung Galaxy Fit Android smartphone

The Samsung Galaxy Fit is a low-end Android with a poor screen and underpowered processor, but just about redeems itself with a decent camera.

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