Omio News Blog

Monthly Archives: September 2011

Street Fighter II Collection Lands On App Store

Old-school gaming fans should get ready for some new thumb callouses, as Capcom has released an arcade-perfect emulation of revered beat ‘em up Street Fighter II for iOS devices.

Anyone with a misspent youth in the arcades remembers the excitement around seminal fighting game Street Fighter II…learning how to do your first dragon punch, seeing M.Bison for the first time, getting ‘perfected’ by the pros and losing all your pocket money…

Whilst the iPhone version can’t quite recreate those early 90s experiences, it does pack in the classic brawler, revamped sequel Championship Edition (which enabled the bosses to be controllable), as well as the super-speed and new special moves of Street Fighter II Turbo/Hyper Fighting in a single package.

Whilst the touchscreen controls are a far cry from the precision of wrenching a joystick to fling those fireballs, the simplified button operation inherited from the iOS version of Street Fighter IV makes mobile pugilism a little less painful…

As someone who remembers purchasing the original Street Fighter II for an eye-watering £65 back in the day, a price of £2.49 for this edition is literally a bargain.

Grab it here.


Samsung x Bang & Olufsen Concept Handset Is A Muso’s Smartphone Fantasy


Beats Audio is all well and good, but those that spend real money on music know of Danish technology brand Bang and Olufsen.

This gorgeous ‘BOPhone’ concept handset from Antoine Brieux of NAK Studio embraces B&O’s industrial design, metallic hues and clean lines (channeling a bit of the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc‘s concave form into the bargain), making for a device that looks suitably fancy.

Speakers adorn the top of the device, and Android under the hood means that the expansive touchscreen display would be put to good use.

Add in a beautiful ‘enhanced B&O dock’ that ‘benefits from advanced acoustical know-how’ that the handset elegantly slots into, and you have a luxury musical mobile combo that could turn the heads of the most ardent Vertu owners…

Having already partnered with Samsung on the pricey (not to mention far more high concept) Serenata in 2007, this Bang and Olufsen crossover may not be a million miles from getting made one day.

At least it gives us all time to save up…

Check out Yanko Design for a wealth of additional concept images.

HTC Bliss Getting Musical Makeover, Now HTC Rhyme?

After spending a pretty penny on the majority of the ‘Beats’ line of headphone gadgetry, could the Taiwanese phone maker HTC be following up their Sensation XE with another audiophile’s dream in the Rhyme?

Leaked plentifully and dubbed ‘Bliss’ at the time, the HTC Rhyme could well be revealed on September 20th (if the date on the gloriously Photoshopped image above is any indication), but the Sensation XE’s flagship status could see this musical mobile become an affordable alternative.

According to both the image and German blog HTC Inside, the Rhyme is rocking Sense 3.5, as well as a simple and clean form factor…shades of the LG Arena, maybe?

Either way, not long to wait before we find out more if that 20th September date is any indication…

HTC Sensation XE Makes Motion Picture Debut, Sounds Awesome


Besides making Dr. Dre the 6th richest rapper in 2011 – despite not having released a proper album in ten years – Beats Audio integration has also made the new HTC Sensation XE a handset to watch (and listen to) in Q4.

Hooked up with Dre’s range of premium headphones, the Sensation XE also packs a nice line in beefed up hardware, an improved processor and Beats audio processing on the decks, making for a great all-round experience.

One Mobile Ring lays the HTC Sensation XE bare in the below video…check out the latest Android floor filler in detail!

iPhone 5: The Rumour Mill So Far!

It would be churlish to come out of a self-imposed internet exile for anything less than the current rumours swirling around an impending iPhone sequel – from a March 2012 release to word of an 8-megapixel snapper.

uSwitch Tech has recently attempted to rescue the truth submerged under the noise…and what’s certain is that a new iPhone is coming. Almost definitely…

Let’s pick out the most exciting playground chatter and try to divine some sort of facts, shall we?

iPhone 5 release date of October 21st on O2?

Well, the fact that it was ‘an unnamed O2 employee’ gives the rumour of an October 21st release some thrilling Deepthroat-esque credence, but given that these folk are often literally the last to know about such developments, we would suggest that this be treated with a soupçon of sodium choride.

Likelihood of truth – 4/10

iPhone 5 not due until March 2012?

Word from TechEye was that channel parters were blaming a ‘components downturn and other economic factors’ meant that we wouldn’t see an iPhone sequel until March in the space-year 2012…

Yeah, judging by the quality of some of video games that get rush released in the lead-up to Christmas, we think that anything short of catastrophic Cupertino events would see Apple miss the insanely popular Winter shopping window.

Likelihood of truth – 2/10

iPhone 5 announcement imminent?

Word of plans being put in place by higher-ups at various networks and retailers means that there has to be truth in this one. There has to be enough of a lead time to get Apple fans into a lather about the iPhone 5, despite Apple’s notoriously short timeframes between reveal and release.

The official unveiling is soon…with iPhone 5 deals certain to follow.

Likelihood of truth – 7/10

The iPhone 5 is identical to the iPhone 4?

A CNET tidbit says that an analyst is throwing water on the Apple party, suggesting the difference may be so imperceptible between the iPhone 4 and its forthcoming sequel that it might even just be an ‘iPhone 4S’, much like the 3GS was a tweak under the iPhone 3G bonnet.

If the iPhone 5 is a touch up rather than a full body rebuild, disappointment may be high amongst the fanboys…however if it iterates on the right features (quicker processor, better support for gaming, true multitasking) expect to see queues just as long as previous iterations.

Likelihood of truth – 6/10

Mobile Phone Review Round Up: Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro, Orange Monte Carlo, HP Pre 3, BlackBerry Torch 9810, BlackBerry Torch 9860, Three MiFi Huawei Wireless Modem E586, Orange Stockholm and HTC Evo 3D

Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro review


Overall, though, the Mini Pro is a likeable little device. Its smaller dimensions set it apart from the competition and its slide-out Qwerty keyboard, although small, is still very useable. The speedy processor also makes it feel very fluid to use and the user interface tweaks Sony Ericsson has added over the top of Android work extremely well.

The camera is poor, however, both for snaps and videos, battery life is short, and the small screen does hamper its usability. As a result, the Mini Pro’s minuscule charms won’t appeal to everyone.

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



Orange Monte Carlo budget Android smartphone


The Orange Monte Carlo is not a phone for playing games or watching video, trick call technology, slick UI and decent battery life it is worth every penny of its asking price. Yes I’d like more system storage, a glass screen and a Cortex CPU but that would make it a £350 phone not a £150 one. Less bloat from Orange would also be very welcome

- Check out all Orange Monte Carlo at OMIO today!


HP Pre 3 webOS smartphone


Alas, despite price cut rumours, hunting down an HP Pre 3 beyond Carphone Warehouse may well be a problem, if experience is anything to go by. The review sample came through Clove Technology – a distributor that, in all the uncertainty, eventually cancelled its Pre 3 order from HP. Even so, the Pre 3 proved to be a decent little smartphone – fast, capable and easy to use. Indeed, it is shame it has no future, as the more competition we have in the smartphone market, the more likely manufacturers are to innovate.

- Check out all HP Pre 3 at OMIO today!



BlackBerry Torch 9810 review

Image converted using ifftoany

Final verdict

Years ago, we’d have been thrilled by an upgrade.

Going from Nokia’s 3310 to 3330 because we got WAP, from 8910 to 8910i because of the colour screen, or even an N95 to an N95 8GB just for minor improvements.

But times have changed. We don’t want updates – now, consumers demand massive changes, or else what’s the point in signing up to a contract that will probably outlive you just to get your hands on the ‘latest’ handset?

The sad fact is that updates are yesterday’s news, and this isn’t a revolutionary product, merely an evolution ("evolution" being the word RIM uses itself on the marketing literature. That speaks volumes).

If you’re obsessed with the BlackBerry Torch form factor, then we heartily recommend the BlackBerry Torch 9810 and wish you luck. But faced with the choice, we’d take the Bold 9900 anytime.

The only benefit we can see is that this now will make the original 9800 cheaper, so you could get that on a good deal.

Let’s hope Mike Lazaridis and Co up their game by this time next year. Although at this rate, we’ll not get too excited.

- Check out all BlackBerry Torch 9810 at OMIO today!


BlackBerry Torch 9860 review


Final verdict

It’s a slick package from afar, but using the BlackBerry Torch 9860 after the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S2, HTC Sensation and iPhone 4 feels like going back to 2009.

There’s lots to boast about on this phone, no doubt, but we just can’t recommend it over the rest out there for anyone other than those desperately tied into RIM’s services who want a slick new all-touch experience.

- Check out all BlackBerry Torch 9860 at OMIO today!


Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro review



The Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro’s £240 price tag is relatively high in this age of budget-busting Android phones, but you are getting a lot in the package.

Performance is good, the phone’s quick and responsive throughout, with apps installing and opening as fast as they do on today’s high-end, dual core monsters.

The screen is responsive and bright, with text and photos looking sharp.

For the money, you could get a phone with a bigger screen, but there’s nothing else that packs Android 2.3, a QWERTY keyboard and a totally smooth user experience into such a tiny bundle.

The camera is just about good enough for daily use, web browsing is excellent and Sony Ericsson’s user interface is slick and smooth in operation. Plus there’s a physical keyboard.

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro pretty much has it all, as long as you can cope with the very compact format

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


Three MiFi Huawei Wireless Modem E586 review



The Three MiFi E586 is a very handy little device, and anyone looking at getting a 3G tablet or laptop should definitely consider it before splashing out on the pricier hardware.

- Check out all Three MIFI at OMIO today!


Trusted Reviews

Orange Stockholm review


The Orange Stockholm has it strengths, including its low price tag and pocket friendly size. However, the low resolution screen, sluggish processor and abundance of Orange bloatware means that it wouldn’t be our first choice if we were on the hunt for a budget smartphone. In fact, the San Francisco is still a much better phone than this one.

- Check out all Orange Stockholm at OMIO today!


HTC Evo 3D review



The HTC Evo 3D is clearly a very capable handset, packing-in just about every current key feature, including of course its 3D camera and screen. As such it ranks very highly if you’re simply after a top-spec powerhouse. However, we’re just not wholly convinced. Obviously there’s the plain fact that 3D is a bit of a gimmick, and that the 2D camera quality suffers because of it. The styling and size of the phone also put us off slightly too. And finally we find HTC’s implementation of Android more and more cumbersome, with it refusing to keep things simple. Unless you’re desperate for a fully 3D future there are better alternatives.

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