Omio News Blog

Monthly Archives: May 2012

LG Prada 3.0 Price Slashed, Fashion Smartphone Becomes Eminently Affordable

Those looking for a designer smartphone at an off-the-peg price are in luck, as the LG Prada 3.0 has seen its RRP cut by more than £200 to a low cost of £239.99.

On offer by SIM-free retailer Expansys, the LG Prada 3.0 is a concerted effort to bring some class to the smartphone party, by giving the device a dusky Android makeover with a custom Prada skin, as well as slender 8.5mm thick curves and minimalist design.

Sporting last season’s Gingerbread version of Android – but with a promise to see an Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade soon – the LG Prada 3.0 has a sizable 4.3-inch IPS touchscreen and 8GB of internal – and expandable – memory.

Flaunted by models and movie stars at launch, the Prada 3.0 was an attempt to reinvigorate the sexy phone mantra that was all the rage in the late noughties, and has been a moderate success for the Korean manufacturer.

With the trio of ‘L-Style’ fashion phones continuing the trend of style and specs in the same body but at a heftier cost, the price drop on the Prada 3.0 makes for an intriguing mid-range option at a pretty decent price.

Check out the deal here.

Orange San Diego Revealed: Intel Inside, Orange Outside

Orange and Intel this morning revealed the fruits of their ‘Santa Clara’ project, announced earlier in the year at Mobile World Congress 2012.  Now called the Orange San Diegothis exclusive Intel-made handset aims to bring Android smartphone technology to an budget friendly price point of £199 on Pay As You Go, and free from £15.50 per month on contract.

For your money you will be able to take home an Intel Atom based dual-camera Android handset with 16GB of onboard memory and 1GB RAM, perfectly happy at taking snaps at 8MP with LED flash, full 1080p video, and video calling.

The camera can also operate in burst-mode, firing of 10 snaps per second, handy for capturing hyperactive children or over-caffienated work colleagues in action.

NFC will give you access to electronic wallet functions should you wish, whilst HDMI output is provided for HD video playback on your big screen.

HD Voice is a happy addition, providing a sheen of enhanced calling quality for its primary function as a phone. Battery life, another keen concern for handsets, is claimed at around 8 hours of talk time and 14 days standby.

Concessions have understandably been made to bring these features to this price level however.

The Atom chipset is roughly 4 years old now, although this is its first incarnation in a mobile handset, and whilst high end smartphones are starting to pack quad-core power, the San Diego totes a modest 1.6gHz single core processor.

Onboard memory doesn’t appear to be expandable either, meaning that you’ll be stuck with 16GB of storage.

The San Diego also runs an Orange branded version of the more… mature shall we say…2.3 version of Android (Gingerbread). We pushed one of the brains from Intel for info about future software updates, and whilst they could reveal that 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) would be made available as an over the air update ‘soon’, they couldn’t be pushed for a firm date.

Up close, the San Diego did appear to be a competent handset, In your hand it does feel like a slightly chunkier version of Samsung’s Galaxy S2, with a similar plastic approach and nice and light in your hand. There was no noticeable lag in basic operation with this current software revision, although how the Ice Cream Sandwich update will perform with its single core processor is yet to be seen. 

Orange are confident however that the payoff between available features and price point should make it an attractive wallet friendly option via their retail stores, online and over the phone. 

Orange will be promoting the San Diego with the biggest marketing push for an own-brand handset yet.  Expect a creative campaign featuring ninjas and jet powered cars to hit your screens very soon, and just in time for the June 6th release.

It’s a competitive market though, and if you look around you may be able to pick up a last model branded handset, with a slightly higher spec as well as more minutes and texts for the same price.

For example Phones4U are currently offering £15.50p/m contracts on the HTC One S, and the Samsung Galaxy S2.

As always, feel free to explore more options via Omio’s deals page.

 

Orange Voucher Offer – £5 Off Per Month On Pay Monthly Contracts!

Here’s a great offer for those looking to save a wedge on a pay monthly mobile deal, a voucher code that cuts your Orange bill by £5 for every month of a 24-month contract, making for a £120 discount!

Applicable on all tariffs costing £20 or above, and on all handsets save for the iPhone range, HTC One X and the Samsung Galaxy S3, that still leaves a massive selection of great smartphones to choose from including the Nokia Lumia 710, LG’s impressive Optimus L3 and the affordable BlackBerry Curve 9320.

Simply enter the code 5poundoff into the ‘add promotional code’ section when at the basket of your Orange order, and the voucher will be confirmed.

Please note that this offer expires on Thursday 14th June, so be quick to get your cheap contracts in!

 

Sony XPERIA Go Announced: Scratch Resistant, Splash Proof, Still Stylish

Not letting up on their new brand direction, the Sony XPERIA go is the latest handset to be announced in this post-Ericsson era, touting a healthy set of specs alongside some ‘toughphone’ credentials.

Ticking the Android blower boxes, the XPERIA go has a 1Ghz dual-core processor, 3.5-inch touchscreen and a 5-megapixel snapper, although is another handset from Sony to come with Gingerbread out of the gate and a promise of Ice Cream Sandwich in the future.

That being said, and despite an official IP67 rating for protection from dust, water and smacks, the XPERIA go still manages to look more suited to the boardroom than the building site with slender curves and weight of just 110g.

With a scratch-resistant mineral glass display and the ability to track grubby mitts via ‘wet finger’ technology, the XPERIA go seems to be an interesting – albeit a tad familiar in terms of aesthetics – addition to Sony’s burgeoning smartphone family and a true challenge to the likes of Motorola’s DEFY+.

The XPERIA go is scheduled for a Q3 2012 launch, in the fetching hues of white, black and yellow.

New iPhone Case Leak: Larger Screen, Unibody Metal Casing, New Mini Dock Port?

 

Pictures of a new iPhone have leaked online and are currently doing the rounds on the blogosphere. 9TO5Mac were the first to call it, producing images via sources in Apple’s supply chain of the rear casing, front glass and the internal frame that supports gubbins like the home button, earpiece and camera.

As rumoured, the pictures show a unibody back-plate and siding made from a single piece of metal, with a white or black trim. The dimensions of the phone are the same width as current models, but longer to accomodate a larger screen, suggested at around 4inches. This  would have a screen ratio of close to 16:9 as opposed to the 4:3 ratio of the current model, thus being able to display movies optimally. The unibody metal back reveals a thinner profile as expected.

The docking port on the bottom is smaller, which would spell ‘sayonara’ to the now ten year old 30pin connector as suspected. This will no doubt bring a tear to the eye of anyone with an expensive speaker dock, or a well-loved collection of always-handy charging cables. The speaker and microphone grills are subsequently redesigned and larger, supporting hints that Apple are improving the speaker performance. The 3.5mm headphone jack seems to have also moved to the bottom of the handset, whilst the front plate shows an iSight camera directly centre above the earpiece.

As usual, the hype surrounding an upcoming release from Apple can and will reach sci-fi levels of speculation, so feel free to take any leaks with a healthy pillar of salt. However, the images do seem to confirm a number of widely suspected rumours surrounding the upcoming iPhone. Meanwhile, Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference rolls around on June 11th, where we should see some more juicy information on iOS 6, and possibly some hints towards a new handset for a release in the Autumn.

Oh, and whilst we’re speculating, my money’s on it being called simply the New iPhone (in line with Apple’s New iPad).  Whilst the iPhone 4S wasn’t the iPhone 5 as many imagined it would be, it was still the 5th generation iPhone, which would make the new handset the iPhone 6. Confused? Yeah, exactly… New iPhone would eliminate any confusion, bring consistency to Apple’s product suite, and sound less like another terrible Saw sequel.

Of course, feel free to offer some of your own speculations/fanboy flame-bait in the comments section below…

Samsung Galaxy S3 Delay Confirmed By Mobile Phones Direct, 2 Week Wait Expected For Blue Model

UK retailer Mobile Phones Direct has also confirmed recent fears to consumers today, stating the blue variant of the Samsung Galaxy S3 will indeed be delayed beyond its original 30th May launch date.

The below e-mail has just been fired off to the many Sammy fans that pre-ordered the eagerly awaited smartphone:

As you may have read in the media, Samsung are reported to have experienced production issues with the new Samsung Galaxy S3.

This has affected the date that stock was due to arrive into the UK and the availability date announced by Samsung of the 30th May – we have not at this time been given a firm stock delivery date by Samsung, but indications are that delivery may be delayed by around 7-14 days.

As you would expect and in fairness, we intend to supply the Galaxy S3 on a first-ordered, first-delivered basis once stock arrives.

We expect stock of the white Galaxy S3 to be less constrained than the blue, and we hope to dispatch a very limited amount of orders for the white Galaxy S3 on Friday of this week – those customers will receive a dispatch confirmation email once their order leaves our warehouse.

Please note that all Samsung retailers have been effected by this delay, and are advising their customers of the delay to their pre-orders of the Samsung Galaxy S3 – please do not cancel your order as you will not be able to obtain the Galaxy S3 elsewhere any quicker, and will lose your pre-order delivery slot.

We sincerely apologise on behalf of Samsung for this disappointing news – having seen and used the pre-production Samsung Galaxy S3 we can assure you that this short delay will be worth-while to receive one of the most eagerly anticipated and technically advanced smartphones of 2012.

Sad words, I think you’ll agree…

The reason for the delay? Earlier reports suggested that production errors with the casing for the blue model have delayed its release, causing memories of the protracted journey to stores for the white iPhone 4 many moons ago.

Fortunately, the Samsung Galaxy S3 issue looks to be a delay of mere weeks, rather than the near 9-month wait we had for the Apple device’s new hue.

Given that the blue model of the Galaxy S3 is by far the more popular according to uSwitch’s Mobile Tracker, a lot of people might have to keep themselves occupied in the sun before their shiny smartphones arrive…early reviews suggest that it is worth the wait.

LG Pushes Optimus L-Series To Cool Kids, To Launch One Direction Ticket Giveaway

Korean mobile manufacturer LG is tying together its new Optimus L-Series devices with a socially-savvy Twitter competition, enabling fans of the likes of One Direction and Jay-Z to win concert tickets throughout June.

A dedicated site will show a Google Maps-style view of the tickets’ locations around the UK, with further retweets of the #LGTicketHunter hashtag revealing the destination.

A mad dash towards the spot will then ensue (LG hope), and the first to tweet the special watchword will win and make of the next set of tickets up for grabs.

The hashtag will be a promoted trend on the 6th of June, and anyone using the tag will be entered into a draw for tickets to a bunch of other trendy events, including The Voice Live as well as Jay-Z and Kanye West.

Dave Cottrell, LG social media marketing manager, said: “The L-Series is all about accessible style. With this in mind we wanted to engage our target audience with an innovative and fun digital campaign that utilised our sponsorship of the LG Arena.”

With the Android-powered LG Optimus L3, flagship Optimus L7 and forthcoming L5 all currently being promoted as part of a £4 million advertising campaign, this online push is aimed squarely at the young, cool demographic they wish the new L-Series phones to appeal to.

via Marketing Magazine

INRIX Traffic App Brings Crowd-Sourced Travel Information To Smartphones

In a bid to curb the constant frustration of being stuck in jams, traffic and navigation services provider INRIX have seen fit to turn us all into human early warning systems, rolling out a new version of their app for smartphones.

Leveraging crowd-sourced data and clever analytics, the free INRIX traffic app compiles tons of information on accidents, tailbacks and roadworks, presenting it in a simple and straightforward map overlay to aid in planning your journey.

Enabling you to plot your trip from home to work (or to numerous destinations if you shell out £17.49 for the premium version), INRIX also enables users to report their own issues and hindrances along the way.

The clever feature of ‘forecasting’ the right time to leave in order to avoid problems on the road and alternative routes enable you to pick the right time to leave the house, whilst the app can also fire off an ETA text to your nearest and dearest to keep them posted on exactly when to expect you…

Catering solely to car journeys, the INRIX app seems fully equipped to get you out of a jam on the motorway or dodge some congestion on those longer trips, but can unfortunately do little for leaves on the line or planned engineering works – more common daily issues for commuters in the UK to face.

Check out the app for both iPhone and Android, see if you can shave a few minutes off your time.

T-Mobile, Orange Hit Home Stretch Of Network Merging Project

Lucky subscribers to the colourful networks of T-Mobile and Orange will now automagically be shunted between signals if it drops below a certain level, as Everything Everywhere reach the final steps of their mobile merging project.

The culmination of a massive undertaking which began way back in 2010 with customers hopping between 2G signals, the programme (part of an even more massive infrastructure development costing £1.4 million per day to implement) now enables users to seamlessly migrate between the two when falling below one bar on their phone, tablet or mobile broadband dongle…

CEO of Everything Everywhere, Olaf Swantee, was suitably chuffed by the whole affair:

“Smart Signal Sharing marks the completion of the Orange and T-Mobile signal integration project, which provides our 27.5million customers with the widest 2G and 3G coverage available in Britain today.

“The launch is yet another proofpoint to our commitment to provide our customers with the best network in the UK – now and in the future.

“Our continued investment into the network, including the launch of 50% faster 3G speeds through HSPA+, allows our customers to access the internet, social networks or download emails faster in more places than ever before.”

Nokia Drops Skype Support On Lumia 610, Slender Specs To Blame?

Nokia has just announced that they are to cease support for the Skype application on the entry-level Lumia 610 smartphone, citing a ‘not up to par’ user experience on the device.

The Finish manufacturer goes on to explain the issue in detail:

“Nokia values the user experience provided by its products and services. Therefore, although the Skype Windows Phone version is workable on Nokia Lumia 610, after in-depth testing, we found that the user experience is not up to par with Nokia and Skype’s expectation and decided not recommending users using Skype on Nokia Lumia 610. In the future, users of Nokia Lumia 610 would no longer be able to download Skype Windows Phone version from Window Phone Marketplace. However, Skype Windows Phone version would still be available for other users.”

With the Nokia Lumia 610 just scraping by with the minimum specifications for Windows Phone hardware, perhaps the slender 800Mhz processor and 256MB of RAM simply weren’t enough for the VoIP application to remain stable.

Nevertheless, there are few smartphones – and even fewer Windows Phones – better priced than the Nokia Lumia 610 in terms of value for money, however it seems that the concessions made to deliver such a bargain blower might have been too great…

Source: GSMArena