Omio News Blog

Monthly Archives: July 2012

LG Optimus L3 Pink Looks Pretty, Pricey On Mobiles.co.uk

We’re always a sucker for a new colourway at Omio Towers, and the LG Optimus L3 has received a subtle pink hue to court the fashion forward set.

Currently an exclusive for those upgrading on Mobiles.co.uk, the LG Optimus L3 Pink shares the same boxy frame and wallet-friendly price tag as the original, with its 800Mhz processor and Android Gingerbread making for an eminently pocketable entry level device.

LG’s custom Optimus user interface softens the blow that the L3 will not be making the jump to tastier versions of Android, but a modest 1GB internal storage (upgradable to 32GB via microSD) and tiny form factor seems to have attracted those preferring a hint of smartphone style over substance.

Pricing starts at a hefty £20.50 per month for a free handset with 100 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of data on Orange, but with the choice of a bevy of freebies including an Arnova tablet, £80 of cashback and a £50 voucher for use on Playstation Network.

Cute phone for him, new downloadable guns in Battlefield 3 for her…has there ever been a more perfect pairing of gadget and gift?

Samsung Vs Apple Trial: New Samsung Windows Phone 8 Handsets Revealed

Samsung have inadvertently revealed two upcoming Windows Phone 8 (Apollo) handsets in the ongoing Samsung vs Apple legal battle in California.

The two phones revealed in legal documents and spotted by eagle-eyed reporters at The Verge, are codenamed ‘Odyssey’ and ‘Marco’. Both are marked for release in Q4 2012, alongside the upcoming Windows Phone 8 OS, known as ‘Apollo’.

Image via The Verge

Fan’s of Microsoft’s unique take on the mobile OS will be bolstered by the continued support of the world’s largest mobile handset.

Whilst Windows Phone 7 restricted processing to a single core and screens to a low resolution, these two new Windows Phone 8 devices will be packing dual-core 1.5gHz processors via the Qualcomm MSM8960 chipset, and high resolution Super AMOLED screens.

Details are wafer thin at the moment, but we do know that ‘Odyssey’ will have a huge HD 4.65 inch display, 8MP rear camera and NFC, whilst the ‘Marco’ will have a 4 inch WVGA screen and a 5MP rear camera.

Each handset will be compatible with the fourth generation LTE data networks in the US, and 21 Mb/s HSPA+ for anywhere like Britain that is STILL awaiting the 4G goodness.

Whilst on paper this dual-core system still lags behind quad-core handsets like the Samsung Galaxy S3 or the HTC One X, it should be noted that the Windows Phone OS is a lot less CPU intensive than Android, and so less power goes further.

As soon as we find out anything else on these two new handsets we will let you know.

Huawei Ascend P1 Now Available For Preorder, Free From £20.50 Per Month

The mid-range smartphone battle is hotting up, and doing battle with the Professor Green-endorsed ZTE Grand X is Huawei’s Ascend P1, available now to pre-order from retailer BuyMobilePhones.net ahead of a 7th August UK launch, one day later than its touted SIM free appearance.

The Huawei Ascend P1 brings Android ICS to bear on a slender device, packed with a 4.3 inch Super AMOLED display, a dual-wielding 1.5Ghz processor, 4GB of internal storage and an 8-megapixel camera.

The Huawei Ascend P1 is on sale for free from a mere £20.50 per month on Orange, with 100 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of data thrown into the bargain.

Whilst the premium smartphone sector waits with baited breath to see whether the impending new iPhone will be top of the heap, the exciting stuff is certainly happening at the sub-£25 per month pricepoint at present…

Survey Shows 76% Of Consumers See Overwhelming Similarity In Smartphone Designs

Identikit smartphone designs have apparently become staid to the vast majority of mobile consumers, according to a recent survey.

Over 75 per cent of 1,195 people surveyed in a uSwitch poll agreed that the majority of mobile phones on the market are rectangular slabs, looking far too similar to one another.

With manufacturers flocking to the successful touchscreen template – even QWERTY mainstays RIM seem to be ditching the physical keyboard if recent OS demos have been anything to go by – the form factor has become overwhelmingly prevalent in the current smartphone landscape, with consumers becoming jaded.

With the new iPhone reportedly straying very little from previous iterations in terms of overall aesthetics, it looks like the monolithic mobile is going to be here for some time to come…or perhaps not, if Apple with their forthcoming patent trial against Samsung.

With overall sales slowing dramatically and the global phone market said to be ‘officially mature’, perhaps something genuinely new is needed to stimulate interest – and sales – once again.

Square Enix Bringing Mobiles-Only Final Fantasy Dimensions To Gamescom

Europe’s biggest videogames show seems set to have a massive smartphone presence, with publisher Square Enix to showcase smartphone-exclusive Final Fantasy Dimensions for an expectant audience at gamescom 2012 in Cologne, Germany.

Final Fantasy Dimensions marks the first title in the hallowed franchise to arrive solely on mobile phones, a port of the episodic Final Fantasy Legends series which proved hugely popular in Japan.

This conversion sees the title revamped for touch devices (the originals were lo-fi enough to work on feature phones), with improved 2D pixel art and souped up audio, whilst also bringing in a virtual control pad for easier navigation.

The gameplay matches the retro visuals, bringing back the classic Job system as well as a variation on the original Active Battle System that found fame in early Final Fantasy instalments.

If either of things make sense to you, then Dimensions is certainly a title worth your interest this Summer.

Phones4U Grabs Exclusivity On Samsung Omnia M, Free From £20.50 Per Month

Samsung’s Omnia M will enjoy a two month window of exclusivity at UK retailer Phones4U, who have managed to secure the Windows Phone device for a 1st August launch. 

Available for free at £20.50 per month with 200 minutes, 3,000 texts and 100MB of data, the Samsung Omnia M is a fairly decent smartphone – particularly at such a wallet-friendly price point – with 4-inch WVGA display, 1Ghz processor and 5-megapixel camera.

Scott Hooton, Chief Commercial Officer at Phones 4u says: “We are delighted to exclusively offer the Samsung Omnia M, Samsung’s latest handset running Windows 7.5, two months before it will be available via any other UK retailer.

“Our track record of launching Samsung devices and Windows Phones is incredibly strong and our dedicated Samsung zones in our Oxford Street and Westfield London stores provide the ultimate destination for anyone wanting to buy this Samsung device with Windows Phone.

“Our retail team is extensively trained on, and passionate about all Samsung products.”

We think Hooton may well have hit the nail on the head there.

With the Omnia M (or any currently available phone, for that matter) unable to be updated to Microsoft’s forthcoming Windows Phone 8 software, who better than official partner Phones4U to help Samsung out and range one of their soon to be obsolete WP 7.5 handsets?

Deals will be available on the Omio site soon.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 Gets Sub-£200 Price Drop On Expansys

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 has been given a price cut for one day only on gadget site Expansys, giving you dual-core Tegra powered tablet joy for just £199.99, a saving of £50 on the sticker price.

Sounds like a deal for the 16GB variant, but with Google’s Nexus 7 smashing it up for the same price, but with significantly sexier looks and specs as well as £15 of credit to spend on the Play Store…perhaps the Tab 8.9 is a purchase that bears a bit of consideration these days?

One point in its favour is that a little bit of jiggery-pokery can get the latest version of Jelly Bean up and running on the slender Samsung tablet, bringing it up to the minute in terms of Android joy.

Either way, you have until 11pm tonight to make up your mind before Expansys pings the price back up again. Be quick!

Apple To Change Up Marketing For Next iPhone, Putting Financial Pressure On Mobile Networks?

Apple are apparently shifting gears in terms of marketing for the next iPhone, and asking for greater financial support from networks in an effort to sway the masses according to Mobile Today.

Leaky-lipped industry folk have long talked of Apple’s ‘unique’ business relationship with providers when it comes to the seminal smartphone, but word has reached that this time “the onus is on operators to support the iPhone,” and that “everyone is over a barrel” when it comes to the new terms and conditions being set by the Cupertino firm.

With the Samsung Galaxy S3 riding high in the wake of iPhone malaise, as well as a raft of Windows Phone 8-powered devices set to turn heads in the fourth quarter, Apple will certainly need to do more than usual to convince consumers that their next smartphone will be the one to get.

Getting mobile networks to pledge their support for the next iPhone amidst some stiff mobile competition is a shrewd tactical move to ensure that the manufacturer maintain their position of perceived superiority, as well as keeping carriers onside whilst attempting to introduce another novelty in the form of the new Apple-designed nano-SIM.

With photos, video and even new protective covers lending ever more credence to an iPhone sequel sporting a 4-inch display, 19-pin dock connector and shunted headphone port, the only thing left is to see whether Apple will play hardball when it comes to price points and availability for the eagerly awaited device.

ZTE Grand X Deals Now Available On Phones4U, Get One For Chance To See Prof. Green Gig

The aggressively affordable ZTE Grand X is making a big splash on the scene slightly early, with deals already available at UK mobile retailer Phones4U.

The dual-core 1Ghz Tegra powered device is available for free from £20.50 per month which offers up 200 minutes, 3000 texts and 100MB of data on Orange, whilst £29.99 up front proffers 100 minutes, 500 texts and 250MB of web browsing per month for £15.50 on Vodafone…incredibly cheap deals for an Android smartphone boasting a 4.3-inch display courtesy of Sharp and a 5-megapixel snapper with HD video capture.

A nice bonus is that Grand X buyers are in with a chance to see UK rapper (and new face of ZTE) Professor Green at an exclusive gig, with 75 tickets up for grabs.

An ever nicer bonus is the chance to get one of 1,000 exclusive cases, lending a little bit of street cred to your new smartphone.

Judge Spares Apple’s Blushes In Samsung Plagiarism Apology, Albeit Temporarily

Legally cool gadget company Apple no longer has to publish a public apology on its site that Korean firm Samsung did not copy the design of the iPad, a judge ruled in London on the 26th of July.

The original plagarism case was settled in Samsung’s favour, with the Cupertino company told to both apologise in public and take out adverts in UK newspapers to state the Galaxy Tab was in fact not an iPad rip-off.

Now no mention of the case has to be made prior to the appeal hearing, currently scheduled for October. Apple’s appeal is based on the – admittedly logical – notion that they did not want to be seen advertising a rival product.

The case continues.

via Bloomberg