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Category Archives: Mobile Industry News

OFCOM: O2 is the least complained about network

The Office of Communications has released details of their latest phone, broadband and pay TV complaints report, with O2 noted as receiving fewer complaints than the other networks.

Ofcom logo

The report relates to pay monthly customers, rather than pay as you go users, as 95 per cent of the mobile complaints received by Ofcom came from those types of contract owners.

In the last quarter (April to June), the governing body has more complaints about Three than other networks.

Ofcom has stated that: “3UK generated 0.19 complaints per 1,000 customers, mainly driven by disputes over charges and issues with customer service.”

As a comparison, O2 was the least complained about mobile provider with 0.05 complaints, per 1,000 customers.

The oversight body has noted that 3UK, T-Mobile, Vodafone and Orange all had pay-monthly mobile complaints in excess of the industry average.

O2 has consistently had fewer complaints than the other mobile phone networks over the years. This is highlighted in figures from Q1 of this year, the whole of 2011, and Q4 of 2010 – where it had the lowest numbers, of them all.

This figure could change in Q3, as O2 suffered a network outage in July that resulted in the loss of service for a day or so.

iPhone 5 on the 4G EE Network, should you pre-order yet?

The iPhone 5 was announced yesterday with a little less flourish that we were used to from Apple in previous years, nevertheless, interest for the latest and greatest iPhone is at an all time high, with many to be hanging on the phone on Friday 14th September, as pre-orders are taken on the big networks.

One of the touted features of the iPhone 5 will be 4G LTE compatibility, giving it super fast unto 100mbps data speeds. Only the EE network (formerly Everything Everywhere) has announced LTE so far for iPhone 5, so we asked an EE representative if they would be offering pre-orders tomorrow morning.

“No” 

but added that

“Orange and T-Mobile will be taking pre-orders from 08:01 tomorrow morning. We’ll be making it as easy as possible for T-Mobile and Orange customers to move to EE if they want to benefit from superfast 4G, when EE launches in the coming weeks.”

So it would appear that if you are an existing or potential T-Mobile or Orange customer, and you pre-register interest with either of them, you stand the best chance of using the handset at its maximum potential on 4G as a transfer or upgrade path will be in place for either of the existing EE companies. Bear in mind though, we’re pretty sure that contracts on the new 4G network will be higher than usual 3G contracts. Something to bear in mind when budgetting. 

Customers can register their interest in EE at www.ee.co.uk, and we’ll be announcing pricing and availability for all 4G devices in due course.”

So, how fast will your iPhone 5 be?

Whilst EE will offer upto 100mbps 4G LTE, O2, Vodafone and 3 do offer what is known as Dual Carrier or DC HSDPA, which doubles the 3G speed, from 21mbps, to a maximum 42mbps where available.

DC HSDPA is more 3.5G than 4G, a stop gap measure, until the official bandwidth auctions for 4G next year. However, the bands up for auction, the 800MHz and 2600Mhz spectrum, will not be supported by this current variant of the iPhone 5 which only supports the 1800MHz spectrum. Whether Apple will release a new variant in the UK when these future networks go live, is yet to be seen.

For now though it would seem that only Orange and T-Mobile customers, or those buying a phone off contract of course, will be able to get the fastest speeds from their new shiny handset.

Those who aren’t interested in Apple’s iPhone 5 will be happy to know that the soon to arrive superfast network will be releasing a 4G version of the mighty Samsung Galaxy S3, the HTC One XL, the Huewai Ascend P1 LTE, and for fans of Windows Phone, the upcoming Nokia Lumia 820 and 920.

Register interest at www.ee.co.uk and keep an eye on Omio’s deals page for more offers…

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.

ZTE Grand X Unveiled – Tegra 2 Gaming Phone For £190

Chinese manufacturer ZTE have announced the release of the ‘Grand X’ in partnership with Nvidia, Phones4U and Virgin Media UK. Their flagship gaming and entertainment oriented Android smartphone will be onsale at an eye popping £190 on Pay As You Go, and free on contract.

The 4.3” qHD touchscreen handset is run by a Tegra 2 chipset, a dual-core 1gHz CPU with Nvidia’s ultra low power 8 core graphics processor, allowing vivid console quality graphics on a mobile device. Nvidia’s own ‘TegraZone’ app-portal will allow you to download graphically enhanced versions of existing and exclusive games, for a slight premium.

In an move to lure the youthful gaming market, ZTE have enlisted the support of East London’s very own Professor Green.  During a video-presentation the chirpy rapper only needed one word to sum up the Grand X… “Cool!”.

The Grand X comes loaded with the latest Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and unlike many mobile manufacturers, ZTE have been kind enough to leave the OS alone. This appeared to be a clean Android build, as found on Google’s Nexus handsets, so should satisfy the purists.

Our first impressions of it was that it was slightly on the chubby side, but felt solid.  The handset performed admirably, without any hint of slowdown and apps loaded super-fast. The screen was bright too, and although we only got to use it in a darkened room, we will put it through its paces in a range of conditions in an upcoming review.

Notable absences are DLNA, so no streaming to HDTV’s and no NFC, although these are technologies that haven’t really taken off as yet. The onboard memory is limited to 4GB too, so you’ll have to stump up if you want to expand it with a microSD (upto 32GB). 512MB of RAM also seems on the low side, we’ll see if this has any noticeable effects in a later review.

If you fancy getting your hands on one, ZTE will be introducing the ‘Grand Xperience’ to the public between now and the 11th September at Westfield shopping centre in Stratford, close to the Olympic site and under the watchful billboards of official London 2012 mobile sponsor, Samsung.

So, the ZTE Grand X, big on gaming and small on price, will be available from August 2012, free on a 2 year £24p/m contract with Virgin Mobile, or £189 on PAYG.

Phones4U will also be stocking this model online and on the high streets. More information on their deals to follow.

Samsung gets ‘Into Your Space’: Printing’s Next Top Model?


 

At Samsung’s ‘Into Your Space’ press event in fashion-mecca Milan, Joosang Eun – Executive VP of Samsung’s Printing and Marketing division announced their intention to lead the market in colour laser printing with a sleek refresh this month to their entire line of A4 printers and A3 copiers.

Samsung’s tremendous success with the Galaxy S3 has cemented its reputation as a purveyor of the finest quality smartphones, rattling big boy Apple into a litigation and patent war that currently shows no sign of cooling off.

Samsung, not happy with unsettling one tech playground giant, are currently setting their sights on some other bigger boys, this time Epson, HP et al.

This dramatic renewal of their laser printing products displays an aggressive marketing strategy within the tightly fought enterprise business sector, and also moves into the small office / home office sector.

 

 

Whilst their top end A3 copiers and A4 printers are more likely to end up in large offices rather than your living room, Samsung have taken as many of the high end features, and squeezed them into a line of more affordable home or small office solutions. The CLP-360, CLX-3300, CLP-415 and CLX-4195 series’ offer printing speeds of upto 18ppm in both colour and black & white, and mirror the ergonomic space saving design of their more corporate cousins.

Dual processors in all except their smallest model (the CLP360) mean that printing and scanning can be processed up to 50% faster, with their top of their small business range, the CLP-415 and CLX4195 capable of an impressive 18ppm in colour.

Print and copying quality also receives a boost in the form of Samsung’s Rendering Engine for Clean Pages or ReCP technology.  Used in conjunction with Samsung’s new polymerized printing toner, this image enhancing tech ensures that printed lines are kept clean with minimal edge bleed and optimum clarity.

Samsung’s award winning Eco-Driver provides a simple way for users to monitor their energy consumption and also reduce their running costs by up to 10%, all at the single touch of a button. Samsung’s printers also run at no more than 1.5w in standby mode.

Samsung have also made wireless printing simple, with a free app available now for Android, iOS and even Windows Phone. Using this app, you can send documents stored on your phone, or even online storage like Dropbox, direct to the printer. The multi-function devices also allow for documents to be scanned and sent straight to your mobile device.

The CLP-365 and CLX-3300 are available now, whilst the CLP-415/CLX-4195 will be available at the end of the month from the 27th July. Samsung’s larger A4 and A3 printers and copiers range will be coming to an office near you from September.

 

CLP-365 

Printing speed in B&W is a smooth 18ppm although colour lags a little at 4ppm. Despite this, the CLP-365 is one of the smallest colour laser printers ever released.  At 38.2 x 30.9cm it’s 27% smaller than anything on the market currently. It is available currently from around £120 (inc. VAT), so ideal for the home office. Printing resolution is 600×600, although there is a software option to increase this to 2400×600.

 

 

 

CLX-3305 

The CLX-3305 is the multi function relation to the 365, and in addition to copier, scanning and fax facilities, this model comes with a speedy dual processor running at 533MHz. Prices should start from around £200 (inc VAT). 

 

 

CLP-415 

This device benefits from a greater (250 sheet) paper and toner capacity, with the same dual 533MHz processor. Colour and laser printing is at an impressive 18ppm. Print resolution is 600×600 but can be boosted to 9600×600 using clever software, although this will likely slow printing speeds.

 

CLX-4195 

This multi-function device brings all the features of the CLP-495 and adds copying, scanning and fax features. The CLX-4195 is released 27th July 2012 at an estimated retail price of just over £400.

 

 

Samsung A4 Printer Specifications:

 

iOS 6 – New Maps, Facebook Integration, Updated Siri & More

Monday’s World Wide Developers Conference, or WWDC offered a number of new refreshes to Apple’s hardware lineup, including a new premium MacBook Pro with a drool inducing (as well as wallet burning) 2880×1800 ‘retina display’, and incremental additions to the Macbook Air lineup. Those hoping to get a look at the upcoming iPhone 5 (or iPhone 6 depending on how you count) handset were left disappointed by its absence, although as a developer’s conference it was always going to be about the upcoming iOS software. The new iPhone will get its own launch event later this year.

iOS 6 will be released around September/October this year, most likely at the same time as the new iPhone handset. Apple will also be supporting iPhone handsets going all the way back to the 3GS. iPod Touch, iPad2 and New iPad will also have invites to the party, although original iPad owners will be left high and dry unfortunately.

Apple have developed a new maps system to rival the recently announced Google Maps 3D. The new maps app will allow users to view major built up areas in texture mapped 3D glory. Fans of turn by turn navigation will also be happy to hear that Apple will be teaming up with Tom Tom to provide spoken turn by turn navigation.

Facebook will be now integrated seamlessly into iOS 6, much in the same way that Twitter was for iOS 5. This feature has long been a standard feature on Android phones, but nevertheless, any iPhone users with at least a mild Facebook habit will find this immensely timesaving. You will also be able to ‘like’ music movies and apps directly from the iTunes store as well as share pictures and links directly from the OS.

Call handling will also be given a makeover, so if you are busy when someone phones you, you will be able to not only send a set response, you can also set a location aware reminder to call them back when you leave work for example. A ‘do not disturb’ mode will also silence all alerts, both from apps and people.

Further evidence of the integration of mobile and desktop was made clear with the ability to link your phone number and your email address across phone, pad and desktop, allowing you to take calls from your Apple laptop for example.

Facetime has been let off the leash and will now be useable over the 3G network too, not just when you’re tied to a WIFI signal. 3G performance could well be shaky in all but the most favourable of reception areas, and it will eat your data plan for breakfast.

Email will have some new features, such as a VIP inbox, where friends, family and business colleagues can take preference over the mounds of spam and site alerts that we’re so used to. The ability to insert images and videos directly into email (at last) will be available, so no more navigating through the gallery.

Siri will be receiving an update as well. The virtual assistant will be available to New iPad users as well as the iPhone 4S and will be able to tap into a number of online services like Rotten Tomatoes,  to bring you relevant information.

Film fans will be able to ask Siri about films by actors or genres, and the relevant information will be returned allowing you to read reviews, see top film lists by actors and view showings and book cinema tickets through online outlets. Siri has also become something of a sports fan and was demoed reeling off stats about Major League and NFL players on request.  We’re hoping that by the time the update reaches these fair isles, that he will have brushed up on his Premier League football stats too!

So plenty to look forward to for existing as well as upgrading iPhone and iPad users. Many of the functions that other phone users have taken for granted will make a late appearance, although they will of course be delivered with Apple’s usual flare and attention to detail.

The removal of Google from the core of the OS signals the final split of Google and Apple stemming from their fierce competition in the mobile OS market. Apple is new to the area of mapping, and it is essential that they nail the Maps app, as it is one of the core functions of the modern smartphone.

Stay tuned to Omio for news on the upcoming iPhone, or grab yourself a bargain on a current handset, via Omio’s Deals page.

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.

 

Samsung Galaxy S3 Launch: UK Release Date Set For May 30th

Samsung finally revealed the hotly anticipated Galaxy S3 yesterday evening, in a multi million pound launch event at London’s Earls Court Exhibition Centre.

The handset runs the latest version of Android 4.0.4 on its 1.4 GHz quad-core Exynos processor with 1GB of RAM. 

The screen is an impressive 4.8-inch 720p Super HD AMOLED screen, which, whilst big has a thin bezel around it, so is perfectly holdable.

Figures like that would usually have us reaching for the charger, but the new processor is said to be much more power efficient, and the battery is a whopping 2100mAh, which is roughly 30% more powerful than the rival quad-core HTC One X.

The rear camera is 8MP and super-fast, taking 3.3 still shots per second, and 1080p video. 

The front camera is a surprise at 1.9MP, which is larger than expected, but maybe necessary for facial tracking. The S3 will be able to tell if you are looking at it and stay on if you are reading something, rather than dim the screen on a timer as is the norm.

The Galaxy S3 was given a more rounded appearence than the S2, opting for natural curves and soft edges.

Samsung have said they were inspired by nature when desiging the handset, which explains why we were serenaded by whale noises and birdsong during the build up.  The handset was demoed in two colours, pebble blue and ceramic white, for business and pleasure respectively.

Samsung also described the phone as being ‘designed for humans’ focussing on the social sharing features of the handset.  ‘S Beam’ is a close proximity file sharing feature that uses NFC and wifi to send files between handsets.

Facial recognition software will also allow users to instantly share photo’s with people in their contact list immediately. 

‘S Voice’ brings an air of Siri to the precedings, allowing users to look insane whilst talking to no-one.

You may be able to wake the phone from sleep with a voice command, but we always found the wake button much quicker. Hopefully local search facilities will be enabled upon release, (something Apple have still failed to do here in Europe) and bring this functionality out of novelty status.

The S3 will be available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB capacities, with this expandable upto a further 64GB with the addition of a micro SDXC card.

Users will also be given 50GB of Dropbox cloud storage free for two years, which should see through a 24month contract.

The Galaxy S3 will be released as a 3G HDSPA+ version on May 29th in Europe, with a 4G LTE version following in countries lucky enough to have super-fast mobile broadband, in June of this year.

The Korean tech giants were keen to play down the numbers and the launch focussed on what the phone could do rather than boast about specifications or previous succeses. Of course, they could have boasted had they wished…

Figures released recently by London firm Strategy Analytics revealed that Samsung held 30% of the smartphone market, beating Apple’s 24%.

Samsung also accounted for 24.5% of the global mobile handset market, passing Nokia, who have been on a downward slide of late.

UK Retailers are currently rubbing their hands in anticipation of the May 29th launch, as the Galaxy S2 sold like hotcakes.

Some information lacking from the launch event was any solid details on pricing. However, retailers will be keen to start pre-sales so expect full details soon.

We expect the handset to be offered on contract from the £35 per month mark, with the upfront cost varying depending on which model you plump for. Those who wish to buy the phone outright rather than tie into a lengthy contract should expect prices starting around £500.

We will of course be sure to bring you any deatils of availability and pricing as soon as we find out.  Sign up for alerts about the Samsung Galaxy S3 on our deals page, or keep tuned to Omio for more news.

Samsung Galaxy S3 on Vodafone – specs leak as network shouts first?


With the Samsung Galaxy S3 less than ten days away from an official ‘Mobile Unpacked 2012′ launch event on May 3rd, the Koreans are struggling to keep the proverbial cat in the bag after a flurry of tantalising leaks recently.

Vodafone have also anounced via website that they will be stocking the follow up to the Galaxy S2.

Samsung have been stoking the PR flames with a website and video at its site www.thenextgalaxy.com.

The teaser trailer for the May 3rd event is all orchestral swells and ‘nudge-nudge, wink-wink’ statements about fitting the ‘entire galaxy in your hand’.

The vid also takes a massive swipe at the competition, claiming that their new handset will ‘make you stand out from everybody else’ and showing a field of bleating sheep.


Vodafone are the first UK carrier to announce the upcoming availability of the ‘Next Galaxy handset’, which is quite clearly the S3 and are letting customers register interest, and sign up for updates on availability here.

Meanwhile the German Amazon site put a page up for the Galaxy S3 that, whilst having no images for the handset, does give a sim-free price of €599 alongside a few technical specifications.

The site, which has tellingly not been taken down, reveals a 4.7″ Super AMOLED screen, a 12MP camera and the Android’s latest ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ flavoured OS.

Previously last Friday, Vietnamese tech site and reputable leakers Tinhte posted a video showing off a phone that purported to be a leaked Galaxy S3. A scan of the system profile showed that it was running a quad-core 1.4Ghz processor.

The handset did appear to be contained in a fairly generic case, so could have either been disguised to keep the final looks under wraps, as is common practice, or an earlier prototype model, a possibility as it appears to only have an 8MP camera.

Whilst the video was soon removed at Samsung’s request, Engadget did manage to salvage a copy of the video before the takedown, which is viewable here.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 was notably absent from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this year.

There were rumours of a production delay, but with increasing suggestions of an iPhone 5 being readied for July release, and the ongoing feud between the two companies, it could be that the two mobile heavyweights are gearing up for a serious head to head battle this summer.

The first match up saw Apple’s iPhone 4S beaten by the Galaxy S2, in the UK at least.

The follow up battle will be hotly anticipated and will no doubt rise to levels of hype that would make Don King blush.

Stay tuned for upcoming information on the Samsung Galaxy S3 via Omio deals page.

Apple & Samsung Ordered By Judge to Sit Down And Sort It Out Like Grown Ups

It could be that an end is in sight to the ongoing ugly legal fight between Apple and Samsung, a messy high profile battle that is part of the a wider ‘patent wars’ in the tech industry.  The tech world has resembled something like pub brawl at kicking out time of late, with patent rights being bought and sold as weapons for the courtrooms.  The Apple vs Samsung match up even saw Samsung’s flagship Galaxy Tab banned for a while in Europe after accusations of similarities with the iPad, and influenced a hardware re-design to the American version of the Samsung Galaxy S2.

Now Samsung and Apple representatives have been ordered to the office of Judge Joseph C Spero, who will no doubt to sit them down and give them a jolly good piece of his mind.  Both Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung CEO will be attending, probably both looking at the floor, shuffling their feet nervously.

Twitter have even waved a white flag, calling for a patent truce and telling everyone to ‘just get along’. The Innovators Patent Agreement is a call for a non aggression pact, that would effectively mean that patents could only be invoked legally for defensive purposes.   

But why the beef? Despite the bitter slug fest in the courts, Apple and Samsung do a remarkable amount of business together.  Samsung not only provide the New Ipad’s high resolution ‘Retina Display’ but also the custom A4 and A5 microprocessors in the iPhone 4S and iPad.  Most see this as being more to do with Steve Job’s vow to destroy Google’s Android mobile operating system. 

Google and Apple used to be quite pally, but Google’s entry into the mobile market was seen as an arch betrayal by Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who had simultaneously sat on the Apple board of directors as Android was being developed in secret.  Jobs afterwards vowed he was ‘willing to go thermonuclear war’ in order to sink Android, and his company since targeted high profile Android devices, such as Samsung’s also exceptionally popular handsets and tablets.

The court meeting, to be held within the next 90 days, should give us an idea about how much this vendetta lives on in the Post-Jobs Apple organisation, and hopefully draw to a close a messy chapter in the patent wars.