Mobile Phones UK

Mobile Phones UK

Monday, November 9, 2009

Nokia N97 and N97 mini - part 1

We've never reviewed the Nokia N97 fully here on AAS, mainly because we knew the v20 upgrade was on its way. And now that it's here, with the N97 distinctly nicer to use, along comes a sister device, the N97 mini that impresses by improving in almost every are, making the original N97 still hard to fully recommend. In a multi-part review series, I look at both N97 variants in detail. In part 1, I look at form factor, design, build quality and performance. Parts 2 and 3 will cover applications/usability and camera/multimedia.

"Also revealed is the microSD slot - with card swapping now infrequent on modern devices, hiding this potential dust trap away inside the back cover is fine by me. It could even be argued that the card itself is now not quite so vital, with most Symbian-powered phones now coming with substantial amounts of internal flash memory (of which more later). Also of note is that the N97 mini hides its antennae (GPS, 3G etc) underneath plastic, while the N97 leaves them exposed on the surface - yet more evidence that the N97 mini hardware is very much a second iteration on the basic design. (There will be more on GPS performance in a future review part.)"


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Verizon's LG Chocolate Touch is nice but nothing new

Perhaps the biggest letdown of the LG Chocolate Touch VX8575 from Verizon Wireless is that it's not the LG Chocolate BL40. After getting teased for months by the sexy shots of the LG BL40, we thought there might be a chance we would see it stateside. Alas, the LG Chocolate Touch VX8575 looks nothing like its European cousin. In fact, the touch screen interface reminds us a lot of previous LG touch screen handsets, like the LG enV Touch for example. The geometric shapes on the back of the phone and the blob-like buttons underneath the display are about the only things that are unique about the phone's design.

Still, that doesn't mean the Touch VX8575 is a terrible phone. Continuing the Chocolate tradition of strong music features, the Chocolate Touch VX8575 has a great music player with Dolby Music equalizer settings (both manual and preset modes), an FM radio, and an integrated song ID feature. There's also a really fun "Join the Band" feature that gives you either a virtual drum kit or a scrolling 88-key keyboard to play along with your tunes. The drum kit even has a cow bell, which we found amusing.

That, and it has a nice 3.2-megapixel camera, EV-DO Rev. 0, V Cast video access, stereo Bluetooth, and a 3.5mm headset jack. We weren't big fans of the full HTML browser -- you have to keep going back to a URL-entry page to enter URLs, for example -- but it's otherwise a decent touch screen music phone from Verizon Wireless. The LG Chocolate Touch VX8575 is $79.99 with a two-year service agreement with Verizon Wireless.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Nokia N900 gets Pay Monthly pricing

The N900 isn't far away now - it's due on 16 November. As a result, we're due some pricing information and, lo and behold, here it is courtesy of mobile comparison site Omio.

It's possible to get the handset on a 24-month contract for as little as £20 per month from Orange, though that'll only give you 200 minutes and you'll have to shell out £170 for the handset. A similar 24-month deal from O2 for £30 per month will net you 600 minutes, and the phone itself will only cost £10.

If you're determined to get the handset free, then a 24-month deal from Orange will set you back £35 per month with 900 minutes. The cheapest 18-month contact is £25 per month, again from Orange, with 600 minutes and £220 upfront phone cost.

Are you itching to get your hands on the N900? Tell us why, and which pricing option you reckon you'll go for, in the comments.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Orange UK reveals iPhone data limit

The bulk of the criticism is directed at Orange’s terms & conditions, which have revealed a fair usage policy of just 750MB per month on each of wifi and 3G.

Moreover, “non-Orange internet based streaming services, voice or video over the internet, instant messaging, peer to peer file sharing, non-Orange internet based video” are all banned under Orange’s rules. This could be interpreted to mean no YouTube, Spotify or social networking such as Twitter or Facebook, and no GoogleTalk.

To be fair however, this part of Orange’s Ts&Cs isn’t that different from O2’s, and plenty of stuff, including the apps mentioned above, seem to work fine on that network.

But this usage cap, which O2 does not have, raises the ugly prospect of network

congestion, and has prompted some of our readers to comment on how well Orange’s 3G network stands up to the onslaught of data usage, when the iPhone launches November 10. Saying that, the carrier isn’t shying away from offering tethering options for the iPhone, so it is a least expecting some customers to use the handset as a modem.

With pricing pretty much identical and Vodafone set to launch the device too, it looks like the UK battle for iPhone customers will come down to the quality of service each network operator can offer.

In other iPhone news, the device has apparently gone down a storm in China – only 5,000 or so devices were sold in the first weekend.

Meanwhile, the Motorola Droid, the company’s first Android 2.0 handset, has got a funky big budget advert running, see below.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Spice turns creative, unfurls Flexi Dual Spice D-6666 Mobile Phone

Users may gird up to add a pinch of excitement in their life hearing this news. Well, Spice Mobiles has recently proclaimed its first flexi dual phone, Spice D-6666. Captivatingly, the latest handset offers the flexibility to choose between GSM+CDMA mode and GSM+GSM mode in a single phone, something that is not envisioned earlier. Thrilled? Read further!

The innovative Spice D-6666 enables users to swap their connections simply and decide if they intend to pair two GSM connections via this technology that smoothly operates both the connections. The device embodies myriad of multimedia features such as a big screen, 2MP camera with flash, up to 4GB expandable memory, and stereo Bluetooth. It also comes equipped with a FM recorder and MP3 player.

Further, the D-6666 features a cluster of innovative applications such as a highly-advanced mailing solution, Email2SMS that ascertains the convenience of sending, receiving, composing and forwarding all the emails via SMS. Currently, the service is available on Corporate, Gmail and Indiatimes accounts. Interestingly, Spice is also offering 3 months free subscription.

Besides, the device incorporates the M-Commerce application with N-GPAY, enabling users to make bank transactions, pay bills in a short span of time with just few simple clicks. Additionally, it’s special Indian calendar marks all the important Indian festivals and tithes by effectual reminders/ alerts that can be preset according to users’ preference.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sony Ericsson launches 3 smartphones

The phones, "Satio", "Aino" and "Yari", will set the trend for the new age smartphones, said Anil Sethi, president of Sony Ericsson Mobile India.

He said the company would focus on the smartphone category for the next two-three years to boost sales.

"Once the 3G spectrum allocation happens, we can roll out more features with better network," Sethi said.

Built on Sony Ericsson's strengths in music, imaging, gaming, applications and content services, the new phones bring alive entertainment on the go for consumers, the company said.

The Satio, priced at Rs 35,950, comes with a 3.5-inch screen and offers a 16:9 widescreen format with 12.1 megapixel camera.

The Aino offers services to access content stored on a PlayStation 3 from anywhere in the world through a Wi-Fi connection.

It also gives remote play access to videos, television shows and photos. The mobile has an eight megapixel camera and is priced at Rs 28,950.

Yari debuts Gesture gaming that enables users to make the moves in front of the screen and play games without even touching the phone. The Phone comes with a five megapixel camera and is priced at Rs 16,950.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

ATTN Nokia N97 users: Firmware version 20 is out

This software release improves touch screen usability, allowing you to scroll smoothly through content by flicking the screen. Ovi Maps 3.1 brings 3-D maps, more accurate positioning, and improved search. Nokia ,Ovi Contacts, Ovi Store, and VoIP support have been added. This release also includes improvements in memory and battery performance, and in image and video stability. To get this software through your device, select Applications > SW Updates and choose the software you want to update.

Someone will surely post something today regarding their experiences with the new firmware. This post will be updated throughout the day with those findings.