Weekly Review – 26th August

The week began with Phones 4u exclusively selling Huawei mobiles, Heineken offered free WIFI in pubs, Sony Ericsson Xperia ray hit Vodafone, reverse billing came to Vodafone too, Sony Ericsson introduced a second Android Walkman handset, LG announced their first AMOLED phone and we published unboxing pictures of the BlackBerry Bold 9900.

Earlier on in the week, HTC Evo 3D arrived at Carphone Warehouse, a new Symbian version is on the way, three new BlackBerry Curve phones were launched, Vodafone is to get the new BlackBerry Curve, Train tickets are now available on your mobile phone and Nokia went gold.

Midweek, the BlackBerry Curve 9360 came to Three, Nokia released an ‘Anna’ video, Samsung changed their phone naming convention, Samsung launched four new mobile phones, Motorola got fired up over a new handset, whilst Nokia launched a new OS and three new phones.

Later on in the week, Samsung Galaxy W heads to Three, Alcatel launched a new budget phone with Phones 4u and Kiss FM, Traffic avoiding app came to mobiles, Music arrived on BlackBerry messenger, a 70s/80s style receiver came to phones, an Android update is incoming to Sony Ericsson phones and Bada 2.0 came to Samsung.


The biggest story of the week came from Nokia, by introducing an update to the Symbian^3 OS under the codename of ‘Belle’, along with the Nokia 700, 701 and 600 – all of which will be running the updated Symbian platform.

The Nokia 700 arrives as a touch screen full featured, NFC enabled, Symbian Belle smartphone that is set to arrive in the UK – where the 701 and Nokia 600 are due to ship in other markets around the world.

Nokia’s 700 is their smallest mobile phone at just 50 cubic centimetres, whilst measuring 110mm in height, 50.7mm wide and is only 9.7mm thick, along with weighing in at 96grams.

The Finnish haven’t compromised in the abilities of the 700, as the handset arrives with a 3.2-inch AMOLED screen with the ClearBlack technology that accompanies the higher-end devices – for clear screen visibility in bright outdoor conditions.

Backing up the non-compromising capabilities of the Symbian ‘Belle’ OS driven phone is the 1GHz processor, which now joins the Nokia 500 with the same fast CPU, a 5 megaxpixel camera that has HD video recording features, along with 2GB of internal storage plus support for 32GB microSD cards.

Symbian Belle increases the number of home screens from three to six, which provides more room to display applications and services. The live widgets will be available in five different sizes too, offering the user more flexibility to personalise the phone.

There is also a pull down a menu and taskbar to access notifications from any of the home screens, in the same way as Android with further enhancements to the web browsing experience.

One of Symbian Belle’s new features is the single-tap NFC sharing and pairing capability. This allows contacts, videos and images to be shared with other NFC-enabled devices and smartphones, as well as pairing with NFC-enabled mobile accessories such as speakers and headsets.

The Nokia 700 is due to arrive in the third quarter of this year and is expected to retail at around €270, or around £240.


The next most significant piece was when Research In Motion introduced three low-end BlackBerry Curve handsets, in the Curve 9350, 9360 and 9370.

The BlackBerry Curve mobile phone will arrive with a non-touch 2.44-inch 480×360 screen, a Qwerty keyboard and optical trackpad – with a similar set of dimensions to last year’s Curve 3G 9300 handset at 109mm tall, 60mm wide, 11mm thick and 99 grams in weight. As a comparison, the 9300 came in at 109×60 x13.9 mm and weighing in at 104grams.

The new Curve arrives with NFC capabilities and the new BlackBerry 7 OS, a 5 megapixel camera and an 800MHz processor, where the 2010 phone shipped with a 624Mhz variant, a 2MP camera and 256MB RAM/ROM – both of which has been doubled to 512MB.

RIM’s BlackBerry 9360 is their GSM version that is coming to the UK in September, where the 9350 is solely geared up for the American CDMA arena and the 9370 can work in both the USA and elsewhere in the world.


The third largest news item came from Samsung, by announcing its new naming strategy for their Galaxy range of mobile phones, which are indicated by an S, W, M or Y following the ‘Galaxy’ name or by the words Pro, Plus or LTE.

The news of the new way of identifying Samsung Galaxy phones has been established to offer a more clear way of understanding the entire range, along with upcoming devices.

Samsung has stated the ‘S stands for ‘Super Smart, where these devices are at the top of the white and brown goods companys’ mobile portfolio. This class will only be used on flagship devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S II, or the ‘R’ royal/refined models – which is their premium category of mobiles, with a combination of power, performance and productivity.

The ‘W’ stands for ‘Wonder, which is Samsung’s high quality and strategic phones, striking a balance between style and performance. Their ‘M’ relates to ‘Magical’, as a high-performance mobile phone and at a low-end price point.

Samsung Galaxy ‘Y’ models stand for ‘Young, where these are all entry-level mobile devices for emerging markets or the younger arena with at a more sensitive price point.

There are also ‘class indicators’ to allow a more of a specific description of the key selling points to a certain device, where ‘Pro’ indicates the handset includes a Qwerty keyboard for email and message typing. The ‘Plus’ shows that device is an upgrade from an existing model, and ‘LTE’ relates to Long-Term Evolution 4G standard.


The following most significant story was when Samsung unveiled four new Android ‘Gingerbread’ 2.3 handsets that fall under the new naming structure of the Galaxy devices, in the Galaxy M Pro, W, Y and Galaxy Y Pro.

The Samsung Galaxy W arrives with a 3.7-inch touch screen, whilst powered by a 1.4GHz processor, with 4GB of internal storage and a 5 megapixel camera. The GALAXY W has been enhanced to include Samsung’s game, social and music hubs, as a one-stop solution for entertainment.

Samsung Galaxy M Pro will ship with a 2.66-inch TFT LCD touch display, with a 1GHz CPU, a 5 MP camera and a Qwerty keyboard that provides accurate typing on the go, for drafting documents and messages. The optical track pad and touch screen ensures the interface is easy and simple to use, whilst being packed into a sleek 9.97m body.

Samsung’s Galaxy Y will tip up with a 3-inch TFT LCD screen, whilst powered by an 832MHz processor, along with a 2 megapixel camera and a 2GB microSD card. The Galaxy Y has a full range of features, with the TouchWiz UI and the social hub that allows users to stay connected with their online social circles.

The Galaxy Y Pro has a 2.6-inch TFT LCD screen, with the same CPU as the ‘Y’ and feature set – only with a QWERTY keyboard attached. There’s also the social hub premium version included, which supports email, social network integration and instant messaging with the ThinkFree mobile office software.


The fifth biggest piece was LG unveiling its first ever AMOLED based mobile phone in the Optimus Sol, which is due to arrive mid-September this year.

Lucky Goldstar’s Optimus Sol is a distinct departure for the brown and white goods company, who has always opted for the lesser quality LCD screen – even in the world’s first dual-core ‘Optimus 2X’ phone, announced at the tail-end of 2010.

The LG Optimus Sol gains its name for the highly clear display, which makes its content easy to see and in bright and sunny conditions too.

Optimus Sol will arrive with a 3.8-inch WVGA ‘Ultra’ AMOLED touch screen display, whilst being powered by a 1GHz processor, with a 5 megapixel camera that unfortunately doesn’t offer HD video recording – despite running from the Android ‘Gingerbread’ 2.3 OS.

The handset is only 9.8mm thick, where the display boasts a two-fold advanced reflection rate compared to standard AMOLED displays which reduces image quality degradation.


The next most significant news came when Sony Ericsson launched the ‘Live with Walkman’ mobile phone, with a faster processor and better music features than ever seen before.

Sony Ericsson’s Live with Walkman now joins the Android-run Mix Walkman with its Karaoke abilities that was launched in June.

The Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman will tip up with a 3.2-inch touch screen, whilst powered by a 1GHz processor where the Mix device ran from a 600MHz variant.

This mobile also ships with a 5 megapixel camera with an LED flash, capable of 720p HD video recording whilst the front facing version can be used for video chat with the likes of Skype.

Android ‘Gingerbread’ 2.3 is the platform of choice on the Live with Walkman phone and contains various music based features, such as a dedicated button for accessing music and an ‘Infinite’ option for displaying content from artists – with Sony’s xLoud for enhanced audio output from the inbuilt speakers.


The seventh largest story was Heineken offering WIFI access for mobile phones and portable devices, in nearly 100 London pubs and bars.

Frequenters of public houses in need of libations can quickly get online from mobile phones, tablets and laptops – all without the need to impact their precious data allowance through this offer. The BT-Heineken partnership also plans to extend the wireless internet service to another 200 bars, by the end of 2012.

Customers can receive exclusive, location-specific content including the best stories from news, views, features, business, culture and sports – this is the first time this content has been made available online, which will be updated daily.

These pubs now increase BT’s hotspot numbers to more than three million – the largest network within the UK -which has had more than 200,000 sites added in the last three months.


The following most significant item came from Inrix who launched a traffic application for the UK, for Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and iPhone devices.

The Inrix traffic application is ad-free app and provides real-time traffic information and traffic forecasts, which allow motorists to better plan their trips and avoid unexpected delays along the way.

Inrix traffic offers users an insight into traffic conditions, where the traffic information is crowd-sourced from the largest traffic network in the world and combined with traditional road sensor data, accident and incident reports to provide drivers with information they can rely on to find the best way to go.

The software also has a predictive technology analysis element, which factors in common traffic-impacting aspects such as day of the week, season, holidays and related days, current and forecasted weather, accidents and road works and unique local events like concerts and football matches to provide traffic forecasts up to 8 hours in advance.


The penultimate piece of news was when Samsung unveiled the bada 2.0 software development kit, which is the new application development tool for Samsung’s own mobile operating system.

Samsung has made public the news of the arrival of the SDK that supports the new bada 2.0 platform, whilst at the same time announcing that three new Wave mobile phones will be launched later this year.

No real details were forthcoming as to the nature of the trio of upcoming Wave phones, only that they will all be running bada 2.0 and will range from premium models to entry-level devices.

Bada 2.0 is said to include new features surrounding multi-tasking, WIFI Direct, Near Field Communication (NFC) and voice recognition – along with improved support for web applications, such as Flash and HTML5.


Lastly, Eurostar has launched a free mobile application, which allows for prospective passengers to book journeys and receive tickets direct to their handsets.

The Eurostar App is available now for Android and iPhone devices, where passengers can book and manage journeys between the UK and Paris, Brussels and Lille.

Passengers using the Eurostar App will immediately receive a mobile ticket as an electronic barcode on their device, which can be simply scanned at check-in.

Other functions of the Eurostar App include; live service updates to keep passengers informed of disruptions and a personal profile page, which provides an option to store address details and also seating preferences.


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