»
S
I
D
E
B
A
R
«
New Games to be unveiled for Windows Phone 7 platform
May 31st, 2011 by Dipak Sarda

Windows7

New mobile games are on its way from Microsoft for the Windows Phone 7 platform. These games are expected to be unveiled at the upcoming E3 event.

Microsoft is struggling hard to divert developers and consumers from opting the familiar iOS and Android platform and attract them towards the new platform.

The company is not only looking ahead to bring new apps to the Windows platform but will also be revealing new games so as to attract crowds at the upcoming E3 conference.

According to an independent game developer for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 platform, the E3 conference is said to come with a mysterious surprise for the gamers. The news about the new games release is known from the teaser released by the games developers.

At the Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona, the software giant showcased features like controlling the Xbox 360 from the Windows phone. Given this backdrop, we expect Microsoft to announce more gaming options for the platform.

Windows phone could achieve a better position in the buzzing Smartphone market if its move to bolster the Windows Phone OS with games clicks and succeeds in attracting casual and serious gamers.

E6 and X7 on the way to the market
May 31st, 2011 by Dipak Sarda

Nokia X7, E6

The latest handsets from the Finnish manufacturer featuring the new ‘Anna’ version of Symbian are being shipped.

The handsets that are under discussion – the business oriented model E6 and the multimedia-focused version X7 would be under sale in Europe, Eurasia and Asia-Pacific countries. While these would be the areas of sale for both the versions, E6 would also be available in the Middle East and Africa. This version has a similar look and feel to the earlier successful models E71 and E72 and adds a touch screen.

Both these models use a revamped Symbian browser – version 7.3. The best part of this version is that it does away with the bottom row of icons and hence there is more room for browsing the pages. These models also include split-screen text input and modified Ovi Maps.

The handsets are augmented with 8 mega pixel camera. And in the case of E6 model, it offers a direct access to Mail for Exchange, Microsoft Share Point and Microsoft Communicator Mobile. The presence of Microsoft Apps further symbolizes the bond between Microsoft and Nokia.

It has to be noted that in February, Nokia emphasized its commitment to the bond with Microsoft by proposing a phase out of Symbian. This would mean that these Symbian-based handsets would remain on sale only for the next couple of years. However, there would still be support and updates on this operating system and will support until 2016.

First Four-Core Tablet on the cards from Motorola
May 30th, 2011 by Dipak Sarda

MOTOROLA LOGO Nvidia Tegra-3

After Xoom, Motorola is now geared up to release another tablet PC this fall, powered by Nvidia Tegra quad-core chip.

The four-core processor was showcased by running a tablet prototype at the Mobile World Congress recently and the first tablets on the new processor were announced for this fall.

Motorola might accomplish another first by launching the first quad-core tablet this fall. It was also the first one to launch a dual-core tablet in “Xoom”.

The processor was designed by Nvidia for gaming and some sources indicate that Motorola might get the tablet in the shelves in September when schools begin again.

Code-named as Kal-El, the Tegra 3 processor provides better and faster graphics compared to the Tegra 2 or the processor used in iPad 2. Nvidia has put all its bets on Android and it expects 10 manufacturers to launch gadgets powered by Tegra 3.

Motorola Xoom was not easy to be sold and Motorola could strike gold if its plans to compete the dual-core iPad 2 get through thanks to the quad-core processor. The naming of the new tablet could be distant from Xoom just to be sure that the poor performance of Xoom has no effect on this one.

BlackBerry Playbook will be in UK by June 16th and pre-bookings are already started.
May 30th, 2011 by Dipak Sarda

Blackberry Playbook

Release date and pricing information of BlackBerry Playbook, seems to be officially and finally out. News started appearing on many sites.

SIM free version of so called first Professional Grade tablet available in market from Research in Motion (RIM), BlackBerry Playbook, is ready for pre-booking across UK.

This first ever tablet from RIM will be released in multiple variations 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB, whose SIM free version prices are £ 329.99, £ 399.99 and £ 464.99 respectively. While many network providers and retailers have expressed their plans to launch this super gadget, none of them have yet made any kind announcement on prices of the device on contract.

RIM has surprised market with Playbook, with its kind of configuration and capabilities. It is placed in par, if not competitive with latest of tablet devices available in the market. This Dual Core processor based tablet device is interfaced over a 7 inch screen of 1024 X 600p WSVGA capacitive LCD touch screen. Capable of Full HD recording with 1Gb of RAM, it has surpassed market expectation and tried to retain brand’s niche in tablet market too in similar to Smartphone market.

One need to wait for June 16th to strike before commenting on success of device.

HTC Sensation review
May 30th, 2011 by Dipak Sarda

HTC Sensation

The latest android phone from the HTC, Sensation, has been launched exclusively through Vodafone in UK (We, at Mobile hub, have updated you with that news – as always). The Android 2.3.3 running Sensation which has a dual-core 1.2GHz processor and 4.3” display is the very latest phone to catch attention. So, we thought to review it for you.

Sensation is an important release from the HTC stable but it feels pretty similar to the previous devices in the Android range from HTC. The consensual impression is that Sensation is like a big Desire S with a few modified touches in design and heavier than the Galaxy S II. However, it certainly scores marks as a friendly, familiar model.

The dual-LED flash and the camera sensor add to the features of Sensation giving it a better feel. Also adding to the feel quotient is the exterior that gives it a tougher, more rigid and curved feel than its predecessors.

The screen is a whopping 4.3” one but that doesn’t make the Sensation look bulky. It certainly is slimmer than the Desire HD and almost same in size of Desire.  Sense has been upgraded to 3.0 and the new interactive lock screen gives it a classy touch for the customers.

Overall, Sensation scores on more number of features making it truly a wonderful sensation to have the same. So much can be said about the market reception from the fact that the competitor service providers have already lined up Sensation in the coming months.

Grab the Samsung Galaxy S now for just £220
May 29th, 2011 by Dipak Sarda

Samsung Galaxy S II

Samsung freaks will be elated to know that the price of the Samsung Galaxy S has been reduced by Mobiles.co.uk, a subsidiary of Carphone Warehouse. You can lay your hands on the smartphone for just £219.90 on Pay As You Go deal from Orange.

The handset which is otherwise known as the i9000 was launched in May 2010 and was available with a retail price tag of £470. Samsung Galaxy S has been selected as the best Smartphone of 2010 by FoneHome mobile awards.

The Galaxy S has proved to be one of the best selling Android devices available on the market. Samsung has been successful to sell more than 10 million devices by the end of 2010.

Inspite of being launched a year ago, the smartphone comes with awesome specifications. It features an ARM Cortex A8 based Samsung Hummingbird SoC running at 1GHz, 8GB onboard storage, 512MB RAM and a 4-inch Super AMOLED WVGA capacitive touchscreen.

The Galaxy S also boasts a 5MP rear camera, a microSD card, BT, Wi-Fi and A-GPS. The 118g weighing device is less than 10mm thick. It is also expected to get an Android Gingerbread update in the later part of the year.

For £220, Samsung Galaxy S is the cheapest handset in that range and does not have any competition. Wildfire S lacks in the specs though it is cheaper while the HTC Desire is a lot more expensive.

Grab White Sony Ericsson Xperia Play from O2
May 28th, 2011 by Dipak Sarda

white sony ericsson xperia play O2

There were number of issues related to the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play and O2 has successfully ironed them out. The exclusive white version of gaming device is finally available from the carrier for the grabs.

O2 is trailing by two months owing to software issues that it encountered given the fact that the handset was launched by some retailers as early as April 1st.

The white Xperia Play can be lapped up for £430 on PAYG while you have to shell out £37 per month on a 24-month contract to get the handset for free. The tariff plan gets you unlimited texts in addition to 900 minutes every month.

The catch however is that the plan covers for no data allowance and in case you need the typical 500MB per month you just need to shell out £6 more thus making the final tariff as £43 per month.

All in all, the TCO (total cost of ownership) seems to be around £1000 over two years and that sounds too much of a price. Xperia Play has moreover fizzled after its launch as some people are not happy with the handset as a gaming device.

If you were however looking forward to the white version of the handset, now is the time and it can be picked on PAYG from O2 if not from Play.com.

HTC upgrades its Desire
May 28th, 2011 by Dipak Sarda

HTC desire S

HTC Desire S, which is an updated model of the original Desire, comes with an improved camera, more space for apps and improved communications. But will this be enough to spark the market?

The Desire S has a slightly faster graphics processor, better memory, faster 3G and Wi-Fi support in addition to Android 2.3 platform. The operating system provides a great fillip to the speed of the device – almost doubling the score in the Quadrant benchmarks. There are additional features as well, like improved text selection and better power management.

To the naked eye, the new device isn’t much different from the older one. It actually feels a bit heavier than the original even though it is smaller and lighter than its predecessor. This can be attributed to the design as the chrome grille just above the screen makes the screen look smaller. The absence of the physical buttons and the optical track pad below the screen makes this latest version appear slimmer.

Android has been upgraded from 2.1 to 2.3 and the memory is upgraded to 768 MB RAM compared to the 576 MB in the earlier version. Internal storage also took a raise from 512 MB to 1.1 GB which meant that there is plenty of room for apps.

The chip used in the processor of Desire S, even though runs at the same 1 GHz speed, uses far less power producing less heat. This means that the battery life is much more superior to Desire – giving an approximate 31 hours of MP3 playback which is a jump of 50%.

The changes added spark for the HTC Desire S but the indications are that these may not be enough to warrant a spark in the market. Mobile hub would keep you updated!

UK Contract price for LG Optimus 3D out
May 27th, 2011 by Dipak Sarda

LG Optimus 3D

If you have been waiting to hear more about the much anticipated first ever Three Dimensional Smartphone, the LG Optimus 3D, then we have already reported about the specs and the handset; we however now have access to the contract pricing details of the handset in the UK.

As reported on gsmarena.com the Android powered Smartphone can now be pre-ordered on contract from many of the major service providers in the UK. The LG Android 3D is available for pre-order as a SIM-Free handset too.

As per the listing on buymobilephones.com the handset can be pre-ordered on Vodafone, T-Mobile, Orange, and O2. T-Mobile however seems to be offering the cheapest contract with £25.54 per month tariffs ranging over 24 months.

Vodafone on the other hand offers the Smartphone on an 18-month contract for £30 per month. While Orange has the same monthly tariff on a 24-month contract, O2 offers it for £32 per month on a 24-month contract. The exact dates are not out yet though.

Clove is showing the release date of the handset as June 6 2011 on its website. The SIM free handset comes with a price tag of £455 including VAT on Clove.

The LG Optimus 3D which boasts an attractive 4.3 inch glasses-free 3D screen comes with loads of many other fabulous features. The Smartphone will come with Android 2.2 OS, which is likely to get Gingerbread update later.

Nokia E6 up for grabs
May 27th, 2011 by Dipak Sarda

Nokia-E6

The much awaited upgraded smart phone from Nokia’s stable – E6 has just gone up for pre-order in the U.K. To get your hands on this acclaimed smart phone, get over to Nokia Online for a pre-order.

The Nokia E6 boasts of being a Symbian Anna smart phone with full QWERTY keyboard. It also happens to be the first full 2.46 inch screen in a combination of touch screen display and keyboard. This would mean that you can now have absolute mastery of input and content on your device.

This device is being touted as the natural choice for the users of Nokia E71 or Nokia E72 and looking for an upgrade. The display gives 4 times the clarity of that of Nokia E72 meaning that the images would be crystal sharp. This would also mean that E6 would be the sharpest and the most powerful business class device in the market.

Weighing 133g and measuring 115.5 x 59 x 10.5mm, this smart phone is smaller and more compact than E7. Also, its all-in-one design would mean that it would be perfect for those upgrading from the Nokia E72. The other salient features of the device include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G in addition to 8GB internal and a micro SD card that can be extended to 32 GB.

This sleek yet powerful smart phone has gone live for pre order on Nokia Online for £349 (inc. VAT) SIM free.  There is an option to get this device via contract for as little as £25 a month.

The Nokia E6 would go on sale at the end of June 2011. Will the pre-order begin the rush for E6 and give it headway over its competitors? Only time and mobile hub can tell! Stay tuned.

Nokia tops the list in eco ranking
May 26th, 2011 by Dipak Sarda

Nokia-E7-300x285 Nokia_Care_RGB

Finnish makers Nokia took the top spots for sustainable living, environmental impact and ethical record.

Nokia has taken the top two spots in the leading mobile provider O2’s Eco ranking of sustainable handsets. Nokia’s models C6-01 and E7-00 both scored 4.1 out of 5 for a combination of their environmental impact, contribution to sustainable living and the ethical record of the manufacturer. Surely, Nokia has scored in all aspects to take the cake.

Not too far behind, Samsung’s Galaxy Mini and Galaxy Ace, Sony Ericcsson’s X8 and Nokia’s C7-02, shared the next place in the rankings with a score of 4 out of 5. These rankings cover 90% of the handsets that O2 sells and also included Blackberry models manufactured by Research In Motion, for the first time. These  aspects made the rankings comprehensive covering all the manufacturers.

The inputs for the rankings are gathered from the handset manufacturers – materials used in manufacturing, features that reduce the need for other devices like music players, labor conditions in the supply chain etc.

However, iPhone isn’t included in the rankings. Apple has always been heavily criticized over the environmental impact of iPhone and for working conditions at factories in China run by Foxconn.

O2 believes that this level of product transparency is required by the customers and this is just the first step towards bringing more transparency in the whole system. Let’s see what spans out in the future out of this initiative!

Tesco Sat-Nav app to ease your shopping in supermarkets
May 26th, 2011 by Dipak Sarda

tesco sat-nav

Tired of the huge towering shelves and the difficulty in finding out the required items while shopping in a supermarket? Here comes a solution from Tesco to ease your difficulty, a supermarket sat-nav.

Tesco has come up with satellite navigation software which can be downloaded on Android handsets. Using this software, customers can enter their shopping list and once they enter the automatic doors threshold, they will be directed by the phone to the exact location of every product so as to find the items quicker.

Nothing has been revealed as of now regarding the cost of the app. The app would go on sale in the later part of the year based on the results of the tests at a Tesco store in Romford, Essex. This new service would direct you towards all your wanted items using the shortest route.

However, it is still unknown if the sat-navs will come with distinctive voice instructions to guide users regarding directions like ‘turn left ahead’ or ‘turn around where possible’.

Tesco launched the sat-nav app after rival Marks & Spencer’s new boss said that it was very difficult to navigate his stores around.

Sensation on Three in June
May 26th, 2011 by Dipak Sarda

3-logo HTC Sensation

HTC Sensation would be making its debut on Three sometime during this June. This was revealed by the UK wireless carrier in its Twitter post. Coming on the heals of the release on Vodafone, this would present Three a chance to make inroads in the market.

Incidentally, the model which comes with an impressive 1.2 GHz processor along with a 4.3 inch screen is already available on Vodafone in the UK market. With its rival gaining ground in the market, Three had to get its footing to catch up. If reports are anything to go by, even Orange and T-mobile are planning to introduce their own offerings of HTC Sensation.

All this makes HTC Sensation the most sought-after model in the coming months. The Taiwan based smart phone maker is also coming up with a video on-demand service.

What makes Sensation really good are the Sense 3.0 user interface, new lock screen that allows users to preload applications which in turn would support quick launching. In addition, the animated effects have also undergone tremendous improvements. This would now mean that the users can enjoy 3D widgets in almost all of Sense 3.0 features such as Stocks, Friend Stream etc.

However, it must be noted that Three has not made any official comment yet regarding the price and schemes for this model. The speculations are ripe that the wireless carrier would unveil Sensation free on a few of the chosen plans. We would keep you updated, as always!

Nokia officially announces dual SIM Nokia X1-01
May 25th, 2011 by Dipak Sarda

nokia x1-01

Finnish Mobile phone manufacturer, Nokia as another step in its continued efforts of offering budget handsets has officially announced the dual SIM capable Nokia X1-01. The handset comes with a very unique feature of supporting multiple SIM card installations.

The Nokia X1-01 handset comes with a dedicated SIM manager key which manages the users’ SIM settings. It can identify up to 5 different SIM cards settings. The handset sports a 160 x 128 pixels display, memory up to 16GB, built-in flashlight, a 3.5 mm audio jack along with dedicated music keys. It also comes with a battery whose standby life is up to 43 days as well as can support up to 13 hours of talk-time or 36 hours of music playback.

The handset which is said to be a music device by Nokia boasts ear-splitting speaker system delivering a whopping 106 phon level. It comes with aural entertainment features and supports MP3 files playback as well as FM radio.

A commenter on Nokia’s blog opines that the X1-01 is a great phone. He further says, ‘what is the need of a dual core processor to do a simple calculation of 2+2? One who wants to play a realistic 3D game can go and play football instead.’

The Nokia X1-01 is expected to be launched later this quarter in selected countries with a cost of around €34. It is expected to be launched in the UK as well with a price tag of less than £30.

Orange, VoucherCloud join hands to offer Exclusive Discounts
May 24th, 2011 by Dipak Sarda

orange Android smartphones Voucher card

After the launch of NFC-based payments services, UK wireless carrier Orange is now making an entry into the vouchers market. Orange has joined hands with Vouchercloud so as to come up with exclusive discount offers for its contract and pay-as-you-go customers.

As per this deal, the discount voucher website will offer a minimum of eight deals to the Orange customers every month. These discount deals can be accessed either from the Vouchercloud web site or the Vouchercloud iPhone app.

Coming to the May offers, exclusive discounts can be enjoyed by Orange users on various products from Malmaison, Habitat, Headmasters and Fitness First.

More than 5,000 retail chains and other business setups across the UK use Vouchercloud service, which is an online discount voucher service. Location-based discount apps on the iOS as well Android platform are already available from the company. A Windows Phone 7 app is also expected to be released in the days ahead.

Managing director of Vouchercloud, Greg Le Tocq says that vouchers are being redeemed by more and more people so as to experience the latest shopping benefits at discount prices. As such, Vouchercloud is offering these deals to make them they reach directly to the hands of the users. Greg further says that they are pleased to offer exclusive deals to Orange users.

Microsoft turns it on with Mango!
May 24th, 2011 by Dipak Sarda

Windows Phone Mango

Microsoft is sure doing everything it can to turn it around! With an eye on regaining the ground lost to Apple and Google, MS has offered an update into its Windows smart phone. The update, which goes by the code name of Mango, will offer 500 new features. These include IE9 as the browser.

More importantly, this would feature in the phones that Microsoft would be making with Nokia. These phones are expected to hit the market later this year.

Microsoft expects to increase its share in the smart phone segment with Mango, which integrates SMS, Facebook chat and Windows Live Messenger.

Other significant features include a single inbox for all e-mail accounts and a deeper integration with the social networking sites with the augmentation of Twitter and LinkedIn to contact information.

One other feature is the integration of the apps directly into the core functionalities. This would mean that, apps would be more closely linked to the music, picture and video hubs on the phone. This would also mean that users would be able to catch real-time information from the apps without having to go through the process of opening them.

Mango represents an important phase for Microsoft. The challenge ahead for MS is to convince the market of its phones and their usability. It would be an uphill task but if the indications are anything to go, Microsoft is all set for it!

HTC Holiday is out
May 23rd, 2011 by Dipak Sarda

HTC Gratia

HTC is set to continue its trend of different names for its handsets! Will this new model pave the way for HTC’s domination in the market? Is Holiday going to be the key to HTC’s success?

Looks like HTC is set to carry on with its current trend of different names for its phone releases. Just like the Chacha and Salsa, the next phone from the HTC stable is set to be christened differently.

HTC is set to name its latest model as Holiday – although the name is just a codename for the time being. The latest name is known to the web world as part of the spec sheet spilled on the net. Though there is plenty of time before the handset is released and the christening can be done to a more appropriate name.

The spec sheet also mentions a huge 4.5 inch display, an 8 MP camera, a 1.2 GHZ dual-core engine and of course, a front-facer for video chats to go in line with the latest trend. Even though the source is just a leak on the net, the reports say that Holiday would be running on Android Gingerbread.

HTC has already doled out models of this caliber – Sensation, to name one; however, it must be noted that none of those have quite a large screen as Holiday. This could pave way for HTC to hook its users with a move streaming service. Will the Holiday create ripples in the market? Watch this space.

New handsets on the cards with Windows Phone ‘Mango’ launch
May 23rd, 2011 by Dipak Sarda

Microsoft Windows Phone Mango

The much-awaited Mango update for the Windows Phone platform is due to be released this week from Microsoft. News is in the air that Microsoft will also unveil nine other handsets along with the ‘Mango’ software update during the announcement.

Microsoft’s latest update to the Windows Phone platform is scheduled to be showcased tomorrow. This software update will bring with it performance improvements and an array of new features which also includes a camera-powered visual search app, on-device podcast downloads, turn-by-turn navigation in Bing Maps and Shazam-inspired music recognition support.

All Windows Phone users will be able to enjoy the updates free of charge. However, more focus is on its flagship smartphone platform updates. Microsoft is also looking forward to unveil nine new devices so as to boost up its sales.

HTC is said to come up with two new handsets, Acer would unveil two, Dell will show off a single handset and Samsung is said to unveil four devices as per sources. As of now, no company has said anything about the rumours. However, we need not wait for long time now to know how far the rumours are true as tomorrow is the given launch date.

Fall in the price of Nokia N8 Smartphone to £240
May 22nd, 2011 by Dipak Sarda

N8

Nokia fans can now grab the Nokia N8 smartphone for as low as £240 from Orange, which is almost half of £400, the original cost of the device at the time of its launch.

Dialaphone serves this deal and is on the barebone Dolphin 10 package. That is, users will enter into a two-year contract by shelling out £10 per month which gives you 30 minutes and unlimited texts. This is more suitable for any Orange user looking ahead to grab the N8 and is ready to change their SIM cards.

Users can unlock their N8 very easily at a price and then go with the SIM of their choice. The smartphone’s price has already come down by £80 in the last two weeks.

Nokia N8 is equipped with one of the best cameras fitted in Smartphones. It not only has best and superior 12 megapixel still camera with Carl Zeiss optics and a Xenon flash but also allows shooting full HD video.

N8 is the first phone with new Symbian 3 operating system and is the first phone with a breaking technology, which allows N8 to come with a non – removable battery. To brief out about N8, it is bundled with a 3.5 inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display, a mini HDMI slot, Ovi Maps, Dolby Digital Plus technology along with 16GB memory.

Android 2.3.3 coming on Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc and Play
May 22nd, 2011 by Dipak Sarda

Sony Ericsson Logo Android 2.2

Recombu has reported that Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc and Play will sport Android 2.3.3 next week. The upgrade would however need approval from the mobile networks in the UK and there could be a variation as to when the update gets rolled out.

For all the Facebook addicts, the update will sound music in their ears as they can now get social using Facebook from within Xperia. One can go to the extent of liking music currently played on the handset which will result in a wall post with a link to Sony’s TrackID music service on the Facebook profile. One can upload pics, links handset contacts to Facebook profiles, and synchronize calendars.

By end of the year, this update will result in Facebook to be available in all other Xperia phones too including Neo Mini and Mini Pro. Users can optionally turn off the feature if they don’t want everything they do to get to their Facebook wall.

So, post Android 2.3.3, we can expect a lot more updates on people’s Facebook walls and an increasing need to hide some of the updates.

»  Copyright © 2007-2010 The Mobile Hub   »  One stop site for : Mobile Phone Reviews