3UK launch Nokia C7

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

3UK have announced that you can now buy the Nokia C7 from them.  In price terms, it’s £5 per month (24 month contract) cheaper than the Nokia N8 on the equivalent contract, so if you think the Nokia N8 is overpriced, or you don’t want to pay that extra for the superb camera (mind you, the Nokia C7 still has an 8 megapixel camera), then the Nokia C7 may well be the device for you.

As always, more details are available in the 3Store.


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3UK now selling HTC Desire HD

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Although I’m not sure it’s actually available today, 3UK are now selling the HTC Desire HD, with orders due to be delivered by the end of next week.  The HTC Desire HD builds on the success of the HTC Desire and adds a 4.3″ touchscreen as well as an 8 megapixel camera supporting HD video recording, plus it’s one of the devices supported at the new HTCsense.com portal.  3UK are selling the HTC Desire HD on the One Plan for £40 per month (24 month contract), bringing 200 cross network minutes, 5000 texts, 5000 3UK3UK minutes and 1GB of Internet, free Voicemail, and an impressive 6 months free Spotify Premium subscription (although the data usage will need to come out of your 1GB allowance if you use it on 3G).

The HTC Desire HD is also available on lesser plans, eg the Internet Texter 500 plan for £35 per month (24 month contract) giving you 500 cross network minutes, 5000 texts, 5000 3UK3UK minutes, 1GB of Internet, free Voicemail, and just 2 months Spotify Premium subscription.

Of course, if you can’t afford this, the HTC Desire is still good value from 3UK for about a fiver less per month, or you can even get the HTC Desire on the One Plan for £25 per month (24 month contract) if you go for a refurbished stock item.

As always, head to the 3Store for more details.


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3UK launch Nokia E5

Friday, October 1st, 2010

3UK have announced that as from today they have the Nokia E5 available for sale.  Although still S60 3rd Edition (FP2), this might be a contender for users who bought the Nokia E71 a couple of years ago, and are looking for an upgrade.  Although the phone supports many of the same features, applications and 3UK specific services that the Nokia E71, it also features a couple of upgrades from the Nokia E71:

  • 5MP Camera with Fixed-Focus and LED Flash
  • Social Phonebook is present, pulling info from Facebook into Contacts
  • The handset is available in 2 colours: Black / White (although only Black is currently on sale)

As always, more details are available in the 3Store.


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HTC also launch two Android Handsets

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

What a week last week was!  On top of the Nokia phone announcements, and the LG Optimus One phone we covered this morning, HTC also launched 2 new Android v2.2 phones last week.  Now, both of these look very interesting devices, so read on for more information on the devices…

(more…)


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LG launch two new Android Handsets

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Last week LG launched two new Android Handsets, the LG Optimus One and the LG Optimus Chic.  However, for now we can all forget about the LG Optimus Chic, as there are no plans to release it in the UK.  However, the LG Optimus One is due in the UK, and due next month too (a note to Nokia: LG, like Apple, can launch worldwide and move from announcement to stock in shops pretty quickly, unlike you…)

So, the LG Optimus One is an Android v2.2 handset, and ships with a 1500mAh battery and a 3.2″ capacitive touchscreen.  There will be a carkit accessory available (at extra cost).  Although it’s a Google phone, one interesting addition from LG is the LG App Advisor which will recommend 10 highly rated applications every 2 weeks (although it will be interesting to see if this is still advising of new apps in a year or two…)

At 113.5 x 59 x 13.3 mm and weighing 129g it’s a pretty good size, although I note the screen is apparently only 256k colours.  It features a 3 megapixel camera, and has WiFi, Bluetooth, G Sensor, Digital Compass and an FM Radio.  It also comes with a 2GB microSD card.

Although I don’t see this as being the highest of specs, I suspect, like many LG handsets, this will be sensibly priced, and sell in quite large numbers, potentially on PAYG more than contract, and will provide many people with their first experience of an Android phone.  It’s out next month, although no word on price yet.

If you are reading this directly on the UK Gadgeteer website, you should also find a video from LG about the LG Optimus One.


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Archos launch 5 new Android tablets

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Archos last week announced a range of 5 Android Tablets, running from the £99 2.8″ Archos 28 tablet to the £299 16GB 10.1″ Archos 101.  In fact, the models have quite different specs, which are worth checking out:

The £99 4GB (or 8GB for an extra £10) Archos 28 (below) has a 320×240 pixels 2.8” TFT LCD with resistive touchscreen, ARM Cortex A8 processor at 800 MHz, USB2, WiFi, Microphone, G-Sensor, is 100 x 54 x 9 mm and weighs 68 grams.

Then there’s the £129 8GB Archos 32 (below), which has a 400×240 pixels 3.2” TFT LCD with resistive touchscreen (interestingly, Archos say the Archos 28 supports 16m colours, whilst this supports 256k colours, unless it’s a misprint), ARM Cortex A8 processor at 800 MHz with DSP, USB2, WiFi, Bluetooth (note it’s missing from the Archos 28), pre-installed applications (Deezer, Ebuddy, Mewbox, Raging Thunder Lite, Touiteur, Quickpedia), TV out (again not on the Archos 28, and the cable is an optional extra), Microphone, G-Sensor, and is 105 x 55 x 9 mm and weighs 72 grams. It also has a camera on the back.

Next comes the £199 16GB Archos 43 (below), which has a microSD card, a 480×854 pixels 4.3” TFT LCD with resistive touchscreen (back to 16 million colours), ARM Cortex A8 processor at 1GHz with DSP, USB2, WiFi, Bluetooth, pre-installed applications (Webbrowser, Email, Contacts, Appslib, Twitter, Wikipedia, Weather Channel, Ebuddy, Deezer, Mewbox, Racing Thunderlight, Weather Channel, World Newspaper), TV HDMI out (again the cable is an optional extra), Microphone, G-Sensor, and is 135 x 65 x 9 mm and weighs 130 grams.  This also adds an HD camera (although whether a 2MP camera producing 720p should really be called HD is another matter), and it has a built in kick stand for when you want to watch movies.

Importantly, all devices listed (the Archos 28, Archos 32 and the Archos 43 will be available in September), whilst the following two devices are due out in October:

Moving on further is the 8GB (£229) or 250GB (£269) Archos Archos 70 (below), which has a microSD card (only on the 8GB Flash version, not the 250GB Hard Disk version), a 800 x 480 pixels 7.0” TFT LCD with capacitive touchscreen (16 million colours), ARM Cortex A8 processor at 1GHz with DSP, USB2, WiFi, Bluetooth, pre-installed applications (Aldiko, Ebuddy, Wikipedia, Avecomics, HubKap, Deezer, Mewbox, Raging Thunderlite (a 3D car demo game), WordNewspaper, Touiteur, Fring), TV HDMI out (again the cable is an optional extra), Microphone, G-Sensor, and is 201 x 114 x 10 mm and weighs 300 grams for the Flash version, with the Hard Disk version is 4 mm thicker and 100 grams heavier.  This doesn’t have the rear HD camera, but does have a front facing VGA camera instead, and it also has the built in kick stand.

Finally, there is the 8GB (£269) or 16GB (£299) Archos 101 (shown at the top of the article), which is pretty much the same spec as the Archos 70, except the capacitive touchscreen is 1024×600 pixels with a 10.1″ TFT LCD, and is 270 x 150 x 12 mm and 480 grams.

All devices will have access to Archos’ AppsLib App Store for downloading (and purchasing) additional applications for these tablets, but if you don’t need 3G capability (or you have a MiFi device) then many of these may well suit, especially with all featuring Android v2.2 as standard.

There’s much more information, pictures, and full specs over on Archos’ website here, where you’ll notice the 8GB Archos 32 (£129) is already available for sale.  I will also add there appear to be a number of other standard apps included with each device beyond those listed.


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Canon launch new DSLR & add Eye-Fi support

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Others have already covered the launch of the Canon EOS 60D last week, but one thing that caught my attention was the Eye-Fi support that Canon have added into this camera.  Although not the first Canon to support Eye-Fi, it’s nice to see Canon bringing Eye-Fi support to their DSLR range too.  If you don’t know, Eye-Fi are SD memory cards with additional features such as built in WiFi for automatically uploading photos, and some even have limited GPS support too.  For the WiFi upload to work, the camera must be turned on, and the main function of including Eye-Fi support in the camera’s firmware is that it can keep power to the memory card until the transfer is complete.  The support often also includes the ability to configure some of the details of the Eye-Fi card too (although I wasn’t able to confirm what level of control Canon offer).

So, the Canon EOS 60D takes the Canon EOS 50D and builds on it, adding a number of new features; the main features of the camera are:

  • 18 megapixel self cleaning sensor
  • supports EF and EF-S lenses
  • shoots at up to 5.3fps
  • 63 zone metering with 9 AF points
  • captures 1080p video at up to 30fps
  • the tilt and twist LCD screen of many Canon compact digital cameras is included
  • the built in flash can act as a remote Speedlite trigger

The Eye-Fi support is quite key on this device; previous EOS DSLRs supported Canon’s Wireless File Transmitter, whereas Canon have stated the Canon EOS 60D is not compatible with the previous WFT devices, and no new WFT device is planned, therefore the only self-contained solution available to users is the Eye-Fi option.  In fact, Canon have also announced a number of new PowerShot cameras with Eye-Fi support too, and Nikon’s new D3100 supports Eye-Fi too, so it looks like this is the “must have” new feature for this year…

The Canon EOS 60D will go on sale in the next few months and has a UK retail price of £1099.99 (inc. VAT), although I expect that will quickly drop to a lower level.


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BlackBerry 9800 Torch coming to 3UK

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Some people are BlackBerry fans, and others aren’t (personally, after using one for 15 months I fall into the latter category), but the new BlackBerry 9800 Torch seems to be trying to turn that round, and offer a solution for everyone.  As well as the traditional QWERTY keyboard (although now provided on a slider), it also features a touchscreen featured on some of the newer BlackBerry devices, and it also has the optical trackpad now common to most new BlackBerry devices too.  Add in the obligatory GPS, WiFi, 3G, 5 megapixel camera and 8GB of memory, and the latest BlackBerry OS6 featuring some inbuilt social networking functions, and it seems to be a nice all round device.

I’ll admit my main problem with BlackBerry devices is the limitations enterprise companies place on the device (normally preventing the installation of applications, which also prevents other things such as themes), but of course if you buy it as an individual, you won’t have that restriction, and will be able to customise the device with the correct apps needed to enjoy the experience.

Even better, despite the device only being launched last week, 3UK have already announced they will be selling the device later this year.


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New phones on 3UK

Friday, July 9th, 2010

3UK have announced this week that they now have two new Android smartphones that you can purchase on 3UK, and not just that, but you can get them on the new One Plan we covered here which offers fantastic value for money if you are a heavy mobile user.

Firstly, they are now offering the HTC Wildfire, which is a cut down version of the HTC Desire.  Although cut down might imply “cheap”, and it’s fair to say it doesn’t have the spec (or the price) of the HTC Desire, but it’s actually still a very capable Android device; in fact the only compliant I’ve heard about it is that moving forward over the next year or two, the screen maybe too small to allow major OS upgrades, as Google has now specified a minimum spec (including display resolution) for the future, and the HTC Wildfire falls a little short.

Having said that, it still rivals many other phones, and is still a better display than many other phones of last year! The 3.2″ screen is still a good size, and the 5 megapixel camera is still better than many, and it offers Android v2.1 with HTC’s Sense UI too.  All the usual Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc. are there too.  Also interestingly, although it’s available now in “Metal Mocha” colour, it will also be available on 3UK in Red from August, and the Red colour will be exclusive to 3UK.

If you aren’t an HTC fan, then there’s always the Sony Ericsson X10 Mini Pro, which again, is a smaller smartphone (the “X10 Mini” part), but features quite a key differentiator; the “Pro” means it also features a QWERTY keyboard!  This is a slide out keyboard (in the same way as the Nokia E75, Nokia C6 or Nokia N900), and although it blatantly doesn’t feature the HTC Sense UI, it does feature some key Sony Ericsson UI customisations instead.  These include the ability to specify 4 corner navigation and 3 homescreens, and it also features Sony Ericsson’s Timescape, which brings together your Facebook, Twitter, email, text messages and calls into one place.  This sounds an interesting feature, although with many of these manufacturer applications, it may be a little limiting to the “serious” social networker, especially if it can’t be expanded to support other social networks.

The Sony Ericsson X10 Mini Pro is available in Black from 3UK, and also in White, which will (like the Red HTC Wildfire) be a colour exclusive to 3UK.

If you want either of these phones on the new One Plan, they are available for £30 per month (24-month contract), and remember that comes with 2000 cross network minutes, 5000 3UK3UK minutes, 5000 texts and 1GB data; if you want to buy them on PAYG, the HTC Wildfire is £199 and the Sony Ericsson X10 Mini Pro is £249, both very competitive prices in their own right!

I like the way that whilst historically 3UK were not able to arrange model exclusivity agreements, they are now sufficiently recognised by the manufacturers to at least able to negotiate colour exclusives, and you never know, maybe this time next year, we’ll see a worthy smartphone launch exclusively on 3UK


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Brightkite updates Symbian App

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Brightkite have updated their Symbian app (which is available for free in the Ovi Store here).  The new version adds the following features:

Group Text

Nokia users now join iPhone & Blackberry, Mobile web and SMS users with the ability to use Group Text. Group Text allows users to text up to 25 people at once – when one person replies, everyone gets the message.

Likes

You can now Like posts, just like you can on the web

Photo Library integration

Now you can post photos from your Photo Library – not just ones you take with your camera.

Comment and Mention streams

Now you have dedicated areas in which you can see your comments and mentions

Better battery and GPS usage

We’ve changed the way the app accesses GPS on the phone, which enhances battery Life.

Bug fixes

Assorted tweaks, enhancements and fixes.

As before, the app is only available on the newer touchscreen devices, so if you still have a non-touch phone, you’re out of luck (and I don’t yet know of a decent 3rd party clients with Brightkite support either).


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