3UK launch a variety of new handsets…

Monday, April 27th, 2009

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INQ1 Silver £15 per Month, Free 3 to 3 calls at 3M

It looks like 3UK have been busy recently, with a range of new handsets launched last week, and all should be available to purchase as from today…

  1. BlackBerry Bold – Nothing special here, it’s been available for a while on other networks, but it looks like 3UK is getting serious about attracting business customers, with this phone being available on a £25 “Unlimited” deal (500 voice minutes and unlimited 3000 texts).
  2. The LG U990i – This seems to be a new variant on the LG Viewty (U990), however, we note that the LG U990i also supports SkypeSkype calls, which 3UK announced would be at no cost to users from next month3UK have also said it supports “Upload videos to YouTube at the touch of a button” which makes this phone, combined with a data tariff a good non-smartphone phone to consider, as it nearly offers the same range of features as a smartphone.
  3. Finally, they have also launched the Samsung i8510.  Now, this is a Symbian S60 handset, with a whole range of features, including an 8megapixel camera.  We covered the spec of this device here, and it’s good to see this phone available on 3UK.  This isn’t the Samsung i8910, which features a touchscreen too, but it’s still a S60 phone from someone other than Nokia.


LG Smart (Viewty II) launched

Friday, April 24th, 2009

LG Smart

LG launced the LG Smart this week.  This is the direct follow on device to the LG Viewty.  It enhances the Viewty by increasing the camera to 8megapixel (with sensitivity up to ISO 1600), a high resolution WVGA touchscreen (same as the LG Arena), and the new S-Class UI which also features on the LG Arena.  As this is a device heavily weighted towards imaging, the camera includes several new features including Multi Face Detection and DVD-quality D1 video recording.  Other camera features include Touch Shot, Art Shot, Beauty Shot, Panorama Shot and Continuous Shot.

With Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and A-GPS for geotagging photos and 1.5GB of internal memory (plus a microSD card slot), this phone seems to tick many boxes.  It’s only 12.4mm thick, making it the thinnest 8megapixel camera on the market today.

Unlike companies like Nokia who announce phones months and months in advance, this will be available on Orange next month.


LG Arena review

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

LG Arena

Last week LG launched the LG Arena, and we were invited along by LG and the LG Blog.  The LG Arena is an interesting phone, it’s not quite one of their high end devices (that position is still held by the LG Renoir, with it’s 8megapixel camera), but actually, the LG Arena may well become a very popular phone.  The screen (with a similar tempered glass protection as used on the LG Secret) seems much clearer and the new S-Class UI is even easier to use, but builds on the previous LG touchphones so it’s still quite intuitive.

There are 4 home screens, which you can flick between by swiping your finger from side to side on the screen, allowing you direct access to various functions, including your music.  The spec of the device is quite impressive (covered in more detail here); 5megapixel camera, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, FM transmitter (although it’s a bit hidden down in the Tools menu).  Although the device is still not truly open in terms of supporting lots of installable applications, it does come with built in Google Maps (the LG Renoir had a built in GPS, but it was mainly used for geotagging photos), Google Mail, and even Blogger access. Our first try with Google Maps was a little challenging, as it struggled to locate us, but we’ll try it again and see if it was a one off problem.

The LG Arena has a real power button on the top (previous LG phones have been using the red call hangup key), which we liked, and the proprietary combined charging /headset port has returned to the nice sliding cover similar to that found on the LG Viewty.  It has 8GB of memory built in, and yet also supports a microSD port.

LG have stated this phone is aimed at the “techno-chic”, and for those that want a good looking device with a good spec, but aren’t looking at the very top end smartphones, this phone might just suit…

We’re going to carry on testing this phone over the coming weeks, but in the meantime, here’s the new LG Arena TV advert which has just starting airing on UK TV…

(if you don’t see the video, click here)


LG Arena to be launched at MWC

Friday, February 6th, 2009

LG Arena

We know nothing about the phone, except this picture, and we believe it will be called the LG Arena.  The picture has been released by LGBlog as a teaser, and a statement that more will be revealed at MWC (Mobile Web Congress) in mid February.  It looks similar in design to the LG Viewty and the LG Renoir, but it may be a more mid-spec phone (as the LG Renoir is still quite new to market).  More information within the next two weeks…


New LG Prada phone

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

LG are producing 3 good ranges of phones nowadays.  Firstly, you’ve got the Black Label range (LG Secret), then you’ve got the high spec camera models (LG Viewty and now the LG Renoir), and finally you have the Prada range, with the new LG Prada model.  This adds a QWERTY keyboard to the slimline touchscreen phone, and also packs a good range of functions:

  • 3G compatibility with video calling
  • 7.2Mbps HSDPA
  • a 5 mega pixel camera with Schneider-Kreuznach certified lens
  • full HTML browser and Wi-Fi

This phone should be on sale in the UK before Xmas, although the exact price is not clear right now (it will be roughly €600 across Europe), and is likely to be available on various networks soon too.

Story courtesy of LG Blog.


A busy few weeks for touchscreen phones

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

Well, it’s been a busy two weeks for mid to high end phones with touchscreens.  Firstly, last week UK Gadgeteer attended the launch of the LG Renoir (previously covered here as the LG KC910).  Although not the top of the LG range (a position still held by the LG Secret), this phones builds on the success of the LG Viewty from last year, and offers some key improvements.

Firstly, they have increased the camera to 8 megapixels.  They have also included a GPS, although it’s only standard function in the phone is to support geotagging pictures as they are taken.  We’ll be interested to see over the next few weeks (we’re hoping to get a review phone soon) as to whether it can also be used with Map applications such as Google Maps for Mobile or MGMaps.  Finally, the other amazing feature in the phone is the support for Dolby Mobile, which really improves the sound quality, even with the standard stock headphones.  A nice feature is that the headphones come with a little remote on the cable which can control the music, but also, and believed to be a first, can also control the camera to act as a remote trigger.

We expect this will be a big seller for LG when it hits the shelves in the next month.

In terms of hype, rumours, and long term interest, however, is the more important announcement yesterday of the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic phone.  This is the phone previously known as the Nokia Tube, and is a mid range Symbian based smartphone.  However, it adds a touchscreen (not for the first time, and certainly not the last), and should be the start of a new generation of touchscreen based devices from Nokia.

In order to achieve this, Nokia / Symbian have needed to update the OS, and has therefore launched S60 5th Edition (skipping the 4th edition as the number 4 is considered very unlucky in Asia, a key market for Nokia).

As is typical for a recent Symbian based phone, this phone features Quad Band GSM, Dual Band UMTS (with HSDPA support), Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, TV-Out, built in GPS (with geotagging), and a 3.5mm audio jack.  In addition, it features Haptic feedback on the 3.2″ 640×360 touchscreen (similar to the LG Viewty and LG Renoir), an accelerometer and a proximity sensor.  Unlike the LG Renoir, but still better than the iPhone, it features a 3.2 megapixel camera with autofocus.  The key point of this phone is music, and there will be a variant of the phone next year that will come with Nokia’s new “Comes with Music” service, which offers unlimited music downloads onto your PC and phone for 12 months, and even better, at the end of your subscription you can still continue to play the music.  However, today, as well as the audio jack, the phone features stereo speakers with built in surround sound for playback of the music.

In the box is likely to be an 8Gb microSD card, a carry case, and a little desktop stand, as well as a spare stylus.  The phone itself will come in black, red or blue.

This should also be available in the UK before Christmas, although we suspect the LG Renoir will be on the shelves first.  We’re hearing it’s likely to be priced around £220 *unlocked*, which may well see many people buying this phone to replace their current branded and locked phone to last them to the end of their current mobile phone contract.

All this, on top of the Google G1 phone as well…


More details on the LG KC910

Monday, September 1st, 2008

We promised more information on the latest LG phone, the LG KC910, which is the replacement for the LG Viewty, which was hugely successful, and a phone we liked when we tried one for a few months. The KC910 has an impressive spec:

  • 3″ WQVGA 240×400 pixel full touchscreen
  • ISO1600 8MP camera with Schneider-Kreuznach optics, digital zoom, image stabiliser and geotagging
  • Videocamera has VGA capability at 30fps and QVGA capability at 120fps and DivX and Xvid support
  • HSDPA connectivity
  • GPS
  • Bluetooth 2.0, Wi-Fi
  • TV-out (especially useful for playing back those DivX and Xvid films)
  • SD card support (up to 8GB)

This is likely to be another good seller by LG for Christmas, as it goes on sale in mid October.

Thanks to Chris at LG Blog for providing us with this information.


LG announce LG KC910

Friday, August 29th, 2008

We’ll bring you more information and pictures next week, but LG have let us know that they’ve just announced the LG KC910, which features an 8 megapixel camera, and is destined to replace the Viewty released last year. As well as 3G and Bluetooth, LG have added WiFi and GPS capabilities into this touchscreen phone.


Goodbye Viewty…

Monday, April 28th, 2008

LG New Black Label

Well, after 4 months of daily use, the LG Viewty has finally been replaced by something smaller, lighter, better built for the impacts of every day life (it has a tempered glass screen, which should resist all manner of attempts to scratch the screen), yet still featuring the 5 megapixel camera, DivX support, and 120fps video capture. On top of that it adds a slider function with real buttons (which makes dialling calls and writing texts a little easier than the Viewty). However, we will miss the nice sliding cover over the headphone / charging port from the Viewty, although we won’t miss the lack of ability of sending all contacts via Bluetooth (a feature the new phone does have).

We’ll see how the new LG Secret fares over the next few weeks before we provide an in depth review, but right now it’s looking pretty good. Announced on Thursday last week, LG have kindly provided us an early production sample in advance of the full availability in June.


New LG phone announced

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

LG New Black Label

The new LG phone we first mentioned here a few weeks back has now been formally announced, and named by LG. It’s the LG Secret, following on from the Chocolate and Shine Black Label phones, although it’s also known as the KF750. It’s 11.8mm thick, with a carbon fibre profile, and like the LG Viewty it has a 5 megapixel camera, video support, and DivX support built in.