O2 UK will lease you a smartphone for £55 per month, with minutes, texts, data, and insurance included
Dec12

O2 UK will lease you a smartphone for £55 per month, with minutes, texts, data, and insurance included

If you’re in the UK, you should know that O2 has just announced the first smartphone leasing programme for consumers. As the name implies, this effectively means that the operator will lease you “a new 16 GB smartphone” for 12 months. After that time elapses, you can choose to renew your lease, choose another smartphone to be leased, or simply move on to something else – a long-term contract perhaps. The scheme requires you to pay £55 per month (or £65 per month for a 32 GB device) for those 12 months. For that amount of dough, alongside the smartphone, you’ll also get 750 minutes, unlimited texts, and 500 MB of data each month. The smartphone will also be insured, and that is included in the aforementioned cost. Needless to say, you won’t be paying anything upfront. O2 Lease (which is the intuitive name the operator has chosen for this programme) will first be available in stores and via telesales. O2 Lease can be taken advantage of by new or existing O2 customers. Small businesses can also benefit from O2 Lease, on a range of business tariffs. This is an interesting idea, although with smartphones usually being offered for free upfront with 18-month or 24-month contracts in the UK, basically the main appeal here is the lower length of the commitment, alongside the integrated insurance. If this becomes a success (even remotely), then expect all the other major UK operators to offer something similar very soon. Via Android UK News...

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Orange Dallas is a cheap candybar coming soon on PAYG
Oct14

Orange Dallas is a cheap candybar coming soon on PAYG

In the UK, Orange has just added yet another own-brand device to its website. And just like many previous phones, it sports the name of a city. This time, it’s called the Dallas from Orange (although we’ll refer to it as the Orange Dallas). This is no smartphone, let that be clear. In fact, it’s probably the perfect device for those searching for a ‘classic’ non-touch candybar-style phone. Those still remembering the Nokia 3210 in their life, if you will. Or just someone who doesn’t use a phone for more than calling and texting. The Orange Dallas should be dirt cheap. Orange hasn’t announced pricing yet, but after you read through the specs, you’ll understand that this needs to be very cheap to do well sales-wise. The Orange Dallas comes with an MP3 player, FM radio, calculator, Bluetooth support, a VGA camera, microSD card support, and a flashlight. The Orange Dallas is rated at 5 hours talk time and 10 days standby time, which should be plenty. The Orange Dallas will be available soon from Orange on Pay as you go. The operator hasn’t listed a specific date when the Dallas will go on sale, so stay...

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Vodafone 555 Blue is a prepaid Facebook phone
Jul27

Vodafone 555 Blue is a prepaid Facebook phone

Vodafone has unveiled yet another Facebook-centric phone earlier today. And it’s the one we’ve exclusively shown you back in June, which now has a name: Vodafone 555 Blue. Unlike previous efforts such as the INQ Cloud Touch, the HTC Salsa or HTC ChaCha though, this isn’t a smartphone. It’s an featurephone built by Alcatel, and it runs a proprietary Vodafone operating system that has been built from the ground up with Facebook integration in mind. If all the other Facebook-oriented devices are interesting experiments, this will be the Facebook phone for the masses. At least if those masses use Vodafone. The price is expected to be cheaper than that of the Vodafone Smart, which currently goes for just £75 in the UK on Pay as you go. The rumored price point for the 555 Blue is around £60. The Vodafone 555 Blue will become available in August, presumably in many of the markets where Vodafone has a presence. The phone has a 2.4-inch QVGA (320×240) landscape display (not a touchscreen), a full physical QWERTY keyboard (including a dedicated Facebook key), it lacks any 3G support having just dual-band EDGE on board, and it’s got a 200 MHz MediaTek processor (is the Taiwanese company finally making inroads into developed markets?). The Vodafone 555 Blue also comes with a 2 MP camera with flash, a 3.5 mm headset jack, 40 MB of integrated storage expandable via microSD cards, Bluetooth 2.1, an FM radio, and a 1000 mAh battery. Software-wise, aside from the Facebook integration, you’ll also find an IM client, an email client with POP3 and IMAP support, a music player, and Opera Mini for Web browsing. For now, Vodafone has put up a page for the device, so if you need more information you can go there and get it. Via...

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India: Micromax Q80 is a dual-SIM QWERTY candybar with its own push email service
Jun23

India: Micromax Q80 is a dual-SIM QWERTY candybar with its own push email service

In India, Micromax is one of the best known local brands of mobile phones, and thanks to its very affordably priced handsets, and its dual-SIM focus (that’s common among all Indian phone makers), the company sure sells a lot of low-end devices over there. In fact, it’s companies such as Micromax, and many others like it, that are slowly but surely prying the low-end sector from the hands of the Nokias and Samsungs of the world. Micromax now has a new phone in its portfolio, the Q80. This is (of course) a dual-SIM offering, and one that has a candybar form factor as well as a full physical QWERTY keyboard. The Q80 is 3G enabled and even has its very own push email service and a special shortcut key for email. The Micromax Q80 has a 2.4-inch QVGA (320×240) display, an optical trackpad, a 3 MP rear camera with face and smile detection, a 0.3 MP secondary front-facing camera, FM radio, music player, stereo speakers, video player, video recording capability, 3G, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 68 MB internal storage space expandable via microSD cards, and a 1200 mAh battery. It’s 13 mm thick and weighs 113 grams. The Micromax Q80 comes with preinstalled applications such as Opera Mini, Snaptu, Bloomberg UTV, ngpay, Burnout, Newshunt, Facebook, and Nimbuzz (for IM). The Micromax Q80 is now available across India for Rs. 4,999, which is approximately $112 or €79. Not a bad price at all considering the features you’re getting. Via...

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India: Maxx Vista MS502 is a dual-SIM QWERTY portrait slider aimed at women
Jun21

India: Maxx Vista MS502 is a dual-SIM QWERTY portrait slider aimed at women

To be honest, I’ve never known whether mobile devices aimed primarily at women sell well. I have seen many of these beasts over the years, and you probably have too. You know the type: with some pink, orange or red thrown in alongside some bling items like fake crystals or something like that. All design elements that, according to manufacturers’ research, should make the phones more appealing to women and girls. But do they really? I have no idea. So here’s another one of ‘those’ devices, the Maxx Vista MS502 which has been launched in India. It comes from Maxx Mobiles, a phone maker that last week I said we get to rarely talk about – yet here we are, two posts in four days, so that may not be the case anymore. The Maxx Vista MS502 is pink (or orange), has the required blingy look, but also has a very interesting (and not that common) form factor. It’s, as you can see, a portrait slider having a full physical QWERTY keyboard, a la the Palm Pre line. But that’s not all. It’s also a dual-SIM phone. Interested? Then you should know it also has a 3.2 MP camera, a 3.5 mm headset jack, Bluetooth, video player, FM radio, a 1000 mAh battery, and dedicated keys for the music player and Facebook. The Vista even comes with its own ‘PC suite’ type software for syncing data to your computer. The Maxx Vista MS502 is priced at Rs. 4,242 (which amounts to approximately $95 or €65). It will be available in Mumbai at first, followed by other Indian cities in the future at retailers such as Planet M, Tata Croma, Hyper City, Star Bazar, Mobile & Gadgets, Indian Naval Canteen, Kings Electronics, Hotspot, Reliance Web World and Next Electronics. Via...

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India: Maxx Mobiles launches MX372 and MQ368, two new cheap dual-SIM phones
Jun17

India: Maxx Mobiles launches MX372 and MQ368, two new cheap dual-SIM phones

One of the phone manufacturers that we don’t get to write about all that often is India’s Maxx Mobiles. Well, today we’ve got something new from that exact outfit. Maxx Mobiles has launched two new dual-SIM phones, the MX372 and MQ368, the latter having a full physical QWERTY keyboard fitted. The MX372 has a ‘normal’ T9 phone keypad, and both phones come quite cheap. The Maxx MX372 has a 2-inch display, an optical trackpad, a 2 MP camera, a dedicated music button, and weighs just 61 grams. It comes with Java app support and Facebook and eBuddy IM preinstalled. The MX372 comes in white, pink, purple, and wine red, and goes for Rs. 2524. The MQ368 also has a 2-inch display, only this time it’s in landscape. It’s also got a 2 MP camera and optical trackpad. The MQ368 has a 1000 mAh battery, and even has special buttons for accessing Facebook (a la HTC ChaCha, no doubt) and MSN. The Maxx MQ368 costs Rs. 2636. Both phones will be available only in Mumbai at first, then slowly reaching the rest of the country through retail outlets such as Planet M, Tata Croma, Hyper City, Star Bazar, Mobile & Gadgets, Indian Naval Canteen, Kings Electronics, Hotspot, Reliance Web World and Next electronics. Via...

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UK: The Atlanta from Orange is a cheap PAYG featurephone that requires a massive £50 top-up
Jun16

UK: The Atlanta from Orange is a cheap PAYG featurephone that requires a massive £50 top-up

Here’s one for you featurephone lovers, smartphone haters, or both. Orange UK has a new own-brand featurephone up its sleeves, and it’s calling it the Atlanta from Orange. At least there’s some consistency there with regard to using city names for own-brand devices. That’s where the consistency ends, though, and strangeness intervenes. The Orange Atlanta is cheap indeed, at just £39.99 on Pay as you go. However, unlike any other phone we’ve ever seen on PAYG in the UK, if you want to get one, you’ll have to also buy a massive £50 initial top-up. Now requiring initial top-ups is pretty much the norm in the UK, but so is their value – £10. 50 quid, though? That seems a bit much. Anyway, if somehow you’re still interested in this phone, let’s quickly go through its specs. It has a 2 MP camera with video capture support, an MP3 player, video messaging, POP3/IMAP email support, WAP, dual-band GSM, a microSD card slot, Bluetooth, and it comes with built-in games. If you’d like to buy one, just go to Orange right now and place your...

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Canada: Sonim XP1300 Core launched by Rogers
Jun16

Canada: Sonim XP1300 Core launched by Rogers

The (very) rugged, IP-68 rated, built to military standards Sonim XP1300 Core phone has been launched in Canada by Rogers. From the start, you should know that this device isn’t for you if you’re more interested in how many apps a phone can run than in whether you can run it over with a car and it would still work afterwards. This is one for the professional who lives and/or works in tough conditions, who needs to have a phone he or she can depend on no matter what. Or it’s for those who simply don’t view their phone as a delicate electronic device, and are known to jump with it into pools, oceans, and so on. In other words, this isn’t a phone for everyone. But those of you looking for a phone that can withstand almost anything will need to look no further. Rogers will give you a Sonim XP1300 Core for $149.99 if you agree to sign a new three-year contract, $199.99 with a two-year agreement, and $249.99 if you’d rather only commit for one year. If however you don’t want to have to do any contract signing whatsoever, the device can be yours for $299.99. The Sonim XP1300 Core is built to withstand drops, shocks, vibrations, and rain, and it operates in temperatures ranging from -20 C to 55 C. It has a Gorilla Glass scratch resistant screen, and comes with noise cancelling tech and an extra loud speaker for easy communication no matter how loud the environment.  It’s also Bluetooth-capable. Via...

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Vodafone’s Emporia RL1 is the ‘back to basics’ anti-smartphone that costs £60 on PAYG
Jun08

Vodafone’s Emporia RL1 is the ‘back to basics’ anti-smartphone that costs £60 on PAYG

Vodafone has launched a handset that can rightly be called an anti-smartphone, with its clear focus on just making calls and texting. However, the lack of features is something that many will find refreshing, for not every single person on this planet needs or wants a superphone, not even in 2011. For the ‘back to basics’ crowd, the Emporia RL1 is perfect. Oh, and because it doesn’t do much, it’s also cheap. You can get it for £60 on Pay as you go, and it’s free on contracts that cost £24.38 per month or more. That £24.38 per month gets you 600 minutes and unlimited texts, so you can put the Emporia’s main features to good use. The Emporia RL1 is easy to use, it has larger than average keys, and up to 8 days standby time (and 3 hours talk time). It comes with and charges in the ‘dock’ thingie you see above. It’s got 100 entries in its phonebook memory, 8 MB of internal memory, and the display is a 1.8-inch OLED affair. Speaking of that, text size can be adjusted, the ringing volume can be boosted, and there’s even ‘extra powerful’ vibration. The Emporia RL1 has an alarm clock, calculator, and birthday reminder tool, but no camera, no internet access whatsoever, and no MP3 player either. It’s pretty clear who this phone is aimed at – and that’s fine. Those who think Androids are (just) humanoid robots need mobile phones too. To buy an Emporia RL1, head on over to Vodafone. Via...

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UK: Orange Rio II is a touchscreen + QWERTY candybar that costs £69.99 on Pay as you go
Jun08

UK: Orange Rio II is a touchscreen + QWERTY candybar that costs £69.99 on Pay as you go

Orange UK has launched an interesting own-brand device, the Orange Rio II. This is (obviously) the sequel to the original Rio launched last year, and it’s a candybar BlackBerry-esque (or, why not, Nokia E6-esque) device that has both a touchscreen and a full physical QWERTY keyboard. But probably the best thing about the Orange Rio II is its price – £69.99 on Pay as you go. You have to get a £10 top-up when you buy the handset too. The Orange Rio II is available both in white and black (seen in the image below), and it has a 2.4-inch 320×240 resistive touchscreen, HSDPA, a 3-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, FM radio, microSD card support (a 2 GB card comes in the box), and a 3.5 mm headset jack. The phone comes with a Web browser, social networking integration, an email client, MP3 player, as well as a bunch of Orange apps such as Maps, Messenger, and Widgets. If you’d rather get the Rio II on contract, you can do that too. It’s free on 24-month contracts that cost £20 per month or more. If you’re interested in this texting-focused phone, head on over to Orange now and order one. Via...

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