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  • flick 11:50 pm on July 6, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: demo unit, engadget, , , jonathan mulholland, mobile industry review, , , phandroid, robzor, ,   

    HTC Hero unofficial release date July 7th 2009? 

    I had hoped that Orange UK might have removed the ‘Coming Soon’ tag from their HTC Hero in the Orange UK Shop by now, but so far… no such luck.

    However, according to a recent comment by Robzor on the Engadget comment section for the most recent HTC Hero entry, it seems that the phone will – unofficially – be released on July 7th 2009?

    Just spoke to a guy at Orange, “unofficial release date is July 7th” according to him, and he advised going to a retail store sometime in the next 5-7 days as they will get them first.

    I’m tempted to visit an Orange Shop tomorrow just to see if this is true. In the meantime, visit the link above for more user comments or have a look at a similar comment thread on Android Phone Fans debating the pros and cons of Orange UK and T-Mobile‘s contracts for the HTC Hero.

    p/s: It seems Mobile Industry Review’s Jonathan Mulholland got his hands on an Orange UK exclusive ‘graphite’ HTC Hero demo unit for a very brief moment!

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  • flick 7:31 pm on July 5, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: fabnomena, htc touch diamond2, htc touch diamond2 review, , thorsten, touch diamond 2   

    HTC Touch Diamond 2 user experience (with actual photos) by Fabnomena 

    Although I have been really hyped up about the HTC Hero this week, when I first started this site a couple of weeks ago, it was dedicated to finding an HTC Touch Diamond 2 through Orange UK at a good price. However, it was difficult to find actual user reviews of the phone anywhere aside from the blurb about the ‘amazing’ specifications.

    Fabnomena.com - Screenshot

    I came across a post on Fabnomena recently, simply titled “ A Great Phone – HTC Touch Diamond2” where Thorsten, the author and owner of the site, wrote a little about his experience of using the phone.

    He has just posted actual photos taken using the Touch Diamond 2 and I have to say I am actually quite impressed (the food looks scrumptious!) and in his words:

    All over I would say that this is a VERY VERY good phone, the best I’ve had to date.

    You can see all the photos by visiting “ A Great Phone – HTC Touch Diamond2” and also read more about what he thinks.

    After reading Thorsten‘s post, I am now uber keen about the Touch Diamond 2 all over again as the camera is an important feature for my next phone. Now I just need to find out how much time it takes to actually take a photo. 🙂

    p/s: The Touch Diamond2 is still not available directly via Orange UK, although they recently announced that the HTC Touch Pro2 will be available for business customers.

     
    • Fabnomena 9:11 am on July 6, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Hey Flick, thanks for adding my little review to your site 🙂 I just want to comment on your little question concerning the time it takes to take a picture with the TD2. Based on my experience it takes somewhere between 1-2 seconds, depending on the time the auto focus needs to focus on the object.

      • flick 5:44 am on July 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        @Fabnomena: Thanks for your helpful comment! There’s nothing like reading a person’s personal experience with phones – it’s just far more realistic compared to reading blurbs.

        • Fabnomena 8:05 pm on July 21, 2009 Permalink

          I totally agree with you Flick. Did you get a chance to take a look at Diamond2 live or are you going to wait for HTC Hero? It’s supposed to hit the stores in the first week of August.

        • flick 10:38 am on July 26, 2009 Permalink

          Unfortunately not quite yet. I keep checking the Orange UK website to see if they’ll be launching it, but it seems their focus is on the HTC Hero. I really need to pop in one of these days just to try out the Hero at least 🙂 Thanks for the heads up about August – am glad won’t have to wait too long!

  • flick 8:43 pm on July 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 3.5mm headphone jack, , samsung jet s8000,   

    Samsung Jet S8000 available from Orange UK soon 

    After all the hype about the HTC Hero launching in early July via the Orange UK Shop, it turns out that Orange will also be releasing Samsung‘s newest flagship phone: Samsung Jet S8000!

    You can read an extremely detailed 13-page review of the Samsung Jet S8000 at Techradar.com (with plenty of photos) by Gareth Beavis, which is very complimentary about the phone in general, highlighting the extra bells and whistles that is the  a. dual flash and b. 3.5mm headphone jack, although apparently the ‘plasticky’ feel of the phone makes it seem cheap. The final verdict was that some tweaks would have made it a much better phone,  but it will suit people who like their phones to *work* and are on a bit of a budget.

    No details yet as to what contract you’ll need to get this phone for FREE from Orange UK, but as Vodafone are offering the phone free from a mere £20 per month upwards on a 24 month contract (or £4o per month for a 12 month) hopefully Orange will be offering something similar.

     
  • flick 1:12 pm on June 30, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: coming soon, , htc hero in graphite,   

    HTC Hero in graphite – listed as ‘Coming Soon’ on Orange UK 

    Orange UK have finally listed the HTC Hero (in graphite) on their website!

    http://shop.orange.co.uk/mobile-phones/htc-hero-in-graphite

    As noted in our previous post, the HTC Hero will be available for FREE on a 24-month contract at a cost of £39.15 per month.

     
  • flick 9:49 pm on June 25, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , graphite, , , , , techradar   

    HTC Hero to be launched by Orange in early July! 

    It’s official! The Orange newsroom made the announcement today that they are (finally) launching HTC Hero in July!

    The phone will be available for free on selected monthly price plans (they quoted £ 39.15 per month on a 24 month contract in the press release) and will be the first of several ‘Android’ smartphones to grace the Orange UK portfolio.

    For t £ 39.15 per month, your deal will include:

    • 1200 any network call minutes
    • unlimited texts
    • inclusive anytime internet browsing so users can make the most out of their mobile experience

    Aside from the rather long contract (and slightly high cost for me) I think it sounds pretty attractive!

    Orange UK will be offering ‘Graphite’ exclusively in the UK (T-mobile will be launching the same phone as G1 Touch and in black for the same sort of contract) and you can catch a first look at the HTC Hero by visiting TechRadar’s “Hands on: HTC Hero review“;  they’ve given it a glowing review so far (especially the UI – User Interface) but have asked us to look out for an upcoming ‘in-depth’ review where they will see if the camera is as good as the 5MP on the tin.

    Do you think you’ll be tempted? I’m starting to think this might be a great alternative to my preferred HTC Diamond 2, especially with the in-built 3.5 mm headphone jack. Still no news from Orange about the latter though, but if the camera is as powerful as the Diamond 2,  I’ll be joining you in checking out the HTC Hero in the Orange Shop in early July!

     
  • flick 9:08 pm on June 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , gsm helpdesk, , , mobile-review, , , , , unwired view   

    HTC Hero due out with Orange in July? 

    Still nothing in Orange UK‘s mobile shop window about the HTC Hero, but if the BBC are mentioning it – specifically Rory Cellan-Jones on the dot.life blog – then I’m guessing it is true that HTC Hero will be with Orange UK soon.

    And to back this up, Unwired View has not only provided us with the first live pictures of HTC Hero courtesy of  Mobile Review (Russian) and GSM Helpdesk (Dutch), it has also said that Orange UK will be the first provider of the phone, which will potentially be due out in early July!

    Here’s one of the photos of the Hero from GSM Helpdesk to whet your appetite:

    p/s: In case you’re interested, Cellan-Jones, the BBC’s technology correspondent, compared the Nokia N97 with the iPhone 3gs in what he called “Battle of the smartphones” earlier this month, where it turns out neither are really that perfect. Hopefully he’ll compare more smartphones (such as the Palm Pre and HTC Hero) in future articles, as I am really starting to wonder if I should opt for a smartphone instead of the HTC Touch Diamond 2?

    p/s: The HTC Touch Pro 2 has finally made it’s way to Orange UK via the Business Shop!

     
  • flick 1:55 am on June 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    Nokia N97… not available through Orange UK either 

    Chatted with some fellow Orange UK customers yesterday and it turns out that the Nokia N97 – touted as another serious iPhone 3gs contender  (along with the HTC Touch Pro 2) – is also, like the Touch Pro 2 and HTC Diamond 2, not available directly through Orange either!

    What’s going on?

     
  • flick 7:12 pm on June 17, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , dolphin 15, , , magic numbers, orange sim only, racoon, , Web 250textforlife   

    Orange UK’s Dolphin 20 SIM only package 

    Seeing as it’s quite unlikely that Orange UK will have either the HTC Diamond 2 or any new Android phones out anytime soon, I have decided to take the plunge and do one of the things I set out to do in the first place:

    reduce my monthly contract phone bill from £ 30 to £ 25 or less

    I had never really considered SIM only packages prior to this, and a colleague of mine mentioned that they have some hefty charges if you go over the limits of the package.

    Taking any SIM only Dolphin package as an example: it costs a whopping 24.5p per minute Orange-to-Orange/Landlines, but surprisingly only 19.6p per minute to other mobile networks; compared to 19.6p per minute for Orange-to-Orange on a standard monthly contract) – a difference of 5p, but percentage wise, that’s a 25% difference!

    In addition to this, although going on a SIM only package does not ‘break’ your length of service with Orange (in my case 7 years plus), you cannot have Magic Numbers and you also lose out on any ‘extras’ that you might have accrued from the ‘old’ contract. Out of my current ‘bundles’ displayed below, the only item of significance:

    • 3G USIM provisioned
    • Web 250textforlife promo
    • MAGICNUMBERSFREE&UNLIMITEDREG
    • OW Daily Capped Usage

    is the Web 250textforlife. My understanding was that it meant 250 texts for life whilst I was with Orange; Chris, the helpful Scottish man from the Orange SIM only department (I think) who I spoke to today said it was only for the ‘old’ contracts.

    An extra downside that he mentioned was that that you cannot upgrade within the first 3 months of a SIM only package; apparently – you ‘can’ sign a new contract but you can’t retain your number!  Terribly poo, but in the end, lured by the promise of the Dolphin 20 package recommended by Chris as suited by my usage, I decided to leap into the SIM only world.

    So going back to the title of this post, Dolphin 20 offers:

    • 600 minutes Anytime, Any network (and Landlines)
    • Unlimited texts

    all for £ 20 inclusive of VAT on a rolling one month contract; I should add that I actually phoned up to ask about the Racoon packages for the Unlimited Landline offer, but this was a much better option, as according to Orange, I send in excess of 200 texts per month on average, and Racoon only offers 100 texts per standard package (would have cost an extra  £ 14.70 per extra 100 texts)

    So the upside is that you get a LOT of minutes for your money and Unlimited texts without being tied down to a long term contract. The downside is that you lose the ‘privileges’ earned through a continuous monthly contract, including a lack of Magic Numbers and any extras. Plus, you can’t upgrade without changing numbers in the first 3 months either.

    Will the SIM only be suitable for you? I think it will do for me, but we shall see.

     
  • flick 10:39 pm on June 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , electricpig, g1, , , htc magic, mobilechoiceuk, , , talkandroid, ,   

    HTC Hero (Android) coming exclusively to Orange UK? 

    According to Mobile Choice UK, it seems that Orange UK will finally be getting their very own ‘Android’ phone by the end of the year at the latest; this is backed up by a news article in ElectricPig who quoted Mobile Today as the news source.

    The code name for the new phone is HTC Hero and apparently it might be launched by HTC in London on 24th June 2009… or so the rumour goes, one source being TalkAndroid.

    Before deciding on the HTC Touch Diamond 2, I was seriously considering the HTC Magic or G1 (each being exclusive to Vodafone and T-Mobile respectively) as both are Android phones. However, apparently the battery life of the HTC Magic is just not very good and the camera on the HTC Touch Diamond 2 is far superior.

    So the news that HTC Hero might be launched very soon makes me wonder if I should switch to Orange SIM only first?  Some of the preview videos (like the one below courtesy of PhoneDog) look quite delectable:

     
  • flick 11:48 pm on June 15, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 40, , , monthly contract   

    Carphone Warehouse… what’s the catch for today? 

    If you’re looking for an HTC Diamond 2 through Orange, one of the third party sites recommended is Carphone Warehouse by Orange Customer Service.

    Having perused the deals today, the current ‘Best Deal’ advertised is a £40, 18 month Racoon deal with the following inclusive:

    • Free Phone
    • 900 minutes Anytime Any network
    • Unlimited Anytime Landline minutes
    • 500 Anytime Any network texts

    Sounds pretty ideal for someone willing to fork out £40 a month. Unfortunately I’m on a mission to reduce my standard bill from the current £30 to £25, whilst still retaining the same minutes.

     
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