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HTC Desire S Shows Up On Vodafone UK For Pre-Order

The HTC Desire S has shown up on the Vodafone website for pre-order.  Set for a released date of 8th April, the Desire S features front and rear facing cameras, Android Gingerbread (2.3) as well as a 1GHz Snapdragon processor.

Price plans on the Desire S start at £99 for the phone with a £25 per month contract, then free phone from £30 per month upwards.

Whilst the Desire S has been long awaited, there are some other worthy contenders including the Samsung Galaxy S2 and HTC Incredible S.  Vodafone may well find the die hard Android fans waiting for these models to hit the market before signing up to a 24 month deal with any UK network.

iPad2 Offered by Orange for just £199

The latest deal to come along for the iPad 2 is from Orange UK. For just £199 you can get your hands on a brand new iPad 2 16GB complete with Orange 24 month contract. The deal comes with 1GB anytime internet allowance as well as 1GB quiet time internet allowance.

Orange are also offering the 32GB and 64GB iPad 2 models with pricing at £249 and £349 respectively. Alternatively, you can be bold and go SIM Free and get the iPad 2 for £649....ouch.

Check out the Orange deals here.

O2 Delay Ericsson Xperia Play

O2 have announced the release date of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, planned for release on the 1st April, has been delayed due to software bugs.  The head of testing at the O2 UK network said: "We've been testing the phone non-stop for weeks and have found some bugs in the software that, if they're not fixed, means customers won't have a great experience."

Blackberry Playbook UK Release Date Leaked

Some Three UK branded slides have shown up clearly stating the Blackberry Playbook will be available from June 2011.  This puts the UK release date 2 months behind the US as they will be receiving the tablet next month and 3 months behind the Apple iPad 2.

No official date has been announced yet but the Playbook could be playing catch-up to a whole host of tablets that will be released between now and then.

HTC Wildfire S, HTC Desire S on Three UK

Three UK has added HTC Wildfire S, HTC Desire S and others to it's coming soon page.  Although we've already seen dates for the Desire S as well as the Galaxy S 2 the release date on the HTC Wildfire S had been a mystery, until now.

Three are showing the HTC Wildfire S as coming May 2011 so just 2 months and that's if the phone doesn't show up sim-free before then which is unlikely.

The HTC ChaCha is also dated on the coming soon page, given a June Date.

Also, according to Three the Samsung Galaxy S 2 will be available on their network in May.

Apple iOS 4.3 Changes and Release Date

The latest incarnation of Apples iOS operating system is due to be released this Friday.  So what features and feature updates can you expect?

Safari Improvements
 
Apple have updated the Safari engine in iOS 4.3.  The web browser now runs on the same engine as the desktop version running up to twice as fast as iOS 4.2.
 
Airplay Enhancements
 
You will now be able to stream videos from your iPhone, iPad or iPod to your Apple TV.  3rd Party apps will also be able to take advantage of the new feature so you wont be stuck with using Apple apps when you want to stream content.
 
iPad Side Switch Customization
 
You will now be able to customize what the side switch does on your iPad.  Lock the screen of mute the volume, choices choices.
 
Personal Hotspots for iPhone 4
 
It's a feature that's been missing for a while from Apple.  Now you will be able to share your 3G connection to your other WiFi devices although be cautious as not all networks will like this and start cranking up the data usage and you'll quickly find yourself restricted also, this will only support a maximum of 3 WiFi connections.
 
iTunes Home Sharing
 
Does exactly what you'd expect - share your iTunes library from your Mac or PC to other iOS driven devices.
 
iOS 4.3 Compatibility
 
iOS 4.3 will only be available on the follow Apple devices:
  • iPad
  • iPad 2
  • iPod Touch 3rd & 4th Generation
  • iPhone 4 GSM
  • iPhone 3Gs

Apple iPad2 vs Motorola Xoom - In Detail

We did a comparison between the iPad 2, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and The Motorola Xoom.  We found that both Android tablets came out on top in the tech specs stakes and our final decision was that the new iPad wasn't up there with the new Android powered tablets.  The problem is, we just can't believe the hype, so many tech sites, reporters and reviewers are saying the new iPad is the tablet to beat and to quote some phrases: 'a tablet to beat the iPad hasn't been invented yet', 'the iPad 2 is the new tablet to beat'.  Yet, we considered the new iPad 3rd on our tech spec comparison list.  So here we are again, feeling like we missed something, about to trawl through the finite detail to get to the bottom of this.  Is it hype and spin or is the iPad 2 really that good?

First off, the sizes.  I wouldn't call size and weight a winnable spec.  I'm not going to put a tablet in my pocket so I don't really care how much it weights nor would I compromise screen for a smaller device, regardless, the dimensions of the two tablets are below:
  Apple iPad 2 Motorola Xoom
Height 241.2mm 249.1mm
Width 185.7mm 167.8mm
Depth 8.8mm 12.9mm
Weight 601g 730g
You can clearly see the iPad 2 weights 129g less and is 4.1mm thinner so if size and weight is important to you then iPad 2 is a winnner, which leads me on to the next spec. The display. For me, this is one of the most important specs on a device if not, the most important spec:
  Apple iPad 2 Motorola Xoom
Size 9.7 Inch 10.1 Inch
Resolution 1024x768 1280x800
Pixels Per Inch 132 150
 
So, a clear winner for me here.  The Xoom has the bigger screen and produces the better resolution.  Perhaps the .4 of an inch is finite but it is bigger and 1280x800 is clearly a better resolution than 1024x768 with the Xoom display encasing 150 pixels per inch against the iPad 2's 132 pixels per inch.  Xoom 1, iPad 0. 
 
Next up, it's the important hardware: The processor and RAM - the 2 most important specs of any device, after the screen.
 
  Apple iPad 2 Motorola Xoom
Speed 1GHz 1GHz
Cores Dual Core Dual Core
Model Apple A5 Nvidia Tegra 2
RAM Unknown 1GB
I'm gonna go for a Xoom win on this spec.  Apple have not provide any details on the iPad 2 RAM so this is unknown until the device is released later this month although the general consensus is the iPad 2 will have less than 512MB RAM where as the Xoom features 1GB - confirmed as well as the Nvidia Tegra 2 Dual core chip.  Xoom 2, iPad 0.
Next up, connectivity.  Fairly important specs if you want to connect your device to the PC, phone or home cinema or even if you want to stream over the WiFi hub at home:
  Apple iPad 2 Motorola Xoom
Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR v2.1 + EDR + HID
WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n 802.11a/b/g/n
USB 30-Pin Connector Micro
HDMI No Yes
3.5mm Audio Jack Yes Yes
Once again, I've got to go for Xoom.  It's has the  micro-USB rather than the clunky over-sized iPad/iPod/iPhone cable.  Win for Xoom but marginally.  Xoom 3, iPad 0.
Another important feature of any mobile device is storage - the more the better right?  Right!  This is a fairly straight forward spec so no fancy tables here.  The iPad comes with a maximum storage of 64GB vs the Xoom at 32GB so it's a loss for the Xoom here.  For those who are counting it's Xoom 3, iPad 1.
Now on to multimedia.  Good for videos, music, pics and all that stuff:
 
  Apple iPad 2 Motorola Xoom
H.264 Support Yes Yes
AAC Yes Yes
M4V Yes No
MP4 Yes No
MOV Yes No
MPEG-4 Yes Yes
M-JPEG Yes No
H.263 No Yes
MP3 Yes Yes
AAC+ No Yes
OGG No Yes
MIDI No Yes
AIFF Yes No
WAV Yes No
Taking the released specs, this is another win for the iPad, more format support although more restriction if purchases are made through the iTunes store but the iPad can have this one.  Xoom 3, iPad 2.
Depending on how much you use your device, this could be another important spec for you.  Power:
  Apple iPad 2 Motorola Xoom
Watt hour 25Wh 24.5Wh
Web Surfing 3G 9 Hours 9 Hours
Web Surfing WiFi 10 Hours 10 Hours
 
Well I'd call this a dead heat - 10 hours surfing from both tablets.  Now let's check out the cameras.  This is a difficult spec to get down as Apple don't provide specs for the iPads stills but I'll give it a go:
  Apple iPad 2 Motorola Xoom
Front Camera Stills 0.3MPx (VGA) 2MPx
Rear Camera Stills Unknown 5MPx
Video Capture 720p 720p
Flash Unknown Dual LED
Digital Zoom Yes Yes
 
Well, this is another win for the Xoom for me.  For starters, the Xoom's 2MPx front camera trounces the iPad's VGA stills camera, also, Apple don't give a spec for the rear camera stills neither do they give a spec for flash.  Xoom 4, iPad 2.  Now on to features.  What sensors and tools come with the devices, this could make all the difference to you:
 
  Apple iPad 2 Motorola Xoom
A-GPS Yes Yes
Accelerometer Yes Yes
Compass Yes Yes
Proximity No Yes
Barometer No Yes
Ambient Light Yes Yes
Gyroscope Yes Yes
 
Well, it's yet another win for the Motorola Xoom.  Motorola have managed to pack in more sensors whether they are useful or not.  Xoom 5, iPad 2.  There's one last piece of information we want to take a look at but it's not a spec.  Price:  Once again there's no need for a table here.  The Apple iPad comes in at £699 for the top of the range 64GB model where the Xoom comes in at £600 for the top of the range WiFi + 3G model so I would consider this a win for the iPad although there's not much in it.
So we have a clear winner - The Motorola Xoom has come out the winner 5 to 3.  It packs more features, has the better cameras, better connectivity, better screen resolution and size and better hardware.  The facts clearly speak for themselves, this data has been collected the the manufacturers own websites - I have not been biased in any way - So maybe someone can explain to me why the iPad 2 is 'the new tablet to beat in 2011' because as far as I can see, it's got a long way to go to catch the Android tablets and we haven't even compared it to the Playbook and the HP Touchpad hasn't even been finished yet.
 
My final thought is that, if you are an Apple fan, you will no doubt buy the iPad - if it's all about features and what you get for your money in terms of hardware you'll most likely go for the Xoom - But don't believe the hype, the facts speak for themselves!!!

iPad Vs iPad 2 - We've Compared the Apple Tablets

The iPad 2 was announced this week and there's been much opinion about the changes made to the new Apple device but what has changed?  Take a look at our comparison table below and come to your own conclusions.

 
  iPad 1 iPad 2
Processor Single Core Apple A4 - 1GHz Dual Core Apple A5 - 1.08GHz
Memory (RAM) 256MB* 256MB*
Operating System Apple iOS 4.2.1 Apple iOS 4.3
Display Size 9.7 Inch 9.7 Inch
Resolution 1024x768 1024x768
WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth v2.1 v2.1
Front Cam No Yes
Rear Cam Yes Yes
Storage 64GB 64GB
Accelerometer Yes Yes
Gyroscope No Yes
Weight 680g (1.5Ib) 600g (1.33Ib)
Price £699 £699
*Unconfirmed

iPad2 vs Motorola Xoom vs Galaxy Tab2 comparison

With the announcement of the iPad2 yesterday we thought it would be a good idea to check out how the iPad 2 fairs up against the competition. So we've pulled the tech specs of the iPad2, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 and the Motorola Xoom.

 
  Apple iPad 2 Galaxy Tab 2 Motorola Xoom
Processor 1GHz Dual Core Apple A5 1GHz Dual Core Tegra 2 1GHz Dual Core Tegra 2
Memory (RAM) 256MB* 1GB 1GB
Operating System iOS4 Android 3.0 Honeycomb Android 3.0 honeycomb
Display Size 9.7 Inch 10.1 Inch 10.1 inch
Resolution 1024x768 1280x800 1280x800
Wifi 802.11a/b/g/n 802.11a/b/g/n 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth v2.1 v2.1 v2.1
Front Cam 1.0MP* 2.0MP 2.0MP
Rear Cam 2.0MP* 8.0MP 5.0MP
Storage 16/32/64GB 64GB 32GB
Accelerometer Yes Yes Yes
Gyroscope Yes Yes Yes
Weight 613g (1.35Ib) 599g (1.32Ib) 726g (1.6Ib)
Price £499.99 ($814USD) £599.99 ($977USD) £499.00 ($813USD)
*Currently unconfirmed but a fair assumption based on specs given online
 

It's clear to us that whilst the iPad 2 might well be the most anticipated device of 2011 but it's got it all to do again the other big 2 releases of the year so far.  Clearly, from the table above both the Android tablets have the bigger screens, better resolutions, more RAM and seemingly more features, including some features we haven't even listed.  There's no doubt the hardcore Apple fans will be pleased at the improvements the iPad 2 brings but perhaps this shows a turning tide in the tablet battle.

It's well worth pointing out some of the iPad 2 specs are just guesstimates as Apple are notoriously bad at publishing tech specs, moreover, what they call 'nitty gritty' which could leave us thinking these specs haven't been published due to the contrast of specs in the battle of the tablets.

The iPad 2 Announced - We've Got The Details

The highly anticipated iPad 2 was announced yesterday and whilst we all knew it was coming we were all in the dark as to the details so lets clear up the what, when and where.

What?

The successor to the iPad, the iPad 2 features front and rear facing cameras, a dual core processor as well as being thinner and lighter than it's predecessor. Apple believe this is the tablet to keep them at the top of the tablet charts.  The sales will tell all.

Tech Specs:
 
Processor 1GHz Dual Core
Memory 256MB*
Storage 16/32/64GB
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n
3G^
Bluetooth 2.1
3.5mm Audio Jack
30 Pin Dock Connector
Display 9.7-Inch LED-Backlit
1024x768
Multimedia Rear Facing 720p
Front Facing VGA
Feature Accelorometer
Gyroscope
Digital Compass
GPS
Operating System iOS4
*Indicates likely but unconfirmed - Apple have been very unwilling to publish information on memory so it's very likely it's the same as in the iPad.
^Indicates on 3G model only
 
When….and Where
 
The iPad 2 has been given a release date of Friday March 25rd 2011 - This is the UK/International release date and Orange UK and T-Mobile UK will both be offering the tablet when it becomes available at the end of the month.  The non-network tied iPad is expected to cost £499.99 - on a par with the Motorola Xoom (£499.00).

Gingerbread Coming to 4 HTC Phones in Q2

HTC has announced at least 4 of their existing smartphones will be receiving the updated Android operating platform Gingerbread in Q2 this year.

The models receiving the update are believed to be the Desire, Desire HD, Desire Z and Incredible S. It's also fair to assume the Wildfire S and Desire S will receive the update considering how new the handsets are.

As soon as we know more accurate date we'll get it up here.

Apple To Announce iPad 2 - Will The Rumors Stack Up?

With the high possibility of an announcement from Apple tomorrow on the iPad 2 we wanted to re-cap on the past 6 months or so of rumors to see how they stack up to any facts that could be announced.  We've be careful to not post any stories on the iPad 2 that can't be corroborated, we prefer hard facts and we all know that many of rumors to have come out in the past few months are merely efforts for sites to drive traffic to their sites but which will be true and which will be hot air?

Let's re-cap:

  1. The Price for the iPad 2 will be the same as was for the iPad
  2. Reuters reported iPad 2 would not be release until 2 June due to production bottlenecks
  3. Techradar a release date of April due to rumors Apple would be shipping iPad 2 to warehouses in February
  4. Location based tool 'Find my Friends'
  5. iPad 2 = no home button
  6. 7-Inch Display, 2GHz Processor (ARM Cortex A9)
  7. 5.6-Inch iPad 2
  8. Retina Display
  9. Thinner
  10. No SD Slot
  11. No High Resolution
  12. Front AND Rear Camera
  13. Gyroscope
  14. White iPad 2
We'll have the details up on here tomorrow as soon as they are announced.  Who knows, maybe it's not even a tablet, maybe the Apple Watch - iTime.
 
Updated 03/03/2011: We've struck the rubbish 6/14 isn't too bad but still means over 50% of the rumors announced we're rubbish - kudos to the sites that released legitimate information.