The Blackberry Torch 9800 has been out for a while, but it was certainly worth the wait for a decent Blackberry to come along. Blackberry have certainly seen a huge increase in the levels of competition in since 2009 with the widespread and phenomenal growth of Android. This is easily seen due to the increase in the numbers of manufacturers, and by design handsets which run on the Android OS.

RIM, the maker of Blackberry have seen their market share erode but the Torch 9800 is a handset which intends to try and reverse this trend, and it will certainly help! The Torch is a Smartphone with a difference. The touchscreen and QWERTY keypad are well designed and easy to use. The screen itself is a 3.2″, 16m colour screen. It is sharp, flawless and can match the AMOLED and Super AMOLED in terms of brightness and use when in direct sunlight.

Navigation around the handset is quick and can be used with not only the main navigation button but also through the touchscreen.

The Torch is a well designed and very capable device. As always with RIM, they are arguably the most secure handset on the market. As such, they are the preferred device for security conscience companies or government departments.

For all the good things which there are many, there are a few drawbacks which take the gloss off the Torch 9800. The Smartphone market has completely changed over the past few years. RIM have some serious competition from the likes of Samsung Galaxy S and the ever-present iPhone putting it up against Blackberry.

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Year on year there seems to be technological advances in the mobile phone market. Phones have fast become much more than a tool to simply call and send texts, they are now a part of everyday life. These days, phones control aspects of our lives which was not foreseen even a decade ago.

ArguablyApple revolutionised the mobile phone market with the launch of their ever-popular Apple iPhone and the various versions since its’ release. The iPhone allowed developers and companies alike to develop applications specific to their business. This allows them to reach an audience which have a clear interest in their business by simply by downloading their app for free or for a small charge.

Traditionally before the introduction of the iPhone, phone manufacturersconcentrated on making revenue from the actual hardware of the phone; but the introduction of the iPhone and the complete shift in business models changed this overnight. Manufacturers are now investing more and more money into the software and technological capabilities as this is now where the market is.

People have also become accustomed to having much more technologically advanced handsets than in previous years. This technology is enabling people to stay in connect much easier, with the majority of handsets enabled with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Coupled that with email capabilities it is now much easier to stay in touch with the world around you.

A new industry has also immerged with new methods of mobile advertising. Many apps allow for small ads to be shown when a person uses an app. This is becoming increasingly popular amongst advertisers and will continue to grow as the mobile market also grows.

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George Hotz, an American hacker has released a new jailbreak program. According to Hotz, it can jailbreak iPhone 3GS’s in 30 seconds!

The site, Blackra1n essentially rewires the iPhone as the jailbreaking uses non-Apple coding to jailbreak it.

12 hours after Hotz put the link on Twitter, over 260,000 downloads had already used the application.

Note: Jailbreaking iPhone’s will void your warrenty, and installing updates of the iPhone OS may “Brick” your device and render your iPhone useless……BE WARNED!!!

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While nothing has been officially confirmed, word has it that Meteor will soon be ranging an Android phone, believed to be the HTC Hero. On Meteor’s forum, an administrator, while discussing Android phones stated that they will soon be ranging one.

“I have just been speaking to our product guys and I can confirm that we will definitely be launching an Android handset on our network in November!!!,” according to Glynn, an administrator on the site.

The message which now seems to have been removed stated an Android phone was coming but no idea of which.

However, a tip from Gadgetrepublic.com has since said that the Android phone on Meteor will indeed be the HTC Hero!

Via : Gagdetrepublic.com

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At long last, O2 are due to lose their exclusivity on the selling of iPhone’s. After Christmas, Vodafone will be allowed sell the ever-popular iPhone.

At the moment, there is no word on prices or tariffs, but watch this space and Eircell will keep you posted.

You can however register your interest with Vodafone by clicking here

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With all this talk of doom and gloom, the re-intorduction of college fees and general disaster all over the country, O2 have come up with a new deal to help the hard pressed students.

From today, Telefónica O2 and HEAnet have introduced an deal for students, that by signing into 12 month contract, they get a much reduced rate for their mobile broadband. The normal price for O2 mobile broadband is €19.99, but with this offer, students can avail of their broadband at the special price of €9.99. There is a limit of 10GB data allowance, which is more than enough for day long Facebooking activities!

There is also another deal which is a rolling contract, giving students more options if they wish to cancel the contract and not encour any termination fees. This offers costs a little more, at €12.99 and download limit of up to 5GB data allowance.

For both offers, the actual modem will cost €19.99.

This is a clever move by O2. Mobile broadband is ideal for students living away from home. By giving them this rate, O2 are obviously hoping to try and get these as potential longterm customers.

But for students, are they would are about is updating their Facebook accounts and saving that €10 for other expenses!

“We understand the financial pressures students are under and this is especially relevant in the current economic climate,

“Education and better broadband services are both vital for Ireland’s economic growth and we are delighted to be working with HEAnet to make this offer available. We are confident it will prove extremely popular with students.” David Hodgers, Head of Products & Services, Telefónica O2 Ireland.

O2 appear to be going around college to offer this deal to student directly, with a list of colleges and dates available on campus.ie.

You will need to bring

  • Photo ID in the form of a valid 09/10 student card from one of the participating institutions
  • Proof of address in the form of a utility bill or letter from the CAO or institution
  • Bank details or credit laser card for direct debit payment
  • Proof of date of birth

Via : SiliconRepublic

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Nokia are due to add another handset to their ever-growing range of touchscreen handsets. This time around, the Nokia 5230 has been chosen to be added. Although Nokia may have been late to the touchscreen party, they have really embraced the technology, seeing the growth and popularity probably helped get their back-sides in gear!

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Vodafone UK have launched one of the latest versions of the BlackBerry family, the BlackBerry 8520. This will be free on contract deals, once you sign into 18 or 24 months deals at £25 a month!! Some important things to notice is the lack of 3G, but the availability of Wi-Fi.See Below for specs.

Specs

  • 2 MP Camera
  • GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
  • 109 x 60 x 13.9 mm
  • 320 x 240 pixels, 2.64 inches
  • Wi-Fi 802.11b/g
  • Bluetooth
  • BlackBerry OS
  • MP3/AAC/AAC+/WMA/ASF player

Via : Vodafone

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The LG KS360, which is commonly know as the LG Etna has been on the market for a few months now and is proving to be a big success for O2. When it was first launched, stock of this affordable touchscreen phone sold out within days, leaving many O2 and Carphone Warehouses stores without any to sell to the mases.

While stock levels have improved and sales for O2 continue to be good for O2, Meteor has gotten in on the act. O2 even found that large numbers of their handsets were getting unlocked to be used on other networks; such as Meteor. This will obviously be a good sign for Meteor.

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O2 have launched a TV service for their customers. While this will only work for a small number of the handsets they range, it is a very attractive feature. It allows you to keep in the know with RTE or Sky News but also entertained with The Cartoon Network or Sky Sports!

It is broken down into two options, each option has different channels for you to chose from. It is an excellent way to keep yourself busy during lunch, on the train or even if you are hiding from the boss in work!

O2 Lifestyle Pack

RTE News Now - Live RTE bulletins which include the the news at 1pm, 6pm and 9pm and also Primetime.

Cartoon Network - Updated daily but on a 2 hour loop

CNN - Live

Blueroom - Meet the stars backstage from The O2 (not really though!)

Travel Channel - Updated monthly and on a loop

BBC World News - Live

Boomerang - 2 hour loop updated daily

Sky Sports & News Pack

Sky Sports 1, 2 & 3 - Live

Sky Sports Xtra - Live

Sky Sports News - Live

At The Races - Live

How it works

A €1 charge lets you watch all the channels for a 24hour period. While you can get a 30 days pass, with a €5 per month for the O2 Lifestyle pack, OR €6 per month the Sky Sports & News pack.

Txt TV to 50202 and away you go…after they send you links!

Click here for a list of compatible handsets

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