Google IO 2016 Coverage

Sony Xperia Z Smartphone Is Officially Up For Pre-Order In The UK


Those of you living in the UK are one step closer to getting the Sony Xperia Z smartphone in their hands. At the time of this writing, the smartphone is now available for pre-order through O2, Three UK, Phones4U and Carphone Warehouse. Pricing for the device will vary by the retailer and carrier, so you’ll need to hit past the break in order to get all the juicy deets.

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O2 UK Nexus 4 Variant Seems To Be SIM-Unlocked After All, Despite O2 Reps Claiming Device Is SIM-Locked


It’s no secret that the Nexus 4 launch was a little botched and caused some major angst among Android fanatics, but those in the UK may be able to get some sort of satisfaction— sort of. You may recall that we casually mentioned that O2 UK would be the only carrier to sell the Nexus 4 for a limited time, but it was assumed that the devices sold would be SIM-locked and thus, operate on O2 networks only. However, it appears that at least a few of you who paid a premium pound by buying the device in O2 stores may actually have an unlocked device. Reports are coming in that O2 customers have been able to purchase the supposed SIM-locked devices and actually insert other SIMs from carriers like Vodafone instead. How do we know you ask? Well, customers are reporting they were able to buy the O2 Nexus 4, take the pre-installed SIM card out, swap it with a SIM card of a different carrier and still have full functionality of the device.

Of course O2 UK hasn’t come out with an official statement regarding this find, but if you’re a prospective customer and willing to take a gamble and grab a device before your friends do (albeit at a much higher price), do let us know if this recent find works out for you.

source: XDA Forums

O2 UK To Be The Only Wireless Carrier In The UK To Offer The Nexus 4 Smartphone, Celebrates By Giving Away LG TVs To The First 100 Customers


Google and UK wireless carrier O2 are generating quite a bit of excitement in anticipation of the newly announced Nexus 4 smartphone by announcing one heck of a promotion. In the spirit of O2 being able to secure the title of being the only UK wireless carrier to offer the Nexus 4 for one month, it has announced it will offer a free LG TV to the first 100 customers who are able to get the phone. Of course customers will need to keep in mind that the cost of the smartphone and especially the monthly tariffs will probably end up dwarfing the overall cost of the television, but hey— we all love anything free right and who wouldn’t want a new LG TV set?

source: pocket-lint

Vodafone and O2 Announce An Infrastructure Sharing Agreement, Will Soon Share 2G, 3G And 4G Technologies

In an effort to improve signal strength for their customers, O2 and Vodafone have recently announced that the two will be combining and sharing their current 2G, 3G and soon LTE 4G network infrastructure.  And while this may sound boring to some, it’s actually a pretty smart and slick move between the two carriers.  O2 and Vodafone make up the country’s second and third largest network operators and plan to create a massive nationwide grid in which both networks can run on.  Recall the merger between Orange and T-Mobile UK, “Everything Everywhere“, and note that this isn’t the same thing.  O2 and Vodafone are not merging in so much as this is more of an attempt to assist in a quicker roll-out of their 4G LTE technologies.  The two carriers state that the agreement will allow them to deploy 4G services more rapidly as would otherwise.  However, the carriers will remain separate companies and still compete against one another.  The only distinction here would be how fast the carriers can get 4G to their customers as soon as the 800MHz/2600Mhz spectrum auction is complete.  So, how and who in the world is going to be responsible for maintaining and monitoring the new infrastructure?  Good and fair question.  In a seamless effort to integrate the new venture into both networks, a new 50/50 split watch is being implemented as O2 oversees design management and maintenance in the east and likewise Vodafone in the west.  The 18,500 site increase will serve as a 40% increase for both networks.  So, what does this mean to the customer?  It means, should all go as planned, customers should start seeing better reception in spots that have otherwise been sketchy in each respective network and a seamless roll-out of 4G LTE will rapidly approach.  Should everything be approved, the carriers hope to begin kicking things off later this year. Feel free to let us know what you think in the comments below.

source: O2

Samsung Galaxy Note Gets London Olympic Treatment

In some understandable excitement and pride for the upcoming Summer Olympics, Samsung has come up with a rather stylish special edition of the Samsung Galaxy Note phablet. Samsung will commemorate the summer games with the upcoming special edition of the device by including an alternate UK flag-covered back in the box. Plus Sammy will even throw in a donation of £1 to an Olympic-funding charity each time it sells one of these custom Notes.

The Olympic-themed G-Note will be sold exclusively through O2 UK in a special bundle. The bundle will include the “win a Team Samsung experience” in with each phone, though you’ll need to act before Thursday, May 24th.

source: Samsung UK
via: Gizmodo UK

O2 UK To Roll Out Improved DC-HSPA Network Across Major Cities

O2 is ready and primed to have best network in the UK by beginning the first stages of rolling out an improved HSPA network. More specifically— Crave is reporting O2 has begun rolling out DC-HSPA for major cities in the UK (think London, Manchester and Birmingham for example). This new “dual-cell high speed packet access” format will double the topline speed currently found in HSPA+ to a theoretical maximum output of up to 42Mbps, though real world speeds will be much more down to earth than that.

DC-HSPA is no doubt exciting, but there’s still room for growth and expansion– especially as LTE is set to arrive by 2013. For example, while the new and improved speeds offered by DC-HSPA are exciting, there are only a handful of devices which currently support the new network type. As it currently stands, the only devices that currently support the DC-HSPA standard is the new Apple iPad, Nokia Lumia 900 and the HTC One X smartphone, so there will be an increased need for more devices that support the DC-HSPA standard. In addition, O2 is the only mobile carrier rolling out the technology for now, though it will grow within the coming months. Three UK will roll out DC-HSPA by this summer, while Everything Everywhere’s Orange and T-Mobile brands will launch DC-HSPA by the 4th quarter of this year. Not to be outdone, Vodafone UK has already had DC-HSPA over the last year or so, though its DC-HSPA speeds are limited to just 28.8Mbps— with no plans to upgrade to 42Mbps in the near future.

source: Clove UK
via: Android Central

Sony Xperia S Gets Software Update Through Sony PC Companion

If you’re in the market for a brand-spankin’-new Sony Xperia S smartphone, today’s a great day for you— especially if you were one of the lucky few to score the smartphone at MWC or you live in the UK. While the Xperia S was available for sale at MWC this year, Three UK and O2 UK are each offering the intriguing smartphone and ready for its customers’ wallets in the UK. Three will be offering the smartphone for free on contracts of £30 ($47 USD) or more per month. Or if you want to pay full price– it’s available for a fairly modest £369.99 ($582) if you go on pay-as-you-go route. O2 is offering the smartphone starting at £79 ($125) on the lowest contract (£16.50/$26 per month). Or if you’re ambitious, O2 will also offering the Xperia S for free with a contract of £21.50 monthly ($34). As an added bonus, O2 will also include 200 minutes, unlimited texting and a 500MB data cap with that plan. Read more

[Deal] Xperia PLAY Just £149 From O2 UK With Pay & Go

UK mobile telecommunications provider O2 is offering Sony Ericsson’s Xperia PLAY at the rock-bottom price of just £149 in either white or black. The device is offered on O2’s Pay & Go plan, which means no monthly contract and 10% back on your top-ups every three months with O2 Rewards. The phone’s features include a 4-inch touchscreen, PlayStation slide out gamepad, access to 50 games at launch and it runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

Hit the break for a link to the offer.

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O2 UK customers receiving Android 2.3.4 update for the HTC Sensation

O2 customers in the UK who have the HTC Sensation, and have been waiting ever so patiently for the Android 2.3.4 update, can actually grab the update right now. Reports are saying a full roll out has taken place. If you haven’t received it yet, follow the steps at the bottom of the post to get up to speed.

What to expect when you receive your update:

  • Software stability
  • Improved battery life
  • Improvements to Trace dictionary
  • Improvements to screen responsiveness
  • Improvements to video playbook
  • Improvements regarding device reboots
  • Improvements to icon pixilation
  • Improvements to Wi-Fi connection
  • Improvements to screen/photo resolution

To update to your new version of Android, you will want to check for system updates. To do so, follow these simple steps. Menu>Settings>About phone>System updates.

[via O2 forums]