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Virgin Mobile Offering HD2 Across the Pond

 

Those of you in the UK looking to pick up an HTC HD2 can now do so with Virgin Mobile for free with its 24-month £30 tariff. Up to this point the Snapdragon toting beast has been available unlocked, on O2 and T-Mobile.

Have any of our British mates been lugging an HD2 around recently? What carrier are you rocking? Regale us with tales of your device superiority in the comments.

[via CoolSmartPhone]

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HTC Touch HD running Android 2.0

We've mentioned in the past the growing trend of putting Android onto Windows phones and how this is not just an emulator but the full fledged OS running.

Of course the downside has been the difficult task of getting the radios, buttons and other aspects to be fully operational.

Looks like some users of the HTC Touch HD are getting quite the leg up with a nice build of Android 2.0 running on their swanky black slabs.

Big difference here?  This sucka is evidently working with the radios for once--phone calls, SMS, etc.  Looking at this from our Touch Pro 2, we're a bit envious.  On the other hand, there's hope that someday the rest of us will have our Eclair and eat it too. (Ka-ching! Pun of the day.)

See the full video after the break.

[MobileOS News via AndroidCentral]

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Those of you looking to upgrade to the latest and greatest HTC from AT&T on the cheap should get your pocketbooks ready. Refurbished models of the HTC Pure and HTC Tilt 2 are now offered through AT&T online. Prices with a 2 year contract (including a $30 per month data plan) are down to $149.99 for the Tilt2 and $99 for the Pure.

What is your opinion on refurbished devices? Is a savings of $50 worth not getting a brand new device? Any success/horror stories to share? What say you?

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X2 on Sony's Web site, springtime launch anticipated

 

Oh, look. There's the Sony Ericsson Xperia X2a (the "a" points to the North American version) on the Sony Style Web site. It's still not available for purchase, but we saw it at CES running Windows Mobile 6.5.3, and CNET says its been told to expect launch this spring. We're not holding our breaths, given the lack of expediency given the X1, but we'll definitely be glad to see it when it comes.

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Stopped back by the Microsoft booth at CES after our recent encounter with Windows Mobile 6.5.3 on the Toshiba TG01, and, sure enough, there's more lurking around. The Pharos Traveler 137's got it (Build 28005.5.3.0). And right next door was the Sony Ericsson Xperia X2, and it had 6.5.3 as well, though it's so heavily skinned with the Panels interface that you can't tell at first glance.

Two more phones with possible upgrades on the way.

 

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Headline pretty much says it all here. TMoNews has it on good authority that updates to Windows Mobile 6.5 for the Touch Pro 2 and Dash 3G (aka the HTC Snap) will be coming on Jan. 20 (after that rumored Jan. 6 date came and went). Here's exactly what they heard:

Touch Pro2 and Dash 3GOn January 20, the Windows Mobile 6.5 software upgrade will be available for customers with the T-Mobile Touch Pro2 and the Dash 3G. Customers can obtain the update on T-Mobile.com at www.t-mobile.com/wmupgrade.

Considering T-Mobile was the first carrier to launch the Touch Pro 2, it's an update we're very happy to finally see. Now, where's that HD2?

 

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That's Windows Mobile 6.5.x on the TG01

OK, let's not all lose our stuff there, but that indeed is Windows Mobile 6.5.x (or 6.5.3, if you prefer) running on Toshiba TG01 at CES this year. You know, the same TG01 that's been out for some time now. You can spot the upgraded OS by the round buttons at the bottom, and that the Windows Flag start menu has shifted south as well.

And the TG01 still isn't a slouch when it comes to hardware. It was the first WinMo phone to sport the 1GHz Snapdragon processor, its 4.1-inch (nearly as big as the HD2) touchscreen, while capacitive, is very good. And so long as it's not running that weird neon UI we saw on top of it initially, it's very snappy.

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Hands-on with the Euro Samsung Omnia Pro

Swung by the Samsung booth at CES (follow all of our coverage here). Once you're able to navigate the dizzying maze of television screens -- and we're talking hundreds here -- you can finally find some Windows phones. Tucked in the back and a little to the left.

And it was there that we found the European version of the Omnia II, the Omnia Pro, with its Touchwiz interface. While it's hardly fair to judge the quickness of any phone after it's been handled at the likes of CES, the Omnia II seemed a bit sluggish considering it has an 800MHz processor. And I'm still not crazy about the user interface, though it does look gorgeous on that 3.7-inch AMOLED touchscreen. Anyhoo, find pics of the Omnia II at CES after the break.

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Again, look for Windows Mobile 7 at MWC

We've said it once, we've said it twice, we've said it a bunch of times. Windows Mobile 7 mostly likely will announced at Mobile World Congress next month in Barcelona. And Robbie Bach, president of the entertainment and devices division, recently alluded to as much in an analyst call, says ZDNet's Mary-Jo Foley.

Things will be talked about at MWC... I've seen it and played with it, set the bar forward not in (just) an evolutionary way.

So, there you go. Windows Mobile 7 at Mobile World Congress. And we'll be there to bring it all to you.

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i-mate 810 phone goes for a swim

Maybe it was exhaustion, maybe it was the open bar, but we we found an i-mate 810 taking a swim last night at the Showstoppers event at CES. The 810, as we're sure you all remember, is a "military-grade" device, able to take just about anything you can throw at it. We tried to drown this guy last night, and sure enough Windows Mobile 6.1 kept ticking underwater. Pics after the break.

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Wow, look at that.  Not only did the Ozone get its official update, but so didn't the Verizon Touch Pro 2.

That sort of came out of nowhere!  We like it.

Changes include:

  1. OS Upgrade to Windows Mobile 6.5
  2. Updated drivers to support Global VZ Navigator
  3. TouchFLO 3D Enhancements

Get your download on right here!  And big thanks to Biglcny for noticing!

Update: Yes, this does have Sense 2.1 w/ the Weather clock.

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Visiting Microsoft at CES

 

Unsurprisingly, there wasn't much at Microsoft's CES booth that we hadn't seen before. The HTC HD2 and yesterday's official announcement that it will be available "this spring" on T-Mobile was on the tip of everyone's tongues. But other than that, there were no new Windows phones announced.

We did take a spin with Ford Sync, which is Microsoft's system that will pair just about any device -- Bluetooth or otherwise -- with a new Ford or Mercury vehicle. Voice commands are the key to the whole thing, so you keep your hands on the wheel.

The Zune guys were more than happy to hear that we're hoping to see Zune software integrated into Windows Mobile in the next year or so. But we could get neither them nor the Windows phone folks to spill the beans as to what might or might not be coming in Windows Mobile 7.

Awkward moment of the morning: Our pal Rene Ritchie from The iPhone Blog hits up the Bing team to ask about the Bing iPhone app. And they'd never heard of it.

Photos of the exploits after the break.

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Sure we told you about the official build of for the Windows Mobile 6.5 upgrade for the venerable HTC Ozone on Verizon (see review) leaked a few days ago, but what about an official release?

Looks like Big-V pulled the trigger and you can now get the upgrade directly from PCD, their 3rd party support channel thing-a-majg.

And yes, it's the exact same build number as the leaked, so if you did flash with the earlier version, no need to re-do it.  Need to see an over-view of the upgrade?  See our earlier coverage with some screen shots.

(And yes, we're having an official contest on how many times we can say officially.  Meow).

Upgrade here.

[Thanks, Al Zieba, for the tip!]

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SplashData acquires Iambic

Today it was announced that software developer SplashData (SplashMoney, SplashID, SplashShoper, Splash ad nauseum) have bought Iambic, who make the popular Agendus program as well as some other not so memorable apps.

What does this mean for Windows Mobile fans?  Not much and perhaps even bad news, if you use Agendus.

SplashData used to be all about Windows Mobile software years ago. Then they went all iPhone crazy and never looked back, killing off or leaving to die all their "Splash apps". No kidding, their lineup is as fresh and hip as jokes about  "Snakes on a Plane".

So if you're a fan of Agendus, we're sorry to say we don't have much hope that it will be re-vamped anytime soon (it's gone from 3.0 to 3.4 in fourteen months, already not a fast upgrade path).

Read the official press release here for more information.

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Round Robin Podcast Extra - The CES edition

Since the entire SPE team was here at CES in Las Vegas, it made perfect sense to take some time away from ogling gadgets and chatting up our friends in the blogosphere to record a podcast. We talk up what we've seen so far, including the Nexus One and Motorola Backflip; we also chatted a bit about what we're hoping to see at Palm's event today.

As you might have guessed, the show was recorded and hosted by our pal Mickey Papillon of TCPJ. Give it a listen!

 

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AT&T completes HSPA upgrades

Brace yourself. The "who's the fastest 3g" battle may be getting new life. AT&T announced the completion of their deployment of High-Speed-Packet Access (HSPA) 7.2 across 3G sites nationwide. It should make the "nations fastest 3G network" even faster.

In addition to the HSPA upgrade, AT&T has started to enhance the network with cell site backhaul connections. Initial deployment of backhaul connections has already started in six U.S. markets (Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, and Miami) with the installation scheduled to expand to other cities later this year and into 2011.

"We are focused on providing our customers with the industry's best combination of mobile broadband speed, performance, coverage and available devices," said John Stankey, president and CEO, AT&T Operations. "As we light up new backhaul connections across the country, we're able to deliver a meaningful 3G speed boost for millions of customers who are already using HSPA 7.2-compatible devices. At the same time, we're also looking to the future with these backhaul enhancements, which will support our move to next-generation LTE technology starting in 2011."

The progress AT&T is making in improving their network speeds is good news for customers and will likely give Luke Wilson more ammunition to toss at the competition.

Read: prnewswire.com

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T-Mobile U.S. makes HD2 official!

Well, we've known for a few weeks already, but nothing like an official announcement (via Twitter) that T-Mobile U.S.is indeed getting the HD2:

T-Mobile will be the exclusive U.S. carrier of the HTC HD2 –slated for launch this spring! Sign up for e-mail updates 

They even give a link for sign-ups for more information (found here) and we imagine a pre-order.

"Exclusive" , eh?  Guess that may put a kabosh for the rest of us not on T-Mobile.

Read the official press release here for more details.

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LG Spills the Beans – Windows Mobile 7 in 2010?

According to Engadget, LG stated at CES press event that Windows Mobile 7 will be on devices this year. Obviously this still isn’t an official announcement from Microsoft, but LG is one of their bigger partners for Windows Phones. Might we hear something official from Steve Ballmer at his CES Keynote tonight? Rumor has it that Robbie Bach, Microsoft’s President of Entertainment & Devices Division, will be joining Steve on stage.

Tune in at 9:30pm Eastern, 6:30pm Pacific for our liveblog from the event.

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Palm Treo Pro goes sub-$200

Need a Windows Phone? Got $179? Then Dell may have a deal right up your alley. Dell is currently offering the Palm Treo Pro for the low, low, low price of $179. Yes, it's a Windows Mobile 6.1 phone. Yes, it's not slated for upgrade to WM 6.5 and beyond. But it is an outstanding Windows Phone in its own right.

Also keep in mind that chef's over at XDA Developers started cooking ROMs for the Treo Pro. Even though the Treo Pro isn't "officially" on the Windows Mobile 6.5 guest list, you can get some home cooking that will sneak you in the back door.

The Treo Pro is listed at Dell as the "Dell Daily Deal" so we don't know how long this steal of a deal will last. Thanks goes out to Micky over at thecellphonejunkie.com for passing on this tip.

Update: It appears the $179 "Dell Daily Deal" on the Treo Pro has sold out.  You can still get it through Dell here and at $199 (plus free shipping) it remains sub-$200 and a heck of a deal.

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Just a reminder that we're taking a break from the Smartphone Round Robin this week to cover CES. But that doesn't mean we don't have something special for ya: A pair of podcast with all your favorite SPE editors.

First up is the second podcast we recorded during the Round Robin, brought to you by our pals at The Cell Phone Junkie. It's embedded below, but you've already subscribed to TCPJ, right?

How to listen to the Smartphone Round Robin Podcast Part 2:

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