It's been a long time coming, but the Ocean 2 has finally launched and should be reaching customers' hands this weekend. Along the way, network Helio has been acquired by Virgin Mobile, and we've seen devices like the iPhone 3G, T-Mobile G1 and various high-end feature phones all crash the market. The stakes are undoubtedly higher, and the question is whether the Ocean 2 is too little, too late; we'll have the SlashGear review for you soon, but first off here's the video unboxing and some first impressions.
Toshiba helped us kick off the week with the announcement of their new TG01 Windows Mobile smartphone: on paper it sounds perfect, with a high-res touchscreen, super-skinny body and all the wireless connectivity you could feasibly ask for, as well as being the first device to deliver NVIDIA's 1GHz Snapdragon chipset. Check out our hands-on photos and video demos, as well as Toshiba's own GUI demo, and then try and explain to me why I still can't get as excited about the TG01 as I think I ought to be.
No great surprise, given the unboxing and the reviews, but Virgin Mobile USA have officially announced the launch of the Helio Ocean 2. Initially available in limited edition red, with black versions following on later in 2009, the Ocean 2 will go on sale come February 12th priced at $149. In addition, from the device's launch the carrier will be eliminating the $5 charge for unlimited mobile to mobile calling, together with starting Unlimited Nights & Weekend calling at 7pm, for all contract customers.
After its unboxing last Friday, the Virgin Mobile Helio Ocean 2 is back for a more meatier review. The dual-sliding QWERTY handset has taken some time to arrive, and it's finally dropped just in time for would-be users to ask if MySpace, chunky casings and 2GB of onboard storage is enough to tempt them in. Engadget Mobile have been comparing the Ocean 2 with its first-gen predecessor - together with the rest of the current feature-phone crowd - and have come back with mixed feelings.
We opened the week with our first-impressions of the T-Mobile BlackBerry Curve 8900, a surprisingly adept smartphone that's managed to impress despite the absence of 3G. We've also been playing with Vuzix's iWear AV230XL OLED video headset, and the VIA Artigo A2000 Barebone Storage Server. Finally, if you prefer your gadgets with a bit of (artificial) flesh on their bones, take a look at our Orbita Mouse unboxing; we'll have the full review this coming week.
Late, and still luminous orange, the handset formerly known as the Helio Ocean 2 and now as the Virgin Mobile Helio Ocean 2 has showed up for a pre-release unboxing. While a precise launch date for the dual-sliding smartphone is unclear, given the apparently production-ready state of the device and packaging pictured, plus Virgin Mobile's announcement that the phone will be going with Britney Spears on her Circus tour, it's expected by the time that kicks off in March at the latest.
An estimated 180,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the United States, and more than 40,000 of them die of the illness. In support of the fight against the deathly disease; Virgin Mobile, LG and Best Buy are teaming up to raise awareness by donating 5 dollars from sale of each special edition LG Pink Flare to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
The limited edition LG Pink Flare mobile handheld is only available exclusively at Best Buy stores nationwide. For a mere $29,99, you get a Bluetooth, WAP browser and a dual color display speakerphone clamshell phone in a pink outfit; and show solidarity to the noble cause as nearly 17% of the sales will go to the foundation.
Additionally, the phone service carrier, Virgin Mobile USA, is committing to contribute a minimum of $150,000 to the cause.
We met with Virgin Mobile while at CTIA Wireless this week, and in-between taking a look at their first self-branded 3G handset, the Shuttle, had a chance to ask them about their plans for Helio. Virgin bought out the carrier, which also uses the Sprint network, earlier this year, and since then subscribers and analysts alike have been waiting for the official word on what exactly will happen to the company, its users and the devices it had planned. That of course includes the eagerly-anticipated Ocean 2 smartphone, and we're pleased to be able to confirm that yes, it's still coming.