Mobile Phone Weekly News Round-up: April 25th

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With the end of month nearing, wage packets will soon be collectively incinerating pockets everywhere and what better thing to do in order to avoid burnt thighs, than to splash some of your hard-earned on a mobile phone covered in gold! Our choice for the taste-challenged this week is a limited edition version of Nokia’s already expensive 8800 Arte phone, the 8800 Arte Diamond. Dipped in 24k gold and sporting five white diamonds on the rear of the casing, Goldstriker International will be relieving you of £1,195 when it’s released, but if you can forgo the diamonds, perhaps you’re a little shy, a simple gold one is available now for £899.

Nokia have been dominating headlines this week (nothing new, we know) but for mostly the wrong reasons. Their much hyped Comes with Music system has been revealed as costing the company a rather large sum of money, with analysts unable to see how they will continue to make a profit from the sale of handsets with the feature. Still, as long as the costs are not passed on to us in order to run it, we’re sure they have everything in hand. Or do they? Published Q1 figures show Nokia missing targets and company shares dropping, with Nokia pointing their blame finger at everything from the world economy to Keyser Soze.

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Saving Nokia from a black week was the unveiling of two new XpressMusic phones, the 5320 and 5220. Both include a range of goodies including Flash support, optimized controls for N-Gage gaming, a real 3.5mm headphone jack, tons of storage and in the case of the 5320, S60 Symbian software. Oh, don’t just glance at the pictures and assume the 5220 has been snapped at an angle (as is often the marketeers want); it’s actually head-on and really is that shape!

It’s not just Nokia who have paraded new phones this week either, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Samsung and LG have also got in on the act, albeit unwittingly at times. Sony Ericsson have officially announced the imminent arrival of the candybar G520 and clamshell Z780, two apparently Internet-orientated phones. They’re both HSDPA-equipped but the Z780 will also feature GPS. Somewhat less official is another shot of the exciting-looking P5 smartphone and a newcomer codenamed ‘beibei’, another smartphone judging by the software.

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LG have released a new member of its Black Series, this time called the LG Secret, or KF750. Encased in carbon fibre, the Secret has an impressive feature list including 120fps video recording, a 5MP camera, a Google web package and HSDPA. Samsung give us the previously revealed KF510 and the fabulous looking U900 Soul, complete with OLED screen and touch sensitive D-pad. Finally, Motorola prove they do have at least some plans for the coming year thanks to a leaked picture of several brand-new models.

If you’ve had enough of losing your expensive phone, work in a job where things get damaged easily or just want to throw your phone away when you’ve finished, Hop-on’s disposable mobiles could soon be coming to Europe especially for you. Although they don’t have a screen, they do have 12 ringtones and a standby of 240 hours, plus presumably they will not break the bank, or require a contract.

We end this week’s news roundup with a Samsung patent where it would have been interesting to have attended the design meetings. Why touch the screen or (heaven forbid) press keys when you can wave at your phone like a maniac to make it work. A crowded train full of people doing a ‘Z-axis Inter-Layer Navigation’ (number two on the diagram) could lead to all sorts of trouble!

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