Archive for 2007

By December 11, 2007 Read More →

Orange SPV E610 – Now available from Orange Shops

It’s been a while since we last saw an SPV branded device, but here’s the latest incarnation, in the shape of the E610.

Orange SPV E610

Orange SPV E610

According to reports, and from what we’ve seen in the past, Orange staff will probably have no knowledge of the handset, and it won’t be available to play about with either. However, it is available, providing you get a decent sales rep to help you, and can be picked up for £99 + £10 topup on pay as you go.

No details yet on contract pricing, but we can assume free on any, based on the low pay as you go price.

Posted By: Mark

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Posted in: Cameras
By December 10, 2007 Read More →

Asus Eee PC 701 (quick) review


The Asus Eee PC is a new product line for Asus which they hope will find a place for those people for whom a smartphone is too small and full laptop is too cumbersome. At first I was unsure as to who might actually purchase an Eee PC, would it be students, techies or business users? However, it looks like everyone is buying them, there is virtually no stock in the UK now!

Asus Eee PC 701

Asus Eee PC 701

What’s in the box?

The device itself, instruction book, installation CD, battery, power adaptor, er, that’s it. Take a look at Matt’s unboxing video for more.

Asus Eee PC 701 Specification:

  • Inter Celeron M 900mHz CPU
  • 7″ TFT display – 800 x 480 pixels
  • 512MB RAM
  • 4GB SSD storage
  • SD Card Slot (SDHC compatible)
  • Built in WiFi 802.11b/g
  • Ethernet connector
  • VGA socket for external monitor
  • 3 USB2 sockets
  • Linux pre-installed (Windows XP Compatible)
  • 0.92 kg
  • 4 Cell battery: 5200 mAh, 3.5hrs


The Eee PC opens easily to reveal a small, but full QWERTY keyboard, trackpad mouse button.

Eee PC Keyboard

Eee PC Keyboard

The screen is smaller than expected given the real estate available.

The Ethernet port is located on the left hand side next to one of three USB ports and the audio lines In and Out. The other two are on the right hand side next to a SDHC card slot.

Eee PC left side

Eee PC left side
Eee PC right side

Eee PC right side

The removable battery slots very smoothly in and out the spine of the unit and power cord plugs into the back. The power cord has no power pack as such but instead what looks like a large mobile phone charging plug.

There’s also a built in webcam which you should be able to use for video conferencing.

Eee PC webcam

Eee PC webcam


  • Speed
  • Simple but powerful OS
  • Ease of networking


  • Screen size
  • Trackpad mouse button


It has to said that the keyboard, trackpad and mouse button does feel distincltively cheap, but that said the device IS cheap so you get what you pay for and given what you get on the inside it’s hard to grumble. That aside the only other disappointment was the screen size which, given the overall size of the device does feel a bit small. However a larger screen would no doubt to have added to the price and made it feel less economically attractive.

The default installed OS is the Linux-based Eee PC version 1.0.1 but should you wish, it is possible to install Windows XP.

The Eee PC is one of the easiet devices to get to grips with. By doing away with the traditional desktop metaphor and simply presenting the user with large icons divided up into common usage groups, it’s almost impossible for any user to go wrong.

Connection to both wired and wireless networks was unbelievably quick and simple and made one wonder why Microsoft make it so difficult.

Program are divided into six groups: Internet, Work, Learn, Play, Settings and Favourites.

The Internet group provides shortcuts to Web Mail, Web, iGoogle, Messenger, Skype, Network, eBook, Google Docs, World Clock, Internet Radio and Wireless Networks.
Web Mail provides shortcuts to Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo and AOL mail.
Web launches version 2 of the excellent Mozilla Firefox browser. The messenger client, Pidgin provides connection to all major IM protocols including Gtalk and Jabber.
Skype is an excellent default installation a works seamlessley.

In the Work category shortcuts are provided to Accessories, Documents, Spreadsheets, Presentations, Adobe PDF Reader, Mail, File Manager, Dictionary and Notes.
Accessories include, Calculator, PIM and Screen Capture.
The main productivity applications are all provided by the wonderful open source alternative to MS Office,

The Learn group rather excitingly gives shortcuts to Science, Language, Math (sic) and Paint.

Play is where you’ll find Games, Music Player, Music Manager, Photo Manager, Video Manager, Web Cam and Sound Recorder. The usual selection of casual games are provided including, Solitaire, Tetris and Sudoku.

The media player does exactly what it says on the tin supporting all the common file types while the media managers do leave quite a lot to be desired. Not really managers so much as glorified file explorers. however, if you download the right codecs you can even watch your DivX movies.

Despite being able to record images and video using the built in web cam I found it impossible to get online video recorders to recognise it – although this could well be a defficiency in my technical abilities. There is said to be a new version of Skype on its way that will support the webcam for video calling.

The Settings category provides a wide range of useful utilities including Anti Virus, Disk Utility, Diagnostic Tools and Voice Commands. Use Disk Utility to repair permissions according to Computer Technicians.

The responsiveness and speed of the Eee PC is a joy and navigating around is very intuitive. It’s a device which you wouldn’t want to spend too much time using but for the short periods you do it exceeds expectations in almost every area.

Having played with the device for a while I can start to see where/how it would be used. Students looking for an inexpensive, yet capable laptop should consider the Eee PC while business people on the go will love the portability and battery life.

I think that in order to be a proper business tool you’d have to look to install Windows and some sort of office suite. Matt has been using his Eee PC for a few weeks and now has Windows XP and MS Office installed on his – he swears by it. Matt will be writing a follow up to this article at some point and will tell you all about his experiences with the Eee PC, in particularly, installing XP and other software.


All in all an excellent device for the money and highly recommended for reluctant technophobes and gadget feaks alike.

The more you use the Asus Eee PC the more it makes sense, what started out for me as a gadget or a ‘toy’ has now become a useful tool and one that I do not wish to give up. Considering how light the Eee PC is and how common WiFi hot spots are becoming I think this will the standard for business UMPC’s for a while!

Review by: Nick

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Posted in: Reviews
By December 9, 2007 Read More →

HTC Touch Dual unboxed

The HTC Touch Dual is another one of those devices that everyone seems to be talking about at the moment. Thanks to our friends over at Clove Technology we’ve managed to get our hands on one to review. As with all of our reviews, where possible, we’ll be using the device for a few weeks and only then will we prepare the review.

In the mean time enjoy out unboxing video and come back soon for more!

HTC Touch Dual unboxed
  • Discover TouchFLO™, a revolutionary touch-screen technology that allows finger-touch scrolling, panning and photo zooming
  • Innovative 3D touch cube interface for quick and easy navigation
  • Slide-out 20-key keyboard or 16-key keypad for single-handed typing
  • Worldwide connectivity (HSDPA, 3G, and GPRS/EDGE/GSM)
  • Windows Mobile® 6 Professional with Direct Push Outlook® e-mail
  • Live HTC Home™ featuring time and weather display, quick launcher, and one-touch ring tone settings
  • 2 megapixel camera for shooting photos/videos and a second camera for video calls
  • HTC Touch Dual specification:

  • Windows Mobile 6 Professional
  • Qualcomm® MSM 7200, 400MHz
  • ROM: 256MB ; RAM: 128MB SDRAM
  • 2.6″ TFT LCD Touchscreen 240 x 320
  • Tri-Band HSDPA/UMTS
  • 2.0 Megapixel main camera
  • Bluetooth version 2.0
  • 1150mAh Lithium Ion battery
  • MicroSD card slot
  • Slide-out 16-key keypad
  • 107 mm (L) X 55 mm (W) X 15.8 mm (T)
  • 120 grams
  • NOTE: There’s still no WiFi on the Touch Dual!

    Posted by: Matt

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    Posted in: Videos/Unboxings
    By December 8, 2007 Read More →

    Astraware releases Astraware Casino

    Whether you are a gambler or simple like playing games of chance I’m sure you’ll enjoy playing with Astraware Casino.

    Astraware Casino

    Astraware Casino

    From the Astraware press release:

    Astraware would like you to invite you to try your luck with Astraware Casino – a collection of the most popular casino games all in one pack. Enjoy all the fun of a real casino on your Palm OS or Windows Mobile smartphone or PDA without losing your shirt!

    Astraware Casino features 8 of the most popular games found in casinos around the world including Texas Hold ‘Em Limit Poker, Roulette, Slots, and Blackjack. You’ll also get $1000 in your virtual wallet so you can start playing right away.

    Astraware Casino includes instructions on how to play each of the games, designed with casual players in mind, so each of the games is perfect for everyone to enjoy without playing with real money. As you progress and play more, higher stake tables and games are unlocked, offering bigger bets and larger wins. Astraware Casino also includes a bank where you can get an overdraft if your luck is out, or stash your cash if you win big!

    “Our casino has all the fun games and attraction, but unlike a real casino, the odds are with the player, so your chances of winning – and winning big – are that much better,” said Howard Tomlinson, CEO of Astraware. “Take you pick from a choice of games, try your luck on the slots, use your skill at blackjack, keep your cool and make your bluff in poker, there’s something for all players!”

    Just like when you take a regular vacation, it’s fun to bring back souvenirs, and in Astraware Casino you get your own Souvenir Suitcase. As you play you’ll reach certain achievements which unlock different items to remind you of your trip to the Astraware Casino.

    Astraware Casino is available for Palm OS(R) 5 devices with hi-res screens, and Windows Mobile(R) devices running 2003, 2003SE, 5 & 6 and with square, QVGA, and VGA portrait and landscape screens. The game is priced $19.95. To download a free trial, visit

    Posted by: Matt

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    Posted in: Apps & Games
    By December 7, 2007 Read More →

    LG KU990 Viewty review

    LG Viewty reviewty.

    A phone with a quality digital camera or a digital camera with a phone?


    Well for the first time in probably 5 years – I’ve not used a smartphone for a week. The LG Viewty, and its other brother the Prada phone thing have interested me for a while, so when Matt rather randomly asked me to review LG’s latest and greatest I was more than happy to.

    LG Viewty

    LG KU990 Viewty

    Lets get one thing out of the way first off: This is not an iPhone beater. As long as you don’t expect it to be – you’ll be fine.

    It’s very much a “chav-phone”, and it will sell by the bucket load regardless of this, or any other review. It’s a bit of a looker really as well – surprising considering the huge touch screen.

    What’s in the Box?

    A decent package, which looks expensive and well thought out. I especially liked the named boxes within the main package, which make it clear which lead is from where. Especially useful when sending review devices back!

    LG Viewty Box

    LG Viewty Box

    For the full low-down have a look at Matt’s unboxing video.

    LG Viewty Specification:

  • 3″ 240 x 400 pixel touch screen
  • 5 megapixel digital camera with flash
  • 55 x 104 x 17 mm
  • 112 grams
  • Bluetooth 1.2 with A2DP
  • microSD card slot
  • DivX video capture VGA 30fps, QVGA 120fps
  • built in email client and web browser
  • bespoke flash based UI
  • front facinng camera for video calling

    At 103.5 x 54.4 x 14.8mm it is larger than the older Prada phone, but not by much. The extra space I guess its to do with a pretty special 5mp camera included in a still small form factor. It is most definitely not too big though – fits nicely in the pocket, and although it’s slightly heavy – it’s not a problem.

    Lets take a look around the device then, and on the front, as you might have guessed – a dominant 3 inch touch screen running at 240 x 400. The screen seems to be high quality – and sometimes you could also be fooled into thinking some of the displayed buttons are hardware based!

    While the standard earpiece and forward facing camera are found at the top of the screen, a single row of three buttons is all we find at the bottom. They are the rather common(!) call and end keys, sandwiching the ‘back’ button in the middle.

    LG Viewty Buttons

    LG Viewty Buttons

    Moving to the right hand side, we see the two position camera button – auto-focus, take photo, and a 3 position sliding switch, allowing the user to select between photos, videos, and playback/review. In between these, is the unlock/lock push button. Slightly concerned about this really – although I had no problems, I think the chances of accidently unlocking the device in your pocket could be quite high.

    LG Viewty right side

    LG Viewty right side

    On the opposite left side, all we find is the headset/data/charger socket, behind a sliding cover. This is most definitely not a standard socket I’ve seen – although I’m not sure if it’s an LG standard – maybe someone in the know could comment about this?

    LG Viewty left side

    LG Viewty left side

    On the top of the device – just the battery compartment release. There is no fixed power button on the device – it shares this function with the call end key. Just like old times!

    LG Viewty top

    LG Viewty top

    Finally on the bottom…. well there is no bottom. There is no flat edge – it just flows round from the hardware buttons on the front, to the LG logo on the camera front.

    LG Viewty bottom

    LG Viewty bottom

    Just a quick note on the reverse of the phone – it’s been designed to look exactly like a digital camera – and they have done an unbelievable job in achieving that aim. You really would not be able to tell that it isn’t a digital camera from the front.

    LG Viewty 'back'

    LG Viewty ‘back’

    I guess that I should also mention the strange stylus that’s included. Unlike most other devices I’ve come across, that would have the stylus slide into a slot in the phone itself, LG have elected to include a stylus that dangles from a string. It’s like a cross between a phone-charm and a lipstick. I think this will be something that the ladies may like but that the guys will leave in the box!

    LG Viewty stylus

    LG Viewty stylus


    Interesting section this. Obviously at Tracy and Matt, we tend to stick to a semi-rigid template for out review to aid comparisons. But how do you review software on a non-smartphone?

    The OS is usable. It’s certainly not going to win any awards – despite being skinable, and certainly not letting the side down too much. As it is a touch screen, you are without doubt going to compare it to the iPhone. As I said earlier – it’s not an iPhone beater, but then it isn’t £270 on an 18 month contract. Having said that, it does have 3G and a half decent camera – so specs wise, the Viewty isn’t bad at all in comparison.

    The touch screen UI is nice, but even when doing simple scrolling – its very apparently that this isn’t exactly a speed machine. Remember the lovely scrolling interface on the iPhone? Well its not really like that – think scrolling in XP without your graphics card driver installed. It’s usuable, but hard work at times.

    Unfortunately the speed issues don’t end there – and the camera functions also suffer. It isn’t the fastest to take photos, but it does OK. Certainly suitable for camera phone use, if not as a replacement for your digital camera. The main problem is looking through and reviewing old snaps. I don’t know if the 5mp size of the photos, coupled with the low spec CPU is the problem – but I suspect it probably is. It’s torturous trying to skim through photos – with each one taking up to 15 seconds to display.

    The rest of the O/S is pretty straightforward, and works rather well. Messaging is a breeze – even compared to the iPhone – with both an onscreen T9 board and full keyboard present. There is handwriting recognition, but somehow LG have managed to make it even worse than that built into Windows Mobile.

    Ease of use: I like smartphones, but it was nice to go back to a phone that just works. No silly bugs, no silly keypresses required, overly complicated menus etc – just a decent easy to use phone.

    On-screen T9/vibrating touch screen: It really works. The screen is great – and I assume a high quality touch sensor too – very accurate, very ease to tap out a message – and the vibrating response to a press really does work, and help to improve typing speed – at least for me

    Battery life: It doesn’t appear to go down. I’ve been needing a phone on me a lot this week – so have been charging it regularly – but I’ve never seen it go beyond three-quarters full.

    3g: It’s great to see 3g making it to almost all areas and markets of the mobile phone industry now. Personally, I think any phone without 3g should be taken off the shelves immediately, but equally LG deserve praise for including it.

    Poor PC Software – LG Suite. Stay away from it at all costs. Save photos to the storage card and use mass storage mode instead!

    Speed: Low spec compared to the iPhone I suspect, and it does at times suffer from it. I’m being picky in most cases, but the camera and picture review functions are a real let down.


    Anyway, back to the review. On startup I was very surprised (And a little confused to be honest), to find it had auto-selected Orange settings for me – despite no user input. The device was supplied direct from LG, so I suspect it may have auto-created these itself, finding the network from the SIM card. Odd that it didn’t bother to tell me, but a nice feature anyway.

    With this all setup, I had a bit of a play with the web browser (web, rather than wap), and the finger scrolling is especially useful, if a little hard to master.

    A major problem I have these days, having used Windows Mobile devices for so long, is message storage space. I’ve never deleted a text message or email from my WM phones – unless I’m hard resetting. Unfortunately like all non-smartphones, the LG only has so much room reserved for messages – regardless of microSD card installed. This is a pain in the bum LG!

    I should also note that LG maintain that a Youtube client will be installed on the final version, which will allow both download and upload of videos. Unfortunately it wasn’t available on this review unit.

    I hope this addition will be couple with an upgrade of the camera applications and tool as well. The options are endless – and its all very, very impressive in such a small, cheaper unit. It’s just way too slow. Hopefully this might be improved in the official released units – because the options available to edit photos and video – on the device – are some of the best I’ve used.

    To review this device though, I have to look at the day to day use of it. I have been lucky enough to have used the Viewty for quite a while, and I’m really impressed with the simple usability and stability of it. From the simple, if scary, unlock button to the onscreen qwerty keyboard in landscape mode.

    One other thing that bugs me about many devices at the moment, the LG Viewty included, is that they seem to come with their own proprietary connectors for headphones, chargers and data cables. I find this frustrating that each time you buy a new phone you have to buy new chargers etc. or you have to buy adapters in order to use any headphones other than the ones supplied. On the plus side there is a nice sliding cover over the connector which will help to prevent dust getting in there but is it too much to ask for a standard headphone socket and mini USB connector?

    LG Viewty connector

    LG Viewty connector

    One little titbit to end with, that I found while using the camera on the Viewty – the rocker switch around the camera lens, used to digitally zoom in and out when taking photos – is also an up/down rocker key throughout the entire O/S. Not ideally positioned – but sometimes useful when trying to move to a set position in a text! Another hardly-advertised feature is the support for divx movies. This coupled with the microSD slot makes the Viewty a small portable media player. Not bad for what isn’t exactly an expensive phone.

    LG Viewty camera

    LG Viewty camera


    I really didn’t expect to get along with this. The idea of a touch screen being the only input method was not something I fancied trying. Equally, I didn’t really fancy dropping my ultra smart TyTN for a ‘normal’ phone either.

    It did take a while for me to come around to the ideas behind the Viewty – but now as of Monday, with the device going back tomorrow, I’m almost sad to see it go. Its not smart, and in many ways is very limited compared to the phones I’m used to. But it just works. The touchscreen input – just works, the navigation – just works. It doesn’t do anything particularly special, but everything I really need it to do – it does.

    I think I like a non-smartphone.

    Review by: Mark

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    Posted in: Reviews
    By December 6, 2007 Read More →

    Astraware releases Solitaire Winter Edition

    Winter has arrived in the Northern Hemisphere and the Holiday Season is upon us, so to celebrate Astraware has created a special version of their popular Astraware Solitaire game for Palm OS(R) and Windows Mobile(R) smartphones and PDAs.

    Solitaire Winter Edition

    Solitaire Winter Edition

    Astraware Solitaire Winter Edition includes a new icy colour theme and beautiful Winter/Holiday card backs created by Astraware artists Bryan King and Mike Hanson. It also includes all of the features of the standard edition – 12 of the most well-known and best-loved single player card games; easily customizable rules so you can play your way; a range of different colour themes, backgrounds and card backs; and unlockable rewards featuring the Golden Trophy Deck.

    Astraware Solitaire Winter Edition is a FREE download for registered users of the standard edition of Astraware Solitaire or Astraware Solitaire Halloween Edition as registration codes work for all three versions. New users who purchase Astraware Solitaire Winter Edition will also be able to use their registration code in the standard version of the game. It’s available for Palm OS(R) 5 devices with hi-res screens, and for Windows Mobile(R) 2003, 2003SE, 5 & 6 Classic (Pocket PC), Professional (Phone Edition), and Standard (Smartphone) devices, priced $19.95.

    Check out Atraware Solitaire Winter edition HERE.

    Posted by: Matt

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    Posted in: Apps & Games
    By December 5, 2007 Read More →

    Windows Mobile 6.1 screens leak out

    I suppose it has been quite a while since we last saw a decent news leak. Just the other day The Boy Genius Report posted dozens of screen grabs from their new Motorola Q9 which had the upcoming Windows Mobile 6.1 installed on it!

    Windows Mobile 6.1 screen

    Windows Mobile 6.1 screen

    Windows Mobile 6.1 is evolution not revolution, but looking at the screen shots you could be forgiven for thinking that this was an all-new OS.

    You’ll find a lot of new prettys screens and icons in the user interface with the ability to scroll left and right to access missed calls, emails, SMS etc. You’ll now be able to set your own homepage in Internet Explorer, plus you can now zoom into pages on top of a lot of new interface refinements. At last you’ll be able to copy and paste in Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard (smartphone) and theres also a threaded SMS system included.

    I guess it’ll be a while before WM6.1 makes it to the mainstream and I suspect that there will be a lot of bootleg versions knocking around before it’s official but I’m looking forward to seeing what else MS have crammed in to the update.

    Posted by: Mark

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    Posted in: News
    By December 4, 2007 Read More →

    VITO ZoomBoard review

    After moving from an HTC Vario with in built keyboard to a HTC Touch (I have to admit I much prefer the smaller phone for sure) I did start to miss the keyboard as I do quite a bit of texting and sending of Outlook e-mails. Whilst the word completion on the Touch does really help, the standard Windows mobile keyboard is pretty poor for fast and accurate entry. Being out and about quite a bit, grabbing the stylus just becomes a pain and requires both hands and lots of concentration!

    Looking through at last week, I noticed the release of VITO Technologies ZoomBoard application. ZoomBoard is a replacement for the standard on-screen keyboard included on a Windows Mobile device. The download site offers a free trial (I think all software should be available on a free trial basis) so I downloaded as I had nothing to loose!

    I have to admit using the ZoomBoard keyboard was a little strange at first. ZoomBoard is unlike most other keyboard addons as it uses a very clever “Sliding Technique”. Keys are not actually accepted or processed until you remove your finger from the screen. As you slide your fingers over the screen, a magnified image is shown on screen showing a much larger version of the key that you are hovering over, so you simply can not choose the wrong character. This allows even those with the biggest thumbs to enter information concisely without mistakes.

    Even if you are a stylus addict, the larger on screen keys are much, much easier to select and access with the stylus as well. You don’t have to use the sliding mechanism to use this keyboard all the time so for quick messages I tend to just hit the larger keys just like a normal keyboard. The simple buttons to change to upper case and numbers/symbols also offer much faster keyboard entry.

    The best part of this application? The cost… $9.95 so around £5.00 in English money so, yes, I now have a fully registered version!

    Review by: John

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    Posted in: Reviews
    By December 3, 2007 Read More →

    ‘GoodWin’ task switcher & launcher with finger friendly interface

    VITO Technology have just released ‘GoodWin’, their task switcher and launcher for Windows Mobile devices. Take a look at their press release:

    VITO GoodWin

    VITO GoodWin

    GoodWin is a next generation Windows Mobile launcher and task switcher for Pocket PC. Slide the screen with finger to scroll the list of favorites and running programs, installed applications, and settings – all on one screen! Whenever you turn on your Pocket PC GoodWin displays all necessary information – new SMS, email, current time, missed calls and more…

    Along with smooth design and animated menus goes the functionality of a launcher and task switcher making GoodWin irreplaceable. Just press the power button to see time, date, number of missed calls, SMS and e-mails without squinting your eyes. Slide the padlock to unlock the screen and launch applications/settings or switch between running programs.

    GoodWin greatly simplifies management of all applications. You can run, uninstall, add or remove them from favorites, switch between running applications. Moreover, it provides instant access to battery charge and phone profiles displayed at the top of the screen. One tap – and you can set your phone to ring, vibration or silent mode.

    Still using stylus? Well, forget it. You will need only fingers to manage your Windows Mobile device as long as you have GoodWin on it.

    GoodWin is available for $ 19.95 at and

    Posted by: Mark

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    Posted in: Apps & Games
    By December 2, 2007 Read More →

    T-Mobile MDA Touch Plus

    Had a little nose around the T-Mobile website earlier today and came across the MDA Touch Plus, this is going to be the T-Mobile version of the Touch Dual.

    MDA Touch Plus

    MDA Touch Plus

    Although we would normally expect a device to be launched quite soon after it appears on the T-Mobile site, this could be one of those exceptions as we know that there is an exclusivity deal between Orange and HTC over the Touch Dual. It could be a few months before we see the MDA Touch Plus in stores.

    See more on the T-Mobile site HERE.

    Posted by: Matt

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    Posted in: News