Top Ten Mobile Phone News Stories of the Week

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Enjoy our round-up of ten mobile phone related news stories you may have missed including talk of Samsung missing Mobile World Congress, the UK launch of the Nokia Lumia 620 and a peak at the ZTE Grand Memo.

1. Samsung May Skip Mobile World Congress

Nokia is going to be there, but HTC has decided it would rather hold its new product launch before Mobile World Congress starts, and now it’s rumoured Samsung will be doing the same. According to a report, Samsung will hold off launching any major new products at the Barcelona trade show, just as it did last year. Samsung hasn’t confirmed the rumour, so all we can do is wait for news of an Unpacked event either before or shortly after Mobile World Congress 2013.

2. ZTE Grand Memo Makes its Debut in Hong Kong

The ZTE Grand Memo could be one of the new devices the firm has scheduled for an MWC launch, and it made a surprise appearance at an event in Hong Kong this week. Equipped with a massive 5.7-inch screen, a 13 megapixel camera, a 1.7GHz processor and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, it’s likely to go head-to-head with Huawei’s Ascend Mate and the current leader of the pack, the Samsung Galaxy Note II.

3. Samsung Pretties Up The Galaxy S III

Samsung will release its Galaxy S III, S III Mini, Ace 2 and several other phones in modified La Fleur versions in time for Valentine’s Day. The La Fleur series takes an existing device and adds flowery artwork, bright colour schemes and pretty software themes to them, which apparently makes them more attractive to girls. They’re popular in Russia apparently, and that’s where this new range will make its debut on 14 February.

4. Nokia Introduces the Lumia 620 to the UK

Nokia has made the decision to release the Lumia 620 in the UK through O2, Three and Virgin Mobile, with Vodafone joining them later in February. The phone has a 3.8-inch screen, a 1GHz dual-core processor and a 5 megapixel camera. Originally announced last year, it runs Windows Phone 8 and you can read our review of the latest Lumia here

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5. EE Adds More 4G Coverage

EE continues to expand the UK’s maiden 4G LTE network and has added another nine cities to its coverage list. The lucky cities are Amersham, Hemel Hempstead, Stockport, Bolton, Chelmsford, Southend-on-Sea, Sunderland and Sutton Coldfield. EE claims with these new locations, it now covers 45% of the country with its super-fast network.

6. HTC Desire U Launched

HTC has announced a new budget Android phone named the Desire U. It has a 1GHz processor and 512MB of RAM, plus a 4-inch touchscreen, Beats Audio, 4GB of storage memory and a 5 megapixel camera. While the phone is official, there are no details on the cost or where the Desire U will be sold.

7. Windows Phone 7.8 Has Arrived for Nokia Lumia Phones

The wait is finally over for Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.8 software update, as Nokia has announced the new version is now available for its Lumia 510, 610, 710, 800 and 900 Windows Phone 7 handsets. Owners should look out for a notification appearing in the next few weeks, although those with devices locked to a network may be waiting a while longer. Windows Phone 7.8 adds the Windows Phone 8 Start screen and its resizable Live Tiles, along with a few other features. You can see a demo and instructions on how to apply the update in this video

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8. ZTE Announces the V81 Tablet, But Leaves Out Some Important Information

new tablet from ZTE has popped up on its website. Named the V81, it features an 8-inch screen with a 1024 x 768 pixel resolution, a dual-core 1.4GHz processor, 4GB of storage and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. It could have a built-in SIM slot along with a full-size USB and HDMI port too, but the spec sheet isn’t completely clear on the matter. Those aren’t the only mysterious aspects of the V81 either, as there’s no price or release date for the tablet. We expect we’ll hear more at MWC, and hope it comes in at a reasonable price.

9. White Nexus 4 Spotted

LG’s Nexus 4 has proven difficult enough to find in its standard black colour scheme, but if the gorgeous white version seen in these leaked pictures is destined for sale, it may sell out even faster. The photos certainly show a genuine-looking Nexus 4 with a white finish – the sparkly back is even more attractive – but there’s a chance it could be a prototype which will never be released. For now, then, it remains a tantalising prospect.

10. LG Spirit Launched in the U.S.

A new LG smartphone has been launched on the U.S. network MetroPCS. Called the LG Spirit, it has a 4.5-inch screen, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, a 5 megapixel camera and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. It also has 4G LTE connectivity. MetroPCS is different to other U.S. carriers, as it doesn’t tie its subscribers into a lengthy contract, and the Spirit costs $199 (£125) making it one of the better priced options available.

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