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UK regulator to ban carriers from selling locked phones

UK regulator to ban carriers from selling locked phones

When a mobile network sells you a phone with a costly contract, it makes sure that switching providers won't be easy. Handsets have traditionally been locked to the carrier who sold it, and you have to jump through hoops to get it unlocked. From December next year, this practice will no longer be permitted in the UK as regulator Ofcom is banning the sale of locked phones by network operators.

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13

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G coming to Europe in May for €599

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G coming to Europe in May for €599

This year’s MWC is all about folding phones and 5G connectivity, and Xiaomi just threw its hat in the ring with the announcement of its first 5G smartphone: the Mi Mix 3 5G. As the name implies, this is simply the Mi Mix 3 but with an upgraded Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor and X50 5G modem.

First shown off in China in December, the 5G version of the Mi Mix 3 carries the same ceramic body and aluminum frame, magnetic slider with the front-facing camera and sensors accessible once you slide the display down, 960fps slow-motion video, and Google Assistant button as its namesake.

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29
Galaxy S6 And S6 Edge Pre-Orders Are Live In The UK On EE, O2, Vodafone, And Carphone Warehouse

Galaxy S6 And S6 Edge Pre-Orders Are Live In The UK On EE, O2, Vodafone, And Carphone Warehouse

Happy Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge pre-order day UK residents! If you've been anxiously fiddling and waiting for Samsung's new flagship to land in your hands, you are now one step closer to fulfilling that goal. Many UK carriers and sellers have started today their pre-orders for the devices, with various offers, bundles, colors, and configurations to choose from. Here are the details.

EE

EE has a page dedicated to the Galaxy S6 where you can see at least 10 buttons to pre-order the phone — just in case you miss one of them — and have it delivered to you on launch day: April 10th. The S6 and S6 Edge are available in white, black, and gold (though the latter isn't guaranteed to be delivered on time), with the S6 in both 32GB and 64GB variants and the S6 Edge only in its 64GB configuration. A

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3
Three UK Shows Off The LG Spirit 4G, Bringing The Company's Curved Design To The Mid-Range Segment

Three UK Shows Off The LG Spirit 4G, Bringing The Company's Curved Design To The Mid-Range Segment

Love it or hate it, the original LG G Flex sure did create some buzz. The second version of the phone appears to be an improvement in just about every way, but LG doesn't seem to be content with flagship-style offerings. Three UK just announced that it will carry the LG Spirit 4G starting in June. This decidedly mid-range device also has a curved screen, and... well, that's about the only interesting thing aside from Lollipop software at launch.

https://youtu.be/IwFWWGy_iCg

Before you get too excited, Three's promotional video (the sole source of information on the phone so far) doesn't mention flexibility at all, so this phone probably won't bend or heal like the G Flex series.

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52
Three Mobile Owner Agrees To Buy Fellow UK Carrier O2 For £10.25 Billion ($15.4 Billion)

Three Mobile Owner Agrees To Buy Fellow UK Carrier O2 For £10.25 Billion ($15.4 Billion)

The US isn't the only market where carrier consolidation is the name of the game. UK carrier O2 is being purchased by Hong Kong businessman Li Ka-shing, who already owns Three Mobile in the UK. The agreed upon price is reportedly a whopping £10.25 billion ($15.4 billion). If all goes as planned, the deal would reduce the number of major UK carriers to three.

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29
Play Store Carrier Billing Support For Three Appears To Have Gone Live In The UK

Play Store Carrier Billing Support For Three Appears To Have Gone Live In The UK

Google appears to have turned on carrier billing support for Three customers in the UK. Though the company has not yet appeared on Google's page of listed partners, a reader has submitted a screenshot of the Play Store giving them the option to pay for Sons of Anarchy later on when their Three bill arrives.

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7
Owners Of The Unlocked HTC One M7 Plus O2 And Three Should Be Getting The Sense 6 OTA

Owners Of The Unlocked HTC One M7 Plus O2 And Three Should Be Getting The Sense 6 OTA

Listen up, UK readers: if you're rocking an HTC One from 2013, and you got it from O2 or Three, check your notification bar for an update. According to this HTC support page, a fresh, steaming copy of Sense 6 is headed your way. The unlocked GSM model of the One M7 should also be getting the update. (Apparently the unlocked update is going out by country, since the US unlocked model was already updated.) Vodafone UK and EE users will have to wait.

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Sense 6 is the build of HTC's proprietary interface that came with the new One M8 model and later phones.

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7
Samsung Galaxy S4 Available For Pre-Order In The UK From All Major Networks, As Well As Carphone Warehouse, Phones4u, And Amazon

Samsung Galaxy S4 Available For Pre-Order In The UK From All Major Networks, As Well As Carphone Warehouse, Phones4u, And Amazon

If you've been waiting to pre-order the Samsung Galaxy S4, today's the big day, and you're not short of choices when it comes to retailers or networks.

The phone is up for pre-order on all of the UK's major networks - EE, Three UK, Vodafone, O2, Orange, and T-Mobile - as well as Carphone Warehouse, Phones4u, and Amazon. Don't know which network to go with? Let's break it down for you...

EE

EE is the only network that will provide the phone with 4G for the time being, as the other networks are yet to get their services up and running.

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3
Sony Xperia Z Up For Pre-Order On Three UK From £34 A Month On Contract, Available On February 28th

Sony Xperia Z Up For Pre-Order On Three UK From £34 A Month On Contract, Available On February 28th

Sony's waterproof and dustproof flagship smartphone, the Xperia Z, is available to pre-order in the UK today from Three, although you'll have to wait until it's released on February 28th to get your hands on it yourself.

We first saw the 5-inch, 1080p phone last month at CES, and found ourselves impressed by its minimalist, elegant design. Water resistance comes at a price though, so you can expect to pay at least £34 a month if you want to take the phone home on a contract.

Three is offering two tariffs for the Xperia Z with unlimited data: the £34 Ultimate Internet 500 plan, which gives you 500 minutes and 5000 texts, and the £36 One Plan, which gives you 2000 minutes and the same amount of texts.

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4
UK Expected To Beat 4G Goal By Six Months, Mobile Spectrum Auction To Begin In Late 2012

UK Expected To Beat 4G Goal By Six Months, Mobile Spectrum Auction To Begin In Late 2012

It looks like mobile device users in the UK can expect 4G services to begin rolling out a bit sooner than previously expected – six months sooner, to be specific.

The Wallstreet Journal reported Tuesday that the UK government has struck a deal with the UK's four largest mobile operators which will enable the auction of 4G mobile spectrum to begin at the end of 2012, with bidding beginning in early 2013.

The deal, which comes after rumblings that Vodafone and O2 were considering legal action against Everything Everywhere (EE) to stop it launching its own 4G service, was closed on by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

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