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Helio’s Ocean

May 24, 2007 in Other Mobile Phones

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how Helio is a mostly unknown service provider that leases radio spectrum from bigger guns – Sprint, Verizon, and Alltel, among others. Called a MVNO (mobile virtual network operator), Helio hasn’t exactly taken off running since it started – the company reported a loss for the first quarter of 2007, and spent quite a bit on marketing in the process.

The Ocean from Helio.

The Ocean from Helio. Who?

What’s interesting about this MVNO is that it aims to bring new, cool handsets that customers can’t get anywhere else. We’re not talking the same old flip phones, candy bars, or sliders.

Which brings us to “Ocean,” Helio’s newest mobile phone. Similar to handsets like Tmobile’s Sidekick, it has a dual-action slider that can move up/down to reveal the keypad, or left/right for using the integrated keyboard. The Ocean also features microSD memory card support, stereo speakers, 2 megapixel camera, Bluetooth, and a 2.4 inch 260k color screen.

But the real draw of the Ocean is the keyboard, which makes text messaging/emailing/surfing that much easier, and its “uniqueness” (to quote the article).

The Ocean is currently available on Helio’s site for $295, not including monthly membership fees.

My take on all this? The Ocean has definitely piqued my interest in Helio, but alas – I will be sticking with AT&T, GSM, and all of the fun in being able to change a handset at will. Still, Helio’s monthly pricing is pretty competitive, which is much better than expected from an MVNO.

Ocean's KeyboardThe Ocean phone

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