Two different phones from two different handset makers, but linked by the common desire to have truly awful user interfaces. Still, at least they are both being enhanced...
Firstly Samsung has announced the 'Jet Ultra Edition', a follow-up to the love it/hate it Jet S8000 (yes, I wasn't a fan). Changes aren't massive with a tweaked exterior design and integrated social networking apps while BBC iPlayer gets a widget. Otherwise the headlining 800MHz processor (which really isn't worth anything if the OS sucks) remains the same as does the 3.1in AMOLED display (no Super AMOLED here). HSDPA, WiFi and a 5MP camera are the other key specs.
O2 will be stocking the Jet Ultra immediately and making it free on a £25pm tariff. Meanwhile O2 will give the first 10,000 customers 'The Ultimate Gangster Collection' - a box set comprised of American Gangster, Casino and Scarface on DVD. Why these two go together is beyond me, but there will be a £200,000 press campaign to support it - which doesn't sound like a waste of money... at all.
Meanwhile 3 is doing its best to make the Sony Ericsson Vivaz a bit more interesting by launching it with Spotify pre-installed. Users will consequently get free Premium access to the tasty music streaming service and can buy the Vivaz free on a £35pm 24 month contract that bundles 750 cross network minutes, unlimited texts and data. The Vivas is £329.99 on pre-pay.
As a refresher, specs on the handset are good with a 3.2in touchscreen display (sadly resistive), HSUPA, GPS, WiFi, an 8MP camera with 720p video recording and a bundled 8GB memory card. Problem is the S60 operating system is really showing its age (despite being v5.0) and, from my hands-on at Mobile World Congress, it simply isn't much fun to use.
Suddenly I feel like I'm back in 2008 hearing cries of "More Power! More megapixels!" followed by confused looks about the need for decent software. Dear Samsung and Sony Ericsson, it really is about time you both sorted this out... and no, bada isn't the answer.
Update: Turns out 3 is only pre-installing Spotify onto handsets, which is something any user can do for themselves regardless of where they buy the Vivas or any S60-based phone. There goes that differentiator.