Earlier this year, around March, news of the Helio Ocean 2 was flooding the ‘net with diagrams “leaked” by the FCC. Well, the rumors and possibilities were quickly trashed when news of a Virgin Mobile acquisition of Helio came out. ‘Twas a sad day for hardcore Helio fans and mixed emotions were abound in the VM camp. However, it seems that Helio is still maintaining its unique branding of software and equipment even after the VM absorption, which makes the news of this new device all the more legit. The image speaks for itself: It distinctly resembles the original OZ1 and is even branded with the Helio name. It also appears to have touch-sensitive surfaces where the physical buttons used to be, which likely means haptic feedback, too. There’s even an optical joystick for navigation. Seems like it would also feature a QVGA display, Ev-DO, 2 megapixel cam with video, full HTML browser, and A2DP support. The phone should “wow” all the Helions who are still clinging onto their first-generation Oceans, but…
When is this sweet little gadget coming out? According to the folks over at Heliocity, they received an e-mail from a higher-up at Virgin telling them it’s not slated until early 2009! Are they kidding? They’ll have a lot of catching up to do because it’s likely this device might be outdated at that point (since it’s close to being ‘dated before its release). Come on, VM! Helio waited an eternity to update this and look where it got them. For the few die-hards that didn’t leave Helio and refuse to budge, cross those fingers and hope this comes out sooner than later.