Samsung Omnia 7 Software Tour

Want to see how Windows Phone 7 performs on the Samsung Omnia 7? Well, you probably already have witnessed that’s it’s wicked fast as seen in the in the previous videos I have posted here, here and here. This one after the break is just a quick walkthrough, nothing fancy, because like I have demonstrated earlier every WP7 devices will give you with the same user experience. The main differentiator being the hardware form factor (Scree, camera) and some free apps provided by the OEM (like ScanSearch and Panorama on the LG Optimus 7). Check out that nice Super AMOLED display after the break:

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Microsoft plans to heavily promote Windows Phone 7 applications and games this holiday season..still sucks at marketing

The company has just outlined the “5 new ways” they are going to promote Windows Phone 7 applications and games this holiday season. So what is this all about? Well nothing ground breaking:

1. Find Windows Phone 7 Apps & Games on Bing Visual Search

Sure this looks really good. But it isn’t updated in real-time or even on a daily basis…

2. Promoting Windows Phone 7 Apps & Games on Xbox 360

Haven’t seen much here so I’m guessing that it’s US centric?

3. Windows Phone 7 Apps & Games on Windowsphone.com

Ok…

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Samsung Omnia 7 hardware tour

Still wondering how the Samsung Omnia 7 looks like? just check out my hardware tour video to witness one of the most beautiful smartphone ever created. I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised by the build quality of the device. I initially thought, based on the leaked shots, that it was really ugly and even after my first hands-on I didn’t find the phone to be really attractive. But after more than two weeks of use there’s no denying that the Omnia 7 just rocks. It’s light weight (138g), solid (thanks to the metallic back and has a superb Gorilla Glass screen (with oleophobic coating) on top of the 4″ Super AMOLED display. Check it out after the break:

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LG Optimus 7 Hardware Tour

You all probably already the know how the the LG Optimus 7 looks like by now so here’s my hardware tour video of the device. Build quality is really great and even better than what I had thought after the short hands-on sessions I hand with it earlier. The only problem I have with it is the power button which is impossible to operate without using my fingernail. For the full specs just check my Windows Phone 7 hardware comparison chart. Video and pictures after the break:

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Microsoft to provide a list of Windows Phone 7 certified Micro-SD cards shortly

courtersy: Paul.T

Microsoft is apparently busy testing every Micro-SD cards out there to certify them for Windows Phone 7 according to senior product manager Greg Sullivan. Redmond is a bit late to the party and “didn’t have time” to do this prior to the launch of the devices more than a month ago. SanDisk already posted a list of certified / recommended cards last week (but took it done 2 days later)and you can also apply my little registry trick to turn you WP7 handset into a removable USB Drive if you have some time to spare.

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LG Optimus 7 Scansearch Augmented Reality application Demo

Here’s one more LG Optimus 7 video, this time it’s a brief demo of the Scansearch Augmented Reality application found on LG’s Windows Phone 7 devices like the Optimus 7 and Optimus 7 Q/Quantum. You’ve already seen it more than a month ago in my Optimus 7 hands-on preview but I decided to shoot another one again. to talk about some I discovered while plying with the LG GW910 prototype. What’s interesting here isthe fact that this app (on the Optimus 7) seems to be  a trimmed down version of the realapplication (which is also availalbe on the iPhone). Sounds weird right? Well check out the pictures after the break:

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LG Optimus 7 Panorama Camera application demo

Here’s a short video I shot earlier today to show you how LG’s Panorama application works on the LG Optimus 7 (and LG Quantum) Windows Phone 7 devices. As you will see it actually use the built-in compass and accelerometer to guide you to the right direction and then automatically takes the shots. The picture is then stitched on the fly and will appear in your camera roll. The app is available for free via the LG section in the Marketplace. Once it’s installed it can be accessed directly from the phone’s camera menu (same for Scansearch) so you don’t necessarily have to pin it on your start screen. Video and picture after the break:

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Silverlight headed to the Xbox. But Microsoft doesn’t want you to know about it yet

Something weird just happened on Microsoft’s Careers website today. The company has posted a couple of new job ads related to Silverlight earlier this morning. Nothing out of the extraordinary right? Well, when I saw them (tweeted here) nothing catched my eye but apparently there was another version that was later corrected up on the site a few minutes earlier which mentions that Silvlerlight coming to Xbox in the next wave (update?). Microsoft supposedly later corrected the original and erased all mentions of the console. Read the two versions after the break:

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Dell Venue Pro back in stock but with more issues

It  seems like Dell Venue Pro fans just can’t get a break these days. After the Wifi, camera and headphone issues comes the SIM card problems. As previously announced by Dell the Venue Pro is now apparently back in stock at Microsoft’s store so all the early adopters can now exchange their engineering sample units for real final devices. Unfortunately something went wrong again and the devices are unable to read the SIM cards after a simple reboot of the handset.

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Want to crack Windows Phone 7 ? Keep on dreaming..

Every time that news about Windows Phone 7 being ported on the HTC HD2 has popped up I tried to make it perfectly clear that this whole hacking/porting adventure was totally useless because all the online services embedded in the OS (Windows Live, Marketplace, Locations, Tellme, Zune, Maps etc..) require a hardware check on Microsoft’s servers to prevent piracy. This security check is part of the PVK (Private Key) system and is part of every WP7 hardware device. A unique ID is given to every handset during the manufacturing process and is routinely checked by Microsoft’s authentications servers. If the ID check fails the device will display the message seen in the screenshot above.

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Super AMOLED vs LCD on the Samsung Omnia 7 and LG Optimus 7

Here’s short video update to my previous post about the color banding issue on Super AMOLED screens. Nothing really new here but I just wanted to show you how it looks like in “motion” just in case somebody thought that I doctored the pictures I posted two days ago. The issue here is the RGBG (Red Green Blue Green) PenTile Sub-Pixel arrangement coupled with the insanely high contrast on the Samsung Super-AMOLED panel. To be perfectly clear: according to Samsung’s specs the Super-AMOLED screens are 24bit panels (don’t know about the RGB TFT LCD on the LG but I guess that’s it’s just a 18bit panel that does 24bit with dithering) but I don’t know if Windows Phone 7is being rendered in 16bit or 32bit. If it’s the former, then moving to 32bit could partially fix the problem but Samsung can also do some adjustments to diminish the issue too. video after the break:

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Samsung Omnia 7 vs LG Optimus 7 Performance Comparison

 

I’ve just shot this video show how Windows Phone 7 performs on the Samsung Omnia 7 and LG Optimus 7. The verdict: Exactly the same!. This is pretty amazing when you think about it. We have to hardware devices build by two different manufacturers and they have exactly the same performance running the same tasks. Sure they may have the same hardware specifications but keep in mind that they are probably using different memory modules (we know that LG is using 16GB of eMMC for the storage and that the Omnia has double the ROM (1GB)) and several other small differences. This just goes to show that Microsoft’s decision to control the whole platform was the best thing they could do. Hit the break to watch the video:

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Windows Phone 7 hitting Verizon this holiday season? Maybe not

Microsoft has officially confused everybody today with a tweet (seen above) claiming that Verizon will be selling Windows Phone 7 based handsets this holiday season contrary to what we have heard earlier. The tweet has since be deleted and “replaced” by a brand new one (after the break) claiming that Verizon is a valued partner who will start selling Windows Phone 7 devices in 2011. My guess is that things are still the same as previously thought and that, like Sprint, Verizon will only start selling WP7 devices early next year.

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Dell ramping up Dell Venue Pro production for re-launch and looking into hardware issues

Dell has just announced that its ramping up production of the Dell Venue Pro Windows Phone 7 device for a “re-launch” on T-Mobile at a yet unannounced date. The Venue Pro’s launch has been a total mess and many of the early adopters (those who were able to get the hands on the handful of devices sold at Microsoft’s Stores in the US) aren’t really happy about the current situation. There has been reports of bad camera quality, Headphone jack issues, Wifi connection problems etc..  Full announcement after the break:

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Sony Ericsson still in talks with Microsoft about Windows Phone 7

You may have probably seen the latest rumored Sony Ericsson Windows Phone 7 devices specs/renders this week which I didn’t post here because they look suspiciously fake too me. Sony Ericsson has always said that they will probably build a WP7 power smartphone next year but never gave any time frame and because right now Android is what they are focusing on. SE’s France’s CEO Pierre Perron told Les Echos yesterday that the company was still in talks with Microsoft about the possible use of WP7 in a futur product. Sony Ericsson isn’t really pleased about the software restrictions imposed to OEMs (the impossibility for them to change the UI) and doesn’t want to compete based on the hardware and price only:

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Augmented Reality hacked on Windows Phone 7

Kevin Marshall from Clarity Consulting managed to code a small augmented reality application using the recently unveiled “hacked” native code access on Windows Phone 7. Nothing super amazing here or useful either, just a proof of concept. This is similar to how LG’s WP7 devices have access to the Raw video camera feed (which is needed for the SacnSearch application). Kevin also complains about LG’s phone performances and color rendering:

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Use your Windows Phone 7 device as a portable USB drive

Who needs a removable micro-sd card when you can just use your Windows Phone 7 device as a portable USB drive ? Here’s a little trick to enable USB drive mode on your Windows Phone 7 phone. I did some digging into the Windows registry looking for all the references to the Zune software and the devices USB stack  and finally found that the devices actually support this mode but that it is simply disabled by default. So here’s how to do it:

- Open Windows Registry Editor by typing regedit in your start menu
- Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\
- Then go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\USB  (and not the other ControlSet01 or 02 if you have them) and then search for ZuneDriver

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The problem with Super AMOLED screens: Nasty color banding

Samsung’s Super AMOLED screen panel is gorgeous, especially when displaying  Windows Phone 7′s Metro UI (with the drak theme) unfortunately there are several ugly drawbacks. First, you have to live with fuzzy text because of the PenTile Matrix Sub-pixel arrangement. Secondly, you will witness sever color banding, thanks in parts to the same PenTile Matrix (it is RGBG compared to a regular RGB lcd…) and also to the extremely vibrant and high color contrast of the screen. I took two photos to show you how ugly it can look like on the Samsung Omnia 7 vs the regular TFT LCD screen of the LG Optimus 7. This is really a problem especially for developers who now have to pay close attention to the assets they are using when building their applications. I’m not entirely sure if the OS is currently running at 32bit color depth but if I had to guess I would say that it is probably set at 16bit (could be wrong thought). Moving up to 32bit could potentially diminish the problem a bit on Samsung’s AMOLED screens. Samsung can also tweak the amplitude of the modulation of the sub-pixels to reduce the problem. One more picture after the break:

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Samsung Omnia 7 vs LG Optimus 7 camera comparison

I just shot 2 similar HD videos with the LG Optmius 7 and Samsung Omnia 7 to compare both devices’ camera on this cold and cloudy day. So what is the verdict? Well the Omnia 7 is the clear winner thanks to the vastly superior clarity and continuous auto-focus feature. On the other hand you will also notice that the Optimus 7 video issmoother even-thought both videos are endoded at 24fps. The Omnia 7 seems to have some weird issue causing this problem. It is either related to the white-balance system or the shutter speed is set too high by Samsung. An other odd issue on the Omnia 7 is that the viewfinder runs at 4fps when shooting HD video (it’s perfectly smooth on the LG Optimus 7).Check out the video and photos after the break:

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