Acer W4 Windows Phone 7 Mango handset unveiled

Acer is showing off their first Windows Phone 7 handset at the Computex tradeshow in Taiwan today. The Acer W4 is powered by a Qualcomm MSM8255 SoC ,which is currently the most powerful chipset certified for Windows Phone 7, has a 3.6″ WVGA screen, 8Gb of Storage and a 5MPix camera. Nothing really breathtaking here obviously but it good to see that OEMs are getting ready for this fall’s launch More pictures after the break:

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Nokia confident that the first Nokia Windows Phone will ship in Q4 2011

It is now safe to assume that Symbian is as good as dead and that Nokia has to quickly start to ship it’s first Windows Phone 7 handset. The Finnish company has just lowered its Devices & Services second quarter 2011 outlook and is expecting net sales to be substantially below its previously thought. The company is also hoping to ship the first Nokia Windows Phone at the end of the year:

- Nokia remains pleased with its progress on its Windows Phone strategy, and has increased confidence that the first Nokia product with Windows Phone will ship in the fourth quarter 2011.

Note that it clearly says “Nokia product” and not “Nokia products”. We shouldn’t expect a high volume of handset before Q1 2012. Full PR after the break:

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Windows Phone 7 Mango to integrate Twitter photo sharing service?

Twitter’s CEO, Dick Costolo, is expected to announce a new photo sharing service tomorrow, June 1st, during the D9 conference and this got me thinking about something interesting. As you may have noticed Microsoft has yet to show and demonstrate the Twitter integration in Windows Phone Mango and when I asked the company about it during the VIP event I was told that it still wasn’t ready for prime-time and that a new OS build was expected to show up on June 1st, which is now the date of Twitter’s new photo sharing service unveiling. I may be totally wrong in my speculation but given that Mango now features, Facebook Galleries, photo tagging, video sharing it would be logical to also have Twitter’s new photo sharing services built in.


HTC Windows Phone 7 handset with 12 MP camera in the wild


The infamous E.Murtazin is apparently in the possession of an upcoming Windows Phone 7 handset that features a 12 MegaPixel camera capable of shooting uncompressed RAW images. This is definitely more realistic than the rumored 16MP HTC handset and also really inserting because RAW shooting will probably be a first for a smartphone (correct me if I’m wrong). Eldar has already confirmed that it is not a Nokia handset and given his “close ties” with the Korean company I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a Samsung device. Remember that I already told you that Samsung was currently working on a high-end Windows Phone 7 Mango device so this could possibly be what Murtazin has in his hands right now.

UPDATE: The device is apparently and HTC handset as seen in the photos below (design looks similar to the HTC Trophy and is probably the HTC Mazaa which is probably the Torphy look-alike equipped with a Gyroscope shown and used during the MIX sessions and keynotes).

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Windows Phone 7 Mango Bing Local Scout can work outside of the US and UK

There’s still some confusion surrounding some of the newly announced Windows Phone 7 Mango features, especially the Bing related ones like Local Scout, Bing Vision and the Quick Cards. As stated on Microsoft’s official Windows Phone website the Bing Local Scout “around me” feature is supposedly only supported in the US and the UK similar to the current Local search results in Windows Phone 7 pre-Mango. Interestingly Microsoft demonstrated this functionality alongside Bing Vision in nearly all of the VIP Mango events worldwide so it was safe to assume that it would be available to all consumers this fall.

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HTC pays Microsoft $5 for every Android devices they build

According to CiTi analyst Walter Pritchard, HTC is paying Microsoft $5 in licensing fee for every Android handset they build. As you probably already know HTC has signed a patent licensing deal with Microsoft last year to be able to manufacture and sell Android devices without being sued. Unfortunately the cost per device has never been officially revealed and today’s analysts guess is the closes we have.

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Third Party applications scrolling performance: Mango vs NoDo

As you already know Windows Phone 7 Mango will feature an improved ListboxControl which offloads the touch input and BtimapImage function from the UI thread to enable smooth scrolling. This was already demonstrated during MIX11 and also seen in my Mango hands on video here. The device I played with unfortunately didn’t have many 3rd party applications installed so I was unable to shoot a NoDo vs Mango video to compare the performance improvement using the same on application on both device. Fortunately for us somebody else did it. Hit the break to watch the short video:

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Windows Phone 7 Mango: Bing Vision OCR Text translation and Outlook tasks shown on video

Here’s a neat little feature that I didn’t have the chance to check out during my Mango hands-on but that Microsoft Germany demoed during their event: Bing Vision Text Translation using optical character recognition (OCR). This feature is similar to the one found in the Android Google Docs application that was released not long ago but this time it is natively integrated into the OS. Hit the break to check it out (it starts at 1:24):

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SPB TV for Windows Phone 7 released for free

Russian mobile developers SPB software have finally release their famous SPB TV streaming application on Windows Phone 7 today and the good news is that it’s totally free of charge. In terms of features the application is nearly identical to what we had on Windows Mobile 6.X:

SPB TV for Windows Phone 7 Main Features:

•More than 150 TV channels from more than 20 countries, subscription free

• Unique TV browser with fast channel launching and switching

• Integrated TV Guide with a list of current & upcoming TV shows

• Video-on-demand

• Network bandwidth fluctuations support

• Onscreen controls

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List of all of the new Windows Phone 7 Mango features

I’ve just compiled a relatively long list of all the most important new features that are going to be introduced with Windows Phone 7 Mango later this fall. Some features are still probably missing either because they haven’t been announced yet or because I forgot about them so feel free to let me know in the comments and I’ll update this list. You will notice that there’s obviously less that 500 features which is the official PR claim. Unfortunately Microsoft isn’t saying what is exactly counted as new feature so I’m going to guess that it’s mix between some of the new APIs and end-user functionalities. Hit the break to check the most important features:

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Verizon HTC Trophy and Xperia Play available for order

The Verizon HTC trophy is now finally available for order on the company’s website alongside the Xperia Play. The HTC Trophy costs $149.99 with a 2 year contract and a free Xbox 360 game (Halo Reach, Kinect Sports or Lode Runner) while the Xperia Play is priced at $199.99 with a 2 year contract and is pre-loadeded with 6 PlayStation certified games: Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior, The Sims 3, Star Battalion, Asphalt 6: Adrenaline, Madden NFL 11 from EA, and Crash Bandicoot (hands on video here).

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Windows Phone 7 Mango Marketplace on the Web

Something I didn’t talk about in my Windows Phone 7 Mango preview yesterday was the announcement of the Web version of Marketplace that will launch with the new OS later this fall. This will essentially enable users to purchase, reviews browse application directly from their web browser instead of using the Zune desktop software. When an application is bought (or a free/trial) and an sms or email containing a link will be sent to the phone allowing the user to install it over the air [Update: Microsoft is now saying that there will be no link sent and that the installation will happen automatically] if the services is running on the phone. Nothing groundbreaking obviously but it’s a step in the right direction.

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Hydro Thunder Go hands on video

The first game of the 6 weeks of Must Have Games promo event is now released and it’s as previously announced: Hydro Thunder Go. Hydro Thunder was organically an arcade game developed by Midway back in 1999 and release in the same year on the Sega Dreamcast console. The game essentially consists of racing high speed transformable speedboats through crazy looking race tracks environments that are constantly changing. You will have access to 9 race environments and 12 different speedboats alongside several Xbox Live achievements.

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Nokia won’t promise Windows Phone 7 handsets this year but things are on schedule

As I pointed out a few days ago Nokia doesn’t want to promise the launch of its first Windows Phone 7 handsets this year even though everything is apparently on schedule according to Microsoft and other industry sources. This may have something to do with the possibility that those devices will be in relatively short supply when they finally hit the market in time for the holidays.

Nokia has been a big advocate and supporter of NFC chips and is still planning on including them in its future Symbian and Windows Phones but declined to say if the first handsets will have such a chip. One thing that Nokia isn’t afraid to talk about is the Chinese market. According to Jo Harlow, the company is currently developing CDMA Windows Phones in Beijing, China, and most probably wishes to launch them in volumes early next year. This is in parts made possible by the new East-Asian language support in the upcoming Mango release.

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Windows Phone 7 Mango Preview

Can’t get enough of Windows Phone 7 Mango ? I just came back from the Paris unveiling event with quite a bit of info regarding the first major update of Microsoft’s mobile OS. First let me start by pointing out to the previous Mango post I did about the new APIs and Developer related features here and here. Today’s preview will mainly focus on the consumer experience and some other bits of info that you may have not heard of before.

There’s obviously not much to say that already hasn’t been said earlier and even shown in official videos. The first question on everybody’s mind is most probably: When is Mango going to be released? Well the official answer is this Autumn but from what I’ve been told there won’t be a official launch day similar to what was done last year with Windows Phone 7. Instead, OEMs will start launching their devices when they are ready. This essentially means that once Mango is RTM and certified by carriers, manufacturers will integrate the gold code into their upcoming phones and start shipping them once they are ready. There will be a steady release of Mango handsets throughout the fall season and holidays.

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Windows Phone 7 Developers to get early access to Mango

In case you’ve missed my ReTweet a couple of hours ago I would like to point out some good news courtesy of Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore. As you can see in the screens hot above, Microsoft is working on a way to give Windows Phone 7 developers early access to Mango before the official retail launch / roll-out this fall. This will be somewhat similar to how Apple has been pushing out dev/beta builds of iOS prior to the public release.

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Windows Phone 7 Mango Beta SDK announced: Available Now

Along side the Windows Phone 7 Mango comes the launch of the Mango Beta SDK. It’s available now for download and obviously includes most of the features we have heard about during the MIX11 event. Yes, it’s called Windows Phone 7.1.

First the tools. Developers can use this beta release to get ready for the upcoming Windows Phone OS release. The new application platform capabilities coming in Mango deliver the top features you have asked for:

- Background processing

- New profiler and emulator for testing

- Use of Silverlight + XNA together

- Silverlight 4

- IE9 web browser control

- Live Tile enhancements: use of back of tiles and ability to update Live Tiles locally
- Deep linking into apps from notifications and Live Tiles

- Additional sensors; direct camera access, compass & gyro

- Fast application switching

- Networking / sockets for communications

- Local SQL database for structured storage

- Access to calendar and contacts for apps

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All Windows Phone 7 Mango features demoed on video

Here are all all the new major features introduced in Mango demonstrated in video. Hit the break to watch the new home screen, Groups, Multi-tasking, Local Scout, IE9 Mobile and much more:

Update: Check out my hands-on preview of Mango here.

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Windows Phone 7 Mango announced: Coming out this autumn

Microsoft just spilled the beans and posted the official Press release of Windows Phone 7 Mango ahead of the press conference that will start in a few minutes. The goods news is that it’s coming out at this Autumn. Three new OEMs are also now added to the stable: Fujistu, Acer and ZTE. The Beta SDK will be made available in the next 24h hours.

Everything we have heard about earlier is now confirmed to be included in the OS. This means that Mango does indeed have super neat Windows Live Messenger integration integrated into the messaging app and People hub. Twitter and LinkedIn integration (no word about Facebook chat in the PR though). Text-to-speech and speech-to-text for SMS and Chat. Bing Vision, and Music search are also in there. All in all this is, as expected, a really huge release that is sure to please everybody. Now the big question is: Will most of the services be available in all regions? Stay tuned for more info.

 

Full Press Release and Video after the break:

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