Is the Nokia Lumia 800 the key to Windows Phone’s success?

Short answer: No. Longer answer: Nokia’s marketing is more important to Microsoft. As you already know by now the recently unveiled Nokia Lumia 800 isn’t really a groundbreaking piece of hardware. The design and build quality may be top notch but it still lacks several features that most people came to expect on a high-end handsetNoFront facing camera, no Gyroscope, more internal storage. Some are disappointed while others simply don’t care because the device is probably good enough for them. The Nokia Lumia 720 is on lower end of the spectrum but thankfully Nokia kept it’s CPU clocked at 1.4Ghz like its bigger brother the Lumia 800.

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Lenovo LePhone S2 Windows Phone 7 handset out in the wild

Looks like the new Windows Phone OEM that Andy Lees was talking about last week is Chinese manufacturer Lenovo. The company’s first Windows Phone 7 handsets which is currently named Lenovo LePhone S2 just appeared in several pictures today and from the looks of it it doesn’t really look that high end in terms of build quality (and screen) but does seem to have a front facing camera. This device may very well be aimed at the Asian / Chinese market only and probably be released when the Tango update starts to roll out in the first half of 2012. More pictures after the break:

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EA games to come exclusively on Nokia Windows Phones

Electronic Arts took the stage at the Nokia World event to announce that several of their big name EA Mobile games ill be released exclusively on Nokia windows Phones , the Nokia Lumia 800 and Nokia Lumia 710. As you can see in the slide above Fifa12, Madden 12, Dead Space, Need For Speed and several other AAA titles are headed our way. Hasbro and Chillingo’s collections are also part of the deal.

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Windows Phone 7 Xbox Companion app and Kinectimals shown on video

Here’s the very first hands on demo of the recently announced Xbox companion application for Windows Phone 7 and a short demo of Kinectimals too both running on the Nokia Lumia 800 and Nokia Lumia 710. The Xbox Companion app definitely looks like a must have if you own the XBOX360 and is finally the first step in the long await integration of the home console with the phone platform. The app allows you to browse your consoles content and remotely control it with you Windows Phone. Things will get even more exciting next year with the release of Windows 8 which will have Xbox Live directly built-in. Check it out after the break.

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HTC Titan performance compared to 1st Generation Windows Phone 7 handsets

Time to show you how the gigantic HTC Titan performance compared to a first generation QSD8250 powered Windows Phone 7 handsets. As you will see in the video embedded after the break, the Titan is simply perfectly smooth at all times unlike the Samsung Omnia 7 which has a hard time rendering the live tiles when scrolling fast, the Webbrower controls embedded in third-party Silverlight applications and also panorama controls are now perfectly smooth in all applications. The Titan also often loads big games faster than the Omnia 7 and simply destroys the Samsung devices in HW accelerated HTML5 rendering (watch the video until the end..). This is really a combination of the 1.5Ghz Scorpion CPU in the MSM8255 and also the more powerful Adreno205 GPU.

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Windows Phone 8 Apollo coming mid 2012 ?


Grab some tissues and a pinch of salt! According to a Nokia VP Michael Halbherr, Executive VP present at Nokia World in London Windows Phone 8 aka Apollo will launch in mid- 2012. That’s nearly 6 months earlier than what everybody else was expecting. Nokia is rightfully pushing Microsoft to include NFC support in it and full integration of Nokia’s Navteq mapping assets. Once again, treat this as a rumor but things may be getting a little more interesting than expected in the coming months unless this VP is confusing Tango with Apollo.

UPDATE: As I expcted that Nokia VP was on something nasty…the original story was updated with a note saying that the “timing was inaccurate”..no sh@t Sherlock? Back to our regular news/rumors/nonsense schedule… Apollo = Late 2012 Tango = mid 2012. Mark my words…
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Tango video chat application coming to Windows Phone 7 Mango on November 7th

The already announced and showcased Tango video chat application will officially be released on Windows Phone 7.5 Mango on November 7th according to the company. Given that the official Skype app for Windows Phone 7 is not yet ready for prime-time, Tango will be the only game in town unless you have a Samsung handset which can already use the manufacturers own Video Call application. This is all fine an dandy..unless you plan on getting the Nokia Lumia 800 or Lumia 710 because both handsets unfortunately lack a front facing camera. On the other hand I probably only used video chat once in my life so it really depends on where your priorities are…

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Nokia Lumia 800 hardware specifications


Here’s the full detailed hardware specifications of the Nokia Lumia 800. If the whole thing is correct (won’t be surprised if it isn’t) then you’ll be happy to know that it will use a Micro-Sim like the Nokia N9, have a TV-Out feature (how? cause WP7 doesn’t officially support such feature other than the dodgy TV-out one used for onscreen demonstration during keynotes) and support USB Mass Storage (again..WP7 doesn’t officially support that so something is fishy here…). Check it out after the break:

UPDATE: Looks like I was right…TV-Out and USB Mass Storage support have be removed from the official feature list…Oh and there apparently no Gyroscope…

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Nokia Lumia 800 and Nokia Lumia 710 announced: Nokia Drive, Nokia Music and advertising videos


Nokia has finally unveiled the Nokia Lumia 800 and Nokia Lumia 710 Windows Phones. There’s no surprise though as the Lumia 800 is nothing more than a modified Nokia N9 with the basic
Windows Phone chassis internals (MSM8255 clocked at 1.4Ghz) a smaller 3.7″ ClearBlack AMOLED WVGA screen and the same camera sensor. There’s essentially zero hardware differentiation besides the polycarbonate chassis and the camera (no Front Facing camera, no DLNA application shown..). The Nokia Lumia 710 is the lower-end model with what seems like the same 3.7″ ClearBlack TFT LCD display but an MSM8255 clocked at 1.4gGhz.

The Nokia Lumia 800 is coming to France, Germany, Italy, UK, Netherlands and Spain in November. Hon Kong, Taiwan, Russia, Singapore and India etc before the end of the year (same for the Nokia 710). Nothing for the US folks. Sorry…. The Lumia 800 will retail for €420 and the Lumia 710 for €270 without contract and before taxes.

Nokia has also demoed the Nokia Drive which is the company’s free turn-by-turn navigation application that will come pre-loaded on the Lumia 800 and Lumia 710:

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HTC Titan 4.7″ SLCD display performance

Yesterday I showed you how the HTC Titan‘s 4.7″ SLCD display performed outdoors in bright daylight and it’s now time to check out the panel’s viewing angles performance. This is really important especially with a display of this size. I first noticed the great viewing angles when I first witnessed the device during the launch event early last month and was really happy to find out that I wasn’t dreaming back then because the Titan does indeed have a pretty nice screen. As you will see in the video below the colors are perfect even at extreme angles as if it was using an IPS panel. Issues appear only when the screen is viewed from a diagonal angle: the blacks/shadows will wash out but the colors will fortunately stay the same.

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Nokia Lumia 800 Benchmarks. No Front facing camera

Ready to be disappointed? The Nokia Lumia 800 doesn’t have a front facing camera (we already saw that in the leaked video). Now that we got this out the way let’s take a look at the device synthetic performance based on a some body’s hands on experience with the device. As you will see in the benchmark scores below the Nokia Lumia 800 is on par with the HTC Titan (and most probably the Samsung Focus S and Samsung Focus Flash / Omnia W) given that all those handsets have an MSM8255 clocked at either 1.4ghz or 1.5Ghz. That’s the joy of Windows Phone 7 folks: All devices have roughly the same performance so you will have to make your buying decision based on something else. The Lack of FF camera sucks though and the Pent-Tile AMOLED display is no longer the hottest thing in town.

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Nokia Lumia 800 and Lumia 710 to be announced tomorrow

We now know the official names of Nokia’s first windows Phones that are going to be unveiled tomorrow. The first one is the Nokia Lumia 800 also known as the Searay and the Nokia Lumia 710 formerly known as the Nokia Sabre. Besides the blurry pics and the Lumia 800 pictures above not much else is know about them but I’m sure that we can all guess the specification by now.

UPDATE: They have been announced. Check out all the info and videos here. The Nokia Lumia 800 hardware specifications here.

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T Mobile HTC Radar 4G launching November 2 for $99 on contract


T-Mobile has just announced that the HTC Radar 4G will launch on November 2 for only $99 on contract. With its 3.8″ SLCD screen and MSM8255 SoC clocked at 1Ghz the Radar it shouldn’t be surprising to see it priced this way. Anybody interested in this one or are you willing to jump to AT&T and get the HTC Titan or Samsung Focus S instead ?

Windows Phone fans, we’ve got some good news for you on this Monday morning. The HTC Radar 4G – our new Mango-flavored phone – will be in stores next Wednesday, November 2. The HTC Radar 4G is expected to cost $99.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate card with a two-year service agreement and qualifying T-Mobile Classic voice and data plan, plus taxes and fees.

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Nokia’s first Windows Phone to hit only European this year ?

According to AdAge how claims to have obtained information about Nokia’s marketing plans for this year end the company’s first Windows Phone is only going to be marketed in Europe this year and only expected  to hit the US in early 2012. As I’ve noted a few months ago the device is going to be on short supply so this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody but I would surprised / disappointed if Nokia didn’t a least paper launch it in North America with a relatively low batch of devices for Christmas and finally ramp up everything in Q1 2012.

Nokia is currently evaluating agencies to launch its Windows Phones planned for 2012, according to a briefing document, and has tapped a little-known independent London shop to lead marketing for the new handsets. It’s specifically looking for a San Francisco-area digital agency to “dimensionalize” the global creative idea “Amazing Everyday.” What does that mean exactly? “Hidden away in the everyday landscape are billions of little adventures,” the brief says. “And the new Nokia with Windows Phone makes it easier to find them, to take part in them and to share them.”

As far as I know European carriers have already some handsets in stock for an early November availability. How many devices are going to be announced this week ? well We more or less know about the Nokia Searay aka Nokia 800 which seems to be the company’s flagship product for this year and there’s also possible the Nokia 703 too but the wording int he quote above makes me believe that the US will only get one model. Everything else is just speculation at this point but the Nokia 800 is pretty much confirmed given that Amazon is already taking pre-orders for some accessories.

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HTC Titan’s screen outdoor visibility

It’s now a well known fact that the HTC Titan‘s 4.7″ SLCD screen is gigantic but what I really wanted to test was its outdoor visibility compared to the Super AMOLED displays from Samsung which are currently the best in this lighting situation. The first thing you will notice on the HTC Titan and HTC Radar is that unlike all of HTC’s previous handsets there’s no air gap at all between the glass (Gorilla Glass here) and the display panel. The result is that contrast, viewing angles and outdoor visibility are greatly improve because there’s less light refraction and dispersion messing things up. As you will see in the pictures below outdoors visibility is nearly identical on the HTC Titan and Samsung Omnia 7.

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Microsoft and Compal sign Android patent agreement

More Android money flowing into the pockets of Microsoft. This time it’s the Taiwanese ODM Compal who has signed a patent agreement covering Android and Chrome based devices:

REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 23, 2011 — Microsoft Corp. and Compal Electronics, Inc. have signed a patent agreement that provides broad coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio for Compal’s tablets, mobile phones, e-readers and other consumer devices running the Android or Chrome Platform. Although the contents of the agreement have not been disclosed, the parties indicate that Microsoft will receive royalties from Compal under the agreement.

“We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Compal, one of the leaders in the original design manufacturing, or ODM, industry. Together with the license agreements signed in the past few months with Wistron and Quanta Computer, today’s agreement with Compal means more than half of the world’s ODM industry for Android and Chrome devices is now under license to Microsoft’s patent portfolio,” said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft. “We are proud of the continued success of our licensing program in resolving IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome.”

In case you forgot; Compal is also a Windows Phone 7 ODM currently manufacturing devices for Nokia and Acer.

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HTC Titan HD video recording hands on and compared to the Omnia 7

One of the main differentiating feature of the HTC Titan is its new 8 megapixel camera with F2.2 lens, dual LED flash, and BSI sensor. Thanks to the MSM8255 SoC the device is now capable of shooting 720P videos at 30fps (25fps for the 1st gen Windows Phone 7 handsets).

So how do the videos look like ? Well, I shot two of them on the Titan and the Samsung Omnia 7 both at the same time so you can directly compare them. The first thing you will notice is the higher frame of the Titan video and its higher level of motion blur which seems to be caused by a slower shutter speed. This results in a steadier video shoot compared to the Omnia 7′s jerky mess. The only downside of the Titan is th super slow auto-exposure control which can be really annoying in some situations(the Omnia 7 colors are more natural). Both camera also have continuous auto-focus (it’s a hit-or-miss feature as you can see sometimes both devices have a hard time focusing depending on the lighting situtation.). As of right now the HTC Titan features the best camera that HTC has ever packed in a one of their handsets. The 720P videos shots on the HTC Titan are btter than the 1080P ones shot on the HTC Sensation. For you information the the First HTC Titan is 75MB while the Omnia 7 is 45MB (the Titan encodes at 10Mbs and has 5 more fps while the Omnia 7 encodes at 6Mbs). Check out both videos after the break and tell me what you think and if you want me to show you anything else.

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Nokia 800 Searay teased on UK TV

Looks like Nokia is ready to unleash the marketing beast next week. What looks like the Nokia 800 aka Nokia Searay briefly showed up in a TV teaser ad last night in the UK. As you can see in the blurry cam video embeded after the break the whole disco setting looks similar to the recently leaked marketing material we saw a few days ago.  Only 4 days until the handset is officially unveiled. Hit the break to watch it.

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Skype for Windows Phone 7 still scheduled to be released this year

It’s been a while since we heard anything about the Windows Phone 7 version of Skype which was announced back in April during the MIX11 developer event. Now that the first Windows Phone 7.5 Mango handsets equipped with front facing camera are starting to hit the shelves many users are eagerly waiting for the application to be released. Unfortunately front facing camera support has not been confirmed yet but it’s same to assume that it will be present from the get go but, obviously, only available on compatible devices.

Microsoft, who was present and at an HTC Ultimate event has confirmed that the Skype application is still on schedule to launch this year but apparently didn’t give any more info. Now that Skype is part of Microsoft it should only be logical to see it soon rather than later and also hopefully fully integrated in a future version of the OS similar to the current Twitter and Facebook integration.

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