Try Windows Phone 7 on your iPhone or Android handset

I’m a bit late on this one…yesterday Microsoft launched a a new promotional service/mobile website that allows iOS (iPhone iPod) users and Android smartphones to get a taste of windows phone directly on the beloved devices. To do this you’ll just have to head over here ( http://aka.ms/wpdemo ) and the HTML5 webpage will transform your non-windows phone into a Metro filled device. Most of the core OS functionalities can be tested so users can really have a good idea of how the OS UI and UX work.

Nokia Lumia 800 first impressions

First off, sorry for the lack of updates lately but with my new full time job and many more things to handle on the side I didn’t have much time left to write things down. I will just share my thoughts about the Nokia Lumia 800 after using it a bit in the last 48h hours which I hope you will be interested in. One thing to note prior to reading what’s below is that all current retail Lumia 800 handsets are effectively running the same firmware as the review samples (1600.2475.7720.11414) and that all the bugs and issues should have been well known since last month (Nokia even provided updated firmwares to some reviewers) this just goes to show how many blogs/sites (not all) don’t do their job correctly (or are afraid not to get review samples in the future if they tell the truth). The upcoming firmware should be 1600.2475.7720.11450/51. Anyway, let’s start with the hardware it self:

- Awesome build quality: There’s nothing more to say here. The devices a bit heavy for its size but really feels good in the hand.

- Display: This is a standard 3.7″ PenTile Matrix AMOLED panel (same as the one used on Samsung Focus Flash and Omnia W). The main difference between Lumia 800′s display is that Nokia has calibrated the screen colors in a way to compensate the greenish tint caused by the RGBG matrix. The Reds are boosted so that the color reproduction is more true to life and not as cold as on Samsung’s PenTile devices. The only downside is that the whites aren’t really white anymore (a bit warm). Nokia has also opted not to have an Auto-display brightness dimming functionality that kicks in when the screen is mostly displaying bright white colors unlike Samsung (they now gives users the option to toggle it on/off). The downside is that this drains the battery faster than the same panel on the Focus Flash with Auto-display brightness on. The one thing that currently annoys me is that the Medium brightness setting is really too low compared to other Windows Phone 7 devices so I have to use the Highest one and thus kill my battery.

- Screen digitizer: The capacitive digitizer is currently too sensitive on the Lumia 800. Single taps are often registered as double taps and leaving my finger on the screen (for example the start screen) will make the whole UI erratically jump up/down unless I press really hard on it. This is something I have also noted on a Lumia 800 on display at an Orange store so it’s a widespread issue and its severity depends on the ambient and finger temperature. Really annoying and will hopefully be fixed soon. The screen has also the tendency of being stuck; finger contact is sometimes not registered unless you lift it and tap/swipe again.

Continue reading Nokia Lumia 800 first impressions →

Windows Phone Black Friday deals: All smartphones free on contract

Just a quick reminder for all my US readers who are celebrating Thanksgiving this week; Amazon is selling all smartphones (besides the iPhone) for only One penny on contract on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. The offer will end on November 28th so hurry up if you wish to get a handset like the HTC Titan which is currently in back-order (it will be shipped to you next week if you order today). Hit the banner above or below to grab the Titan, Samsung Focus S or Focus Flash.

Samsung enables Extra Display setting on the Samsung Omnia 7 and Samsung Focus

Both the Samsung Focus S and Focus Flash / Omnia W have two extra settings available to the end-user: Auto-Display intensity and Key-vibration feedback. Samsung has just made them available to Omnia 7 and Focus owners via an applications in the marketplace (once installed the extra settings will be located in the OS’s settings menu). The Auto-Display intensity toggle is perfectly functional but the key-vibration option doesn’t have any effect on my Omnia 7. Let me know how it goes for you,  but remember that disabling auto-display intensity will shorten your battery life.

UPDATE: It appears like this app is once again not meant to run on the Omnia 7 and Focus. Besides the second option not working at all the auto-display brightness setting isn’t even saved. It will work as long as you the screen doesn’t shut down.If you power the screen back on it will revert to default… Thanks for nothing Samsung…

Continue reading Samsung enables Extra Display setting on the Samsung Omnia 7 and Samsung Focus →

Nokia Lumia 800 battery to be fixed and improved with upcoming software update

Many Nokia Lumia 800 users have been experiencing poor battery life with there handsets ever since they got their beloved device. Fortunately Nokia is hard at work on the issue and has officially issued the following statement:

“ We understand that some people have expressed concerns about battery life on the Nokia Lumia 800. Early investigations show that the majority of people are enjoying the full Nokia Lumia experience without any problems. A software update in early December will include improvements to power efficiency, while a second update in early January introduces further enhancements to battery life and battery charging. Both are planned updates and will be made available via Zune. We recommend that anyone who still has concerns contact local Nokia care representatives at their earliest convenience.”

Good to know that things are being worked on. Also remember that another software update is also planned to fix the camera soon. I’ll let you more about both issues once I receive my device in the coming days so stay tuned.

UPDATE: The Nokia Lumia 800 battery is apparently currently capped at 1300Mha according to the original statement instead of 1450Mha (screenshot after the break):
Continue reading Nokia Lumia 800 battery to be fixed and improved with upcoming software update →

Windows Phone 7 Amazon application updated with Barcode scanning feature and full Mango support

The official Amazon Mobile application for Windows Phone 7 has finally been updated/compiled for Mango today (v1.5) and now also includes the Barcode scanning feature that was first demonstrated during the MIX11 keynote in Las Vegas a several months ago.

* Scan It: use your device camera to scan a barcode to check prices and availability.
* Pin barcode scan to Live tile: From Start screen, click to instantly open barcode scan tool and search for products.
* Fast application switching: switch from Amazon Mobile to other apps then return to where you left off.
* We hate bugs as much as you do (so we fixed a bunch)

You can download it directly from here.

HTC Titan available right now for 0.01 on AT&T

Just a quick heads up to let you know that the HTC Titan is now available for only $0.01 on AT&T right now similar to the Samsung Focus S and Samsung Focus Flash on a 2 year Contract. Hit the banner below to order one of the three Mango devices.

Update: Acutally every single US smartphone is sold for a penny on Amazon this week. Hit the banner below:

The Samsung Focus S and Focus Flash are available on AT&T for free

Samsung new Windows Phone 7 Mango handsets are available on AT&T right now. The Samsung Focus S will set you back $149.99 on a 2 year contract while the lower end Samsung Focus Flash is only $0.01 on the same 2 year contract. If I had to recommend one I would obviously tell you to go for the Focus S and it’s gorgeous Super AMOLED + screen… Hit the links below for more info.

UPDATE 21 Nov 2011: The Focus S is now priced at $0.01!

Nokia Drive on Windows Phone: It’s lacking a whole lot of features

I’m guessing many of you have been wondering why I recently said that Nokia Drive on windows Phone was far inferior to Google Navigation on Android. Well, simply because it’s an undeniable fact. The only thing that Nokia Drive currently has over Google Navigation is the Offline maps but even this is render useless simply because the application currently requires an active data connection to do the routing calculation (Nokia has recently sated that they will “fix” this in a future version..). Everything else is simply superior on Google Navigation or even most of the other GPS navigation offerings out there. Here’s a list of what’s currently missing in Nokia Drive:

- No remaining time until arrival displayed during navigation (it’s only noted during 5 secs on summery screen before the navigation starts)
- No Directions breakdown list: WTF? Even Bing Maps and Nokia Maps have it.
- POIs are useless: You can’t tap on them
- No way to save or favorite a location: only recent destinations/searches are automatically saved in a history list that can be manually cleared
- No traffic data, No Public Transit Data
- No way to have more than one itinerary unless you stop/cancel the current one and manually re-calculate another one (wtf again?)
- Requires an active Data connection to do the routing calculation even-though it has offline maps loaded on the device
- More missing stuff that I can’t remember right now

Anyway check out my hands-on video below (after the break):

Continue reading Nokia Drive on Windows Phone: It’s lacking a whole lot of features →

AT&T HTC Titan now available for $99.99

AT&T fans rejoice! The mighty HTC Titan is now finally available on your favorite carrier today for only $99.99 with a 2year contract. Interestingly this one is quite a bit cheaper than the Samsung Focus S which is now priced at $174.99. For more info about the Titan just hit the related links below the post or click here. I will have my full review up in the coming days.

UPDATE: the Titan is on Back-order but the Focus S and Focus Flash are now priced at $0.01:

Continue reading AT&T HTC Titan now available for $99.99 →

Nokia Backtracks on Windows 8 tablet comment

Remember all the Nokia Windows 8 tablet headlines earlier this week ? The claim that the company will have one ready in Juin 2012 ? You may have noticed that I didn’t post about it simply because I don’t put too much faith into what local directors claims especially when it comes to such matters (unannounced products. Unsurprisingly the same Paul Amsellem backtracked on his previous claim in a newer interview this time with French newspaper 20 Minutes (check their Windows Phone 7 app in action here):

Les Echos écrivaient mardi, en vous citant, Paul Amsellem, que vous préparez une tablette sous Windows 8 pour l’année prochaine. Pouvez-vous nous en dire plus?
Paul Amsellem : Je n’ai pas de confirmation, donc pas de commentaires.
Translation:
Q: Your were quoted by Les Echos on Tuesday saying that Nokia would have a Windows 8 tablet ready next year. Can you tell us more?

A: I don’t have any confirmation, so no comment.

So, he can’t confirm something he stated as a fact earlier and doesn’t have any comment. Sounds like he was originally make things up… Nice PR there. There you have thought….nothing new under the sun.

Continue reading Nokia Backtracks on Windows 8 tablet comment →

HTC Pushing out Internet Sharing update to its first generation Windows Phone 7 devices

HTC has just started a firmware update roll out that enables the WiFi hotspot Internet Sharing features on several of its first generation Windows Phone 7 handset across the world. The HTC HD7 seems to be the one getting it right now while some HTC Mozart user are also receiving the update notification too. feel free to tells if you gotitin the comments below (Phone model, carrier and country please). It you have a Samsung Windows Phone user there’s no need to wait for it as you can simply enable it yourself right now by following this short guide here.

Thanks for the tips guys.

AT&T getting ready to sell a Nokia Windows Phone early next year

According to Glenn Lurie, head of Dallas-based AT&T’s tablets unit, the company is close to finalize a deal with Nokia to start selling a Windows Phone handset from the Finnish manufacturer next year.

We look at every promotional period separately and decide what we’re going to spend our dollars on and what we’re going to put our efforts in,[...]“But nothing to announce there on that yet.

This piece of information can also be taken as a confirmation of the recently rumored LTE version of the Nokia Lumia 800 that we heard of earlier this week.

Continue reading AT&T getting ready to sell a Nokia Windows Phone early next year →

SFR launches the Nokia Lumia 800 for 1 Euro

Another unexpected finding today, after the SFR branded Windows Phone Internet 7 (re branded ZTE Tania) comes the Nokia Lumia 800 for €1 on a 2 year contract. That’s right, one single Euro. This is really unexpected especially for a relatively high-end device like that. So, if you are in France and looking for a brand new Nokia handset you know what to do…

Continue reading SFR launches the Nokia Lumia 800 for 1 Euro →

SFR launches the ZTE Tania as its own Windows Phone 7 branded handset: Windows Phone Internet 7


Now that was somewhat unexpected; French mobile operator SFR has just launched its won branded Windows Phone 7 handset: the windows Phone Internet 7. The catch here is that this is simply an SFR branded ZTE Tania Mango handset. The good news here is that the phone will be available for only €9.99 on a two year contract and only €269 free of contract. The handset isn’t currently available but I guess that this should change in the coming days. One thing is for sure thought is that this is definitely one way to get a whole lot of Windows Phone handset sold to the “average Joe” who’s looking to by its first smartphone.

Update: SFR is also offering the Nokia Lumia 800 for 1 Euro..

Continue reading SFR launches the ZTE Tania as its own Windows Phone 7 branded handset: Windows Phone Internet 7 →

I don’t care about what’s inside your phone as long as the user experience is great

I just came across a post on Neowin today which must have been inspired by what I have been saying all along and especially this editorial I wrote back in February after I came back from Mobile World Congress. To put it simply: things haven’t changed since I originally posted what I did and people are now finding out that what I have been preaching all along may be somewhat true. Throwing endless numbers of processor into a device isn’t going to make the user experience any better especially the OS (hello Android) or app is bloated / badly coded or simply doesn’t take advantage of the hardware horsepower under the hood. Yes I everybody wants 1080P video encoding/recoding but nobody’s going to do this 90% of the time with his phone and that’s the point: if what I’m principally using isn’t perfectly smooth (OS, browser, apps) why should I care about one single great feature?

Continue reading I don’t care about what’s inside your phone as long as the user experience is great →

Driver update to improve the Nokia Lumia 800 camera in the works

Based on what the earlier users and from the samples publicly available the pictures and videos outputted by Nokia Lumia 800 8MP camera don’t a good quality right now even when compared to the Nokia N9 which features exactly the same sensor and Carl Zeiss optics. I personally don’t have any first hands experience here and frankly the video samples and pictures that have been posted so far aren’t that good principally because the person using the handset simply doesn’t know how to shoot a correctly lit picture or video. I’m still amazed to see blurry sample videos on YouTube simply because the user tried to focus on a dark subject/object with a overly white background = this won’t work because the continuous auto-focus system is based on contrast so the focus will be on the brighter part of the scene…don’t blame the camera here).

Anyway, Nokia is thankfully working on a software / driver update that should elevate most of the problems (mainly color temperature and noise in low light condition I guess).

working on sw updates to both to improve performance, no further details for now.

Continue reading Driver update to improve the Nokia Lumia 800 camera in the works →

Qualcomm to power future Nokia Windows Phones

Here’s a new report somewhat validating what I have written a few days ago when ST-Ericsson announced its partnership with Nokia for future Windows Phones; Qualcomm’s European President has recently stated that his company was closely working on Nokia’s roadmap and that the Nokia Lumia handsets that where recently unveiled are just the beginning of the collaboration between both companies.

“We are working on a roadmap [with Nokia] and not a single device, a single launch. It’s an important collaboration for Qualcomm, so we are very excited about working together. It’s been very effective in terms of time to market because we developed the phone together. It’s been a very successful development.”[...]“The Nokia collaboration is also very much about the Windows Phone ecosystem and, of course, we at Qualcomm, as you know, are supporting on our platform the Windows Phone software and actually at the moment we are the only supplier supporting the integrated solution.”

Continue reading Qualcomm to power future Nokia Windows Phones →

Nokia Lumia 800 LTE coming to AT&T next year and Nokia Champagne

You simply can’t stop the rumors and today’s headliner is about an LTE version of the Nokia Lumia 800 that AT&T is supposedly going to offer next year. Besides that nothing else is know at all. It is speculated that it will be running Windows Phone 7 Tango because the current OS version, according to “highly educated bloggers”, doesn’t support LTE even tough baseband support has for the most part nothing to do with the OS and is primarily a Radio/Driver thing (also remember that the OS base band support was fully described on the company’s own site for a few hours more than a year ago before it was taken down, LTE was apparently already in there).

Anyway it is highly probable that all Windows Phone handset launching in early 202 will be running Tango which is, from what we currently know, a relatively small update adding universal search to the OS and language support to some countries. A Nokia Champagne handset running 7.10.8711 has been spotted by the I’m a WP7 app last month. No info on what this device may be though. Back to the rumored LTE Nokia Lumia 800: the only way for it to be LTE compatible is by adding a MDM9600 multi-modem radio in addition to the MSM8655 SoC powering the device (just like the HTC Thunderbolt). Now where’s my salt ?

Continue reading Nokia Lumia 800 LTE coming to AT&T next year and Nokia Champagne →