Nokia Lumia 900 render revealed ?

What would be the last the of the year without a nice little leak and rumor? The latest is what looks like a render of the rumored Nokia Lumia 900 aka Nokia Ace that is said to be a bigger Lumia 800 (4.3″ screen) with a front facing camera and Qualcomm MDM9600 for LTE support on AT&T’s network (and a Gyroscope too). Last but not least us European are getting the shaft once again as this device (if it’s indeed real..) is apparently only going to be released in the US just like the Samsung Focus S. Lame, right? Anyway two more pictures after the break.

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Traces of LTE Nokia Lumia 800 found in diagnostic tools

Rumors of an AT&T bound LTE version of the Nokia Lumia 800 have been making the rounds lately even though the latest FCC filling was only for the “regular” US 3G version of the device (RM-819). Hidden menus found in the Nokia Diagnostic Tools finally confirm that Nokia and AT&T may be currently testing an LTE version of the handset. As you can see in the screenshot below LTE Bands 4 and 17 are supported and those are the ones owned by AT&T in the US.

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Windows Phone in 2012: Predictions and wishes

Time for me to share with you my 2012 Windows Phone predictions and wishes now that you are all probably enjoying your new Mango handsets (or 1st Gen phones running Mango..). Keep in mind that what I’m going to post bellow is nothing more than speculations on my part so don’t quote me on that (well unless it turns out to be true later down the road…). So let’s start with what I wish Microsoft fixes, adds in the coming months in Tango:

- Universal search (this one is most probably coming..)
- Fix the frame dropping video playback issue that I seem to be the only person on earth who has noticed it (was present on my HTC Titan sample and both my Lumia 800 which makes me believe that’s it’s a OS issue with the MSM8255)
- Release Skype and Photosynth for Windows Phone: The silence surrounding both apps is intriguing. I wouldn’t be surprised if both where directly integrated into the OS instead of released as third-party apps (wishful thinking..I know).
- Ability to delete more than one picture or video at a time in the pictures hub
- Basic photo editing (crop, rotate, re-size)
- Basic video editing functionality (this one will have to wait for Windows Phone 8 I guess)
- SMS / MMS Backup (looks like this one is in the works “Come join the Windows Phone Backup, Migrate, and Restore team. Our goal is to ensure that no matter if someone loses their phone, drops their phone in a lake, buys a new windows phone, or just has their toddler wipe their phone by entering the wrong PIN over and over, a user can quickly and seamlessly get their phone back to a good state. The features we are producing will be new for the next version of Windows Phone and will help ensure Microsoft stays ahead of the competition when it comes to disaster recovery.” )
- MMS videos!
- Ability to assign different ring tones to groups or individual contacts Totally forgot that this was already made available in Mango. sorry for that.

Now let’s talk about Windows Phone 8. It will be announced in 2012 but I’m not really confident that MWC is going to be the venue used by Microsoft to unveil it. As you have probably already heard Microsoft is no longer going to keynote at CES after 2012 and will instead have it’s own events to unveiled announce new products similar to what Apple has been doing lately after it dropped from the MacWorld Expo. This is why I’m thinking that Microsoft may only announce Tango during MWC this February and simple tease WP8 for a further announcement closer to the middle of the year. Here’s what I’m hoping for Windows Phone 8 aka Apollo:

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LG Fantasy out in the wild

Microsoft Romania is probably looking for a new Windows Phone tester as we speak because one has apparently sold the yet to b announced HTC Fantasy Mango handset to an XDA-dev poster this week. The only thing known right now is that it supposedly sports a 4″ IPS display which isn’t really that exciting anymore given the quality of the SLCD panels used by HTC on the HTC Titan, HTC Radar and all of their new high end smartphones. The back of the phone also reveals a 5Mpix camera. One more picture after the break.

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US Nokia Lumia 800 hits the FCC

The US version of the Nokia Lumia 800 has just passed the FCC certification today hinting at an imminent released in north America early next year. Don’t get too excited though as this is simply the same handset as the one currently available in Europe and Asia. The “original” version is the RM-801 and this one is the RM-819. The only difference being support for the WCDMA 850Mhz 3G band (AT&T) instead of 900MHz on the RM-801. Your dreams about the Nokia Lumia 900 or the LTE version of the Lumia 800 have yet to become reality..if ever… More to come on January 9th.

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Microsoft and Nokia wanted to jointly bid to buy RIM

File this under the rumors/whispers tag but given the source it may very well be true. According to the Wall Street Journal’s sources, Microsoft and Nokia were thinking of a joint bid to acquire Research In Motion (RIM) a few months ago. Interestingly Amazon was also in talks to buy the Canadian company around the same time according to Reuters’ sources. The fact that Microsoft and Nokia were thinking of doing this reinforces the feeling that the Finnish mobile giant is definitely more than a simple Windows Phone OEM.

RIM is apparently in such a harsh situation that they have also approached HTC, Samsung and other OEMs to license their OS in hopes to gain back some traction in the smartphone market. As of right now nothing as drastic has happened and all talks are still taking places behind closed doors and thick curtains. RIM is now apparently trying to get itself out of the hole all by itself but the recent announcement of the BlackBerry 10 devices delay (end of 2012) isn’t really reassuring.

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Nokia CES press event announced: US Nokia Lumia phones expected

Nokia has just sent out the first invites for its CES events which will take place on January 9thin Las Vegas. Depending on who you want to believe we are either going to see the US version of the Nokia Lumia 800 with or without LTE and the unicorn handset aka the Nokia Lumia 900. In either cases let’s not waste any more time speculating and simply wait until the event takes place. Don’t forget that the Nokia Lumia 710 has already been announced on T-Mobile earlier this month and should be available in January.

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Nokia releases statement about Nokia Lumia 800 battery problems

Nokia has just released an official statement regarding the recent Battery bugs introduced in the first firmware update pushed earlier this month. Unfortunately the bug I encountered with one of my handsets (which is quite a bit more annoying given that the battery is no longer detected by the OS!) isn’t mentioned by the company but it may be related to the one Nokia is said to have fixed in the upcoming January update which will also contain camera improvements among other things. Read the full statement after the break:

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Windows Phone in 2012: What are you expecting ?

As you may have noticed interesting news stories have been non existent lately in the windows Phone world and given that I have less time to post I won’t bother posting about every single rumored sales statistics or other meaningless stuff. Unfortunately there’s isn’t much left to talk about now that we are nearing Christmas and the end of the year.

If you are a Nokia Lumia 800 owner I’m sure that you are eagerly waiting to the promised January Firmware update that should fix the battery issues (and hopefully this one included!) alongside other bugs and camera improvements. Speaking of the camera, Nokia’s Digital Imaging Guru Damian Dinning has once again tweeted that “improvements” are coming to the Lumia 800′s camera and noted that even though the hardware is the same as the Nokia N9 the “image processing is completely different”. Obvious given that the two handset have different OS’s and SoCs. It should also be noted the Lumia 800 (and 710) is Nokia’s first Qualcomm powered device so it’s normal that everything isn’t yet fully functional and bug free.

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SkyDrive Application for Windows Phone and iOS released

Microsoft has just released the official SkyDrive application for Windows Phone 7 and iOS today. As you most probably know the SkyDrive cloud storage service is already partially integrated in the Office hub in windows Phone but lacks a lot of features that should have been there in the first place like document deletion, folder creation etc. This new application now fixes this but one would hope the all these new functionlaities will be fully integrated in a future version of the OS  and won’t require the users to download an application especially on Microsoft’s own platform. The iOS versions is essentially identical to the WP7 one. Check out a video of it in action after the break:

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Qualcomm licenses Imagination Technologies PowerVR IP

File this under the: Strange but possible tag. Buried in Imagination Technologies interim financial results today is the following information:

Licensing

Strong licensing activities

  • Addition of several new key partners including MStar, Ricoh, Qualcomm, Rockchip
  • Many new and extended agreements with existing partners including Sony, Intel, Mediatek, Renesas, Samsung, Sigma, Realtek

This is as far I know the first mention of Qualcomm as a PowerVR IP licensee ever and really interesting given that the San Diego chip manufacturer currently develops its own GPU and graphics IP after its acquisition of ATI’s mobile division a few years ago. The timing would suggest that Qualcomm may have licensed the Rogue GPU IP but until we have more detail we can only speculate at this point. If that was the case then I wouldn’t expect to see any PowerVR tech in QC’s SoC until after the Krait generation of chips (unless the licensing deal is nothing more that patents stuff after all).

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Microsoft shakes up Windows Phone division

Steve Ballmer took the time today to announce to its troops that current Windows Phone Division president Andy Less will now have a new role at Microsoft and will be replaced by Terry Myerson who was already heading the divisions engineering team. I personally think that this is the right thing to do as I have always felt that Lees wasn’t really the guy for this division and more a Ballmer buddy who was put there back when Windows Mobile was on the brink of death. Now that Windows Phone 7 is out and well (sales will come later..well, unless Nokia continues to ship buggy devices worldwide) it was time to put somebody who knows what he’s talking about in charge what is seen as one of the company’s most critical asset. As a matter of fact Andy has now a new undisclosed role at Microsoft (reporting directly to Ballmer as usual) which will be a “time-critical opportunity focused on driving maximum impact in 2012 with Windows Phone and Windows 8″ Whatever that means it sure looks like what I’ve been speculating all along and here (Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 sharing the same kernel) may be close to the reality.

Check out Steve Ballmer’s full email after the break:

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Microsoft Lync 2010 app for Windows Phone 7 released

The much anticipated Microsoft Lync application for Windows Phone 7 has just been released. Here are the key features:

- View colleagues’ availability in real time and select the best way to communicate – initiating an instant message (IM), email, or a phone call.
- Connect to Lync conference calls with a single touch, without requiring long numeric passcodes or conference numbers.
- Make and receive calls using your Enterprise Voice (Lync ID) number only, so you can connect with others using a single, consistent identity.
- Lync 2010 for Windows Phone provides transport layer security (TLS) and perimeter/internal network protection without requiring a VPN, so your communications experience is safer no matter where you are or what network you use.

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DLNA and other features coming soon to the Nokia Lumia 800 ?

I was just messing around with the latest Nokia Lumia 800 firmware in hopes to figure out what is going on with the Battery Status bug on one of my handsets when I stumbled upon several interesting things within the firmware package. First off the firmware package is dated November 18th and contains things that we didn’t even know about. The most interesting one is that the Lumia 800 does indeed already support DLNA but is apparently awaiting an official Nokia application to make fully functional (check out the screenshot below for the system/drivers files).

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Halo Waypoint with ATLAS feature released

Microsoft has just released a new updated version of the Halo Waypoint app for Windows Phone 7 which now includes the ATLAS multiplayer companion feature of Halo: Reach. This will allow you to checkout overhead views of all the multiplayer maps and get real-time position and score information of the ongoing matches. Just just head over here to download it if you haven’t already and enjoy it.

Nokia Lumia 800 Battery Status gone after firmware update

Just in case you didn’t know it yet the Nokia Lumia 800 battery situation is a real mess and the latest firmware update made things worse in some cases. As you probably already know I have two Lumia 800s and both of them received the much awaited update recently unfortunately one of them (branded TIM-IT) isn’t really working as it should now. As you can see in the picture above the OS is unable to get a correct reading of the current battery status and the same thing applies to the Nokia Diagnostics app (picture after the break). My second device (branded SFR-FR) updated without a hitch and seems to be working fine though.

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Xbox Companion app for Windows Phone released alongside Xbox Live app for iPhone and iPad

The Xbox Companion app for Windows Phone 7 is finally available for download today if you are the proud owner of an XBOX 360 console (I’m not so I can’t test it for you sorry). If you own an iOS devices (iPhone/iPad) Microsoft has also released an Xbox Live application which brings the basic Xbox Live functionalities found in the first iteration of Windows Phone 7 and the Xbox Extras app to Apple’s best selling platform.

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T-Mobile and Nokia announcement on December 14th: The Nokia Lumia 710

Could this be the official announcement of the US version of the Nokia Lumia 800 or simply the Nokia Lumia 710? We won’t know until December 14th when T-Mobile an Nokia will hold a joint event at 7PM (PST or EST?). Anyway not much else to say here other than “enjoy the rest of you week”.

UPDATE: This FCC filing confirms that it is indeed the Nokia Lumia 710 headed to T-Mobile US. You can download the user manual directly from here (pdf) (thanks for the tip guys).

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First Nokia Lumia 800 update released

The first Nokia Lumia 800 firmware update has just started to roll out today and is the v. 1600.2479.7740.11451 has I have told you last week. This one includes the following fixes:

- Charging improvements
- Voicemail notification improvement
- Replying to mail improved for Microsoft Exchange 2003 users
- Improved display switching in bright light
- Improved audio quality

Only one of my Lumia 800 got it because it apparently requires the 7440.16 build of the OS to be already on the handset. So if your Lumia 800 is still running the 7420 build of Mango you’ll have to wait a little bit before receiving the update notification. A second firmware update which will further improve the battery and hopefully the camera is planned for January.

UPDATE: The Camera software has been updated too as there is now a Flicker Reduction option in there as you can see in the picture below. The screen over-sensitivity seems to also have been fixed (needs more testing to confirm it’s unfortunately not fixed yet). The auto-focus issue in camcorder mode seems to also be fixed (will need more testing too nope seems to be the same as before) I’ll check out the camera quality later on and report back here.

UPDATE 2: The phone no longer display its battery status and only shows a question mark instead…not good..will try to run the thing down and see if it recalibrates itself afterwards.

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